basking

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this wish already came true

I have so much to write about, my Dad’s arrival (safe and sound) last night, of course my trip with all the gorgeous photos I took.  Yet I wake up this morning with something else on my mind so I’m going with it.

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I love two things about this morning.  A.  I woke up after a solid 7.5 hours sleep, the first in over a week and B.  I woke up feeling so excited to hop out of bed to write.  I spent several months not feeling excited about much of anything when I woke up in the morning, missing myself in that way.  But a constellation of ingredients has changed that; starting with my Dr. telling me I was in severe adrenal exhaustion a couple weeks ago and giving me an adrenal formula saying “this will either be night and day for you almost immediately or you won’t feel much but keep taking it anyway”.  Luckily I fell in the first category.  I love my dear Dr. Peace in every possible way.  Well you know, every possible appropriate way.

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Anyway, what I’ve got on my mind this morning is born out of this Facebook post I made yesterday:

I hereby declare that the Era of Men Treating Kathy Monkman like Crap has drawn to a close. I do not regret to inform you that you’ve been replaced, your roles reassigned. Any stragglers will be shown to the exits by my team of bodyguards. Now go on. Git. Thank you for your swift cooperation.

I don’t want to revisit the past but let me just say this.  I’ve been successful in most areas of my life; work wise definitely, friends wise, school wise, good luck all around me in finding the right house/office/important things have come easy to me.  All my life really.  All except in the area of romantic relationships where all my screwedupness has landed or so I’ve said.  It all just seemed to reside in that dark corner.  I can dig back and tell a story that seemingly explains it all.  But in reality, do any of us really know the whys and wherefores?  And if we did, does it really matter?

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What matters is change.  Not insight.

Pretty bold statement huh?  Well, it’s what I believe.

I’ve tried dating different kinds of men, ones I wouldn’t have considered, ones who were so nice that surely they are out of my pattern, not dating for months or even years, focusing on other things, reading books, seeking guidance, blah blah freaking blah.  Lots of trying.  I’m not one who gives up easily. And I am a person who believes, deep down, that I can fulfill all of my dreams.  I also believe most anything can be healed.

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Alfonse and I stepping on to the bridge making a wish together the other day

Which is why I’m successful professionally I think.  My belief system.  In 25 years of practicing Myofascial Release I have almost never run in to something that I didn’t think could really completely correct.  I think people feel my confidence and are drawn to it.  And it’s not contrived.  It’s really the way I think.

I’m not talking about a confidence in myself.  I’m talking a confidence in the power of healing and the mystery of the human body.  And it’s own power to self correct.

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So let me take this one step further which is the belief that the mind exists everywhere in the body.  And if the body believes something, the mind will follow.  If that belief system is “I’m broken” that’s what the consciousness will go along with.  If the belief system is “I’m freeing up”, then the mind follows that.

It’s kind of a backwards way of looking at things for many people but it’s one I truly and deeply believe in.  From my own experience.

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I’ve written about my recovery from severe anxiety/panic disorder using Myofascial Release as my primary modality (I didn’t know about Watsu yet but having it to do over, I would choose that right up there with MFR).  I was a Psychiatric Nurse when that all hit as the assistant head nurse on a busy Psychiatric unit in a hospital.  And I was as screwed up as some of the patients having constant panic attacks, sometimes even at work.  Covering it all up best I could.

I tried so many things familiar to me then, medication/hospitalization/counseling/hypnosis, you name it.  I went aggressively after this.  I was in my 20’s and nearly housebound at times.  It was bad.

Yet the way this finally left me, was out of my body.  Then my mind followed.  That’s just how it happened.  I had to go after it through my body and what was stuck there and that’s when the relief started coming in.  I could go on and on about that but it’s not what I came here to write about this morning.

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A couple of days ago, after returning from The Ranch, I got to thinking about my “man life” right now.  I started looking around myself 360 degrees and this is what I saw:

I saw that I’d just returned from this week where a man, yes a man, a gorgeous hunky sweet man, treated me like a Princess the entire time.  Unsolicited, unexpected.  Just because he wanted to.  He’d rearranged his entire schedule to be there for me, ate meals with me, attended to needs I wasn’t even thinking about.  It all just kind of blew me away.  Before that I’d only really met him once and most of that time was in silence with me under the water.  Then a little correspondence here and there, and then all that.

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Then I looked around my home when I got back. Steve had been house sitting.  I saw every room ten times neater and cleaner than how I’d left it in my whirlwind to get out of town.  I saw the new hot water heater he’d gone through great pains to get installed which ended up in a huge hassle even though I thought I’d set it all up easily.  I saw two rooms upstairs that he completely reworked and organized for me as we’d discussed, including rearranging furniture.  I saw my back patio all cleaned up from the debris I’d left there after pulling weeds the weekend before.  I saw my frig reorganized.  I also talked to my brother who, when he picked me up at the airport, was doing much better than when I’d left.  When I asked why he said “I hung out with Steve a lot”. Steve took him shopping for my birthday present, to dinner, went to dinner at his house.  Looked after Alfonse along with my house.

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Speaking of Alfonse, he picked me up with a smile, his usual huge hug.  The next day took me to lunch and gave me the greatest soft pink fluffy robe.  He is THE BEST gift giver.  He remembered I was always wearing his huge terry cloth robe in Sedona and figured I needed a big one myself.  He is so thoughtful!  My brother always sees the best in me..always.  He truly loves me unconditionally and no matter how moody I can get around him, he just lets it all go.

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I looked on my dining table and there was a huge bouquet from my boys in Sedona–Rob and Sean.  The white shabby chic style they know I love.

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These boys take such good care of me always.  I got a text from Rob yesterday asking if I wanted to go see Fleetwood Mac with him over the holidays in Vegas.  Yes!  Of course!  A road trip with Rob?  I better do some ab workouts for the laughter that will ensue.  We have so much in common–music, food, fun (just bummed Sean has to work).  To have someone I can travel with who I get along with seamlessly? And who I can really talk to about anything?

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laughing remembering Rob saying “is that a wig?” when I came out to head to dinner that evening

Then of course there is my Dad who also loves me unconditionally.  I can’t think of a time, ever, when I’ve felt judged by my father.  Not one.  I can think of a time when he got disappointed in me but that’s even a stretch.  I can also talk to my Dad about ANYTHING and that’s basically been my whole life.  I mean sex, the pot I used to smoke, relationships, every delicate subject we talk about.  For hours.  I’m sure I take it for granted sometimes but I shouldn’t.  My Dad is the best listener of any person I know and he wants to know.  The details even.  He asks a gazillion questions because he’s just so curious.

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So here I was, turning my head 360 degrees around my man-sphere the other day and realized, I’m being treated like a Goddess!  I knew in every cell of my body that those days are over.  The days of bad men, men who don’t appreciate me, men who’ve used and abused me, men who’ve disrespected me, lied to me, been primarily takers.  It’s hard to even write all of that because that person, ME, the person who drew that in, is gone.  I can feel it.

To further illustrate this “mind follows the body” thing, I’d like to share a little piece I wrote while down at the Ranch at a watercolor workshop where the instructor started us with writing.  She told us to just write for ten minutes and not let the pen stop no matter what.  She said start with the phrase “I don’t remember” then go from there. When finished, we read them out loud.  This is what came through that day:

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I don’t remember much of anything about my mother. 

I think most all of my conscious memories have come to me in dreams.  My body remembers though.  I know it does.

Sebastian’s soft caress in the pool today, the way he smoothed the hair from my face like a baker carefully stretching a fragile pie crust.  The tender care with which he wrapped my body in the towel.  Then the second towel for my hair, rubbing it dry–telling me to run inside so I don’t catch cold.  My body remembers these things.  My mind opens doors one after the other, some locked, some ajar, to welcome his touch as it meets my memories. 

Body memories are a funny thing–the ones you long for the most can be those same ones that bring a near panic when they start to surface.  “You can have this now” my mother whispers to the five year old me through his touch.  “You can have this now”.

I say I don’t remember, but I do.  I do remember.  Her, her touch, her smell, her smile, her love.  It’s all deep inside me, in once locked rooms, now bending open.

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My mind is following my body and all I say is you know when something has left  you.

Just like I knew, at age 30, that I would not be having to worry about breast cancer in this lifetime.  That was a huge deal seeing that my mother was deceased of breast cancer at age 36.  Everyone around me worried.

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“I’m going to need to refer you to a surgeon” Dr. George spoke slowly and deliberately in to my answering machine that day.  But that day is the important part of that sentence.  I’d just gotten off the witness stand, testifying in the first of Cindy’s murder trials, that day.  On the lunch hour I checked in for messages and that’s what I heard.  A surgeon, something showed up in my mammogram.  My first mammogram ever.

Like a good little soldier I followed his advice, strangely though not feeling much of any fear.  I figured I have so many emotions on my plate right now, I’m just going through the motions on this one.  But that would be wrong.  I really had no fear on this.

I met with the surgeon, he showed me the “microcalcifications” in a “cluster”.  Explained why this was dangerous and had to come out.  I made the appointment for the biopsy, continued attending the trial with my family.  Maybe I was downplaying it thinking of my father, having lost his wife at age 35 to this horrible disease, sitting in the murder trial for his first born, now hearing this.  Yeah, we’ve been through a lot.

The week before the biopsy was to happen a very wise friend asked me a very wise, life changing wise, question.  “Does this biopsy really feel right in your body?  Like something you need?”.  I had never even considered that–what was right for me.

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I got very quiet and went inside and asked that question and the answer was a resounding “NO”.  I was 30 years old with the family history I had.  It wasn’t fear, it was a warning.  What it felt like was that the surgery would actually be potentially harmful in terms of stirring something up.

The next day, not telling anyone, I cancelled the biopsy explaining I’d like to just watch this.  I’d be willing to do mammograms every 6 months to stay on top of this but it was my very first mammogram and I felt it was premature.

The following week, after some pleading phone calls, I received letters from both my Gynecologist and Surgeon that they were firing me over this risky decision.  It was very clear they were afraid I was playing Russian Roulette giving my family history and they couldn’t support me.

So I went about finding someone who would.  And I did.

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I found a female Naturopath, Farra Swan, and explained my situation.  She talked with me for a long time then said “as long as you understand the risks, I will do this with you and we’ll watch it then take it further if we need”.  That’s all I needed. Someone to order the monitoring and she was willing.

I’ll never forget after two years of these every six month mammograms, the message she left on my machine:

“Kathy, before I send you this report, I’m just going to read this to you.  Since there has been no change in two years, this can be now ruled out as a suspicious lesion.  I think I even heard tears in her eyes.  She participated in a miracle, listening and supporting me.

I returned from my trip last week to this report-I had my routine mammogram the week before I left:

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Those microcalcifications are now gone.  They’ve been gone for twenty years actually. My body just reabsorbed them and they never returned.  I’ve been having clean mammograms for two decades.  I listened to my body and it cooperated.

As a post script, I later learned that Dr. George’s wife had recently lost her long battle with breast cancer at the time he fired me as his patient.  Of course he couldn’t tolerate my decision.  I can’t blame him.

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This is what I mean about trusting the body.  I knew I didn’t really have a problem there.  I knew stirring up that pot with a  surgery could create a problem and to leave it alone.  I knew I was going to be fine.  I have other hills to climb in this life but breast cancer isn’t one of them.  I think I’ve known that since I was very young actually.  We always know if we can dig deep enough.

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The types of therapies that honor and include or emphasize the body are the ones that work best for me for this reason.  I took to the Watsu like a mermaid to water, my therapist I see now is trained in Somatic Experiencing which is why I sought her out and found her three minutes from my house.  Imagine that.  Of course my own work is all about the body too.

So when I looked around my life at the men the other day and saw the reality of what I’m attracting NOW, I realized that era has ended.  It ended quietly and softly without some big last straw experience.  It just completed itself and I got rewarded with Sebastian, Steve, Rob, Sean, Jeff my crepe chef, Martin at the Ranch who insisted on a second cake and looked in to my eyes telling me how beautiful he sees me, Dr. Peace,  my brother, my Dad, any number of men that are floating all around me right now adoring me and showering me with their unique form of man-love.

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It wasn’t a “I’m going to make this happen” move on my part.  It wasn’t a culmination of affirmations or saying “I know what I’m worth!” (believe me, I’ve tried those things).  It was something more subtle, more organic, changing in my cells from just following my body and things that feel right, profound even.

Then I opened my eyes and looked around in to a new world.

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The whole package is on his way.  I can feel that too.  I’m in no rush.  I’m getting ready.

And he will be all of the above and more (and by more I mean great sex, ok?).  I mean, keepin it real!

In the meantime though, I’m happy as a clam, basking in all this radiance.

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Enjoying every minute.

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joy

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I woke up this morning crazy, unreasonably early at 4:30 wondering if I was really awake or  if it was a false alarm.  Closed my eyes again to check and no, I was really awake so popped right out of bed.  I think I’m feeling so peppy because I’m still groovin on my seriously wonderful day yesterday combined with anticipating my trip tomorrow.

I hadn’t started packing yet so immediately grabbed my suitcase and got a good 90% of that done before the clock even ticked 5:30.  Score!  Good thing as I have to work today and do quite a few things for Alfonse before I leave town.  This transition is going to require some important changes to set up and today is the only day I have to do them so have to make the most of my time.  I also want to spend some quality time with him as I’ll be out of pocket for a week.

Yesterday was a magical, sparkly, neon kind of day in so many unexpected ways.

Last year I decided, on my birthday, kind of on a whim to just throw out a mass random invitation for friends to come meet me at my favorite local cafe Crepe Bar on the morning of my birthday.  I said “let me buy you a crepe and see you on my birthday!”.  I had no idea who might show up so it was even more fun sitting there like a treasure hunt in reverse waiting for the jewels to walk up to me.  That’s a kind of good dynamic to have on your birthday now that I think of it!

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last year

I discovered Crepe Bar through an invitation I got to attend their pre opening grand opening.  I went with my friend, another Chef, the beautiful South African Andrea Kretzmann who I also met on a “blind date” of sorts.  I’d been buying Andrea’s savory tarts at the Scottsdale Farmer’s Market for months when she invited me to her pop up dinner at Cycle.  She did a charity dinner, serving her delicious South African food, as a fund raiser for a friend who’s husband had been tragically killed.  That’s Andrea.  It was at that dinner that I spontaneously asked her (then) husband if I could ask Andrea out on a date.  With a twinkle in his eye he went back to the kitchen, asked her and said “yes, she accepted!”.  We went out the first time to Ignite Phoenix and were immediate friends.  I need to spend more time with her and Rocco. Last time I saw her in fact was at Crepe Bar I think!  Here she is with Rocco right there!

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Anyway, back to yesterday.  I decided to continue my tradition and throw out an invite and see who shows up.  Even though it was early but I’ll be gone on my actual birthday so this was the day.  Last year my “blind date” was Barbara Walters Harris–we’d been FB friends for awhile and she’s in the hood and she came so we could meet in person!  What a treat!  My favorite local playwright/actress Kim Porter showed up as did my friend Marisa Brazil.  Poor Chef Jeff, the entire power was out in the neighborhood that year so he kept serving us the rest of the warm coffee, cold yogurt and granola. We were fine, having a great time til it came back on.  My Dad was in town so he was there as well as Alfonse of course.

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me with Chef Jeff

Since then I’ve become a regular at Crepe Bar, have gotten much closer to the creative and inspired Jeff Kraus and all his staff.  I’ve noticed a young hipster named Chris always sitting in the back left corner with his headphones, working.  Chris and I have been running in to each other for years.  I saw him first at Andrea’s pop up dinner, then he sat next to me in a restaurant in Sedona a few mths ago (I know, how random) then ran in to him at Late Night Love.  I was so delighted to see him when I got there yesterday at 10 and he joined me for a mimosa and we really got to know each other. What an interesting fellow!

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me w/ Marisa and if you look super closely you can see Chris and his glasses on his perch in the back

Soon, people started trickling in.  I think Marisa was first, then Marianne I think, then Angie, then this brunette bombshell walked in with big sunglasses and a smile saying “Kathy?  It’s Shina!”.  I met Shina a few years ago at this crazy Snuggie Pub Crawl and we hung out all evening. We became Facebook friends, she reads here she told me (hi!) and she lives nearby!  She was my “blind date” this  year!  Love it!  We made plans to start a walking club together..she’s serious about it I can tell.  I need that kind of motivator!

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Julie and her long hair soon walked in and of course Alfonse came early on.  He just ate and stayed a bit as he had an appointment but I was sure glad he came.

Joilyn arrived bearing white cyclamen and champagne.  In fact there were a few bottles of champagne and it being a byob place, they provided the OJ.  😀

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Chef Jeff, as usual, kept bringing out tidbits for us to try from delicious sweet salty porridge to granola with the fluffy aerated yogurt done table side to fresh made sweet potato chips with some kinda fairy dust on top to his deconstructed sweet potato/yuzu/ginger pie he’s making for pie social and competing with.  Wow.  Amy’s Pie Social.  My friend Amy I mean. This world of mine just keeps getting smaller…in a good way.

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We all ate, drank, pulled Angel cards and chatted, hugged, etc.  Good vibes all around!  I pulled the card Sustenance and still need to read the description.  In fact I may take those cards to the Ranch.  I will make new friends there and I think we will do some card readings.  🙂  I can read all about Sustenance while being sustained down there. 😉

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presents!

After all that merriment, Mari helped pack up my car and I split to rush down to my next sparkly wonderland–my hair appt with Morgan Hope.  Speaking of sparkle, she used this new metallic glaze on my color called…check this out….champagne.

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I walked in with a chilled bottle in my hand knowing she had a frig and an assistant Kaylan who loves bubbles.  Immediately I ran in to a gal sitting at the shampoo bowl and offered her some and she brightened right up “really?” .  “Of course, I have more in the car” I replied with a wink.  We ended up going through 3 bottles that afternoon.  Kaylan had one of her own.  Cheers!

Ironically I got there early so this gal and I visited as she told me how she came in there wishing their little cafe sold wine “so when I saw you walk in with that bottle, I was really hoping…”  Voila, prayer answered.

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While I was sitting under the steamer, an email came in from my dear Watsu guy Sebastian, remembering I’m coming down this week offering me to be his demo in TWO sessions (that’s huge).  The fact he remembered I’m coming this week, offering me that (it’s a $180 session and I will get two mini ones so he can demo plus my full BD session! talk about a rebirth!) is such a sign of good things coming in all around me right now.  This vibe I’m tripping on…it’s just psychedelic!  Sustenance indeed.

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me w/ Sebastian last summer

Morgan gave me this great asymmetrical funky hair cut.  I love it.  I just hope I can style it half as good as she does.

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I had a great time being there on Halloween with the Stepford Wife and Zombie and Frankenstein.  They all do it up there.  It was a bit disorienting when Morgan , with a knife in her torso, would stop in her tracks and get this dead look on her face and freeze when a camera came around.  It was hilarious actually.  I was in there for 4 hours and still not enough time to catch up.  Morgan insisted I make my next appt her last in the day so we can go out after.  I have no problem with that!

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Mari and I had talked about getting together later for a snack as I’d be in her hood.  I knew she’d be in yoga so popped in to Citizen for a ginger ale (enough alcohol for the day) and a small bite while waiting for her.  I ended up in a date with Freddy Krueger!

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awww true love

Zipped over to TJ Maxx while biding time and got some new soft pj’s for my trip.  I love new pajamas when I travel.  I don’t know why.

By the time Mari got out of yoga at 8, she had various texts from me ranging from “grrrr” to “does Scottsdale not believe in gas stations?”.  I’m not kidding I was driving and driving and not a gas station to be found.  I gave up and met her at the restaurant–the gorgeous Rancho Pinot we’d been talking about. Both shocked I’d never been there.

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Of course Mari knows everyone in the restaurant industry in town having worked PR in that biz forever.  It’s fun going out with her. We sat at the bar of course and the beautiful Chrysa Robertson, chef and owner hung out with us quite a bit.  She’s a hoot.  Back to Amy, she did a recent story on Chrysa and had told me I would like her and she was right.  In fact as we were talking about Amy, she sent me a note after having seen my “check in” on Facebook to tell Chrysa hi.  Serendipity.

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Chef Chrysa’s hand casting a spell over the fettucini

Mari and I shared fettucini with butternut and duck and lamb gnocchi. We said it was an early Easter dinner (I know, bad).  I’m so glad I had a bit of a sweet tooth because I tasted the most delicious dessert I’ve had all year:  lemon verbena panna cotta with passion fruit syrup, persimmons and pomegrante.  Unreal.  Just an explosion of flavor.

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We met the Geico money man and Mari introduced me to Nils Lofgren, Springsteen’s guitar man and his wife Amy who told me to put my geranium leaf garnish in my bra and I did.  😉

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We finally said goodnight at 10:30 and I headed out with my low gas gauge.  Imagine that it showed I had 29 miles left, then it went down to 26 and suddenly the needle went up half way home showing I had 30 more miles.  I took that as a sign that I have an abundance of sustenance, an angel was giving me fuel and I’m safe always.  I hit every green light on the way home.

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What a day.  What a send off to this sometimes arduous 53rd year.  What a foreshadowing of things to come.  Keeping my eyes open for doors, windows, energy moving and I’m moving through it all. Green lights all the way.  So much love and abundance and sustenance and joy and laughter and deep meaningful connections flowing my way.

I’ve been listening to this song for 15 years in my Fascial Dance class while guiding people to sink deeper in to support while offering it at the same time and rising energy up up up at the same time.  I do think things have gotten easier.  Thank you to All that Sustains All.

Livin the dream people.

Thanks for coming along. xo

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