Friday, December 6, 2013

Midnight Yoga


Midnight Yoga

(And yes, we're going to call it Midnight Yoga instead of Moonlight Yoga. There have been some discrepancies but THIS is the official name from now on)

This is the perfect time of year to deny oneself; to fulfill other's needs before (and in place of) your own, to fulfill family traditions, to fulfill church commitments, baking schedules, shopping lists, and wrapping deadlines. So much to do in so little time. None of these things are bad or wrong, mind you. And you're right, they MUST get done!
But remember you.
Remember to take care of you.

Come to yoga. It will make a difference this holiday season.
I promise.

December 9th at 8:00pm
December 23rd at 8:00pm
(yes, I realize this is the day before Christmas eve, what a perfect time to center oneself!)

I love you all and wish you peace, light, and love this holiday season.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

moonlight yoga


Moonlight Yoga

Monday November 18th at 8:00pm
and
Monday November 25th at 8:00pm

lovelife studio in Tempe
www.lovelifestudio.org

To center. To breathe. To let go.

Friday, November 8, 2013

thoughts about confronting a liar

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It's Friday and it's apple season, yay!  I feel the weeks swirling and whirling into the holidays which I traditionally like to take slowly.  But, that's not happening at the moment because I have a handful of unfinished projects that need to get done PRONTO.  Working on it.

{camp scabs slc}

Camp is delayed till March.  Don't cry!  It will be everything we need it to be.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

{other news: necklaces}

There have been more requests for "be brave" necklaces.  So, I made a handful.
Click here if you'd like one.




{thoughts about confronting a liar}

As for liars, I've been sorting through my inbox and found a recurring theme in the last few weeks emails and texts. The gist of the question goes like this:

"I feel like there is something wrong, but I don't have any evidence, a few coincidences but nothing solid. He's lost my trust and I've given him the benefit of the doubt.  I want to trust him again.  But when I share my doubts and the few coincidences, he explains them away and I feel stupid and unsure of trusting my gut feeling.  What do I do?"

Looking back at Summer 2011 Mr. Scabs behavior was hilarious, sad, but hilarious!   Everything was a lie. He had been lying to himself and everyone else so much and for so long that he became a solid brick of lies. Even the blood running through his heart and brain and pancreas were teeming with lies.  He ate, slept, drank and masturbated to tall tales and other distortions of truth.  

The upside to all this is that I was able to use Mr. Scabs for some experiments.  Without knowing it, he was my test subject and I took what I know about myself, lies, our environment, Mr. Scabs and behavior science to try a few things.  After all, I had nothing to lose, I was floating in limbo and packing my parachute so I tried a few experiments.

I want to share these experiments and what I learned about confronting a liar with you.  So, this weekend I will put together a Scabs Guide for talking to a liar.  It's not perfect.  It's not the end-all.  It's just what I did and it worked for me and Mr. Scabs.  Maybe you can get some ideas that will work for you.

Have a gorgeous weekend my friends!

-kisses-
Scabs


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Moonlight Yoga




A note from a humbled yoga teacher to the powerful women of "Scabs":

I am but a mere mortal in the presence of you goddesses. You come to me for yoga and yet I leave more fulfilled than when I arrived. Know the power you possess. Know the path of liberation that you are paving for others.

I'm a neighbor of our wonderful Scabs and when she first asked me to take part in the Camp in Payson I was excited, honored, intimidated... Little did I know the impact you all would have on me and my life.

After Camp Scabs in Payson, Scabs and I decided it'd be a great idea to hold a regular class at the yoga studio I teach at. The stars were all aligned and we were good to go. We've had a small handful of wonderful classes and I honor those who have come and acknowledge what it took to be there.

After a few weeks, I started to get in my head a little bit. I started doubting my own abilities and I felt ill-equipped to shine any sort of light or love or peace to you all.

That's when Monday rolled around, time for Moonlight Yoga, specially designed for Eat My Scabs members only...

And no one showed up.

No one but Scabs herself and a mutual friend. What perfect timing! I was in need of a good chat and what a good chat we had! I expressed my worries and Scabs relayed your needs superbly. I said something along the lines of feeling inauthentic because I don't share the same story as you all. That's when our friend chimed in with this gem, "You may not have the same story but you DO have a story. Everyone has their own story." I have my tale to tell, you have yours. We've all experienced joy beyond belief, and pain that crumbles us to pieces. Joy is joy. Pain is pain. Healing is healing.

So I promise to share with you my story of healing with each Moonlight Yoga class I teach. I walked around life as "Amber the Wounded" for many years and carried that declaration around with me. It weaved into everything I did; everything I was. It was my protector, my validator, my excuse, my reason, my all.

I invite you to come to Moonlight Yoga at lovelife studio in Tempe, twice a month on Monday nights at 8pm. This is a space set aside for release. Release your emotions, turn inward, and listen to your heart. That's our main focus, every class. Come as you are, exactly as you are right now, and feel cradled and supported by your fellow goddesses and by the yoga practice itself. It's by donation only; pay any amount you can, don't pay if you can't, but come regardless. Reminders will be posted on the blog as well as emailed to all on the mailing list.

I am at your disposal. Call, email, or text any questions or concerns.

We walk together as women, regardless of our stories, and we're here to help, to heal, to love, to feel.

Much love, light, and peace your way,

Amber
480.323.0911
smithersmagee@yahoo.com


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mr. Scabs Big Plan




Massage parlors are weird places.  It's hard to really imagine what goes on in there.

I remember years before I knew that that weirdness had eked it's way into my life, Mr Scabs and I were driving down the road when somehow him or I pointed out the little massage joint and we started the conversation of, "they do what?...no way...is that for real...how do you know?"  "Someone from work told me." 

"Oh"  

Oh, the conversations we had when I was naive and Mr. Scabs was a liar.

Anyway, today we have new kinds of conversations.  I am no longer naive and Mr. Scabs is no longer a liar.  Recently, we were driving by some of our local Asian flavored brothels, when Mr Scabs says, "I have an idea. We need to shut these things down."

"There's no front desk in there, it's usually just a sliding window with no one there.  The front door is unattended."

I wonder what he's thinking.

"We should sneak in and flip the OPEN sign to CLOSED."

Sunday, October 27, 2013

be the right kind of selfish

pioneer trek


Be selfish.

Be selfish with your time and be gentle with yourself.


When you're slogging through the mess of life it's ok to be selfish.  Well, not literally selfish.  Not seeking your own profit and pleasure. Instead, taking a moment to turn inward and care of your most basic needs.


Last weekend Mr. Scabs and I were part of a pioneer trek for the youth in our church.  For three days we lived like the Mormon Pioneers of 1856.  A tribute to those who have gone before.  There were so many amazing experiences that I've logged away in my brain and journal.  But what I want to tell you know is what I learned about our bodies.


That first day was brutal.  We pushed and pulled a heavy pioneer handcart (not unlike many of the burdens we carry) up and down hills, over rocks and through deep sand.  At lunch we chewed on a dry biscuit and beef jerky and washed it all down with a glass of water.


That was all we ate.


We were told the first days trek was 11 miles.   After the sun went down and the lanterns were lit and the temperature dropped below freezing we began to wonder when the end would come (do you ever feel like this).  During the last dark, lonely 5 miles the tell tell signs of exhaustion began to set in:  dry heaving, cold sweats, headaches, one kid even wet his pants.


Through the trees we finally saw the burning of camp fires but it was bitter cold.  And when we stopped and rounded our wagons, all we could do was sit on the frosty ground and hang our heads.  Depleted.  Work still needed to be done.  We needed to gather firewood and try and start a with flint and steel.  We needed to pitch tents and try to make something to eat out of potatoes and canned chicken.  Our fingers worked so slowly in the frozen midnight air, too slowly.  Half the kids went to bed without dinner and without warming themselves by the fire.


Then next day was much of the same exhaustion except we shared a carrot for lunch.  A carrot.  


That second night I built a roaring fire.  Mr. Scabs chopped enough wood to last the night and I began to cook and prepare all the food we had been given.  We had tortillas, beans, beef and even some peach cobbler.  


The next morning, as the kids stepped one by one from the tent, I could see the difference good food and good sleep made. Even with two hard days behind them and one more hard day ahead, they were prepared and refreshed.


So this is what I say to us who are weary and exhausted and unsure of the end; be selfish.



Eat healthy food, get the right amount of sleep, shower, exercise.  Make sure you do these things for you. Focus on one step at a time.  Listen to your feelings.  If you are spiritual, pray/meditate.  Clarify yourself so you can more fully listen to your heart, and then, be brave and act.

Find a therapist and find a friend you can share everything with.  Don't be afraid to feel every terrible, ugly, weird, funny feeling that will comes your way.  Work through each feeling and when you are ready, the uncomfortable feelings will leave and be replaced by positive, light and loving feelings.

Be selfish with your time and be gentle with yourself.  Say no to outside obligations.  Keep life simple.  You will need the strength of simplicity to carry you.

Pick up a selfish hobby. For me it was yoga.  For u it might be reading or painting or knitting.  Do something productive for you.  

Use detachment.  I used it as a main tool for survival.  Detaching allowed me enough distance from my husband to be an observer.  Then, I watched him and listened and cultivated enormous amounts of patience.  I corrected him when I needed to but mostly, I stayed out of the way.  I stayed out of the way and I let what happen happen.  This way I was able to have a broader scope and a better place to make decisions from.


Being the right kind of selfish will prepare and refresh you for tomorrow.  


And, when you are refreshed you will know what to do next.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Yoga for Congo in Utah!

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(thanks Jane)

It was a beautiful weekend at the Togetherness Project in SLC.  
A genuine thanks to all the hands that made the Project as wonderful as it was.
For an overview and some attendees notes click here and here and here.

I spoke about being brave, healing through yoga and some other bits and pieces of my story.  We laughed a bunch and cried a bit.  It was lovely to see faces and hug women and hear their stories too.

I'd really love to convert everyone to yoga.  It's taught and healed so much in my life.  For those of you who want to try yoga and those of you who already love yoga,
this came to my inbox today:

Yoga for Congo has two upcoming events in Utah.

Both events are free but you can donate if you like.
Bring a yoga mat and some water.  If you don't have a yoga mat,
ROSS and TJ MAX usually have good deals on mats.

Provo Oct 25
Salt Lake City  Oct 26

I wish I could go, so go for me and tell me all about it.

xoxo,
Scabs


Yoga for Congo Women from Ann Richmond on Vimeo.

Monday, October 14, 2013

yoga tonight

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A letter from our yoga teacher

Yoga tonight, Moonlighters!

We'll be focusing on meditation tonight so come, stretch, chill, and connect with Self and others.
Hope to see you all there! 8pm sharp ;)

Much love,
Amber

{email eatmyscab @ gmail.com for directions}

let it go

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

the flip-side

     

Did you sign up for Addo yet?  Yes, I love them.  

The Togetherness Project is right around the corner and I'll be presenting first thing in the morning.  
So, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek of the flip-side. 
(we can laugh at my man hands, thank you Dad)

Hello!

bags under my eyes

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trau·ma

  [trou-muhtraw-] 
noun
          a wound or shock produced by sudden injury, as from violence or accident.

--------

Do you have bags under you eyes?  Cause I did.  

By the time the sun set on a cool day in November 2010 my world had erupted and was shocked by violence.  At the same time my eyes seemed to sink deeper into my skull and puffy tear-induced bags made permanent residence under my eyes.  This was a clear sign of trauma in my life.

Often, I hear women downplay their pain, confiding that "it's just porn."  But, I don't believe it. Pain is pain.  It doesn't land somewhere on a sliding scale showing that one betrayal or abuse is worse than another.  It just is.  

Haven't we all spent infuriatingly sleepless hours wrestling in our beds replaying snippets of our lives only to still be agitated and awake at 4:37 am and ready to tear our hair out?  Haven't we all spent days where we ate too much and the other days where we forgot to eat at all?  And what about the insanity of checking internet histories and phone records and maybe even GPS coordinates (ummm, no, i did not do that)?  Or haven't we all glared and shot daggers and felt utterly inferior to the woman with overwhelmingly sexualized jugs spilling out of her tank.  And maybe for you, women haven't been the object of lust, maybe it's men or even the most unthinkable of all, children.  

Do you feel the loss of breath every time you drive past a massage parlor?  And honestly, for me, the sight of any Asian: man, woman, child or even the mention of Kung Pow Chicken made my blood run cold.  Haven't we all panicked at the mesmerizing glow of a computer screen?  Or even felt prickly anxiety as our spouses tried to hold our hands?  Haven't we all felt hopelessly broken, used, discarded and lost? 


It's not our fault and our feelings are completely natural.  This is Betrayal Trauma. 

It's time to take care of ourselves.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

When I was 9

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Ya know, when I was 9 my mom worked for an older guy named Abe and I got to tag along.  He'd smoked his lungs into a couple of tar bags that didn't work real well and so my mother, who is a respiratory therapist came to his house each morning to hook him up to some kind of breathing machine.  The machine sounded like Darth Vader trying to run a 10k.  Abe sat in his faded chair, and he told cool old stories about wars and falling through the ice of a lake and 10 cent milk shakes, but only after Darth Vader finished it's race.

Abe loved marmalade. Or maybe he was just a creature of habit because everyday my mom would start a load of laundry and then make Abe a marmalade sandwich.  Abe is the only reason that as an adult, I try to like marmalade.

But the thing I remember most about Abe, was the day I helped my mom carry the laundry down the stairs to the apartment's community washroom.  A sock fell out of the basket, so I picked it up and about a pound of some fine white powder fell out of the sock into a perfect little ant hill.

"Mom, what is this?"

"It's dead skin."

Dead skin!  Wow!  I had no idea an old man could lose so much dead skin from his foot.  Fascinating.

My daughter was 9 when she felt the heaviness of terrible things in our home.  She's 11 now.  I was so scared for her and at a loss of what to do.  Should we tell her?  Should we keep it quiet?  Should I lie to her?  What should I do?  Should I just tell her stories about war and 10 cent milkshakes?  As any parent knows, when heaviness enters our homes our children feel it and suffer from it regardless of whether we tell them or not.

We chose to tell her.

And so, at a time when I was listening to Darth Vader and worried about dead skin socks my daughter was burdened with hard things.  We will all choose what is best for our kids.  Many of us are making impossible decisions and sometimes choosing the less of two evils.  But this is something I have seen in my daughter and I am certain she is not unlike all of your own kids.

She is strong.  She can understand heavy things.  She is incredibly resilient.  She reflects my own attitude. She is loving.  She is forgiving.  She can set boundaries. She has learned valuable life lessons.  She is open. She can listen to her own heart.  She is aware.  She is empathetic and pure.

And contrary to the belief of the world, she isn't broken.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Moonlight Yoga

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Moonlight Yoga tonight, Monday Sept, 23 at 8 pm in Tempe.  
Email me here for more info and directions.
Bring a friend.

Yoga mats provided just bring a willing heart and some water.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sleeping In



Saturday morning I slept in.

I loved the decadence of it especially on an overcast drizzly morning.
At 6 am Mr. Scabs and our daughter woke up and headed to Piestewa Peak for an early morning hike.
And then, at 8 am our little boy crawled in my bed and snuggled next to me.
Perfect weekend morning.

The perfect end to the most perfect birthday, September 5th I turned another year older. I just wanted to take a minute and thank you all.  So many of you unexpectedly sent me notes and packages in the mail, messages in my inbox, the sweetest phone calls, treats, cinnamon rolls and a book with heartfelt messages from many of you...i burst into tears, it was beautiful.

Thank you.

I love you,
Scabs

p.s. Don't forget tonight's midnight yoga at 8pm for all of you.  Email me for the location.  If you emailed me and didn't get a response check the email address:

eatmyscab @ gmail {dot} com
not eatmyscabs...it's confusing, I know.  Maybe I should change it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Moonlight Yoga


Ok, seriously, it's not at midnight, it's at 8pm.  

Scab's Yoga

Who's Invited: Blog readers, women only.  First-time yogis, long-time yogis, all ages, sizes, beliefs...ALL who read are invited.  Email me if you still wonder if I mean you.  I will assure you that I mean YOU are invited. Come.

This is a completely private, invitation only, Scabs-readers only yoga/meditation class.  It's designed for us.

Why: Incredible healing and friends, of course.

When:
Monday Sept 9th @ 8pm and 
Monday Sept 23rd @ 8pm

Where: a yoga studio in Tempe
email with "yoga" in the subject line or text me for directions.

Cost: "Love Donation" this mean pay what you can when you can.  If you can't the class is free. There will be a donation jar in an inconspicuous place so that your donation or non-donation will remain anonymous.  Please come, regardless of money.

Who's teaching: Yoga Amber, our officially unofficial Camp Scabs yoga instructor.  She understand us. I promise.

Send me a note here and I'll add you to our moonlight yoga email list.


Sending my love,
Scabs


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

salted caramel peaches

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The above picture is real and real delicious.  It's peach season.  So, in the name of self-care, get yourself some ripe peaches, click here and make these little delights.  You wont be disappointed.

{My little grocery store didn't have mascarpone cheese so I whipped up a 30/70 mixture of cream cheese and ricotta.  Also, my cupboards were bare of bourbon so I just added 2 TBS vanilla, the good kind. When the little peaches was put together I sprinkled a bit of sea salt on top...magnifique!}

Tonight, I'm doing mad amounts of laundry, catching up on some email and making my kids lunches for school.  It was 100 degrees at 8:30 pm tonight.  Some people hate that but not me.  My idea of the perfect lull between August and September is sweltering, humid, hotter than hell temps broken up by the crackdown of monsoon rain.  Even the whisper of possible rain is enough to make the desert sigh.

Oh, and I'll be enjoying this while sipping on my sweet green tea from Sonic.  Thank you half-off happy hour.

Tonight, I also bought the last scholarship sponsored plane ticket for one lucky lady joining us in Idaho for Camp Scabs.  Can you believe it?  Five women, who wouldn't have been able to come to camp are coming because of the compassion of one man.  The generosity of our mysterious benefactor continues to leave me speechless.  Thank you.

There's hope.



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Boise Camp Alert

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Sent an important Camp Scab Boise email last night.  
If you are registered please check your inbox and if you didn't get it send me a quick note.  

{Peace}
Scabs

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Porn Kills Love & giveaway


Happy Birthday Alicia!  She bought herself one of these little beauties and sports it proudly!

As for the Scabs household, we are DIYers.  We DIY our kids school valentines, home renos and anything else we need including our own version of the Porn Kills Love t-shirt.  It started with an argument that turned into some laughing especially when Mr. Scabs tore his shirt in half and then let me write those famous words on the back.  I couldn't help but snap an Instagram shot!

Anyway, Porn does kill love.

We know that right?

The pendulum is swinging in our direction and the pro-real love/anti-porn movement is gaining speed.  There are so many passionate groups popping up supporting these ideas.  A wave speaking loudly and giving hope to all of us.

The Arizona Family Council is one of those groups.

They are hosting a conference in Arizona November 2, 2013 for families, educators, leaders and citizens of the world!  Tools, resources, speakers, education, protections for our families and kids, I can't wait to go! Did I mention the RAD speakers?  There is so much I want to learn.

So, lets unite in bringing real love back.  I'll be there and I've been give 4 tickets to giveaway to you!!  So, let's go on a date.  Maybe even a double date.  Mr. Scabs, are you game? 

 
~ALL TICKETS WERE GIVENAWAY EARLY THIS MORNING, BUT DONT LET THAT KEEP YOU FROM JOINING US. TICKETS ARE ONLY $10! ~   

Eatmyscab @ gmail {dot} com

conference details


p.s. Don't forget the Togetherness Project--my friend, Jacy, with the most compassionate heart has made this little idea we talked about last summer a reality.  I'll be speaking along with so many other RAD speakers.  Join us.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Backyard Taco

Me, circa 1986, not really but I wish

I get a little jeally when I see the cute little family at Backyard Taco.  You know the one, the husband holding the hand of the adorable pregnant wife and 3 well behaved little kids following them around.   Eating tacos, drinking horchata, I think I can see the love in their eye as they chat; is that what love looks like?  Ahhh, comparison (it is the thief of joy).

I get a little jeally because being married to an addict, for me, has become a bit like living with infertility.  I am not in a position to get pregnant.  As much as I would have loved more children, it hasn't worked out that way.  Years of wondering why he didn't want another child confused me. I thought he was waiting for the right moment.    This is one of my greatest unresolved pains.  A loss.

I have been given two healthy, amazing children.  And, this feeling does not diminish them, In fact, we share this heartache together; they wish for more siblings.  An addition to our tribe.  Another brother, another sister.  Another connection.

As Jane pointed out to me the other day, we are asking for the bare minimum in a marriage, not a brood of little towheads or a perfect lunch at Backyard Taco.  We're asking for loyalty.

Do the hard work guys.  Fight laziness.  Cultivate self-awareness and empathy.  Get gung-ho, balls to the wall, hyped up.  Make getting healthy your number one priority!  Love is so much more fulfilling than addiction.

I truly believe anything can be healed, anyone can change.  I am proof.  And I started by rejecting the worlds lie that change is hard and practically impossible and you are what you are.

Change isn't that hard.  I love change!  I love it!  And, it all starts with believing.

I believe.

Monday, August 19, 2013

resentmetns and mowing the weeds

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I just like her turban.

Camp Scabs Idaho registration has officially begun!  
I've sent private invites to those I know are interested in attending.  Check you email :)
campscabs @ gmail {dot} com
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Let's talk about resentments and mowing the weeds.

A few years ago (before a few lies drastically changed my life), Mr. Scabs and I bought an old, old house. Over 60 years old.  In an old part of town.  When we bought it, part of me wondered what the hell we were doing.  The other part of me fell in love with the close-knit neighborhood, the wide streets, the quirky nooks and cranny's and the creaky old house with it's rancid cat-lady smell. Thank you Kilz paint!!

Funny how this home has become the metaphor of our lives.  We have been gutting it.  Tearing down walls, rebuilding walls, re-doing the electricity, replacing and re-doing the old and dysfunctional.

For all the work we've done inside, it doesn't really show on the outside.  Our curb appeal isn't cute.  In fact, there are flower beds that run the length of the house that at some future date will be full of gorgeous greenery, but for now, they are not.  They are weed beds.  Full of terrible, nasty, deep rooted weeds.

Every few weeks, Mr. Scabs does his due diligence as a husband and mows the lawn including the weed beds.  He just chops them off at the root.  And there they sit, nestled in their hard, Arizona sun-baked dirt with nothing but what the endlessly blue, hot sky has to offer in the way of water. We keep expecting them to die.  But they don't.  They are ruthless and tenacious.  Their spindly roots grow deeper stealing moisture and sending it to their dry, grey leaves.  Then before you know it, the weeds are a foot tall!  Time to mow again.

Tonight we talked about mowing the weeds vs picking the weeds.  If we really want to get rid of them, we may need to soak the hard clay soil, loosening the roots. And, there is no replacement for getting down on your knees and plucking the weeds and roots out one by one.  

Resentments are weeds that can grow deep, spindly roots.  Time for me to do some weeding instead of mowing.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mr. T. Roosevelt & yoga


Some wise words from Mr. T. Roosevelt.  No?


It's Monday, the weekend is over and I'm back to my day job.  
I know there have been some hard things happening out there.  Triggers, impossible decisions and just the general difficulty of living.
While walking around the office, typing reports and standing at the water cooler, I am thinking about you and I am praying for all of us.  

For those of us who have small amounts of trust and faith, it is the strangest thing to have our prayers answered by the Creator.  To fervently say, "I need help," and then be washed with that feeling of peace. It is unreal.  Does He really know me?  

I know He does.
He is our Maker, intimately tied to each of us.
And, I know that sometimes it doesn't seem like it, but our pleas for peace are heard and acted on.  Because, that is His only objective; our peace, our joy.

--------------------


P.S. All Arizona locals, I have the most compassionate and self-less friend.  She has agreed to teach a women's only private yoga class on a regular basis, just for us!!  She is the same yoga teacher who came to Camp Scabs AZ and led a guided healing meditation that was phenomenal.  
Phenomenal.  Camp Alumni, back me up on this.

Yoga has taught me how to heal and reconnect with my mind, body, spirit and emotions.  It has been central to my own healing.

This is still in the planning stage but we are thinking Monday evenings around 8 or 8:30 at night.  It will be held at a yoga studio in Tempe.  Anyone interested?  Make some comments below or just email me.  I'd like to see how much interest there is.

If you've never practiced yoga, don't worry.  
This will be very simple, basic and meditative catering to our sensitive needs and of course we will practice the same anonymity of 12-step.

I am thrilled!!



Thursday, August 8, 2013

the damn notebook

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CAMP IDAHO ALERT:  
I've sent an email to all interested campers with some info.  If you didn't get an email and are considering Camp Scabs.  Send me a quick note, I'll fwd it to you.

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I'd been having some moments.

You know the kind that are filled with fiery emotion and confusion hopelessness and a loss of the general guidance I feel in my life. Then magnified by the cycle that makes us women.   Of course, when this happens the only thing to do is put everyone to bed early, make a heaping plate of nachos, sit in my skivvies in front of the fan and torture myself by watching "The Notebook".  

Uggg, why doesn't Mr. Scabs hang perilously from a ferris wheel begging for a date and other stuff?

I've made progress, I used to torture myself by staying up past midnight to watch "Cheaters" while spewing out a slew of swear words, spitting and emailing Elsie.  She'd validate me, calm me down and send me off to bed.

I've had other moments where the only thing to do was to pull on my shorts and lace my running shoes and race out the door with Bon Jovi as my side kick.  I ran and ran and ran until I came to a clump of trees and then I kept running trying to breathe in the humid warmth of the summer leaves.  Then the road swerved around a corner and then another, so I raced around those corners.  Spent and out of breath I reached a small river and a rusty old bridge.  Slowing to a jog, I crossed over the river and sat on the side rail of the bridge.  

Pastures and cows to my left, trees to my right.  A truck drove by shaking the bridge as it crossed.  I just sat there.  I sat there and stared at the river and the blue summer sky and the glow of light through the trees and the cows and the plastic grocery sack stuck in the muck and willows at the edge of the river: I stared at all this while Bon Jovi strummed in my ear.   Then I heard it like I'd never heard it before, "You give love a bad name!".  In an instant tears jerked from my eyes and my hoarse voice screamed into the wind, 

"Shot through the heart and your to blame, you give love a bad name!  
BAD NAME!!"

But, we all know I wasn't hollering at the wind, I was shouting at Mr. Scabs.  I was grieving.

When I told Mr. Scabs that I had shouted about love and bad names at the wind, we laughed a bit and felt sad a bit and looked into each others teary eyes as we kind of smiled and frowned at the same time, then we shrugged as if there's nothing else to do but move forward, linked pinky fingers and took our kids to the zoo. 

These little moments of emotion have become so valuable to me.  It's a release of the deep darkness that was once the norm in my life.  I've discovered a healthy way to explore these feelings and come to know them.  Knowing the dark is the only way to feel the fuller light and cleanliness that is divinely ours.  Because He who made us, made opposition in all things.

Understanding my dark lends way to more brilliance in my light.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Travel Award!

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Having a scholarship fund is kind of a double edged sword. 

Of course, I'm so incredibly thankful for the chance to give an opportunity to women who wouldn't have been able to come to camp.  On the other hand, after reading your stories, I wish you could all come!  
Thank you for your letters.

In fact, it was so heart wrenching that Jane was sick about the idea of only choosing two.
She has the most tender, kind heart and I can't wait for ya'll to meet her.
Yep, I said, "Ya'll", it just felt right.

The 2 winners were picked at random and I did it the old fashioned way.  If  you submitted an entry, you should have received an email with a not-so-great, one handed phone video of me pulling 2 names from a bowl.  Didn't get this email/video?  Let me know.

Congratulations to our winners and 
"may the odds be ever in your favor!"

(I channeled a little bit of Effie Trinket while I swirled my fingers around the bowl) 



Monday, August 5, 2013

making mittens from sheep


My people have grown deep roots in Idaho, intimately tied to the earth and the seasons.  

We spent this last week sleeping and eating in the home that my great-great-grandmother built and that both my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were raised in.  Now my cousin and his wife are raising their daughters in the heirloom ranch house surrounded by a sea of golden grass under the shadow of Caribou Mountain.  Generations.

I love that valley.  More populated by cattle than people.  Where wi-fi and cell service are sporadic at best. Where the grandfathers and grandmothers tell their stories and we all laugh and cry.  And where, when you fall down and bloody your knee you get back up and try again.  This is a land where tenacity grows.

Decades and decades ago my great-great-grandmother was pregnant and widowed with 7 young children to care for.  How this all happened is another story but the part of the story that I'm in awe of is the part my grandfather told me last week.

My great-great-grandmother had no family or relatives to rely on  She had been disowned for following her heart.  As a girl, she was raised in Switzerland and came to the U.S. when she was 18.  After the loss of her husband, she decided to sell her home and the land around it.  The cash she earned was used to buy the land where the little ranch house swimming in a sea of golden grass now sits.  I rinsed dishes in the same kitchen where she boiled water and cooked. She bought a few cattle and sheep.  She worked in the field.  She dug in the garden. She gathered wool from sheep who had died, washed it, prepared it, spun it into wool and made mittens and sweaters for her 8 kids! Can you make mittens from a dead sheep??  I can't!

She grew her cattle and sheep herd, bought more land and more land.  In her old age she split the land between her children. And her children split the land between their children and so on until today where my daughter and her cousins drive the ranger and mow down thistles in the same fields where this great woman worked.

I have her blood.  She is my great-great-grandmother of tenacity.




Tuesday, July 23, 2013

daydreaming

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Are you daydreaming?

Daydreaming of spending a weekend away at Camp Scabs but your purse is already stretched thin?   Is traveling to Boise seemingly foreign and impossible?  Are you isolated in some tiny Nebraskan farm town?  

Forget about it!  Schedule a babysitter!  Dig out your sweatpants and cross your fingers!
Here's the jist; 
I have two travel stipends, for up to $400 each, available for Camp Scabs Idaho!!
I'd like to buy your airline ticket.

You would not believe the golden heart of our benefactor!  In his words, and I hope he doesn't mind (send me a text if you do and I'll remove it), "When you are 35 years old, not married and don't have any children, you can easily fall into living a selfish life.  I find myself in that position all to often.  This gives me a sense of purpose and makes me feel like I am making a contribution to improving the lives of other people."

His generosity has left me speechless.

I can't think of any other way to do this so here it goes...

Two names will be chosen at random.  Of course, I understand privacy is extremely important so I won't be posting the winners names on the Scabs blog.  I'll simply send you an email and we'll work out the details.   Friday, August 2nd will be the close date for receiving entries.  

To participate please do the following:.

  1. Send me a private email with the subject line "Daydreaming" to campscabs @ gmail {dot} com
  2. Tell me your nearest airport
  3. Give me your name (i'll give you mine)
  4. Write a few sentences telling your story

If you have any questions/concerns, 
email campscabs and either Jane from His Struggle My Struggle or myself will respond.

Keep our camp qualifications in mind:

1. You must be female
2. You must be a wife/daughter/sister who has experienced trauma because of a loved ones porn/sex addiction and or similar betrayal
3. You can be divorced, married, separated or in limbo, blogger or non-blogger, any faith or none at all, carnivore, omnivore or herbivore.
4. More Camp Scabs Idaho information here



p.s. it's 5 minutes before midnight...I said I'd get this info out on Tuesday and I'm making my deadline!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Speaking in public?!


I'l be presenting here on Saturday, October 19, 2013.
If your healing and need a boost, come.
It will be inspirational!

And...
I'm a little late to the party on this one but its a healthy show of unity that I want to support
click here


Plan B?

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What's your plan B?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Let's learn jiu jitsu


wow!

Have a nice weekend.
and....

I have some amazing news about our Camp Scabs Scholarship fund.
Do you want to come but it's just not in the budget 
or do you live too far away and an airline ticket is out of the question?

I am utterly humbled to announce we have had the most generous anonymous donor!
These funds are designated for your travel expenses.

More details to come Tuesday next week.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

parallel lives

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previous

1998

If you knew him you wouldn't recognize him.  His body is still and silent.  Only the constant beep of the heart monitor and rasp of the breathing machine filling his lungs with oxygen signal he's alive.  A 21-year old Mr. Scabs is comatose, breathing in a rhythmic slow motion echoing in the small hospital room on an island in Southeast Asia.

For almost 2 weeks the doctors struggle to bring him to life. During this time, Mr. Scab gets a gigantic staph infection in a bedsore on his head, they discover Dengue Fever in his blood stream, his liver and kidneys fail and he begins a rudimentary version of dialysis.  This is the moment they call his mother and speak the unspeakable news, "We don't expect him to live through the night."  

But, Mr. Scabs has more lives than a tore up alley cat.

His eyes open.  They can't focus but they are open.  He can't hear well but he's aware of muffled sounds. His body doesn't respond to his brain telling it to move and it takes and everlastingly, frustrating 15 minutes just to give a thumbs up.  And, the most maddening thing of all, his mind works clearly, quickly, acutely.  Captive in his vegetable state!

After a month they load his weakened, slow moving body into wheelchair (he can give 2 thumbs up now) and he flies across the Pacific Ocean heading home to local doctors, medicine and his mom.

Thinking back, his memory is fuzzy at best.  He recalls waking up one night ill, vomiting and then nothing. Two weeks gone, just a mish-mash of stories, second-hand accounts and sketchy hospital records at best. It's the biggest mystery of Mr. Scabs life.

Mr. Scabs made a practically full recovery from his coma.  When we met he still had issues but I didn't see them.  I saw Mr. Scabs for the smart, generous, strong and sexy man that he was.  And so, we fell in love.

December 2011

If you knew me, you'd probably recognize me but see that something is terribly wrong.

My son was two and still in diapers.  My daughter was in school.  Mr. Scabs had tentatively moved into the spare room to care for me and my paralyzed legs.  But this particular morning, Mr. Scabs had left early for work and my sons good-morning diaper was full to the brim.

My body wasn't working, my legs wouldn't allow me to get out of bed, to stand, to pick up my son and change his diaper.  I tried and crumpled to the floor in the most excruciating pain.  This is when one of my best old friends came to the door with some muffins.  I hadn't seen her in months and she didn't know about my legs.

She saw me and gasped.

She changed my boys diaper.  Helped me to the sofa.  Fed me and cleaned my house.  But most of all she held my hand as I told my story.

Sometimes things happen for a reason.  When I think of Mr. Scabs in 1998 not able to walk or even breath on his own, I think of myself crumpled on the floor with no hope of walking or standing.  It's as if I was able to walk in his shoes and he was able to walk in mine.  We share in a new sense of empathy.  Is this how lives are woven together?  In parallels?

next


Monday, July 15, 2013

Awesome



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Did you spend some of your weekend cutting and pruning out those things that tell you, you are anything less than awesome?   This includes our own voices.  

Changing the way we speak to ourselves will change everything.  


Friday, July 12, 2013

self-preservation



The cabin has been reserved!
Camp Scabs Idaho  
Click the link Camp Scabs above for more details.
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This is something I learned when I was a kid but didn't understand until I was grown-up.

I come from a long line of mean people.

Each generation passing cruelty up the family tree.  As time moves forward, I imagine our meanness fading and our family tree branches spreading wider while we soak up more knowledge, more empathy and more compassion.

I don't know where all this meanness came from, I only know that it is part of the concoction that makes me, me.  

As a seven-year-old little girl, I was terrorized by the meanness.  When you're a kid and someone is cruel to you, there is no level of understanding.  Could it really be because I couldn't find my shoes?  The panicked pace of my little heart mirrored that confusion and I lived in a world of anxiety.

By the time I was 10, I began to flirt with the idea that it might be my fault.  This thought spattered itself throughout my tween years.  Maybe if I found my shoes I would deserve kindness?  Maybe if I did everything right?  Maybe if I was different?  Maybe if I didn't exist?  Maybe if...?

Self-preservation is an fascinating concept.

Do you remember the climber (Aron Ralston) who got trapped in a canyon and cut of his own arm off to save his life?  Unimaginable!  And, I think I've heard a million stories of wolves and tigers and mice chewing their legs in half to free them from a trap.

At an age where most of our brain goes haywire and we make lousy choices and care nothing for consequences, I found myself settling at least one positive neuron path.  I began to trim and cut out the notion that people are mean because of some real or imagined set of flaws in myself.  If I listened to that lie it would cripple me.

So, with that, was born this fundamental piece to my self-preservation:

People aren't mean to you because of you, 
they are mean because of themselves.

If you have been neglected, abused, bullied or treated poorly and believe it's your fault, get out your scissors this weekend, because I would love to see you trim and cut that crippling lie from your life.

xoxo,
Scabs


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Camp Idaho News

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First, I need to apologize.  I'm more than 3 months behind on some emails.  I could be the worlds slowest emailer.  Each response comes from my heart.  Each letter you send me is valuable.  I read each one, but struggle with the time it takes to respond.  I wish there was a better way.  
Can I clone myself?
I ask for patience.  I will get to you, and if you think I've missed you, please send it again.
I love you.

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Second, somehow, I've got the flu.  How can I get the flu when it's 113 outside?  Doesn't the heat kill everything?  Anyway, I'm not feeling well and before the NyQuil sets in, I want to update you all on 
our next Camp Scabs.

Some of you have already sent me emails about possibly coming to camp.  I've got your names and I'm adding you to our list.  Later this week I'll send out an email to you all giving more instructions.  There is no deadline so if you read this post and a few weeks have gone by, send your email anyway.

If you're interested in Camp Scabs Idaho email me at 

CampScabs @ gmail {dot} com.

I've added a Camp Scabs link to my header, check there for more details.

And to answer a few questions from the survey:

Yes, YOU are invited.  These are the guidelines.
#1 You must be female (I know women addiction too but for obvious reasons, this is a womens only camp.
#2 Your life must be touched by sex or porn addiction , cheating or some related topic. Generally, spouses and daughters of addicts.
#3 If I don't know you, send me an email.  Let me get to know you.

Camp Scabs in California is a possibility.  If you are from CA reach out and let me know you want this.  I'd like to have Camps be at least 10 women but that's not set in stone.

Camp Utah.  I'm shooting for Janurary 2014 in SLC.  Second weekend or third weekend in January?  What do you think?  In fact, I've been looking at some condos and homes for rent in downtown SLC.  Thank you for the warning me about the snow, we will keep the January camp near the metro center.  The response for Camp in Utah is a bit overwhelming so I may have another in the Spring.  Someone offered a family cabin in Southern Utah near Brianhead.  That would be amazing.  I'd love to get with you about a spring or summer camp there.

You don't have to be from Idaho to go to the Idaho Camp.  It's an open invitation.  But camp virgins do get priority.  Although, we would love to have repeat campers, so don't be discouraged if you are already Camp Alumni, email me anyway.

Did I answer all your questions?  If you have more leave them in the comments below.  I will come out of my NyQuil stupor to answer them.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

crawdading 101

crawdading


Crawdading 101. 
1. Get a string.
2. Tie some fish guts to the end of your string.
3. Hover your fish guts along the bottom of a stream.
4. Pull the string out of the river when the crawdads take the bait.

I'm kinda fascinated by the brainless way crawdads work.  Their crusty blue claws fight and grab and cling to the bait; an impulsive, instinctual reflex.  Clutching, gripping, pinching.  Completely strung out and oblivious to being pulled from their watery beds and laid to rest in the bottom of my kids bucket.  It's as if they want to be caught.  They don't know how to let go of the fish guts until they hit the bucket floor.  And, that's when they notice it's too late.  They've been duped, trapped, bushwhacked and boiled with cayenne pepper!

"Don't take the bait" my 12-step sponsor warned.
I knew what she meant.
I knew she was right,
but I couldn't help but take the bait.

Mr. Scabs would hover the right kind of fish guts in front of my nose and I'd take the bait. It was an impulsive, instinctual reflex. Clutching, gripping, pinching.  I was completely strung out and oblivious to being pulled from my peace and being laid to rest in the bottom of a dirty bucket.  I was duped, trapped, bushwhacked and boiled with cayenne pepper!

I took the bait almost every single time. Honestly!!

The remedy to this has been the simplest boundary: "I'm sorry, I won't get involved in this kind of conversation with you."

Then the hardest part...walk away from those fish guts and don't look back.







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