Tag Archives: courage

Rum Raisin Ice Cream is My Comfort Food

Rum-Raisin-Ice-Cream-Recipe-ImageI do not recall exactly when I discovered Rum Raisin Ice Cream. I think it was when I was living in New Jersey as a new bride and my husband brought it home from the store. I believe he said, “Taste this,” and he fed me a spoon of this nectar and I must have screamed and yelped, because he looked scared! (My brand of extroversion tends to be loud. I am often over the top in my enthusiasm and I tend to scare people).

So all these years of “sweet married life” later, my hubby will bring me rum raisin ice cream and I still squeal! Often times if we happen upon an ice cream store, he will ask for it on my behalf, while I am reading the favors on the wall.

I LOVE rum raisin ice cream. I also love RUM CAKE! I grew up on rum cake in Trinidad and whenever I think of the glorious cakes my mom used to make, I smile. My brother makes a great rum cake and this is what he gives me for Christmas every year.

Imagine MY absolute delight when I walked into “Neuhaus Company” the other day and saw that they had RUM CAKE ICE CREAM! (Yep! I squealed, in the store, on Madison Avenue, in Manhattan!). My extroversion is always ready to show its enthusiasm.

I was thinking… “Maybe it has raisins it in also!” So I asked for a taste. The sweet young man took a plastic spoon, smiled at me, reached into the appropriate bin and scooped out a HUGE taste. He ceremoniously reached over the tall counter and gave me the spoon. My eyes never left the bulging scoop of ice team balancing precariously on the edge of the tiny spoon. I carefully took it from his fingers and put it in my mouth as I closed my eyes….

And I ran to the trash and spat it out!
It was awful.
I did not like Rum Cake Ice cream at all!
I did not like it on a spoon. I would not like it on the moon.
I cannot tell you how much I disliked that ice cream.
I thanked the young man and bought some chocolates, which I loved, and ate one to get the taste of the rum Cake ice cream out of my mouth. Then as I walked down Madison into the cold and blustery day, I knew I had the makings of a blog post.

So here goes …..

Let us suppose that you meet a great looking guy and he is everything you wished for, and he seems to feel the same way about you. He made you feel safe, secure, protected, loved and cherished. You were all warm and fuzzy inside as you pondered a life with this man.

Then one day, as you two are having a lovely day, out of the clear BLUE …. He hits you, or verbally berates you, and you are stunned!

You look at him and he seems the same, his features are the same, his voice sounds the same but the flavor of human coming out of his mouth is horrible, distasteful and nasty, and you need to escape.

Let’s say you DO leave. You were strong enough to leave. A few days pass and he calls to apologize and gives some very sound reason for his nasty behavior, and you go back to him.

That is like me going back to the trash and picking up that nasty rum cake ice cream and eating it because I have told myself that I like rum cake, AND I love rum raisin ice cream ….. So I SHOULD love RUM CAKE ice cream. I force myself to swallow that distasteful ice cream because of some strange reasoning that I make up in my head.

Let me be clear. I know that a person is more important than ice cream. I also know that YOU are too special and lovely to accept nasty behaviors from ANY person. If you were abused as a child and you think that love looks like abuse, think again.

WATCH my TEDxTalk here:

As an adult you have the power to set boundaries that you could not set as a child.
Set your boundaries. They will protect you. When you have clear and clean boundaries, you will know in a flash what is and is not good for you. Try it.

Love and light.

Indrani

(P.S.  Did you like my TEDxTalk?  Please share it with your friends and family.  Let’s start spreading the word to live in peace within our four walls at home.   http://bit.ly/1SMK1NZ)

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/indranislight/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Indranis_Light

Instagram:  liveabrighterlife

 

What do I do after the beating?

via Pixabay“What do I do after the beating?” She asked.

She was only 16 or 17 years old.  I had just given a short presentation to a group of students and I asked for questions.

She was brave.

She asked what she could do after she had been beaten, and still had to stay in the house.

My heart hurt for her.  I knew her pain at a cellular level.  I knew her well. I WAS her.  I remember being beaten so badly and having welts all over my body, and having to dry my tears.  I was told to “go wash your face and when you come out I better not see any crying, you asked for that beating.”

Of course, dear reader, I did not ask for any beating. I had made some childish mistake and I was whipped like I had murdered someone.  I remember going to the bathroom, and I was not allowed to shut the door, the abuser needed to “see” that I was not going to have any more “crocodile tears.”  I had to suck up all my pain and come out smiling like a good girl.  This behavior lasted well into my 50’s.

Don’t let them see you cry those crocodile tears. “They don’t care “…was the voice in my head.

To this day, I still have a hard time owning my pure emotion and I have to fight really hard to not push them down, allow them to morph into anger or rage, or blame.  It will probably be a life long lesson.  Some days I win and some days I lose.

I told the young lady to try to find a place of solitude in her home and tell herself that one day, she will be out of the house and the abuse will stop.

She could not tell her parents, her parents would be angrier that she “embarrassed the family,” and she would be beaten even more.  I told her to use school as a respite.  I wish I had someone to tell these things to me.  I did not.  I had no one to tell me that the abuser was wrong, even though they were caregivers, and said they were beating me because they loved me.

They were wrong.  They were telling lies.

We do not hurt what we claim to love.

I deserved love and attention and guidance, not rage and anger and beatings.  I have a clear memory of being about 12 years old and kneeling at the side of my bed, praying.  My abuser came into the room and asked what I was praying for, and I said for strength.  The abuser was pleased.

Yes, I was praying for strength, but strength to live in my hellhole called my childhood.

If I could not get the strength, I prayed that God would take me that night because I could not go on.  I was praying to die, at 12 years old.  I was not taken, so I guess I got the strength …… and that strength has been parlayed into the work I do now.  We are resilient beings. We can stand a lot of pain.  If you are in a hellacious situation, and you are an adult, reach out to your local shelter for confidential help. Even if you don’t leave, there are services you can access. They can help you with a plan.

There are people who care that you are in pain.

If you know a child living in a hellacious home, try to be a point of comfort to that child.  They need to know you will keep their confidences and that you are a safe place to lay some burdens.

Be that safe place for someone.  Someone needs you.

 

Love and light,

Indrani

I am an activist to end violence against women: Part 3 – The Rape

How has my personal story been sitting with you so far?  My hope is to help you begin your journey of healing shame, and become the activist you desire to be!  Meanwhile, I’m taking a DEEP BREATH.  What I’m about to tell you will help me “Live-A-Brighter-Life.”  This is the vulnerable place that Brené Brown talks about. This is the place where Indrani Goradia encourages me to be brave.

UntitledSo, in the Part 1 blog I slightly touched on my story of being raped as a young teenager.  As a young girl, I was walking tall, confident, and very secure in myself as I entered into the high school scene.  I was involved in all of the sports, highly regarded in my church, played many instruments in our school band, and never broke “the rules.”  My parents were known as responsible and loving people, who were living the blue collar “American Dream.”  But as we know so often, many of these kinds of families are hiding a secret.  Our secret was I had an older brother who was suffering from his own demons of a mental illness and drug abuse.  This was back in the 70’s and 80’s when families rarely talked about their private lives.  As you can imagine, I made sure I was the “good little girl,” and wanted to make sure I never disappointed my parents, my community, or my church.

In my youth, I was taught that being a “good little girl” meant that you should help people, and do the things God would want you to do here on earth.  I thought that was a reasonable request, so I set out doing my best to do JUST that.  I had found and befriended a teenage boy who was older than me, and living in a challenging home situation.  I continued a friendship with him against my father’s wishes.  You see, my parents had some kind of gut feeling about this boy that I wasn’t aware of.  So (on a rare decision to disobey my father) I decided to go to this friend’s house and invite him to church.  This is where my nightmare began, and did not end for 30 years.

Many of you reading this article right now can completely relate to this story.  Certain feelings are stirring up in you, and you can understand the rush of trauma I was experiencing during and after I was raped.  Some of you have been raped, sodomized, or sexually abused in your life.  You know the feelings of guilt, shame, humiliation, denial, anger, confusion, betrayal, uncertainty, and grief about the loss of innocence that was taken from you.  The nightmares have been haunting you for years, and your entire existence revolves around this suffering.  And then the biggest question of your lifetime…. Do you tell anyone what happened to you?

I made it home somehow that horrific day, crept into the shower, and felt frozen in my body.  I made the painfully conscious decision that I could not tell my parents, or report what had happened.  I had disobeyed my parents, and “this is what I deserved.”  I told my best friend at the time, and throughout the years I have felt obligated to tell my partners.  My parents found out just a few years ago about my rape, and even after a 30-year career in law enforcement and private investigations, I could not NAME my feelings about what had happened to me.

UntitledIt’s been almost four years since I received the opportunity to start REALLY healing from my rape.  When I began to tell my story, the grip it had on me began to release.

What story is gripping you tight?  What story is holding you hostage?  I had not been open to therapy…. Ever!  But through the encouragement and help of people I trusted, I began to see a therapist for my PTSD.

At Indrani’s Light Foundation, we encourage our community to reach out to the people they trust if they need help.  In module 4 of the “Live-A-Brighter-Life” workshop series, we teach about “Finding Resilience.”  Indrani teaches that separating and insulating yourself from others is a petri dish for shame.  Brené Brown’s book, “Daring Greatly,” is my new Bible now, and as I continue to teach Indrani’s “Live-A-Brighter-Life” curriculum, I continue to heal my shame.

Part 4 of my blog series is coming up next.  If you’ve been a victim of discrimination, or have ever been shamed or treated differently because of your race, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or any other situation, I encourage you to keep following my blog series.  I lost my beloved career because I was a woman, and a lesbian.  I will talk about how I coped with this loss, when the grieving process began, and how I have come to understand this trauma.

 

With love & light,

Amy

LABL Podcast #20: Finding Joy with Andrea Scher

ILF_Wtagline_Logo rgbWelcome to Episode #20 of the Live a Brighter Life Podcast!

In this episode of the Live a Brighter Life Podcast Indrani speaks with Andrea Scher. You will learn:

  • Andrea’s personal story and experience with “hiding her light” as a child.
  • How Andrea practices encourage and compassion to live “big.”
  • What is the difference between joy and happiness?
  • Are you measuring your “joy factor?” Are you “joyful” enough?

Indrani looks at how she can use this teaching to help women live a brighter, more joyful life.

andrea_inherimage_hands_497A little about Andrea Scher
Andrea Scher is the creator of Superhero Life where she believes we all learn together to use our voices, share our superpowers and live life in full color. As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, Andrea redefines what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in her world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.  See more at www.superherolife.com

 

Female Avatars – Helping teach about gender equality? – A follow up post

(You can read the first part of this post here: http://indranislight.org/female-avatars-helping-teach-about-gender-equality/)

Almost a year has passed since I wrote the original “Female Avatar” post, and I have been waiting, and waiting, to write a victorious follow up. A post where I could tell you that using a female character in that video game, and the conversations that followed, made a difference in how my son views gender.

The problem being, there were no earth shattering changes for me to report from that original conversation.

Sure, there were little signs of change. My son would get excited and cheer on the female contestants in America Ninja Warrior competitions, but he would also comment that “the girls never make it as far as the boys” (which is true, but still made me wonder if his view was changing).

We read, Wings of Fire, a series of books with some female main characters. However, these characters were also dragons, and my son LOVES everything dragon. So, I wasn’t sure if he was accepting the female characters completely, or if he was accepting them because of their dragon status.

My son has also become more accepting of the colour purple, which may seem unimportant, but for years purple has fallen into the category of “princess colour” and “boys don’t like princesses”. Unfortunately, pink, is still a colour that forms a grimace on his now 8-year-old face, and a disgusted comment of “pink is for girls.”

Now, to give the poor little guy a break, he is only 8 years old, so I am not expecting him to approach me and ask to have an in-depth discussion about gender norms and how he can work towards behaving in a manner that supports equality (to be honest, if that DID happen I would be a bit wigged out). But, I have been hoping that something “8-year-old big” would happen, showing that he was starting to see that boys and girls are equals.

That 8-year-old-big event happened last week.

We were in Kids Books, an amazing bookstore in Vancouver BC, shopping with Fionn’s cousins for some books for his birthday the following day. I was looking through some 7 to 10-year-old book series when I felt a poke. Looking down I saw Fionn, three books precariously clutched in his arms, looking up at me.

“Daddy, how about these books, they sound awesome”

“You’ve read the backs?” I asked, taking the books from his hands.

“Yes, they sound really cool.”

“For you to read, or for me to read to you?”

“I think I can read them, but I want you to read them to me.”

I looked down at the first book and the 8-year-old-big moment happened when I saw the cover:

sun catcher amazon

Let’s break this down from the view of a Dad, trying to teach his son about gender equality, and see that boys are not better than girls:

  • The picture on the front of the book is clearly a girl, and he still chose to pick up the book and read more.
  • The subtitle of the book has the word “witch” (a “girl” word) in it.

Most importantly, and amazing for me:

  • The subtitle has the word “princess” in it. A word that my son, and all of his friends usually have an allergic reaction to, with much frowning and spitting, followed by “princesses are dumb.”

All right, as earth shattering as this book selection already was for me, it might not be convincing for you. Totally understandable.

I smiled down at Fionn as I turned the book over to read the back, which read:
“Silk tells stories. It sings of secrets long forgotten. It sings of fire. Maia dreams of being a Story Teller, or a Weaver, like her father, Tareth. But when the Watcher names her Sun Catcher, she must face a destiny that Tareth has kept hidden from her. For Maia is more powerful than she knows, and she is about to discover that though the sun’s fire may be dangerous…so is she.”

The back of the book makes it clear that the protagonist is female, and, from the sounds of it, a female that will be kicking some serious butt. Looking at the backs of the other two books, each book is clearly about girls leading the way and being the focus of the story. Not just a side character in the book, but a female protagonist.

For me, after just a year ago when my son refused to even think about reading Tamora Pierce’s “Song of the Lioness Quartet” because the main character was a girl, this is a big sign that our conversation around gender equality has shifted.

Whether it was switching my video game avatar to a female character, or the follow up conversations we have had, or the changes I have made in my own behaviors that has brought about this shift I cannot say.

To be honest I don’t care what has made the difference, but I cannot explain how much pride I felt in this simple moment in the bookstore when my son chose Sheila Rance’s trilogy of books to be our next “Dad and Son” reading project.

I looked up from the backs of the books and smiled, “you bet buddy. Let’s get them all, they sound awesome.”

Fionn smiled, turned, and ran off down one of the aisles to look for more books.

 

 

The Dashboards of our Lives…

mini-one-862815_640My first car was a Toyota Corolla.

It was a faded gray and it had roll up windows, an AM radio and no AC. The heat worked sometimes.

The dash board had a gas gage and a speedometer.

A manual steering wheel was the driving mechanism.

I loved that car!

It took me on my first long trip from Ohio to New Jersey after Graduate school. There was enough space to stuff my meager belongings and drive off.

These days I still drive an import, just not a Japanese import.

My car has power windows, power steering, power adjusted seats that can be heated or cooled, a lumbar support that I cannot live without as well as a head support.

Air bags in the steering and the doors.

The dash board….

Well this is a thing of beauty.

I have a speedometer AND I can see a numerical display of my speed on the windshield.

The rest of the dash looks like I am in the cockpit of an aircraft.

I know when tire pressure is low. I know when there is a snail walking behind my car because of the rear camera. The car tells me when I am too close to objects in front and in back.

There are bells and whistles… Real bells and whistles that I have NO idea what they mean. I have to remember the sound and look up the sound in the 2000 page owners manual that came with the car.

I will NEVER understand this car! I won’t even try.

This car was the play thing of very inspired engineers and when the first one rolled off the line they all applauded and pretended that all the future buyers would give a damn about all the fancy schmansy stuff.

We buy the fancy cars and very few of us really give a damn about all the bells and whistles BUT we would never go back to the old car, like that first Corolla.

Yet, in our private lives, we keep using tools that are as outdated as that Corolla.

The tools we learned as a child to manipulate our parents, we try to use on lovers and partners.

The tools we learned in High School when we were first dating are the tools we insist on using in relationships that are way beyond the immaturity of High School.

We scream and pout as if we were teenagers and expect that people will just give up their positions to keep us quiet and happy.

We expect those tools to still manipulate like they did in the past.

We refuse to better equip ourselves to fully step into adult relationships.

What do I mean?

The tools I am talking about  are readily available in e-books, book stores and libraries. It’s the billion dollar industry of the Self Help Movement; while most of us have purchased self help books, how many PRACTICE the tools inside?

It’s the practice of new tools and skills that will get us away from the “outdated dashboard” we keep going back to so that we can install a newer updated version.

Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.

I was never taught how to say No.

I was taught to be “nice” and say Yes to all that was asked of me and furthermore to be sure to do it with a smile on my face.

I did this for many years.

Almost killed myself doing this.

The few times I said NO to things, I did it with such anger and animosity that the people around me looked at me like a had two heads.

Like Medusa, if someone tried to get me to be reasonable, I felt like they were chopping off one of my heads and so two would grow in its place. The multiple headed monster was what I would become.

I stumbled upon the book The Power of a Positive No by William Ury quite a few years ago.

I read it, re-read it and read it again.

The simple tools for saying NO were right there.

But, would they actually work in real life?

How would I know unless  I practiced them?

I was at a small conference once where I told one of the participants about this book and how it changed my life and she said, “make it into a workshop. People, women need these tools and many won’t read the book. Give them a taste and then tell them to get the book and feast on it.”

Ok.

I called the workshop, “Not Your Mothers Assertiveness Training.”

I did the workshop.

A few paid to attend and the rest of the seats I gave away.

It was a hit.

People loved the work.

I encouraged them to buy the book and to inhale the wisdom inside.

I heard from them from time to time that they were indeed using the principles.

A few times when they called to complain that they were being forced to do one thing or another, I simply asked, “What’s your YES!” (read the book to understand this question)
They got it and did the required work to make the decisions that would work for them.

This book is a part of the Live A Brighter Life series of classes and I encourage you to get the recordings, listen and then get all the books and really do a deep dive into the tools. www.liveabrighterlife.org

We cannot keep going back to the outdated tools, the outdated dash board and expect that our modern lives be best served.

We must find the courage to learn new tools, practice them daily and install them on the dashboard of our beautiful new lives.

 

Love and light,

Indrani

Thank you to Dr. Brene Brown and the Daring Way Survey….

relax-569318_1280I am very fortunate to belong to a community of practitioners called the Daring Way™.

I got here the hard way, by doing the classes from Dr. Brene Brown and taking tests and following their rules and guidelines.

It was a lot of work and I loved every step of the way.

I was very happy to participate in a research survey that the community sent out a while ago and decided that I should do my part to further along the research that is the foundation of her amazing books and teachings.

So I logged in a began.

It was long, I was getting a little tired of it and considered not finishing but then something about the answers that I was giving really hit me hard.

A lot of the questions were about my feelings of worth and whether I felt my life was going anywhere and also, did I frequently compare myself to others?

Half way through the survey it occurred to me that my answers to statements like “I do not like myself” or like “when I think of my accomplishments I feel I have done less than others” ( I did not pull these from the survey, they simply reflect the sentiments from the survey), I found myself answering almost never.

What did this mean?

Simply put, it means this:

  1. I liked myself.
  2. I feel accomplished by any ones standards.

This occurred to me about half way through the survey THEN I was pumped to complete it.

I even told myself to BE HONEST, that Brene wanted honesty so I reread the stuff I had answered and carefully answered the rest…

And what do you know?!

I actually like myself and I actually feel good about what I am doing and feel good about being able to laugh at my mistakes and do not allow others to determine what I think of myself.

This is NOT at all reflective of how I felt just 10 years ago.

As recently as 2005, I was still comparing myself to others, beating myself up for not being up to par or not as good as almost everyone else in the my world. I was not a good enough coach, or writer, or business person, or mother or, or or. The list went one forever.

Also I was always catastrophizing. If one thing went wrong, it meant everything else was going to go wrong. If someone disappointed me, it meant I would be doomed to a lifetime of disappointments.

It was quite exhausting to live this way. I knew no way out.

I put on a great show of being outwardly confident but I was always on the look out for evidence that I was not good enough.

The evidence always came.

It came in the form of people’s words about my life choices (I was a bad mom because I was pursuing a new dream) or in the form of a societal or cultural message
(You are traveling too much. Who takes care of your home? One family member even asked who cooked food for my husband.)

The evidence was ALL around me.

I had to really close my ears and eyes to all the messages I was hearing. All the nay saying that was trying to get into my psyche.

I even had to listen to close friends and family tell me how silly and unrealistic my dream of doing something about ending violence in the world was.

After all, I did not have a degree in psychology, or any experience in the real world. I never worked at a not-for-profit nor had I had a job in the last 25 years!

Yes, they were lined up to tell me the way I was living was not acceptable to them, not at all.

I had to be deaf and blind to those voices all around me and to try to tune into the voices within my own heart.

The inner KNOWINGS that I wanted to do more, be more than a housewife (I had done that for 20 years) and I wanted to create change in my world.

I saw that survey as a way to go back into my past and to tell the younger me that she would be fine!

I gave her examples of the questions that would have brought her to tears just a few years before, those same questions that now brought a huge smile to her face, warmth to her heart and ONE single sweet tear to her eye.

The tear of clarity.

The tear that acted like a magnifying glass through which she saw herself in all of the accomplishments and all the experiences and all the loving people surrounding her.

I sent my younger self blessings and thanks for not ever giving up and always finding ways to burn off the fog of unworthiness and shame.

Thank you Dr. Brene Brown. You may still be collecting your data, but you have already shown me my results.

Daring greatly, rising strong and thanking you,

Indrani
A grateful student.

The UN stage….

UntitledThere was a time when I would have readily accepted that “people like like me” don’t belong on global and powerful platforms such as the UN stage.

There was absolutely nothing in my background that would have prepared me to think that I was worthy of this honor or to belong to this exclusive club. “Spoke at the UN” is indeed beyond my wildest dreams.

What right do I have to claim such esteemed membership?

I received this right from the other clubs to  which I  belong.

I belong to the club of the abused. I belong to the club of the oppressed.

I also belong to the club of the women who said NO MORE. 

The club of domestic abuse ends in my lifetime…. the club of claw and scratch your way out of stinking thinking and claiming a life of joy and peace.

These are the foundations upon which I stand to celebrate the new club membership that I have earned.

I urge you to begin to name the clubs to which you have belonged and to begin to lay the foundations for and build the bridges to the clubs you wish to join.

I should tell you that I never dreamed of being in the UN club and that is ok. You see, I was laying these foundations as I strove for other memberships such as:

  • The club of women over 50 who do Olympic distance triathlons and come last and have the nerve to still feel pride.
  • The club of 2 marathons the year I turned 50 and several half marathons in the ensuing years.
  • The club of founders for a non profit.
  • The club of motivator and encourager of all I meet.

So it is with this beneath me and behind me that I urge you to gain membership to new clubs. These memberships will require hard work. The price of admission will often seem to steep. In times of such stress, take a break, take a breath AND continue to strive. The membership is worth the effort.

Let us all belong to the club called “I too took a chance.”

 

Love & light,

Indrani

Click here to watch Indrani address the United Nations.

How important is it to you?

gloves via cocoparisienne on PixabayRecently I was on a flight to an important business meeting. I was very organized and even brought my lunch from home so I would have a healthy choice.

I made it easy on myself, I packed the food in disposable containers and put it in its own bag so I could throw away the whole thing when I was done.

Things went very well, I ate a little, took a little nap and then ate some more. The attendant came around and I pushed the trash into the rolling cart myself.

Then, I had a thought… did I throw my telephone away in the food bag?

I reached under the seat, dragged my purse out and searched every nook and cranny on the inside.

No phone.

I sat back and took a deep breath.

What was my next step?

Well, that’s easy, go thru the trash!

I walked to the back of the plane and told the attendants my dilemma and they gave me some gloves and I got busy.

I dived into the rolling cart of trash.

I was so happy to have the gloves and to have had the presence of mind to look for my phone while I was still on the flight.

I looked thoroughly. I did not find it.

I had to rethink… if it’s not in the trash then I must not have searched my purse very carefully.

So I walked back to my seat and emptied my whole purse and there, in a very hidden pocket, I found it. I smiled!

Let me tell you what was great about this event:

1.  I never, not even once, called myself a name!
2.  I never spoke disparagingly about myself to the attendants!
3.  I never once complained about having to dig in the trash!

As I sat in my seat being grateful for the positive outcome I realized that there were hidden lessons in this experience.

What if we could identify the very important things in life that we lose, the VERY moment that we lose them? What if, we could arm ourselves with what we need, like gloves for trash diving, and we could happily get the work done?

We would get the work done because we would know that it was too important to lose.

The first time we lose our self respect, we go looking for it and not rest until we figured out what happened.

The first time we disrespected a child by screaming or physically abusing, we would stop and apologize and get help to treat them better in the future.

We would not blame them for our inability to be mature adults.

If we could really look at life and what we lose everyday the way we look at our prized possessions, we have a really great chance of keeping our humanity intact and we have a greater chance of keeping the relationships that are important to us.

Get those emotional gloves on and a start digging for the gifts you may have misplaced.

It’s your quality of life and it’s worth the effort.

 

Love & light,

Indrani

Start where you are and continue your own path….

Indrani - Marathon Finish at EpcotBetsy Rapoport is my friend and she is a an amazing coach for writers. I saw on Facebook where she was hosting a writing class…A Memoir writing class.

I have been longing to write my memoir. I know, I know, I don’t NEED a class…after all I write blogs and I just get an idea and begin to write, much like I am doing now.

Somehow though, when I think of writing a memoir I get all flummoxed and confused and I don’t know where to start.

So, when I saw her class offering, I jumped on it. I registered on line and I began to communicate with her about accommodations etc.

I was thrilled to get the homework list…I love homework.

And there… as I read the list, I laughed out loud.

Here is what was on the list:

  • What memoirs have you read, and what did you like about it?
  • What scares you about this class?
  • What excites you?
  • Send a sample of your writing, preferably a work in progress.

Simple enough, right? So why my outburst of laughter?

I immediately wrote an email to Betsy and it sounded a little like this…

Dear Betsy,

I have not completed a whole memoir of anyone, only bits a pieces from folks like

  • Mother Theresa
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Rosa Parks
  • Mahatma Gandhi

I tend to get bored!

I have read loads of other books. I love to read!

The thing that scares me about this class is that my life cannot fill a memoir.

The thing that excites me about this class is that my life is too much for one memoir.

I have NO unfinished works of writing, but I can start one.

Then I pressed Send.

I waited for Betsy to say something like, “you are not at all qualified for this memoir class” or “if you have not even read a whole memoir why would you expect anyone to read yours” or “perhaps you have nothing in progress because you are not a writer.”

Let me tell you why, IF she had said any of the above or worse, it would NOT have affected me in any way.

In 2003 I had decided to do an Olympic distance triathlon.

I began to search online for a trainer, one that would train a newbie triathlete and a rank beginner.

I finally found a web site that touted training beginners and  that looked promising.

I began to complete the on line form.

1. What distances do you currently swim? And how often do you swim?

My response:
I do not know how to swim competitively and I used to splash around in the pool with my kids when they were young. I know how not to drown. I have not been swimming in a very long time.

I should have added “I hate wearing a swim suit.”

2. What races have you participated in and what was your finish time?

My response:
I have not participated in any races so I do not have a finish time. I do not like to run. I like to walk a lot.

3. What cycling distances do you currently do and what is your average mph?

My response: 
I used to ride with my kids in the carrier seat about 18 years ago and still know how to ride a bike.

I figured they would see I know how to walk and I know how to ride a bike. I know many women my age who do not know how to ride bikes. I thought I was going to be just their type.

I pressed Send.

I got an e mail from someone at the site wanting to find out if I was serious about the Triathlon.  If I was why did I not insert the values they needed to create my program.
I assured them that those were indeed the facts and that I had ZERO numerical values to input.

I never heard from them again.

So I began to train on my own  and my dear friend Donna was my guide and helper and General ass kicker.

I began to walk slowly with Donna I would count the concrete squares on the path in my town to see how far I had walked.

Then one day I was able to run 5 concrete squares and then walk again.

I felt like calling the trainer to tell them how great I was doing.

I did not.

I bought a really nice bike and some of those clip in shoes and almost killed myself. I used to have to tip over onto the grass to try to get unclipped.

I got tired of falling so I went to spin class and practiced biking with my clip in shoes and also practiced clipping in and out…. but those were stationary bikes so I still almost killed myself when I began to practice on the real bike.

I tried to find a swim teacher who could teach beginners and got fired from about 3 teachers. One guy even took a video of me in the water and showed me what I looked like.

I looked like a spider, I had arms and legs all over the place.

That video was not pretty because I had this image of myself slicing thru water as I had seen Mark Spitz do in the Olympics.

Also I tried to wear cute swim suits with frills and decorations all over and was told that those suits would cause drag in the water. I knew what they knew… my unstreamlined body was causing drag in the water, not these three cute frills on the suit.

I did not give up.

I continued on my very unorthodox way of training.

Six months after attempting to engage the online trainer, I completed my Olympic Distance Triathlon.

I was dead last.

I never gave up.

In the hotel lobby that night, I heard a seasoned triathlete say, “man I got out of the lake, I got kicked in the face and got pissed off!”

I thought, man I never even thought of getting out of the lake and I wondered if I was the spider who had kicked him in the face.

Start where you are…. it’s your only choice.

See you at your finish line, I will be smiling and waiting for you, no matter how long it takes.

 

Love & light,

Indrani