Restoration

Thursday, May 4, 2017


I’ve been absent here. 
It’s because I’ve been working diligently to restore myself on all levels. 

I have chosen not to share EVERYTHING about all of it online. There is wisdom I want to pass along to others, but since I’m still restoring, I’m not ready to share it yet. 

I will give some hints though about what is to come here:

One day when you come onto this blog, you will see things I’ve created. They are the things my heart wanted to create when I began this blog originally. 

These things I create probably will not be what you expect from me. 

These things won’t be New Age.

These things won’t be about rebellion.

These things won’t have a punk rock or rock ’n roll energy. (That’s not me any more.) 

These things won’t be life coaching. 

These things won’t be about how to be more creative. (You already are creative.) 

These things will be small, simple, gentle, and empowering. 

These things will be shared from the heart. (They won’t have a fancy marketing plan.) 

Until then, I’m continuing to restore my body, mind, spirit, heart, and soul. 

You can catch me on here now and then though, as well as on Instagram (@lisaselow).

Restoration takes time, energy, and great self-compassion. 

See you later,

Lisa Selow


End of Winter 2017 Reflections

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

As I type this, winter is having (hopefully) its last party for a while. We’ve been known to have snow in late spring here in metro Detroit, Michigan though. I guess anything is possible. 

A few short weeks ago, we had a warm snap. I loved being able to walk outside with a lightweight jacket in the 60F+ weather that week. 

Oh well. What are you going to do? I just allow it all and work on being flexible. 

I love the cozy feeling of winter though. There’s nothing like it! 

I’m currently beginning the second week of my two week, spring cleanse. I usually do a cleanse 2-3 times per year (spring, summer, and fall). It’s currently the full moon, a great time to release. 

Releasing seems to be all I’ve been doing the past three years. I actually don’t recognize my life at times from what it was or what I thought it would be years ago. I’ve been intensely evolving, shedding what no longer serves me, sometimes without any seeming choice on my end. 

The thing is, the real me was always under all the layers. I just had piled on so many coats of paint over the years trying to hide her. 

As I’ve stripped away the layers, I’ve learned quite a bit. There’s a lot of things I plan on sharing with you. I don’t plan on sharing it all, however. 

I don’t believe that everyone needs to know everything about me. I’m very selective the past couple of years about what I share. I also prefer to share things and lessons from my scars, not my wounds (paraphrasing author Glennon Doyle-Melton here). 

Speaking of wounds, I’ve been healing mine. There were many. They needed cleaning, flushing out, stitching up, disinfected, and cared for in a big way. 

I thought for many years I had done quite a bit of healing and growth work. Nope. There was more. I think there is always more, but I feel you get to a good place. 

I’m 45 years old as I write this and I will say that I’m in the happiest, most peaceful and healthy place I’ve ever been as an adult. I’m at the tail end of doing the online class, Soul Restoration with The Brave Girls’ Club. It’s life-changing. The process and things I’ve healed though are very personal. Since I’m a private person, I’m not going to be sharing those a-ha’s publicly much on my blog here. 

It’s been hard work. I’ve felt tired. 

I’ve been healing my physical body quite a bit. 

I’ve been healing my past. 

I’ve been healing all the disappointments and things that still hurt. 

I’ve been putting myself back together. 

I’ve been rebuilding my habits. 

I’ve let go of distractions. 

I’ve done the Kon Mari process of decluttering for nearly a year (I just have a couple more piles and some family photos to organize). 

I’ve been working on grieving since my mom passed in June 2015. 

I’ve been coming to terms with those who have left my life over the years due to death or us growing apart. 

I’ve been healing myself with plant-based diet, yoga, guided imageries, meditation, journaling, flower essences, walking, nature, art journaling, and following my soul’s calling as a musician. 

I’ve given myself forgiveness and compassion for all of my mistakes, including the really so-called horrible ones. 

I’ve learned that I’m a soul who is learning, just like everyone else. 

I’ve learned that my stories matter and so do everyone else’s. 

I’ve learned that everyone is doing their best. 

I’ve learned that I have value in the world. I’ve learned that I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. 

I’ve learned that I deserve good things, including respect from others. 

I’ve learned how to share my truth with love with others. Sometimes, it has great results. Other times, not so much. 

Learning and letting go are my themes lately. 

Of course, these are the highlights. Don’t go thinking you know everything that has been up with me, okay? Thanks. 

With Love,

Lisa 

P.S. I don’t feel I need to put photos or graphics with every blog post of mine any more. 






(copyrighted 2017 by Lisa Selow) 

What I've Learned From 455 Days of Yoga

Monday, November 28, 2016



I began doing daily yoga on September 1, 2015. 

I have not stopped. 

I used to have a daily yoga practice at various times in my life, dating back to the late 1990s. Yes, I have VHS yoga tapes. (I still have to donate those! Haha!).

Besides my current streak of 455 days (as of this writing), I also had a daily practice before I began writing my first book in 2011. During my book publication journey, I had stopped all my positive, daily habits. It’s taken me close to four years to get them back to autopilot. It’s been quite the long road. 

I’ll share a list of things that I’ve learned having over one year of a daily yoga practice. The thing is, there’s so much more I have learned than these things. These simply are a summary and well, I’m a work in progress. Please don’t read folks’ lists online about their growth journeys and think you totally get what is going on with them, okay?:

  1. I learned that it takes more than 21 or 28 days to build a daily habit. I don’t believe the studies that say you can create a habit in a month or less. For some of us, it takes way longer and that’s okay. 
  2. I need accountability and support when creating a habit. I have a best buddy of mine who began this journey with me. We text each other daily with our “I did yoga today’.” Yep. This is how I roll. I’m so grateful to have this pal of mine! I love her! 
  3. I learned that some days, all I can do is 5-10 minutes of yoga, due to illness, fatigue, or just life being life. Those 5-10 minutes DO count as yoga. Having a dedication to a practice or a self-care ritual isn’t an all-or-nothing thing. 
  4. I’m more peaceful, calm, and happy, but I still have my stressed out moments. Yoga always makes me feel way better!
  5. I’m not enlightened. I have a LONG way to go with this, but I do feel that I am more patient with others. I also feel more accepting, kind, compassionate, and loving towards myself and others.
  6. I prefer to do yoga in my pajama pants at home with a DVD or recording or my own flow. I don’t like studios as of yet, but hmm, maybe I will find one I enjoy one day in the near future? 
  7. Yoga does me now. I don’t do yoga, to be honest. I feel that sense of flow or being in my body, which is hard to explain. 
  8. I take my yoga off the mat. I’m that kind person who lets folks cut into traffic, holds doors for others, and smiles at most people. Yep, I’m “that” person! Haha! 
  9. I do yoga in public places in line at the grocery store, for example. I don’t notice if others’ give me strange looks. I work on my balance or breathing. Yoga has become a way of life! 
  10. I feel more flexible. I still can’t touch my nose to my knees in forward bends. That is not point of yoga. I have tight hamstrings from years of being a competitive runner and cyclist. These days, I prefer to walk and do yoga. I have let go of all of my competitive nature as an athlete. I’m a yoga athlete, but I don’t really compete with others. Nope. 
  11. I still have days when I don’t feel like doing yoga, such as when I have bad menstrual cramps, fatigue or autoimmune symptoms or when I am feeling run down from anemia. I still do a bit of yoga. I sometimes challenge myself to do a full practice and it’s interesting…99% of the time, it helps me feel 200% better! Yep!
  12. Resistance to doing a daily habit or practice is normal. I work with it and talk to it, not to sound too crazy. I will just tell my ego or resistance, “Hey, we are going to do this, okay?”
  13. I have become more and more sensitive to energies. I feel others’ pain, heartache, and sadness. I feel everything. I just let it wash through me or around me and don’t take it on or into my being. I breathe it out and breathe in love. 
  14. I feel I’m more part of the oneness of the universe. I don’t see things as yes or no or black or white or this or that. It’s much more complicated, but not really. We are all one. Everything is one. We are even one with Donald Trump. Yep, I went there! I didn’t vote for him, but really, I don’t think you need to know any more about my political views here.
  15. I’ve learned that love is needed. We are love. You can’t love too much. 
  16. I’ve learned that I’m badass. I mean, about four months after my mom passed, I began my daily yoga practice up again. I knew that I had to work with grief. I chose to become friends with grief. In 2015, I went to six funerals. I’ve wrote about this here quite a bit, but I have learned that it’s totally possible to be happy and healthy, no matter what is going on outside of you. Actually, there is no “outside.” Everything within and outside of you are the same. It’s all one thing…at least, to me!
  17. I don’t study Buddhism much any more on a serious level. It was making my head hurt. I prefer to be open-hearted, not up in my head! I do enjoy yoga as a philosophy for life, but I’m not religious. Yoga is not a religion. I am a yoga geek and I do read books on it, however. But, I don’t think you want to know about my spiritual beliefs, haha! Long story short, I don’t follow anything or anyone too much any more and I’ve even discarded 99% of the New Age teachings I once adhered to as a student. 
  18. Life isn’t about acquiring things, people, or status, etc. For me, I’ve discovered that the more I’ve let go, the happier and healthier I’ve become. Learning how to relax my body has helped me relax my mind. I’ve also taken this off the mat on a journey of mine to become a minimalist. I’m a work in progress, but slowly and ever so surely, I’m reducing possessions, time sucks, and yes, even people who drain me.
  19. Yoga is a tool. It’s a great tool. You might find a tool that works better for you. Although I LOVE yoga, I wouldn’t want to push it on you or others. However, since 1997, I’ve been contemplating doing my yoga teacher training and teaching. I still might become a yoga teacher. I’m working on finding my yoga tribe and where I feel I will thrive and fit in the best.
  20. The world needs peaceful folks. It’s so tempting to caught up in a few media sources’ take on the world and its events. The thing is, one more peaceful person does help the planet. If all you did was meditate and/or do yoga daily, you’d be working towards world peace. I’m no longer feeling like marching or protesting or being physically political active. I do most of my activism on my yoga mat, sending peace and love to the planet. I mean, I do some work with animals and the environment, but I’m not wanting to write about it here. It would seem like humble bragging and that is not who I am at all. 

Yoga rocks! I’ve known this though for many years. I have been enjoying the path. I chose not to share which yoga DVDs I do or which teachers I follow because then, it would seem like I’m endorsing a certain style or set of teachers. I will just say that I’m a bit eclectic. I do what I feel is needed for the day in my body, mind, spirit, and heart. That is quite a way to do yoga. I feel it’s a great way to live…follow what feels right for you in the moment. I might eventually change up things or find some teachers I want to focus with, but for now, I’m enjoying the flow. I’ll be continuing forward with my daily yoga practice, intending to do so for the rest of my life. Yep! 

Thanks for reading,

Lisa Selow




(copyrighted 2016) 

When Others Don't Like Who You Have Become

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Over the past four years, I've sure changed! 

I'll bet you also have changed quite a bit, given that the only constant in the universe is change. 

My changes have been for the better. I'm feeling 200% or more happier and healthier. I worked rather hard for a long time to get here. 

The thing is, I'm still becoming (borrowing this from my gurus, The Brave Girls' Club). 

I do plan on changing a whole lot more!

There are habits I'm creating still. I'm working on learning tons of new things. There's art and music I wish to create. I have some more books in me. I hope my hair loss continues to heal, so I can have ombré hair! Ha! There are places I want to visit. I have a few old, creative dreams I'm resurrecting. I'm continuing to add healing foods to my diet. There's more yoga I want to learn. 

I’m sad though because I’ve recently began noticing the backlash from some who are close to me. There were passive aggressive comments. There were snarky comments. Some asked me to help them in ways I no longer can. It seemed like when I set boundaries, this challenged them. 

Ugh. It’s not easy being human. 

What I wish I could've said in those backlash type of moments is that I worked so hard to be healthy and happy again. There were days I could hardly function, due to autoimmune flare. I would say how much it would mean to me if they could at least be 10% happy for my at least one areas of my transformation.

I've been doing some deep, gut check thinking about others' reactions to the so-called new me. Here is a list of some of my insights:

  • The core of who I am is still there. I try to reassure others to remember this. However, it’s not my job to make them feel safe. 
  • My changes seem to trigger folks. I never share my life or create new habits to make others feel badly or to "brag." 
  • Relationships that are able to weather the other's transitions and changes are meant to last. If not, they must be released or kept at a healthy distance. 
  • If others are being unkind, I must look at where I'm being unkind to myself. Also, am I really on board with my changes? The outer always reflects the inner. 
  • I'm always happy to support others in making changes, but I never tell them how or what they need to change. 
  • I'm allowed to be happy and healthy, even glowing and vibrant. It’s so exciting when the things you have been doing begin to work! I like having color in my skin, small stuff like that. It’s not like I became a millionaire and you need to be jealous of me, hahaha! 
  • If others only can be around me when my life sucks, they aren't true friends. I’m borrowing from Melody Beattie and others here: “Company hates misery.” 
  • True friends celebrate with you.

It all seems simple, but when others don’t like who you have become, it’s an emotionally huge thing to process. I love people, but doing so can't be at the expense of my hard-earned happiness and health. I also used to downplay my light in the past. I can't any more. 

So, when others don’t like who you are becoming, just remember these things:
  • There are some folks usually in your life who will love you, even if you are making big changes
  • If you don’t have anyone in your life to support and love you, find a tribe who gets you, even if it’s online 
  • Use others’ snarky or passive aggressive comments or hurtful words or behavior to become even happier. Set boundaries and lovingly speak your truth, but do something for you. Each time something negative happens, I like to sip on a cup or herbal tea. I also will walk an extra lap outside (Thanks so much, haters, for making me skinnier and skinnier, hahaha!)
  • Immerse yourself in positivity. Curate your newsfeeds online and in social media, as well as your emails and blogs you subscribe to, to be uplifting and inspiring. 
  • If someone says something negative to you about a change you’ve made, take that change to another level. I mean, don’t retaliate and be mean, but have some fun. I had a loved one say they didn’t like my floppy hats, so I bought some more of them. They spark joy for me! 
  • If someone annoys you, you can use it as raw material for your creative projects. Doodle, draw, or make art to release stress. Write a song about them or a short story or something. Don’t name names, of course. (Careful, you’ll end up in my song!). 
  • You have ancestors who love you. I tap into these energies when I feel like the living folks don’t love me enough or approve of me. 
  • Life is too short not to follow your passions or to not be as healthy and happy as you can be in your life. 
  • Find a way to vent about it. You can write in a journal or talk to a trusted friend.
  • Get a coach or a therapist. Use others’ negativity to help heal the places that still feel unhealed. They know which buttons to push. Get rid of the buttons. 
  • Don’t take it personally. Try not to, even though it’s hard. 
  • If someone isn’t kind to you, it could be their issues, such as jealousy. You might be illuminating their areas of weakness, unhappiness, or disease. It’s not your job to fix them or try to covert them to your ways of living, being, and thinking.
  • Be happy anyway. No one really can destroy your happiness or health. Nope. You need to speak up, set boundaries, and take care of your precious self.

With the holidays coming, I plan on standing in my truth with love and gentleness. I do find that I like to get curious by asking others questions about the hurtful things they say to me. I will say, “What do you mean by that?” Usually, folks will rephrase things in a kinder way or realize that maybe they were off base. Don’t engage them in arguments. Don’t name call or yell. Don’t start a conflict. Just be a kind soul, a fellow traveler who wants to know their truth too. Of course, walk away any abusive situations and please take care of you!

Blessings and love,
Lisa Selow 


(copyrighted 2016) 

What I Learned Being Off Facebook For Seven and a Half Months

Tuesday, November 15, 2016



As I type this here, I’m getting ready to log back into Facebook, after a seven-and-a-half-month hiatus. 
Wish me luck, hahaha! 

In the spring of 2016, I decided I didn’t want to be on Facebook during the American election. I was already tiring of some folks who posted their “opinions” and various dividing, dramatic, media links. 

So, I decided to be off Facebook from 4/01/16 to 11/15/16. (I must mention that I still used the Messenger portion of Facebook during this time. There were a couple of times I had to get onto Facebook quickly to log into other apps that I use. Oh well, I didn’t scroll in my newsfeed or go into my groups. On some occasions, some chose to send me links from Facebook to check out certain things and I didn’t look at those. I guess some don’t understand “I’m off Facebook,” which tells you how distracted our modern culture has become!)

I wanted to be under my own influence for a while, not just with the election, but in other areas of my life. I wanted to put a big dent in my decluttering project (which I did). 

I also wanted to get my focus back. I have found during other social media type of detoxes or abstaining from technology that I have always brought about a new sense of clarity, focus, and renewal in various parts of my life. 

This time around, I have to say that I’m emerging as the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. 

My return to Facebook will not be what it was before regarding how I use the site and especially not with how often I used it in the past. I took the Facebook app off my iPhone this past weekend and during my hiatus, I didn’t refer to it once. 

I know that I’m stronger than my habitual ways of being. 

I’m putting some boundaries on my Facebook use and time. I’m going to be on Facebook for a total of one hour per week on one or two days total each week. I also plan on only checking my other social media such as Twitter and Instagram, as well as my emails, texts, and voice messages once per day. 

I’m tired, actually exhausted from constantly being plugged in and feeling others’ expectations that I reply almost instantly to them. Some of it is our digital world creating the feeling we must respond to everything and everyone instantly. I don’t actually blame others, but I do need better boundaries. I no longer want to be others’ free coach or business consultant or online marketer. I’m done with those fields. 

I also can’t be in constant conversation with others. It drains me. I was taking stock and there’s a few folks I enjoy chatting with online, but even my best friend and I don’t talk every day or even every week and our interactions are mostly by email or seeing each other in person from time to time. 

One thing I began to observe about Facebook Messenger on my hiatus from the rest of the app was how much friends of mine write me when they are at work. I’d write back right away because I’m a caring person, but then, I had a revealing truth bomb-y type of thought. I realized some in my life see me as their work break or good time friend. I mean, I don’t have a traditional 9 to 5, but I still do my work during those hours. 

Yes, ugh, I need better boundaries. This is something I will be working on the next few months. I want more of my days back to create art and music on a higher level that will make me happier. 

Yep. I’m reclaiming my schedule and getting my focus back from digital distractions. The distractions not only keep me from doing my important work, but also, when I engage in them, I get quite exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

In the past, I’ve done other social media detoxes. This current one that is ending today is my longest ever and it was related specifically to Facebook. I don’t really care for those top 10 list type of blog posts, but I’m making an exception today and I’m sure my list will be longer than 10 items. In no special order, here are the things I learned being off Facebook for seven-and-a-half months:

  1. Some people care. Some people care deeply. Some people don’t care at all. 
  2. Without your hundreds of “friends,” you will still mostly talk to or see your 5-20 people you love the most. Yep.
  3. Some will say they “miss you on Facebook” when you are standing in the flesh in front of them and your head will spin. You might even feel hurt. Don’t let it. Just accept that some people find social media to be fun or a way to connect. For some of us, we find it alienating and isolating, along with frustrating, to put it mildly. 
  4. Some will say that Facebook is a great way to keep in touch. Yet, they are the same ones who only connect with you once or twice per year. Hmm. Interesting, isn’t it?
  5. I found ways to follow my favorite bands, artists, bloggers, and events that didn’t involve Facebook.
  6. If you are off Facebook, if you are important enough to people, they will find a non-Facebook way to invite you to events. 
  7. Not everyone needs an instant reply. In fact, you don’t even have to reply at all. If you aren’t family or a real friend, I don’t have to reply to you. Nope. Not everyone needs a reply. 
  8. Find your favorite place and spend time there. For me, it’s Instagram. I prefer it to Facebook and it soothes my introvert, hermit, sensitive, and creative soul. I still put limits on how much time I spend on there. 
  9. Life is way better than the media or social media newsfeeds would have you believe. There’s a whole world outside. Actually, the world and you are one in the same. I sort of laugh when folks refer to “the world outside of Facebook” or “the world out there.” It’s all one, right? I thought it was. Did I miss something? 
  10. Political discussions can be quite dividing. I saw some of that play out on Twitter and Instagram. So, I learned don’t ever read the comments. I tended to get my news from other sources such as the BBC and NPR. I felt that some on Facebook love to proliferate negativity by posting rants. I decided that I’m no longer interested in drama, even observing it. No thanks. I will send good vibes to places and people needing it from my yoga mat and do my best to embody love daily in my actions or dealings with others.
  11. Everyone is offended by everything. I’m a highly sensitive person who is liberal and yet, I’m in utter shock or amazement daily at how much folks say they’re offended online on a daily basis. What ever happened to taking responsibility for your emotions? What ever happened to taking action on causes versus just complaining rampantly online about it all? Being offended is easy, cheap, and expected. Why not actually do something to make the world a better place? I do feel small actions help the most. I myself all on my own can’t eradicate the world’s problems, but I can be peaceful, which is me being a part of the solution. 
  12. Some are lemmings. I’m sorry to be unkind by name calling, but if you really think about it, social media is a way to zone out. It’s hypnotizing. It pulls you away from what and who is important to you. It can be insular too, causing people to be comfortable and not seek out other sources of news, information, and such. I don’t care to allow others on a so-called social app to curate my experience, my reality, or my life. I’m not easily hypnotized by what’s popular. If a majority of people are doing something, such as using Facebook, it doesn’t mean that I should do it too. 
  13. I don’t need your approval. Facebook has some cool features like groups. I used to go in them to get support and approval. With my decluttering project, I wanted to see what it was like to pull on my own, inner resources. I learned that I don’t need quite as much support or approval as I thought. I’m very wise, more than I give myself credit for, yep! Regarding approval, you don’t really need it. It’s human to need some, but you don’t need as much as you think you do. 
  14. I can get healthy dopamine hits by doing other things such as learning new songs on guitar, making art, coloring, gardening. walking, cooking, and writing. Scrolling messes up my brain. I prefer to have a calmer mind. I don’t need to self-medicate by scrolling on Facebook. I can scroll on Instagram for five minutes per day and it makes me smile and laugh. Then, I’m done. I get inspiration, but it’s not an addiction. When I post on Instagram, there’s a way to turn off comments too. So, I don’t need the dopamine hit of comments approving of me or giving me compliments either.
  15. Friendship is a precious thing. I feel that at times, Facebook makes it seem trite or impersonal. Nope, that is not how I roll as a friend. I don’t care to have shallow interactions or friendships. If you want to get to know me, you are going to have to spend time with me in person. I’ve noticed how rude it is when you are with someone in person and they pick up their so-called smartphone to look at something on Facebook and part of you wants to scream, “I’m right here! I’m right here!” So, yeah, I’ve had to re-evaluate my friendships and how I spend my time. As I carve out new boundaries, please me kind, patient, understanding and compassionate with me. As I carve out new boundaries, please me kind, patient, understanding and compassionate with me. Thanks.

With love and respect,

Lisa


(copyrighted by Lisa Selow 2016) 

You Don't Need to Know Everything About Me

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hi there! It's been a while since I posted. I don't really care to justify why you haven't heard from me.
Let's just say that I'm learning to accept that I'm a private, sensitive introvert.

However, as the photograph of me as a happy 5 year-old graduating from Kindergarten next to my teacher shows, I'm small, but vibrant. I do like to share my light.

Learning makes me happiest.

Speaking of learning, it seems like one of my biggest areas of growth has been about mindfulness or being more present.

I've owned a smartphone since 2011. It's been fun, but I've had to learn to put limits on myself. I have important songs I want to write and share.

Scrolling through newsfeeds isn't going to assist my mission. Nope.

I've been off Facebook (except Messenger) since April 1, 2016. I will be back on as of November 15, 2016.

I've had other social media breaks in the past of varying durations. This hiatus from Facebook is my longest.

During my break, I decided that I wanted to be under my own influence for a while. It was tempting to want to get on Facebook to share parts of my life, such as my Kon Mari decluttering milestones, my year-long daily yoga practice that continues to this day, and photographs of the many concerts I attended over the summer.


I did share a bit about my life on Instagram. I prefer it there because it's more focused on creativity and less hectic, at least for me. Not many folks I follow on Instagram share their armchair political views, thankfully.

The thing is, I don't feel people need to know everything about me. That is reserved for myself and well, I do share some of myself with those I really love.

I felt jarred recently when a friend said that she "missed me on Facebook."

The thing was, I was standing right in front of her. I was in the flesh. I was huggable. I was right there!

Besides Facebook, there's many ways to connect with me. You can call or text me. You can email me. You could Skype or FaceTime with me. You could meet me for tea, dessert, coffee, brunch, lunch, or dinner. (Breakfast is too early! Ha!) You could write me a letter or in a card and mail it. Ermagerd! Snail mail!

I'm not picking on my friend, but it did cause me to stop. I mean, I wondered if she missed the real me or just my Facebook persona?

My Facebook persona was very snarky, hipster, smarty pants, silly, profane, and music snobbish!
My real persona is difficult to portray on a social media site. It's deeper, kinder, more loving, and like a very squishy hug!

Some kind souls have taken time to keep in touch with me during my Facebook hiatus. It's been touching.

Overall, I guess technology feels isolating, not connecting, at least for me.

I crack up when I'm out and about. Everyone is plugged in to some device.

I'm in awe of kids who can ride no hander on their bikes while they look down on their screen. I want to tell them to "be careful," but I figure it's not my place.

I get suspicious looks at cafes when I just sit to savor my decaf without a device. I lived in Europe for a few months in 2014 and cafes were for conversation. Hmm, I miss that!

I sat at a cafe recently with journals and books. The young guy next to me said he needed my electrical outlet because he was actually going to do work. I said, "Sure, no problem. I'm also working too. I write by hand at times before I type it." He looked back at me with a puzzled look. So, "to work," you need to be plugged in, okay. Got it!

No, no, no!

I guess I'm just an old lady. Haha!

Everyone shares differently online. That's cool. I mean, whatever works for you. I left the online, popularity contest as an author at the end of 2015. I was frustrated as I shared authentically. I didn't want to market in people's faces. It's not my style. I had a theory that if I lived my life honestly and shared from that place, others would want to buy from or work with me.

I worked on walking my talk. I shared various challenges I have given myself.

Even with 6 funerals, including my mom's in 2015, along with two root canals, two crowns, an abscess, two fillings, a colonoscopy, and a severe case of anemia that made me lose most of my hair, I did stuff that was important to me.

During my time of challenges, I did 100 days of guitar, ending it with my doing my first open mic.
Since June 2014, I'm down 30+ pounds. I'm back to my real body.

I also have not stopped doing daily yoga since I began on September 1, 2015. I've worked out, decluttered, and done lots of growth and healing work.

I'd hire me as a coach. I'd give myself another book deal.

However, I didn't ever have the ability to "play the game" to be a success in the traditional way. If being happy is success, I'm very, very successful!

During my time of deepest grief and challenges, I've learned how to be the happiest I've ever been in my four and half decades on the planet.

Happiness isn't created by scrolling. It's not created by having a herd of online followers. It doesn't arise out of sharing your whole life in words and/or photos on social media. It doesn't come from hitting the like button on others' posts or giving them a thumb emoji in reply to their instant message. Ha! It doesn't come from buying stuff or marketing to others. Happiness also doesn't come from accomplishing stuff. Nope.

Happiness comes from giving happiness to others. It comes from choosing to be happy, even if the externals aren't perfect. It comes from feeding people and animals. It comes from being loving and not rushing or treating folks like pylons.

Besides all the stuff I shared in this seemingly revealing blog post though, there's a ton of things inside that I'm not sharing. It's some of my a-ha moments. It's the deeper stuff. It's parts of my story that I want to keep sacred. I also haven't shared all of the steps I took to become happy.

It's not my job to spill about my life. Read between the lines. Use your imagination. Allow life to show, not tell. Be okay with keeping secrets or things sacred. Get to know who your "friends" really are, don't just assume you know what's new with them from their posts on social media. Care more about others than you do right now. Let yourself be love and a part of the mystery.

Let yourself not know too...

(copyrighted 2016 by Lisa Selow)

Celebrating 5 Years of My Book Journey and Earning My Wild and Free Wings

Monday, July 25, 2016

Today I haven't wanted to be at home. I did all my week's errands and groceries. I did really important things like rescue a fly stuck in my house, helping him get outside safely. I froze bananas for my next few days of breakfast smoothies. Haha! 

Yeah, I'm avoiding sitting quietly with myself. So, I thought I'd write here today. 

I figure maybe someone else experiences milestones or calendar dates in a similar way as me. 

I wonder if there's some solidarity or kindness I can spread by writing about my struggles here? 

You see, five years ago, I learned I received a book contract. I had submitted my proposal and obviously, I heard "yes" back. 

I was in shock, but mostly relieved. I had been through three or four very difficult years before hearing my good news. 

I thought that perhaps, my life was going to change and doors would fly open for me professionally, after struggling for 15 years to get any kind of "success." 

I received my book contract on July 25, 2011. I did the math for you, haha! July 25 is my late, maternal grandma Edith's birthday. I was close to her. She died in 2001. 

So, when I found out about my book, it was on the tenth anniversary of not having her alive to celebrate her birthday. 

Surely, I thought that the heavens were cracking open, saying to me that I was "on my way," hearing about my book contract on such an auspicious day. 

I mean, it had to be a "sign," right? A sign from the universe that my life was gonna change for the better and there would be no more struggle, right? 

Ha! 

So, yes, my life changed. But, the struggles became worse for me. Yet, I sit here as I type and can honestly say that I'm the happiest I've ever been, despite things not turning out as expected. 

Some well-intentioned folks told me I should get "over it" regarding the disappointment and situational depression I had after my book. I tried. I mean, I had been some kind of healer or coach since 1998, investing much time and resources into my education. I had done personal growth work since the 1980s! I wrote a self-help book. 

I tried to heal myself, but it didn't work until I allowed myself to feel all my emotions and feelings. Nothing else worked. Very few of the tools I had were applicable for the situation I created for myself. 

I read books. I took classes personally and professionally. I "rebranded" myself a few times, haha! I chanted, prayed, was coached, and cried until I had no tears left. 

My life force was dim. I was feeling like maybe I should just accept that my life was going to keep on getting worse. 

It took me well over three years to feel alive again and to get my inner spark fired up again. These days, I think I glow. 

Today is a milestone, but I'm trying to feel it as a positive one. It's the anniversary of the beginning of my rebirth, the seeds planted for my emergence as a happy Brave Girl. 

I don't feel like rehashing my whole story of how things sucked with my book. I have peace in my heart that I did my best and possibly was able to help a few souls with the book. 

I've learned that with creative work, I'm just an instrument of the divine and I can't get attached to outcomes. It can hurt when others aren't supportive or loving in the ways we need them. However, even that is a blessing. I think you learn who your true friends are, a good thing to know! 

Along the way, I had much devastating loss, grief, and challenges. I lost friends. The support of others in my field and at my publisher went away. I tried to resuscitate everything, but ended up exhausted, flaring up my autoimmune stuff and thyroid, gaining weight and having adrenal fatigue, severe insomnia, anxiety, situational depression, and anemia. These were things that I had in the late 1990s and I thought I had healed them! 

Much of my hair fell out too. As a woman, this has been distressing. I have a cute floppy hat collection now. Again, another blessing! 

Also, about one year ago in 2015, just after my mom passed away, I had a month and a half with two root canals, two crowns, and two fillings, along with a baseline colonoscopy at an early age! I mean, think about the country songs I could've written. In there, I attended five other funerals of loved ones, not too long after my mom's funeral. 

I spent much time, effort, and funds the past three years on my health. I lost nearly 30 pounds. I feel way better. I have energy. I don't even use caffeine any more. Nope. 

I'm so grateful and blessed that I can function again. Basic things make me blissful, such as being able to sleep or cook dinner! Yay! 

At the end of 2015, I closed my business as a coach and author. 

I continued to shed, release, let go, and find my health and happiness after closing my business. 

I no longer have the need or desire to build a "following" online, spending so much time and heart energy on that. Being Internet famous has no appeal to me. I feel I was always a heart-centered marketer. To be a success in the self-help field, there are things one needs to do that I'm just not willing or able to do. 

I've had many changes and bright spots in my life. I lived in Europe for close to three months at the end of 2014. During my book stuff in the spring of 2013, I did a mini book tour along the California coast. Besides traveling, I've been enjoying attending live concerts, art journaling, taking classes with The Brave Girls' Club, making music, and creating yummy, plant-based meals.

I decided to let go of being anything or anyone for the most part. I don't fit into the boxes of punk rock or rebel much these days. I'm more of a cosmic cowgirl Bohemian hippie, haha! I don't mind labels. I think we outgrow some of them, however. 

So, yeah, I was the girl with the dream of being a published self-help author for close to 15 years. I made it happen and then, it kicked my butt with heartache and disappointment. 

I made myself suffer quite a bit, but even that was a blessing. I returned to my daily yoga and meditation. I began decluttering my home this year too. I'm shedding my old self. 

As I feel better physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I'm feeling new dreams' seedlings underneath it all. I still am here to create. I still feel alive and have a desire to help others and our planet.

I'm still me, just a bit altered. I think of altered books, due to me being a mixed media artist. Altered books are when you take an old book and paint in it, making art on top of the pages in whichever mediums strike your fancy. 

I suppose my life is much like one of those altered books. My original life story or the actual book I had published have been altered. The past few years, I've been slapping down the gesso to prepare the pages of them, so I can create and put down new stories, hopes, desires, dreams, friendships, paths, creative works, songs, and maybe even other books (*wink, wink*). 

I consider my life to be like a art journal page. If things don't go as expected in my process, I can paint over it all and begin again. 

What a relief! 

In my long winded way, I'm saying that you can always start over. Don't allow the calendar to make you feel too sad either. Use it to celebrate how far you've come along on your journey. 

See you on the road...wearing my wild and free wings. 

With best wishes, 

Lisa Selow (copyrighted 2016) 

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