When You Mix A Glass of Bourbon with a Dash of Rage, Chased by a Shot of Politics at a Six Year Old Birthday Party, You Have The Perfect Recipe For Disaster.

BY: Cherry Maggiore – “The Freak of Nurture”

Chapter 14: Crossing the Border of Sobriety

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“I hate men!!! Yes, that means ALL men” said Cherry, the Freak of Nurture at her niece’s 6th birthday party.

Nice, Cherry.  Really fucking nice.

At that point, the entire room explodes from absolute disgust and anger.  My brother exclaims “Are you fucking kidding me?”

In my head, I’m screaming at myself to shut up and stop being a fucking idiot. The alarms are ringing ABORT! ABORT!  But I am entirely in the red zone, so I retort, “No, I’m not fucking kidding you. And I’m glad I don’t have a son!”

Judge me now. I deserve it.

But then, let me share what brought me to this boiling point.  First off, I should never be allowed to drink a couple of glasses of wine followed by two glasses of bourbon.  I learned this harsh lesson, when I had a similar outburst at my family’s Christmas dinner and said, “Anyone who voted for Trump is an asshole.”

In further examining these situations, there are three major issues that caused my ignorant outbursts.  Three common denominators: politics, personal angst, and whiskey.

Let’s start with the political issue…I am the lone fierce independent liberal-leaning person in my family.  I am also the first woman to go to college (albeit I didn’t graduate). I am the first woman to ever live on her own before getting married (and thus far, still the only one). Additionally, I am the first woman to have a career, get divorced, and own her own home, on her own (three houses all in; two on my own).

In my teens and twenties, I vehemently defended Clinton and the entire Democratic party to a family of people who are fiercely conservative Republicans. I recall many family events, where I sat there (or stood there), arguing loudly against many equally loud and passionate family members.  Hands flailing as we Italians tend to talk with our hand; aka guinea sign language.

As the self-proclaimed black sheep of my family (they agree), it has been a long road to convince anyone that I have a point (nor would they ever admit if I had a point) or to have my argument fully heard.  This is the reality.  So for the most part, I tried to avoid political conversations.

That was until 2016, and our new President was elected.  The divisiveness of this administration has caused everyone to choose sides and has torn apart family and friends along with our country. It has become an issue of morality, more so than politics.  It is an issue of whether you support the rich or the poor, black or white, gay or straight, mother earth or manufacturers, the right to bear arms or gun control, a woman’s right to choose or the right to life, etc., etc.  These are polarizing issues, and we have been forced to take sides because there is no middle ground.  There are only the extremists of both parties being given a platform; who are given a voice in the media and homes across the country.

And when you stitch those political and moral issues together with the problems I’m personally facing, it was a cesspool of hate bubbling under the surface.  It became an ever-present, widening crevasse that neither side is willing to cross.

Let’s now dig into the personal angst…dealing with my ex-husband (The Chupacabra of Joy) has been a tumultuous journey over the past five years.  I hold back many stories because when I am with my family and friends, I genuinely want to forget.  I choose to compartmentalize his impact so that I can enjoy time with those I love the most.

However, earlier in the week, before the party, the Chupacabra and I had a massive fight.  A few facts you need to know, as part of our divorce settlement, I pay him custody support.  I was 80% of our combined intake, and therefore with joint custody, I have to support his time with her financially.  With that agreement, I also pay for summer camp (among all other childcare expenses).  However, we are supposed to agree on the camp selection.

With him residing in Brooklyn, NY and me residing in Westfield, NJ, it was important that he found a camp near where he lives so we wouldn’t add time to my commute with MSP.  In 2017, he found a summer camp in Mill Basin, Brooklyn which is much farther south from where he lives.  The camp is an additional 13 miles from his house, which is already 23 miles from my home.

When he sent me this camp recommendation, I declined and asked him for an alternative.  He refused my request and decided to sign her up anyway.  I chose not to pay for the camp because he completely disregarded our parental agreement and my participation as a co-parent.

I reluctantly but ultimately did pay for 2018, because MSP loved the camp and she wanted to attend (there’s a long story with this as well).  So as you may recall from my blog (blog #13 link), he served me with another petition for the 2017 summer camp payment.  We are now going to court to resolve this issue.  Considering I also had to pay for 2019, I requested the camp contract so I can understand the terms of the nearly $3k I am funding.  After reading it over, I realized that without knowing it, I was paying for the bus service on the days MSP is in his custody.

Ok, let me share another essential fact.  I do ALL the commuting for every single drop off and pick up.  Two mornings a week, I drive from Westfield to Brooklyn and then Brooklyn to my job in midtown Manhattan.   Then two nights a week, I drive from Manhattan to Brooklyn then to Westfield.  Ladies and gentleman, that is about two and a half hours of driving per session for a total of ten hours per week just commuting my daughter.

So I feel that it’s pretty fucking simple, on the days she is with him, commuting expenses are HIS responsibility and financial burden.  It should also be noted that part of the custody support I provide could easily cover the bus expense or, you know, he could merely drive her since he picked the fucking camp at his convenience (I could scream right now).

So after discovering this, I reach out and suggest that he is responsible for paying for the bus fee on his days.  He was not receptive and became extremely vindictive.  He wanted to punish me in any way he could.  The scary part is that the only way he can punish me now is by punishing my daughter.

About a month before this argument, he had agreed to allow MSP to be with me on Halloween which is her preference cause she loves going trick or treating with her cousins.  Additionally, we decided to switch weekends in December so she could participate in her music school recital.

Because of my request that he funds the bus transport for summer camp, he decided to renege on these agreements (insert powerful visual of me punching him in the face).

As a result, I completely LOST. MY. MIND. And eventually begged him not to hurt her this way, not to take away these days because of our financial disagreement or because he wants to punish me.  After an entire day of angst including hysterical crying in my car (at some points screaming “I HATE HIM” over and over at the top of my lungs), he ultimately came to his senses and agreed to stick with our original plan for Halloween and the recital weekend.  We agreed to address the bus fee in court and leave it up to the referee to decide what was right.  Logic wins.  I immediately popped a bottle of wine to “celebrate” a rare win.

Adding insult to injury, the week before the Chupacabra fiasco, I had my fifth date with Rut. 39, Financial Advisor.  Father of a 2-year-old boy.  Former drug dealer.

Rut and I met on Bumble in February of this year.  He then ghosted for six months (he put our conversation on ice until things settled with his kid’s mom) and decided to zombie when he outreached to me in late August, to rekindle the connection we sparked.  You may recall my blog when I gave up dating and dating sites (blog #9 link)  because I was so exhausted from disappointment after disappointment.  I stated that a guy would have to fall out of the sky for me to even consider going out on a date.  So said guy fell out of the sky …

Sadly, but not unusually, after the fourth date, I broke it off with Rut.  He was too intense, and his situation too complicated as he had a young son and the custody arrangements with his baby mama weren’t formalized.  He also shared that in his twenties he sold drugs and that’s why he got a late start in his career.  Then he voluntarily revealed his annual salary during one of our conversations (this is SUCH poor taste).  Neither was good.  My gut told me that if we got into a relationship, I would be back in another situation of supporting another person as well as taking a risk in being with someone with a criminal past. Enough is enough with these fucking criminals.  There are moments I think I have a radar inviting them to my door.  Honestly, I am way past settling for less and I didn’t like him that much to further compromise.

He was genuinely upset (he actually told me he loved me.  I was like you don’t even know me how can you say those words…then the romantic in me thought, well maybe –I should’ve smacked that bitch right out of my mind) and outreached a few times to convince me to give him another chance.  To hang out one more time.

One night, after a few cocktails (are you starting to see a trend?), I was feeling a bit lonely and subsequently reached out to him so we could get together.

A few days later he came over to my house, and we ordered in.  We started to watch a movie, and one thing led to another.  We landed in my bedroom, and bow chica bow wow (note to reader: this would be our second time as we crossed the sex bridge on our fourth date).  He says to me “put your arms around me.”  So I eagerly comply and put my arms around him…then he says “Higher. No lower. Tighter.  No, wait, not that tight.”  I immediately take my arms off of him as I couldn’t believe I was being instructed how to hug him.  Ok, let that settle in for a minute.

NOTE TO READER: Let me take a beat and apologize in advance for sharing something so crude, but it’s important that I offer this insight to give you full context of what I am dealing with.

THEN he says…“Slow down…STOP moving and just take my dick.”

I’m sorry. What the fuck did you say to me?  The alarms start going off in my head again, so I stopped moving.  My stomach turned inside out; I was utterly disgusted.  Here I am consenting to be intimate with this man, and he just made me feel as if I was getting raped.  After I stopped moving, he asked what was wrong.  I couldn’t answer him as I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. I felt paralyzed.  He then decided to get off of me.  Thank GOD!

My mind is racing.  I am in utter shock that this “nice guy” just said those words to me, and then the fear settles in.  I don’t know him at all, yet he is in my home and my bed.  I try to calm the panic and process how to deal with him not knowing what he is capable of…how angry do I get? Do I yell? Do I kick him out? Do I punch him in the dick?

I decide to play it safe, and ask him, “Do you realize what you just said to me?”  He responds “No, what, what did I say?” Right, ok, so now I think he is delusional.  I repeat back what he said, and he whispers, “Oh God, I said that?”  He begins to apologize to me and tries to explain what he meant by it.  I said “Intention is not the issue.  You said those words and I can’t ever get past that.”  He asks, “So that means I’ll never see you again, right?” I quietly, but firmly respond, “That is right, you will never see me again.”

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As I put myself into a trance so I don’t fall apart in front of him, I anxiously listen to him try and explain his vulgar words for an hour.  Praying for him to leave.  When he does finally leave, I fall apart.  I crawled under the covers and cried.  Every single man that has ever hurt me comes crashing over me like a tidal wave.  I am drowning in sorrow.  Loathing an entire gender due to decades of disappointment in matters of love.  Angry at myself for, AGAIN, being in this vulnerable position.

So at this point, I reach for a bottle and attempt to suffocate the ache of my grief.

Which gets me to my final issue…alcohol.

Alcohol is not the issue on its own. It sits in a bottle, very innocently teasing me to take a sip, and all the hurt will go away.  I am seduced by the rich amber color of whiskey in an antique crystal decanter.  The sound of a cork popping and the clug, clug, clug of wine being poured in a designer wine glass can bring an instant smile to my face.  The zesty smell of lemon being added to my vodka on the rocks immediately calms the stress of a long day.  I have a love affair with liquor.

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But liquor does not love me.  I have done some very fucked up things when I drink too much; when I cross the border of sobriety.  I often wake up the next morning with the rancid taste of regret in my mouth, accompanied by a migraine headache that makes my eyes tear and my ears ring.  My only long-term love affair was and is with booze, hooch, more appropriately poison.  What’s my poison?  Anything that will help me forget for the moment.

But when I mix alcohol with anger…when I bury the grief and the stinging hate I feel, it becomes a loaded gun.  And that is why I found myself at a six-year-old’s birthday party drinking too much whiskey while talking politics as I stood on my soapbox of rage.

The morning after the party, I began my parade of apologies.  First to my brother and sister-in-law then to my mom and cousins.  I spewed so much garbage.  I said things I don’t mean to rile them up.  I spewed ideas I don’t believe in, to be controversial. And I allowed all those men, those fucking assholes, to creep into my life again.  I empowered them to hurt me just one more time…but then, I took their place and hurt those I love.

I was open and honest about the reasons, but in the end, I hurt them. Regardless of my excuses, I took accountability.  I was culpable and needed to own it.  They all forgave me, with one exception.  They know me well and love me enough to realize that wasn’t me, it was my anger and the hooch talking.  While my behavior was not acceptable, they loved me anyway.  It is not lost on me, that I am a fortunate person and they are wonderful people.

Then I decided that I had to do something about this disaster of a love affair I have with liquor.  While I can’t erase decades of resentment, I can stop fueling it with liquor.  Liquor is my lover and my antagonist.  And it’s time to get it under control.

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I committed to stop drinking for ten days.  It is imperative for me to confront my issues BEFORE pouring myself a glass.  I need to respect the bottle, and most importantly, myself.

I plan to be sober for ten days as a start (by the time you read this I will be five days sober!).  And I chose the most public platform I have to share this decision.  While I can continue to blame every single person that has ever done me wrong and remain in the undercurrent of misery, it is much healthier to take responsibility, heal my hurt and honor my life.  When I stop punishing myself, I know this loving, funny, smart, sassy, and sometimes crazy, independent-liberal leaning woman, will be ok.

And I trust that, eventually, my light will shine through the darkness.


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Cherry Maggiore is the proud single mom of her 9-year-old super-sassy daughter (aka Miss Sassy Pants or MSP) and 15-year-old pug baby (Tiki Barber); in addition to being an award-winning senior marketing executive at NBCUniversal.
Beside her side hustle as the Freak of Nurture, she also started a home design company after being inspired by renovating and designing her 1880’s home in NJ.
This insanely curious and passionate “multi-potentialite” can be found dancing the Argentinan tango, swing and Hustle every Saturday, cooking her family an Italian Sunday dinner, singing and air drumming at concerts or searching for her next adventure.

 

Why You Should Celebrate Halloween

BY: Padraic Maroney – “The Neurotic Urban Millennial”

After Birthdaypalooza, Friendsgiving, and Steak and Blow job day — none of which, unfortunately, are officially recognized federally or by banks — Halloween is my favorite holiday. It’s the one time of year when you can unabashedly let your freak flag fly and it’s okay to scare people and be scared.

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Halloween is unlike any other holiday that we celebrate during the year. All of the major holidays are marketed as a day for loved ones to come together to exchange presents, have a good meal, or just revel in the good fortunes of being healthy, happy, and above ground. On the other hand, Halloween celebrates everything that is buried six feet under. If you aren’t a fan of the spookiest of holidays, let me share why I think you should get onboard the corpse express!

It’s Less Stressful Than Other Holidays

Many of the other holidays can cause more stress than excitement from trying to find the best present, whipping up a feast for 20, or preparing your house to host all of the relatives that you don’t talk to the rest of the year. Halloween’s biggest concerns are finding an appropriate costume and not overdosing on candy.

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Now, don’t get me wrong, while I may not rank Christmas and Thanksgiving among my top holidays, I do love the holiday season. There’s always just something in the air that feels magical. But all of that magic comes at a price that Halloween doesn’t require you to pay. It’s a lower stakes holiday that is meant to be a fun day for everyone involved. If you aren’t having fun on Halloween, you are doing it wrong.

Being Scared Can Be Healthy

Since graduating college, I have worked in medical-related fields. So, while I don’t practice medicine, per say, I am basically a medical professional. If you’re sick, I can probably diagnose your ailment — and I accept all insurances and forms of payment.

With that being said, it’s my professional medical opinion that being scared at Halloween actually has many health benefits. Not everyone likes to admit to being scared, but really, it can be a healthy way to relieve stress and relax.(Coincidentally, it’s backed up by real professionals here.)

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Being scared also shows you a different side of people that you don’t get to see often. A few years ago, a group of friends and I went to a haunted house attraction. It was shortly after starting to date someone, and seeing their reaction to the scares and frights was my favorite part. Being scared in a controlled situation allows you to have fun and bond; expressing emotions that you might only share if you ran into a real-life Michael Myers or Ghostface. There’s something endearing about seeing the walls drop and see how people handle getting scared too.

Break Out From The Norm

But possibly the best reason to embrace Halloween is that for one night of the year, you can be whoever you want. Regardless of what you are, or how you feel about yourself, the other 364 days of the year, Halloween gives you the opportunity to dress up as a superhero, sexy nurse, zombie, sexy Harry Potter, or my personal favorite costume that I ever wore — Cookie Monster! (You’ll get to see a picture of that costume later this week.)

There’s so much external judgment and so many expectations on a typical day, that for this one day you can break free of all of that. You can do you, and depending on the costume people might not even know that is you under the make-up or mask.

Picking out a costume that helps to live your best life is key to maximizing the fun on Halloween. Maybe you want to pretend to be something that you can’t be on an ordinary day, or you want to pay homage to your favorite comic book or movie character. Whatever you pick for Halloween helps you express yourself and, barring those people who are indifferent to the holiday and just throw a costume together five minutes before going out, not worry about being judged for it.

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So, remember it’s just one day of the year. You can go back to your regularly scheduled activities on November 1st. But for one day of the year, it’s freeing just to have fun and enjoy yourself. Plus, it’s pretty much guaranteed that on Halloween you will get to break out those sweet “Thriller” dance moves that you learned as a kid.


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Padraic Maroney hails from upstate New York, suffering from middle child syndrome.  His writing career began after moving to the Philadelphia suburbs while in high school. He wrote for The Bucks County Courier Times’ Reality section, written by local teenagers, and has the distinction of writing a weekly gossip column for a college newspaper at a school he didn’t even attend! His love of pop culture led him to intern at Teen People, where he met Janis Gaudelli, and realized he could turn being a millennial into a career. Since then he’s alternated between writing and marketing, but always focused on Millennials and everything they bring to the table. Padraic is a lover of shenanigans, 80s music, and the movie “Scream.”

You can follow his additional adventures on Instagram: @padraicjacob

 

October’s “FAN OF THE FEELS” is…

This month’s “FAN OF THE FEELS” is: Ann Gallo

Ann has been one of our biggest cheerleaders, faithfully engaged since the day The Daily Feels launched.
Ann has liked our posts 71 times, commented 30 times and reads all of our blogs daily. For that and more, we are so very grateful and want to honor you as October’s, FAN OF THE FEELS!
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Dear Stranger…you need a hug?

BY: JB McCann – “The Phoenix”

What to write about this week? I’ve written this blog at least three times and started over wondering what in the world would a stranger want advice about from a normal woman like me?  I thought about my past few weeks, and here’s what I decided.

Dear Stranger,

I want to advise you on…

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. You don’t need my advice. No, seriously! What do I have to tell you that you don’t already feel in your heart? That subconscious of yours is your biggest critic and has the inside scope. I’m merely a reflection of how my presence is used in the story you tell.

So, here’s my heart talking to yours…telling you that you don’t need advice. I trust you know what you NEED to do in your life. No, you may not need advice at all. You do, however, deserve a hug. No matter if it’s the best day or the worst, a hug can magically add the positive spin we all so desperately need.

You see, I am a feeler. Luckily for my friends and family, I usually feel love. I do. In my soul, I know my job in life is to give love, genuine love, to as many people as I can…in how I speak to them…in how I raise my kids…how I forgive the unforgivable…how I listen to the unloveable…and recently, I learned that no one, NO ONE, can ever kill that love deep in my soul…not even me.

I’ve learned this about myself in the past few years as I personally faced trauma and despair and still managed to smile at some point afterward. See, hugs are a secret weapon from the heavens and perfected by humans. I truly believe that with all my hippy heart. So, I guess tonight…I just want to write about love and hugs.

There are enough people judging you and telling you how to live. I just want to love you into bravery… to encourage you to look in the mirror every day and choose to be better than you were yesterday. That is all I can ask of anyone on earth.

We all fail. We all break. We all fall. We all have an ugly cry-face. It hurts us all to struggle. Sometimes, feelings suck and if you are sitting in the midst of some bad stuff, I just want to love you out of it. I don’t want to pretend that my 5 steps will solve your issues. I don’t want to lie to you and say “it will be ok” when I have no clue if it will. All I have to offer you, Daily Feeler, is air hugs. If you are reading this and just OVER something…I’d love if you just accept my air hug and let it out.

Unfortunately, love doesn’t always look like butterflies and roses. Love can be absence, depression, grief, and even sheer torture…but think how much love you GAVE to feel THAT deep. When the tears fade, you will remember why the tears started and if you choose to hold onto it, I HOPE it’s in the name of love.

Life is hard right now for us all. Mother Nature is raging. Our country is raging. And all any of us can really do to fix it is find somebody to love. Love them fiercely, gently, genuinely, but most importantly without judgment.

When you get done reading this, I hope that a part of your soul awakens or grows to a new level of peace. I hope you feel inspired to have hard talks, to find real solutions rooted in kindness, and to believe you NATURALLY have it in you to be your best self.

I love that every day we get another chance to just elevate. If there’s air in your lungs, you got another shot to spread positivity either subtlety or at the top of your lungs. Hug someone and get excited about what you have yet to check off your list. I believe with all my soul that love is the best medicine. Your body may be going to sh**; your brain is frazzled to the max; but your soul…that’s untouchable and it thrives on love in the most healthy of ways.

Love and Hugs,
A normal woman in 2018

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blog footerJB McCann has worked in “The Biz” for almost a decade, yet she’s somehow managed to keep her feet firmly on the ground. Her altruistic spirit aims to evoke your Inner Phoenix and encourage readers to take the difficult leaps in life, so you can continue to grow.

I’ll Start On Monday!

BY: Janelle Williams, Health Coach – Guest Blogger

I’ll start on Monday!  How many times have you found yourself saying that? If you’re anything like me, COUNTLESS. Between Happy Hour on Friday’s after work and Sunday brunches, followed by Netflix and Chill sessions. All with wine, of course. Wine is healthy right? Its made from grapes…aaaand water. No? Eh, whatever.
Anyhow, the last thing on your mind is meal prepping and weighing yourself. Monday morning rolls around and it’s the usual rigamarole. Snooze a bit. Roll outta bed. Fish for something that fits. LAWD. Nothing ever fits. Dart out of the house. Crank up the radio. Must pump yourself up for the man. But first. Starbucks. Pull up, get the usual, mocha schmocha latte and a muffin. Get to the office and the first thing on the agenda: WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?! Girl. This was my life. For years. So, it’s not like I woke up one day and was 50lbs overweight. It was a culmination of all those little things I was or WASN’T doing.
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Let’s back up a bit though because I’m pretty sure life wasn’t always this way. I was active as a child. Always outside. Ran track. My family wasn’t super unhealthy but not fit either, just riiiiiight there in between. My parents did the best they could with what they knew. Only thing that stands out was the once a week TV dinners.
So what happened? How did I let myself go? Life happened. Putting others and my job before myself. Not making myself a priority because it seems selfish.
My breaking point? I found myself really unhappy. Though I masked it extremely well. Unemployed, overweight, unhappy. Taking my clothes off in front of my boyfriend, at the time, was uncomfortable. Which made sex awkward. Some may relate. My honey loved me, I knew that. But I didn’t love how I looked or felt. I was very self-consciousness. So what does any sane person who’s unhappy with their self-image do? Scroll social media. Seeing other fit women didn’t make me feel worse, but it certainly didn’t make me feel better. Until one ray of light crossed my timeline. I took a leap of faith and asked for help.
After trying what felt like every diet there is:
Master Cleanse
Atkins
South Beach
Counting calories
Phentramine
B-12 shots in the belly
Skipping meals
Slim Fast
Baby Food
Cabbage soup
None of them worked, not long term at least. I lost a pound or seven but quickly gained it back once I started breathing. Frustrated. When you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, you’re pushed into action. I was beyond tired.
That ray of sunshine I speak of above invited me out. I jumped at the invitation. It was an early Saturday morning. She was a complete stranger who helped me. She taught me about nutrition and eating for fuel, versus eating to get full. Two weeks later, in the middle of the week, I started my journey and never looked back. 30 days in, low and behold,  ya girl was down 12 freakin pounds!! Then another 18lbs. Finally losing a total of 45lbs. HOLY MOLY!! Honestly, I didn’t think I was that overweight. For the first time in years, at the tender age of 34, I had energy for days. Stamina baby.
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Since then, I’ve had a couple more kids but I’m proud to say I’m down over 50lbs postpartum. All this takes work. Mental work, more than anything. Over the years I learned the secret. The formula. 80% of getting results is what you eat, the other 20% is breaking a sweat. So many people have it the other way around. Killing themselves in the gym, then eating whatever they want.
Do you want to know what is the biggest component? MINDSET. 100% of it. Without the mindset you will not reach your goal. You will quit. You’re changing your lifestyle, and for a lot of us, generational habits. That takes mental work. So, if you’re finding yourself sick and tired and ready to get in shape and ready to change your habits – get mentally prepared first.
Dig deep. That sounds corny, but it’s the truth. Find out why you want to change. Why now? This “why” will keep you going when you’re ready to give up, and you will want to.
The big “why” for me was sex, and that’s okay. Whatever keeps you going. To help with the mindset, I implemented personal growth/development. First listening to Abraham Hicks – “A Belief is Only a Thought”, then Tony Robbins. – “Raising Your Standards”, Jim Rohn, Eric Thomas, Les Brown, Wayne Dyer, and countless others.  Taking all that in completely changed how I operated. I felt like a new woman. Happy. Inside and out.
You know what happens when you lose 30lbs and you’re happy, all glowy and shit. People start to notice. I had an opportunity to help other women feel amazing. Help other women change the way they operated around food. So now I had a purpose.
For anyone feeling frustrated and ready for change, get your head in the game first and the rest will follow. Make it a lifestyle change.  Eat intentionally. Meaning, know what serves you and your goals. Not every diet is meant for you. Enroll someone to hold you accountable, not someone who will enroll in your excuses. Remember, you want to change for the better.
I finally found something that works for me. I eat every 2-3hrs, which is about 5-6 times per day. One healthy balanced meal: lean protein, dark green veggies, and a healthy carb. Water!! Don’t deprive yourself. Just love your life, but make more healthy choices than unhealthy. One last thing, this one’s a doozy…cut back on the alcohol.
Well, that’s my time, it’s been real. I look forward to hearing all about your journey in the future. Don’t wait until Monday to change your life. Your life is every day.
If anyone is looking for accountability or help. I’m here for you.
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Janelle Williams, a household CEO, managing 3 kids, and a wellness business. After I worked on myself, I realized I could help others too. It’s been 6 years of helping mommy’s redefine and love their bodies.

Help Wanted – Inquire Within

BY: Janis Gaudelli – “Champion of Truths, Unicorns & AWE-tism”

I have always considered myself to be a pretty goal-oriented person.  I am always orchestrating my next move, pondering my next big idea, investing in personal development, etc.  I don’t do stillness well, at least when it comes to my career.  Currently, I am professionally idle.  My career compass is broken, and I am freaking the fuck out.

The main reason for my freak out is I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life.  Over the past few years, I have done so much work on “me” personally,  that I refuse to settle for anything that doesn’t ignite the fire within.  I am a believer in “life’s too short to be unhappy”. But the reality is, “life’s expensive and Mama has a mouth to feed”.  So sometimes discontent pays the bills.

There’s also another obstacle at play here: my age.  My skillset lies in studying human behavior and forecasting macro-futures.  The fuckery that is Corporate America views someone that does what I do at my age, as old, passé and incapable of progressive thinking.  Unfortunately, 40 isn’t the new 20 in Corporate America.  Whereas I keep myself looking fresh and up to date, and my spirit is young and open, you don’t experience that energy in a resume.  Companies look at the year you graduated from college and do the math.  I had heard women speak about getting to this place in their career.  Now I am one of those women…and it’s frightening.

This whole ageism thing snuck up on me.  It wasn’t until I started seeking out new opportunities when I realized, “Shit. This is real, and this is happening.”  So, what was I to do?  I spoke to women in my age camp and— get this—it turns out that women my age and older start “gaming the system.”  What is that, you ask? Gaming the system is leaving out dates on your resume so an employer cannot track how old you are.  This is a thing folks, and it makes me incredibly sad. We’re hiding our age in shame when we should be celebrating all the accomplishments that come with it.  I felt like I was back in the online dating game, where women would hide their age so they weren’t overlooked by potential suitors.

Pretending to be younger than we are is bad for us, because it becomes about denial and shame. Denying something that should not be shameful. Denying something that should be a source of pride and pleasure. It’s not good for us because it gives a pass to the discrimination that makes these behaviors necessary, and it’s got to stop.  As long as we surrender to this norm, and as long as we are not calling it out, we don’t change the system.  We need to advocate for larger systemic change.  This isn’t just a women’s issue (although more women face it than men), this is a human rights issue.

*Whoa, this blog just took a totally different turn.  That’s the thing, though: when you write from the heart, you’re never really in control over where the narrative takes you.*

While aging in my industry concerns me, the real worry here is that I lack direction.  I’ve lost my true north.  Believe me, I am trying to find my way, but it’s harder than it’s ever been.  I have immersed myself in countless conversations with friends, family and industry players for the past few months, and the question that continues to surface is the one I struggle with the most.

“What do you want to do next?”

The old me would have had a monologue prepared, with specific examples and a road map of how I plan to get there.  The current me? Well, after an awkward moment of silence, I spew something that sounds like, “Bullshit, bullshit, I have no fucking clue. I am scared, lost and directionless.  Please help.”

I am obviously struggling.  I am uncomfortable with inertia.  My anxiety is overriding any potential ideas that stretch me beyond my comfort zone.  I am simply, but ever so complicatedly, stuck.

So, what does a flailing goal-digger, future-thinker, obsessive planner, do?  What I always do: open my journal and write.  I found myself writing about times in my career when I felt fulfilled, happy and on my A-game.  Times when I created from my heart.  Times when I felt like I was making a difference.  Times when I was surrounded with creatives that encouraged me to level up.  And as I wrote, the room became illuminated.  The north star, which I had lost sight of, showed up and shined down bright upon me.  It was in that moment when I realized why I lost focus: I was thinking so much about what I would do next, that I forgot to feel.  I had gotten too much in my head and neglected my heart. I needed to FEEL my way through this time of uncertainty.

I wrote down this question: “How do I want to FEEL in this new role, at this new place, with these new people, making new things?”

This process is very familiar to me, because I spent the past year implementing something like it as it pertains to my next relationship, and I have journal entries to prove it.  I used to think about relationships the same way I thought about my career: everything was very logical and well-planned (and yet I wondered why it never worked out – lol).  I wasn’t feeling my way to my next love and that’s why he wasn’t showing up.  The relationship couldn’t only be about who I wanted to be with, I had to focus more on what I wanted to feel like with the person, and how I wanted to show up in that relationship.  By feeling my way into the next relationship, I’ll recognize it when it shows up because of how it feels.  I needed to work through that same process for my career.

Whereas I am nowhere near done, I am off to a good start!  I am getting unstuck.  This 47-year-old human behaviorist, researcher, and futurist-for-hire?  Well, she’s going to be alright.  I can feel it.

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janisbiopic

Janis Gaudelli is The Founder of The Daily Feels.  She started this passion project to reveal the magic behind storytelling, and how truth-based narratives bring people together in the most heart-warming of ways.

Fascinated by soul, depth, intellect, raw truths and rebellion with a cause. Often captivated by the awe of nature: star gazing, moon manifesting, sunset chasing, waves crashing, crickets singing. Fiercely curious about the inner-workings of the human psyche… she professionally studies human behavior for a living.  Forever proud and grateful for being a mom to the force that fuels her life: her 7-year-old son, and greatest professor, Kellan.

FOLLOW JANIS AND THE DAILY FEELS TRIBE @:  FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM

Finding The “G” Spot

BY: Debbie Arace – “Ray of Sunshine, Hope & Laughter”

A couple of months ago, I awoke in the middle of the night and decided to write a story on finding the “G” Spot.  I began to jot down my thoughts and before I knew it I was done.  I was pleased with what I had written.  Just as I was getting ready to go back to sleep, my husband woke up and asked what I was doing up so early.  I told him I was writing a story on finding the “G” Spot”.   His response, well I’ll leave that to your imagination.

The next day in a written conversation with Janis at “The Daily Feels”, I hinted about my story.  I believe it peaked her curiosity.  I may have told her that I might use it one day on the blog.  In any event, the day came when I was going to submit my next story.  I had two to decide from.  The first obviously was the “G” Spot story.  The second was a story on how I met my husband.  I couldn’t decide.  When I went to my iPad to read both stories and make my decision, I noticed that I couldn’t find the “G”  Spot.   What happened to it?  Where did it go?  I searched and searched for over two hours.  Nothing.  My “G” Spot story was gone.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to rewrite it in the same way, so I gave up on it.

Feeling frustrated I wrote to Janis and told her I couldn’t find my “G” Spot.  She said, “maybe it wasn’t meant to be”.  I supposed she was right, but being me I wasn’t gonna rest until I found it.  I searched high and low and just as I was about to give up, there it was.  I was ecstatic.  I found the “G” Spot.  I delightfully began reading it and realized I was not completely satisfied with what I had written.  The concept of the story was good, but my delivery was not as climatic as I had hoped.  I had to find a new way to express what I needed to release in thought.  I wasn’t sure when or how I would accomplish it, but I knew the end result would be pleasing.

I laugh as I’m writing this because there is a definite unplanned sexual undertone to the beginning part of my story.  I guess that’s what most would think Finding the “G” Spot was about.  Something on a sexual level.  They would be so wrong.  The “G” Spot I am referring to is not sexual at all.  It is, however, one of the most fulfilling and gratifying spots we will ever come to know.  It is the spot inside us all where the pleasure of knowing God can be found.  It is our God Spot.  We all have one.  Even men do.  Some of us think the idea of a God Spot is taboo.  They don’t believe He exists.  How could He exist and allow all the pain and suffering that we face to go on?  They’d rather believe in nothing than explore the possibilities of the existence of a God that can fulfill our every need.  That’s their choice.  They never have to search for Him if they don’t want to.

Not everyone has the same desires for what pleases them in life.  I, on the other hand, am always discovering new pleasure points in my relationship with God.  I am constantly being brought to ecstasy each time He touches my heart with a burning sensation of the most powerful love one could ever imagine.  It is not temporary.  It is a feeling that lasts and leaves me so fulfilled that I seek more and more.  It is an understanding that even though I may not always get what I want, (I usually do though) I will still reap the rewards of being patient and grateful for all that I am given.  Good and bad.  Both have reason in life.  Without struggles, pain, and hardship, how would I ever appreciate what is good?  If I doubted, how could I learn what it means to trust?  If I spent all my time trying to be fulfilled, I’d miss out on the real pleasure of life.

Most of what I’ve been given has come from fighting through some tough battles.  I  hid behind my weaknesses.  Once I allowed myself to trust God, those weaknesses turned into strength.  Everything I thought I was, I was not.  God showed me what I was capable of.  From a child who hated reading because I couldn’t comprehend, came an ability to write.  From a person who could not articulate what was felt inside, came a way to express myself.  Things that I thought I couldn’t retain, that left me feeling dumb, and inadequate, now surface to my shock and awe.  I see and hear things that are being expressed through me, and I know they come from God. Through my pain has come some of my greatest blessings.  I was blinded by my own preoccupation, by what was wrong, that I never saw what was right.  All that is transpiring in me at this time, is a direct result of me finding My God Spot.  It is a place that I can go anytime and leave feeling more fulfilled than the last time.

If you are feeling unfulfilled, dissatisfied, frustrated and are unable to reach a feeling of total ecstasy, may I suggest that you go in search of Finding your true “G” Spot.  I promise you, you will not be disappointed ;-).


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Married 44 years to my hubby, whose purpose in life is to prevent me from getting through the “Pearly Gates”.  Mother of two, Nanna of four loving granddaughters and retired secretary aka administrative assistant.  I went to the University of Hard Knocks where I received my Doctorate.  My thesis is titled:  ‘How To Survive Life’s Trials Without Killing Yourself or Someone Else’.  I live by the belief that when life throws you a curve, learn from it rather than use it against yourself.  Faith and humor are my survival kit.  Appreciate the simple things for they are the true treasures of life.

Couch Confessionals with… Jennifer Angarano-Ricci

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Couch Confessionals is a raw, honest chat session, where we go beyond the blog and dig into deep-truths about each of The Daily Feeler’s.  This month on the “Couch” – Jennifer Anagarano-Ricci, “Ms. Happy, Alive & Built to Survive” speaks beautifully to her breast cancer journey, as well as the lessons she’s taken away from it all.  You will most definitely be inspired by this amazing human.  Check out the Q&Slay below…

An Open Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self

BY: Janis Gaudelli – “Champion of Truths, Unicorns & AWE-tism”

Have you ever come across a photo of yourself when you were younger and feel immediately transported back to that place and time?  Then, when you’re back in that place and time, did you ever want to pass along something to your younger self?  Some “need to knows” that will set your younger mind at ease, so you can live your life unrestricted?  Yeah, me too.

This happened to me about a month ago when I came across a photo of my 16-year-old self. As I studied that picture (after laughing at my outrageously massive 80’s hair), I noticed a vacancy in my eyes.  Looking closer, I noticed my smile was a bit forced and unconvincing.  If there had been a thought bubble above my head it would have read: “Help, I am lost. Save me.”

16meMy 16-year-old self

At 16, I was confused, scared, sad and navigating life with a broken compass.  Looking at that photo, I was transported back into the skin of my 16-year-old self. I could feel her anxiety, her restlessness. She was concerned about her next move and how the hell she would escape the space she currently occupied.  She needed help, guidance, and some encouragement that things were going to be okay.

It was in that moment where I felt I owed it to myself to assist the younger me.  So, I took the picture, pinned it to the corkboard in front of my desk, and reached for my journal to start writing a letter to 16-year-old self.  This letter wasn’t so much a forewarning to my younger self, because she needed to learn all the lessons life would throw her way, to become the woman she is today.  This was a letter to let her know– and to reiterate to the 47-year-old me– that despite the twists, turns and detours of life, she did good and I am proud of her.

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So, what would you pass along to your 16-year-old self?  I encourage you to pull out a picture of your younger self, study it, get a feel for what he/she needs to know, and then write her/him a letter.  It’s a gratifying and heartwarming activity.  I can guarantee you will feel grateful for how well the older you has fared on your life journey thus far.


janis

Janis Gaudelli is The Founder of The Daily Feels.  She started this passion project to reveal the magic behind storytelling, and how truth-based narratives bring people together in the most heart-warming of ways.  Fascinated by soul, depth, intellect, raw truths and rebellion with a cause. Often captivated by the awe of nature: star gazing, moon manifesting, sunset chasing, waves crashing, crickets singing. Fiercely curious about the inner-workings of the human psyche… she professionally studies human behavior for a living.  Forever proud and grateful for being a mom to the force that fuels her life: her 7-year-old son, and greatest professor, Kellan.

FOLLOW JANIS AND THE DAILY FEELS TRIBE @:  FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM

My Divine Passage

BY: Dee-Dee Kanhai – “The Spice of Suburbia”

S.E.X., sex.

We have been learning about sex since grade school, where we would be carefully guided through “Sex Ed” by our Gym Teacher who’d rather get a line drive to the face than say “intercourse” to a bunch of pre-teens.

I grew up in a home where my parents were affectionate, at times more than I could stomach. Watching them hug was enough affection for me, never mind the awkwardness of seeing them kiss. However, I am sure from an outsider’s perspective, they were just a young couple in love.

There was the dreaded, ONE SINGLE TIME… I walked into their bedroom without knocking… The story goes like this: every Sunday morning my mother cooked a breakfast fit for a king at 8am SHARP! On this particular Sunday, I was perplexed by her RUDE tardiness! So, I went straight up those stairs, walked into their bedroom and got exactly what I deserved for being a BRAT. A full on visual of my parents… let’s just say… doing the “unspeakable”!

I slipped out as fast as I went in. I was silent and horrified.

Then, as any normal little sister would, I turned to my much (15 months) older sister Tracey, and said, “Mom and Dad want to see you, now!” As she got up, I pulled the covers over my head. I held my breath until I heard a blood-curdling scream. I knew I was not in this nightmare alone anymore. For the record, we both lost our appetite and she is yet to forgive me.

I have determined (without any scientific study, of course) there are three “types” of people when it comes to SEX, stick with me here.

  1. The Private Ones. These people believe that the subject of SEX and SEXUALITY should be kept behind closed doors. Sex should never be discussed openly or freely with ANYONE. SEX is between two partners and what happens in the bedroom, stays in the bedroom types.

 

  1. The OBNOXIOUS Ones. Everyone knows them, the people who can make sexual innuendos about wallpaper. They come in all shapes and sizes, male and female, elderly or college kids, it doesn’t matter. Typically they do NOT care if they are making anyone uncomfortable with their “jokes”. They’ll reference sex as often as possible, and as loud as possible, to whoever will listen! (My assumption: these people have the worst sex life of all)

 

  1. EVERYONE ELSE. Then there are people in the middle. Mature humans who can have a colorful conversation about sex in appropriate settings, at a reasonable volume without making others uncomfortable. They are open enough to get their point across without crossing lines, making others cringe or feel weird. They talk about sex in a way that reminds us it is natural and a part of most adult lives.

First, let me say, to each their own.

But, I always thought I was a SOLID #3 (according to my unscientific study). For instance, I am cool with sex. Actually, I have been a fan of it for decades! I practice it on the regular. I am open to conversations about sex! As a parent, I talk about it to encourage safe and healthy sex when appropriate.

At a little party last year, a friend made a joke at my expense. “Dee-Dee’s husband hasn’t gotten some since Chloe was conceived”.  Mind you, he literally had just “gotten some” hours before, so when I corrected my friend, I was stopped mid-sentence “Ewww, it’s like listening to my parents talk about doing it! PLEASE STOP!”, so I stopped.

It occurred to me, these were my peers! What was it about me that gave them this impression?

Even worse, I immediately thought, if I wasn’t “sexy” to others, would that make my husband less attracted to me? Things seemed great, but maybe I completely lost my “SEX APPEAL”, and I was missing the cues.

These interactions make me think, I am not a #3, I’m a #1.

I was obsessed with it at home. I began asking my husband questions and nothing he said or did (and he tried) could remove this thought from my head.

I summed it up like this. My meditation practicing, beaded jewelry making, vegetarian dinner eating, farm animal loving, Chihuahua in a sweater walking, sunshine and rainbows Dee-Dee was a TOTAL turn off to men… AND EVEN WORSE… TO WOMEN! (Admit it, ladies, it’s lovely to get compliments from other females.)

Am I…. Dare I say it? UNSEXY!

Listen, I know my daughter believes she is here from Immaculate Conception, which is fine, I don’t need her to think mom’s a VIXEN. But, everyone else, I assure you I am not asexual. (Again, no judgment!)

Maybe it was because I was turning 39 when this whole realization came over me, but I wasn’t going to settle for it, I am The Spice of Suburbia, DAMMNIT!

SO I BEGAN MY QUEST FOR ANSWERS! (And I dug deep Y’all)

First, there were quite a few conversations about this in therapy. I was seeing an amazing therapist at the time, we reached some major conclusions on the subject – mostly “this was in my head”. Groundbreaking shit.

Of course, I also began reading, SO MUCH READING I ended up down a rabbit hole, and when you are researching sexuality that is a deep – dark hole…

And then, as with everything else in life, the Universe delivered.

Her name, Kundalini.

Oh, the sweet practice of Kundalini Yoga.

As a yogi, I was shocked when this practice was brought to me. I had heard the word Kundalini – but never really knew the meaning or benefits. Kundalini Yoga works on your “primal energy” and it focuses on the base of your spine, that deep and sacred root chakra. Think just below your belly button, your hips, your pelvis, and your lower back.  Then it combines a deep meditation with a tantric breathing exercise.

I fell in love with the BLISS that came from a true, kind, deep kundalini practice. I practiced in a group setting first, then one on one with an instructor who I met at a drop-in class. I explained I was seeking more, so she kept me there and worked with me.  I was in my element.  I was able to deepen my yoga practice even further and learn something new. I discovered a part of myself I had never tapped into before, through yoga and meditation.

In one word, I discovered my SENSUALITY.

That was it, simply put. I was so concerned with outward sexuality that I was ignoring my inward sensuality. We are overwhelmed with society telling us what “sexy” is, but the truth is that we are all the keepers of our own sensuality. It can be tamed and unleased as WE see fit. That is the beauty of it.

Once I was ready to take this a step further, I treated myself to a “sensual healing session” with the GREAT Michelle Alva, (Goddess and Healer). I booked a three-hour session in her studio on Key Biscayne. In these three hours, I was as vulnerable as I had ever been in my life. I was undressing in the daylight, the room intoxicating with the burn of incense, roses, and oils. With each piece of clothing removed, I detached from pain, trauma, and inhibitions. Finally, I fully surrendered to the process. Just laying on a bed of rose petals, covered in oils and serenaded with the sounds of singing bowls and chimes, I felt more feminine than ever. We worked on my pelvic floor, where I hold most of my tension. My lower back, my hips, thighs. Parts of my body that I often neglected. She reminded me that what I put out is what I get back. I had to ignite my sensuality.

Some have been taught that there is guilt that comes with sex or that it is “dirty”, this practice helps break those thoughts if those are your blocks. Your sexual energy is craving for a union of any kind, it’s craving for attention. It doesn’t always or EVER need to come from an outside source. You should be able to go into your heart, create a healthy relationship with your own sexuality and with the universe around you.

I worked on being in the moment, I felt bliss and transcended. All of my senses were aroused, and I was a goddess. Many are able to reach the ultimate pleasure during these sessions, with simply the sound, smell, sight, breath, and vibrations. Others are able to stay on this high frequency throughout the process. Everyone will have a different result, I felt like I was riding a wave. Moments were very high and blissful, others were relaxing and effortless. I tapped into my sensual creative force. I illuminated my chakras. One by one, each part of my body felt like it was loved. The experience was amazing and I was whole.

Although it has been a year since this day, I can still recount my sensual awakening minute by minute. Nothing changed in my physical appearance, but how I saw myself evolved.

I was no longer focused on the “idea” of being sexy. The “type of sexy” that I am cannot be found on the pages of magazines. I am fine with that.

Since I had my “Sensual Awakening”, I have encouraged so many people I know to give it a try, especially women my age. I even created a Sensual Awakening Meditation focused on Women, which I offer as one of my Meditation Classes. It is truly a gift to see people have that moment like I did, when their ideas or blocks about their own sexuality are crushed by their heightened SENSUALITY.

As my 40th Birthday is slowly creeping up on me, I believe I am on the exact path I was meant to be on.  One of my most beloved quotes is, “BE A FOUNTAIN, NOT A DRAIN”, and sharing this very personal story today is me… being a fountain.


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Dee-Dee Kanhai, aka “The Spice of Suburbia”, was a big city girl for 25 years who was transplanted to the Suburbs of Northern New Jersey. This relocation led to her “undoing” and with that, the discovery of her true self. Besides being a wife and mother to a teenage daughter and toy Chihuahua, Dee-Dee works in finance and owns a small Etsy Shop @LoveTheUndoing, where she sells heart-made jewelry, crystals, and other whimsical crafts. Dee-Dee is a student of life, teacher of meditation, practicing yogi and a mystical moon child.

Dee-Dee’s Etsy Shop

Love The Undoing Website