Who Am I?

Welcome to this healing blog.  This site focuses on writing; the content related to my professional healing practice has its own space.  Click here to enter that space. 

I practice as a Feldenkrais teacher, TARA Approach practitioner, and counselor who is trained in EMDR. I teach various forms of shamatha meditation as I learned them under the instruction of my teacher, Thrangu Rinpoche. In August of 2014 I began shamanic initiation and training.  Essentially, I'm an indigenous American healer, born and raised in Austin, Texas, with many healing threads that weave together into a tapestry as unique as the person I help

I dance with Julie Nathanielsz and Heloise Gold, both recipients of Austin Critics' Table awards for their work.  In addition to dance, I studied percussion for a number of years, and have recently come back to the study of music and drumming under the tutelage of Hossam Ramzy.

I hope that your visit here finds you something to laugh about, something to think about, something to dream about. 

You can subscribe to the blog through the boxes on the right. 

Peace to all, and thanks for visiting.

To Assess Needs, To Speak Them

I took overnight to sit on what happened yesterday with the accidental text message. I took time to look at what bothered me so much about it. I believe that when something really bothers me, I need to do two things: get clear about where the bother is coming from, and then find the need I have around the bother. If that makes sense.

So, after sleeping on it, I understand that what bothered me about the situation yesterday is that it appears to me that the Writer didn't like the way certain things were going with someone he was dating, and instead of talking to her about it, he was processing it with the friend he intended to text, and going on dates with someone else (me). It's important to me that if someone has an issue with something I'm doing that they bring it up with me first rather than taking it to other people or acting out their discontent in some other kind of way that could be hurtful. So the request I need to make has to do with asking that things be brought to me directly first.

So I wrote that text this morning and feel at peace with it. Maybe I'll see him again and maybe I won't. It's up to him to see if he can accept my terms. If he can, I'd be happy to go out with him again. If he can't, no hard feelings, it was two nice dates and everyone can move on unimpeded. I don't like anything that hints of passive aggression or not talking about things directly. I believe that the clarity of our intention and communication very much sets the tone for how well a relationship functions. I'm interested in clear intentions, and honesty, and the maturity that allows a person to talk directly about things instead of triangulating them somehow. 

I understand that it's a normal part of the dating process to talk to your friends about what's going on, but I believe the person you're dating is the one who has the most right to information about how they are landing with you. To talk to other people about it and not them strikes me as unfair and not that mature. That's all.

So that's what that is. It's laid to rest; I can move on with my weekend. Feelings-needs-values--that's the shit I work on. Yea?

Whatever, Man.

I don't know what was more interesting today.

Opening my office door and seeing a little black and white Chihuahua wearing a pink tutu. Yes, really. Such is the ambiance of my office complex.


Getting a text from the Writer, meant to go to someone else, about another woman he has been dating, who is apparently named Jennifer. 

Very interesting.

I already told this guy I'm not interested in being one of a chain of women he's dating. I already said I'm looking for a relationship. I enjoy him. We really get along, there's chemistry and I think we are highly compatible. HOWEVER. If he's not in for a relationship, I'm not in for jack shit. 

Needless to say, the text conversation that followed this was rather lengthy. I reiterated my boundaries. I also said that, as a woman, I didn't like getting this about another woman even if it was by accident. I understand that, especially with online dating, it may overlap that you might end up going on dates with more than one person at a time. However, this text was about a woman he has apparently been seeing for some length of time. I am not too excited about the idea of someone doing a similar report card on me to others. I wonder why he didn't talk to "Jennifer" about what he didn't like about her, just vis a vis, you know?

I suppose people do that, talk to their friends (who the text was meant for) instead of the person directly. But I don't like that. I talk to the person directly before I ever talk to anyone else. It doesn't make me feel good to think of potentially being in "Jennifer's" position. 

He accepted what I had to say and apologized. He really likes me, I think--at least it seems that way--but right now I'm put off. I just need to time out and think about whether I want to go out with this guy again. As of last evening, I really liked him, but having this drop on me today, now I'm not sure. He still has an online profile up so he could date me and still be trying to meet other women just like he apparently was doing with her. I'm not crazy about this idea. I really liked this guy but man, I just don't know. 

There are guys out there who do focus on one woman at a time. The other two guys I met were open that they are this way. Guys his age are often looking to just date around, to maintain some kind of ongoing thing so that they get the benefits of having a girlfriend without any progression or commitment. Especially when they have kids at home, like he does. I know this drill. And I'm just not sure. I don't like that I am already questioning his honesty and intentions after two dates. I also get, though, that it was two dates and that in the world of online dating, this sometimes happens.

I dunno. Doesn't matter right now. I have a lot on my plate for the weekend--a show with Jonathan, Charlotte's memorial, movie with Megan, rehearsal with Hel, Ellen's show. I won't need to think about this for at least another three days when the air clears again. 

The Chihuahua was cute; wish I'd gotten a picture. 

And I think to myself that as unpleasant as this was, I'm protected. Information that I need to know comes to me. It comes in strange ways. A dropped sentence to someone. An accidentally pushed button on a phone. I am looked out for. I know this.

He says that he isn't dating or sleeping with anyone else now--as of this evening, so presumably he ended things with "Jennifer" today. I just don't know if I believe him at this point. I have to take what he says at face value because I don't know him. I do know that if I go out with him again, it's going to take longer now to win my trust. This wasn't helpful in that department.

What I do know is that I don't have to figure it all out right this minute. Tomorrow's Friday. 

Super Duper Fun Time

Second date with the writer. I didn't think it was going to be a date. It turned into a super fun date. I kind of get the impression he's possibly reconsidering his view of monogamy. Turns out the marijuana thing is actually quite minimal, which was a relief to hear. We get along great--it's kind of amazing, actually. He's very chill, centered, thoughtful, warm. A good offset to all my nervous energy. I had a really, really fun time and it looks like another date might be on the horizon sometime soon.

I didn't feel that good today but the evening really made up for it. Just ugh, my abdominal wall is a mess, and it hurts and is so uncomfortable. Jonathan is going to straighten it all out over time, but it's just not that fun right now. I try to stretch but honestly, it just doesn't feel that great to do it. Bleah, all this post surgical fallout--but at least I'm up and about doing my life, right?

Who knew a woman could have such a good date? I feel kind of amazed. Good stuff.

Too tired now. Sleep. Tomorrow's another day.

It Is. It Isn't.

Another date tonight. Nice guy. But, hmmm. Def has a fetishy thing going on. Not really for me, though he might could be a friend, but not sure. Still, an OK time, he was fun to talk to.

Guy #1 smokes a little weed and "isn't against monogamy but is trying to stay away from expectations." Okay. I decided to sum it up for him: You either want an exclusive relationship and you're dating to find that. Or you don't and you're not. There really isn't a middle ground. A middle ground would be like being a little bit pregnant. No such thing. If you are looking to date around, cool. We'll be friends and that's all we will be. If you change your mind you can let me know.

Strangely, straightening this out, which took many texts, appears to have enamored him of me for the day. I have no idea why. He probably just thinks I'm cute because I fronted him off. He'll get over it. We're supposed to hang out tomorrow. I'm not even going to think of it as a date because, you know, non monogamy. Whatever man. You're on the fence smoking a little weed and don't know what you want so everything comes out as a vague negative: I'm not opposed to monogamy...Okay, I don't even know what that means. I'm not opposed to jackets. I'm not opposed to raindrops. But what do you want, dude?

Marijuana does not help sort this out, as I've pointed out before.
Oh well. We'll be friends. Just another attractive, successful guy friend who I don't date because he doesn't get it. Got a bunch of those. Love them all. It's alright.

I have a third date with a guy on Thursday. A guy I had a lot of shyness about writing to because I thought he was so cute. He answered. He seems nice and sweet and, at least up front, actually pretty normal. God. I hope so.

Then I need to take a break.

It is what it is. 
It isn't what it isn't.

Dance Is Love.

This is the most badass thing. 
Just watch it. 
Full screen if you can. 
Dance. is. love.

A Nice Date

Yea. I had one today, it was one of those unexpected last minute "I happen to be free do you happen to be free?" type things. We talked for a long long time. Very intriguing man--Ph.D, writer, insightful, thoughtful. Another package deal guy--two kids, 8 and 11. 

I have to spend more time thinking about this whole package deal thing. It's obvs that a lot of good men come with package deals. Well, I'm not in any hurry to get into anything. I make it really clear that I'm taking my time here and expect others to do the same, at least as far as anything that might become more serious. I seem to be attracting few, but quite high quality, guys for the most part, very successful ones--about 80% six figure earners, I'd say. 

It's interesting to me how, since I re-entered the dating world last year, I seem to attract high earning men. It never used to be that way. Then again, having a master's degree, having my own business, not having kids, and being who I am makes me a bit of a unicorn at this point. I don't have time to go on a million dates anyway, so it's all about the right fit. And assessing the right fit takes time. The other great thing is, I'm meeting guys I would actually be friends with, which feels nice.

Pain levels are back up the last day or so; I don't know why, or if I should be concerned. I'm still off of Tramadol. Not sure what to think of that. I was doing fine and then...suddenly started hurting out of nowhere. Mostly around the scar, strangely. I'm icing it and keeping an eye on pain levels--Allen emphasized to me that it's not a good idea to let myself get into too much pain because it's so depleting. Maybe I'll try doubling up the Aleve tonight. I've been feeling tired again, too. Maybe it's all just another round of healing stuff. I hope so.

Tired. Today's over. Tomorrow starts again.

Relief And Joy/I Pour Out My Heart

The crowd. The man at the door smiles at me and opens his hand inward: The musicians are in there. He must think I'm with the ensemble. I smile at him and walk into the Sahara Lounge.

After a moment I realize I don't know exactly who I'm looking for, meaning I've never met him so I don't know what he looks like. So I approach the stage and ask if they know him and where he is. One of the musicians puts down his instrument and leads me outside. He touches a man on the shoulder, he turns around, and a huge smile breaks over his face as he sees the okonkolo under my arm. I see the beads around his neck and a deep feeling of relief breaks over me: he's an initiate. He's the right one.

He comes in close with a beaming smile: thank you, thank you so much, it's so good to meet you. I present the drum to him formally. He bows low, putting his hands underneath, his forehead touching the wood. Murmuring some words. Finally, after all these years of waiting, I can let this drum go to its next home. He is the right person. His is the right place. The healing intent of this drum will continue uninterrupted.

I am so happy.

He says, "I really want to give you something for this."

"Lessons," I said simply. "I want an energy exchange. Not money."

He smiles. Of course he does. We both know the deal. That's the deal.

I stay for the show. It's great. He will keep me posted on the start of the rumba group. In the crowd I see a man I've seen many times before, a good friend of Master Strategist's. I decide to finally re-introduce myself to him, since I've seen him in the same places I go to many times. He remembers me, and we end up talking for a good part of the evening. Or rather, he talks and I listen carefully, as I like to do.

At some point he looks at me seriously and says, "Elaine, I am pouring out my heart to you. I don't know why I'm doing that."

I look at him thoughtfully. Finally I say, "The reason I've not approached you before is that you have this sadness behind your eyes. Something is not right with you and you."

He agrees, and talks about that. Then other people come around the fire pit. I spend the rest of the evening talking to a young Berber man from Morocco, learning about his culture. The Imazigh. The free people. So beautiful. He was so generous in his sharing and also so happy that I knew so much about his culture, not much at all but far more than the average American. He said, "Thank you for knowing about us."

"I know so much more now," I said, grateful. "What a rarity to meet a true indigenous Imazigh. What an honor."

A beautiful evening among the drums and the people of the earth.

You Can Take The Rabbit

So today I had to write a letter for a client so that she could transport her pet rabbit on the airplane to move to another state.

Apparently many airlines have a policy that if you are transporting anything other than a dog or a cat, you must provide a letter from a licensed mental health provider stating that the person transporting the animal is under treatment for something in the DSM and needs to have the animal with them for emotional support.

Wow. HIPPA violation, anyone? 

I can see an airline not wanting someone to show up with, say, a llama and wanting to take it with them, but that person would have had to call ahead about where to put it anyway. Maybe they are afraid someone's ferret will get loose and run around biting ankles.

Definitely one of the strangest requests I've gotten so far--and I happily wrote the note, including a stern bit of snark about HIPPA for the idiots at the airline.

I also had a meet with a dear friend who is widely and deeply knowledgeable about ancient cultures. So I decided to ask her about polyamory. I said, "Some people believe that monogamy is an imposed state and that polyamory is natural to man. What do you think?"

I mean, she is someone who'd know.

My friend burst out laughing. She said, "While there have certainly been all kinds of arrangements throughout human history, and people have tried different things, it is absolutely not true that polyamorous societies are the norm. In fact, every society or social experiment that based itself on a free-love approach has exploded in an ugly way and sunk from view. That's what happened to the communes of the 60s and 70s. 

"Pair bonding is one of the stabilizing forces for society in terms of genetic health, child care, limiting the spread of disease, economic advancement and the fostering of art and culture. This is why you see it in lasting cultures. Sometimes I think people are romanticizing tribalism, thinking there is some kind of former 'Golden Age' we can all return to where things were simpler and jealousy, territorialism, violence, and conflict didn't exist. There is no such Golden Age."

So that was interesting too. Well, so much for that then. I'm monogamous, I guess. I'm interested in pair bonding. I'd probably be okay with "monogamish," but full on polyamory? Nope. It just doesn't seem viable to me, doesn't seem like something that can really hold together if a lot of people (say more than 4) are in the mix. I can actually see 3 or 4 people working in a stable long term thing, IF they are all well matched and commit to making it long term, but not more than that--it all just starts to fray at the seams. My friend, who actually visited a number of the communes mentioned above, said, "Most of the people involved in these social experiments came from dysfunctional or abusive families and did not have good relational role models. There was an air of frantic lostness that was palpable. It was very sad."

My friend also remarked that she's sick and tired of white middle class people (which appears to be a large majority of the polyamory movement) appropriating what they think "tribal culture" is in order to justify just whatever the hell it is they feel like doing. She said, "If people like this ever bothered to actually study tribal culture, they'd realize how wrong they are. People can do whatever they want, but it's racist and wrong to suggest that it's justified or supported by what ancient peoples did when that's not even the case."

So that's what that is!

Package Deals, And All That

Well, this is a good week: for the first time in months, I am off of Tramadol. And today I'm going to try to not take any Aleve either and see how it goes. Even a few days without Tramadol has cleared my brain and restored my memory to a huge degree, which is fun. I'm looking forward to clearing all this liver-taxing stuff out of my body and to how I will feel in a few more weeks.  

Being at work has been good too; it makes me sit still, which has been important for my healing, and it gives me time between sessions to process things. You know, I'm glad I took a look into that whole polyamorous situation, even though I don't think it's for me. I was reflecting on how, really, it's pretty similar to any other "package deal"--a guy who has kids, or a guy who has his elderly mother living at home, or whatever. 

Package deals are hard--you have to be down for everything in the package. As a woman without any dependents, my own business, my own schedule, I'm a pretty free person in almost all respects, and as such I would really have to like all of the elements of a "package" to commit myself to it. In this case, I just didn't feel it. I mean, if I'd met the other people in the group and thought to myself, wow what amazing people, I could see them becoming friends, it would have been different. But I just can't really see myself getting along with a group of cranky, anti-marriage, anti-monogamy vegans. I don't see the point in being so against things you never plan to do yourself; why mack on how other people choose to live when it doesn't even affect you? 

It's ironic, isn't it, to get that from a group of people who think of themselves as so progressive. I would just end up creating problems with my classically Texas-Democrat politics, viewpoints, diet, and attitudes. (I always wonder why most of the vegans I've met in my life are so cranky. B12 deficiency maybe?) And then there's the fact that there's a kid in the picture, a 3 year old, who I didn't know about and who is around part time. I don't date men who have young children at home, and given that this is a "package deal" the same thing applies even though the child isn't his. 

And then there's the fact that I'm just rather a private person. I'm not really into talking and talking about everything about a relationship all the time. It's apparent to me that a lot of information about me has already been shared with these two people, without checking with me first to see how I felt about it. I don't think I needed to meet the girlfriend before even knowing if I wanted to date this guy, and I don't know what I think of being talked about under the same circumstances. It just feels too gossipy or something. I get that everyone talks to their friends about their dates or whatever, but usually you don't have to actually meet these people for a while, certainly not until after you are actually dating one another and have been for a bit.

Oh well. I'd still be down for being friends with Maestre Wargames, I like him and we get along, so that's still a plus that potentially came out of the situation. No losses happened there. 

I'm also thinking about yesterday. About how my friend told me that Crazy Ex said something to Charlotte before she died about me, and my dating life, which he would only know about if he was reading this blog. The Crazy Ex attached himself to Charlotte after I and all of my friends cut him off and refused to have anything to do with him. She was the last remaining link to me, and now she's gone. He's such a damn creep. I hope he doesn't show up at her memorial, but I wouldn't put it past him to do something that tacky and creepy. However, the family has already thought about this and placed me with them in the family pew, so even if he does, I'm covered. 

I'll sure as shit bet he's not having much luck with HIS dating life. He doesn't really have a lot to offer.

Ah well. On with the day.