pissed off

I didn’t want to write this

do this, screw this.

my pain is real, so

much so,  to complain, no

I’m not gonna  go,  there

it doesn’t feel like

your business, my this

but I’m here to tell you

sell you, my line of thinking

winking, to myself knowing

showing,  it’s not true

my brew, hypnotize,

attempts and tries

but if you are still

listening, my shrill

voice screams, it beams

it yells, it hurts like hell

if you must know, you

turned low, you don’t know

shit about me, words free

you can’t see, you don’t read

open your eyes, my

disguise, it’s all lies.

done, finished



photo by Barbara Paulsen of tandemechoes.com.

Can our bodies change our minds?


Last weekend, I attended a two day conference.  Very rapidly, I became aware of the mini social experiment that was occurring right before my eyes.  Within a mere 48 hours, you could tell exactly who were the extroverts, who were the talkers, who felt confused, who were the leaders, the followers, the jokers and the brown-nosers.  It was not necessarily what they said, it was more the non-verbals.  Standing instead of sitting. Raising hand straight up or propping it up like it was not able to raise on its own. Slumping.  All these started to inform my brain who was who in the classroom.  And it all could have been assumed just by watching.

Then I read an article in Wired magazine about the research of Amy Cuddy, and then watched her TEDtalk.  It turns out you can infer lots of things about a person’s body “language” as I did in my conference.  But what’s really cool, what’s news you may even be able to use, is that being in what Cuddy calls “power postures” can actually make you feel more powerful.  What?

Cuddy’s research goes on to say that if you assume the power postures she suggests for two minutes, you can feel more assertive, more optimistic, better able to think abstractly, task risks, reduce your cortisol and become less stress reactive.  Your brain’s neurochemistry is actually influenced by how you choose to position yourself in the world.  So I decided to try this.  First, I tried it at work.  Didn’t go so well.  Our office is so small and four or five people have to share it.  So making myself “bigger” in my power postures wasn’t very doable.  Plus, I felt weird.  It occurred to me that I was used to making myself small at work, partly because of space limitations.   But also maybe because all my co-workers are pretty amazing and are doing some really cool stuff, and  I can be a bit intimidated by them.

So the next part of the plan involved me doing the power postures before work.  Or before a meeting, or anything I might be a little nervous about.  And you know what?  Even when I was alone and had plenty of space, it was hard for me to do them.  I am used to making myself small:  curling up, hunching over my smartphone, etc…so it was really tough to make myself do it.  Yet another exercise in understanding my brain and how it relates to my body.  This research was done in 2012 and I’m off to look up what Cuddy has discovered lately.  But I’m pretty sure it’s going to conclude what we all have at some point- you can’t just tell your brain what you want it to do:  stop smoking, lose weight, stop yelling at your kids.  You have to get your body to listen.


photo by Barbara Paulsen at tandemechoes.com.



slippery thinking

skittery hands, writhe

back and forth, girl

knead knead need


faster the brooding

catch her now, drifts

floating away, girl

slow slow slow


stop it now so

talk her down to

quiet, the ground, girl

be be be


wounding, winding

spiraling stop, no

get it together, girl

snap snap snap


this road ain’t owed

dead end behind, look

ahead of you, girl

know know no


sink it down, please

gravity guides you to

grab goodness, girl

hold hold hold


photo by Barbara Paulsen at tandemechoes.com

50 is the new 40. And other bullshit.



Turning 50 had put Shelley in a pensive mood.  She found herself staring often, caught up in thoughts.  Thinking.  Pondering.

There were the obvious thoughts.  My life is half over.  I don’t feel 50.  How did this happen so fast?  How did I get here?  (Talking Heads, people.  Look it up).

In her mood of  contemplation, Shelley told her husband she wanted to go to New York for a visit.  She hadn’t seen her cousin in a while, and it had been too long since they had spent time in her beloved city.  She hadn’t lived in New York for a long time, but her deep connection to the place had never faded.  After all, it was where she and Tom had met.  It was where her business had taken off.  Yes, eventually she sold the business so she could take care of her boys.  But this time, her sister would take care of them. They booked a long weekend.

What a fabulous trip!  Swanky hotel!  Beautiful crisp New York weather!  Familiar and new sights!  Hot sex! Shelley and Tom dreamed and planned incessantly.  The boys would love it here!  The culture is unequaled.  Think of all the things to do every single weekend!  Everywhere they walked, the shops were vibrant, the food impeccable. The corner where they had their first kiss?  Well, of course they repeated the memory.  All the warm feelings of falling-in-love days simmered inside them.  New York was it.  They had to move.

After the flight home, Shelley woke up ragged.  She poured a strong cup of brew and looked around her kitchen.  Tom had remodeled it 5 years before. Her cookbooks were just where she liked them.  The boys were reading in the breakfast nook.  Behind them, the sun had just begun to bathe the apple orchard in morning light.  Their dog Hank was chasing a crow around the backyard.  Pulling her thick robe around her, she thought for the millionth time how cold it was in the house.  The 1920’s era heater had kicked last month.  And yet…her coffee had never tasted so good.  And she had never felt so warm.

Tom came home after work, tired and achy.  As she rubbed his shoulders, she told him what she’d been thinking all day.  She wanted to stay.  They’d be working like slaves if they moved just to afford a nice place and of course a private school.  They would have to abandon their dreams of traveling the world.  She would miss her friends dearly, and the boys couldn’t live without the treehouse. As she stated her case, she looked down at his head and inhaled the sweet smells of wood, grease, hard work and the country.  When she finished talking, she paused and waited for his response.  He turned around to look up at her, and slowly, knowingly, he smiled.

Nowadays Shelley has been busy readying the apple orchard, chasing the occasional mole and hauling wood.  The heater’s not fixed but it’s not that cold, really.  It’ll keep.  And she tells herself maybe 50 isn’t the new 40.  (There’s not a 40 year old out there that would say that anyway).  Of course she doesn’t feel 50, but what’s 50 supposed to feel like?  There’s no going back to a life that’s already been lived.  The best life to live, she concludes, is the one that’s ahead of you.  And there’s still plenty of time for that.  At 50, you know things that you didn’t know at 20, 30 or even 40.  Lots of things.  Like where home is.  And where you belong.


photo by Barbara Paulsen at tandemechoes.com.



rumi-sensory spectrum blog

in a flash like a clash

my thunder baby

comes down like a hammer

don’t think ill

it’s part of me baby

my changing, my ranging


kind, pissed

appreciated, dissed

forgive me baby

now go.

Love is… More Than 10 Sentences

Both of these poems were written for my husband; he’s the first person I think of when given the prompt of “love.”  The quote pictured hangs as you enter our room.

The challenge today is to write a post about “what love is in 10 sentences” by the talented Prakash at the It’s PH blog and the super-creative Terry at Through the Lens of my Life. But, here’s the kicker, each line can only be 4 words long.  Also include a favorite quote about love (see below).  I wrote the first one without love in the sentences, and the second has the word love in each (although the challenge specifies you include the word).  So here goes, along with a tag to other fabulous blogs to do the same.

FullSizeRender (25)


Clothes in a pile

Still I can smile

You come home mad

Still I am glad

I watch you leave

My tiny parts grieve

Later you call me

Words often small me

All these years together

Just the start-forever




As you love me

I love you back

Your love begins a

Larger circle of love

Those loveable little kids

Completes the love line

Do you love asking

When love is anwering?

Why still so lovely

To love you so?


Nina O’Neill Poetry

60 While 60

Beautiful Words

A Momma’s View


Imagery in Poetry

As Twisted as Fretzels

Love Happy Notes

Zen and Pi