Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fresh Air, New Beginnings and Re-Connections

It has been quite a week. My most recent personal Instagram post sums it up in wondering whether I need a hug, coffee, several shots of vodka or weeks of sleep. Maybe a combination of all those things would be helpful. Based on the hilarious comments, I’m not the only one experiencing sleepless nights lately.

After somewhat maddening delays and frustrations, this week has certainly brought a breath of fresh air and forward movement. There have also been floods of new connections and conversations arriving recently.

Turns out, creativity is both invigorating and exhausting. And right now, I’m engaged in a wide variety of creative projects and collaborations. To the extent that I’m even impressing myself with how many I’m currently involved in. I’m happily participating in all of it and despite the exhaustion, I do love seeing all of it unfold.

At the same time as new connections continue to arrive, it’s comforting to also have familiar people around. I got to talk with two of my closest and long term friends yesterday and didn’t realize how much I’d missed them. There’s something healing about being able to talk with people who know you so well that words aren’t necessary.

Exploring possibilities isn’t really new to me, it certainly started once I ended my marriage nearly four years ago. I realized I hadn’t been exploring or experiencing so much that Charlotte had to offer. That exploration certainly continues and yesterday found me at a book store I’ve probably passed a million times but never stopped in before.

I’ve stood in countless rooms and spaces while networking, connecting and meeting people over the years. While I was focused on my real estate career, it always felt stifling. As though I was grouped into some large, shapeless category of “just another real estate agent” at the expense of my individual perspective.

One of the most beautiful aspects of embracing being a writer has been truly and completely feeling unique. It is so liberating to embrace the fact that I don’t have any competition, because there is no one exactly like me. It feels like such immense freedom, and I love that.

Sleepless nights have been the norm and this morning began just before 4am. So the fact that I’ll be day drinking with friends later isn’t really inappropriate. Some of these same friends were with me the day my marriage ended. At one point, I was worried that these friendships would change based on some decisions I made. Now that worry just seems so silly, because truly…you cannot lose what is meant for you.

As physically tired as I feel, it’s nice to have a joyful reason to gather with these friends today in celebration of a birthday. Each one of us has (and are) navigating heavy and dark circumstances. The opportunity to stand in the light of joyful celebration with one another feels precious.

Regardless of what the hell this Aquarius full moon is bringing into my life, I’m just going to continue showing up for all of it. And maybe sleep or nap when I can.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Fresh Air, New Beginnings and Re-Connections”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

 

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Recent Books: Outlander, Formation and The Silent Patient

Having an intimate relationship with insomnia, while also maintaining a casual acquaintance relationship with sleep lately has been helpful to my reading progress.

Finding myself wide awake in the middle of the night or early morning, I don’t turn on the tv. Instead I stay in bed reading. Sometimes I write, but lately I’ve been reading.

I read quite a lot and constantly have piles of books all over the house. In my bed, on both nightstands, on the dresser, couch and living room table. There are always books around me.

Several I finished within the past week or so have been particularly fascinating, so I’m sharing them here.

A friend has been suggesting that I might enjoy Outlander by Diana Gabaldon for months. Had she framed it as a love story, I’d have likely refused to read it at all. Turns out, I am totally hooked on this story after reading this first book. I liked it a lot more than I expected to; time travel, historical fiction, a part of the world that fascinates me. I’m intrigued to see where the story goes.

I’m a huge fan of memoirs including most recently Formation: A Woman’s Memoir of Stepping Out of Line by Ryan Leigh Dostie. It is without question, one of the most powerful memoirs I have ever read. She unflinchingly shares experiences of rape, combat, navigating the male dominated military culture, as well as PTSD. All in a beautifully written and hauntingly raw personal story. She describes her story as a sword she can choose to wield and share externally, with the potential for meaningful impact, rather than allowing it to simply cut internally. This book is powerfully relevant, timely, and meaningful.

Most recently read The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, a psychological suspense novel that hooked me almost immediately. A fast and highly intriguing read, one of the main characters describes attraction to psychology and psychotherapy as based in a desire to heal ourselves. Well….that’s true in my experience. Loved the pace, depth and layers this story combined. Involving murder, secrets, childhood wounds and surprising twists, it kept me engaged throughout.

While most of my book recommendations come from conversation with friends, Goodreads or my Instagram connections, always open to more suggestions.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Recent Books: Outlander, Formation and The Silent Patient”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

 

 

 

Experience of Trauma Revisited

It’s been five months since experiencing a random and unexpected trauma in a parking lot. Since then, I’ve been adament about continuing to show up and be present in the world. Someone once asked me if I felt afraid, and the honest answer was no. Until an experience yesterday.

Charlotte definitely has a population of homeless people. It’s not uncommon to see people with signs at various intersections, walking around uptown, wherever. While at a gas station not far from home, a man approached me intently asking for money.

I was standing alone with my keys in hand, and there were other people around, when a man got close and insisted on essentially begging me for money, food, to buy him something to eat. And I made eye contact with him, listening to his words. At first I didn’t feel fear, but sympathy and a deep sense of mental illness. I sensed instability.

And I almost ran away, but for some reason didn’t and offered to buy him food. Which isn’t typical of me at all. This man apologized to me, saying he was sorry if he had been rude.

Then he approached and came physically closer to me than I was comfortable with and it happened; I was flooded with fear. He almost seemed to be approaching to hug me (which wasn’t at all welcome) and I was deeply afraid. I was afraid of physical harm. Trauma. Being physically over-powered. I felt intensely afraid, and it shocked me.

I felt myself fall into the survival mode of fight or flight. I could feel the tension and even shifted how I was holding my keys. I felt terrified and vulnerable to physical harm, hyper-vigilant in my awareness of everything around me.

He saw my reaction and became visibly agitated. He started yelling, and interpreted my behavior as an indication that I believe black people are violent criminals. He had no way to know my behavior was related to trauma at the hands of….a white man. And I wasn’t about to explain any of that to him.

Another man standing nearby held eye contact with me while I silently pleaded with him to move closer and remain in between me and this now agitated other man. He must have sensed it, because he did move closer and just his presence felt reassuring.

The reality is that as a woman, I am not physically as strong as men. As a fiercely independent person, I hate even typing those words…but it’s the truth.

In the midst of all these emotions, I somehow stood my ground, paid for his food and walked back to my car. Where I immediately locked the doors and drove away.

I’m aware of a pattern in my own life. Once I’m far enough beyond a traumatic event or process to start writing about it; that’s a clear signal it’s time to talk more publicly about it.

The same afternoon the above experience happened, Natalie had mentioned our recording a podcast episode about what happened to me in March. It’s been a foregone conclusion that we will at some point do such an episode but until now I haven’t felt ready. It’s an enormous conversation and very highly emotionally charged.

Not that I feel completely ready now, but I do have a strong record of simply showing up, even when I don’t feel ready. So, I just signed myself up as a podcast guest and sent in all of my info. I am willing to have conversations about trauma, true strength and raw courage; as well as what all of that really looks like.

To be clear, I haven’t ever avoided having such conversations. It’s just that until now, they’ve all been private conversations. Now it feels as though it’s time to broaden the audience able to witness them. The beauty of podcast episodes is that I can have the conversation once, and it then becomes available for anyone in the world who may benefit from it.

Grief and trauma are indeed equalizers and none of us escapes the experience of them. As much as I am passionate about illuminating my experience through and beyond divorce, I’m equally passionate about sharing my personal experience of a different type of grief and trauma. Because truly, what happened to me in March….could happen to anyone.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Experience of Trauma Revisited”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

Insight Into the Path Beyond Least Resistance

I have so very much to say. The month of July was not one I was at all sad to see go. It was more like a firm good riddance, let’s turn the damn page already and move into August.

July just felt like a lot. A lot of intensity, a lot of heaviness, a lot of emotion, a lot of uncertainty and fogginess, a lot of clearing and release; all of which become exhausting very quickly.

One of the themes that has come up in many recent conversations involves the concept of the path of least resistance.

And that same concept just showed up in the editing of my own writing today. That content of mine is currently open and waiting for me to continue with it…while I productively procrastinate and write this post.

To me, there’s a difference between the path of least resistance and surrendering attachments to an outcome. They are NOT the same thing. The path of least resistance feels stagnant and somehow tired. Surrendering expectations or the insistence of a specific outcome feel liberating and uplifting.

This path of least resistance is not ever really a valid option for my life experience. I’ve been told often in recent months, you’re so “brave” or “strong” or any number of similar sentiments. My reply is usually some version of the truth that I haven’t been aware of any other choice or option. Bravery, strength and courage don’t exist in the absence of fear; they exist in collaboration with the choice to move forward anyway.

I experience fear, doubt, worry and anxiety on a daily basis. Finding myself in a variety of parking lots doesn’t stop me from getting out of my car, worried that some random person will physically assault me. I move through the world intentionally showing the hell up for my life. Maybe it’s a reflection of my innate defiant and rebellious nature. Perhaps it’s just a refusal to shut down. Either way, I keep showing up.

I suppose I could have chosen to respond to certain events by curling up and never getting out of bed again. That’s not me, and it’s not how I choose to live my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m writing from bed right now. I love being at home. I also love quality time with the people I care about, and have both professional and personal social plans most of tomorrow.  I’m a study in contrasts for sure, and I live in the gray area between extremes.

The path of least resistance concept doesn’t feel intentional, and it certainly lacks passion. It feels very much like accepting something that’s “fine” rather than choosing to believe that “exceptional” exists and is a completely valid possibility.

I’m not interested in things, experiences, or relationships in which “fine” is the standard. I choose to set my personal standard at the exceptional. What is really interesting while reading things I wrote years ago, is the recognition of how much I have changed. As have my personal standards.

I was recently asked what having chosen a path of least resistance might have looked like while navigating divorce. I really don’t know how to answer that question. I find it intriguing to consider, but at the same time; I just don’t recall ever really seeing it as a valid pathway for myself.

When I really look back at it from my current perspective, my ex husband was a clear example of one who consistently chose the path of least resistance. Maybe that’s what underlies my refusal to even consider it as an option for myself? The endless side effects of a highly active mind include turning my inquisitive nature on myself. Often.

Regardless, as I continue to navigate my own life experience and make decisions, I do really appreciate the ability to evaluate options based on how well they align with a standard of exceptional. I’m not interested in “fine.”

Especially in recent months, I’ve noticed myself making decisions not from a space of obligation, but from one truly rooted in desire and passion. I just like how that feels a lot more than any previous decision framework I’ve ever had.

And regardless of outcome, I’m still willing to show up for the possibility of exploring the exceptional. Whatever that may look like and however it may appear in my life. That choice and intention feels like true magic, potential, and possibility.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Insight Into the Path Beyond Least Resistance”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

Podcast Episode – Asking for Help

I am so completely in love with this episode and the story of how this partnership arrived. Because it is pure magic and I almost can’t believe it’s real. But it is, and there are even more brilliant conversations are on the way.

Take a listen to our conversation about vulnerability, strength and asking for help and how that invites in unlimited possibility and potential. When we’re brave enough to say yes.

Disrupt Now Podcast Episode 41: Vulnerability as Strength

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Podcast Episode – Asking for Help”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

 

A New List and New Insight: Story and Communication

I write a lot of lists. In fact, the first book I wrote started out as one of those lists. The irony is that I won’t write a grocery list, which is part of how I will often arrive home and realize I’ve forgotten to pick up coffee or some other essential item. Like food for the cats, who stubbornly insist that eating is a daily requirement.

While recently reading a massive book about depression, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, the theme of story and the healing power of sharing our stories came up. Then the concept of story showed up strongly in Chelsea Handler’s memoir, Life Will Be the Death of Me…..and you too. I’m well aware my reading preferences are a bit eclectic to say the least.

The recognition of this element of story led to a new list this morning; a list of words that are relentlessly following me around. Story and communication are two of the most prevalent words around me. They. Are. Everywhere. And of course, they are two words very deeply aligned and related to one another.

Recently I’ve been experiencing some extreme feelings of frustration around an aspect of my own story, wondering exactly how many effing times I have to tell it. The short version (you can read more about the longer version in the linked post): some guy I didn’t know assaulted me which led to a broken/fractured jaw and months of healing, not to mention some ridiculous medical bills.

 Way back in March, I sent some of those bills with an application for crime victim assistance funds it turns out were available. In recent weeks that process has been finally moving forward. But not without my involvement…..which includes me sharing this aspect of my story with lots of new strangers on the phone.

My resistance to doing this stems not from any discomfort with communicating this piece of my story, but the utterly exhausting experience of witnessing others reacting to it. Almost without exception, there’s an energetic drop that I can feel as people realize what I’m saying. The lady I spoke with this morning is praying for me. And that’s not an uncommon response.

It is not my idea of a joyful afternoon to talk with multiple medical providers obtaining copies of receipts, but that is how I spent one day last week. Because this queen of attention to detail neglected to save copies of payments made several months ago.

I suppose I can choose to shift my focus to appreciating that I have the ability to communicate this part of my story, and often do so very directly. Endless opportunities for personal growth and shifts in perspective seem to surround me as well.

So, with a new list of words that refuse to disappear, I have no idea what I’ll do with it. For now, it’s enough just to recognize how strongly certain words and themes continue to show up, both within my own life and the experiences of others.

I absolutely play with words, and find myself effortlessly supplying words for those around me. This happens without me consciously intending to do it, in all kinds of settings and in a wide variety of conversational topics.

Communication and story are currently the front runners on this latest list of awareness, and I rather like how well they pair with one another; beautifully.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “A New List and New Insight: Story and Communication”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

Love, Passion, Desire and Relationships

I do not believe in coincidence, but even for me, some recent events have been a bit hard to believe. Catching up with a friend, I explained all of the new things unfolding just in the past few months as feeling like I’m living from a place of passion and desire rather than obligation.

And that’s very much true, though the speed and intensity of that transition and shift has honestly felt overwhelming at times. Love, passion, desire and relationships are not topics I’ve really ever focused on before. At least not with any intentional focus, but they’re all certainly a theme right now. And somehow I’m just going with it.

A book called Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love showed up. I really don’t remember having requested it and it’s not one I’d typically be drawn to, but somehow it was waiting for me at the library. I found it to be a really fascinating perspective on intimate relationships.

Meditation is like running to me – something I routinely pick up and put down. But I’ve done many of the Oprah and Deepak 21 day meditation experiences over the years. The one I’m currently in? It’s called “miraculous relationships.” Because, of course this is what would show up now.

This morning’s meditation highlighted themes that have been running in the background for months, and the centering thought was “I use my energy to heal and transform.”  Damn.

It illuminated and spoke to things that have been arising in all areas of my life at a pace it’s sometimes just breathtaking to witness. The power of intentional focus, desire for meaningful engagement, the dynamic nature of our true selves not focused on “busy-ness” but on presence.

I have zero explanation for any of the events, experiences or insights that have shown up recently. Nor can I explain how or why certain relationships have exponentially deepened or faded. And there’s a part of me that doesn’t care that I can’t explain any of it.

Because truly living, deciding and navigating from a place of deep reverence for and alignment with love, passion, and desire just feels so expansive and creative. Having tasted it, I can’t go back to any other way of being.

I’ve heard love described as a way of being rather than as simply an emotion before, and that perspective also showed up again recently. In being asked to expand something I’d written years ago about love, I realized I have more to say about that topic and can take it to a much deeper level than ever before.

In conversation with a friend recently, we both laughed while talking about the journeys of self-awareness and personal growth as never-ending and not including a graduation or completion. That’s how all of this feels to me; yet another level. And while I’ve never been here before, somehow…I really am ok with that unfamiliarity.

In many ways this embracing of love, passion, and desire seems like what I’ve been working toward for all of these years I’ve been going within and confronting previous beliefs and fears. It feels like another level of freedom. One that’s a whole lot more fun than ever before, certainly one that’s more passionate and joyful.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Love, Passion, Desire and Relationships”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression