Giving Me LIFE!

Thanks to the invasion and conquering of my body that is the first trimester, I’ve been feeling like death lately. Fevers, allergies, nasal congestion, round ligament pain, hellacious back and pelvic pain, all day morning sickness, lack of quality sleep yet bone aching fatigue….you name it, my body has been tortured with it the last 8 weeks. We’re not even going to talk about what only being on one medication (an anti-depressant that triggers some good ol’ rapid cycling between hypomania and depression) has done to my mental state these past weeks. Or maybe we will, but not today, simply because I only have enough energy to type a paragraph or two and then I’m going to go back to being The Blob.

What we WILL talk about is the music that’s been rescusitating me when my mind and body tap out. Music really IS therapy, and in my case it’s been my life support the past two weeks especially.

First up we have Mr. Timberlake…I mean, do I have to say anymore? If you haven’t let the groove get in you lately, I highly recommend purchasing The 20/20 experience, closing your windows & curtains, and dancing til your feet fall off.  Even my zombie ass has been shaking it-there have been days I wouldn’t have been able to gather the energy to brush my teeth or feed myself had I not put on “Let the Groove Get In,” “Mirrors”, “Spaceship Coupe” or “Tunnel Vision.”

I have this thing for Marc Anthony-not because he’s physically attractive but because when the man opens his mouth the most beautiful sounds come out. The man can sing, period. His salsa albums are staples in my music collection, so when I found out HE’S BACK WITH A NEW SALSA ALBUM-his first in 10 years, I nearly broke my fingers trying to download his new single on iTunes. This song? GIVES ME LIFE. Gives my hips life too, too much in fact, because after dancing to this, the pain is unbearable-but so. damn. worth it.  Listen for yourself….

And finally, THE SONG that has just been KILLING me not so softly every time I hear it is the latest from Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu. First of all: Monae. Badu. Are you freaking KIDDING ME? I’m still in shock that two of my favorite female artists (who are bad ass on their own individually) collaborated on a track together. And unlike LL Cool J & Brad Paisley or Beyonce & Andre 3000, these two have crafted a funk/rock hybrid that’s a f—king masterpiece. From the lyrics (especially Monae’s rap at the end!) to the music itself, it’s just an incredible piece of work, and a welcome relief from the oversexed R&B/hip-hop/pop nonsense that’s dominating the airwaves right now.  And the video? Pfffft. S-I-C-K. I dare you not to shake or twerk something to this….but for the love of all that’s holy, PLEASE don’t record a video of you doing so-the world doesn’t need yet ANOTHER video of a female (or male) twerking it in booty shorts. Leave the webcam off :)

Anyway, enjoy the epic-nes that is “Q.U.E.E.N.” Pure art & pop genius. WERK IT.

What music is giving YOU life these days?

 

Dance Party Fridays: Song Suggestions

I want to apologize for not having a dance video for you today….

If you read yesterday’s post,  then I’m sure you can understand why I’m taking a break today.

BUT

That doesn’t mean there won’t be one next week…and the week after…and the week after that…

In fact, I have a lot of nifty things I’m working on for Dance Party Fridays this year and I’m really excited!

  • Guest Dancers
  • Linky tool so you can link up your own dance video
  • Dancing contests w/giveaways and a chance to be featured here on ‘Confessions
  • a monthly “dance party” hangout on Google +

Next week I’ll be dancing to “Moves like Jagger” for Imperfect Momma over at Really? I’m a Mom?….

It’s highly probable my two BFFs Tori & Kelsey will be joining me for a little Risky Business a couple of weeks after that…

The always fabulous Joy Tanksley and I will be dancing together…(YAY!) Seriously y’all…she’s GOOD!

And I’m already working on concept ideas for “Shake it Out,” , and “Raise it Up” by the lovely Florence & The Machine….(think scarves & ribbbons…lots of color!)

So that gives you a glimpse into what I’m planning for the year…But I need your help, friends. I need to know what you want to see! I’m taking any and all song suggestions, ideas, you name it, I want your feedback. I’m even open to doing dance video dedications…know someone who could use a smile, laugh, or some inspiration to get their body groovin? Leave me a comment here or email me your request at bconfessions(at)gmail(dot)com. And if you’re a new reader and have never seen a DPF? Well head over to the Tag cloud or categories list & watch :)

I’m serious. I’m looking for all kinds of songs, any genre. As long as I can move my body to it, it doesn’t have heavy profanity, isn’t hateful, and is inspiring or groovalicious in some way….IT’S ON.

So bring it dear readers. Hit me with your best shot ( Hey, another song idea!)

and now….for some “dance biscuts”

and because I’m obsessed with So You Think You Can Dance, I thought I’d show a couple of my favorites from hip hop choreographers NappyTabs, a husband & wife team :)

(I WISH I had their skills, UGH! Fab. So fab.)

Self-Love Saturday: Paying Attention is Everything

“Is there anything else you can suggest I do to find out what goes in my Box? I mean, how will I really know it belongs there? How will I know it’s really….ME?”

“Well, I really think the best thing you can do is to just really start to pay attention to yourself when you’re in a situation. What kinds of things catch your eye in the store, or when you’re surfing the net? What do you find yourself reading? What lifts you out of a low mood? What kinds of things stabilize you? When you encounter such things or are in certain situations, try to take a step back and pay attention to how you feel.  Try to notice the kind of physical and emotional response you’re having to what stimulates and depresses you…notice even, where you feel these particular emotions. Are they in your heart? In your stomach? Yea…I think you just have to start really paying attention. Your body will tell you, you just have to listen.” 

 That’s a snippet of the conversation I had with my VA therapist on Tuesday. Since my focus the past month or so has been on finding out what goes in my Box of All Things A’Driane, I took her response to heart and really tried to focus this week on doing just what she said: pay attention & listen.

Between Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday I learned that……

  • While I want to be a counselor/therapist and help people one on one, advocating for groups of people, learning about people & their experiences, and helping certain populations of people is a passion of mine. The population I want to advocate for the most?  Women-women who are mothers, women veterans, women who have been abused, and women who live & struggle with mental illness. I fit into every one of those categories, so it only makes sense that I would feel impassioned to help those in these areas, right?
  • I have a heart for abuse victims and their rights. The PSU controversy this week left me in a stew of emotions, mostly anger and a yearning to take action in some way so their rights and their voice could be heard. Again, considering my experience with sexual abuse & molestation, it makes perfect sense.
  • I’m not a one dimensional person and have to be around people who are as diverse as I am.
  • I’m a creative person, so that means I’m an expressive person. I like to express myself through my hair (hence the fro and wild colors) and through what I wear. I like wearing clothing that speaks to who I am and my personality. I recognized this when I first colored my hair a few weeks ago, but also this evening when I saw this shirt and my heart nearly exploded in joy:
Very much “me”, no?
  • Watching my sons be just who they are, expressing who they are gives me a warm and fuzzy in my heart and a nod of agreement in my gut that I’m doing the right thing as a parent. I wasn’t allowed to talk much less be myself growing up, so to recognize that allowing my kids to do something I wasn’t helped me see what kind of parent I am and want to strive to be.
So…on my quest to find out what goes in my Box of All Things A’Driane, I’ve started paying attention: to my thoughts, to my emotions, to how I respond inwardly to what’s going on around me. I can honestly say doing so even for just the past 4-5 days has really started to give me a clearer picture of who I am and how I can “feed” my inner self….It’s helping me see my inner moxie and even teaching me how to treat myself, which I think is pretty comforting and awesome.
Speaking of treating oneself, since it’s Self-Love Saturday, I thought I’d share a couple of things that speak to showing yourself some kindness. The first is a clip from one of my FAVORITE shows, Parks & Recreation…..
And the second is just a song that makes me feel good. It’s addicting, it makes me twirl around and sing at the top of my lungs and it just puts me in a good space…enjoy. And if you haven’t done so already, there’s still time to “Treat Yo Self” today, so find a way to do so, ok? Make it a “good life” in any and every way you can….

 

 

Quotes & Theme Music

BREAKING NEWS: “Dance Party Fridays” & “Self-Love Saturdays” will be returning this coming week! I was told last night by a very amazing friend that I needed to end my little hiatus and get back to shaking my groove thang & my blogging format, and I agreed. I’m ready to get back on the horse and continue the ride. Juggling blogging, school, LIFE, motherhood & mental health shenanigans won’t be easy, but hey, that’s why I can blog about it all here, right? Right. So yes. Get ready, cause I’ve got some pretty cool songs lined up to dance to!

Until then, here’s a quote to inspire you & me to keep digging deep, shedding our tangles, owning our stories & SPEAKING OUT:

‎”I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” – C.S. Lewis

 

And a video to help me keep my head up & sing as I continue to get over my break up. Co-parenting with an ex who you still haven’t gotten over is no easy feat, people. But I’m doing it. I’ve been taking the pain of it in stride this month…or rather in dancing :) They say “time heals all wounds,” so here’s my theme song as October approaches…..

 

My Weekend Playlist

If music were a drug, I’d be strung out and wouldn’t bother going to rehab for treatment. I’m a junkie, it’s been a habit I know will be lifelong.

What I listen to depends on my mood, but I love a variety of genres…here’s a sampling of the artists on my playlist for tonight & this weekend….enjoy :)

A Tumbling Out of Thoughts

It’s been a rough couple of days…..it seems like for every forward step I take, I have a day or two where I take three or four steps back…sometimes it’s a series of events that trigger the relapse or regression….more recently it seems as though I’m hyper sensitive; the slightest touch triggers me & sets the pendulum in motion, even if it’s just for a few hours….or a day.

Being triggered and having an anxiety attack or falling into a “mood state’ reminds me of three things: how fragile my own strength really is, how important it is that I stick to my wellness plan & keep finding coping strategies to add to it, & my need for God….for His love…. It reminds me that He’s really the only one who can really bear the full brunt me when I’m like this, and it reminds me that even when I’m at my lowest, He’s still there, walking with me, “fixing me” along the way…..

(you should definitely go to youtube to watch this…trust me it’s worth the click)

Taking care of myself & believing in someone outside of myself are the only ways I know I’ll make this “manageable” & be able to put it in it’s proper place. Under control. So I can live. So I can mother. So I can be the better parts of me more often.

I’ll get there. Until then, I’m going to do my best to just…..breathe & keep moving.

Thank you #PPDChat mamas (every single one of you-those I talk to consistently in The Twitter & those of you I’ve never met who sent me hugs & love last night), The Band, & Katherine Stone for being there and reaching out these past two days. Thank you for being that safe place I can go to when I need to just say exactly how I’m feeling without worry or fear of someone thinking the worst of me. You all are seriously the best therapy :) And also to my Pastor….thank you for reaching out, for your prayers, and for your words of encouragement this week. They are always timely & invaluable.

Dance Party Friday: Baby I’m a (Imperfect) Star

This was a tough week for me. Not as tough as previous ones, but tough. I started my semester this week and although I was excited about diving into this new chapter of my life, I underestimated the impact it would have on me mentally, emotionally & even physically. In my mind I was thinking that since this was something good, something positive, something fulfilling even, that I wouldn’t experience any type of anxiety; at least not the type that leaves me a hot, sweaty, shaking mess. Boy was I wrong…

All day Monday I could feel that I was talking faster than normal, but I couldn’t really stop myself. Classes were great but by the time I picked up the boys, got us home & dinner was settling in our bellies, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how I had done any of it. The whole day felt like a blur and by the time I got the boys down for bed, my thoughts were racing, heart was pounding, I was shaking…I was a wreck, even though emotionally I felt good. I was such a wreck I had to force myself to go to bed. Tuesday, I was still a mess, totally debilitated by it, unable to concentrate or focus, couldn’t think, felt edgy….it wasn’t until I took some advice from my #PPDChat mamas & forced myself to boggie for 20 minutes that I started to feel clearer mentally and actually feel the anxiety finally subside.

When I went to record this yesterday, I didn’t feel like it, but I made myself. When I went to edit it, I stressed myself out because I couldn’t get the timing quite right, no matter how hard I tried. The perfectionist in me reared her ugly head and I actually considered not posting a video at all today.

What made me change my mind? Realizing that much like life & our own humanity, recovery of any type isn’t perfect and doesn’t always go according to our carefully laid out plan. You can go to therapy, exercise, take your meds, cross all your t’s & dot every i, but sometimes, things just don’t go as they should. Sometimes they still end up messy. Sometimes despite all the preventative maintenance we do we still break down and have a bad day…a bad week…or maybe even a bad month.

This week, despite the good that was happening to me, in spite of my having followed my wellness plan, Anxiety still reared it’s ugly head. Hypomania still stopped by & hung around for a couple of hours. I had two bad days. Had some bad moments. But I realized that having these moments of weakness isn’t a reflection of our character or who we are as a person. If anything, I’m coming to realize that actually embracing the imperfection in ourselves & in our lives is what actually strengthens, heals, & gets us further down life’s path. If you’re like me and you’re wrestling or battling with something in your life, take heart and give yourself a break. Don’t let a bad moment or a funky couple of days make you give up on your recovery. Embrace what makes you imperfect & realize that sometimes despite your best efforts, something may go wrong. Instead of letting it discourage you like I almost did, or underestimating it like I did, just grab it by the horns & drag it along with you. Don’t let it stop you from moving or believing in yourself. Imperfection doesn’t dim the brightness within us, it enhances it-if we allow it to in a positive way.

So that’s what this Dance Party Friday is about, what this video symbolizes for me. It’s silly and goofy, and totally imperfect and so am I. But baby, I’m still a star :)

Alright enough with the Oprah talk-it’s “dancey dance time.” :)

Dance Party Friday: Square Biz Edition

Ok. So. Inspired by a chat with one of my amazing Twitter mamas (@momgosomething) I thought to myself, “Self, what makes you feel good?” Music. Dancing. “Wouldn’t it be nifty if you could have a dance party with other people online, people like @momgosomething, who loves to crank up the volume and dance in her kitchen as much as you do?”

Wow. Yes. Yes it would. I mean people have #Wineparties & Twitter chats, & GNO’s on Twitter. Why not have a dance party? On a Friday. Just because it something that makes me feel good. Gets me moving, gets my heart pumping, makes me feel ALIVE and forget about the daily grind I’m in. Makes me forget that I struggle in the mental health dept,and makes me feel free.  Feel joy. Feel good about myself, reminds me that yes, there is a funny, silly goofball of a geek inside who. just. has. to. dance. Why not use dance as therapy? (I am after all planning on becoming a dance movement therapist) Use it as a tool to help me shed some insecurities about myself ? Use it to learn how to love & accept myself in whatever state I’m in or weight I’m at ? Plus they say exercise is a good way to battle depression & other mood disorders. It’s a proven coping method.

So. Yes. I’ve decided to dance. Every Friday, I will post a new video of myself getting down with the get down & groovin to my fave tunes. Any song, any genre, anything that strikes my fancy I will be shaking my fanny to. And you, my dear readers will get to see it. See me make a fool of myself but see me really go after this self-love thing with a vengeance.

But I don’t just want you to be a spectator. I want you to participate. They say that if you want to see real change and want to make a real impact then throw down a challenge. So here is my challenge to you: Dance with me. Let’s find a way to Skype, Facebook Video Chat, or hangout on Google + and just DANCE. We can pick a song, maybe two and just have a dance party together, in good fun, just to let loose at the end of the week. If you want to send me a video of yourself getting your groove on & want to post it, email me a link: bconfessions (@) gmail (dot) com.

Below is my first video. Don’t worry, I’m buying a better webcam, so I’m working on the video quality. And I was super nervous so forgive the deer in headlights serious looks I have at times. Just me fighting the urge to quit and go vomit in the toilet HAHAHAHAAAAA. I’m serious.  Enjoy!

I’d really love to thank Kimberly for inspiring me & giving me the courage to post this. You should really read her blog (see how her name’s in pink? click on it!) Her owning her story and sharing her experiences helped save my life. Seriously. And I also want to thank Joy Tanksley for giving me the push as well to run with this idea. Not only is her blog awesome, but she posts videos of her boogie-ing too! Check it out…….and then, make urself some room where ever you are & just dance baby. :)

Happy Friday!