R.I.P. Rhonda Patterson

I just lost a friend. My soul sister. And a big chunk of my heart. About 10 days ago she came to me 3 nights in a row in beautiful dreams filled with fun, laughter and the pure joy of childlike love, and we danced the perfect dance of true friendship. She was happy, healthy, energized, full of vitality and a wicked sense of humor. They were powerful dreams, so vivid and real and filled with an unconditional love I can not explain. I awoke feeling such an overwhelming sense of gratitude and happiness that I was with her again, living in the essence and innocence of our true friendship, that I refused to let darker thoughts of her possible death enter my mind.

We hadn’t spoken in 4 years. She was unwell. Mentally. Physically. Spiritually. But mostly, she was an addict. And stupid shit got in the way. Arguments mixed with alcohol mixed with anger mixed with fear from a body shutting down, one organ at at time. And denial. Lots and lots of denial. But I prayed we would talk and laugh again. That we would make up. That somehow with love and patience and kindness and compassion those of us reaching out to her could heal her with our intentions and intervention. I reached out over and over and over. Sent emails and phone messages and work messages and messages on Messenger. But she wouldn’t let me back in. Couldn’t let me back in. I understand the whys and the hows and all the big disturbing realities of her life. I understood that her illness was addling her brain. That she was beyond repair. That it wasn’t personal. That it was the booze. But that didn’t matter. Hurt is hurt. It hurt then. And it hurts now. Deeply. But being ever the optimistic and never one to give up on a friend, I hoped beyond hope that we would reconnect and that I’d see her again.

I believed, like we all do, that we still had lots of time to reunite and make amends.

Until yesterday.

Her daughter contacted me and soon afterward I was told my friend had passed away on an undetermined date. That she had been found dead in her home and no-one knew how long she had been there. The details are being evidenced even as I write this but the coroner thinks anywhere from a week to about 10 days.

About 10 days.

We don’t know the time or cause of death yet, but I do know, without an ounce of doubt, that about 10 days ago my beautiful, loyal, giving, broken, passionate, tortured, loving friend came to me and said goodbye. And we played and joked and laughed like children. And it was beautiful. And I will forever be grateful for our last dance.

I love you, Rhonda. Thank you for being such a beautiful light in my darkest times, and for sharing my passion for storytelling. Thank you for making me belly laugh and nearly pee my pants. Thank you for midnight runway cat hunts and teaching me not to be afraid of the BBQ. Thank you for encouraging me to sneak out of the group home just before dawn, walk to the beach and wrapped in a blanket, sit and watch the most spectacular sunrise I’ve ever seen ~ before going home and getting grounded. Thank you for believing that I could leap tall buildings in a single bound. Thank you for telling me about the pleasure of inner orgasms and that making love isn’t sex, but a merging of two souls deeply connected. Thank you for fueling my need and desire to dream fantastical dreams as only a Pisces can do. Thank you for being the voice of reason when my fear stopped me dead. And thank you for showing me that living in your truth takes courage and an indomitable will. You taught me so much much more than this and I will be forever grateful for having you in my life.

Even as I write this the tears are streaming down my face as the memories of a 40 year friendship come flooding in. I know that you loved me and I am as equally important to you as you are to me. But this is so surreal. I can’t believe you’re really gone. I’ve missed you so much and will continue to miss you like mad for the rest of my life. Rest my friend. Enjoy exploring the wonders of the Universe. And if you can, send me a sign that Life After Death friggin ROCKS! If anyone can, it’s you. I love you. And I know we will dance again. ❤️❤️❤️


We’re planning a Celebration of Life after her cremation and if I know Rhonda, she’s hanging around just waiting for the party to get started! And to all of you, let me just say right now, that if you have someone in your life who you are on the outs with, no matter what the reason ~pride, arrogance, defiance or just plain old holding a grudge that you aren’t mature enough to let of. Dig deep; grow up and let that shit go! Reach out and tell them you forgive and love them regardless of whether they accept it or not. Do your part to heal the rift.

Cuz after Death, there are no Do-Overs.

 ❤️💛💚💙

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Goodbye my friend. See you on the other side.❤️

Lonely Roads

Not sure what it is about traveling on the bus that makes me feel so nostalgic. Perhaps, because a good part of this life has been spent on buses traveling from one life to another. One family to another. One lover to another. Seeking identity. Searching for kindness. Wanting love. Moving in between the grays of safety and abuse.

Feels like I’ve been doing this a long time. Chasing a thing. Running from a thing. A lonely traveler carrying a bag packed with little pieces of me. Faithfully transient. A contemplative companion to the lonely roads I see through rainswept windshields.

Aware always.

Of the sadness that travels with me.

And the life I never lived.


Bus blues? Maybe.

But it’s a thing.

Today.

Just Cuz I Can :)

Here’s a link to my latest Buddha Neuron post. I’m pretty proud of what I’m doing on the other side lol. I’m also stressing about what I’m doing on the other side. It’s a huge learning curve for me and I’m working really hard to practice what I preach and NOT freak the fuck out…Oooommmm.

Pulled an all-nighter and need to go to sleep! This business start up stuff is STRESSFUL!!! Deadlines are brutal!!! I will be back when I’ve had some sleep lol. I will say however, that I am so damn proud of you, Tikeetha! And super envious and in awe!!! You seriously ROCK! You have to let me know how you manage to post something every friggin day! I am struggling with 2 X a week right now lol.

Then I remember. I just started. Literally.

And I calm down.

Sigh 😉 ❤

I’m good.

Namaste xo

The Loop

I’m battling an anxiety that has me gripped in the steely clutch of entrapment. Every morning it greets me, pulsing deep in my solar plexus. Almost before I wake. A consistent gnawing at the core of my being. A maddening loop of repetition I can’t seem to escape. It is the most diabolical intruder. A ruiner of contentment. A disturber of my peace. And I feel helpless to control its effect on my person.

Some days it frightens me. A lot. Because I can’t believe the power it has over me. How do I fight an adversary I can’t see or touch?

At this very moment I am trying to figure out what is triggering it. It’s been a constant in my body for too long. I can no longer ignore that something BIG is wrong. Somewhere. Inside. I ask myself all the usual questions and come up with all the usual suspects. Calmly. Rationally. Intellectually. Spiritually. I am not in denial of any truth. At least none that I am consciously aware of.

But I must be.

I must be missing something incredibly vital.

Because it simply will NOT go away.

How, after all this time, after all I’ve been thru, does anxiety suddenly rise up to claim victory? Why now? I do what I know to do and after my initial waking moments I am fine. I don’t suffer the debilitating spread 24/7. But it is there the second I become conscious from sleep and it rises thru me like an orchestrated crescendo. A cold, clutching reverberation of strings and woods and horns and drums. Pounding my solar plexus, echoing thru to my fingertips.

I don’t understand this Anxiety.

At all.

I’m trying to.

I just want to STOP.

The fucking loop.

I Need My Space Back :)

So…after debating on this issue for the past week, on and off, I have decided that Coming Out Crooked needs to go back to it’s original format. My reasons are simple. I need my space back. This space was never meant for business consumption. It was meant to be a personal space for me to work out my shit. To capture the journey of my coming out and my life, with all the pain, the sadness, the joy and the love that has been in. I think it’s important that I keep this space for me.

This message is specifically for the followers that have joined ‘my tribe‘ in the past few weeks based on the positivity messages posted here in my JUST DO YOU newsletter. I have a new home for those messages, and for the newsletter, and it’s intention is clear. If you’d like to continue to follow me on that particular journey which is catered more to positive personal development and the power of self-talk, then please find me here!

www.thebuddhaneuron.com

It’s a brand new site. A new venture. A new journey. And it’s literally being built as I write this lol so it will be changing constantly until it’s all done! But the BLOG is up and running and new posts will appear on Tuesdays and Fridays. Right now, it’s where my true focus is so please feel free to join me. Everyone is invited lol. The Buddha Neuron is just as much a part of me as Coming Out Crooked. It just has a different focus. I’m a Gemini. Nuff said! Lol

That’s it!

Have an AWESOME weekend! And perhaps I will see you on the other side!

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So, let’s talk about my new friend, Happy!

Happy and I met about a year ago in a blizzard of wintry white. Sitting on the couch watching quietly as the world disappeared under a blanket of snow, I was painfully lamenting, once again, my broken heart. I had fallen in love and ultimately been rejected. I am not one of those women who falls in and out of love on a dime, so that kind of intense, emotional bonding is super rare for me. And the struggle to just get over it was real. For a long time, I continued to suffocate in a deep pool of self-recrimination. Asking myself all the agonizing questions one asks when a relationship ends. Why did they leave me? Why hadn’t I been enough? What could I have done differently? And so on. It’s a thing we do, right? Rejection is never easy. But, here’s the clincher.

The relationship had ended nearly two years prior.

And I was deeply involved in a new one.

I know, right. Ya. I took it pretty hard and my recovery-from-rejection skills were at an all time low. I met my nemesis, Abandonment when I was little, and we have never seen eye to eye. And somehow, in this life, I don’t think we ever will.

Now, on this particular super stormy winter day, I was wallowing in anger, futility, and hopelessness and feeling stupid sorry for myself, when a new voice joined the cacophony in my head and shouted, “Seriously, Trish? Again? What is wrong with you?” And I swear, it was literally in that moment, that something inside me just kinda clicked. I looked around at my surroundings and seemed to see my life, as it was, clearly for the first time. The warm and wonderful home I had created with my new partner. The abundance of true acceptance and positivity I had in my life. And most importantly, in a flash of brutal insight, I realized what a disservice I was doing to the person who was actually giving me the kind of love that I needed. I had it all yet, I couldn’t see any of it because I was stuck in a never-ending loop of negativity that came from reliving the past. Over and over and over.

 And because I refused to change my thinking

 I stayed there for a very, very long and painful time.

But in that wonderful moment of realization, I felt this bubble rise up and burst in my gut, in a warm and fuzzy kinda way, and all my crazy angst settled into acceptance. And the more I looked around, the more present I became. I almost felt embarrassed by how foolish I had been, wasting so much time hurting myself over the past. It was done. It was over. And no amount of agonizing was going to change that. So, I respectfully and consciously made the decision to let it go. And guess who showed up and introduced herself?

 HAPPY!

And I was like, damn girl! You are lookin’ gooood!

Lol, okay. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I trusted Happy at first. She was covered in a sticky sweet, sugar-coated gooeyness that I was completely unfamiliar with. And my non-trusting and way too familiar friend, Doubt, was only too eager to tell me to step away! That Happy couldn’t be trusted. That staying in our comfortably familiar place of brooding and sadness and misery was infinitely more pleasing. But, the choice to stay stuck exactly where I was suddenly no longer seemed acceptable. And it sure as hell wasn’t fun!

I wanted more for myself.

And I deserved more!

Even in my most insecure and darkest moments, I always knew I was capable of so much more then I was allowing myself to be. So, I dug deep into my arsenal of awesome life experiences and grabbed onto something that would allow me to befriend this foreign, but magnificent creature. And the first thing I found was Choice. Choice was the tool I used to move into a space that I intuitively knew would make me feel Happy and believe she was real. I had to trust my gut. And that wasn’t easy. Did I mention Doubt and I were pretty tight at this point? Still, I made the choice to push away the things that didn’t make me feel good and only accept the things that did. I didn’t reprimand myself for putting myself first, something I have always had trouble doing, and I gave myself permission to be free of the past. Self-compassion eventually won out and led me to the path of learning to love ME.

I embraced Happy as a fulltime roommate and you know what?

She’s friggen awesome!!!

Happy and I are still getting to know one another, so we do this little dance every now and then. The two-step. One step forward and two steps back lol. But I am confident we will find a rhythm that works beautifully for both of us. I’m no Happiness Guru (not yet anyhow ) and I don’t have all the answers. And I’m in no way trying to convince you otherwise. I make mistakes, have shitastic days and get weighed down in fear and self-doubt, just like everybody else. Besides, this is a BIG BIG topic and there is no way the question of how to be happy could ever be covered in one simple newsletter. People have spent lifetimes trying to figure this shit out, and those people have more people trying to figure their shit out!

Because Happy Looks Different To Everybody!

For me, it began with the simple and conscious decision to let Happy into my life. To understand that cultivating a genuine willingness to open myself up to changing my attitude, my behaviors and ultimately my thoughts, were the only way Happy was gonna come. And I really wanted Happy to come. I’m talking about true happy; lasting happy. Happy that comes from within. Not the crack-happy that has you soaring one day and then bottoming out the next. Nope. I wanted the real McCoy.

So I did the work!

And I did it with these three things.

Intention. Focus. Repetition.

I learned to stop the negative self-talk and started a brand new conversation in my mind with positive self-talk. I learned what to say to myself when I talked to myself so that I wouldn’t fall back into the same mental and emotional trap. I had to remind myself what an amazing person I am. How kind and loving and compassionate I am. How intelligent and creative and fun I am. How sincere and honest and powerful I am. And I had to remind myself that I am worthy and deserving of loving and healthy relationships in every area of my life. In truth, I kinda had to rewire my brain cuz that negative loop had been playing for a very, very long time.

Was it easy to move from pain and apathy to acceptance and happy? Hell no! It took a lot of work! I had to learn to shut out the noise of negative self-talk, practice a crap load of mindfulness, and had to keep kicking myself to stay present. And I had days where I just wanted to quit trying and just slip back into the rabbit hole. And some days I did. But, I never stayed there long. And soon the times in between crazy angst and calm became further and further apart. I connected with my gut again. And started trusting what it was telling me. I started finding meaning and purpose in my life again, something I had lost somewhere along the way.

But most importantly, I found my long lost best friend,

Confidence!

We are like crazy tight now and she is sexy as hell, let me tell ya!

So, I’m gonna share a little pearl of wisdom and tell you this: Much of our success and fulfillment, which is what Happy really is, comes down to how we see things. It comes down to the meaning we choose to give the events and circumstances we find ourselves in. It comes down to what we believe this wonderful thing called life is all about.

There is so much noise in our world these days. So much that disconnects us from who we are and from achieving what we want most. We’ve disconnected from our gut and the truth we know is buried deep inside. We don’t take the time to sit and listen to ourselves anymore. Our most positive selves. Our most cherished selves. The one who knows we are friggen rock stars! We need to shut out the hundreds of thousands of negative messages that we are bombarded with every day, including the ones we tell ourselves! The ones that tell us we need to do this to be successful, or put up with that to be loved, or be this to be accepted, or look like this to be beautiful. And definitely, the ones that tell us we aren’t good enough! Screw that!!!

We need to take more time just to enjoy being US! 

When did that happen anyway? When did we become so obsessed with doing so much stuff that we forgot how to just BE?

Your attitude impacts everything. It directs your thoughts, your energy and most of all, the actions you take. If you want to master one of the most underrated secrets for how to be successful and happy in life, this is it:

Positivity!

Yup! Positive Attitude! Positive Self-Talk!

Now, before you roll your eyes and say here she goes with the hippy dippy stuff again, listen up! When I say positivity, I’m not talking about wearing rose-colored glasses or ignoring real-life challenges. And I’m not talking about being fake or keeping your not-so-positive emotions hidden. We’ve all got them. But, it’s about how you manage them, and how much control you give them that matters! What I’m asking you to do is use more of your Intelligence. Be smarter! Become aware of how much power you have and take responsibility for the impact your Attitude has on the quality of your life!

The actions you take, the energy you exude and the results you create are so much better when you practice positivity. Positive Self-Talk might seem obvious to you, but you’d be surprised to learn that most people just react to the world and allow their attitude to be dictated by the events that happen around them. Even if you have the best of intentions, do all the right things, and work really, really hard, if you don’t learn to harness this amazing and positive energetic exchange, you’re never gonna meet Happy!

And did I mention that Happy is pretty friggen phenomenal!

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It takes the brain a while to acquire new information and incorporate it, so don’t beat yourself up if you try to run with this and fall down a few times. BE PATIENT with yourself. Embrace your ambition and don’t be afraid of the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Just keep trying! We really need to learn that the real stuff doesn’t happen overnight! We need to give ourselves time to learn, to implement, to fail and to ultimately succeed! It’s a process. This is so important to understand! Listen to your gut. It’s trying to tell you something and it’s the place where your truest happy resides.

How many of you have had a strong gut feeling, ignored it

and then were sorry you did afterward?

Ya, I thought so.

Gut level cognition is absolutely valid and we ignore it all too often!

 YOU deserve to be Happy! 

So listen to your GUT! Stay Positive! Practice Positive Self-Talk! 

This trifecta will never steer you wrong!

Whew! That’s it my lovelies! Lol, like I said, HAPPY is a BIG subject! I may not have all the answers but my promise and commitment is to bring you the very best of what I’m living and learning and keep it as real and as honest as I can. Don’t expect perfection cuz it ain’t gonna happen lol. But you can expect thought-provoking ideas, my own timeless brand of wisdom, some silliness in between, and an unwavering devotion to helping you live your most expansive, expressive and meaningful life… Happily!

Till then,

Own Yourself!

Accept, Embrace & Love

Everything that makes you YOU!

And Namaste Your Ass Off!


I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.~ Hafiz (1320-1389)