The moments…I live for them and I revel in them. One of the things that I have started doing in the last year is recognizing the moments. I can think of so many that have happened in the last year simply because I took a minute to stop and recognize them by saying out loud, “In this moment, I am __________.”

Yesterday my moments were many. It started watching the sunrise, then a walk on the beach, breakfast with my sister-cousin, spending most of the day with “the Aunt’s” and then finishing up with a hockey game where I got to see the love of my life doing what he loves. SO MANY MOMENTS IN ONE DAY.

To anyone else a day like I described is just a “good day” but to me they were many moments.

  • When the gnats chased me in my car and the song “Miracles” came on…that was a moment. It made me smile and so happy to be there.
  • When I was sitting in front of my beautiful cousin and sharing breakfast on a Sunday morning. Two souls sharing and caring for each other, it was timeless. It was a loving moment.
  • When I was sitting at my Aunt’s table and working with them on our first book, my Aunt Judith said, “this is what we do every day…we just laugh all day” and I thought what a beautiful moment, so cherished.
  • When we were at Gary’s game and he and Dave were so happy to have us there it was truly a moment of gratitude. We even laughed that it was so funny how happy Gary was that I was there. Most guys, well we won’t worry about most guys…my guy wanted me there and loved that my Aunt’s joined me!

Sometimes my moments are not in the activity and those are the ones I cherish the most because it simply occurs to me that in THAT moment I am so happy. I had this happen on Saturday as I spent the day completely chilling out and all of a sudden it happened. I said to Gary, “In this moment I am in absolutely NO pain and I feel so optimistic about the future.” I said it again, just to make sure I captured the moment. It was what I had waited for months to feel; pain-free and hopeful for the future.

I was so fortunate to share so many moments with my Mom and that is what makes living this life without her bearable. I have moments that I simply will never forget and will always cherish. One that makes me smile even today is…

  • Last August as she was relegated to the bed a Paul McCartney special came on. She was a fan of the Beatles so I told her we were going to watch it. She wasn’t speaking much at this point but was aware. I will never forget laying there beside her and seeing her toes come to life, tapping to the beat of the music. I looked over at her in that moment and she was lip syncing the song!!! I was floored!!! She wasn’t just aware she was THERE! I will never forget that moment as long as I live. It was THE moment.

This life is busy, it’s full of tasks and distractions. If you don’t actively recognize the moments as they happen they will pass you by. Pay attention to your world, your surroundings and find the moments!

I challenge you to POST your moment in the comment section of this blog telling us what that moment was and how it felt. I am so excited in anticipation of sharing these magnificent moments with you.

His creed…

I started my morning watching an interview on Nightline with Scott Stapp. Scott Stapp was the lead singer of Creed, a very popular group from the 90’s and best known for the song he co-wrote With Arms Wide Open. I was definitely a fan of their music, and still am. Allow me to segue for a moment to share my faves:

My Sacrifice – the first two verses are so freeing…

Hello my friend we meet again
It’s been a while, where should we begin
Feels like forever
Within my heart are memories
Of perfect love that you gave to me
Oh, I remember

When you are with me, I’m free
I’m careless, I believe
Above all the others we’ll fly
This brings tears to my eyes
My sacrifice

My Own Prison – this song served me in my long fight through weight loss feeling like a prisoner in a body that I knew was not representative of the soul living inside. “I’ve created my own prison” they lyrics recite.

MY ABSOLUTE FAVE is One Last Breath

Hold me now
I’m six feet from the edge and I’m thinking
Maybe six feet
Ain’t so far down

I’m looking down now that it’s over
Reflecting on all of my mistakes
I thought I found the road to somewhere
Somewhere in His grace
I cried out heaven save me
But I’m down to one last breath
And with it let me say
Let me say

Hold me now
I’m six feet from the edge and I’m thinking
Maybe six feet
Ain’t so far down

YES all are perfect lyrics to bring us back to what was inspiring about Scott’s interview this morning. As someone who knows what it feels like to be “six feet from the edge and thinking maybe six feet isn’t so far down…” and also someone who said to her surgeon recently when they warned the risks of anesthesia that “I win either way; I am going to wake up with Gary or my Mom by my side…what is the risk?” the topic of mental illness/health is always one close to my heart, mind and soul and will continuously be thematic throughout my blog.

In 2014 Scott Stapp hit rock-bottom, posting disturbing videos and making paranoid 911 calls that were released to the public. He blames a mixture of alcohol and prescribed meds for the psychotic episode. He notes that his trauma goes back to childhood. Damn. Why is childhood such a traumatic event for so many. (I wonder what trauma my kids will claim?)

“The Space Between the Shadows” is his new album coming out next week. Getting much acclaim already is a song that he wrote Gone Too Soon as a tribute to his friends Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington who both committed suicide two years ago.

Scott Stapp notes in the interview “i don’t know that there is much that could have gotten through to me…because I was not in sound mind”. This is a testament to how dysfunctionally-private mental illness is; it builds a wall around its victim not allowing them to see OUT and rarely allowing those close to them to see IN; unless really paying attention and hopefully before it’s too late. This is why it is so important to be in touch with your own mental health and have a tribe around you that you can call, ones you can trust, ones that get it and that get you. But that is only a “thing” if you are fearless in calling it out.

A recent TED Talk from Eleanor Longden noted, as she was going through the throws of mental illness, that “someone died in that place and yet someone else was saved…a broken and haunted person started that journey but the person that emerged was a survivor”. You see not every story of depression ends in tragedy. Many come to know the process, the journey, to be worth the benefit of seeing it through. She, through her TED Talk, and Scott Stapp, through his music, are giving back to a community by “sharing the burden for someone suffering and holding the hope for their recovery”.

Eleanor goes on to note that “many people have harmed me in my life and I remember them all but they pale in comparison to those that saved me and helped me save myself. When you are aware of it you can do something positive about it for you cannot oppress the people that are not afraid anymore”. #Word

Another notable TED Talk with Elyn Saks notes that “everyone becomes psychotic in his or her own way” (Just ask my kids…Saturday CHORE mornings at the Kiel house will likely be what they will site to their therapists as TRAUMA!). Elyn goes on to note that “my head was too full of noise”. How many of us can identify with this in some form? My favorite quote from her talk is…

The humanity we all share is more important than the mental illness we may not #Preach!

We all have a responsibility to continue to acknowledge Mental Health regardless of our infliction or not. “For those that deny the experience are the most enslaved by what they have (or don’t).  While you hide from it, it grows.” – Andrew Solomon  

I conclude with lyrics from yet another favorite Creed song “What if”…

I know I can’t hold the hate inside my mind ’cause what consumes your thoughts controls your life

So I’ll just ask a question
A lonely simple question
I’ll just ask one question

What if
What if
What if

You decide the “What If…”, what if you got the help you need today, what if you didn’t, what if you got better, what if you got worse? You decide…I did and my “What if”…well let’s just say I do the work and the work does me well.

This is life as I see it – L.

Why Always Starting…

Last night I launched my official site, my blog and then today, just now I put it out in MY world. The world of my friends, family, colleagues, onlookers, stalkers…ha!…I could only hope I am interesting enough to stalk!

This idea is part of a bigger cause/project as I have finally decided to write. The reality is that I have been writing for YEARS but I have not shared any of my writing, thoughts, journals and sometimes f’d up streams of consciousness until now. This is a big step, tonight feels monumental.

My journey thus far has been long and varied but in the last year it has been the very side of life that I try to avoid at all costs…the darker, sadder times that we all experience whether we want to or not but typically not in ten short months! I have picked up on many themes in the last ten months as I try to find some form of “normal” through what has been abnormal in every way. I would hear myself saying “I just wish I could get back to normal” and then with that I would attempt to start again with whatever “normal” was defined as in that moment. in these stops and starts I have started many new phases, albeit most short-lived due to circumstances beyond my control. Some of those phases of new starts included running. walking, eating (yes, eating, can you believe I ever stopped!), working, journaling, reading and many, many more. The fact is not that I have to restart because I stop or God forbid quit but because life has had other plans. I have learned a lot about plans as the old Yiddish adage goes “Man plans and God laughs”!

I texted my Aunt Susie last night who has been my biggest supporter and the one to get me started on this writing journey and said, “I think I am going to name the blog “Always Starting” and she came back with “add ‘The Art of Never Giving Up” and that is how two great minds come together to get it right. The reality is that I “always start” because I “never give up”. I am a doer, a fighter, disciplined to a fault and will try anything but more importantly won’t stop until it’s done. This resolve has served me well in my life but it hasn’t been all positive; sometimes succeeding is knowing when to give up; this too has been a lesson.

I hope that you will take this journey with me. As noted above it will be varied as I have a lot of thoughts that I hope to explore with you my follower, my critic and for now as invited the “loves of my life”. Always Starting…yet again…let’s do this! #Word

Always Starting…The Art of Never Giving Up

Always Starting…The Art of Never Giving Up

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

Here we go…it’s official, I am writing. Well the truth is I have been writing for a very long time but this is pulling back the curtain and sharing what I have otherwise hidden inside the archives of Google Docs for years. Today is the second best day of the year to start; it’s officially the first day of the second half of the year. There could not be a better day to start; poignant.

Well in this case the best way to start is to introduce myself and offer my “take” on why I choose “Always Starting” as my blog name.

  • My name is Lori Kiel and I am a 48-year old mother of three, grandmother of 2 and wife of 1…glad I got that out of the way! Ha!
  • I am a “Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer” by day and a “Super Soul” searching for the meaning of life, theories and matters of the universe the rest of my waking hours.
  • In the last year I have been through a heart-breaking journey that along the way has helped me to understand the “why” behind every lesson I have learned in my 48-years.
  • This blog is my way of making the MESS that has been my year my MESSage.

I invite you to follow me and I assure you I will be transparent, honest and revealing in sharing my journey with you.

I am always starting and I have never given up…yet. Start this journey with me; it’s sure to be a ride!