Author Archives: Keli Conci

How To Make Your Half-Ass, Kick-Ass

 

For the past 6 months or so, I put my “Health Coaching Hat” up and played in some other roles that spoke to me. But, recently I have been ready to bust out my Health Coaching gear, roll up my sleeves and dig into all things foodie and green again.

I tapped out suddenly and abruptly from Holistic Health Coaching and I am now better equipped with awareness of why I had a sudden drop off.

I think, scratch that, I KNOW you have probably felt what I’m about to talk about, so let’s bust through some shiz together, shall we?

Cool, let’s dance.

 

So, I launched my coaching practice loaded with maaaaa-jor health knowledge, inspiration and a cape to save the world from GMO’s, non-organic food, chemicals and all things that come straight out of a box. 

How sweet I thought I was. But, ‘ya know what else I was armed with?

Judgement. A whole whopping tub of it actually.

 

Yep. My “understanding” of all things food and health equaled me becoming a lean, mean, green-loving biotch.

I was packing a heavy dose of “what the fuck are you thinking eating that” which wreaked of more criticism – when I saw someone (or myself thinking of) eating a hunk of meat – than Simon Cowell on American Idol.

 

Coming from someone who prides herself on not being judgmental, I was swimming in Judgment Ocean and the waves were ferocious and I was having trouble keeping my head above water.

You see the waves weren’t always so rocky. However, it all began when I started labeling myself vegan and then wanting to bitch slap myself if I wanted some cheese, or a juicy, grass-fed burger.

 

“Hell no” I would shout to myself as I dreamt of blue cheese crumbles on my salad and as I saw others freely choosing these “lactose intolerant, acne ridden” pretty little crumbles – I got pissed….

Pissed that I wasn’t allowing myself to indulge like “they” are.

Pissed that I had to be so “healthy” (I had to set a good example for my clients, right)?

Pissed that I wasn’t giving myself permission to choose.

Pissed that I was doing this “box and label” thing.

 

And ‘ya know the crazy thing? I flippin’ knew better. Or, at least I thought I did.

So, what’s a pissed off cheese lover to do?

Explore. Follow the pain. Get to the root. Shadow work, bitch.

 

Are you ready for the unicorn shitting roses moment?

I was.

 

And what I decided to do was drop the judgment, bless the journey and have a piece of pizza.

And it felt good. Really good.

So good I decided to experiment with more food, as every body is different, and it shall be treated as such.

I opened myself up to choice, to exploration, to experimentation, to wiggle room, to love, to enjoying the journey.

 

I learned to be okay with kicking ass “half way” by:

  • getting down on some greens and adding a little blue cheese crumbles
  • being okay with forgetting to have my green smoothie for the day and overdosing on lemon water
  • choosing a grass-fed burger over a veggie burger at a restaurant
  • not cooking and eating organic soup out of a can (gasp!)
  • indulging in the homemade, comfort food when at family gatherings AFTER I hovered over the fruit and veggie plate

Liberation, baby. Sweet bliss.

 

So, here I am now – more aware, more awake, more loving, more ME.

And more then ready to help you kick ass whatever way you want to!

Because I’d rather kick ass half way by choosing love than judge my way to whole by choosing fear.

 

I want to hear from you:

Where have you judged yourself and how are you choosing to kick-ass half way?

 

Infinite Love + Kicking-Ass,

Keli Conci

 

CONTINUE READING

How To Embrace Reinvention

 

Reinvention…

after a shit storm

 

My theme. My new buzz word. And the reason why you are looking at a website with a white canvas in which I am ready to place my brush upon.

Crazy? Probably.

Real? That’s all I can offer at this moment.

 

You see, I’m coming off a wee-bit of a shit storm. And for me that was entangled in essentially not speakig my truth.

The truth I held so sacred and revered for everyone to speak. Yep, that truth.

 

BUT, before you think I’m gonna go all cynical and pessimistic on yo ass…nah.

I’m affirming that life is one giant experiment and that is exactly what I did – experimented.

 

I threw myself into new business ventures and new ideas around money.

I played with bright, visionary peeps who want to be of service to this world just as much as I do! Refreshing it is, I say.

 

I rode hard on spirituality and looking back I drove the spirituality bus over the cliff – which is why I feel like I am free falling. Now, I’m not dogging the Universe and all things divine. Not at all. Actually I’m praising all things holy. It was me that had some interesting points of view and I was missing a sweet-ass piece to the pie…ACTION.

Yep, I was the one waiting for shit to fall from the sky via all things spiritual, but ya know what I wasn’t doing? Taking action. Now, I was showing up, no doubt. But, I wasn’t putting in the whole “hard work” piece because I cut off my awareness to any word that connotated life not being “easy.” Geez, Kel.

 

And, with any good leap of faith you learn quickly your priorities and what you really desire in life.

 

The thoughts of those for me flashed quickly and shot at me like a dart to a bullseye: being with my family, nurturing the friendships in my life, creative expression, all things green and no longer cutting off my awareness to the things that do feel light in my world – like being spiritual and rich. Bam, I just said that.


So, here I am again.

Starting over. Recreating. Reinvention. Rebirthing.

It feels damn heart expanding in my world.

 

I also sit here and ponder vulnerability. Definitely an attribute I don’t “show” very much, but learned a lot in this latest experiment in life that vulnerability is the sweet spot in life. I’m ready and willing to scratch the v-word and bring her forth as seemingly acting like a laughing robot no longer serves me.

 

And while we’re talking about vulnerability, I must open up my heart space where indecision has its pretty little home. Are you the type to change your mind a lot? A flip-flopper maybe? I’ve been called that a lot, but judment isn’t serving my ass either.

However, what I realized is I need accountability (which is why I always thrived in traditional 9-5 work environments).

Now this whole entrepreneur, you are your own boss thing, I’m learning ok? I need an official bitchslapper in my life to go, “Yo, you said you were going to do this – WTF?!” And then bitchslap me like those Batman and Robin cartoon strips I see on the interwebs. Hahahaha. Any takers?

 

And of course, this little love poem would not be pouring out of me without acknowledging some of the most profound teachers and mirrors I’ve experienced thus far in life…

 

My soul acknowledges your soul and my feelings of what needed to be brought up within myself (the shadow work). So, where I initially felt anger, resentment and judgment…I now feel love, gratitude and forgiveness for what I so desperately needed to be more of me. 

Thank you teachers, mirrors and experiments. I honor your journey as I honor my own, and deep gratitude resides in my heart for knowing better about myself. Thank you. 

 


 

 

Infinite Love + Reinvention, 

Keli Conci

CONTINUE READING

The Weight of Judgment + How I Called Bullshit On Myself

 

I am going to call myself out right this moment: I love spirituality + consciousness!

I’m a bit of a hippie, I’m all about the woo – crystals, affirmations, Law of Attraction, mala beads and so much more.

I love the world of chakras, Shaman, acupuncture, Reiki, energetic healing, Medium’s, Angel’s, meditation and kale…definitely kale.

This is the place where I feel alive, comfortable and not confined by any box. My energy is free in this space and judgment only lives where I place it. This is where I connect with God/Source/Universe.

 

I bet you are wondering why I am “calling myself out” on being spiritual?

Well, to tell ya the damn truth…up until recently I judged myself for being in the “woo” because I thought I had to appeal to everybody (business & personally speaking). Wtf, right? Silly goose I am.

I had this picture in my mind that I didn’t want to let anyone down by showing up fully in that space of consciousness because if they didn’t align with what I put out there…wait for it, wait for it…They. May. Not. LIKE ME! GAAAASP.

Yep, that was a story I told myself and trust me I try my best to be highly aware of what stories are runnin’ around in my noggin’,  or not giving two-shits about what other people think. Go figure, even us spiritual types are ever evolving – damn you ego.

 

I always admired others who showed up fully in their business and life with the beautiful gifts they had to offer this world.

Perhaps it was my lack of awareness around my own gifts (and btw we ALL possess a special quality that is unique to us and may shine outwardly onto this world) that kept me in a space of “pleasing everyone.”

Perhaps it was part of my journey to keep digging, especially in my business, as to how I can use myself to serve the world and then show up FULLY.

As I tried to “appeal to everyone” I found my light beginning to dim.

That’s the weight of judgment.

You see, when something doesn’t feel light to you (light feelings usually equate to truth); it probably feels heavy (which is usually a lie, or belongs to someone else) and I was deep in the heavy sometimes all because I was taking on other people’s shit that was not light to me.

That is when I said to myself, “I call bullshit…on me,” and began to embrace that kick-ass, hippie freak inside me. Hell to the yeah!

 

Obviously what are light to you may not be light to someone else and the same goes for the heavy feelings – it is all relative. You may even change your mind or point of view at any damn time you want. Now, isn’t that freedom?

I realized I was holding back the core of ME all along. (Oh yeah, not being You takes a shit ton of energy because you are constantly in judgment of yourself or others).

How can you receive love and acceptance if you are in judgment? Ya can’t!

I quit judgment of myself and stopped taking on others perceived perceptions and moved into choosing L-O-V-E, sweet love moment by moment. Feels so good.

What if being YOU is exactly what people wanted?

What if the cursing, F-bomb dropping, spontaneous, laugh-out-loud from your toes, cabernet wine lover, raw truth, I love the Universe, meditating feels so good, affirmation sayin’, weeeee bit stubborn, Wayne Dyer & Oprah loving, take no shit, cry when I watch 20/20, wanna change the world Keli is all that I “need” to BE?

 

What if someone does not accept you?

That truly is not your problem – it is their “problem.” And it is not even a problem…take nothing personally. Send them light and love and carry on, sister (and brother), carry on.

 

What if just by showing up every day as YOU is all that is required? Too simple?

Try it.

We are inter-connected, ever-changing BE~ings, so give yourself permission to change your mind and grow.

 

Who wants to stay the same their whole life?

Growth occurs by putting one foot in front of the other even when you cannot see what’s in front of you.

What’s in front of you is the ability to choose; choose feelings of faith and hope and the choice to tap into our inner knowing of guidance – that sacred space of freedom and serenity which gives us an internal cheering and peace every time we choose from knowing.

Rock on – the choice is yours.

 

Love + Droppin’ It Like It’s Hot,

Keli

CONTINUE READING

Why Labels Are Killing Your Energy

 

Do you enjoy living in a box?

Didn’t think so; I don’t either.

They are tight, stuffy and give me no room to breathe and I definitely can’t stretch out in there.

So, why in the hell would I put myself in one?

Silly girl I am.

Here is why I think labels are killing your energy + definitely killed my mojo:

For the last two years I’ve been a “vegan” (hello label).

It started out because of my lactose intolerance and cutting out dairy. I was never really a meat person, so I cut that out too. I didn’t eat eggs or fish that much either, so threw those suckers out as well.

I felt better than I ever had in my life; light, clear headed and full of energy from my new love of all things green and the beloved kale. I felt like I was part of a secret society with this vegan stuff. It was underground, but going main stream, and I was living proof that this shit truly did work (in my atmosphere).

As I became even more immersed in this yummy world and became a Certified Holistic Health Coach, I wanted to share all I had up in my brain (and heart) to everyone around me. I wanted to change their lives just like being vegan changed mine.

I set out to change the world, or hell, at least change someone’s world.

 

Along my journey I began to realize something + damn it if it was NOT such a pretty realization about me:

Judgment.

I was in judgment everywhere I looked, and not just judging of others for their food choices, but judgment of myself for wanting (and eating) eggs, fish or cheese every once in a while.

If I chose to eat eggs or have some sushi I would beat myself up the whole time I was eating it and thought to myself how mortified I would be if a client saw me in here not being the V-word.

Again, silly girl I am.

As I began to perk up to this awareness and feel the heaviness of judgment in my life I knew I had to let that shit go. I saw that the judgment of others for eating what I deemed “crappy” food was really the mirror of judgment within me for me.

What’s a Ballsy Broad to do with this new awareness? I began to acknowledge my thoughts around judgment in general (especially food) and then started to choose only what felt light and expansive in my world.

As soon as I began doing that for me the outer world of judgments disappeared. I could now watch someone eat a fast food meal without wanting to shake them (or force them to puke – whichever one came first). Kidding.

I kicked that vegan, judgment box to the curb and allowed the trash man to pick it up. This box was no longer mine to carry, so I shed that little bitch and felt free bird status from that moment on.

I also stopped putting labels on myself i.e. vegan, vegetarian, blah, blah, blah. By slapping a label on myself I cut me off to choosing – and isn’t that what freedom is all about — choosing?!

 

Now, I choose what my body wants by asking it questions like:

“Do you want a smoothie right now? Or would you like some toast and almond butter?”

“Would you like sushi? Or a salad?”

“Would you like a meatball with your spaghetti? Or just rock out with the sauce only?”

And whatever response pops up with the lightest, most spacious feeling – I choose it.

 

This puts you in a place of creating your most expansive life by the simple act of choosing and living in inspired action as much as possible.

I’ll take every piece of that sweet pie – thank you very much.

 

Love + Blank Labels,

Keli

CONTINUE READING

A Letter of Love to My Flotation Devices

 

If you’ve got friends like mine; raise your glasses. If you don’t; raise your standards. – Unknown

 

Has your best friend(s) saved you at a time in your life?

Like, the 3:00AM phone call type of save your life?

 

Perhaps, you called them after you found an email that confirmed your suspicions of “crossing the line” and they showed up at your house and you didn’t have to say a word.

That friend you climbed trees with, watched “Jerry Springer” and yelled at the television with and then you both grew up, got married and are still friends.

That friend where you just know too much about each other and you both will take all secrets to the grave.

Or maybe they took you in like family, and never asked for anything in return. Their family is your family.

How about the friends that weren’t there in the early years: the new friends that get you and make your life delightfully charming and so much sweeter.

 

Yep, those are all of my exquisite, heart centered, soul-sister-friends.

I’ve always said God gives you everything you need because although my family foundation, at times, has been nothin’ short of a tropical storm throughout my life – my friendships have always been on solid ground, like a rock.

My friends did not break when times got tough they just showed up; no judgment, no ridicule, just pure, unconditional love from one sister to another.

 

And that is what they do to this day — show up. Perhaps in a phone call, an email, text message, letter, impromptu girls night out, a scheduled trip, or even a surprise reunion when you least expect it.

I’ve come to realize that is what I treasure most in life — my friendships and keeping them connected and nurtured.


This open love letter is to the old, the new and the few.

I have to spotlight a couple of them because I want you to take stalk of your life: if your “friends” aren’t like some of these amazing chicks I’m about to talk about, then perhaps you shall seriously re-think your “friends.”

We all deserve friends who lift us up, make us believe in ourselves and carry us to a new level in life…these are some of my earthly cherubs.

Come on in…


Kindergarten L-O-V-E

 

That’s my Roch (her name is Rachelle, but I affectionately call her my little Roch- long O, please).

We’ve been in each other’s lives since kindergarten and the above pic was taken at my wedding where she was my Maid of Honor.

I love her, with every particle of my being.

 

Our lives are unexplainably intertwined like only two lifetime bestie’s can be – our husbands both share the same name of Josh, she conceived her daughter on the night of our wedding and our daughters are almost two-months apart, to the day, for starters.

As much as we share in the commonalities of our life, we are dually opposite.

While I’m outspoken and boisterous, she can be meek and soft spoken. I can have a selfish, fierce independence, while she gives of herself freely and without question.

I’m grateful for these contrasts between us because I’ve been able to learn from my Roch. She tempers me and is a much needed soft place to land and voice of reason in my sometimes chaos.

 

In 20+ years of friendship we have bickered, been hard-headed, called each other out, been less than understanding and just like family called each other the next day to apologize and mend.

Our lifelong friendship has weathered everything from our childhood days of opening her Christmas presents while the parents were out, to sleeping on a hospital floor night after night while Roch’s boyfriend at the time lay in the Neuro ICU clinging to life.

 

We lost contact in high school, only to be connected years later, we moved to Denver together, lived with her grandparent’s while we tried to maneuver this bold move and I eventually moved back home; leaving my Roch in Denver where she now resides with her husband and children.

Although two hours of driving is the distance between us now, my heart knows she is always with me.

 

Why have we remained friends this long and why is she such a pivotal person in my life?

Easy breezy:

:: Her kindness makes me want to give more of myself.

:: Her heartfelt emotions allow me to take a good look at myself and wonder why I think holding it all in is the answer.

:: Because although she isn’t even five feet tall and could shop at Baby Gap, I feel fiercely protected when I’m with her.

:: When I spend time with her and watch the pure devotion she has to her children; she makes me a better mother.

:: And selfishly, because I know if I needed anything she would be there – no questions asked…consider it done.

 

Just like family. I can’t wait to watch our daughters grow up together and call each other when all of the “firsts” happen, as we already have.

I lean on you, as much as you lean on me…you just don’t know it.

Thanks for never leaving my side. I love you more then you will ever know my Roch!


 High School Sweethearts

Sarah + Lauren + Amber + Me… Besties in Plymouth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If it was not for these three women + their amazing families, I’m not sure how I would have survived the high school years. 

We conjoined as a cohesive-soul group our sophomore year.

I was lost as hell. I knew not a single person at my new high school. I had to start over, I was going through an identity crisis with who I thought I was and the friends I had, to who I was forced to become overnight and the lack of support I found myself without as I chose at fourteen years old to live a “better” life in a new town with my much older brother and his family.

These three were my beacons of light and I instantly felt at “home” with each.

 

I met Amber our freshman year and she is literally like a big ray of sunshine that oozes warmth when you’re around her. She introduced me to Lauren and Sarah and from that point on the rest is history you could say.

Amber and I spent summers infused with hearty, gut busting, from your toes laughter and her parents welcomed me in with open arms. You could always find the best hospitality, food, drink and laughter at Dave and Kim’s house. Amber is my soft place to land. You are guaranteed to get a smile, laughter and gentle warmth inside your soul when around her. That is why I love her so much; she extends the love inside of her to everyone she meets and we are all softer, kinder beings for crossing in her path.

 

Lauren and Sarah are fraternal twins. I met the quiet Sarah first our freshman year and the next year outspoken Lauren joined our high school and bam – the twins! Twins by blood, opposite by nature.

Sarah can be quiet and reserved, as Lauren usually did the talking for them both. When I got to know Lauren I vividly recall how outspoken she was and never let anyone walk all over her like I felt I was allowing from others in my life at that time. I longed to have her brash and I know that is why I clung to her for so many reasons.

I think she could sense the heartache I was going through with my family at the time, and although she doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve, she stood up for me in her own way by taking me in and just being there.

Sarah is kind and her heart is deep with love and devotion. She would walk to the moon and back for someone she cares about and when I saw that extended to children, animals and myself I couldn’t help but feel like God really does give you everything you need, even it is not in the package you think it should be in.

 

The unconditional love didn’t stop with just Lauren and Sarah. Their mom, Marie and their entire family took me in as if I was their own.

I spent holidays, celebrations and birthday parties with them and even lived with them at times, as I chose to be surrounded by their love rather than the pain and confusion I was feeling at home.

 

Summer nights in high school were spent at their house where Amber, Lauren and myself would sleep in the same bed and wake up the next morning to Mama Marie cooking breakfast (and sometimes Marie walking into the room and the stench of our “Dutch Oven”) hahahahaha!

 

Gratitude, heartfelt thanks, none of those words could do justice to what these ladies and their family did for me in my life and truly helped shape me to the woman I am today.

They saved me from the depths of what I could have spiraled into and showed me a love I know came from the Divine.

Thank you, thank you sweet family for my heart has your love and kindness eternally etched upon it.

 

All four of us together have seen it all: first love breakups, makeups (and breakups again), senior trips, watching Sarah endure a life-threatening accident and be there day in and day out in her miraculous recovery, moving away to college and seeing off your best friend at the airport and turning and walking away with tears in your eyes, losing family members, marriage, moving across the country, trips to see each other, cheating boyfriends, divorce, children…all the messy, but even more all the yummy as well.

 

In fall of 2011 we all four took a ladies trip to Boston and Cape Cod.

It was a hell of a trip for me to make happen for myself. The first time I would be leaving my almost one year old at the time, leaving my husband the brunt duties of Mr. Mom and taking care of my father with dementia, and not to mention I wasn’t sure if I would be granted that vacation time at work.

But, it all came together and it happened.

I thank God it did because I was reminded of how in love and in awe of these three women I am, and even more so I was reminded of the gratitude I silently carry within my heart for who they are as individuals and who they are in this world, especially my world.


 Rock Star Sisters…

Jenny K. + I at my rockin’ 80’s bachelorette party!

 

Do you remember that friend you had when you were a little kid who you climbed trees with and dreamed upon dreams?

I can honestly say Jenny K. is that friend where I can remember climbing trees with as kids and dreaming the highest dreams with as we grew older.

 

We wanted to be famous (I’m pretty damn sure if that came knockin’ on our door right now we would say “hell yes” in a much broader vision then we had in our youth of course).

We literally grew up together. We would have sleep overs and stay up really late watching “Jerry Springer” while yelling at the television because of the guests he had on.

We would collect chap sticks and sneak off to K-Mart when we weren’t supposed to. Thinking about it now, I’m almost moved to start a damn band with her (even though I can’t carry a tune) because I have always felt like I can be my most badass, rock star, out-of-the-box self with Jenny K.

As we grew older and distance was between us, we would actually write letters to each other. They were filled with the spiritual journey’s we were embarking on individually and they were lined with our biggest, boldest, brightest hopes and dreams of our future.

I always felt like she “got” me and even more so, she had been witness to all of the ups and downs I had faced with my family. She knew it and seen it all and for me you can never take that away, or recreate that.

Jenny K. represents what girls, young ladies and women today should strive to be: REAL, AUTHENTIC & UNPRETENTIOUS.

 

I’d have to say one of the largest reasons I love her so much is her ability to be completely in the moment with you; in today’s world that is rare. She also has a child-like wonderment about her which is why I gravitate to her so much. She doesn’t take life too seriously and can laugh at herself with the most infectious laughter.

I admire her ability to pursue her dreams (as changing as they are for us both) and to continuously rock out in style no matter what she is doing.

Cheers to you my funny, bold, curious, rock star sister – you’ve amazed me since we were kids and you continue to amaze me to this day! I love you so much and could not be more grateful for our friendship.


It’s just another Manic Monday…

Charmayne (aka: DonkeyLips) + I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reunited and it feels so gooooooood!

That’s the song we’ve been singing to each other since reconnecting almost ten years ago, after knowing each other since middle school.

We met again at Texas Roadhouse as we were both servers getting through school and we’ve been partners in crime ever since.

 

We’re the type of friends that could annoy some by finishing each other’s sentences and having those inside jokes and words and phrases which we laugh hysterically to.

Sometimes all we have to do is look at each other and we both start crackin’ up and a word doesn’t have to be spoken. Just a look and we know the thought.

 

Charmayne’s been through a wild ten years with me from breakups, new relationships, more breakups and makeups, crazy wild nights, a move to Denver and back, career changes, new business ventures, marriage and a child.

For a time we would do Manic Monday’s and would drink some beer, eat some shitty food, laugh and talk our ass’s off all night long. I highly recommend this to all friends out there.

 

You wanna know why I love the hell out of this girl so much?! She’s just as goofy as I am (I like to refer to her as DonkeyLips and she calls me Sweet, Sister Mary Francis McGee- goofy enough for ya)?!

Beyond that, I admire her tenacity and laser like focus when it comes to her goals and life. I love those with tenacity and grit and strength and she personifies all qualities to the max.

But, what I love even more about Charmayne is this: her devotion, commitment and love to her family and friends.

She spent day after day with her cancer stricken sister as she donated her own bone marrow to save her sister’s life, took her nieces and nephews in as her own on top of being a wife and mother to her own two children. She is the ultimate mama bear. And selfishly, I know she would knock a bitch out for me- hahahaha!

That’s my Donkeylips — I pray I can be half as devoted to others as you have been to those around you. Thank you for you.


 To the NEW:

Sara, Andrea, Aimee: I didn’t know my heart could grow with more love from new friendships, but that was proven to be false the day I met each of you; you are now a part of my heart space.

I couldn’t thank you enough for growing my heart each day with your laughter, love, kindness, support, strength and you just being you. I’m even more grateful you allowed me to be a part of your journey, as you have held me up in my new journey in life.

You have shared not only yourself with me, but your family as well and I cherish each of you and the space you hold within me. I shall love, honor, protect and nurture that heart space as our friendship grows, for one day you will be “the old” because my heart doesn’t let just anybody in.


What does friendship mean to you?

I have shared with you my best and brightest examples of pure love.

Each of these women have molded me into who I am today and I would be nowhere in my life if it wasn’t for each of you. You each saved me at a time in my life and added character and growth to my journey.

This letter of love is for you and what I feel in my heart each day for you, but fail at times to speak so eloquently or show you just how big and bright of a star you are in my life and my heart.

Thank you my soul sisters, thank you.

 

 

Love + Soul-Sister-Flotation-Devices,

Keli

CONTINUE READING

Raise Your Glass + Drop Your Truth-Bomb, Now!

 

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. – Gloria Steinem

 

Do you feel like you can be real?

I’m talking reeeaaallly real with yourself? A friend? Family member? A lover?

 

Have you created a no-nonsense, fresh space for your life in which you can completely be yourself – truth-filled, open, no judgments?

Are you shaking your head “no,” or better yet, screaming “Oh hell no!”

I getcha’.

 

Let me tell you about my experience creating a space of real to the core & loads of honesty which has infused some major frickin’ freedom in my relationships.

If you’re ready to drop some truth-bombs — raise your glass + let’s do this.

 

There was a week or so where I was feeling really disconnected with my husband.

I was quickly annoyed with him for no good reason. I was snappy, no tolerance for the slightest inconvenience and imagined myself kicking him in the balls a couple of times (again for no good reason). Ladies, can I get an amen?! Ok, enough ball bashing.

Now, I knew well enough that whatever I was feeling towards my husband was really just a trigger to what was really going on inside myself (they call this mirroring; the outside world being a reflection of our internal state. Please check out Gabrielle Bernstein’s Vlog for more info on this concept).

That’s right, mama needed to check herself. So, that’s what I did…

 

The hubs and I were driving out of town + of course my annoyance meter went on high and a silly argument over didly-squat initiated.

In that moment I was infused with truth-bomb inspiration, opened my mouth and sang to my man, “Ok we both know this bull shit arguing has nothing to do with the words that we are spewing out of our mouths, right? Exactly right. Alright, may I be completely raw and honest with you in explaining what is going on inside my head and heart? I’m going to talk out loud to you. Can you hold a space of being open and non-judgmental while I’m breaking this down?”

Hubs emphatically replied, “Yes, of course. Speak.”

My heart sighed at that moment and every thought, feeling, scenario and dream I had experienced in the past week flashed in my mind and I began sharing it ALL.

Nothing was held back as I freely released any & everything that popped into my head, or I felt in my heart.

It felt symbiotic.

It felt like listening to a symphony crescendo.

It felt like listening to Pavarotti hit his never ending high note.

It felt like holding a Yoga position longer than my limbs knew I could.

It was a euphoric release.

 

If there was any fear in being so raw I never felt it because the feeling of freedom, arms wide open, and my head being clear, suffocated any fear.

All of my shit was out and into the ether. We discussed. We understood each other in a brighter light. We became aware. We moved on.

 

You see, that is the beauty of a truth bomb – once out of your inner space and lay upon the table, it doesn’t have to pay rent to the scenario-izing, fear-laden, what-if, Master Landlord one more second.

Not to say you won’t be filled with consuming thoughts and feelings ever again, but now you can pour yourself a shot of The Real Deal, raise your glass & drop that truth-bomb.

 

If you answer “yes” to any of the questions below then it’s time to start diggin’:

  • Are you paralyzed in your own thoughts?
  • Is there something pressing that has been on your mind?
  • Has the Universe/God/Source/Divine been whispering in your heart? Yet, you have continued to ignore that “still voice” inside you? (i.e. you have outgrown a relationship, but do not want to acknowledge it. You have come closer to exploring your life’s purpose, but are scared of change/failure, etc.)

 

Well, let’s get out of our heads, out of our own way and quit over-thinkin’…ya dig?

 

File these following tips in your brain under the folder labeled “Hell Yes I Will.”

Acknowledge:  ALL whispers, nudges, heart songs, prayers and gut checks that you receive from your own divinity & the Universe.

DO NOT compartmentalize these feelings. Barking orders, “whispers: go home, nudges: park it, heart songs: quiet down, prayers: I’ll take a rain check for next month, gut checks: you did not just happen; it was something I ate,” will only prolong the inevitable. Take in Wayne Dyer’s wise words: “Whatever you resist persists.”

Start talkin’ and do so ASAP. Look, if you’re waiting until you’re “ready” to bust out the artillery, you could be standing on the edge your whole life, never knowing what kick-ass beauty, freedom and authenticity waits to greet your soul on the other side. Offer your truth story to the receiver and request if they are able to hold a space for you to be open and non-judgmental while you speak your truth-filled thoughts, feelings and everything in between. And then- GO! You don’t have to know what to say; your heart already knows and has been waiting to belt out every word which has touched your spirit.

 

Infinite Love + Raising My Glass,

Keli Conci

 

 

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Dementia: Why Humor Heals + The Crazy Shit We Do For Family

 

Swings, second shift, whatever you want to call it; September 8th, 2011 was my last night on the 3-11PM shift I’ve worked for almost six years of my life. 

A few days later I began a new chapter in my work life, as I began working the graveyard shift (11p-7a).

 

When I would tell people (excitedly might I add), that I was going to switch to working nights, most everyone looked at me like I was crazy, and then would inevitably tell me what a ______ (insert negative connotation/feeling/adjective here) shift it is. I would launch into my short, but sweet explanation of WHY I am voluntarily making this decision, and that is when some would say, “That’s understandable.

So, why did I (happily) take a voluntary demotion to work graveyards?

Easy answer: Mio Caro Padre & La Famiglia (my dear father and family).

 

My father Vic was 50 years old when I was born. Therefore, that makes him a ripe, 79-year old man. Dad and I’s bond has been thick from the day I was born and I took a crap all over him.

Dad had a rather raucous past before I came into this world; life as a Marine, participating in and surviving the Korean War, three marriages, and of course the alcohol that added to all of the “good times” and endless, history-making Conci family gut-busting laugh sessions.

 

Daddy’s Little Girl

 

I was not privy to the side of my father that involved alcohol, but only stories told by my family members and confirmed by Vic himself. By the time I came around, his drinking was non-existent.

 

Thankfully I didn’t get to see the side of him that alcohol brought out, but I have been immersed and rather in awe of my father’s humor since I was a little girl — of course his sense of humor is nothing less than genius in my mind. He never takes himself seriously and believes in and respects the raw truth. As Dad always says, “I calls ‘em as I see’s ‘em.

This quality is something that everyone knows and understands about dad. Therefore, if you are looking for an honest answer, he will give it to you –  I just hope your skin is thick enough to handle it.  Although giving unsolicited advice is not his style either — thank God.

My father is child-like in his nature and acting silly is not above him. Going out in public with him on any given day usually will include him yelling “HEY!” loudly in the middle of a large crowd, and shouting random names and/or profanities while grocery shopping, as he pretends that he did none of the above mentioned. And please note this is all with sound mind. 🙂

In our family we affectionately call dad a “Drama King” and tell him that he missed his calling as an actor. If he would have been a performer, I always picture him amidst the “Rat Pack” era/group singing, dancing and engaging socially, just like Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin.

Dad’s conversations usually begin in Italian and start with, “Oh Christo” followed by a Vicism.

A Vicism could be:

“Did the eagle shit yet?”  = (Have I been paid)

“Your dying ass” = (I don’t believe you)

“Tits Up” = (Someone/thing being deceased) just to name a small few.

Dad despises pretenses and can spot phony a mile away. Growing up, dad frequently told me, “Keli- always be yourself. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’ and don’t be phony, just be genuine.”

Those words didn’t mean much to me when I was in middle school and all I wanted to do was fit in, but as I grew older those words resonated within me and I heard them whenever I was not being true to myself. I strive to possess just half the qualities of genuineness my father exudes.

 

One of my dad’s favorite past times – flipping animals off at the Zoo!

 

I did not know the father who chose the bars and alcohol over his kids and school functions, nor did I know the father who continually broke promises along with hearts of the ones he loved.

Perhaps it was the aging process, or time to grow-up, or the fact that my mother (his 3rd wife) was barely able to take care of herself, which forced my father to be a different parent later in life.

Whatever the real reason, I’m beyond grateful I’ve been able to experience the father I’ve loved and cherished my whole life.  There is not a soul closer to me on this earth than my father (well, besides my husband of course). We get each other — far beyond words and usually at a glance, we know where the other is coming from and where we’re about to go. More times than not, we finish the other’s sentence and then start humming the same tune! Dad always says, “I should have named you Victoria.” 

 

Dad was ALWAYS there for me as a child and budding teenager.

When my friends moms’ were taking them school clothes shopping, it was my dad who did those tasks with me. It was dad who showed up at every parent-teacher conference and school function, as well as dropping me off and picking me up from school. I never wanted to leave my dad’s side and felt comfort, security and unconditional love whenever we were together.

He was both my father and my mother growing up.

My mother had her own deep rooted issues she was dealing with and became a very distant parent both physically and emotionally. While dad was aware of this, all he could do was show up for us kids and love us unconditionally.

He is the reason why I did not go down a dark path in life, which would have been easy to do. And his unconditional, selfless love is the reason why you could say I don’t have “daddy issues” (mommy issues are a whooooooooole other Oprah show however!)

 

By the time I was in college and living in Denver my father was living by himself with my younger brother. I remember coming home for a weekend and sitting at my dad’s kitchen table and observing cut-off notices for utilities. When I questioned him about them, he seemed unfazed and almost unaware of the circumstance.

It was then that I consciously knew I was going to have to step in and help him.

I moved back to Pueblo soon after and took over dad’s finances, which turned out to only be the beginning of repaying to him all that he had done for me thus far in life. I felt a fierce protection over him and a burning desire to do whatever I could to make the quality of his life the best it could be. I never looked at it as a task, but instead as a labor of love. I truly enjoyed taking care of whatever needed to be taken care of for my dad.

In the beginning it was not much; I paid his bills every month and made sure he had groceries.

It was not until years had passed, and the truly unthinkable and unexpected happened, that Dad was seen in a different light…


 

The Big D: Dementia 

I was 24 years old in 2007 when my mother Jackie was diagnosed in May of that year with Stage 3-4 Lymphoma cancer.

Two months later she died on July 28th, 2007.

 

The mother whom I had fought bitterly with most of my life and then learned to finally forgive in the last two years of her life, was now gone.

She was not only gone, but my father was left a widower, and not soon after my brother Mike (same dad, different mom… and I affectionately refer to him as Brother) and I began to see changes in dad we rarely noticed before.

They were subtle and slow changes, not too alarming, but enough for us to question dad living alone. So, we brought dad to live with Brother and myself. It was healing for us all, I believe, to be together. Dad needed some extra TLC and this would give us better visibility into dad’s behaviors, etc.

 

It was not long after we were all living together that Brother and I noticed the decline in dad’s memory and cognition. The famous spaghetti sauce dad made growing up now required one of us to help guide him through what to put in it. Dad was beyond obstinate in wanting to change his clothes, shave and take a shower (an Oscar worthy performance on dad’s part in protesting that he hated water and that he took enough showers in his life, he didn’t need to take another one-LOL).

We would notice him isolating during family functions. Half-eaten cheese sandwiches were a regular fixture in the kitchen, and of course we were always on the hunt for his beloved coffee cup that he would warm up throughout the day and then forget it in the microwave.

Brother and I were at a loss of where to turn, what to do, or how to even go about handling this. Neither him, nor I were trying to not believe what we saw considering our backgrounds in psychiatric nursing, but we were left wondering, “Could dad really be losing his memory?”

 

My two dads.

 

We decided to take dad to his doctor and hopefully get some answers; our suspicions had been confirmed: Dementia.

I do not believe that we were shocked, only relieved to put an official name on it and get to work on a course of action.

Dad’s dementia was discovered in the earliest stages and he began a regimen of Aricept and Namenda to “help slow the progression, but not cure it” said the doctor. The early detection of the disease and jumpstart on these medications, I believe, has been what has allowed my father to not decline so rapidly. And some major family love to help the heart!

 

It will be 5 years in July of this year that my mom passed, and 5 years that my father and our family have been getting to know dementia.

I moved out of my Brother’s house 3 years ago and when I did I took my father with me. It was a joint decision we all (bro, dad, me) made together and believed it to be the most therapeutic for everyone involved.

I welcomed this opportunity to take dad on my own and have never looked back since.


 

WHEN LOVE SHOWS UP 

It was just dad and I living on our own, but soon after I met my now husband, Joshua. Josh knew the minute he met me what my priorities are in my life and he knew the highest one being my father.

My husband never made me feel like I had to choose between two people, he has consistently supported me by sharing in the responsibility of taking care of my dad and for just doing that, I am forever grateful for his sacrifices.

I hope I say it more times than not, but for all the times I don’t:

Thank you My Love. Thank you for being you and thank you for making decisions based upon family and our future when you had more than a right to choose just yourself.  

 

My hubby and I married on November 28th, 2009 and 11 months later came our most precious, amazing gift straight from the Divine- sweet Ava Rose. Even with all of the sudden changes dad adjusted well. I think having Ava has added a few more years to dad’s life; he feeds her all of her meals, he speaks Italian to her and reads her books and watches Sesame Street with her, and he even chases her all around the house.

I love watching those two together. I will hear them playing and she will burst out in the heartiest laugh imaginable, and it is at those times that my souls’ wings soar.

 

Feeling the LOVE from dad the day I was having Ava.:) Love. <3

 

Dad + Ava…the moments I treasure.

 

As you can see, the journey my father and I have been on goes beyond most father-daughter relationships. I have felt like the parent a lot, but I am comfortable with that and have not resented that role in my life.


THE CRAZY SHIT YOU DO FOR FAMILY 

At the end of the summer of 2011 when dad began showing slight declining changes in his dementia and increased anxiety, I became concerned.

I have a fierce protection over my father; the protection that a mother feels over her child and I go into overdrive trying to protect him from whatever I think I can control. Dad’s changes weren’t drastic, but they were alarming to my husband and I. Dad would leave the front door wide open after coming in from outside, his questions peaked concerning the “who is alive and who is dead in the family” list, and mostly his anxiety increased when I would get ready to leave for my shift from 3-11 p.m.

 

My husband, Joshua…my rock.

 

When I would get ready to leave and go through the ritual of telling him where I was going, what time I would be home and what I did for a living, he would then tell me to call off and not leave him (my husband and I have always worked opposite shifts [he works days], so someone is home with dad at all times and this also worked out after having Ava and not having to use daycare).

Dad begged me daily to not go to work, “please don’t leave me.”

Although my dad is quite the jokester, the true anxiety he felt was palpable, and it was then that I knew I had to do something about this. After continuously bouncing ideas and maximum stress off my husband, we both agreed that taking a graveyard position would be the best solution at this time. And as synchronicity would have it, not soon after that conversation an opening popped open and I slid right into it

So-long stress, anxiety, fear and any other negative feeling that was clouding that time.

 

Thank God my husband knows how to handle my crazy + for moments like these.

 

I have officially been on graveyards for five months now. It was an easy transition for me and one of the best decisions I (and my husband) have made thus far.

Are there times when I want sleep more than anything? Yes.

Are there times when my schedule is off whack and I don’t think I can cram another possible thing into it? Abso-frickin-lutely!

Do I think I am in over my head at times (taking care of a 16-month old, being a loving, supportive wife, taking care of my father and not trying to lose it when he asks me the same question for the 10th time, going to school to be a Health Coach/Counselor and starting my own business/practice, homework, eating healthy, cooking, full-time job AND maintaining relationships with family and friends and oh yeah, taking care of myself)? HELL YES!!!

 

But, let me tell you what keeps me going, not losing it and being grateful on top of it: Staying positive, having a husband who knows how to handle me and allows me to be me, having more time with my family than I ever had, being able to spend holidays with my loved ones, being able to read Ava a story and put her to sleep at night and tucking my Dad in bed and him thinking I just don’t work anymore, or when I get up after I’VE slept during the day, he asks, “Did you have a good nap?”, knowing this is only temporary, being grateful for dad’s amazing health, the love and support from my family (thank you Brother for helping take Dad periodically, so Josh and I can have time together), surrendering, deep breathing and remembering that through all of our triumphs and let downs, I Love You’s and I’m Sorry’s- Family Is Everything- and that includes the friends that have become family!

Do I think that dad can stay like this forever and that his dementia will never change? I wish, but I’ve read the books. Of course I am an eternal optimist, but I have made myself knowledgeable for what can be.

 

How I’m Handling My Father’s Dementia…

What I do know for sure is that I will go down swinging. However, I won’t sink the entire ship just because I don’t want to see beyond the horizon, and in that time I pray for strength, guidance, mercy and peace.

 

Vic+Keli

Thank you dad, for you are one of my largest, continuous learning lessons in this life and thank you graveyards for being part of this journey…no matter how much shit people talk about your wacky shift, I will forever be grateful to you.

 

Love + Loving Dementia,

Keli

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