What my nosebleed taught me

The blood flowing from my nose caught me off guard. I blew into the tissue and there it was – a deep red blossom on white. The liquid felt warm on my face. I’m certain I didn’t look like Eleven in Stranger Things with her tiny, drip of a nosebleed after using her telekinetic powers (She has her own bleeding nose candle!). My nosebleed was caused by dry membranes and blowing too hard. It was a gusher. So I grabbed a box of Kleenex, pinched my nose and sat in stillness

My dog stared at me with inquisitive eyes shaped like lemons. What was she aware of? My mind wandered to the time my dad told me about my cousin’s constant nosebleeds; his parents took him to the hospital to cauterize the inside of his nose. Not wanting to think of that kind of torture, I thought of the haunting story “The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow” from the short story collection Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A simple scratch on the finger of a pregnant newlywed while traveling in Europe refused to stop bleeding. She left a trail of crimson tracks in the snow as her husband rushed her to a Paris hospital. The hospital admitted her, but refused to let her husband stay due to its strict rules and visitation policy. He tried to visit her sooner, but was kicked out by security guards with a blood-stained uniform. Things began to get really weird as the story paints a picture of foreboding, horror, anger, panic and futility. The woman bled to death and since no one in the hospital could find her husband, they shipped her body home to her parents for burial.

Death was definitely not on my list of things to think about this morning. I wanted to take a yoga class, get a mani-pedi, and spend time with my family. I wanted to live. Twenty minutes and my nosebleed hadn’t stopped. I gurgled. Blood and snot slid into the back of my mouth and down my throat. What now? My dog was fast asleep in front of the fire as I took a deep breath in and out through my mouth.

I had nothing to prove. There was no need to edit, filter or analyze. It was simply enough for me to sit with my bloody nose as it was. I realized I needed to let go of the goal of getting the blood to stop flowing. There was a sense of freedom in that. My mind calmed and my body relaxed. The blood stopped. I had a new clarity and perspective about my day, thanks to my nosebleed.

This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Find me on: FacebookInstagram (@kristinebruneau), or Pinterest

Hit the reset button

I need a reset.

Not quite spring, the snows of winter are melting, revealing tiny green shoots in the garden and a backyard of dark muck. When two mud-soaked mutts trample into the back hall, wriggling with the earthy air of excitement, they share all of that good earth upon my floors. Even with meticulous cleaning, I always find more dirt, which makes me irritable around my family. Although the days are getting a bit longer, the general lack of light has also taken a toll on me. Seasonal Affective Disorder aside, I am knee-deep in hot flashes and sugar cravings.

Yay, me.

Now is the time to take some of my own advice, start something—anything—and get to work. Here’s how I plan to reset myself:

  • Pick four goals. Often I have a very long list filled with goals. So, I put that list back in the drawer and have selected just four goals to work towards in the next 3 months:  1) Write a short story and submit it to a publication or contest. 2) Eat less and move more. 3) Plan a family vacation 4) Get rid of junk in the basement
  • Choose three words. Choosing three words to help remind me of my intention and goals, stay on track, and give myself permission to try something new. Stillness. (Seek a few stillpoints throughout my day to help me pause and refocus on what’s important.) Listen. (What is my body telling me I need? Am I being present and listening to others?) Joy. (Seek joy by noticing little things and embracing connections throughout my day.)
  • Check in with my Personal Happiness Index every day. What are the things that make me happy? Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom. 

If you’re stuck at the starting line, you don’t need more time or permission. You don’t need to wait for a boss’s okay or to be told to push the button; you just need to poke.”—Seth Godin

I leave you with two things:

1) Start something.

2) Go make it happen. Now.

This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Find me on: FacebookInstagram (@kristinebruneau), or Pinterest

Listen to Your Mother Show Planned for Mother’s Day Weekend 2018

Often called the “Ted Talk of Mothers,” the nationally acclaimed series Listen to Your Mother (LTYM) is returning to Rochester for a one night only performance at the Rochester Lyric Theatre Saturday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m.

Listen to Your Mother has quickly become a tradition for many Rochestarians and is a wonderful opportunity to come together and celebrate motherhood on Mother’s Day weekend.  This storytelling event is one of the best experiences I’ve had a pleasure to be a part of – both as an LTYM Rochester cast member in 2015 and attendee.

Last year, I went to Listen to Your Mother with friends – one of whom is also a former cast member. Beneath the beautiful Palladium ceiling at the Lyric Theatre I witnessed 13 brave souls step up and share their stories. I laughed, cried and applauded the courage and vulnerability of each woman.  I was glad to walk a mile in her shoes.

More than 2,000 people have witnessed nearly 40 live motherhood stories in Rochester during the last four years. Proceeds from past events have helped to raise more than $24,000 for local charities. In 2018, all LTYM Rochester ticket proceeds will directly benefit local non-profit  Society for the Protection and Care of Children (SPCC), which supports women and children.

If you were hoping to audition for a slot in this year’s cast, you are out of luck. As of now, all 41 slots on the sign-up site are filled.  However, you can submit your name to get on a wait list in case a slot opens up. To sign up for ticketing and show updates, visit: Roc the Mic .

This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends. Find me on: FacebookInstagram (@kristinebruneau),  Twitter (@kristinebruneau), or Pinterest