Category Archives: Zen AF

Motivation Monday

Today is a very high-anxiety day. Chest-crushing anxiety. (I don’t know why. That happens a lot.)

Thanks to last week, in which I hit 85% of my exercise goals, I know the proper ways to start treating this anxiety.

I have my swim stuff in my bag (and, unlike last week, I packed a comb, flip flops, am charging my swim watch, and brought my goggles instead of the Bean’s). Tomorrow, I will run. Wednesday, I will yoga. Thursday, I will run. Friday, I will swim. And Saturday, I will run.

If I hit 5 of those, I’ll be happy. Even if I don’t get to my time/distance goals on each one, I’ll still be happy to get out there. (Friday, I didn’t hit my swimming goal, and was extremely frustrated until I remembered that it was my first time in the pool in a year and swimming 500 yards was better than all the swims I haven’t done. Some is better than none. I should probably get that tattooed on the backs of my hands and my forehead or something.)

Other things I am doing in the way of self-care include:

  1. Eating healthy and regular meals
  2. Getting back into the habit of meditating
  3. Reframing my life into positive “I am” statements.  (“I am a runner” NOT “I used to run more.” “I am an author” NOT “I write but still have to have a day job.”

Since I have trips planned to Mexico (October) and Spain (March), I also need to really dig into my Spanish refreshers again. I minored in Spanish in college, but haven’t kept up the practice. I could probably skate by with my limited skills and the fact that people everywhere speak English, but I’d rather make the effort – and since Bean didn’t get into the dual-language school, I want to start doing more Spanish at home so he at least has a shot at a foreign language while his brains are still malleable.

(Speaking of brains, I was texting with my PSM this morning and we decided that it was monumentally unfair that one person could have both a defective brain and a defective reproductive system. You should really only have to be stuck with one of those. Although, I guess since she and I are both graced with both breath-taking beauty and dazzling intelligence [well at least one of us is…], maybe this is the trade-off?)

I’ll leave you with a picture of my adorable Bean who’s been at the coast with grandma since Thursday. 

Tomorrow is the big day!

You guys! It’s almost here! The release of my second book. I’m not even a tiny bit anxious about this. Not one bit.


Everything is ready to go. I think. I hope! The paperback formatting is done and should be appearing ANY MINUTE NOW on the Amazon website. (The ebook is already up for preorder on Nook and iBooks and the paperback is available from CreateSpace directly if you don’t want to wait for it to magically appear on Amazon, although it definitely doesn’t come with free Prime shipping.)

(Funny story. I allowed myself a couple extra days in my timeline to publication this time around because I’m working full time and I wasn’t when I released The Cardinal Gate. Probably should’ve given myself a couple extra weeks. I underestimated the amount of work I’d be able to get done in the evenings after Bean goes to bed and weekends when I have my Alvie Bean.)

So. The Waning Moon. Out tomorrow. And? The newsletter (signup in the sidebar!) comes out Wednesday with a beer review from one of the stops on the way to the 3rd gate as well as the fourth Raj chapter!

And then maybe my pulse will return to it’s normal, calm rate. *fingers crossed*

Thanks for buying and reading and reviewing!

The Best Laid Plans

So, yesterday I made my moving day post and mentioned that there might be a few kinks to work out yet. And then? As my backup/security service recommended, I did a thing to move the rest of my media library from the old place to my new place.

And everything broke. This site – the site I’d spent hours on for the last week – was poof! gone. And mysteriously redirecting to gazelleosncrack. Like no longer existed. I couldn’t log into the admin page, I couldn’t view it without getting redirected to the old site, and I couldn’t even see on my host’s backend. (heh.) Everything said gazellesoncrack and I was all “HEY! I AM TRYING TO LEAVE THAT PART OF MY LIFE BEHIND, MOTHERFUCKERS!”

My moving day post disappeared completely (and with it my first comment on this site from the incomparable Carla). My stats disappeared. All my small changes? Yep. You guessed it. Disappeared.

I sent so many emails and managed to keep my cool (most of the time) by reminding myself that even though I’m one week out from a book release, this was not the end of the world. After all, the website was still pointing somewhere! (Thanks meditation!)

Late last night, they fixed it. Mostly. It’s still a little janky and my stats are still gone, which is wicked depressing, because that was 11 years of statistics that I didn’t want to lose. (It makes me sad that I’ve only had 15 visitors to my website in ALL TIME.)

But, I think it’s mostly okay now?

(Based on the number of people I know who’ve had hitches in their physical moving experiences lately, I don’t know why I expected this to go smoothly.)

So, here we are. For real this time. Welcome. Feel free to bring me a site-warming gift. Preferably of wine. So much wine.

hahahahahaha – GUESS WHAT? I cannot upload new images. And my cpanel file manager has gone missing. Who even knows what’s going on anymore? Not me, that’s for damn sure.

Hopefully by the end of the week, we’ll be back to our regular schedule of book reviews, writing updates, occasional navel gazing, and a combo of angst and motivation.

In the meantime, enjoy this image that I uploaded at some point in history, since we can’t have new things here, even though “new” is totally the point, interwebs!!!!

Moving Day!

I have been in the process of moving my website from one place to another for a long time. I’ve been blogging at gazellesoncrack since 2006 (although I’ve owned for just as long). Today is live. There might be a few broken links or broken forms, so bear with me as I get through them, but overall, this should look just like home.

My ex-husband gave me the inspiration for gazellesoncrack and I fully embraced it. I am not graceful. (In fact, in college, there was a person who regularly just called me Grace.) This is not an untruth. For 11+ years, my entire online identity was wrapped around gazelleosncrack.

But in the past 11 years, I’ve become so much more–this space has become so much more. It started as a place to share my clumsiness and book reviews, became a place to share my clumsiness, book reviews, and shoe pr0n. Morphed into a place to discuss clumsiness, book reviews, shoes, and my health & weight loss journey. Then it skidded sideways into a pregnancy tracker and half-hearted mommy blog. All of this while doing my best to hide my real name from the internets.

And now-this is where we are.

There’s a lot less focus on the awkward (although that still exists), I never talk about shoes anymore (my interest in pretty shoes fell to the wayside about the time I had foot surgery), and my posts about my kid are getting fewer and further between as he gets older (and so much bigger, omg, he comes up to my chest now!).

It’s book reviews and writing and health (physical and mental).

I was doing a meditation this morning (seriously guys, if you haven’t read Rebekah Borucki’s You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life, get on that) and realized that the last two years have been nothing but attempts to breathe out the bad and breathe in the good.

I breathed out the job that I hated with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. The job that made me have panic attacks and high-level anxiety. The job that caused me to stress-eat and stress-starve (and may have fucked up my entire digestive system semi-permanently). The breath maybe wasn’t as controlled as I’d have preferred, but it’s gone, it’s out, and this is better.

I breathed out a marriage that had been weighing me down for longer than I care to admit. Letting go of a relationship that doesn’t buoy you is harder than it ought to be. Adding a kid to the mix certainly doesn’t make that process easier.

I breathed in new possibilities. I published a book (soon to be two). I’m taking control of that part of my life.

I breathed in a new job that, although not as exciting as it could be, still pays me with real money and affords me the time and energy to continue to work on my writing.

I breathed in a new relationship with a wonderful man who continually surprises me with how much he’s willing to give to me and my son, just because he loves us.

There are still things that I need to let go of and still things I need to pick up. I need to be bolder, more brazen, more confident. I need to be less anxious, less self-deprecating, less willing to put myself and my needs last. More movement, fewer excuses. More running, less sitting.

I started meditating – started being a person who meditates – when things were terribly, terribly bad earlier this year. I’d just turned 40 and was broke. Unemployed. So anxiety-riddled that I couldn’t tell where my brain was anymore. The one meditation I did over and over and over was (again, from the aforementioned book): “Your situation may look like a mess. That’s real. But you are not that mess.”

That got me through March. I started this job the end of April. I’m sleeping better. Eating better. And (and hopefully the beer guy will back me on this) being an all-around happier, more relaxed person.

I’m not saying that mediation got me a job and fixed my crazy, but there is evidence to show that mindfulness and mediation have a positive effect on anxiety (and a whole host of things!). And less anxious = all around better everything.

I’m still not meditating every day, but I’m definitely getting to “more often than not.”

Which brings me back to moving. Moving on. Moving up. This is one more letting go. Letting go of the gazelle that I so identify with “ten years ago Amy” and “Amy who was married to the architect” and “Amy who was too scared to really live.” (My spell check suggests I mean “Amy who was too sacred to really live…interesting…)

Now, instead of taking a name someone else gave me, we are here. At (Yeah, I know that technically someone else gave me that damn name, too, but hey! It’s very me. 40 years of me, in fact.) I might never achieve the level of fearlessness I’d like, but I’m going to stop letting fear hold me back from what I want.

I will no longer be a dreamer of dreams. I will be a doer of things.

So welcome. Welcome to Amy Cissell Writes. The past is all here – I don’t want to start fresh because the lessons I’ve learned have been invaluable, but let’s move forward with fresh goals, shiny new intentions, and a courage that belies the fear.