Category: Wisdom


To my former boyfriend:

I apologize for calling you with every single epiphany I had following our breakup, hoping I could somehow patch us up so I could go right back to my comfort zone. I’m sorry for holding you responsible for my unhappiness and absent sense of self years ago. I apologize for my neediness, petty jealousies, and insecurities. Like my role models, I poured every ounce of me into you instead of filling myself up, then blamed you when I felt empty and joyless. I was so uncomfortable by myself that I couldn’t stay out of your grille, had to stave off the silence so I wouldn’t have to feel the painful and confusing emotions threatening to rise up and break on the surface. I couldn’t let you see them, I was afraid you would see my scars and be repulsed with my imperfection. I couldn’t just be with you. I couldn’t just be in my body with you when we had sex, I couldn’t give up that control or allow pleasure or deep connection because you might find me out if I showed any vulnerability. I believed I was broken but I couldn’t admit it to you, so I projected my fears onto you as a distraction and wore my Ice Bitch face when you gently mirrored them back at me. How could I have known it wouldn’t kill me to dip my toes into that sea of pain in me if I couldn’t see the bottom? I didn’t know who I was without it or what I was here for, so I couldn’t possibly trust who you were, even though you demonstrated your integrity time after time, your kindness, patience, commitment, Love. I am sorry for not knowing what I didn’t know, and for injuring you from my lack of consciousness.

I understand now why you had to leave, why you couldn’t allow yourself to be absorbed by my pain. It must have been crazy-making; it must have taken so much out of you to marinade in that with me for so long, to be my friend while I treated you like the enemy.  It must have required incredible resolve to stand on your right to be happy and free and not wrong because I was incapable of meeting you where you were. What torturous bullshit you endured just trying to love me.

Your leaving shattered me.  On that day the tide came in and pulled me out with it. I was lost at sea.  I treaded water for most of a year, barely keeping up with my obligations at work, avoiding my friends and family, taking care of the bare minimum at home. There was nowhere I looked that pain wasn’t. I cried every day for eight months straight. I wrote, I screamed, I beat up my couch, I sought out a counselor. I forgot to feed myself for days on end. I couldn’t sleep, the bed was too big without you in it. I felt discarded, useless, forgotten.

The pain seeped in through the cracks and I finally grieved my father after eight years; the one I no longer had as well as the one I never had; the one who wasn’t there to protect me or instill a sense of worthiness in his little girl. I made my family talk about painful memories and answer pointed questions until I understood why and how. I received an apology I never expected. I howled at the walls and my abusers, my neglectors, and myself. I heaved great gulping sobs, and when I was done I gagged and threw up until I felt like I was turning inside out.  I studied my ancestors. I read old letters.  I read new books hoping to find a key that would unlock the door to joy again.  All I found were broken pieces, fragments floating.

On my counselor’s advice, I adopted my inner child and took her everywhere with me so I could see my world through her eyes again. I cradled my innocence gently and felt her tiny heartbeat. I watched her progress on wobbly legs.  She showed me the things that threatened her, the things I’d endured because I didn’t know I had a choice, the unconscious actions and projections of the adults around me, the times when her best interests weren’t respected.  I learned to recognize her tug on my sleeve when something didn’t feel right. I came to understand why I’d spent so much time with a sore throat as a child… I wasn’t allowed a voice. I vowed to create a safe environment for her by not taking unnecessary risks with myself and my resources, and I protected her fiercely this time. I fed her nutritious foods. I cleansed and purged toxins from my body. I drank life-affirming water. I allowed her to express all of her emotions; her deepest sorrow, her exuberant joy. I let her sing at the table if she wanted to, and I stood witness to her unbearable pain. I forgave her for being smaller and weaker and for not knowing better and she in turn forgave me for abandoning her. I rocked her to sleep and was humbled in the silence by her resilience, her sheer strength of will. I honored her right over her body, and my own. Together we practiced saying ‘No’, without guilt. I discovered new-to-me memories that changed old story lines, I presented her with new evidence from a more mature perspective. We learned to trust each other. She conceded Brussels sprouts weren’t that bad.

Then my warrior came to call, and he was offended and disgusted that I’d had him out fighting petty wars and dramas for me. He deserved a legitimate cause to campaign for; he wanted his dignity and honor back. I acknowledged his grievances with humility and gave him some well-deserved time off until I could find a crusade worthy of his skills. I dreamed terrible dreams of being stalked by shadowy men in trenchcoats. In the light of day I looked my fears in the face and asked them why. Their answers seemed weak and insignificant against what we’d already come through, so I sent them to find something more substantial and they haven’t come back.

I looked for myself in the mirror every day until I found her and thanked her for sticking by me all these years even when I didn’t see or acknowledge her. She assured me we would always be alright – even when we didn’t think so – and she would always be here for me. I softened. I spent time with other wounded women who were searching for themselves and discovered I was also worthy of my respect. They offered me validation and lent me their courage and their stories for perspective. I let down my defenses. I embraced being female and stopped carrying it like a burden, found my rhythm and learned to use my cycles to my advantage. I went to introduce myself to the Goddess but she knew I was coming. She met me at the door holding a severed head and offered me tea at her table. I accepted her invitation, offered my allegiance for taking vengeance on my enemies, and accepted her sustenance with relief.

I wrote, and I dreamed, and I cried until exhausted, I washed up on shore. I awoke with hunger pains deep in the belly of my soul and searched around for something to feed it. It was good to be on solid ground but I found no nourishment.. I combed the beach scavenging scattered bits of my Self and took stock. It seemed hopeless. I curled up and cried for some kind of relief. I held my head and screamed at the injustice of it all. I jumped up and threw stones until my body ached. I slept, exhausted, defeated. At daybreak I stood facing the waves and asked why I would have chosen this experience.  At sunset I heard the answer come back on the wind, “This isn’t happening TO you — it’s happening FOR you.”  My soul digested that and it was satisfied.

What a game-changing perspective! I needed a sturdier vessel that could withstand any storm. I took ownership of my new project. I enlarged my search and discovered stronger and better materials for the frame. I retrofitted some old ones for the sake of nostalgia and continuity. I fashioned new tools. I reevaluated my inventory and set everything useful to one side. In a frenzy I gathered up armfuls of broken fragments and threw them into the waves, letting the tide take whatever didn’t fit my plan.  I cut myself on sharp pieces and doctored them myself with salt water. I forgave. I let go. I bled. I honored each piece like an old friend as I watched it hit the water. I found reasons to appreciate all of it. I said my goodbyes and then I started rebuilding. I remembered my weak points and reinforced them with greater integrity, picked up joy and gratitude whenever I found it and used it to patch holes. I framed in portholes to let in the Light. At night I danced with my demons on the beach under the full moon and I was not afraid. I used sand to knock down the rough edges on the bow. I stretched every part of my body in the sun and allowed Light to flood my cells with new awareness. I bathed in the healing waters and floated on their surface, and was not swallowed by pain. My confidence grew. I stood back and admired my work. I talked to the moon at night and stared into the sun when dawn came. I experimented with my creation and made adjustments as necessary. I tested her integrity. I built a more secure wheelhouse when the rain poured in. I laughed into the wind. I honored the process and all the pieces -even the ones I threw away – knowing that all of them contributed to the outcome of my design… and I was grateful for the opportunity.  

I have a fine boat that I’m still finishing. Sometimes I have to scrap some and start over, but I’m not afraid to put her on the water, and I’m no longer concerned with losing myself to the sea.

In deepest gratitude,
E

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I feel “pretty” today.

For the first time in decades maybe, that I can remember.  No special occasion.  I didn’t dress up.  I didn’t put on any makeup.  I didn’t even shower, and I don’t remember looking at my face in the mirror.  I just pulled on yesterday’s tank top and slid into a cotton hippie skirt and flip flops and started coffee.

I think it’s the skirt.  I’d say it’s been 30+ years since I wore a skirt because I wanted to, maybe longer.  My entire adult life I have kept a few skirts and dresses around for the inevitable occasion that absolutely required it, but those times have been few and far between and I can’t say I actually ever enjoyed dressing up.  I just never was that girly of a girl, I never saw the point.  But lately, just in the last few years, I’m beginning to have the experience of wanting to be a GIRL.

I’m learning to appreciate my body for its intended purpose of keeping me healthy, and moving me place to place, warning me of danger, and of filtering the environmental toxins out of my air, food and water.   The more I accept it for what it does right, the more feminine I feel.  After all, attracting and keeping a mate is important, but not as important as being strong and healthy, as being ALIVE.  I don’t hold my femininity against myself anymore, I no longer see it as a weakness.  I’m learning to embrace my womanness, and all that goes with it.  I’m keeping my toenails polished, wearing jewelry, drinking tea, reading books, writing, spending time with other wise and wonderful women, and yes, wearing dresses.  

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I don’t know why it’s happening, but I kinda like it.  It’s foreign yet familiar at the same time; like the way you automatically gather your skirts up to climb stairs, or step into your shoes, you don’t even think about it, but you do it, even if you can’t remember the last time you wore a long skirt.  A few times I’ve even had the urge to curtsy, of all things – I was never taught to curtsy, ever!  Where does that come from?!

My point is, I’m becoming softer and more feminine, balancing it with my previous independent, tough girl lifestyle and attitude.  I’m more humble, more compassionate, and have more passion for life and loving, goodness, justice, and peace.  I’m happy and proud to be a woman at this point in my life, I’m enjoying the process, as surprising as it is sometimes.

PMS, for instance.  Having an excuse for a few days every month to take better care with myself, to live without the structure of a schedule, a plan, or a To Do list.  The mood swings that cause my truths to spill out unfiltered by political correctness or subservience to a social hierarchy, making certain that I don’t lose my voice, even if I only speak through my pen or keyboard.  The way I feel a teensy bit crazy sometimes, or peacefully nostalgic about the past.  The way I’m learning to trust the future, while embracing the experience of living in today’s world.  The way I allow myself to cry when I need to, even for no reason.  I no longer make mistakes, I only learn more about myself and the nature of humanity.  I’m allowing my intuition to guide me, instead of controlling my thoughts with logic and reason.  I’m learning to appreciate chaos for the change it brings.  I’m learning to accept help from my friends when it’s offered, and to be grateful for the smallest things, taking delight in micro-moments of delicious joy at the simple act of interacting with a dragonfly, or a baby, a toad, a lover, or a song.  I bathe in the light of the full moon when it suits me, and feed off the warmth of the sun on my back while I’m weeding my garden, consciously accepting the gift of its healing and working with it to grow the food that will sustain me through this year of this life.  These things are real and good and irreplaceable, and decidedly feminine in nature.  They make me feel like I truly do belong to this world, like my time here has purpose.

I have come to realize that “pretty” isn’t something defined by a picture in a magazine, or the face you see in the mirror.  Feeling pretty for me is a way of being in the world which encompasses all things feminine and all beautiful ‘in the flow’ experiences.  Had I known that putting on an old hippie skirt would draw all that together for me, I might have done it years ago, instead of clinging to an identity that clearly doesn’t fit right anymore.

It’s ok to change.  It’s ok to evolve into something more, to accept where you’ve been and let life draw you toward who you are becoming.  Change doesn’t have to be complete or excruciatingly difficult.  It’s an adjustment from doing what you’ve always done to noticing what else feels good to you and allowing yourself to move in that direction to whatever extent you feel comfortable.  The more you stretch outside your comfort zone, the easier it gets, and the more your own experience transcends the ‘reality’ outside your door, or on the news, or at your workplace.  This life is your creation.  Make it your goal to find out what makes it pop for you personally, and move toward more of that experience.  You won’t regret it.  And just for fun one day, put on a skirt and see if it makes you feel “pretty”, too.

Much love, my sisters, we got this.  (;

∞E

In the accepting of my darkness, the forgiving of my humanness, I am taking back my power. If I am loved and accepted by something so much bigger than myself, who am I, to hold my imperfections against me?

Instead of policing your thoughts and impulses, try being a witness to them. Do not judge them right or wrong, don’t analyze them, just notice them.We all live in this maze in our minds, where a thought is like pushing a pig down the alleys of a barn and blocking gates when it threatens to stray into areas we’re not comfortable with. We are our own mind-control, based on how we want to see ourselves. We only allow that which matches our mental image of who we are, and many of those ideals were put there by someone else, they may not even be your own. But how will you know unless you let the pig go where it wants? Stop censoring yourselves and discover who you are when you’re FREE.

You may surprise yourself and be better and more than you imagined.Not all of you will understand this analogy. 😉

I always wince when I hear people complain about their circumstances, especially if they’re expressing horribly negative things out loud.

How many times have you said or heard something like this:

“My job is killing me”

“My boss is a jerk”

“Life’s a bitch and then you DIE”

“He’s a pain in my ass”

“I’m so pissed OFF”

“There are no good men/women out there”

“My life sucks”

“People suck”

“I’m DYING here”

“Cigarettes will kill you”

“I can’t ____”

“I wish he’d die”

“I’m always broke”

“People always take me for granted”

“Everything I touch turns to sh__”

“I can’t catch a break”

“Nothing  ever works out for me”

“I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop”

“I’m not enough for him”

“I’m too OLD”

The problem with stating things like these as fact is that, a) they’re not TRUE, and b) the Universe is always going to give you more of what you’re focusing on-without exception.

The quality of your experience as a human being here on earth is based on your thoughts, your emotions, your beliefs and your choices.  You wouldn’t set out to wish horrible things on yourself or pray for miserable circumstances, would you?  You are creating your experience with every thought that goes through your head.  Say it out loud and you’re affirming it to yourself and whoever is listening, so you’ve doubled it’s power.  This is true for positive as well as negative thoughts, but we’re going to focus on the negative for a minute, because that’s where we get in trouble with ourselves.  No one’s out there complaining about being too damned happy, are they?  Feeling too good today?  Having too much fun with too much money?  Had to take yet ANOTHER rotten vacation?  Too lucky?  Nope, didn’t think so.   How often do you see someone who complains all the time win the lottery?  Marry the man of their dreams?  Get a fantastic promotion?  Be the life of the party?  Yep…me neither.  Cynical smirks are about as close to happy smiles as turds are to pickles, and just as much fun.

So, what do you do about your negative thoughts?  Your life is a shit storm, you’re under a lot of pressure at work or home, your health is deteriorating, your relationships are falling apart or not getting off the ground, people don’t want to be around you, your kids/spouse don’t respect you, you don’t feel appreciated, you don’t have enough time to do everything, you’ve got too much month at the end of the money…  isn’t it exhausting thinking about all of that?  Wow, I’m bummed just writing it!  How do you get any relief?  You train yourself.  You learn to pay attention to the noise that comes out of your head and you make a choice whether you’re going to blurt out negativity and vileness to be used against yourself or NOT.  It takes some practice, I’m not gonna lie.  You’re going to slip up and wish bad things on yourself out of reflex by venting something nasty once in a while –  BUT – you’ll start to notice it.  And at some point, in noticing, you’ll catch it before it flies out of your mouth and you will high-five yourself because that’s going to be a milestone on your personal journey towards happiness.

The other half of the equation is finding something better to replace those thoughts with.  We think thousands of thoughts a day.  Pay attention to them.  Are they mostly dull, lifeless, unhappy, unfulfilled, whiny, self-deprecating, worrisome, anxious or dead-end thoughts?  If so, YOU need some new thoughts.  Ask yourself this…are they your own?  Or did someone else put them there?  Did you hear similar thinking from your parents, teachers, church or the media?  Are you judging yourself by someone else’s model or moral standard?  They’re not living your life, who let them in there?  Go get the bouncer and 86 them from your head.  NOT YOUR STUFF.  It may take a while to weed through those imposters posing as your thoughts and beliefs, but get them out of there.  They’re taking up space where you could be storing good thoughts and healthy beliefs.

Next step is to find something good to replace the things you ejected.  Use the same method you used to notice your ugly thought patterns and start noticing the things that are working for you.  Maybe you’ve got a job you don’t like to go to everyday, but you have a great spouse or awesome kids to go home to every night.  Focus your thoughts on them and the joy, love, help, relief, pride, hope they bring you.  Be grateful.  Telling them you’re grateful is great, but if you can’t bring yourself to tell them, at least acknowledge your gratitude for them to yourself, out loud, in your car on your way to work.  In fact, you can use your commute to think about all the things you’re grateful for in your life.  Take stock.  What’s working for you?  Why is it working?  Because you haven’t beat it to death with negativity, it’s been under the radar.  See how this works?  Whatever we focus on, we send energy too.  Negative focus begets negative outcomes.  Positive focus creates positive outcomes.  Having problems with your spouse?  Try coming up with all the things you love about them and focusing on that for a while.  Nine times out of ten, they will feel your gratitude subconsciously and start modeling more of the things you love.  Feeling disrespected?  Start modeling respect and see what happens.  Not feeling heard or acknowledged?  Try listening.  Hate your job?  Try telling yourself “I love my job” and then find reasons to make it true, like;  they give me a fat paycheck every week, the cafeteria has a great cook, all my bills are paid, I have a window, they have good coffee…  It doesn’t have to be about the work itself, but pick out the good things about working there and focus on them.  If you can’t think of anything good, take work off the table.  They’re only paying you for 8 hours a day, why think about it for 12?  Your mind belongs to YOU.  You get to choose what goes on in there.  Worried about your health?  A lot of people feel that their bodies are failing them when they get sick or exhausted.  Your body is an amazing instrument.  It is always trying to keep you in optimal health, that’s its job.  If you don’t feel good, listen to it.  Quit putting junk in it.  Get enough sleep.  Your body is not the enemy.  Support it instead of fighting it. Be grateful to it for getting up every morning and moving you around the world, fighting off viruses, digesting your meals.  Who cares if it’s not magazine perfect?  What’s more important, the size of your butt or if your brain works?  Then we wonder why it quits working, when all it hears is what we don’t like about it.  That’s like telling an engineer his life’s work is unacceptable because he’s wearing purple reading glasses.  Stop rejecting your body over vanity, that’s retarded.

When did you stop dreaming?  Do you remember what makes your heart jump, what excites you?  Start paying attention to the world around you.  What stands out for you that you want more of?  Your old dreams might not fit you anymore, so don’t be afraid to go off in a different direction.  This isn’t costing you anything but a little time and energy to direct your thoughts.  Do you even know what you want your life to look like, ideally?  Get a picture of that in your head.  Change it up til it feels right to your heart.  Fantasize about it, invest time and some emotional energy in where you’d like to be.  Do NOT allow guilt or feelings of obligation to people or work interfere with your ideal.  This is YOUR  dream, they can have their own.  Do not allow your current lack of resources to influence your picture.  No limits.  Go there in your mind whenever possible.   If you don’t have an idea of what you want to feel like, where you want to be personally, then nothing you’re currently doing has any direction, which results in chaos and upheaval.  Understand this isn’t a goal to focus on achieving, it’s a state of mind where you are happy and fulfilled, which ultimately is what you want your physical reality to mirror.  This practice gives an outlet to your creative, happy energy and gives the Universe something to work on in the background while you’re putting one foot in front of the other in your current state of experience.

Finally, treat yourself as if you were your best friend.  You wouldn’t tell your best friend some of the terrible things you say to yourself when you look in the mirror, would you?  Don’t do it to yourself either.  If you don’t value yourself, you’re not looking hard enough at who you are, and how’s anyone else supposed to appreciate you if you don’t?  People in general are basically good and well-intentioned.  Start there and work into a healthier view of who you are and what you bring to the table.  Don’t compare yourself to others, quit knocking yourself for things you can’t help, and start appreciating yourself for the things you do well.  Give yourself a break once in a while.  No one is perfect and no one expects you to be either.  Not everyone is going to give you an atta-boy when you nail something, but you can do it for you.  Your outlook and sense of self-worth will thank you for it.  You’ll start noticing that in spite of whatever’s stacked against you at the moment, you’ll be more satisfied with your life, less anxious about your circumstances, and more hopeful and positive in your outlook, which will definitely bring you a better experience.

∞E

Pretty-Katy Makkai

There’s always some good in every situation. Look beyond the madness and trust that there’s a good reason for whatever is happening in your life (even though it sucks right now). You may not know what it is immediately (or then again you might) but if you trust that the universe has your best interests at heart, it’ll make your troubles easier to deal with and you’ll start expecting the good everywhere. When that happens, life only brings you good things.

I’ve known Money for a long time.  I met him when I was quite young and impressionable.  He promised me freedom and independence and contentment if I would just work hard at being with him.  I spent all of my summers putting in long hours just for a chance to spend time with him (interesting play on those words, don’t you think?), he would show up and then leave just as quickly.  I had an impeccable record, worked lots of overtime, gave them my best, never missed work, hardly even took the vacation time I earned because I never knew if Money was going to be around long enough to enjoy it.  Sometimes it would pay off and we could enjoy some time together before he would leave me again, but then I’d have to work extra hard to get him back.  Money chooses the kinds of jobs I can do too, he insists that I have a ‘real’ job most of the time, one that pays better but expects me to be completely submissive and unfulfilled while I’m there.  He seems to like it twice as much if I have a nagging, jealous or monitoring boss and if there are other people there just taking up space and oxygen for their paychecks.  He loves it when I go home and work after hours late into the night for him too.  When I’m not working, he loves to scare me about losing my house and not having insurance.  He doesn’t want me to be creative and happy, he wants me to be stuck and afraid so he can manipulate me.  It’s like he enjoys torturing me.

I see him with other women all the time.  ALL the time, out shopping for clothes and shoes, having dinner with friends, or partying on a pontoon boat in Breckenridge all weekend.  He acts like I’m not even there, never acknowledges me when I notice.  He flirts with them and tells them how nice they look and how much they deserve him, he seems to always be wrapped around their fingers, listening intently to their desires, no matter how common or exorbitant, and then seemingly snaps his fingers and makes it happen for them.  The time he and I spend together doesn’t look like that at all, in fact, just the opposite.  If I consider going out of town for a weekend, having dinner with a friend, or going to a movie or the track, he threatens to LEAVE me.  He goes as far as following me through the grocery store asking me, “Do you really need THAT?!  Come on now…”  He’s judgmental and cruel too.  When we get a chance to go shopping together for me, he says nasty things like, “Why don’t you wait and buy that later, after you lose some weight….  Oh THAT’S right, you’re never GOING to lose that weight, are you?!”  His remarks are like acid to me, eating away at my self-esteem.  He’s constantly watching the fuel gauge on my car telling me that I could save 45 bucks if I’d just stay home and call my girlfriend instead of driving up to see her for the afternoon.  Long ago we stopped going out for coffee unless it’s a special occasion because it’s so wasteful.  He’s stingy and controlling.  When I do buy something for myself, he looks down on me and makes me feel selfish and irresponsible.  He’s happy when he can make me feel vulnerable and not quite sure of myself.  It keeps me loyally working for him so he can go out and spoil someone else while I’m at work banging my head against the wall.

Money’s friends are, let me put it bluntly, assholes.  Well, he thinks they’re friends, but really they’re just associates, and they’re criminals.  All they’re doing is using each other to get what they want.  They plot together to make terrible things happen.  They start wars with no reasons, and create  ‘natural’ disasters that kill and injure thousands of people.  They taunt humanity and gain their trust and then pull the rug out from under them and LAUGH!  They cause desperation and then punish people for it.  They take away jobs and security, they poison oceans and sea life, they kill honey bees, and ruin farmland.  They sell things that aren’t theirs to sell, hike the prices up and then kill the people they stole it from.  They’re destructive, calculating, cold liars.  They laugh at us as we struggle.  We only want to have enough of what we need and some PEACE and good health so we can enjoy our lives without worrying, but that apparently is too much to ask.  They don’t care about us at all. For some reason Money doesn’t see that as a problem, he’s complicit.  I can’t love someone like that, he represents everything I hate about society.

The worst part is he’s not even my type.  He’s short and wiry, arrogant, cynical and rude.  He doesn’t care about people or their circumstances, has no sympathy, isn’t interested in making the world a better place, he seemingly has no heart.  He has a sharp tongue and is not afraid to use it and shows no remorse when he does.  No matter how deep his comments cut me, I have to get over it myself because I need HIM, not the other way around.  He holds me hostage and I resent him for it.  When I’m around him, instead of feeling loved, safe and protected, I feel big and clumsy, desperate and embarrassing to him.    He’s like that arrogant jock in high school who is so taken with himself that he walks around snubbing all but the most popular girls.  He’s all about the show.  All talk and no substance and more worthless by the day which makes him all the more hard to stomach.  He’s a bully. I don’t care for him and clearly he’s not concerned with my outcome, I should end this.

Quotes – Change

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” – Gail Sheehy

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