Monday, May 13, 2013

On Telling The [Truth].

No one tells you that when you chase your dreams, that overwhelm is sometimes inevitable, that there will be a day every now and again that you feel 100% defeated. No one tells you that when you have success, that you'll be up against some serious force/energy/momentum and that it can be hard to navigate sometimes. And nobody tells you that once you do have success, you're not allowed to complain about any of it and that you'll be judged when you do. Nobody tells you that pioneering a new path for your life can be isolating if you're not careful to balance it with perspective and simply getting out of the house every single day. And most importantly, no one tells you that there is a price you pay when you put your heart and soul so deeply into the footprint of your passion/work that you aren't as available to those you hold dear.

As much as I love and adore every square inch of my life, I keep repeating the same burnout/overwhelm story every few weeks, like an annoying broken record that just won't stop. In my heaviest moments, I feel inaccessible to my friends and family because of choices I've made to work rather than connect. It weighs heavy on my heart as I try to get a grip, rearrange my schedule, let things go, and tend to what matters the most. And what matters the most are people. Always people.

I'm discovering always, always. And I really want to be truthful about what this life looks like. It's a wonderful, wildly layered and beautiful life and story. I’m grateful beyond measure for all of it. But like I've said from time to time here in this space, there are days in the mix where I stumble, question, and wonder why I can't hold it together. In the end, iIm committed to riding out the growing pains of this life in the making. I wouldn't have it any other way. But man-o-man, the drama of days like today!

Friday, May 10, 2013


"We do not remember days, we remember moments." - Cesare Pavese

When I think back on this past year so far, I've grown more into myself, more appreciative, more purposeful. I now know the direction I want my life to go, and that just brings with it so much peace. I have been feeling messy, mixed up, chatty, and overwhelmed for small moments throughout the last couple of days.
As excited as I am, I'm also trying not to deny myself all the other emotions that come along to me. There is so much to do, and my brain and my heart are frozen, paralyzed. They don't want to take action on the enormous to-do list. Instead, they want to stay right where they are. Am feeling growing pains. From a soul and a life that is stretching out of it's comforts and into a new season of growth and rebirth. It's a good thing, but sometimes it feels slightly uncomfortable and awkward. This new sense of self feels unfamiliar in some ways, like I'm still getting to know her. I have felt this before, when I'm in a period of big transition, of growing up. But right now it feels like there are some adjustments that need to be made, some tweaking here and there, especially with my intentions and focus. 
So, it turns out that I have a hard time stopping. Without work and ideas and passion taking up my brainwaves, I'm not sure what to do with myself. I know, I know. So sad! It sort of snuck up on me, this seemingly one dimensional life. I’m learning the hard lesson of what I'm left with when that one dimension (work) takes a break for awhile. And what I'm left with is a mixture of confusion, a little bit of sadness, and not much of a life! LOL I can see now how workaholics become workaholics and how on the other side of that story are other neglected stories (self, family, balance, etc) that eventually succumb. I don't want that for myself. I don't want the sadness, or the succumbing of my other stories, or the confusion.
I suppose we all get stuck in one dimensions every now and again while the other pieces of ourselves wait for us to come around again. And I can see now, how over the last many months, I got myself here in this rut. It's so easy to neglect various aspects of our lives when the loudest pieces get first dibbs. For me, my loudest piece is my work. It's what excites me, what reaches out for me, what I most love to do. But, on the other hand, it's pretty bossy and insistent and swallows me whole. It also doesn't respect boundaries, And I'm pretty sure it struggles with co-dependency issues :)
I’m learning that it's not so much about working too much, or taking time off, or breaks. It's about combining/restructuring work with nurture and dating. I can do that. I really can. And can I just say thank you for hanging in there with me on this?  I don't want to appear sad or depressed. I'm just a talker. I talk and hash and analyze and discern just about everything - it's how I gauge my intention in my life, what I'm celebrating, and what I’m working on. That, and I’ve always wanted to be honest here. I want to read back on this blog years from now and know that I represented all the pieces of my life. And life, for me, is ebb and flow. Especially these last couple of years as life has truly lifted for me in so many ways.
 You know, life. I want more of it. Because in the end, having a life is what makes me better at what I do. It also inspires what I do. And how I do it. So, that's the challenge, peeps. More life in 2013. It's a journey I want to take. A journey I'm ready to take.


"What I emphasize is for people to make choices based not on fear, but on what really gives them a sense of fulfillment." - Pauline Rose Chance

I am sitting here trying to find my way through my thoughts. They're swirling around, spinning, dancing, like little happy spirits. They're overly excited, refusing to settle. They're suffering from happiness exhaustion and let me tell you, it feels pure and sweet like nothing I've known before. I still can't get over it.  Part of me hopes I never will. 

There was a time in my life when I made decisions based on fear all of the time. I would choose

What felt comfortable.
What wouldn't sting. 
What would bring money.
What would bring the less amount of change.
What would be easy. 

But now, as I get older and more comfortable with myself, and I know for sure what I want and what I don't want, I make more and more decisions that aren't centered from fear. It's quite exhilarating and liberating when I know I'm making a decision deeply rooted in hope and faith. It feels like I'm going against the grain, against the masses, and more towards my hopes, my dreams, my self. I hope this stays for awhile, this newfound sense of decision making. Some days are better than others, of course.
But I'm learning. And that's what matters.

[Simple] Abundance.

TAKEN FROM A JOURNAL ENTRY:  I've always know the realization that we all have a choice. We can either choose to be grumpy, in a bad mood, or we can choose to be our real, happy selves. Our moods & actions are our own responsibility. I cannot blame other or outside circumstances for my behavior, or my reaction to them. Whew - I'm ready to be joyful.

Although I seem to be naturally inclined to look at the bright side, I've struggled a lot with gremlins: negativity, shame, envy, fear, self-esteem, and on an on. I began to get serious, though, about my own self development for the first time when I was about 27. I was in a really tough spot in my life.  Bottom line, I was deeply unhappy and perpetually stuck in a victim-stance attitude the entire time.

Can I just say turning point. 

After that, I spent the next year getting myself together. I called it my year of "self development."   I began to read books (this book and this book were my main guides). I began to journal + reflect (repeat, repeat, repeat). But most importantly, I suppose, I began to practice all the things I was learning about in the books: self compassion, embracing my vulnerabilities, gratitude (I had loads of gratitude lists and journals back then).

As you can see in my journal entry above, I was just learning some very key principles in living a joyful life. I think of my books and my best friends as my guides during those days. They taught me so much (and still do). After the year of self development was up, I kept on reading more books, more insights, more practice. So yes, those early years were defining years for me, for sure.

Fast forward to the present day and what I find so interesting nowadays is that, in some ways, I'm right back to that intense focus on self development. I suppose there are years when we have to practice more than others, and the last couple of years have been huge practice years for me. But I like being a life long learner.  I love that about me!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Dear [Quiet].

I've been in a private, quiet place the last many weeks. Feels good, grounding, and important. Lately, I've been thinking about all the ways I soldier through - even when there isn't any reason, even if in the most subtle of ways. Soldiering through a conversation, only to bookend  - definitely not good for relationship health. Soldiering through deadlines (alivelines), though chores, through the muck.

There is an underlying tone of suffering that comes with soldering through.

I'm doing the work to release. Which means I've been getting quiet. Ohhhh, the peace that lives inside the stillness, a new journal, an inspirational date, the messages,  the being present. You simply cannot soldier through and be present and quiet all at once. So this is the gift of my days lately. Thank you, quiet and stillness. You're healing my heart with your gentle ways.

I'm amazed at how the world works - how we know, deep inside, exactly what we want our lives to look like. We have to visualize it, give ourselves permission to ask for it, and align our lives and decision making with those visions/intentions. It's not easy and I know we can't just write ourselves a letter and have it all six months later. But undeniably there is magic and power in the practice, in the process, in the allowances that we give ourselves to dream. And to dream big.

[I] Am Not Broken.

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.
- Sam Keen

I've broken open many times. But I am not broken. I'm just alive

The same is true for you, too.

I believe our hearts have to break open. The cracks, with all their letting in the lightness/darkness/awareness/lessons, eventually require us to rebuild/repair/heal so that we grow and expand our hearts' very capacity to feel and experience the full breath of life. Later, once they've reached capacity again, our hearts will break open again, ready for the next round of evolution and growth. That's how I think of it, anyway. Sometimes the cracks are subtle, tiny. And sometimes they're big.  Either way, without the cracks it would be impossible to allow either the flood of joy or the flood of grief  (or both!) into our life during meaningful transitions. Falling in love, falling out of love, losing a loved one, giving birth, divorce, aging, losing ourselves, finding ourselves - all moments when our hearts crack open to receive. Maybe it's receiving love, the full experience of it. Maybe it's receiving grief, the full experience of it. And then to rebuild with a new, evolved, deeper, more meaningful way of seeing, believing, loving. 

Either way, the purpose of the cracks is to allow our hearts to receive the full expression of life. 
There is a difference between being broken and being broken open.

The first crack was simply because my heart broke its capacity to receive the magnitude of love that came with I started dating someone that I felt a true, authentic connection for and with.  It was mutual.  It was genuine.  It was a beautiful crack - nothing but love came through. Then, slowly over time, the cracks kept coming, almost like a shattered web, as the lessons/grief/love kept pouring in.  Nearly 8 months in, it feels like I've been rebuilding, healing, nurturing a whole new heart. I've never learned so much in all of my life from tending to those cracks. I'm happy to report that my heart has never felt more beautiful, huge, healed and with a bigger capacity to feel than ever before. Breaking open made it possible. Thank you, cracks.

We're not broken. We're just alive. 

Here's to cracking and building and healing and breathing and growing into our heart's maximum capacity. And here's to having lots of gratitude for our cracks. They are the evidence, like well deserved wrinkles on our faces, of a well lived life.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Cracked [Open] Hearts.

"What I emphasize is for people to make choices based not on fear, but on what really gives them a sense of fulfillment." - Pauline Rose Chance

I'm stumbling over my words today...bear with me as I sound downright dramatic, like a teenager in love.

How can I insert my heart + soul into these next few months?

What I'm learning is that we all have our misconfigurations of heart. Sometimes we're downright blind to our offerings and to our trueness. And then, perhaps with a bit of resistance, we meet one another face to face in the exact spaces of where we are on any particular day: fulfilled, not fulfilled, tired, blissed out, overworked, in love, confused, not confused, and on and on. and then, the magic happens. All of our combined lives and gifts and moods converge for one very large display of lives + friendships in the making, in the real, like cracked open hearts finding just the right balm in the puzzle pieces of what's been laid out on the table. It's the unplannedness and the spontaneity of this convergence that makes it so downright special, like the most important happy accidents of our lives.

I’ve learned so much these last several months about how the simple act of having fun creates an intimacy between friendships that soothes and fuels.

I want important and enriching conversations…
I want impromtu dance parties in the dining room…
I want bonfires…,
I want lots of singing outloud…

So yes, in my quest for deep connection I sometimes forget that simply having fun is often the most important portal to creating intimacy in our relationships.
If something is worth having, you give it a try, right?  Because our hearts will never be alone.

What a gift!