Baptism By Rain and Salt-Washed Eyes

“Happy is Hermia, wheresoe’er she lies;

for she hath blessed and attractive eyes. 

How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears-

if so, my eyes are oft’ner washed than hers.”

(Shakespeare, 2.2.96-100)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is utter bliss for me and I adore the above words of Shakespeare, but methinks it wrong.

“The soul would have no rainbows if the eyes had no tears.”
(North American Proverb)

That’s it. Feel whatever you need to feel, and if you’re swept up in some cathartic weeping then by all means salt wash those beautiful peepers. Let your soul open up like the skies, but make room for the rainbow my love.
I think about these things as I’m walking through the rain; my thoughts are lit up, but silent. The self-conscious whips itself up into a frenzy with laser focus. My neighbors think I’ve lost my ever-loving mind I’m sure, but I don’t dance and sing in the rain for the audience.
Few things call to me quite like a rainstorm; I love singing out lout and splashing about in the infinitesimal flooding at the bottom of the cul-de-sac. This is ecstatic joy and physical message to my inner-child, “Don’t ever stop coming out to play.”
But it’s something else – this is healing and catharsis. This is simultaneous permission to an open full-body weeping without any tears of my own and an unbridled celebration of everything. Let the things I believed I lost and held onto too hard run right off of me and let gratitude permeate my skin until I’m full and my fingertips are well-wrinkled. In the rain I can feel a pouring out of all those heart breaking things onto the pavement and they’re just swept away and neutralized.
Rainy days are best enjoyed on a sunny day, I lust after these afternoon thunderstorms – the presence of all elements is electrifying. It touches me in a way no person ever could – so intimate, silent, and all-knowing that just being part of the process shifts me. If a shift in perspective should offer rebirth then I’m often baptized by rain. I ask nothing of the rain and it asks nothing of me, this means everything in a world that always seems to be demanding more.
Go ahead and shake it in that rainstorm.
Love Always,
Me

This Is About Body Love, Apologies, and Compliments Without Comparisons

Part I: I’m Nixing Apologies For Rocking Cutoffs
It has long been a tenant of mine not to throw “I’m sorry” around mindlessly, but sometimes it comes out between the lines that are verbally expressed. Silent apologies are apologies still and everyone can hear the subtext.

A couple of things I know beyond a shadow of a doubt:
  • Body blues get to us all from time to time.
  • It truly is a journey to fully, wholly, unconditionally love your body.
And yet somehow I still feel like a hypocrite for poking at my lower belly or not-so-secretly staring at my jiggling thighs in the mirror while I’m out dancing and then coming here to wave that Love Yourself banner. Madness. Not really sure when I thought I superseded the human experience that sometimes includes a little picking at your own insecurities. Alas I am human and sometimes, though certainly not all of the time, I get disheartened at my fleshiness and it’s in those moments that I go into hyperdrive trying to lay out my body issues before someone else can. “I know! I totally need to do something about this.” Apologies come in many forms, sometimes that looks like pulling my shirt down a little lower to hide my “pooch”.
Make no mistake about it I love my curvy body, but I have moments and sometimes days that I spend in total mneh – usually after my ego sparks a compulsive need for comparison of my body against figures that are more “desirable” than mine (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean inner-critic). I’m a thick girl with a luscious hourglass shape. Seriously, what’s not to love? I love to wear crop tops, bikinis, and daisy duke cutoffs – clothing reserved for thinner gals, but the truth is no one in my adult life has ever told me that I was too fat for something except the silent (and yet not so silent) giant “they” of society and my insecure inner-critic. Jerks.
All this wasted energy making sure my hips stay tucked in my jeans just-so (heavens forbid I get a muffin top!) and worrying that maybe I shouldn’t be wearing horizontal stripes even though I love them(!) makes it difficult to do the things I love to do. The fun gets sucked out of dancing when I’m staring down at my legs and belly to make sure they’re tamed Hiking (hell, walking and jogging in general) is horrible and sweaty in the summer months when I decide that I can’t wear shorts because the sunshine will highlight my cellulite. For what? No one really cares that much and even that little bit of time I spend worrying about any of this is best used in other avenues.
#sorrynotsorryaboutmybody
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Part II: Compliments Without the Comparisons
Comparison is an ugly thing that I can go on a days long tirade over: the people’s favorite pastime. We surround ourselves with images and ideas of how the world should be, but when we’re constantly shoulded all over then we all feel like shit. Tabloids pick apart the lives of our idols and we just lap it up because we want them to be perfect and flawed all at the same time; we’d like to uphold them as superheros, but then we feel insecure because their jobs are to emulate a certain look/lifestyle/skill/whatever that we feel we can never quite reach so instead of striving for our best we jump at any tiny bit of tragic, messy human experience we can find and put it up for the world to see.
Sometimes comparison is masked. I love to give compliments. LOVE to verbally adore people. But I’ve noticed that sometimes when I give a compliment to someone I feel (for whatever reason) necessary to lower myself in the process. Again I say, madness.
I thought I was crazy, but it just isn’t me; I listen to people around me, because I’m an avid people watcher and eavesdropper, and this is a sad trend akin to a shift of power. I’ll be honest, I don’t know why it can be difficult to raise someone up without being sheepish about my own self; I can only suppose the ego doesn’t help with its psychotic need to bring order to whom or what is the best.
What I do know is that this is complete bullshit. It’s called SHARING the love. There’s really no good reason that we can’t maintain our high vibration while lifting someone else. So go ahead and tell your friends how ravishing, intelligent, interesting, and all around awesome they are – and then do the same for yourself. In the end we’re all made up of the same stuff and the only person you can best is yourself rendering comparison moot and needlessly damaging.
Remember that the next time you find yourself apologizing for your anything OR the next time you follow-up a compliment with comparison and I’ll try to do the same.
Loving You Always,
Me

No One Ever Tells You It’s a Hard Road to Joy

Not everyone wants to be happy – up until very recently this is a concept that I couldn’t wrap my head around. I can and have racked up arguments and theories about limiting beliefs settled in the subconscious that sabotage happiness at every turn or holding on too tightly to past heartbreaks, the list goes on, but the thought of people (I know and love) intentionally shirking happiness broke my heart a little. You may not know this about me, but I err on the side of happiness communist. Everyone needs to be happy, happy, happy dammit! So this idea that there are people that were legitimately unconcerned with being happy didn’t sit will with me. At all. Surely, they don’t want to be sad. Surely, they mean that they want to be their own versions of happy and what they’re actually unconcerned with is fitting that into societies little box. Happiness, whatever meaning you assign to it, is THE dream. Right?

Not for everyone. Some crave a simplicity that happiness doesn’t always offer.

 

...it lights my soul up when the world smiles with me.

…it lights my soul up when the world smiles with me.

 

 

Pain and happiness, it’s an interesting relationship. My happiest moments were born of some pretty wretched heartbreak. Moreover, in the spirit of the old adage “You cannot know true joy until you know true pain” those heartbreaks made happiness all the more sweet. Everyone has their own version of checking out or numbing themselves for a while, especially after a deep pain, but that isn’t where you want to make your home.

I suppose I understand the appeal, with low expectations every surprise is a pleasant one. No chance of broken hearts or regret or being abandoned. It seems almost like being in constant limbo – just going through the motions everyday. Maybe it’s how I was raised or maybe the acceptance is just built into my bones, but I’ve always had a silent understanding that pain and happiness are package deal and that the road to true joy is often sweaty, sometimes tricky, and always includes a unexpected few pit stops. Somewhere along the way I took it for granted that people would realize and embrace these things too.

We somehow get our wires crossed – commercials, movies, music, magazines, self-help books all make it sound SO easy. Just be happy. See? Easy! And that’s what it really comes down to (at least for the people I’ve talked to about this). It’s easier to hold people at arm’s length, to stay safe and warm at home, to keep everything clean and compartmentalized. Being happy should be easy and clean and simple, but we know all too well that sometimes it just isn’t. Happiness can get a little messy and chaotic, lines blur, sometimes people are hurt unintentionally.

I’ve written quite a few be happy posts because it lights my soul up when the world smiles with me, but alas it’s not up to me to judge what gives someone peace of mind, heaven knows I let my divine freak flag fly high and I believe in people rocking what’s true to them. It really is none of my business. Ultimately for me, there isn’t any question that I would choose joy of ease every time – living in limbo has never been (and will never be) one of my long term goals.

I’ve never chosen anything just because it’s easy. I’m hard-headed and all balls to the wall. Just ask my parents.

Love Always,

Me

Let Me Tell You 7 Reasons Why #YouJustCan

Seems like lately I’ve had nothing to say. Rather, I’ve had nothing to say that’s useful in any way other than to join up in the solidarity of an anxious victim mentality that I’ve never supported living in. I’ll admit, there are times it’s nice to gripe and receive some validation that I/you/we aren’t alone in our neuroses, but do we really need one more ranting, raving, whining, self-indulgent diatribe? Probably not.

Truth is that I’ve been letting life whirl right past me. Anxiety makes a terrible home. I needed to meditate, pray, hike, dance, scream, SOMETHING, but I was stuck. That feeling of trying to moving forward through a thick, sludgy swamp just became so exhausting that I didn’t want to fight it anymore. And so listless, I remained. To say that there was no discernible inspiration to glean around me would be a lie – my eyes were closed. Going through the motions.

It’s not secret that I’ve dealt with depression most of my life, but anxiety is a relatively new to me (I had a very blessed childhood). Depression I can work through, but an anxiety that I feel that I can’t surmount on my own works steadily to freeze me in my tracks. The mantras I’ve etched into my mind come out effortlessly, but never ease the bite of worry – and dammit, the stuff worry is made of gets next to nothing done. “Go with the flow. Pray and throw some work into it. Everything will be okay.”

Worry is useless and exhausting. Period.

 

Judging from the #ijustcant posts, I’m not the only one that stalls out from time to time so let me tell you why you just can:

1. You are made of the same stuff as all great people, all great things, natural wonders, visionaries. Everything is made up of energy, and for the less-woowoo everything is made up of atoms and molecules (check out particle theory!). It’s physics, we are literally made up of the same stuff.

2. Everything, and I do mean everything, that you have been through up until now has made you who you are today and who you are is perfection in every moment. Period. Seriously, you are where you need to be and who you need to be in every single moment. Your heaviest burdens have been your biggest blessings – I shit you not.

3. When your heart gets broken over a botched dream, a less than ideal romance, or something as simple an insult or backhanded compliment that struck too close to home – you have the choice to break open. Breaking open leaves room for all the good stuff to come in.

4. To build on breaking open, shutting down will just turn you into a 2 year old Big Mac. You may not rot, but you’ll harden and stay stuck as you are right now. The way I see it, if you’re in the mindset of stagnation then it definitely isn’t the mode you want to be stuck in forever. Not making a choice is a choice unto itself.

5. You have to. You weren’t created to hold onto pain, to thrive in a house built on fear, anxiety, or depression. You were created to rise and fight. You were created to move forward and align your will with the highest good. Whomever, whatever you believe in put you here in the perfect place and time and you WILL overcome.

6. Living your life like any shred of goodness or decency found in humanity is a surprise becomes poisonous all too quickly. Distrust may feel like self-preservation, but it’s not; trust is not the enemy, it never has been.

7. There are perfect strangers that love and believe in you; they hold sacred space for your best self to be realized and brought to fruition.

#youjustcan

 

Love Always,
Me

5 Awesome Things Happened Last Week!

Happy Monday!

Here’s your 5 Awesome thing that happened last week:

 
Enjoy your week lovelies!

These 5 Awesome Things Happened Last Week

Happy Monday!

If you’re having a “Garfield Monday” as my S.O. refers to it, or you just plain need a reason to smile and/or giggle then check out these 5 awesome things that happened last week:

 

Glow In The Dark Highway opens in the Netherlands

Pharrell Sobs Tears of Joy While Watching the World Dance to Happy

If You Don’t Know the History of Twerking… Watch This

This Kid Gave Away His Foul Ball

Boy Has Surprising Turnaround After Getting Unapproved Drug

Need more inspiration? 

Don’t Let Your Beautiful Heart Go To Waste

 GLYHG2W Pic 2
Don’t let your beautiful heart go to waste.
All too often we believe
the strength found in hardships
are the bricks we pick up along the way,
the scarring that’s left.
We use those bricks to build walls
and our scars harden our hearts against
the pain this world will inevitably bring
until we convince ourselves
we will never again feel the utter hopelessness
of being broken by those that love us the most.
Don’t let your love go to waste.
All too often we believe that
the lessons learned of tragedy
are to keep desperate hold of our hearts.
As if our love is but a small flame
that might be snuffed out at anytime.
Desperate that no one should ever hurt us again
we set out traps
and design rigged tests
that would decide
once and for all
the worthiness a person.
Your heart will break,
let it.
“They” are right,
pain is inevitable,
because we have made it the only learning tool worth a damn.
Pain is inevitable
because we carry our bricks and scars
from one relationship to the next
and are hands are so full
and are hearts are so hard
that we leave no room to carry the lessons
with us.
And so we continue on in spirals
with self-victimizing cries of “What went wrong?”
Running from pain only beckons more pain
and the only way out is through.
So push.
Remember, you’ve been here before
and know that the light of the end of the tunnel
IS indeed you.
Your love and light are always replenishing.
Don’t waste your beautiful heart,
your love,
your light,
on the bittersweet of regret,
and sleepless nights analyzing,
and silent, desperate wishes without work.
DLYHG2W Pic 1

What A Wonderful World: ‘A’ is for Alone Time

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There’s no denying that I’m an absolute social butterfly; more often than not I’m surrounded by people and if there are groups to visit I can flit back and forth seamlessly keeping up with too many conversations. I have always assigned myself the characteristics of an “extroverted as you could possibly be” person, but as I get older I have also come to really value my alone time. Alone time comes in the form of reading, cooking in my underwear, writing out my gratitude for the world to see, working out, daydreaming alone in the middle of my super comfortable bed.

It wasn’t very long ago that I rebuked the thought of alone time; the last thing I wanted was to be alone with my thoughts, with my self. The very thought horrified me. I honestly think people that are close to me would be shocked at the things that I told myself when no one was around, being around everyone made it easier to drown out the overly critical judgments and lies my ego sang loudly into my heart. My friends were not my friends, they were my escape. I grew up depressed – too soft for the world, too thin-skinned. It was part age and part disease – and depression IS a disease.

Now I covet my time alone; it’s a time of regeneration and replenishing. Now I say no to social functions in favor of sleep, mud masks, and time spent reading the books that always seem to be piling on my dresser. The older I get, the more I seem to fall into a category somewhere between the hard and fast stereotypes of always in and always out (gasp, balance!). Far from shy, I really do draw energy from being around people, but it seems that I draw a different energy from being alone and I no longer find it lonely. I’m a damn good time.

Alone time comes in all different flavors, from singing pantsless to Miranda Lambert with a mud mask on to typing up even more love letters to the world to post here. What does your alone time look like?

What a Wonderful World: One of the Loveliest Sights

 

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This past weekend was, oh you know what it was, the BIG Sunday – let’s just say it wasn’t my favorite game. This What A Wonderful World Wednesday is about a moment. For anyone that doesn’t know, I’m a proud Devil Pup, my father served USMC for 20 years and I also have countless friends and acquaintances in the Armed Forces. I’m sure that everyone has that one thing that gets them in the feels and mine is rooted both active duty and retired military personnel – it always pulls at my heartstrings in a way most other things can’t.

I just came out of the kitchen holding my plate stacked with “noms” when the National Anthem came on and, of course, I stopped right where I was standing out of respect; from there I watched all of my friends listening to Renee Fleming sing; I’m not even sure a simple “sing” would justify her amazing rendition, but I digress. That feeling was indescribably lovely, I was just bursting with pride and love for everyone around me.

I’m always so grateful for my friends and family, but that moment has been stuck in my head since Sunday night and will probably be one of my favorite wallflower moments for a long time to come.

"Image courtesy of nixxphotography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

“Image courtesy of nixxphotography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Thought-full Thursday: I’m Fine! Okay?!

ThoughtfullThursday
“I’m fine.” Two little words that keep us small. They keep us small and make our feelings small and unimportant. As if telling someone, “Honestly, I’ve had a really crappy day.” is somehow a burden upon someone else. All too often our definition of strength in this aspect is one of minimizing our problems and soldiering on with a smile because who cares anyway.
I’ll be honest, there was a time in my life when I would huff, puff, and sigh, but if anyone ever actually asked me what was wrong I would just play it off and say “I’m fine.” I didn’t want to trouble anyone with my troubles and I was often the person that everyone else came to with their issues so I didn’t want anyone to see when my happiness, faith, or self-love was(is) faltering.
There is a distinct difference between bratty whining and voicing how you honestly feel. For the love of everything abolish, “I’m fine” and “I’m okay”. They are generic (and quite frankly boring) terms to get out of opening up. This goes for pain AND joy. I was given the wherewithal to express myself, and I’m going to do it.
It’s such a tiny thing, but after a while little chips off of your soul and will takes their toll.