Don’t Let Your Beautiful Heart Go To Waste

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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?!

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“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.

What A Wonderful World: Working It Out

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     A non-stop weekend launched straight into a non-stop week! For those of you who know me personally, I’ve re-boarded the healthy train; every morning (almost) I get my tush up and in gear quite a bit before the sun shows its gorgeous rays and start working it out. The first week was challenging to say the least, I had to make it through that energy slump, but now I genuinely look forward to working out and I feel energized to take on life. I was talked into going to Zumba for the first time ever last night! I’m used to feeling sore after I work out, but this left me just plum exhausted. At the 30 minute mark I didn’t know if I was going to make it! Well, I stuck it out and right before I went to sleep last night I reflected on where my endurance and health used to be – not in a good place at all – and was overcome with gratitude that I’ve been able to do so much more than I used to. My work out began as a physical transformation, but has become a physical act of gratitude. The ability to move, a God that allows me to move, the clarity it brings, moving meditation, bliss.

Thought-Full Thursday: Courage, Vulnerability, and the Ancient Art of Karaoke

Before I drop into my harrowing tale of life lessons taken away from Karaoke I’d like to introduce another part of the reformatting: Thought-full Thursdays. Things I’ve Learned, Things We Say… have you seen Glee? Remember “How Sue ‘C’s’ It”? Well, this is that, but with a lot more social consciousness, mindfulness, and self-loving goodness. A peek into my brain. Scary, I know.

Sue’s Corner for your nostalgic viewing pleasure:

Here we go.
ThoughtfullThursday
I have stage fright, it’s difficult for many people that know me to believe because I have no issues being the center of attention, I’m always singing and dancing, and I don’t sound half bad. But I do, and it’s seems to only be with singing. Go figure.

Easy solution: don’t sing in front of people. Pfffft… who wants easy? An easy life is never cross-referenced with a remarkable life. I’ll admit that the first few times I was good and liquored up before I went up and my voice kept getting stuck in my throat, but overtime it got easier and quite a bit more sober…er.

Singing is catharsis for me, I open up completely and show my every scar for a minimum of three minutes. Whether or not I sound good is moot, that level of revealing can be shell-shocking to even the most honest of us. I can tell the difference between a fast and fun karaoke session and an “I need to get a song off my chest” cathartic karaoke session. The fun ones are easy breezy; I feel expansive and move around the stage to subconsciously take up as much room as I can. The soul singing feels difficult, like I’m literally pulling the song out of my chest, and I’m glued to the microphone as if my life depends on it. All of my pretenses and cloaks fall away and leaves me feeling rather naked.

More often than not we find that the most beautiful parts of our life are borne of gunning down comfort zones and the absolute best moments of my life have come from letting someone see the whole, unmasked me. Fear is a given, but courage is not the absence of fear – it’s rising up in spite of fear.

I get on here every week (for the most part) and share my truth with you in spite of fear that I won’t be taken seriously, that everything that makes sense to me will sound stupid to everyone else, that I’m too young to know what I know with certainty, and ultimately it all boils to I am not enough stories. I essentially lay my heart on the line to show you, me.

Is there anything that you want to do/share/be, but have been too caught up in limiting beliefs to just get off your tush and go for it? Where are you choosing easy over awesome?

What A Wonderful World Wednesday: First AND Snow Edition

In my personal life I’m all about a rockstar gratitude attitude. Not-so-recently a few of my friends and blogs I follow have inspired me to be ingratiated out loud. So here I am stepping up to share my intentional gratitude practice; every Wednesday I want to celebrate what a wonderful world this is with you!

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It snowed today. There was so much (for Northern Virginia) and if you know anything about this gal then you know that I hate being cold… well, except when I’m sleeping. So I’ve been trying to find things that I DO appreciate about colder weather and in no particular order: homemade (spiked) hot chocolate, cuddling, hearty homemade soups and stews, patterned tights, curve hugging sweaters, adorable hats, and finally productivity (and hours spent sleeping rejuvenating) goes up because my social life stalls out a little. Concentrating on the things that come with chilly temperatures makes it easier to stomach the snow.

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Speaking of productivity, I’m working on reformatting categories to make my Live Hard Love Hard world that much easier to explore for everyone. It should have minimal effect on your viewing pleasure unless you’re doing through the archives.

Loving You Always,

Kiera

A Midnight Ponder: Gratitude, Passion, and Why Self-Help Breaks My Heart

Well Hello There Beautiful,
     It’s almost midnight and I’m lying in bed right now, a full heart beneath a nearly full moon, unable to fall asleep just yet because my mind keeps taking detours to deep thought. I can’t help but smile as I reflect on the past few weeks – they have been so full of love. My aunt has passed on and I’m sick (but making a swift recovery) and these things have only fortified my gratitude for all that I have. However because of these things I have taken some time to myself to allow the healing process to do its thing; being away from outside influence always puts me in a very reflective space.

         Something else has been fortified within me – passion; a passion to serve and spread love in whatever ways that I can. Whenever I scan through the Facebook status updates and Twitter feeds I literally feel a tug on my heart-strings. I am quite blessed to have some of the most inspiring people I have ever met all in my life at the same time, but I realize that a lot of them don’t cut themselves a break. I’m beyond sure that everyone I know is tired of hearing me go on and on about self-love and self-care and yadda yadda yadda, but it’s not self-indulgent chatter. In fact, I really hate that I need to tell anyone to love and respect themselves. It breaks my heart that it’s necessary for anyone to be reassured that what they want matters. Hell, I’m just going to say I wish the self-help industry would tank completely due to a sudden drastic uprise in love, acceptance, and overall happiness. Honest to God, I would love for everyone to just get it, step into their own power, slay their limiting beliefs (or not have any), take time for themselves, etc. My goodness what a beautiful world that would be.
     In my Utopia everyone would love themselves first and because they only saw love in themselves they would only project love onto others. They wouldn’t see their crap buckets reflected in every person. No bullying, because no insecurities could thrive. No war, because tolerance and acceptance of all different paths would be innate. No comparison, no judgment, and no fear.
     We’re a ways from my dream world so we still need more people to stop someone and tell them they’re flippin’ awesome just for being them and showing up that day. This just so happens to fall right in line with my passion and I fall somewhere right in between cheerleader and tough love reality check. “You’re awesome! I want you to be your best, so you just need to exhale the bull*ish to get to the good *ish.”
     I’m so grateful that I’m able to share my message and passion with all of you and beyond humbled every single time I get a like or a comment. I LOVE knowing someone gets me. Thank you for bringing me to your computers, mobile devices, and hearts. I hope that something here resonates with you and brings you a little bit closer to falling madly in love with yourself. Going to keep on keeping on until my dream is the reality.
Love You Dearly,
Kiera

Be Your Own Cheerleader: Why You Should Celebrate the Crap You’re Going Through Today

Good Morning Lovely!

Sometimes it feels like we move from one hurdle to the next and we’re never going to get on level ground. Life has ups and downs and quite frankly shit happens. Your perception and reaction are the only things that you have control over. So take control.

Growth is ceaseless. We move from one end of the spectrum to the other and even as we abolish fears and limiting beliefs along the way all new ones slither in and the process of letting go begins all over again. Fear is a reality. Change is absolutely guaranteed. To avoid or deny these is to avoid or deny vital pieces of the human experience.

I began with this issue of beginning things. I tapped, affirmed, and trudged my way past that hill only to meet another – finishing. Same BS story in a different (spectacularly bad) outfit, “I’m not good enough”.

New hills are fantastic things – signs of growth and metamorphoses. It’s only daunting if that’s the feeling you let it take on; put away the violin and celebrate that you’re moving forward! Be your own cheerleader simply because you conquered and got *ish done! Your problems of today aren’t exactly the same as your problems of yesterday.

Need more? How about another angle?

#firstworldproblems I love it. It’s become one of those things that we just say.

“Spilled my soy latte ALL OVER my desk, saved my phone just in time! #firstworldproblems.

 

Well, you’re right… those are first world problems. For the love of everything good thank you for acknowledging that. Most of the people I know have never gone hungry much less actually have to go and forage for food. Most of the people I know have never lived without electricity and running water. Most of the people I know can escape their first world problems by watching TV or wading around in the social media pool – which is in itself a first world problem.

Be GRATEFUL for your trials because they are yours for a reason; you are never given more than you can take and the divine knows that you’re a bad ass. Chances are you are far stronger and much more powerful than you are willing to see or admit.

Love Always,

Kiera

If God only gives you what you can handle, he must think I’m a badass! – Rotten eCards

Please Get Your Guilty Outta My Pleasure, Thanks.

There are certain terms I just don’t like the sound of guilty pleasure for one. Not a fan. There is (should be) no guilt in pleasure and what exactly makes one guilty in pursuing pleasure? For the sake of this post, I’m going to break this down – let’s get literal.

 As defined by the Oxford Dictionary:
Guilty
adjective (guiltier, guiltiest)
culpable of or responsible for a specified wrongdoing
Pleasure

noun

  • a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoymentshe smiled with pleasure at being praised

[attributive]

  • used or intended for entertainment rather than business

verb

[with object]

give sexual enjoyment or satisfaction to
Happy? Satisfaction? Enjoyment? Hm, pursuing happiness  sure doesn’t sound much like  wrongdoing to me. Perhaps the aversion lies in how guilt can be strongly associated with shame and there is nothing shameful about pleasure. Not a thing.
“Oh, but it’s just something we say.” I can feel the eyes rolling from here, but the more conscious of  definitions and emotional associations I become, the more aware I am of how these affect thoughts and perceptions, and in turn life. Guilt and shame have no place tied to pleasure, it only serves to further perpetuate the lie that pleasure is a naughty thing. I don’t know about you, but I feel some kind of awesome after a bubble bath or indulging in a leisurely brunch. There are enough places for fearful/shameful/guilty thoughts to poison and misdirect – I don’t need it to hide in my bubble bath or my hairbrush performance session of Moulin Rouge‘s  “Elephant Melody”. Seriously.
Explore your relationship with pleasure. Just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths while you sit with the word. How does it feel? Physical sensations? What are the first words that come to mind? This is a relationship worth pursuing. Tell me what you find.