Obsessively Seeking Sunshine?

This isn’t my usual long-winded post, I tried to keep it short and sweet today so you can get on with your Friday…

There is trouble in always seeking sunshine. Sure, we all want to be full of joy and lollipops, but blind optimism isn’t healthy or helpful.

If happiness is the mainstream drug of the moment, just enough enhances  your life beautifully, a little more and your vision (read: clarity) begins to get impaired, dangerous doses leave you hallucinating (read: delusional) and chasing a high you just can’t get to (rose-hued sunshine-y rainbows).

I see magazines and (some) self-help selling rose-hued blinders, but it’s super easy, super fast fluff. Not all of it, but I’ve taken my fair share of snake oil so maybe I’m jaded. Maybe I’ve just learned where to look for the answer.
Trouble with Seeking Sunshine
Where is this everlasting, bubbling cauldron of happiness and sunshine?

For me?

In the simplest terms: practicing full presence and learning to find peace and joy in every moment. I am not truly happy unless I feel connected – to a higher power, to nature, to myself, to everyone and everything. This doesn’t guarantee endless good times and Popsicle smiles, but it does set you in a position of power to choose joy and love in every moment.

Chasing down what most people can’t even seem to define for themselves seems sort of like sniffing out Atlantis. Exhausting. Fruitless. Maddening. Learning to love the moment, learning to always be in THIS moment, happening right here, right now – well, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Joy is with you always and the choice to experience that joy is with you always in the present moment; to become aware and take advantage of it is entirely up to you.

Love Always,

Self-Love Doesn’t Look Like You Think It Would

My kind of self-love doesn’t look like rainbows, glitter, and relentless pats on the back. It doesn’t center around treating myself like a princess or self-importance. It probably doesn’t feel as nice, as gentile as you think it would or should.

It’s more like unrelenting acceptance.

I don’t know how it happened, but there’s a disconnect between the current social agenda and self-love. Somehow setting hard boundaries makes you a bitch. Somehow setting high standards of treatment makes you entitled. Somehow wanting more makes you ungrateful. Wrong. wrong, and wrong again.

The way we speak to ourselves can literally make or break us. Most of the time it isn’t society holding us down, we have our own glass ceilings to break through. We have our perceptions to reframe. This is life altering, life saving kind of love and it is of the utmost importance that everyone finds it. The world cannot run on empty and if no one is spending the time to fall in love with themselves, well that’s exactly what we will get.

So what’s standing in your way?

♥ Comparison. She has that and he does this. Oh my! You have two choices here, either set your brain on stun and focus on getting yours OR take a step back and realize that they are not you. The secret of the happiest, most self-lovingest people? They don’t care what other people have going on – they are too busy living their best life. We could wax philosophical over set points and breaking through those glass ceilings, but that is an entirely different post. Instead I will just offer this – you are your own person and you are never given more than you can handle, but this also includes the good stuff. Accept where you are. Love where you are. Don’t worry about them.

Crappy stories. Not sure if you realize this, but we tell ourselves stories all of the time and we literally rearrange our reality to make them come true. You’re always late? Keep telling yourself that, all you accomplish is setting yourself up in circumstances that will prove you right. Everyone you love leaves you? If you’re happy with that hamster wheel keep telling yourself this as you ignore the Dead End signs that are probably pretty clearly posted. That person won’t walk away, he or she will run because you will create all sorts of reality to ensure your crappy story comes true. This is not from a place of heartlessness. Things happen to us, it’s true. There are certainly things that happen beyond our control. That is why it is imperative to take responsibility where you can. Life will throw you enough curve balls without you tripping over a hamster wheel of your own creation.

Perfection. I am perfection. So are you. Where we are right now is perfection. But this isn’t the perfection that you learn about in the Webster’s Dictionary.  I love my journey; it has been 27 years long and sometimes painful, but it is mine and every thing I have been through has brought me to where I am and I think I’m pretty damn groovy. The perfection we’re striving for is more like a perfect state of acceptance not a shiny, flawless, plastic. There’s a little too much “Don’t stop until you’re perfect.” and not enough “You are a perfect, whole being as you are now.” in the world.

Enabling ain’t self-love. There’s this meme that literally drives me crazy – if he can’t handle you at your worst, then he doesn’t deserve you at your best. I have to clarify – I wholeheartedly agree with that. If you love someone (yourself included), you love all of their sides. What this does not do is excuse you living beneath yourself. If you surround yourself with people who engage and encourage your lowest level behaviors that is exactly where you will stay. Responsibility is a huge part of the self-love package, but it is also the most difficult to confront. So yes – strive for people in your life that will accept your darkest moments, but don’t make the mistake of the people in your life shouldn’t be holding you to the standard of your highest self.

Martyrdom. I think I write about this more than just about anything. Perhaps because this is the number one thing I am guilty of. Lowering yourself, debasing yourself, shoving your needs and wants to the side just to lift someone else up won’t fix the world any faster. There is nothing selfish about taking care of yourself. In fact, when you are running on full energy don’t you shine just a little bit brighter? Aren’t you just that much more kind/patient/nurturing/present/giving/loving/what have you? Taking care of yourself is taking care of the people you love. You can’t give your all, if you aren’t your all.

Choose love today and everyday. It IS a choice and not always an easy one.

Love Always,

How To Love A Woman On Fire

to love a woman on fire

How do you love a woman on fire?

Come as you are. This woman chose you today and everyday not because of who you could be. She does not simply bet on potential and she doesn’t want to save you from yourself. She meets you where you are and loves you perfectly in every stage of transformation. Do the same for her. She is a force to be sure, but she is not perfection.

Rise where she falls. It will get messy. It is a little chaos, but all beauty. This woman knows what she wants and is her own advocate. At times, most of the time, she will fall short of perfection because there is never truly balance. Be patient with her.

Be gentle. You may confuse her fire for being unshakable, but fire does not make her invincible. In fact, just the opposite. She openly embraces vulnerability. She is a warrior of a different kind – light warrior, love warrior. Be gentle, but do not tiptoe around her – she can take it.

Be real. She craves truth. She embodies something more than extraordinary and you will instinctively rise to meet your best self because of her. Authentically. This woman is never in it to change you, she never pulls you to be something else. All she will ever ask of you is to simply be you.

Be fiercely loyal to her. And to yourself. She is fiercely loyal to all in her tribe. She is not in this to save you, but she will be damned if she sits idly by while you need something. She will probably never be the woman that waits on you hand and foot, but she will show up for you every time without hesitation or need to ask.

Love her senselessly. Adore this woman openly. Hold her close every chance you can. You may not be able to help yourself – to love this woman is to become a little love drunk. That’s okay. To know her is to love her and you cannot help but be pulled into her. Her aura is a mile-wide.

Let her go and welcome her back with open arms. It is in her nature to run off and recharge. Have faith in her return, she is probably just off howling at the moon and twirling on mountaintops. Relax. She is not running from you, but to herself. Her freedom and spirituality are so intertwined that who is to say where one begins and one ends? Nature is the embodiment of her higher power.

Try and never stop trying. She doesn’t perfection, she just wants your all.

Why Does “Loyal to a Fault” Really Mean “I am Fiercely Loyal to Everyone but Myself”?

     Victim mentality comes in all shapes and sizes. Handing away your power can range from the dire to the day-to-day mundane. It’s just one of those things people say, “I’m loyal to a fault.” without knowing how much power they are truly giving away each day. Some say it with a smirk as if it’s a sort of badge of honor – isn’t self-sacrifice to be praised. Some say it with not-so-hidden heartbreak as if they weren’t an active participant in the choices that got them where they are – most of the time it is a path we choose.

What does that even mean, “giving away your power”?

     You are literally handing the reigns of your life over to someone else. Accolades for being selfless, but the next time you want to proclaim “I’m loyal to a fault” please take a deep breath and bring the subtext to the surface “I am fiercely loyal to everyone but myself.”

     No one would ever ask you to turn your back on the world. In fact, quite the opposite. You are your best self when you are fiercely loyal to yourself. Does that mean only looking out for yourself at any cost? Hell no – you can do more for others when you are operating at you are FULL. Does that mean sticking to your guns on boundaries, unconditional self-love, and taking your own needs into account? Um, hell yes – you cannot pour from an empty cup.

Ayn Rand Quote

     Life is a series of decisions and they either move your forward on a linear path or on a loop. There is no backwards and there is no standing still. So as with all other things this begins with a decision. The words will be different, the declaration will be different, but it ultimately ends at the same place. Your uplifting, your boundaries established and held, your self-care untouchable, your heart and soul well-fed. Decide today. What promise will you make yourself?

  • I will be fiercely loyal to myself.
  • I will love myself unconditionally.
  • I will honor energy/time/financial boundaries I have set.
  • I will create space for myself to honor my needs.
  • I will show up for myself.

Call it what you will. Affirm it in a way that resonates with you. Just do it.

Because most of us give our power away a little at a time and in the most subtle ways we often don’t see the bigger picture, but I implore you do not wait. Do not wait until you are bankrupt on faith in humankind, until you are in financial debt, until you finally determine the value of your time is not moot. Do not wait.

I hear a lot of people wondering what they, as one person, can do to change the world. I hear even more people asking what one small action will do to change their life. My answer? Ripples. It only takes one stone, even one raindrop, to create ripples. Change has to begin somewhere. Why not you? Why not now? Why not one small, effective action?

Will you choose to be fiercely loyal to yourself today?

Love Always,

Why Granting Grace is Not the Same as Giving *Effs

I’ll keep this short: I would like to issue an official retraction. You see, I confused giving grace with giving *effs.
Maybe it was colored by my mini war on apathy or maybe it’s the shallow context I’d so often seen it used in. Either way, I was wrong and I’m here to admit that.
Granting grace is inherent, but giving *effs is not.
Grace should be given freely, *effs should be given sparingly. Earned.
I’d like to think that people don’t (usually) intentionally hurt other people. Run your own race. I don’t remember where I heard this, maybe a movie. Everyone has their blinders on at one time or another. We often just can’t see how our actions affect those around us and sometimes people are so tired from carrying their emotional detritus that they pour that shit onto someone else.
Showing grace offers a kind of psychic cushion. Extend love, empathy, and acceptance without getting all wrapped up in the BS. Compassion + Detachment. Giving a *eff is an investment – that person or event is taking up psychic real estate.
Investment of time and energy – that’s the difference.

Fixing is in my marrow. I am blessed with a well-developed sense of empathy, but I’m still learning that I don’t have to be personally invested in the pain of everyone I come across.

Where in your life are you busy handing out all of your *effs instead of simply having grace?

Love Always,