Don't spend your days waiting in dream purgatory. Live Hard Love Hard

Is Your Means To An End Mentality Keeping You In Dream Purgatory?

Means to an end. I loathe those words – they make me feel stuck. And that is, by far, my least favorite feeling. My father used to preach “means to an end” and it drove me crazy.

I’d rather find ways to fall in love with process. I’d rather find little things that make the journey pleasant because, if I’m honest, I don’t want it if it’s all strictly blood, sweat, and tears.

So often we start out full steam ahead and fizzle out slowly (sometimes not so slowly). If you’re like me, it’s frustrating. When you’re just not “there” it can be difficult to be honest about it. People think you’re lazy or complacent; you constantly mumble to yourself about being such a dumbass. Excuses, write-offs, unrealized dreams, and pink slips ensue.

But why? Where does the complacency and self shit talking come from?

It doesn’t matter if you’re pursuing your soul passions or biding time at a stepping stone. It doesn’t matter how in love you are with the end game. If you can’t fall in love with every bit of the process, you’re just going through motions until eventually you’re motionless.

I fell out of love with the process.

I like writing… I don’t love it. What I love is sharing my love with as many people as possible. What I love is rallying others toward passionate pursuits. What I love is inspiring people to be their most awesome, authentic selves.

Once upon a time I was in love with the process. When it was all new to me I could churn out content in rapid succession. I was all about keeping up with blogging and marketing trends to extend Live Hard Love Hard’s reach even further. I may have been far from the bloggers I admire, but the feedback was good and the content helped at least a few people.

Somehow, at some point, this became a means to an end. It’s a nice hobby, but what are you going to DO? Fear and self-doubt disguised as practicality. Yay.

I was stuck.

I found other things to do so I “never had the time”. Readership fell with the intermittent posting and, in turn,  the feedback. Everyone says it shouldn’t be about the feedback,  but it can be so nourishing when you’re growing and trying to get dreams off the ground. I whined. A lot. I threw my hands up in harumph. I gave my fearful projections breathing room and they just grew to fill the space.

So then what happens? Awareness means little without action.

Three not so little things are helping me to revive my dream.
  1. Clarify. Rediscover your end game and get very honest with yourself. Maybe,  just,  maybe you didn’t want it as much as you thought you did. Perhaps when you got what you wanted, it turned out to not be what you wanted after all. Things never quite clicked or that certain sense of ease everyone goes on about never set in. If it’s making you miserable, if it’s not where your heart is at, if you truly can’t find anything that makes it worth the hustle, then it’s not throwing in the towel, it’s closing up shop. There’s no shame in changing your mind. If you still get butterflies when you daydream about it then it’s time to play with your plan.
  2. Revise. Your plan needs some shaking up. The what if game gets a bad rap,  but used correctly it can be a powerful brainstorming tool. What if you tweaked this? What if you took that out entirely? What if you outsourced the things you couldn’t make peace with? What if you could make completing the most tedious tasks more like a game? How does the process look after you play with some things? Write it down, sketch it out, do whatever you need to do to get your plan on some paper, the computer, or hell even your wall.
  3. Do. Your game plan means nil if you won’t get off your ass to put it in motion. Now it’s time to begin… or start again. You can only plan so much before it becomes counterproductive. It seems we spend a lot of time waiting for the “right time”, but often we never really quite feel ready. Don’t spend your days waiting in dream purgatory. Begin with the smallest, easiest, or most desirable task.

Now you’re in the thick of it again. Take stock of things – How do you feel going through your to-dos? Is your plan moving you in the right direction? Are you moving at all? Is this still what gives you butterflies?

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

All of the best motivational seminars and self-help books won’t get you anywhere if you aren’t honest with yourself about what you do and don’t want AND about what you are and aren’t willing to do.
Please share with me what you do when you’re feeling stuck.
Love Always,
Me

Are You a Phobophobe? Get Over Trying To Be Fearless!

Everyone wants to be fearless, but it feels off the mark. It feels like missing the point. Irresponsible. Stagnant. Denial. Inauthentic.

Fear has become this blacklisted word and every magazine cover is plastered with shiny headlines touting a quick and easy 5 step (lightweight) process to living your fearless life now. It’s the latest obsession.

How do I get over my fears? How do I live a fearless life? Screw honoring those feelings, that’ll get me nowhere. Fears, what fears? Deny, deny, deny.

And so we spend our lives magnetized to the very things that we’re running from. Focus gives power; a vicious cycle is born and fearlessness breeds an unhealthy fear of fear. Phobophobia – it’s a thing.

There are better things, more realistic things to strive for – freedom, undaunted, unlimited. These acknowledge fear and the bash it in the face, hard. To live the life you want it isn’t necessary to dispense with fear and pretending it’s not a part of the human experience only inspires panic, overwhelm, and alienation. Really, how can we not feel like a failure when the woman on the cover of this magazine is living her fearless life now and, shit, she’s got it down to 3 simple steps.

No one wants to be held back from fear (it’s probably holding you back in ways you haven’t even realized) but those feelings still need to be heard and honored.

If you really want to rise above your fear:
-Learn to listen to it objectively
-Admit that it’s there. It’s okay.
-Honor the feeling. You can’t get through it, if you don’t go through it.
-Decide if it’s worth one (or any) of your *effs. It may be practical to pull back sometimes and other times fear may keep you from charging forward when you need to get off your ass and go. It’s all in the awareness.

Join up with me today to end the phobophobia. Be objective with your fear. Be undaunted. Be unlimited.

Where Forgiveness is Found

Where does a man go for redemption
Where does he take a broken heart
Shouldn’t there be some small exemption
If he does all that it takes
To admit to his mistakes
Til the truth batters and breaks his world apart
I could ask for my forgiveness
From the heavens high above
Tell myself my prayers are gonna somehow be enough

 -Kenny Chesney “Always Gonna Be You”

Where does true forgiveness lie? Etched in the pews of a modest country road church? Locked within the heart of the wronged? Hidden in the subtext of a love song, just waiting to strike out like an epiphany? In the hands of the divine, ready and always wanting to be given (if only we accept)? Buried somewhere beneath our guilt and Sacred Lies and ambivalence?

The answer comes in pieces.

Forgiveness from another is nice. It’s comfort. It’s catharsis. It can be closure. It is not, however, necessary to move on – in spite of what we tell ourselves. I’ve learned that often the best you can do is sincerely apologize (justifications can taint the sincerity), make amends (if possible), and then move it along. They’ll come around or they won’t.

Forgiveness from the divine is wholly attainable and, for me, wholly necessary. Simply ask, simply be ready to receive and it is ours. I believe in a great many things, a benevolent divining force is high on that list.

You could stop here, many do, but then you’re stopping short on that road to true peace of mind. Yes, apologize to the wronged and seek forgiveness from the divine, but ultimately this missing peace comes from somewhere a little closer to home.

So often we keep ourselves plied with guilt. Self-flagellation is an unfortunate hobby – and a popular one. We literally drive ourselves crazy holding onto guilt. We internalize OR side-step OR project and transform the issue at hand until barely recognizable OR disguise it as a never-ending grand quest to win the approval of God. Maybe it’s some amalgamation of all of the above. Everyone is different.

You may never get the forgiveness you seek wrapped in a neat little bow (or at all). You may never receive the final word from above that you’re good to go (trust me, you are). What you can do is take control of the person keeping you up nights, browbeating you, infringing upon (and projecting in) other relationships, because it’s you.

Forgive and forgive again. Forgive everyone and everything like it’s going out of style. Forgive hard and often until day by day (and then moment by moment) you begin to feel the weight of fear, guilt, regret, and ill-wishes slide off your shoulders and into the Earth to be neutralized and left behind.

This is the one ‘F’ word that will always end in joy. It may hurt at first, but remember…

“Being genuinely happy means you’re okay being unhappy”
-Gabby B
 
Is something weighing you down? What are you holding onto that is keeping you cycle of dwelling and guilt? 
What can you forgive yourself for? What can you let go of?
Leave a comment. Write a letter to yourself. Pray. Whatever you have to do to acknowledge and release it.
Love Always,
Me

Charge Forward and Effin’ Rally

Are you having the right conversations?

With yourself? Your romantic partner? The world? The Universe?

Many times we put our emphasis on the things we want to avoid instead of the things we want to attract. I was beyond disheartened with all of the fear-based (read: lashing out) talk and action that sprung from the recent profile cases of racism and police brutality. My personal feelings about those cases aside, this is not the direction we’re supposed to be moving in.

Some of the #blacklivesmatter movement actions resonate with me (though I wish it simply #livesmatter) and some things repel me. Anger in and of itself isn’t negative, but you get to choose what action is borne of it.

It goes right down to law of attraction (like attracts like) – when you put your focus unto a thing it gives it power and pulls it right in close to you. If you ever wanted to know why your ‘I don’t want’s are front and center, here you are. Running away from something, lack mentality, praying not to be overweight, underweight, in debt, in a job you loathe – all the universe picks up on is the focus.

It’s all set up to get you just what you want, if you keep praying to just make it to the end if the week, you’re going to continue to just make it.

Change your perspective, change your life. Step outside of the lack mentality and the negative focus and just change the way you speak to yourself and so many doors open. The reality is you can’t move forward unless you have a firm grip on what you’re moving toward.

I found myself waxing philosophical on what we shouldn’t be and where we shouldn’t be heading. Maybe rants are what I needed at the time,  but I’m a natural rallier (if that’s not a word it should be; one who *effin rallies) and I can only run from something for so long, – I’m much more a charge forward kinda gal.

Please join me in a recommitment to charging forward. A recommitment to co-authoring our respective lives. A recommitment to desire. A recommitment to self-awareness, acceptance, and stepping into our true power.

We are the only thing standing in our way. We can have the lives we want. We can raise the vibrancy and vibrational frequency of this whole world. We can clear the bad things and create room for the good to flood in. We can. One action at a time, one day at a time. You know what they say about drops of water and the ocean, don’t you?

Rally.

In so many days
and ways
we trip over the jumble of words
that clutter our pages
like our subtext is written
right between the lines.
These rules aren’t new:
Clear space.
Physically, mentally.
Pinpoint.
What do you want?
Clarity is the root
of all exquisite things done.
What do you want?
Work.
Blessings meet the hands
of those charging forward,
not those idle and wanting.
Focus.
Flow.
Faith.
Your wants and needs will be met.
Be open,
wide open.
Remove the blocks
that “limit” you.
Be ready and willing to receive.
You were not made for ceilings,
you are without limits.
A love warrior.
A powerhouse.
Refine.
Clear again.
Get clear again.
Work.
Focus.
Flow.
Faith.
Get open.
Rally.

Love Letters to Strangers and 33 Things that Are Better When Winterfied (aka Reasons to Become a Winter Enthusiast)

How do you start to fall in love with a season you’ve loathed for a lifetime?

Add some love to the world.

Write love letters.

Lots of love letters.

Passionate. Funny. Short. Long. Witty. Rhyming. Inspirational. Doesn’t matter. Just write ’em.

What to do with all of that love you just penned?

Leave them.

Leave them everywhere.

Tuck them in magazine pages.

Prop them up on ledges.

Also, create a list of things that are better when winterfied. Here we go:

1) Hot chocolate – REAL DEAL hot chocolate. I love going to ACKC in Del Ray

2) Snuggles. Serioulsy, it’s just better when there’s a chill in the air.

3) Spurring random sing-a-longs is perfectly acceptable. I spend all year bursting out into song and people just blink at me (dgaf), BUT during the holiday season as long as it’s some jolly song people will join in! I love to spread the merry.

4) Fuzzy overload. Blankets, socks, sweaters. Gimme.

5) Soups, stews, and the like. Homemade. Give me a root vegetable some cheese and bacon and it is on! (Bonus: the abundance of root veggies gives me a chance to experiment with veggies I don’t normally eat in warmer weather).

6) Cinnamon. On. Everything.

7) Red wine. Cab Sauv seems to be that much more satiating in the winter weather.

8) This scarf that I just bought. In LOVE.

9) No one questions me shirking social obligation in favor of my faux mink blanket and deluxe queen bed.

10) On that note: it’s  the perfect time for reflecting and flying through creative endeavors.

11) Bonfires and s’mores because they go oh-so-perfectly together.

12) Hottubbing on snowy nights.

13) Snuggie justification.

14) Everything is covered in lights beginning in fall. Twinkle lights abound, like the stars came down for a visit.

15) People reflect the giving and humanity I know we’re capable of year-round.

16) Gatherings with friends and family I don’t normally get to see.

17) Cookies. COOKIES. COOOOOOOOKIES. Oh, and fudge,  I love homemade fudge.

18) Tights and extra-large thrifted man sweaters.

19) Tights in general because I love them.

20) Little to no people on the nature trails – there are times I enjoy making friends and there are times I enjoy my solitude Cold weather usually compels me to the latter.

21) All of the holidays clustered together. Never stop the celebrations!

22) Snowball fights.

23) Leaves crunching under my boots – simple things.

24) Creamy, thick, high gravity beers – stouts, porters, and lagers, oh my!

25) Twilight, my favorite time of day, is that much more breathtaking.

26) Searching for,  and cracking open,  a new (read: the perfect) planner. This year it’s this one.

27) Bubble baths. If there could just be never-ending bubbles.

28) Hilarious blockbuster family movie releases. Open season for Pixar.

29) Boot buddies. I needed these right meow!

30) Grey is a real color that I somehow forget about until winter and it looks so much better with the jewel and wine tones of the season.

31) Drastically reduced FOMO, maybe I convince myself everyone else hates the cold as much as me.

32) Intentional gratitude abound.

33) Whimsy is the flavor of the season.