Photo by Carli Jean, Provided by Unsplash Writing a Valentine's Day Letter

An Open Letter To My Future Lover on Valentine’s Day

Dear Lover,
I don’t crave that Valentine Hallmark kind of love.
That complete me, save me kind of love.
I don’t pine away for grand gestures
and white table cloths and candlelight.
I’ve no need for that clinging kind of love.
That lonely together, good enough kind of love.
You won’t seduce me with hollow promises.
I need the kind of love that can’t be tied up in ribbons and pretty things.
I crave that enduring kind of love,
that mountain moving kind of love.
I long for that when the shit hits the fan,
you’re still there holding my hand kind of love.

Oh, Dear Lover,
Take my hands in yours
for I seek not to be adorned with diamonds,
only with the threading of your fingers through mine.
Seduce me with your quiet understanding of me.
Rise where I fall and I’ll do the same when you slip beneath.
Let us perfect our ebb and flow beyond what can be hidden by sheets.
Leave your sweet nothings at the door
and whisper only your secret wishes.
Lay not only your wanting hands,
but your most precious dreams on me.
And don’t worry if you can’t find the words,
our language is not limited to syllables.

Dearest Lover,
We are a long way from starry-eyed adolescents
with perfection and pedestals
tied so tightly to our expectations of true love.
No, I will love you as you are now – a warrior.
And though I crave your adoration and uplifting,
I was never built for pedestals.
Perfection is not in my nature.
All I ask is let me love you.

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,
Me

What Happens When You Stop Dancing?

When you stop dancing, it may be time to stop everything else. It can be so easy to get swept up in the attitude of the world and leave the soul in waiting. Sometimes trying so hard to be the light and see the light in others just feels exhausting and fake (Note: there is a difference between seeing the light and denying a problem.)  Too much trying, not enough being. The will to show grace should be inherent and mostly effortless. Alas, this is not a perfect world and there are times it is hard as hell to show that grace.

Anything that brings you joy and peace and connection can be a spiritual practice – and any spiritual practice is a waste of time and energy if you can’t feel a little more peace at the end and if you can’t take that peace with you into the hardest moments of your day.

Gabrielle Roth Quote

Gabrielle Roth Quote

So what happens when you stop dancing? What happens when you lose the things you love to do? Among my friends it’s a running joke that one of my favorite advice-lettes is “get a hobby”. Not just to find something you like to do, not just to keep busy. It’s to find a practice that takes care of you, that allows you to create, that brings you a moment or an hour or a month of joy. When you stop dancing or painting or collecting or playing football you surrender in all of the wrong ways.

When I go through longer stretches of anxiety or depression my friends are quick to point out, “You don’t dance anymore.” Now, I’m not talking about going out to dance because I’m dragged out quite often. I’m talking dancing everywhere, all of the time. Joy so big it has to be expressed physically. Like vitamin B for my spiritual immune system and when I stop taking it my sanity takes a nosedive.

If you’re still with me and if you never take one word of my advice, please at least do this:

Make room for the things that you love. And as for excuses (too busy, too tired, too broke). Pft. Those resources are going somewhere and I can almost guarantee (because I’m guilty too!) that you are spending at least some of your time, money, and energy in ways that do not serve you one itty bit.

This world is full of people that would profit off vulnerability. While it is certainly not the case for ALL of them, there are self-help gurus, people in the weight loss industry, and late night informercial hosts that would have you search for a magic pill (and of course something outside of yourself). Just do XYZ and see a happy, shiny, new and improved you in 7 days! The answers we’re looking for are usually just as simple, but more difficult to execute because ugh… “It’s hard!” It’s a hard path to true happiness; there are easily 1000 decisions I’ve made this year alone that felt shitty and hard, but they felt right and ultimately led me to more goodness.

Do more of what you want and less of what you don’t want. Simple advice, but when applied regularly can yield HUGE, happy-making results.

No, really. Go do it now.

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.