How to Redefine Challenge and Endurance

The life I want isn’t quiet, calm, or easy. I want my comfort zone to crack, I want my walls to shake, I want my glass ceilings shattering left and right. Somewhere along the way not wanting to take shit became ungrateful and lazy. I don’t agree.

Once upon a time I found out my life path is endurance and my low-level, chaos loving, naive ego whispered into my ear “That makes sense, you can take an inordinate amount of shit and keep on going.” Somehow just running a marathon wasn’t enough if I didn’t have to wade through muck and ruck uphill. My life has taught me to embrace a certain amount of suck and that isn’t a bad thing, but challenge doesn’t always equal as suffering. It took me a long time to understand that this life path of endurance wasn’t an excuse to put my sanity on the line. I needed my endurance to lend its energy to something different; I needed something more than I can make it through the crappy situations that I keep exposing myself to.

I have found that there are three courses you can take through this metaphorical marathon of life.

The first course feels like stagnancy, but is really more like comfortable and boring as hell; you’re still moving forward at a steady pace, but there is nothing to challenge and there will never be any change. This may be the most comfortable path for some, but they will never be challenged, never grow, and if something blows into their path they will have no idea what do about it. Life as they know it would come to a screeching halt. On this path everyone is running their own race with blinders on. The runners are barely aware that anyone is beside them let alone willing to stop and help.

The second course is rebellion; this path is full of fire and brush and swamps and looking for love in all the wrong places. Upon first look one might think this is the path less taken, but this has its own special kind of miserable comfort. On this path people are only waiting to trip you up or bring you down to their level because, well, misery loves company.

The last course truly is the one less taken; this path transforms with you. As you grow to meet the current challenge it will push you further and further out of your comfort zone. This path knows you and your deepest fears, but the course is built for success. This is the path you will find the most support and love within and you will run faster and jump higher than you ever thought possible if you just put in the work.

Sometimes you change the course. Hell, I did a few times over.

I don’t want comfortable, I never have, but I have changed what I am willing to endure. Sure, life will throw curve balls. Sure, bad things may happen, but I am unwilling to intentionally run into the line of fire anymore in the name of endurance. Challenges may be uncomfortable, but ultimately result in growth. How do you know if you are suffering needlessly? One wonderful way to know the difference – you’ll end up right back where you started. If you’re on a hamster wheel there is no real forward momentum, only tireless scrambling and one hell of a leg cramp.

What patterns aren’t working for you anymore? What course do you think you’re running? I’d love to hear!

Love Always,
Me

Walking into 2016 Empty, New Years, Transformation - Photo Courtesy of Mariona Campany via Unsplash

New Year Part Deux: I’m Walking in Empty

And now one about walking into 2016.

I’m walking in empty. There are no resolutions to be found here. Sure there are things that I would like to see come to pass, but it has nothing to do with that half-hearted and short-lived annual goal planning.

I’m not short on faith. Or love. Or light.

But I do plan on walking into this year empty.
I’m walking in empty of my attachments to that certain outcome.
I’m walking in empty of complacency.
Empty of heart aching. Empty of the weight of the past year.
Empty of half-hearted yeses and settling. Empty of give-a-damns about societal norms.
Empty of the will to chase.
And just plain ol’ empty of the flotsam jetsam from the trials of living.

No reason to hold on.

I’m emptying all of that out to make space.
Instead of holding on to my way, I’m making space for divine miracles.
Instead of complacency, I’m making space for full presence and passion.
Instead of heart ache, I’m making space for compliment.
Instead of the weight of the past year, I’m making space for the many, many, many blessings to come… forever.
Instead of settling, I’m making space for all of the spine-tingling, lusty, awe-inspiring HELL YESES.
Instead of wasting my fucks on societal norms, I’m making space for, well… me.
Instead of chasing, I’m making space for receiving.
And instead of detritus, I’m making space what I treasure most – those I love.

My walking into 2016 empty is intentional and joyous.

I’m empty because I’m burnt out on conventional knowledge being my means to an end.
I’m empty because my way should be in alignment with divine way.
I’m empty because all of that crap that I couldn’t throw away and all of the stories I cleaved to took up the space in my heart and head and life that magic should have held.

I have this kind of feeling that the last two years have been setting us all up for something pure magic in the near future.

Walk into 2016 empty with me! Tell, me what are you leaving behind and what are you making space for?

Love Always,
Me

Connecting the Dots: 2015 in Review

This time of the the year is ripe with reflective posts; every year between Thanksgiving and the New Years everyone wants to reflect on the happenings of the year gone by. These past two years have been a little rough so I haven’t exactly been inclined to think about everything that has transpired. While you won’t find any New Year’s Resolutions here, I do feel like it’s time to put these painful things to rest and reflect on the lessons learned. This past year – really, the past two years – could be subtitled: Why I Stayed or Lady in Waiting. I spent my time waiting on someone to come back, waiting to leave, waiting to begin building on my dreams, waiting, waiting, waiting. You see, my Life Path is endurance and somehow I must have picked up the wrong definition of endurance along the way; my path is endurance because I am built for the marathon, but to me enduring meant I could take inordinate amount of crap and still keep soldiering on. Done with that story.

So this year I got mad. I got sad. Then I got very sad. I got trashy drunk once or twice and sang broken-hearted country songs. I was fiercely loyal to everyone but myself, honestly because taking on everyone else’s woes was easier than dealing with my own. I made excuses for why everyone else’s shit was more important than mine. Somewhere along the way I became the Disney Damsel; never mind me over here just waiting for my prince to return from war, waiting to leave misery behind, waiting to get off my ass and put passion into motion.

Let my year be a study in the detriment of hapless waiting. I spent all of that time hanging on the outskirts of my self. No presence. I was physically present of course, but my mind and heart were elsewhere. I’m not big on regrets, but I haven’t been giving myself fully to the people or the projects that I love and that is its own kind of little hell.

It wasn’t a wasted year. I have made some wonderful friends, gone through countless adventures, finally took my dream-building into my own hands, discovered a LOT of BS limiting beliefs that I have kept alive for years. Some powerful shit. My inner-queen of silver linings has me believing that these past two years have been setting me up for something bigger and better. I cleared out a LOT of detritus, let go of even more placeholders.
If I have learned anything in this life it is that trials are blessings by way of lessons. This year was a stellar freakin’ learning tool. Let’s review:

♥ All forgiveness is divine, but there is one type of forgiveness that will let you lay your head down at night in peace. Forgiveness of self.
♥ Being fearless ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. I would rather be undaunted.
♥ A “means to an end” mentality can be soul-dream crushing. Instead, fall in love with process – fall in love with the hustle.
♥ Hold out for a “Hell Yes!” Energy is the most valuable form of currency and giving it out so freely will you completely spent when something you truly, deeply, soulfully want comes waltzing by.
♥ Spiritual buffets, practices, and affirmations are for naught if you can’t find a way to take that joy/peace/divineconnection into the world. Be the freakin’ light people.
♥ Anger, unrest, discontent – none of these are inherently evil, but they should serve as a catalyst to figure out how to bring more love in. Always.
♥ Hobbies aren’t just busy work, they are soul-feeding.
♥ This one I had a huge issue with – granting grace and giving fucks are not anywhere near close to the same. Granting grace allows you a sort of psychic protection to be compassionate without being emotionally invested.
♥ Loyal to a fault is really just a cutesy way of saying I am fiercely loyal to everyone, but myself. Boundaries are sanity-saving. Reserving energy for those Hell Yes’s is fire-stoking. Standards are down-right sexy. Took me 27 years to learn and I still falter.
♥ Not everyone was meant to love me – and that’s okay.
♥ Finally, it is a hard, hard road to joy. Most people are content being comfortable because happiness… true joy… often times takes difficult decisions, endurance, and constant re-commitment. Comfortable is easy, but it ain’t for me.

I would love it if you shared with me what you learned this year!

Love Always,
Me

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,
Me