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
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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.

Let Me Tell You 7 Reasons Why #YouJustCan

Seems like lately I’ve had nothing to say. Rather, I’ve had nothing to say that’s useful in any way other than to join up in the solidarity of an anxious victim mentality that I’ve never supported living in. I’ll admit, there are times it’s nice to gripe and receive some validation that I/you/we aren’t alone in our neuroses, but do we really need one more ranting, raving, whining, self-indulgent diatribe? Probably not.

Truth is that I’ve been letting life whirl right past me. Anxiety makes a terrible home. I needed to meditate, pray, hike, dance, scream, SOMETHING, but I was stuck. That feeling of trying to moving forward through a thick, sludgy swamp just became so exhausting that I didn’t want to fight it anymore. And so listless, I remained. To say that there was no discernible inspiration to glean around me would be a lie – my eyes were closed. Going through the motions.

It’s not secret that I’ve dealt with depression most of my life, but anxiety is a relatively new to me (I had a very blessed childhood). Depression I can work through, but an anxiety that I feel that I can’t surmount on my own works steadily to freeze me in my tracks. The mantras I’ve etched into my mind come out effortlessly, but never ease the bite of worry – and dammit, the stuff worry is made of gets next to nothing done. “Go with the flow. Pray and throw some work into it. Everything will be okay.”

Worry is useless and exhausting. Period.

 

Judging from the #ijustcant posts, I’m not the only one that stalls out from time to time so let me tell you why you just can:

1. You are made of the same stuff as all great people, all great things, natural wonders, visionaries. Everything is made up of energy, and for the less-woowoo everything is made up of atoms and molecules (check out particle theory!). It’s physics, we are literally made up of the same stuff.

2. Everything, and I do mean everything, that you have been through up until now has made you who you are today and who you are is perfection in every moment. Period. Seriously, you are where you need to be and who you need to be in every single moment. Your heaviest burdens have been your biggest blessings – I shit you not.

3. When your heart gets broken over a botched dream, a less than ideal romance, or something as simple an insult or backhanded compliment that struck too close to home – you have the choice to break open. Breaking open leaves room for all the good stuff to come in.

4. To build on breaking open, shutting down will just turn you into a 2 year old Big Mac. You may not rot, but you’ll harden and stay stuck as you are right now. The way I see it, if you’re in the mindset of stagnation then it definitely isn’t the mode you want to be stuck in forever. Not making a choice is a choice unto itself.

5. You have to. You weren’t created to hold onto pain, to thrive in a house built on fear, anxiety, or depression. You were created to rise and fight. You were created to move forward and align your will with the highest good. Whomever, whatever you believe in put you here in the perfect place and time and you WILL overcome.

6. Living your life like any shred of goodness or decency found in humanity is a surprise becomes poisonous all too quickly. Distrust may feel like self-preservation, but it’s not; trust is not the enemy, it never has been.

7. There are perfect strangers that love and believe in you; they hold sacred space for your best self to be realized and brought to fruition.

#youjustcan

 

Love Always,
Me

5 Awesome Things Happened Last Week!

Happy Monday!

Here’s your 5 Awesome thing that happened last week:

 
Enjoy your week lovelies!

These 5 Awesome Things Happened Last Week

Happy Monday!

If you’re having a “Garfield Monday” as my S.O. refers to it, or you just plain need a reason to smile and/or giggle then check out these 5 awesome things that happened last week:

 

Glow In The Dark Highway opens in the Netherlands

Pharrell Sobs Tears of Joy While Watching the World Dance to Happy

If You Don’t Know the History of Twerking… Watch This

This Kid Gave Away His Foul Ball

Boy Has Surprising Turnaround After Getting Unapproved Drug

Need more inspiration?