Here are some of the things getting me by this week, when we’re all a little low, a little hopeful, a little uncertain.
This podcast. The Ikonns are a couple who always put mindfulness and gratitude at the forefront of all they do. This podcast episode allowed me to unburden myself. To accept what is, because that’s all we can do. I know that it is a privilege to think of this time as a growth moment, as an opportunity. So far in my life- all the horrific hardship that has come has been meant for me. And with each step, my life has become more beautiful. A combination of happenings that I would not have chosen, and the decision to grow anyway.
This show. If you have access to Hulu, watch Little Fires Everywhere. Some parts cause heartache, but I come out of each episode with a different understanding of the world. A moment of escape and learning, all at once.
This book. Oh my. Glennon Doyle is…perfection. She understands women, and the shared experience of women, on a guttural level. As I read this book I wept, and I laughed. I understood myself more. I found myself in her story. I also know that this is a book that could awaken you to some unhappiness or discomfort in your life. If I had read it a year or two ago, I would have ached for change. The fact that it will awaken your soul and your deepest desire, however, is the exact reason you need to read it.
This youtube. My sister shared this youtube account with me of the most magical Irish woman who lives simply in her little cottage. She focuses on less waste, simple living, and living with nature instead of against it. The first week of quarantine and self-isolation, I watched her non-stop and it brought such peace and calm.
I’ve also found so much joy in getting outside. Building a garden and a compost has given me time away from my phone, away from my computer, with nothing to think about but caring for our sweet little plants and digging my hands in the dirt.
I was going to write about style. I was going to write about my changing shape, buying second hand, my new capsule- this popped out instead.
“You are being presented with a choice: evolve or remain. If you choose to remain unchanged, you will be presented with the same challenges, the same routine, the same storms, the same situations, until you learn from them, until you love yourself enough to say ‘no more’, until you choose change.
If you choose to evolve, you will explore what lies outside the comfort zone, you will awaken to love, you will become, you will be. You have everything you need. Choose to evolve. Choose love.”
I can feel a change. A change from within, happening slowly but surely. I am awakening and hibernating all at once.
I have let go of so much these past few months. Clothes that no longer fit, ideas I had about myself, old concepts of who I thought I should be, worries of pressures or judgments from others.
I have chosen, instead, honesty. Radical, unwavering self-love and forgiveness. I have chosen rest and love and fun and freedom.
I am evolving.
More flexibility and forgiveness, less judgment and rules. Less black and white, more color and shades in between.
I am not responsible for anyone’s energy but my own. I do not have to carry the worry and pain of others. I do not have to give of myself if I do not have anything to give.
Boundaries are love. Breathing is love. Not apologizing for healthy limits is love.
Cultivating your best self across all areas of your life is where the meaning is. Our society will have you think that work and your highest ambitions are what bring you joy, I have not found this to be true. I am at my best at work when I am full of love and sleep and cuddles from my baby.
Return to you. Remember the light and love and true tender self that has always been with you. She is calling to you, hoping you will hear her. Hoping you will come back to her, back to who you have always been.
Would you rather have the pain of growing or the pain of staying where you are?
I am often asked how I did it. How I survived the divorce. The separation, the secrets uncovered, the transition from family of three in a home I bought to single mama in an apartment alone- and that’s just it, I survived.
One breath, one hour, one day at a time- I kept moving. Putting one foot in front of the other. Feeling pain and emotions I didn’t even know were possible. Recognizing the unhealthy patterns I repeated that led to such an unhealthy relationship, and reveling in the absolute joy that resulted from the coupling- my Miles.
The pain does not just dissipate. You do not wake up one day healed and whole and happy. No one does. Because life is not a destination. It is the ascent up the mountain. It is the fresh mountain air, the wildflowers, the wind in your hair. It is the bleeding of scraped nails and cuts and bruises, the pain and joy of it all.
There is no end place- no happy destination where we land. Because life is most certainly the journey. The thrill and pain and ecstasy of the climb.
I am still climbing. Each and every day I choose to wake up, to show up, to cuddle that beautiful baby I have the absolute pleasure of raising and keeping safe. I choose to look for the morning light that eventually pours through our windows, to revel in the smell of fresh coffee, to run and play in the rain and the dirt with my little- I choose to live this life. This remarkably beautiful life I have built. I choose to see the good, the more you look for it the more you will find.
I take care of myself, like really really take care of myself. I drink tons of water and move my body. I curate my space and surroundings so that they bring me nothing but joy.
I remind myself that I am stronger now. The person that accepted love from someone so horrible to me, she’s not here anymore. I am not mad at her, I love her so very much. She was doing the very best she could at the time- I honor her, she got me here after all. She survived the hardest part, she’s just not in the driver’s seat anymore.
When he tries to get to me, or when the world throws something dark and painful, I remember that we have overcome before- and we will do so again. Because the pain of growth is so very worth it.
I’m finally sitting down to think about what I want from 2020. Yes, I have a word for this year, but there are many things I have on my heart (btw after re-reading my post, I think my real word for 2020 is…trust.)
I’ve written before that I often take January to think. To slow down and check-in with myself. What feels off? What is weird or strange or repeatedly coming up for me? What feels good? What do I want more of? Who in the world am I and what in the heck do I want from life?
I think we’re all under the false assumption that everyone has it all figured out. That the people we know, from real-life or Instagram, know exactly what they want and they are on the path to get it.
But I think, just maybe, we’re all on the path of figuring it out.
This month I’ve felt off. Weird about lots of things, and turning to external factors that I would love to blame. I feel weird? Must be my partner, my friends, my job, my house, too many clothes, not enough clothes, still feel weird – what could it be!?
It’s me. It’s always me. Refusing to do the work. To look at my inner self and ask her what’s up. I’ve avoided the things I know will help me. Meditation, writing, hiking, getting out in nature in any way, my daily journal. I’ve pushed it all away because I know there’s work to be done.
There will always be work to do on ourselves, unbecoming all of those things that our culture, our world, has told us we must be and do and become.
I have found, without exception, that when things change inside of you- things begin to change around you.