One of the most important things I've learned in the past year, as I wrote and re-write Ana's story and as I reinvent my own life, uncovering my true Self, is how to observe and listen without attaching judgments or assumptions. And it took a while, it was a hard habit to break. Because I kept it all out there. At times it felt like the entire universe was trying to teach me this: let go, stop analyzing, just go do your thing, stop thinking, it all works out for the best, focus on YOU, pay no mind to opinions, etc...mind your own business, basically. And I'm always screwing it up and learning more as I go, to be sure. It feels like human nature to observe and learn from others, rather than ourselves. To seek advice externally, rather than from inside. That's how we've gotten by, up to this point. But I've reached another plateau. A breathing space...regrouping, reflecting, feeling grateful.
I think learning to listen with a patient heart is as much for us as it is for others. Rather than reacting and diving into clouded thoughts, we can let those thoughts float by, and decide calmly what to absorb. To figure out not just how we feel about what's being said, but more so what the other person is communicating -- not just what we think we ought to retort with. People can tell me things over and over, but until I live through it and understand it, through my own experience, my own perspective, they're just words. Call me stubborn, but I have to learn things my way, in my time, otherwise it's pointless. We can read all we want but I think that true knowledge comes from listening within to our own higher selves, our own voice, our intuition. And then pulling out our guts, spreading them around, and deciding what doesn't work for us. It can be difficult to explore yourself in this way, because you must let all your notions of being right fly out the window. To think that we are all-wise, without needing re-education, to think that we know all we need to know based upon our past...is foolish and will only stunt our growth. I think those old ideas are exactly what we need to let go of, if we are really striving to be the greatest versions of ourselves.
It's a true liberation to be able to witness thoughts, words, and opinions, and let them exist and then fade back into neutrality. Like clouds passing by across a backdrop of blue sky. Let them pass, take a look, let them go. To not take things personally. To not get put off track by people who oppose or seek to diminish you. And to not read too much into anything, for that matter. What is the information, what is being communicated?
And on the flipside, to express authentically, without self-judging. When we learn to respect and hear ourselves, it makes it that much easier to pay attention and hear others, beyond the mess and surface confusion. We are all so similar. That's why self-love and self-respect and self-confidence are all so important. In learning to love and respect ourselves, we not only set a standard for how we should be treated, but we also learn valuable perspective, in the love and respect of others. When we make peace with our own inner-demons, we are more patient and flexible with others. When we allow self-love we learn how to love others, and how to accept love from others as well. To shut out or ignore this process, this stripping down, is to stay stuck in a former version of yourself, and consequently, makes a choice to stay in the past and fight against a different future.
An on and on and on. All of it -- everything -- must start within. Within each of us, individually, that we might grow and evolve collectively toward our greatest good, with a healthy mindset and perspective for the ups and downs in the lives of others. Understand yourself, understand the world.
Start within. Learn to listen. xo
Sometimes the right words, from the right person, at the right time...can change everything. If someone had told me then that gazing at a painting and moving just a few hours south would change me and everything I thought I knew — so profoundly, so deeply - I wouldn’t have believed it. But it happened.
I came to a point in my predictable life where I knew I wanted more. With each muffin I served up, each coffee I poured, each beep of the cash register, each fake glued-on smile, I felt myself withering. The sad, peeling wallpaper in the dive I worked in often seemed to match my soul. I felt every way that a person could feel diminished. Invisible. I loved it there, among the mountains and trees and lakes, the red-shouldered hawks. But it was my home. My history, my childhood was there — too many years of gray clouds.
I grew up in a small town not far from Albany, New York. I did all the normal things, everything that you would expect. And I’d always end up right back where I started. A nice normal life. I even went to college at the state school. I started a degree in Liberal Arts, because I had no idea what I wanted to do. And I didn’t for years. I got stuck in the land of maybe someday and never made any big changes. I was a creature of routine, waiting for a big job with a big paycheck and benefits to find me. Waiting for the right guy to find me. Waiting, always waiting. In the meantime, I plodded along amusing myself with simple and safe things; as many of us do. I lived in my fantasies, in an imaginary future, while real life and with it so much precious time, crept right by, just outside my window.
Some time in my thirty-ninth year of life, something was starting to change in me. Here’s a little backstory: my mother left us when she was thirty-nine. Her mother left when she was thirty-nine. I thought perhaps the women in my family had been cursed, and they could only endure domestic bliss until time ran out, and the alarm sounded sometime in the thirty-ninth year. The trouble was...I was single. I had no children, family, or life of my own. I still felt the need to break out, but out of what?
My mother, the illustrious Olivia A. Jolivet, called “Liv,” was a jazz singer from New Orleans. And she was audacious back then, the stories tell me. Stunning. Dark brown wavy locks that flowed past her shoulders, deep, dark eyes that could dismantle any being; man or woman, young or old. They held a thousand secrets, even from me. She was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen up close and to hear her sing, was to be reborn in beauty and art. While I’ve only heard stories about her singing jazz in nightclubs, I used to listen to her sing in the house all the time. There was a certain melancholy and passion in her voice that was wrapped up and tucked away -- and only seemed to come out when she sang. She sang a version of Summertime that took my breath away. It was so smooth and easy. Sultry. Sweet. Yet heartbreaking at the same time.
I was about twenty years old when she left. I was still living at home then, so I witnessed the breakdown in their marriage. Although, she would say that the marriage didn't fail, she just grew beyond it as she reclaimed herself. I never knew what that meant when I was younger; I desperately wanted to meet the right person, settle down, fall in love...all of it. It was everything, or so I thought. I will tell you that she broke the mold. She was not like the other moms I knew. She was independent, highly creative, and unconventional. She insisted that I use her last name and not my father's. She didn't take his name either; she said she could never be known as Olivia Brown: “the sound of it has no pizazz.” Mom was all about pizazz back then. Her name held excitement: the feeling and color of the French Quarter, generations of struggling musicians with Creole in their blood, beauty and magic in their souls. I always had to correct my school teachers when they called my name.
"Anna Jolly-vet," they would bellow, looking across the classroom.
"Present," I would say. "And it's Joe-lee-vay. Ah-na Joe-lee-vay." They just stared and made notes in their attendance lists.
My father worshipped my mother, he loved her tremendously. But deep down he never felt that he deserved her. It was both sweet and sad.
“How did you guys meet,” I asked one night when I was a teenager.
“Well, I was on leave down there, and my buddies and I went bar-crawling on Bourbon Street. I was drawn to her, Ana, right there on the street. Her voice carried out into the air, everything smelled like beignets and booze. The street was lit up, and the damn tourists…” Mom covered her face, unable to stop laughing. “What?”
“Well, you were a tourist, dear…” He smiled and nodded.
“I suppose. Anyway. I heard her sing and I had to see what beautiful creature was making the sounds I heard. And we got to talking after that…” He reached out for Mom’s hand. “And that was it. History.” Dad was beaming, but I remember a slight nervousness or disapproval of some kind on Mom’s face. I never gave it any thought, but years later it would all make sense.
My father was and still is a simple, easy-going sort of person. He was a creature of habit, he craved routine. Looking back, it's no wonder that my mother felt stifled. The pines and fresh air and predictability of upstate New York were a far cry from New Orleans. But she made it work for as long as she could. She had me when she was only twenty years old and before she left, she told me she didn't regret anything.
"Sweet girl. I love your father, I always have. I wouldn't have married him and had you if I didn't. I thought I could slow down and settle into a simple life. Bake. Sit in rocking chairs. Fill a deer feeder. Learn to cook..." Her eyes gazed past me into oblivion, while she stroked my hair.
"You did cook and bake, Mom...and you always took great care of me," I reassured her. She nodded, and laughed quietly. "You seemed happy..."
"Ana. Do you know what an interior life is? When you live in your imagination? For so many years, that was exactly what I did. I was numb. I would tuck you into bed, kiss your father, and retreat into my dreams. Where I still sang into the wee small hours, winked at handsome men, ate buckets of crawfish...all the while dressed to kill. I'll be forty soon, Ana. Forty years old. I've got to live some more of my life before time runs out on me...can you understand that?" She had her hands on my shoulders and was piercing into me with those big, brown eyes of hers. "Just promise me Ana, promise you will live. Find your passion and live it. I love you." She kissed me on the forehead and walked out the door and into a taxi. "And you're sure you won't come with me," she asked one last time. No. I couldn't. Not then.
I told her I understood, and at the time...I thought I did. But her words didn't hit home until much later. When I finally started to live my own life.
I knew for myself, that if I stayed in that place, in those memories, I would always be "Sweet Ana." Ms. Jolivet, the blonde girl with the big brown eyes and piles of books who coddled her father, disappointed her mother, and dated the same kinds of men — who were usually unsuccessful musicians. And they eventually moved elsewhere. But I stayed. I couldn’t see it then, but I was in a deep hole; a dark abyss. I merely existed in a muted world, not knowing that I could live and bleed in full color. Out loud. Passionately. Authentically.
Real change takes time; a lesson I learned painfully through the past year. The initial catalyst feels like a slap in the face, or a stark realization, jarring you from the slumber of a monotonous life. And it’s never too late.
Friends. I wanted to share something. And this experience echoes something I wrote about with Ana, in her quest for passion. I love how life often imitates art. Or do we simply create that life, which is first born from our art? Hm...
I had a moment today, an epiphany, a realization of something that has had me spinning in circles lately. I figured out ways in which I was self-judging or limiting myself. And it wasn't at all about what I thought it was about. Isn't that funny, the stories we make up? The real issue was somewhere deep inside, hiding, in places that I never (maybe only secretly) talk about. The big secret?
I come alive at night, in the dark, in the stillness, and write poetry. I've never been much of a poet. But in those quiet spaces, in the in-between, when I am not writing a novel...these words come out. And they are deep and filled with passion, romance, and some sort of eternal longing. Every so often this side pushes to the surface, and I always felt disconnected from it. Afraid of it, somehow. And the self-judging part...was in being ashamed of these words. "I don't write this stuff..." Push it back down, hide it. And a slurry of thoughts about how I would be judged would come to mind, if I were to share these private words from my soul. I wrote them incognito; short micro poems, under a pseudonym. On Twitter, into the wee small hours. Slowly, I found myself exposing this side on my regular Twitter account. Slowly uncovering myself layer by layer. And guess what...no one cares. It's not that shocking. I even got some praise, and interacted with some cool new people. Lots of people do this. I'm a jackass, we know this already, I learn things when I learn them. Moving on...
So all day, these thoughts whirled around, I couldn't wait to curl up with my laptop and blog about it. The fire was raging, my eyes were lit up, I couldn't wait to spit it out... But as I sat down, loaded up the website...the madness stopped. The furor, the urgency, dissipated. It felt strange, for a minute.
I wasn't thinking about it. Or much of anything. The circus...stopped. My breathing was normal, not agitated, not excited. I was, I am, completely relaxed. For the love of all that is holy...call News12, I am at peace with myself. For the moment, and it's a grand moment. I am living in it, breathing it in, relishing in the quiet, peaceful, love fest within myself. It's wonderful. I feel like a hot tub. Or like I'm sitting in one. Whichever. It's mellow and easy and lovely.
And now that I've identified this battle within...it's so easy to see where it's poisoned my thoughts and perceptions of so many things. And it's much deeper than writing some hot poems.
As women, in particular, we are trained from a young age about our sexuality. It comes at us from all angles: religion, school, parents, friends, peers...
So. Sex is bad. All through our growing up, in adolescence and beyond...don't dress like that, don't give it up, don't withhold it, on and on...society has taught women how to feel about their sexuality. Neglecting the very notion that we are designed for this very purpose, that it is our power, our birthright. Yet sometimes regardless of how empowered we think we are, there are pieces of this doctrine sitting dormant inside of us. Women are taught to feel ashamed about their sexuality. To hide it, not to talk about it, not to explore it, not to honor it. Religion teaches us that sex is for procreation only. And if that's your belief, then that's your belief, and I respect all of them. I am not religious. I am spiritual. I seek only to connect to the Divine within and all around me, within each other, and to nurture and explore that force, that connection, and to express it authentically, toward a better human experience, collectively. But that's just me. We all have our own paths to walk.
So, this idea, this negative connotation about sexuality, causes suppression. And I am not simply discussing having sex. When am I ever talking about 'just one thing,' I live in metaphor and double meaning. Such is our existence, open for interpretation. The whole human experience is allegory. But I digress... I am talking about sexual energy.
In denying the inherent nature of women, which is to create, we stifle ourselves. As women, we create and nurture LIFE within our own bodies. Sexual energy is the very force of creation. It's the most powerful force available to us. To apologize for your sexual nature, is to punish yourself for the very gift that makes you Divine and miraculous. In as much, knowing this, we must cherish and hold sacred our sexual energy, as blessed as it is. But not be ashamed of it. Not tuck it away, buried deep within ourselves.
Sex is not a bad word. It is not a "bad" act. It is not immoral or vulgar or sinful, although so many women still believe this, and are still ashamed to discuss it. Our sexuality is beautiful, it is connection, it is the ultimate in creative energy and life-force, whether that sexual energy involves a sexual act or not. (psst...it's all energy, anyway. That's another post, though.) Do you know why people crave orgasm so much? Because we stop thinking. We connect, spiritually, to the web of energy that connects us all. We reach for a moment into the infinite, we detach from ourselves. Years and years of "education" have placed iron gates of moral judgments between the ideas of sexuality and spirituality, but only to the detriment of women. But what if it's all the same? What if spirituality and sexuality are intertwined? So by extension, poetry or any writing or art that celebrates and expresses such...is not to be looked down upon or judged. It's just expression. Raw, honest, Divine expression, about our human experience. All of it. To know yourself is to understand your dark, as well as your light, and know that all of it, is beautiful and Divine. Because it is all you. Embrace it all, own it, accept it, and love through it. To subdue and condemn your unbridled expression is to quiet and suffocate your soul.
What we create from our souls...we create. That's it. We must let it be, celebrate it, nurture that creative spark, as it may reconnect us to our true and most beautiful nature, as women. As people, as highly spiritual creatures, living as human beings.
Over the past few nights, another woman inside has voiced herself, in all her passion and romance and soul searching, and dreams of soul-love. And I listened to her. I didn't judge her or shush her or scold her. I just listened. I value her, I appreciate her, I let her speak, I let her write. I love her. Because she is me, unmasked. And in that meeting, in that acceptance, in that forgiving... I am at peace. And loving all of me. <3
This just came out... not sure where it came from... something to do with accepting the fact I'm not twenty years old anymore, and owning it. This was inspired after a night out, a place I used to frequent in my younger, wild days. It brought back some memories. Some cringe-worthy, some wonderful. But I realized how much I've changed since those days...
You know that moment when you just become exhausted with the people-pleasing, or attention-seeking that you didn't even realize you were doing? It takes a while for us to change and drop ways of thinking that have kept us going for years and years. It's a process, a maddening, exhausting, but worthwhile process. And I'm always open to it, I always have my senses piqued for the next roller coaster to knock me on my ass and show me how I fucked up. Again. That's life. But I'd rather see it and grow through it, then stay an oblivious idiot. So all I can say is that I'm grateful. Feeling more at ease, relaxed, and content every day, as I let more stuff go. And the more free and at ease I feel, the more inclined I am to create, to give, to focus on my self and how I may take a step toward the future I want to see. I used to think that such behavior was cruel...selfish. Many people who are sensitive, who are peacemakers, often overextend themselves lest they appear "mean" or "selfish." So we neglect ourselves and keep trying to accommodate the world.
But...here's the thing... I just don't care anymore about how I'm perceived. Please yourself. ;-) I'd rather have fun. I'd rather feel good, allow myself to be happy, and keep creating the future that I want to see. It's really not selfish, when you think about it... because in tending to ourselves and what lights us up inside, we are presenting the best versions of ourselves to others, which may cause a ripple outward. Inspire others. Let's harness that energy into our own dreams. Put wind in our own sails. Let's be an example to those who think they can't. Just my thoughts...
It's a blissful thing when we realize that no one's opinions matter, but our own. We are our own voice of truth. Life is short. ❤️
Friends. I feel like sharing tonight. I've learned so much about myself, about life, in these past six months or so. Through most of 2015, actually. And I've reached a plateau, of sorts. A place of tranquility, where I can rest. Breathe. Reflect.
I spent a furious summer into fall and into December writing away, camped out in my cave of creativity. An interesting facet of this was having to balance the time over evenings and every other weekend. The weekends that I am with my little boy are all about him. Playing, learning, laughing, exploring life. Teaching boundaries and dealing with emerging tantrums. And I soak up every minute with him because he's growing so fast and I don't want to miss a moment. On the weekends that he's not with me, I used to break down. Obsess. Miss him. Feel sorry for myself. Until I came back to writing, the thing that also lit me up. I think I've been writing all of my life; observing people, watching, trying to understand and encapsulate what I saw with my words. Writing is a go-to for me, I feel blessed to have this form of expression.
From the moment I started Ana's story...until the present moment...including all the crazy, unpredictable, emotional moments in-between, I have changed. The very act of listening to the story that I wanted to tell and expressing it, has changed me. What a gift that is. In creating a fictional story, I rewrote my own story. It's quite a balance to maintain: a full time job, co-parenting, new ways of seeing the world, changing relationships, keeping up with weight loss and fitness goals, attending night school...and writing a book? Was I mad? At times I thought so, but mostly, I'd go mad if I didn't write it. I know that about myself now. Writing, telling stories, journaling my thoughts are all vital ways for me to let loose pent up energy inside me. It's a passion. It's one that I ignored for far too long. Even now, in writing a simple blog post, I feel lighter, more free, and more filled up. Just in the creating. So it's something that I know I must do. It's a part of me.
Now that the story is out, and I've gone through it...I've sent copies out for criticism and extra eyes that might help me make it even better. And I wait. And I entered into the world of book covers, ISBN numbers, how to publish...it's a completely different side of the brain. One that requires patience, time, discernment, diligence. The soul thrills in raw creation, in effortless flow. The ego fine tunes and makes sure the soul wrote something coherent. That's how I see it, anyway.
Even now, at this stage, I get to see how I behave through the process. I've learned so much, and I continue to every day. We have endless opportunities to reach inside and pull our guts out, to make sure we're making good choices. And sometimes we don't. We just don't. Because here's something valuable...
We're not perfect. Nope. Sorry, we're not. We are human beings, and we're supposed to be learning something. Isn't that the point? I've realized that I have a cycle: I have a habit of seeking perfection in things that are inherently imperfect. This is dangerous, and I work at it every day, trying to understand myself and my behaviors better. Have you experienced this? The idealism, the quest for the ultimate in things...only to disappoint yourself? And it starts with ourselves, it always starts within.
Many of us have a tendency to want to do things right. Get it right, get an A. Why? Because that's how we're conditioned. Our whole lives. Impress, get approval, get praise. We're trained from young. I'm over it. I screw up, all the time. I am slowly learning, though, that we're supposed to screw up. That's how we learn things. We all make mistakes. We all fall on our asses. But if you're a perfectionist, you can get stuck in putting yourself down each time that you don't get it right. Whatever "it" is. And then the negatives start to reappear: self-doubt, self-deprecating, punishing ourselves. It's vicious and it's harmful to us.
Part of self-love, I've found, is realizing that we are not perfect. We are becoming. We are losing illusions, we are stripping away patterns, beliefs, and ideas that don't work. That hold us back. That hurt us. But in order to learn and grow through this process, we must release the need to do it right.
Case in point: spirituality. It's so easy to get swept away with all the affirmations we see. Endless streams of positive messages, and they are lovely and empowering and divine and I'm grateful for them. Whether it's in daily interactions, at church, on the Internet...wherever, whatever the source, messages of inner peace, enlightenment, God, spreading peace and love in our world...are everywhere. And how wonderful, it inspires me every day. But here, again...we must avoid the temptation to do it right.
I am not simply preaching, here...I have no cause nor right to do so. I am just like you. Learning, falling, getting up, growing, and doing it again. All the time. But I'm sharing my thoughts because that what I do. That's me. And that's my point: allow me to come out of the closet, so to speak. I am not a yoga master. I have no more divine knowledge than you do. I just share what I learn. And what I learned this time around the circle...was that I'm full of shit. Again. That's life. Not one of us knows all the answers, because there aren't any. What I do know, is that we have to be authentic and honest about who we are. We may want out of the current paradigm so we denounce all the vitriol and programming from the part of our world that isn't working. Then we gravitate to its opposite, and obsess about it. Get wrapped up in it. Shout, yell, repeat what we hear. It's just trading one set of programming for another, I feel. I'm guilty of this. I'm not ashamed to say that. But I've come to a place where, I don't give a shit anymore. I'm just me. I'm human. Some things jive with me, some things don't. I've learned to make up my own mind, ask my own questions, and work toward my own goals. I've learned...that I am enough. Just as I am. In the beautiful, messy evolution of me.
Here's the simple truth: we don't need to get it right, say the right buzz words, be accepted by the right people...to live a spiritual life. I am not a dainty daisy. I don't walk around saying namaste to people, I just don't. That's not me. I don't use the word God in every sentence. I thought for a while that...this is what spiritual people do. All day, staying present, and thanking God or the Universe for everything that crosses your path. But it's not the lip service that matters, it's not merely saying "thank you, God," it's feeling gratitude, it's experiencing true gratefulness. It's not saying "I love you," it's being and sharing, showing love, without expecting anything in return. In the "getting it right," I got it all wrong. We are enough. Just as we are, just as we were created. I think this point has been shown to me so many times, and I finally see it. Who are you trying to impress? We can make ourselves nutty trying to be all things, trying to get an A. We simply aren't all of that, we aren't perfect. We are...us. Ourselves. Our unique, precious selves, that as a whole, collectively, can do amazing things to help our world and humanity to evolve. Yes. I believe this is true, I feel it more and more. We are shifting. But as individuals, we are unique. What empowers one of us may bounce right off another.
I am not a daisy. I'm a thunderstorm. I'm loud, I'm often inappropriate, I laugh at odd moments, I curse here and there, I'm a hypocrite, I suck at listening, but work on it every single day. Because I want to. Because I want to be the best me that I can, because I want to build better friendships, because I want people to feel understood and valued when they talk to me. Because I want to realize every dream that I have in this experience of life, and to do those things, I must first be the person who can do them. We can send our visions out into the ether but before we attract what we wish for, we first attract the lessons that will change us in a way that we can receive them.
I live for passion in all things. If I can't feel it rumble in me, it's not for me. That's reality, that's the truth. Religions and ideologies about peace and enlightenment denounce romantic love. So...how can I be spiritual if I still believe in romance? I'm doing it wrong. They tell us peace and harmony and beauty are found in nature, in the sun, in wildness of animals, in quiet meditative solitude. And I love all of those, at times. But I also find peace driving around in my car, singing like an idiot. I find connection, awe, and harmony at rock concerts, or any live music event. Does that mean I'm stuck in my ego? Because I enjoy loud music, and shooting pool, and dancing, and eating out, and lounging in my mother's hot tub in the woods? Am I spoiled and selfish and irreverent? I'm doing it wrong. I've thought for too long now that being spiritual, being closer to God, meant that this passion, this fire inside of me...was a bad thing, that had to be healed. Tamed. Fizzled out, if I was to evolve. That I couldn't want things, that I couldn't enjoy those things. No. That's bullshit.
We can be respectful. Honest. Giving. Kind. Compassionate. Peaceful. But we don't have to be timid mice if we are mountain lions at heart. We are already enough. Glorious. Divine beings. To dumb ourselves down, to hide who we are, to water down our thoughts out of fear and doubt...is a great disservice to ourselves, and to others. I'm done with that. If I feel a roar inside, I will let it out. It's mine.
I am not a daisy. I am a creature of inspiration. I thrive on words that drip with insight, but I also crave words that pulse with passion. I love my fellow human beings, I love my planet, my home, my family. Unconditionally. I also have a love in me that means to howl at the moon and count the stars and erupt into flames in endless devotion. A love that gets lost in the glow of a fireplace, that finds bliss in quiet moments of understanding, that holds and supports and encourages, unconditionally. And that will come when it comes. But it's in me, and I honor that, because it's me. You're allowed to want things.
Stop trying to get it right. Just release the need to belong. To find acceptance. To find approval. It's up to you, it always has been. Why give that away?
Don't try to be spiritual. We are spiritual. We're born with it. Just trust yourself enough to dig deeper. Know who you are, know what you want. You're allowed to want things.
I was reminded of something today, that gave me pause, made me reflect.
In the course of awakening to who we really are, in taking that journey inside, we come to a space where we see reality in a way that we never have before. How our thoughts are all connected. How every whisper or scream, every dream or fear, that we share...resonates. Our thoughts become words, our words become actions, and they affect the whole. Being that we are all connected, by these invisible threads that anchor us to each other, when one of us suffers, we feel it. When one of us sings their song of joy, we feel it. The way that we think and feel, is contagious in nature.
As we come to see, really see this, we can get lost in the ether. We can become fascinated, intrigued by the wonder of the true nature of things. We can spend so much time there, in that fascination, in that realization of how powerful and magical we are, that we miss the point entirely. To find your own voice, in a sea of opinions, thoughts, and dreams of others.
Don't get lost in your wildness. You are awake for a reason, you have a purpose. You have been given a gift, unique to you, and your purpose is to share it. To encourage, to inspire, to breathe light back into where there is darkness.
Come back to your passion. If you find yourself drifting, windsurfing on thoughts, dazzled by wonder, step back. Check in. What do you want? What are you here to do? Let those thoughts of others pass you by, they're not for you. You...are for you. And maybe there isn't one thing deep inside that screams to you. That's okay. Your gift is in your being. Be authentic, be you. Express yourself openly, honestly. Balance kindness and compassion for others with self-love and fearless passion.
My purpose is to empower women. To inspire you to reach inside and find the spark you may have lost, for whatever reason. And there are so many reasons. But it's in there. That thing inside that speaks to you and wants to push you forward. Honor it. Listen. It's a higher version of yourself trying to communicate to you, that you are exquisite. That you can do or be anything that you choose. You have a choice: you can sit and fester in your doubts, fears, lonliness, and stress...or you can explore within. Discover what you want, the world that you want to see, for us, now...and for future generations. What sort of world would you want to leave, if it were up to you? I'm sure it isn't one filled with doubt, fear, and regret. When I think about my little boy and what I want for him: I see a more peaceful world, unconditional love for humanity, passion and vibrancy for life, appreciation for beauty and the arts, and the freedom and opportunity to follow our hearts without fears of rejection and feelings of inadequacy. I want a world beyond the current paradigm of self-loathing, hatred, worry, condescension, and oppression. I want self-love for all people, love for our home, encouragement, hope, uplifting of each other, and freedom to soar.
These are big ideas, to be sure. And we might wonder...what can I do? Well, we can do a lot, individually, that affects the whole. We can wake up each day feeling grateful for another chance to align with our goals. We can feel love and confidence and passion rise up within, and go out into our little worlds to share it. With our co-workers, with strangers that we cross paths with, with our families and friends. We can BE all those things that we want to see. Small steps, subtle changes, can have great impact. Don't focus on changing the world, the whole universe. Focus on your part of that task. We are all inspired with our own visions, and that is for a reason. We all have different parts to play.
If you find yourself lost, floating in mystery, wonder, and the awe of being awake... Or if you find yourself beaten down, confused, and stuck... Know that there is a way out of your mindset. That's all it is. Change your thought patterns. In order to do so, in order to BE that which we want to see, we will be met with challenges, that are meant to strengthen us and give us more insight. Know that it's all connected, and all designed to help YOU reveal the true nature of yourself. If you are on the edge, about to fall apart, then fall apart. Let all the worry and fear and doubt out of you. Look at it, and learn from it. And get back to the core question...
What do you want? And BE that.
If you want respect, walk through your world with your head held high, and have the confidence to show others respect. If you want to feel love in your life, open your heart and let love out. Love up the world, share your glow. What you put out, you get back. If you remain in your cage, your self-made prison, you let your fears and doubts control you and keep you stuck. If you want a change, ask yourself for it. Find your courage, to break open your ideas and whatever thought patterns have led you to that place within your mind. Expect that you will be challenged. Know that you will face behaviors and realizations about your nature. We are all flawed, we are all learning. But want to learn, and you will. Embrace the idea of growing past your old definitions of YOU.
What do you want? You're allowed to want things.
I want to inspire you to awaken to the power of who you really are. I want you to know that you can open your mouth and make whatever changes you need to, to live out your goals and dreams. If the situation doesn't work, change it. If people in your circle refuse to grow with you, and would rather you stay in your cage, then guess what? You have a choice there, too. Know what you want, and focus your energy there.
Embrace your passion, without fear controlling you. You will be met with your fears, there is no doubt. But don't allow them to control you. Choose to be fearless, in becoming. And your daring, your shining brilliance, will be a light to those around you. Wake up, be your passion, and watch how the ripple spreads. Know your purpose, and know what you're working for. What do you want? What kind of world are you creating?
Be fearless. You have it in you. ❤️