Neon Trees

A song today that brought back so many memories. It’s amazing how a few seconds of a song can take you away to another time so fully and swiftly.

A song that was playing during a wild and fun sexual romp with my boyfriend at the time. Almost 5 years ago and with just a few seconds of that song, I was right back there. All of the feelings and emotions and images flooding my mind made me smile. Then they made me sad. In a quick turnaround, I am left with a sadness, not over the loss of that relationship or missing that person , but a sadness over the difference in ME now.

That was a time when I was finally living my truths. Life had taken yet another massive turn for me and I was separated and raising my boys as a single parent again. I had just sat the boys down and had the talk with them about how things were changing. I was sick of working too much and not having enough smiles and fun in our lives. It was time to not only lighten the schedules, but to make joy a priority. Part of that, for me, was living a healthy expression of my sexuality and relationship choices.

I was finally openly (to myself, others would come later) bisexual and happily open with my sexuality and how I explored that. That meant being openly poly in my relationship choices. The people I was involved with were all aware that there were “others” in my life that I shared time and connections with. For the first time in a very long time, I was happy and comfortable with my Self and how I was living my life.

That song this morning… boom… right back there. And like a jolt, it magnified for me how far grieving and living with depression has taken me from my truth, my freedom, my joys.

I miss the lightness of being. The ease of knowing that even though things were sometimes hard, I was happy with my choices. I miss the ability to connect and enjoy experiences with people. That’s been lost for too long.

I think back to the song playing, 5 years ago, and I close my eyes and make a promise to my Self that I’ll find that feeling again.

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REact or ENact?

Change is a funny thing. Not funny “ha ha” but funny odd.

There are a couple of ways to look at it.

Sometimes, we are faced with change that’s outside of our control. We have to change but we don’t want to. This is a tough one and the one that we tend to feel the most.
This is the external push that sends us reeling, or fumbling most likely, in a new altered direction from the one we had been travelling.
A simple thing like a flat tire can be enough to alter a days plans or something as massive as a burnt out home can force an entire life shift. Losing a loved one, a job or finding out an unexpected baby is on the way – all can fundamentally change your life. And not of your choosing.
We have to react, there’s no choice. We have to learn to accept because there isn’t any other option but to do so.
We have choice still with HOW we react and whether that acceptance comes fast or slow or easy or hard…but the simple fact is, we have no choice in what has happened to bring us to change.

Then there’s another change. A change that is possible when we don’t HAVE TO, but we WANT to. This one is where so many sit for so long… and never do anything. Because nothing forces our hand. We may want to change jobs or careers, we may want to end a relationship or add a new one into our lives. Yet we don’t. We dawdle and we hum and haw and keep going… every now and then fired up to change but we never really enact that change that we WANT.
This is almost a worse feeling that being forced to change. This type of change may be hard and it may very well shake things up just as much as a forced change but when it’s a personal action that needs to set the ball rolling… that’s where it catches and stops; before it even gets started usually.
It’s always easier to stay where you are and in what you have rather than making the change. No matter how much you want and how much you desire “different”, it’s hard.

Sometimes we set the ball rolling in a passive way, hoping that then “something” will take over and make us change. We’ve all seen it… maybe even done it. We start behaviours in a relationship that we know, deep down, that will trigger the other person to end it…and voila! Now you HAVE TO move on…and it’s no longer a choice. Take away the choice and you take away the personal responsibility for the decision…and that’s where we get strung up.
What if we make the wrong choice? What if we pursue that dream and it falls through? Or we realize that it wasn’t what it was all cracked up to be in our heads? Hmm, then what? Then we have to be responsible for where we are… so much easier is we can say it wasn’t our fault, isn’t it?
If all we’re doing is reacting then we’re always a step removed from being the person who is responsible for where you are. It’s always nice to be able to not have the finger pointing back at yourself when deciding who is making you unhappy or malcontent.

I hear it all the time, we all do. People who talk about wanting to change, to have a different direction, to BE different…and they follow it up with so many reasons – quite simply, excuses – about why they *can’t*.

So they sit and wait for life to throw something at them that they can’t ignore and that they must react to. And if it doesn’t come, they sit. Stagnant and not where they want to be…but not doing anything to change it.

Sad. So much more sadness in that than there is in anything that can happen to us.

Happy Solstice aka “not the usual”

Today is the winter solstice…the day of the year with the least hours of sunlight and the day with the most hours of darkness…a day that celebrates the return of the sun, longer days, a rebirth and renewal of the cycle of life. A day that, for me, is a more symbolic and celebratory day than the traditional new years eve.

So this is a day that I look back and reflect but more so, I look forward. I woke today with the intention of getting back to some routines that have slid away the last few weeks. As so often happens though, the universe decided that just maybe, something else needed to be drummed into my head.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been out on the bike in the mornings. Chilly winter mornings and rain and me on my bike do not mix so I’ve been taking a bit of a hiatus of late. This morning though I was ready to roll (literally, or so I thought). Spandexed up, gloves on and wind resistant coat on and I was out the door. Inspired by the day to get back to my old routines.

So, it has been a few weeks, the tires needed a bit of air. Not a big deal, I have a gas station at the end of my block. Off I go…only to find that they charge $2.00 for air…and I have no money. So on to the next gas station. Same issue. Now growling and with a bad mood brewing, I head home. Grumbling and cranky and not wanting to do anything now. Bike dropped off and I do a quick jacket change and head out for a run instead. Determined that this isn’t going to stop me from getting back to regular exercising and putting my health back as a priority.

Still trying to keep the mood from going too south, I head out. Aiming for the 5km loop route I start my run and it becomes apparent very quickly that three weeks away from running and 5lbs up is going to be felt today. Muscles aching and starting to make enough internal noise to make my internal monologue hard to shut up, I run.
Same route as always, trying for the same old pace. Nope. Definitely slower today. Trying to just accept that difference and be ok with it.
Sidewalk closures and a small detour and I grumble again as I’m forced off my “usual” and what I had “planned” once again.
As I approach my halfway point where I go down the stairs at the beach access area to get my run rock (again, another story for another time…) I actually growl out loud as I see that this is not going to happen today.

The tide is in far higher than I’ve ever seen it, the stairs are blocked completely, as is any access off the sides, by massive driftwood logs and sticks jumbled up on the beach. The rocky beach is not even visible under the wood and water.
No way I’m getting down there this morning; even if I could navigate the logs without breaking a leg falling off the wet wood, getting a pebble would be impossible under all that.
I’m surprised by how I am quite simply almost in tears at this. I feel like every point this morning I have been slapped with an obstacle and I’m fighting anger and frustration and feeling like maybe I should have just stayed in bed.
Standing there, legs hurting and body aching I look down and see at my feet a little round piece of wood. Not a pebble or rock, but it’ll have to do. The option is to not pick it up. So I pick it up,put it in my pocket like I would do “usually” and turn to run back.

Then it hits me. No, the morning hasn’t at all gone as I planned it to. I wasn’t able to execute my “usual” and get back to the routines as I wanted to. But I had done what I wanted to, on a most base, foundational, level. Just in a different way…and there’s the lesson that the universe was, methodically and repeatedly, trying to help me to see this morning.

That maybe it’s time to embrace the concept of “not the usual”. My inner control freak needs to take a breather and accept that a different way to achieve the same end result can be ok. IMAG5203

Looking forward with a wider view of possibilities and more ways to experience them is a wonderful way to celebrate the Solstice.

Happy Solstice!

good enough isn’t good enough

There comes a time in life when you look around and take stock and have to be honest with what and where you are.

Birthdays are that for me. Having just had one, it’s was a time to reflect and analyse.

I’ve had a life that was, at times, nasty and rough and hell to wake up to. This same life has had moments that took my breath away, times that I simply could not have been any happier without bursting was how I felt. Lots of times of just middle of the road “ok” as well. We all have. I know what it’s like to be miserable and unhappy in the truest meaning of those words. I count my blessings that my life is pretty good now. I have a lot to be thankful for – and I am.

So what’s worse than “bad”? It’s becoming complacent with less than what you really want. Becoming accepting and tolerant of the unacceptable.

So I asked myself what’s so unacceptable in my life? Settling. Not going hard for what I want. What I desire. Having dreams and goals and not making them happen.

I’m tired of listening to my Self desire and to seeing my Self no further towards the realization of that.

It’s easier to look around and say “it’s pretty good”. My son said to me the other day that he wonders who he thinks he is to feel that he should have it better than other people… That made me reply swiftly that not just him, but everyone, deserves – seriously deserves – the best and to have dreams and goals come to fruition. Then I had to sit back and wonder why I wasn’t necessarily living that sentiment myself.

I have been, for a couple of years now, allowing myself to start to grieve the death of my dreams as I get older. Shelving some aspirations as unrealistic or unachievable. Telling myself to stop dreaming and smarten up and just enjoy what I have and not desire anything else. There’s always something that comes up and demands energy and focus… and I allow that “something” to be not Me. I allow that “something” to take that focus and energy in entirety…leaving nothing for me to draw from to make happen what I want to happen.

I get slightly infuriated with myself when I take time to look at where I am with regards to achievements. Knowing that I am the only reason why I haven’t progressed further. Time to change that.

I look at travel options and lifestyle choices and I ponder and I think “one day” or “maybe” to things that I want, things that speak to me living my truths. Then I face the “why not?” … and the only answer is for me to get off my ass and make it all happen. No more waiting, no more “one day”. We all have a finite number of days and we don’t usually know what that magic number of them is, so….

Good enough isn’t good enough anymore. A nice life is nice…but I want one that sweeps me off my feet and leaves me breathless and grinning and saying “again!”. It’s my life, time to craft it, nurture it and make it that way.

Buckle up, baby

That feeling, that vague something that you just can’t put your finger on the pulse of. That sense that something just has to give…
At times, like running blind and deaf, careening about as I scramble for a hand-hold in the darkness. It’s my Self, treading water, knowing that I can’t keep afloat indefinitely.

The spark that has caught and flickered is there. A part of Me is quietly sitting and blowing on the ember… bringing to life the flame… that part of Me that is waiting, less and less patiently, for me to acknowledge what I already know but can’t quite grasp.

Almost cyclical in occurrence. A knowing that I’m not realizing what I need to. What I should be.The frustration building. Small and not-quite-enough changes made here and there. the venting of the pressure to release before critical and allow the day to day to go on.

All the while the fire burns steady; stoking the ever rising force that screams for change, for transformation, for authenticity and abundance.

The sense of anticipation, of seeking and searching. Not for an answer… I know I’m the one holding the light to see the path… Waiting for what? To have myself lift the light a little higher, to see a little clearer… to realize what I already know. I have the answer, I just need to know it.

There have been brief times of clarity. Times when my spirit sits content and I feel … found… by my Self. Times that have been a struggle to hold to after they pass. A mourning for those times overcomes me as “real life” slams back in. Only reinforcing that it’s those glimpses of authenticity that are “real life” … they aren’t an escape or a distraction, they are how it should be… known because of how my Self soars at those times.

The unease with how things are is growing and I can feel the urgency there as the knowledge that change is afoot gets stronger.

Time to retreat, look inside, chart a course, light the path brightly and buckle up for the ride. I’m a hell of a good navigator and an even better driver ;).