A Year of Yes

A year of saying yes starts today.

It was 25 years ago today that my life changed forever (happy birthday today to my oldest!) and it’s as good a day as any for me to start another step on my path. Seems kind of fitting somehow actually.

A concept that was introduced to me by my partner and something that has taken hold in my musings.

To say yes instead of no or maybe. Not something as sweeping as saying yes to everything that comes my way; I’m wanting a shake up in how I live but I’m not completely off my rocker, thank you very much.

Essentially how I see it is simple. To make a conscious decision to not stay stuck in patterns of behaviour that have become unhealthy and limiting to myself. The only way to change is to change. It really is that simple.

It’s not saying yes to every option I am presented with or with every opportunity that comes my way. What my year of yes will be is taking the chances that I would normally knee jerk into a “no”. It’s not letting my fears or reservations make my decisions for me like I have been. It’s being conscious of choosing to nudge myself outside of the comfortable areas that I have come to hibernate so well within these past few years. It’s not automatically shutting down an opportunity that excites me because I’m nervous or uncertain. It’s feeling all that and deciding to do it anyways. It’s trying something when I’m not sure if I’ll succeed or not. It’s seeing risks and taking them.

It’s more than saying yes to invitations, it’s also saying yes to what I ask of myself. It’s not limiting myself and my growth anymore due to fears or insecurities. It’s believing in myself again and my potential and letting myself rise to the bar that has no set height except for where I set it…. and I’m tired of keeping it set as low as I have. It’s telling myself to shut up when I say I can’t or shouldn’t. It’s saying yes, you can and you should, and you will.
Is it scary? Yes. Look, I said it… that wasn’t too bad 🙂

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I need

I need

to say yes, instead of no, or another time, or maybe

to play, with laughter and giddiness and passion

to dance, to sway and bump and grind or stomp. dance.

to hurt. to feel the rawness and scream into it and dare it to try to hurt me even more.

to conquer and feel my own power.

to fly and soar and feel the freedom that I have.

to cry. and scream and rage and claw my way out.

to laugh. until it hurts. until my sides burn with stitches from it all and until I have tears in my eyes

to run. as fast and as hard as I can. without holding myself back or pacing myself

to feel. all of it. everything. even the feelings that I can’t name.

to not be afraid

to be afraid and do it all anyways

to love and not give a fuck if I’m risking being hurt

to reach and connect and touch people. because it terrifies me.

to remember my love for that. to feel that again.

to allow myself to be touched and seen. because it terrifies me.

to bleed. literally and figuratively. to feel that essence.

to consume

to be consumed

to know myself

to not hide from myself

to allow my shell to be pierced. to be exposed.

to love

to say yes to all of this.

to own all of this

to share and not give a fuck who thinks what

 

most of all

I need to admit that I need.

What’s IN the vessel

We spend a lot of time and energy and money on our bodies. In one way or another we “feed” our bodies so much.

Resources allocated to make it slimmer, bigger, stronger, faster, more flexible…better. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s all important. Our bodies are, after all, the vessels that we live our lives in and through. Having a healthy and capable body means we can do more, and enjoy doing what we do with less pains and aches and, hopefully, for as many years as we can squeeze out of this matter that makes up what carries us around. But, there’s always a “but”, if we look at that phrase that our bodies are just vessels, then that leaves the issue of what’s inside the vessel? Isn’t that what’s being protected and encased and isn’t what’s IN the vessel, very simply, MORE than what’s carrying it? Shouldn’t we be putting just as much, maybe even more resources to nourishing that?

I got to thinking about this personally lately as I’ve been musing decisions to make and paths to follow coming up. The truth struck me that some of the choices I keep putting off relate directly to the care and feeding of Me. Not my body, but Me. The Me that resides inside the vessel. Paths and actions that will nourish and grow and embrace the journey of Me are being sat on the shelf and given a pat on the proverbial head and told to be patient… while I put my resources to the gym, running, biking, trying to eat healthier, moisturizing…sigh. What gets done for the inside?

I thoroughly enjoy all of these things – or I wouldn’t do them. I love running and biking in the early morning. It does make me feel good on the inside as well as physically. But where is my Yoga practice that I had for years? The practice that filled my being with a feeling of unity between the inner and the outer… a practice that brought me a sense of being connected and a sense of knowing, deeply knowing, Me. It’s sitting on that shelf.
Sitting there along with time for reading books that make my mind tingle with new information and points of view… books that challenge and inspire and make me cry and laugh and look at the clock and see that I’ve lost 3 hours and my tea has gone cold. Reading for pleasure and for the pleasure of learning. Something else for Me that’s been sat back there.
My lust for travel, for exploring and seeing and experiencing. A drive to feed the hunger that sits and yearns to drink in someplace else…filling Me with sights and sounds and feels that expand who I am and what makes Me, Me.

Beyond goals and dreams, deeper than that. The fundamental neglect of cultivating growth. A sometimes, but not always, subtle ignoring of what is needed to tend to Me. Needs that just simply aren’t valued. That’s the base of it all.

It’s easier to take care of what we see and what can have “success” more easily measured. What we fail to recognize though is that eventually, the neglect and ignorance of feeding the spirit will become just as visible. What’s inside of this vessel will either shine brighter or grow dimmer as the years meander along. Which of those happens is up to how it’s tended to.

As I contemplate where to put my resources of time, energy and money this coming year, it’s clear to me now the changes that need to be made.
a soft blow on the embers and a smile to see a flame

2015 Won’t do’s

Day one, blank page

It’s a start of a new year and with that comes all of the resolutions and goal making. I’ve always hated resolutions. There’s nothing quite like making the same ones year after to year to make you feel great about yourself and your accomplishments, is there?

Yet, I have to admit that I’m a sucker for the build up and the sense of renewal and the chance for a fresh start and the inspiration that comes along with it all. Add to that the fact that I am an unapologetic lover of lists and charts and spreadsheets… I have the perfect storm for New Years goal setting…sigh. So, in the interest of feeding that need *and* feeling like I’m not just sitting down to make another list of things that I’m “absolutelygoingtodobutwillonlykeepupforatbesttwoweeks”; here is my anti-list of resolutions.

Things that I won’t do in 2015

I will stop reinforcing beliefs of myself that are wrong. plain and simple. using the words that give more power to internal beliefs that need to stop, needs to stop. “I can’t” are two words that carry a lot of weight and I have let them creep into my internal vocabulary far too often.
I will stop putting my desires on the back burner. the years tick by and with every one that does, the time left to achieve what I want to grows shorter. It’s time to remember to put what I want to do back on my priority list.
I will stop forgetting that I am the crafter of my life. I very often tend to let it slip that every choice I make is a choice. If I am tired of something or fed up, I need to remember that I’m the one I take my problems to. And I’m the one to solve them.
I will stop accepting “good enough”. I deserve outstanding and amazing and wonderful in ALL aspects of my life. I only have this one (so far as I know), it’s time to stop accepting less than spectacular.
I will stop doing things that make me feel less than I know I am. I am my own worst saboteur. Time to stop that.

I have a list of the usual things that I want to achieve, and those are important as well, but not as much as these are to me.

Interestingly enough, NOT doing just a few things, will make my ability to DO the things I want to, that much more achievable. Trying to tick off the resolution list of things that I want to achieve won’t be possible if I keep doing these behaviours. Plain and simple. Somethings have to be not done to clear space to get other things done.

Blank page not so blank. Intentions set and feet are on the ground running.

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.

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.

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.