Frozen Layers

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It is not easy digging deep and under the layers of vulnerability to allow our authentic selves surface through. It can emulate looking at a frozen lake where a layer of water melt has replaced the snow white landscape. You are consciously aware that it is okay to walk on the thickened layers of ice, but seeing the water’s transparency beneath your feet and watching the liquid movement through mirrored glass as you place your foot down causes you to become overwhelmed with an exposure of fear.

What if I fall through? What if the iced layers fail to protect me and others are able to see everything contained underneath them. It can appear/feel like an unintentional drowning. When we spend so much time freezing our truth(s) in a sort of vessel of undisclosed time, any melting of the protected layers can feel like a certain death.

If they really see me, will they still value/like me? The fearful feelings can penetrate you like a razor sharp icy shard dancing on the edge of sanity. But, this can be so very damaging. Harboring ourselves to the point of weighted movement(s) is like an illness we choose to ignore. We know it’s there, we know it needs to come out, but we ignore it out the fear of exposure.

No one needs to throw themselves across a glass water pond. Falling on the ice can be painful, but it’s okay to walk gently with ourselves. It’s okay to stand in the moments that want to push us under. The moments that attempt to grab us at the ankles and shackle us down. Gently resist these moments with fierce intensity. Allow for the first step to glide your movements into skating across the frozen tundra unfurled before you. Pushing the surfaced water aside and leaving carved out ice trails underneath.

Those trails make us human, and those trails lead us to connection. In the end it is the vulnerability of walking on the ice that slowly erases the fear of falling through. And when we spin ourselves the truth of who we really are, we’ll never want for anything more. We will want to relish in its moments, and we’ll never want for anything more than to always stand with the truth(s) shining brightly and not to be extinguished. It’s who you are. It’s you are meant to be. It’s the one thing you have that nothing in this world can take from you. Own it. Live it. Be it. Wrap yourself in it.

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Embrace the Last

 

Each year I like to start off taking some time alone. I throw myself into nature and start from a place of simplicity. It’s not anything glitzy, but to me it is worth its weight in gold. It’s a way to go back before taking another journey forward. It isn’t about forgetting, but about reflecting on where I was and where I now stand, and that is a very powerful thing. This past year had many challenges, but there were many points of light which I made space for despite the fear.

It is inevitable, when one year ends its 365 paged chronicle of your existence in this world…a new one sets to begin. While the pages of magazines and the brightness of glowing screens tell you to; begin anew, forget the past, create new lists, and remember to set forth new things to accomplish and resolutions; take a pause. Allow yourself to sit and reflect on all of the moments, and I do mean all of them, that just cascaded through your life for the past 52 weeks. 525,600 minutes that in the seconds they were happening you may have been completely unaware of their magnitude.

Yes, a new year is upon you. But, it isn’t all about (nor should it be) how many more minutes you can throw yourself into the gym or how many more carrot sticks vs potato chips you’re going to munch on. Resolutions can be fun, but what is it that you want to evolve. How do you wish to see yourself? I mean, after all, whatever just preceded this day….YOU DID IT. You made it through every moment that captured your heart and every event that cut you down. There were moments when you laughed until you cried, and there were times when crying was all that you could manage. There were days when taking one more thing felt like the end, and then there were days when all things didn’t seem to be enough.

Then there were the pauses. The rare occasions where you let yourself sit, reflect, and absorb. During these brief miracle dives you could remember. You could remember who you were, who you are, and where you wish to be. You got lost in the simplicity that one constantly yearns for; starry filled nights, fields of fireflies, a warm cup of tea, time with those who lift you, and places that constantly feed your existence.

You stumbled some. You grew some. You lived. You found the way to manage more steps forward despite any pushbacks that rattled the doors of your cage. You took a great deal on, but at times allowed yourself the gift of letting a little bit go.

Be proud. Be proud of the person that started this past year with hesitations and reservations. Be proud of the person that picked themselves up and allowed for the offerings of support. Be proud in how you learned to trust a little bit more even when your trusted go to of shutting out felt easier. Be proud for recognizing that others see in you what you always wanted others to see, and that what you see in yourself is valued and respected.

It’s a New Year. There are 365 days ahead of you. There are 525,600 minutes to fill with loud and silent moments/busy and quiet days. FORGET the resolutions! Instead, simply remember to live. Live with the truth of your authentic vulnerable self; for “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind”. You got this, and the truth is…you always did. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

 

 

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Vulnerability is Beauty

brene brown - vulnerabiityI have no desire or force-able illusion to think that acquiring certain things will change the way something is. It can be challenging though. It would seem logical that having the means to be financially independent or the ability to work out to build physical strength would transform the smoke and mirrors into true reflections of desired happiness, but it doesn’t work out that way.

We all come with our vulnerable pieces that hide in the shadows. Rusty nuts and bolts that bring shame because we see their discolored appearance as the reasons for malfunction, or at the very least, the reasons things never work just as they should.

I too have my squeaky rusted out bits that sometime feel as though they’re barely functioning, and sometimes they feel as if they’ve stopped all together. These mechanical wirings  are neither useless or meaningless, they are mine.

In the very way nature nurtures itself through the elements, mastering the art of letting go, and reclaiming itself….we must do the same. It’s not about having the biggest and the best. It’s about owning the light that we are and appreciating what keeps it burning. It’s the work we put into ourselves to love who we are and understand the value that each of us holds.

I don’t wish to compare myself to anyone or anything. It should never be that way. Love is love. Hard is hard. Meaningful is meaningful. Everything simply presents itself in different ways to each person, and whatever these pieces are shouldn’t be respected/appreciated/understood any more or any less from one soul to the next.

If we take the time to allow ourselves to dig deep inside our truths, we will find strength in our vulnerabilities. If we allow our energies to connect to those who find value in this, we will find deeper connection and the ability to be seen/heard with clarity with those who have earned such a privilege with the beautiful/intense souls that we are. Practice vulnerability, and allow this gift to be fully opened by others who deserve to receive it.

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Little Bear

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There is a small little bear tattered and torn (in some places), eyes not quite right and lopsided that I have had since my arrival into this world. From what I remember (based on what I was told) it was presented to me as gift at the hospital on the day of my grand entrance into this earthly plane.

It isn’t much to look at. It isn’t grand on a sizing scale and it most likely wouldn’t scream cuddly softness to look at it, but it is still here. Like me, it has survived 41 trips around the sun.

I  had never forgotten about it, but admittedly (until recently) it was on a wooden shelf out of the view of anyone. No one to remind it that its existence still mattered, and that it doesn’t matter where/who it came from. The only time eyes would gaze themselves upon the tiny little being of stuffing would be when I was visiting my parents’ home, and I noticed where it sat.

On a recent trip to Vermont after some adventuring with my pup I noticed that ol’ bear. It struck me in that moment that this poor little thing never received a proper name such as a cute “Pooh Bear” or a long lasting “Velveteen Rabbit”, but it also didn’t matter. It has lasted through it all. The growing, the traumas, the bitter moments, the lighted paths, the moon filled nights, and the sunrise mornings on new adventures. There have been moments of broken dreams and damaged wings working in tandem with the ripped up vessel sailing once again into places once thought to be unreachable. It was then that the little bear reminded me of…me.

Like the bear; I have been, I am, and I continue to be a work in progress. Sometimes I too have sat upon a shelf allowing dust to collect upon the pieces that make me who I am, too focused on the needs of everyone else only to have them drain the existence of who I am.

I looked at that bear and took it down from the shelf. I gave it a once over and gently wiped away the bits of dust from its fur. I am not sure, but in that moment I thought I heard a quiet whisper of breathable relief. A small sense of knowing that to still keep going is just as important despite anything/everything one might carry.

It’s okay to take pause(s). It’s okay to sit down for a breath, but one should never remain on a shelf. We often feel the heaviness of the burdensome stones we carry, and it’s not because of the weight. It’s because we have allowed the weight to prevent us from being all that we wish/want to be. We tend to stop ourselves just short of pieces that illuminate/ignite us. What are the embers that turn into flames? Well, they’re different for everybody. It can be a cup of tea with a good book or a ledge of perceived death that leads to waterfalls bursting out of carved rocks of nature. It’s not the “what” that is important. It’s the honoring and the embracing of the “what’s” that make them valuable to our existence. It will inevitably lead us to the people, spaces, and places that truly feed our souls and connect to our energies.

So, take a moment. Look into that closet, attic or taped up box. Remove your little stuffed friend and give it new life. It deserves it, and so do you.

 

 

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Your Beat, Your Truth

 

1755606-Bren-Brown-Quote-Authenticity-is-a-collection-of-choices-that-weHave you ever stopped to listen to the sound of beating in your chest? Have you ever paused long enough to feel the pulsing when you lay your hand upon the center of yourself? It’s intense. It’s proud. It’s living. It’s truth. It’s your existence and where your life source exists from.

Your heart is more than a muscular formation that pumps blood to different destination points. It has more meaning than allowing you to walk in which ever direction you choose simply by doing its job.

Your heart, your heart is you. Without it, the pieces that stitch together the fabric of your being would hold no meaning.

My truth is mine, and it’s where I strive to live from and not simply exist within its walls. My truth is contained inside that thumping against my chest walls, but I don’t want to hold it hostage there. I want it to be what drives me in the tangible actions of how I choose to wander through this world. I want it to be synonymous with who I am. I don’t (and never have been) want to be an energy that speaks words of empty promises or meaning. I don’t want my actions to be those of question or concern to others. I want my truth to be one of comfort and safety fueled by adventure and life’s enjoyment.

My heart is mine, but I don’t want it to exist on its own. I want it to be nurtured with moments that are both calming to my essence and challenging to my soul. I want it to know that it has purpose, and while its presence is making its mark on this world it has value.

I want my truth to lead from the chambers my heart contains. I want to light matches down to their ashes and ignite another until blazes illuminate the darkness. I want its cracks to know that without them growth never would have happened, and a space for kindness and light to get in wouldn’t exist.

I find the challenge in truth living is allowing space for the knowing that not everyone will accept/respect/understand it, and that’s okay. We should not strive to live our truth for the comfort of others, we should live from our truth because it’s honest and raw. It’s the brave vulnerability that brings genuine connection(s). When we hide our truth we hide our existence, and when we hide our existence we cannot possibly be genuine with ourselves or anyone else. It’s the deeper places that make us magnificent and magical. It’s not only the pieces that glitter in the sunlight. It’s also knowing that we have our darkness, too.

Our heart and our truth are the compasses to our life maps. When we allow ourselves to use them and their guidance; the places we go, the people we let in, the journey that we travel is suddenly propelling in a direction of unmapped/uncharted territory. It allows us to leave the every day and experience the moments we used to only dream about.

It’s not always a trip to an exotic location or a big promotion. Sometimes it’s sitting with others and sharing who you are. Sometimes it’s exploration with new to you places/experiences. Sometimes it’s sharing a smile. Sometimes it’s extending your hand to someone not known to you. Sometimes it’s standing up when so many others remain seated.

Whatever it is and wherever it leads you, let it. Let your truth and let your heart; join you/guide you/propel you. It may seem as though you’ll awaken for the first time, but you’ll soon discover that your rebirth had risen long ago. You’re just finally listening to its calling.

 

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Season of Transition

 

1776016-Bren-Brown-Quote-Let-go-of-who-you-think-you-should-be-in-order-to

Fall, it’s a time when the bright greenery we have become witness to explodes into palettes of color. The landscape is suddenly bursting onto the scene as if to say, “Here I am!! I know you have been waiting for this.” Waiting for the transition of what used to be into what will become. The art of this change within nature is the impeccable beauty it bestows upon us, not only visually but in the gentle reminder of the importance in letting go.

Beauty can sometimes carry pain and formulate into salted tears, but with each tear that hits the ground below a new seed will be given the chance to plant itself. It is here where the wildness of healing and moving on with the fantastic light that we are can do some serious magic.

As I listen to the waves of a wooded lake lapping the shoreline, I am reminded of the tenderness a cleansing can provide. It makes room in your soul for new light to get in, and it allows for wounds to transition into scars. Scars do not need to be masked over, and they do not need to be buried in the silted sand below the water’s surface. They are part of your human vessel, and despite the damage or pain they may have caused they can also guide you to being lifted as you choose to lift others.

It’s a gift of breathing with a sense of clarity. Your chest no longer cinching in pain and refusing to relax. Your lungs filling with air no longer weighing you down. Your mind finding a resting place without being on a roller coaster that won’t let you off. At times you wonder if you can trust it. This is not to say that the wounded scars will no longer surface. They are part of your truth, and sometimes our truth isn’t the illusion of sparkling sunshine others perceive it to be. Sometimes our truth is an ugly beast that rears its head out of the darkness. It can cause us to walk the halls of restlessness with no sleep in sight.

The delicate balance is to let these shadows know that they do not have permission to own or define you. There is no shame in being who you are, and you should not feel as if apologies need to be made.

We often spend a lifetime walking pathways and darkened woods finding ourselves without the lamp we so desperately need. And, that lamp is a light unique to us all. It’s a light of forgiveness, it’s a light of being free, it’s a light of knowing that we were placed here to be exactly who we are and hiding should not be the only alternative we seek.  It’s a light of hope. Hope that we will feel good enough with ourselves that the viewpoints of another cannot alter the truth that we know.

On any given night when the clouds have cleared and the crispness of the air hits you allow yourself to lay back and look up. You will see a river of stars illuminating unimagined journeys that once seemed out of reach.

Each one of us has gifts to present to this world. They’re found in the actions we choose to put forth and the truth we yearn to live from, our own. It’s where the heart of it lies. It’s the essence of your being. Breathe from those spaces deeply, and let yourself align with the light you were born to exude. Your truth. Your purpose.

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Stop Searching, Start Living

 

155424-Bren-Brown-Quote-I-define-connection-as-the-energy-that-exists (1)There are times when I feel misunderstood. Not the kind of misunderstanding when someone doesn’t connect with something you are trying to explain, but the kind that allows you to feel as if your journey through this world is constantly filled with misfires and shorted out circuits. As if someone can be looking right at me with clear eyes and focused attention and yet go right through me as if I am not even there. It can feel like no matter how genuine you are and how you do your best to live from the core of your truth, it isn’t good enough. Sometimes it feels intentional, and other times it feels as though there is a misfire of aim with a moving target.

It is something that we all crave. To be understood and seen for who we are. It can be tiring to constantly feel as though you are always on the hunt for those human connections that add meaning to your existence, and at the same time the level of loneliness that can surface when it seems that if you were to retreat to your existence and stop the search no one else would be looking.

But, what if we stopped searching so intently? What if we just allowed ourselves to live, breathe, and flow through life with fluidity? Would it be possible that if we allowed ourselves the gift of pause that the pieces we feel are unobtainable would be within our reach? There are feelings of a simple untamed wildness to that. The ability to allow our spirit, heart and mind to sit still breathing and absorbing for no other reason then to fulfill the promise of who we are.

We are constantly faced with this notion that we need to be constantly moving. That in order to be the epitome of who we are there are things that we must have because everyone else around us already does. That to me seems like such a heavy burden to carry. The constant comparison of who we are to the the those who are not us. If I wanted to simply exist I could do that. I could meander through my day(s) without thought, without pause, without wonder. It would be easy to fill my space with meaningless connection(s) to both other humans and the universal sphere with its myriad of zoned out conformity. It would take a lot less work on my part. I could do the same thing, at all times, and not have any independent thoughts to lead me apart.

But, I want more than to simply exist. I find myself constantly craving to have a level of living that is more than that. It doesn’t have to be glamorous. It doesn’t have to be bathed in an illusion of monetary gold. I want it to be more pure than that. I want it to be comprised of the feelings that explode through my inner core when moments of true connection happen; be it when I am standing next to a waterfall feeling the healing spray of its cascading waters or the simple act of a friend asking me to do something because I am important enough to them that being in each other’s company is both a joy and a comfort.

For so many years I have focused very intently on always being the one. The one who always gives. The one who never says no. The one who rolls out the mat for everyone’s shoes to walk on without any offerings to sweep up any dirt that may have fallen. The one who is always there in the darkest of hours. But when my light dims or shuts off on occasion, I have been told to suck it up instead of being asked what happened to my spark. It can feel burdensome when others are not able to tell you that it’s okay to feel that something can be hard, something can be scary, and I am sorry you experienced such things. Everyone needs to have those who will stand in the mud with you when you feel dirty, and pull you out to spray you down with waters of clean.

I am coming around again. I am starting to notice that there are energy humans who have entered my sphere who are those people, and there are those who have been there even if distance and time don’t allow for their presence. In fact, this week I did something I haven’t done in a very long time, I laughed so hard with my “bro” that I literally could not stand up. It’s hard though, it’s hard to trust the new tribe and allow the vulnerabilities of who I am to be exposed. It happens though. A little bit at a time. Sharing a beer with my “bro” today and sharing little things but not to much (yet) it was comforting to hear, “That sucks.” Two simple words, but wow, to not be shamed or caused to feel as if my experiences don’t matter but are in fact understood. It’s okay, and in time I know I will allow my tribe to hear all the pieces that have made me feel not okay enough but also the pieces that make me who I am, because over time I have come to realize that I am (even in the times when I can feel as if I am not)….enough.

 

 

 

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