Self Portrait #31

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I am being told that I need to cocoon. That my body is under so much stress and chaos I am walking the threshold of becoming very sick. That it’s time I wrapped myself up and really started taking care of me. This is incredibly hard. I have goals and dreams and motivation that doesn’t really allow me to settle in. I have people to take care of, and wants of my own. I have no patience and feel like if it doesn’t happen now, the nit never will. I have always had this flaw. Holding on so tight to something that I don’t see the other possibilities.  I’m so focused on this, that that walks right on by.

To admit that I’m really tired, and my body is giving out is not fun for me. To know that I don’t have a person to tuck me in and tell me to rest while he handles the ship for a little while is daunting. How do you cocoon when so much rides on your shoulders? How do you let go of things you want so much it makes your heart ache? How do you trust that good is coming, if you just relax and allow?

I have no clue. But it’s a lesson I’m going to have to learn. Because after the cocoon comes the butterfly, and I’m damn ready for my wings. To be able to float and be free and enjoy all the beautiful things and people that are in my life.

I think we all have a point in our life where we need to cocoon and really take care of ourselves. But so many are afraid because it takes work. It takes a lot to wrap yourself up and get real with yourself and fix your problems. To actually want a better life instead of playing the victim card, instead of doing nothing to change your cycle. To strip down all the layers one by one and dig deep, instead of running away. To figure out why you feel what you feel and how to heal that wound. That is how you stay a caterpillar for the rest of your life. Who wants that, when you can actually make the changes that are needed to break you out of that cocoon into the light of a new life, as a new and beautiful being. It takes courage to change your life into something beautiful, and not settle. I hope you have it. Earn your wings.

Self Portrait #30

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Every now and then, I stop and realize that I am alone. It’s a strange feeling. It can be liberating at times, and scary at other times. I’ve been half of a whole for half of my life. That’s a long time. But then I remind myself a few things.

I can run a household, keep four children alive, run a business, do the never ending pile of laundry, drive a stick shift, change brake pads and oil. I’m smart and motivated and find the humor even when everything is falling apart. I can paint a house from top to bottom, lay tile. I can play the piano and guitar and will dance around if a good song comes on. I can cook and bake some amazing sugar cookies. I can ride a horse, a dirt bike, a four wheeler, a skiidoo and have jumped out of a plane.

I have survived miscarriages, my moms suicide, abuse, and other things that shouldn’t happen to you. Do you need photos taken of your wedding, baby, family, birth? I can do that. Do you need something sewn or your hair curled, braided or cut, or photos hung on your wall? I can do that. Do you need a friend that is there for you at any hour of the day, that will show up to help you with whatever you need, that will take a 2am phone call cause you’re upset? That’s me. Need your kid looked after, a baby animal raised and fed my hand every three hours? I can do that. Need a shoulder to cry on, some encouraging words or a reiki session? Well, here I am.  Need your woodpile stacked, help with a project, or something built? I can do that too.

So when I start to worry about it just being me, I remind myself to put my chin up/ I was with someone that didn’t appreciate these things about me, so it was already like I was by myself. Now I get to keep growing and stretching on my own, and give myself and my talents to those that appreciate them. We all have so much to offer. Every one of us has some talent, some gift, some purpose. Finding them and not feeling limited to express them is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and others. Make sure whoever you are with supports your growth and the amazing individual that you are. Better yet, be that person yourself.

Sunday Slowdown

Self love is one of the best things you could ever do for yourself. Find the things that really make you happy, and do them. It doesnt matter if you are good at them or not, it just matters how they make you feel. I’m not great at yoga or dance, but I dont care.

This is one of my happy places.

Self Portrait # 28

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The other night my dad came over. I was cleaning out my fridge while crying ugly tears, because I’m learning to let the sadness out. I asked my dad if he was disappointed with me. That I have to start over, from scratch. And he looked at me and said, “I’m proud of you. I know how I felt when your mom died and I didn’t have little kids to take care of or a battle on my hands like you do because of how hard he’s making it. Just my sadness of losing your mom. And I’m still dealing with that. You made a really hard choice, but you have so much happiness ahead of you and that’s what is important. The happiness you will find at the end of this. I’m proud of you.”

My family doesn’t really say these things to each other, you should see my sisters face when I tell her I love her, or try to hug her. So these words mean so much to me. More days then not I want to ignore and pretend my life is not upside down. I want to cry. I want to stay in bed. I want to retreat from everything and everyone. I want to wallow in my self pity of losing my beautiful house, beautiful studio, beautiful property, beautiful dream I worked so damn hard for. But instead, I remember why I’m doing this. And when the sadness comes, I look at my four kids and remind myself what I’m showing them. When my heart aches, I pick up my guitar, or play the piano, or paint, or go put my feet in the grass, or dance, or read a book or get in the bath, or talk to friends, or play with my kids, I write in my journal and try to figure out where the root of my feelings come from and how I can improve myself. I do yoga, or exercise, or eat a bag of cookies. Life is hard. It is so easy to find the negative, to feel the want to give up. To wallow and ask why and feel sad for myself. But what a waste. I have too much light to give. There is still so much happiness to feel and make and be part of. Starting over is my chance to do it my way. Less material things, more love. Less anger, more adventure. Less fighting, more peace. Less fake, more raw realness. Thank you dad, for telling me you’re proud of me. That’s all I needed to hear.

Self Portrait # 15

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To be Heard.

The ferryman listened very attentively. Listening, he absorbed everything, origin and childhood, all the learning all the seeking, all joy, all woe. One of the ferryman’s greatest virtues was that he knew how to listen like few other people. Without a word, the speaker felt that the ferryman took in his words, silent, open, waiting, missing none, impatient for none, neither praising or blaming, but only listening. Siddhartha felt what happiness it is to unburden himself to such a listener, to sink his own life into his listener’s heart, his own seeking, his own suffering. – Siddhartha 1922

To those that have been my listeners, thank you. I appreciate you. One of the best feelings, is just being heard. I hope I can be this for others. To silently listen. To really listen. This is a gift not many have.

Thankyou.

Self Portrait # 14

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Self Love.

When you start doing things for you, it’s like a whole new world opens up. I’ve always thought I had a purpose to help others to heal in some way. That the things I’ve gone through already in my life have been preparing me for something else. That while I am healing, maybe I can help others as well.

Self love is the best form of healing and living. Releasing the guilt we have over putting ourselves first. Doing things that feel right, being around only people that are good for our soul and letting go of the toxic ones. Listening to our gut and leaning into our passion.

I took a Reiki course yesterday and it released a whole bunch of stuff I’ve been carrying around inside. The one that practiced on me, told me the entire time the words that went through her head when she had her hands on me were: “I am strong. I am courageous. I am brave. I am free.” this has made me determined to pursue this training, but also to pursue other things I haven’t done, because it was looked down upon by those closest to me in my life.

I have never felt so awake and blessed. My hands are certified healers now people! How cool is that? Find what makes you tick, and do it. Just because you are a mom, or you work full time, or you are getting a divorce, or you have kids, or you are busy….it is no excuse, we are all busy. You need to take care of you.

At the end of your life, the house, the sports teams, the cars, the furniture, the hours logged in at a desk you hate, the people you put up with cause it was just easier….none of this will matter. Right now, I am in the worst chapter of my life, but all it has done, is set me free. Free to write the next on exactly how I want it to be written. No more “I wish I could…”, “What if….”, “too bad I can’t….” How I love myself, shows others how to love me. And I love hard people.

So go love yourself, it will be the best thing you ever do!

Self Portrait #13

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This is me.

We slept in today. No workout or meditation before kids woke up, so I’m out of sorts. I just dropped them off at the bus after running around like a crazy lady making four lunches, finding 8 socks that kind of matched, 8 mitts that definitely didn’t match and homework that wasn’t finished. I walked over to the studio, pulled off my sweater, and stood infront of the camera. I haven’t brushed my hair in two days, I don’t have makeup on, and I feel….happy. For the first time ever I look at myself and feel beautiful, but not for what I see in the mirror.

I know I’m not for everyone and I don’t pretend to be. My smart mouth, keen intuition and impulsive behavior will drive you crazy on some days. I admit that I often do and say things without thinking that only get me into trouble. I love hard. I want to fix the broken people around me, and wear wings around my neck as a reminder that flying is always an option.

I told one of my highschool friends the other day that maybe I’m doing it wrong. Maybe I need to shut down and close off and protect my heart. He told me that that is one of the things that makes me amazing. That caring is who I am.

So here I am. Today I make a stand for myself. I don’t care about your opinion of me. I don’t care if you think I say too much. I don’t care if you think I shouldn’t be posting photos of myself and talking about my journey. I don’t care if you think I should have stayed in a loveless marriage. I don’t care if you think I’m doing it all wrong. I don’t care what you whisper about me behind my back. I don’t care. Because the ones that love me and find me worth it, I promise that my love, loyalty and commitment to spoil and care for you, will make it all worth it. So whatever opinion you hold of me, keep it to yourself. I don’t care. I’ll make you a promise, I will hold no opinion on you and the choices you make in your life – since we are all just trying to do our best – if you want to do the same for me. Because starting today, I don’t waste my time on the opinions other have of me. Your loss, not mine.

This is me.