Self Portrait #32

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“Build something big, something bigger than anything you’ve done. When what’s in front of you is so bright and so satisfying, you won’t have time to look behind you. Your eyes and mind will be focused straight ahead. That will draw you out. A big enough, bright enough, sexy enough future. A future so soaked with potential and possibility its weight will snap you free from that significant and laborious past.” -Gary John Bishop

I just read this book today, Unfu*k Yourself. The main point that I took from it, is that what you do is all that matters. You can think and feel as positive or negative as you want, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is what you do. If you want to succeed then stop playing victim, get your ass up and do what you need to do. I have struggled with this. I am about to step into a very scary part of my journey, and part of me wants to close my eyes and retreat. But then I realize, nobody is going to save me but myself. I need to find that girl that never used to take no for an answer, that when hit with an obstacle, found another route. To live my life like I’m dying, because I am. I’ve already decided what my next goals are, and some are pretty big. I don’t have time to look back now. I don’t have time to sit on my butt. I stopped watching TV a year ago because it was a waste of the time I could be using the further myself. To get my goals accomplished. I won’t be on of those that sits and complains, yet changes nothing. I wanted to get healthy, so I wake up early every single morning and exercise. Ya I still eat chocolate, but I eat the healthiest I’ve ever eaten. I knew my marriage was over, so I took the steps to start new. I’m tired of making excuses as to why I might fail. Cause I will, plenty. But that sure the hell isn’t going to stop me. If you want your life to be different, it simply comes down to making a plan and acting on it. Not saying ‘one day’. Today is your day. Or, I guess you could just watch others succeeding at the same things you could also have, but choose not to. Your choice. I know what mine is.

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.

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 #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.

Self Portrait #6

Beautified.

One of my fondest memories growing up was watching my mom do her hair and makeup. I used to sit and watch her in awe as she curled and painted. When she was on top of her game, she felt that you should never go out of the house without putting some effort into yourself. Sometimes we were late because of this, but she always looked beautiful.

It’s amazing what you choose to take and leave from your childhood. I struggle with this concept at times. I enjoy getting dressed up and “beautified” at times, it makes me feel good. But most days, I leave the house with a high bun and fresh face, pair of ripped jeans and a tshirt.

My girls sit and watch me. They ask for makeup, I refuse, they pout. I tell them they are beautiful without it, and no amount of face paint will ever make them shine more then they already do. I try to show them to be comfortable in their own skin, which often means a lot of us in the house only sport underwear at times! I know that this won’t last forever But I hope that they can watch their momma do both. Take pride in the natural, and take enjoyment out of adding some color.

I used to feel like I had to “keep up appearances’ and that couldn’t be accomplished without my war paint. How exhausting it got at times. But it’s funny when you get in a self accepting spot, that you no longer care about this, because you only have you to impress. That when I take the time to actually brush my hair, it’s for me. And when you quiet the people around you that you’ve allowed to make you feel like you aren’t enough, you realize, you are more then enough. And that is beauty all on it’s own.