cleaning house

Last night I was blessed to be able to reconnect with an old friend; for two hours in the night I felt normal again, I was able to just talk without censoring my own words and be my regular, kind of lewd self. Yesterday was a day of more release and most importantly of recognition of the incredible hurdles that I’ve overcome to get where I am today-and where I am today is at zero point. And that’s ok. I’d rather be at zero than in the negative. I’ve been reminded that most people do not get chances like this one, to start again with a fresh, clean slate. Well, fresh and clean but with tons of unique and life-altering experiences. I was reminded that there are actually no mistakes in life, but rather experiments. In that case just call me a mad scientist ‘cuz I’ve been blowing up shit in the lab left and right, searching for that right concoction.

At the beginning of this period of life change a friend had sent me a meme with this quote: “You have been given this mountain to show others how to move it.” If I were a poster child for any one message, it would be this: “Believe me, if I can get through all the effing shit I’ve been through then you’ve GOT THIS”. I won’t start listing off all of my crazy adventures, it’s not a pissing contest by any means, but let’s just say that most days I wake up with this mantra rolling around in my head: “It’s a damn miracle that I am still alive and have never been incarcerated.” period.

My life has been transformed in to an empty space of endless possibilities, which both excites and scares the shit outta me. I still live in the home where two of my children were born, I still sleep on my side of the bed, in the same bedroom where we fought and made up and fought again. The other side made up and empty. It’s comforting and humanly painful, all rolled in to one. And that too, is ok. I am slowly going through each area of my home and purging what will no longer be needed in my new home, wherever that will be. This too is an emotional process but one that I must embrace and face head on-what are we if we are unable to feel? I am well aware that in the past society has attempted to subdue the parts of us that may not be so “pretty”, such as sadness, or hurt or even anger, but these are all very real feelings that must be felt and acknowledged just as we gladly feel and acknowledge joy and love and happiness.

As my old life shifts in to a new one I get to go through every part of myself with a fine-tooth comb. Who am I now? Do I have a particular faith? Which new experiences do I want to try, and which ones that were on my list do I want to scratch off because they no longer interest me? Of all the things I have done in my 34 years on this planet, leaving the parent of my three children, leaving a faith that no longer fulfilled my soul, changing career paths, and choosing to stay in a place far from my family whilst all of this happens is probably amongst the top of my list of “courageous and admirable things” that I have done. I write this not for accolades, but to remind myself that the range of emotions that I feel, the trial and error that continues as I figure out what I want to be in the next six months, is all so, so normal. And necessary. And so obviously part of the process that how could I ever be unkind to my own tender heart??

Now I know, and knowing is half the battle-G.I. Joe.

newman in the mirror

This week I have dedicated myself to myself. If you have ever experienced any big life change (for example, changing faiths, relationship dissolution,  weight loss, new job, etc) it is SO important to reacquaint yourself with your new self.

Often life gets us running on a conveyor belt without giving us a chance to reevaluate where it is we are going, and if we will like what we see when we get there; without pausing to honour and appreciate the incredible steps we have already taken, how will we recognize and be thankful for the achievements?

I have a cousin who experienced a divorce from an unhealthy marriage and a faith crisis, all in the same year. She started a fulfilling job but was gently forced to take a deep, hard look at herself in the mirror and redefine everything about herself-what she stood for, her priorities, what she was willing to let go of and what she would fight to keep.

Last night I was in a contemplative mood; I got to thinking about how nobody knows when our last day in this life will be. I find comfort in believing that my destiny is part what I work towards, and part what is already written. Most days I experience “deja vus” which confirms my gut feeling that this is not the first time around. Which actually gives me a ton of hope that the souls I was connected with in the past will show up again. Pretty cool, right? Maybe soul mates are a real, damn thing. And I write damn like “Damn Gina, are you tired? Cuz you’ve been running through my mind, ALL. DAY.” : ) I’m not saying you have to agree, but if it’s a conviction that makes my own day brighter, then why not?

Weird stuff happens all the time and most of the time it goes unnoticed because of absent-minded upbringings and environments based solely on robotic work. If my life experiences have taught me anything, it’s that it is possible to find beauty and meaning in absolutely everything-if we only take a moment to pause, and then continue on. 

Clear heads

last night was a little sleepless for me; being a parent is reason enough for insomnia, but on top of that being woken up by repeating songs or fresh stories running through your brain is. Exhausting. And simultaneously exciting because it’s proof that our minds may work even harder when we’re sleeping. Or maybe I should just NOT have espresso at 6 pm anymore. Or maybe my friend from overseas should stop texting me at 4 am. Either way, I’m doped up on caffeine today and still going strong. I have a sincere appreciation to those who continue to read and listen and lend support in all the wonderful and unique ways.

I’ve been trying to start my mornings by listing off all the things I am grateful for, starting with the fact that I woke up alive in a city full of dreams in a free and thriving country. I have plenty of things that I could complain about, and I have many moments where I feel so broken that I’m almost convinced that I can’t go on. But then I do go on, because I have no other choice- It’s like fate itself is pulling me by a rope. And I know that whatever awaits me will be greater than what I can ever imagine-and the same is out there for you; what will be, will be.

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all within reach

Life is not about every. single. moment. being GREAT. It’s about acknowledging the moments for what they are-special moments in time that propel us forward to the next one, and the next one, and then the next. In a worldly experience that keeps us gridlocked and spinning our wheels, it is crucial that we begin looking inwards and be honest-is this a moment for rest, or a moment to push on? Is this a moment for reflection, or a moment to pay the lesson forward? Life can be, and in fact, is, so beautiful, and while the pursuit of our dreams keeps us motivated and expands our dreams past the horizon, we often miss out on the simple, glorious moments that hold as much importance as the grander accolades that await us.

Today I convinced myself to rest when I obviously needed it, allowed myself my favourite drink and dessert (after I write this) just. because. Because in some of our worlds, we’ve been through the meat grinder and we are still. At. IT. That is deserving of more than just a few moments in time of enjoyment.

Wherever you, whoever you are, take this moment and live it. This very moment may be a painful one, and that’s ok, because it’ll soon pass. This very moment may be a joyous one, and that’s ok, because it will also pass. What I recommend is we allow the moments to just BE. Living in these fleeting moments in time can be challenging due to the conditions that surround us in this human experience, but with practice we can glean more from each passing moment and spend a little more of our lives in the present, rather than rushing towards the next big thing. 

I wish for everyone that your next moments are peaceful, meaningful ones, and that you’ll take those moments and smile until your heart feels it, or until your cheeks hurt, whichever comes first.

Grace

This post is for those of us who have ever been hit hard by life-I’m talkin’ been knocked on our flat asses so hard that our brains shudder backwards in time and we forget our own names. Pretty much everybody, right? Challenges come in different shapes and sizes, we cannot escape them, but it’s all in how we view them and allow them to teach us.

Once in the midst of a challenge, for example, a breakup or reshaping of one’s faith, or heaven forbid, both at once, my most sacred advice to you is-GRACE. Allow yourself the time, freedom and gentleness to feel what it is that you are experiencing, even though it may be the most painful thing next to stepping on a plastic lego with your barefoot. In my experience, pushing away the pain is worse than allowing it to run through you and recognizing it for what it is-a normal, human experience that holds a golden lesson in and of itself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge advocate of positive affirmations and self growth, but ignoring a painful experience only deepens the wound and can often lead to resentment, a dysphoric view of your own life, or an eventual crash in your self-regulation system.

One of the most real things I’ve ever had to do as an adult (I use the term adult very loosely, because most days I can only manage about 45 minutes of adulting and then I’m off to hang in the clouds again) is to sit with my own self-the raw, unfiltered me that is working through each day like everyone else, and acknowledging the parts of me that need healing. And letting go of shame when I cry, because I do so, quite often. I’m sure I’m the only one (as I roll my eyes and snort loudly)

We all have dreams and goals; some of them will happen, some will develop in to something different, some will not happen. That’s ok. Allowing GRACE for the moments in our lives that are “not so pretty” not only gives us a chance to honour the brokenness that we all have, but once it’s been brought to light it also encourages laughing at the sheer loveliness of what it means to fail forward.

Whatever you are doing today, own it. In my case, I managed to keep myself and my family alive, load and unload the dishwasher and post my first video to YouTube. Once I find some chocolate to eat I’ll call it a win and a day, put my feet up with a glass of wine and watch my living room explode with confetti. Because that’s how awesome is done.

Here’s my silly video on “why Mondays are awesome”. I know. I lie through my teeth, even the missing ones.

 

 

 

what if…

as I sit here, alone in my hotel room (ok, it’s my own bedroom, but since I am a bit of a gypsy in my own home, I hide in here with wine and music, make-believin’ I’m somewhere else) I sit here with the radio to serenade me, each crooner like a different admirer. Today I choose ME, and give to myself instead of waiting for someone else. I actually shaved my legs. Oh yeah. Contemplated life while the Cranberries blasted in the shower, letting the water rush over my head. I imagined I was underneath a waterfall and all I could hear, see, taste, feel and smell was the rush of the water. I treated myself the way I would want someone to treat me-with gentle humour and realness.

It’s been the most transformative autumn; sunshiney, the most dazzling sunrises that never last long enough. Just as the sun falls it always rises again; with nothing but time in my hands I metaphorically clean out my dresser drawers, emptying myself of what is no longer needed; all the built up collections of old, ripped t-shirts and photographs from a different lifetime. The heaviest drawer to empty is the one filled with regrets; moments spent on daydreaming rather than doing. But I cannot go back in time, no matter how I stir the pot. I wonder if the saying is true, “it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all”. I wonder if my photographs have been burned too-what if I say that my ability to love spans across the oceans but my fear of hurting someone is great too?

Often our actions are innocent but we are so unaware of the power they hold. This entrainment is life-changing, and I hope that my heart’s sincerity is felt. 

we move in mysterious ways

if the only thing I can do, in the midst of one of the biggest life changes I’ve ever experienced, is write here, then here I go.

today the sun is shining brighter than ever and I have a few moments in an empty house while my sweet heathens go out to wreak havoc in this great city of mine. At this point I survive on copious amounts of espresso, swear words shouted loudly in my head, and an insatiable hopefulness for better moments in time.

Sometimes my life is filled with children screaming about missing plastic aliens and complaining about weird rashes, and sometimes its filled with nonsensical daydreams of a vacation in a hotel made of chocolate.

I had a dream that I used a megaphone to serenade my soul friend across the ocean; I was like “Hey, so what if I’ve made a fool of myself over and over because the blinds on my windows are broken? I still love you and I hope you’re enjoying the view from way up where you are.” I woke up laughing at the ridiculousness of it all and how, from my bird’s eye view, I can only imagine how great you look in your work clothes, smiling brightly at the out-of-this-world weird shit I say.

I’m not worried anymore because I can see how things are working perfectly as they should, maybe not as quick as I’d like it, but this is a lesson in patience. Because goddess knows how much I needed that lesson. (I write that with gritted teeth)

As I weave through the unconventional life that I lead/float through, I am consistently reminded that we all are, in fact, living our dream, whether we like it or not. If you DON’T like it, then change it. Be aware that there may be a messy, sweaty, awkward period in between getting what you want and actually getting it.

All in all, I am satisfied with how things are at this present moment; blooming where I am planted, shedding off the last remnants of my old life to make room for the new one.