Bellyache

Niagara Falls w:Skok

Have you ever had the experience of not realizing how much pain you are in until the pain is gone? Being accustomed to frequent pain, specifically back pain, I’ve had this experience a few times. We become so accustomed to pain, especially pain that sneaks up on us as a result of repetitive motion due to daily tasks that must be performed, that often times we don’t even realize we are in pain until the pain is gone. It’s an odd feeling to be without pain when you’ve experienced it consistently for such a long time.

I’m in my late thirties now so I’ve lived a little bit of life. This past week, I packed up all the belongings I could fit in my car, as well as my dog and my sister (who selflessly joined me for the road trip) and drove 3,200 miles, from Northern California to Buffalo, NY (we had a few detours due to weather and wanting to visit family along the way). For most people, this would be acceptable if I were moving for work or something similarly logical. I have moved for work reasons in the past but this time I moved for love. So cheesy, I know, and, I’ll give it to you, kind of crazy as well. Especially since we have only known each other for a year, so not long in the scheme of things, been dating for 4 months and had spent less than 20 (not even full) days together in real life before I moved.

The morning, for me, has always been the time of day when I’m the most honest with myself. When first waking up, honesty is really the only option. It pounces on me without permission, forcing me to look at decisions I’ve made and the true impact they have on me and the people around me.

Since day one of starting to spend time with my beau as something more romantic than friendly, I wake up every morning at peace. This is not a caught-up-in-the-moment, head-over-heels kind of feeling. It is pure peace. With that peaceful feeling came some confusion. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first but, after awhile, I realized what was missing; a pit in my stomach. In the past, I had never experienced a romantic relationship without some kind of feeling that it wasn’t right. Always waking up in the morning with that tell tale knot in my stomach and then shoving it down and explaining it away to myself, “It’s just me . . . it’ll get better in time. . .  everyone feels this way . . .” It hasn’t been until now, until that ill feeling has been completely absent, that I am able to see how wrong I was. That feeling may be normal but it doesn’t exist when things are right. When you’ve truly found your person, your whole body is at peace even in those very first, uninhibited moments waking up. Even with knowing that I would be moving across the country, far from family and friends, that feeling of discontentment has never crept up on me upon first waking. I can’t help but, out of habit and past experience, wait for the other shoe to drop but, it seems, sometimes things are just right and it’s okay to accept the peace that comes with pain no longer being present.

I’m Not Perfect and I Love Me That Way

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We created this universe so we get to decide our preferences
It seems we created it in such a way that anything goes
And why not?
How uninteresting would it be if we were all living up to some ideal?
Especially one created by someone other than ourselves
Besides being uninteresting, perfection does not exist
At least, not in the way we are led to believe it does

Clouds are perfect
Animals are perfect
Nature is perfect
As part of creation, and as the creator, we are perfect

We are intended to have flaws
To make mistakes
To learn and grow
We are intended to be something other than “perfect”
Not less than “perfect” but other than perfect
And that is where our perfection lies
In just being exactly as we are intended to be
Accepting ourselves, “imperfections” and all, is the best way (maybe the ONLY way) to give ourselves the perspective of Spirit so we can start changing the aspects of ourselves that we truly desire to change

You’re perfectly imperfect and I love you that way.
You can too.

It’s not about how LONG you spend, it’s about HOW you spend

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How you spend your time in this body
On this world
Whoever planted the idea in our heads that we can and should all change the world, on a global scale, did us all a serious disservice
If you can, and you do, then that’s amazing. Keep it up and thank you!
But when you put an, for most people, unrealistic expectation on a person
An expectation they know they can’t live up to
The tendency is to shut out the possibity completely
Or risk breaking our psyche over feeling useless on this planet

What about the fact that we all DO have the potential and PRIVILEGE to change the world?
Our world
On a local or even intimate level
By spending our time expressing kindness
Expressing gratitude
By sharing LIFE
By being in this moment, as often as possible
In this moment, we don’t have the option to doubt each other or each other’s intentions
Overthinking has no place in this moment
When we live right here, right now, we can take life at face value and enjoy it for what it is
Which can be really incredibly lovely

Why Did I Leave Me Here?

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What’s the struggle?
Why the struggle?
Because it’s what you think you deserve.
You struggle with money, with substance abuse, with body image . . . most of all with wanting someone to love you when you have not yet decided to love yourself.
All things of this world.
You are not of this world. You are of ALL worlds.
You are of all galaxies, all stars, all energy.
THE energy.

So why keep focusing on these things that don’t determine you?
Because someone taught you to?
So what?
You know better now.
You understand in a way you never thought you could.
You are open to all of LIFE now.

Embrace it.

When will you decide to love yourself?
When will you decide to have compassion on yourself?
When will you decide to scoop up all the love that is available to you and share it with everyone you come in contact with?

You have access to all of the LOVE that has ever existed.
You have access to THE LOVE that created existence.
When will you allow that to be the love that you crave and accept?
When will you understand that is the ONLY LOVE THAT EXISTS.
And, therefore, the ONLY LOVE THAT MATTERS.

YOU are NOT tortured
Your mind only thinks it is
Spend less time in your thoughts and more time enjoying this existence that was created FOR YOU
That was created BY YOU
Especially spend time in nature
None of life is good and none of it is bad.

It JUST IS

Enjoy every moment of it for what it is
Enjoy as many moments of it with those you love
No matter how long or short of a time you are here, in this form, on this planet
No matter if you have one life partner or many people you share your being with
Enjoy life with those you have been fortunate enough to be set into existence with
To be placed in this moment with
You placed yourself here with them
They placed themselves here with you
You are in each other’s lives to share LOVE between each other, to fully embrace this life together
That looks like nothing except LOVE
It looks like GOD
Being GOD together

Me, as a Seed

poppy pic lolo

          If I were a seed I’d, at first, be part of a plant. Depending on the plant, my own process for becoming a plant could involve a number of different adventures. For instance, the wind could blow me loose and I’d soar through the air. Maybe soaring low, maybe soaring high, until I landed on soil.
          Or maybe I’d land on a bird, or a ground dwelling animal, that would carry me even further. Foxes are cute and clever. I’d like to take a ride on a fox.
          Or maybe an animal would walk by, brushing the plant I’m currently a part of, I’d attach to its fur and I’d travel that way; by deer or by jack rabbit.
          Maybe heavy rains would wash me away from my parent plant and I’d travel by small stream until the stream gave way to creek or river or merely to saturated soil.
          Or maybe I simply fall from my parent plant, landing not too far away, as they stand over me or as they wither back into the soil.
          Once resting, I’d wait.
          I’d wait for the right amount of moisture to soften my protective outer shell. I’d wait for the right conditions, the right temperature. Worry can not touch me. My intuition guides me in every moment, especially the most important ones. Without doubt or even questions, I’d begin to let go, to open up, to embrace allowing my insides to bring forth a gift from the divine. What I become has always lived inside of me. With the right amount of sunshine, I’d burst forth on to the already magical scene, adding my own special, undeniable touch.
          I’ve been here all along, it’s true. But, in my intended and inevitable earthly form, I and the world around me are more aware of my presence than ever. All of nature embraces me, Life embraces me, I embrace me.
          I might provide sustenance. I might provide joy through my beauty. I might provide shade and protection through my leaves. I will most certainly just be. Just being is the thing.
          And I’ll grow seeds of my own that will fall, hitch a ride, ride a wave or just wander away to their own destiny. They are me, and I am them, in this endless, beautiful wave of existence.

Who Was That Girl?

Who was that girl who dated the first guy that took interest in her pretty much EVERY SINGLE TIME?

Who was that girl that focused solely on her goals and didn’t concern herself with fear?

Who was that girl that binge ate out of spite when she was with the boyfriend who was overly concerned with her weight?

Who was that girl that ran because she loved how free it made her feel and ate what made her feel energized?

Who was that girl who overindulged in alcohol, usually way more than everyone else, when having a night in with friends?

Who was that sober girl who always felt empowered and in control of her destiny?

Who was that girl who obsessed over every unattainable guy in her life?

Who was that girl who focused on and excelled in whatever she put her mind to?

Who was that girl who made herself miserable comparing her current life with the one she imagined for herself?

Who is that girl who feels peaceful knowing she is exactly where she is supposed to be?

Who was that girl who blamed herself for every unsavory thing that happened to her?

Who was that girl who broke free of old shame producing lies and started tapping in, in a way she could never have imagined? 

Who was that girl who was so concerned with being wrong and looking stupid that she didn’t open her mouth?

Who is that girl who speaks up for herself and those she loves? Who gives voice when one might not otherwise exist?

That was me. That was me. That IS me. 

Just Believe for Twenty Minutes

I was recently watching an episode of Doctor Who that I had not yet seen. For any fans, it’s the episode titled, “The Eleventh Hour.” The first episode after Matt Smith has taken over as The Doctor and Amelia Pond is meeting him for the second time, having first met him when she was a child. The world is ending in twenty minutes and The Doctor, as usual, is trying to save it. However, Amelia thinks that The Doctor may just be a figment of her imagination. She’s convinced she’s losing her mind so, in an attempt to give herself more time to sort it out, she closes The Doctor’s tie in a car door and locks it, essentially holding him captive. The Doctor, urgently trying to free himself, tells Amelia, “Just believe me for twenty minutes.” And it works. She lets him go and (spoiler) they save the earth, once again.

Just believe for twenty minutes. That phrase really stood out to me and I found myself imagining the different ways in which I could apply it to my own life.

Self doubt comes to mind first. In any situation where we are unsure of our abilities, couldn’t we choose to believe in ourselves for just a short time? To believe for even just twenty minutes? Just long enough to avoid 20 minutes of anxiety or to get the ball rolling on a new way of viewing ourselves.

I don’t recall where I learned it but, somewhere along the way, someone taught me to break up large tasks into smaller ones to make them more manageable. One way to do this is with time. Tell yourself you’re going to spend just 30 minutes (or 20 or 60) on a task, rather than committing to the entire task, just to get yourself started. More often than not, once you’ve started, you keep going and you get a lot more done than you would have had you avoided the task altogether. The worst case scenario being that you worked on the task for the amount of time you committed to, which is still not a bad scenario.

Couldn’t we apply this same concept to how we feel about ourselves or feel about our abilities to give us just enough empowerment to take action? What if instead of avoiding creating that budget, starting that business you’ve been dreaming of, writing that blog post, or asking out that friendly barista, we told ourselves that we are capable and we are worthy for just a short time. Maybe it’s not possible to believe in ourselves all of the time but pretty much anything can be believed for a short time. When we watch sci-fi or fantasy movies (most movies really), we suspend our disbelief for 90 minutes on average. Why not suspend our disbelief in ourselves for just 20 minutes at a time? Over time, getting used to what it feels like to trust ourselves, we would then have the ability to suspend our disbelief for longer and longer periods of time. Maybe even believing in ourselves more often than doubting ourselves.

Envision what a different life we’d lead if we imagined ourselves into doing things we would normally visualize ourselves too shy or unintelligent or too old or too fat to do. We would start to challenge our long held beliefs about ourselves and about our place in the world just through sheer imagination. If we can imagine or believe ourselves into NOT taking charge of our lives, into staying in our current, inhibiting patterns, routines and habits, then we can most definitely imagine ourselves into DOING what we have always wanted rather than just wishing for it. We hear over and over again that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. That trying and failing is still success versus not trying at all. But so many things still seem out of reach for many of us. We hold ourselves back. We procrastinate. We tell ourselves, even if in subtle subconscious ways, that we don’t know what we’re doing. We convince ourselves that we will always struggle with money, that we will always struggle with weight/health or with relationships or with all of the above. Yet, for many of us, there are no physical barriers holding us back, only mental ones. So if we can imagine ourselves into a life that we don’t fully love, that means we can CHOOSE to imagine ourselves into a life that we WANT to live. We can imagine ourselves taking first steps without knowing the outcome and imagine ourselves being healthy enough to cope with failures or setbacks, being able to continue on. If we believe for even just a short time that we are capable of anything then that becomes our new reality. We’ve created the life we currently live and the person living it. We can choose to create another life, another us.

“What you do in life chooses you. You can choose not to do it. You can choose to try do something safer. Your vocation chooses you.” – Jim Carrey

“[Peak experience] involves a renunciation of the notion of the perfectibility of man.  Man can be perfect – but for five minutes . . . in a peak experience. Some great moment. It’s possible. But we just can’t stay perfect. You must give up the notion of the permanent heaven. We can get into heaven – but for five minutes. Then you have to come back to the world again.” – Abraham H. Maslow