Writing Prompts: Tattoos and Twin Flames

Topic of the day: What tattoos do I have and do they have a meaning?

Yes, I do have a tattoo. I actually mentioned this as one of my interesting facts in another entry. (I’m also in the process of planning another tattoo as I type.)

Right up front, I’m a very spiritual person. I’ve read, and still read, a lot. I’ve experienced things people would never believe. I’ve explored different areas of holistic mind/body therapies. There are a lot of things I’m happy to discuss. Some things, I won’t because I have to gauge my audience and some are not open enough to hear things without judgement.

I should preface this with some background I suppose. This is one of the parts of my heart I wear fairly openly – you only need ask me. I may not go around talking about it much (though I have written on the topic) but I’m sure people catch on the more they know me. I am, what is commonly coined, a hopeless romantic. I’m in love with the idea of love. Especially epic, time-and-space, destined-since-the-dawn-of-time kind of love. I have been ever since I was a very, very young girl. I devoured books that had the kind of love stories that I desired for my own life. ( SIDENOTE: All of the stories I mention below were BOOKS first, not movies. The books are what inspired me.)

Now, I’m not talking about Romeo and Juliet. (The only one of Shakespeare’s plays that I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT DEAL WITH BECAUSE THOSE TWO ARE COMPLETE IMBECILES AND NOT ROMANTIC AT ALL. Sorry. But it’s a fact.)

I’m talking like Chris and Annie Nielsen in What Dreams May Come. Or Clare and Henry in The Time Traveler’s wife. Or Catherine and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. As you can see it’s not all about happily-ever-after love stories of Disney fame. These are the real, nitty-gritty, “What would you do for the one who is your twin flame?” kind of stories. How far would you go into the heights of heaven and the depths of hell, just to be with the one you love, in any capacity possible?

This topic I could delve into very deeply, but there is no time, so let me sum up: There’s a dichotomy of love that I struggle to understand about my self. I’m very much about free-will. You make your own destiny and way in life. But I also believe, in that journey, somewhere along the way, wherever our souls have been, we’ve chosen to do so with a Twin Flame. The other half of us. Whether this particular existence is about the human journey or not, I won’t know until I pass to the other side. But the concept in quantum theory, that we are living across multiple planes of existence simultaneously, would make this plausible to me that we have little pieces of ourselves floating around that could be put back together to make a bigger “whole”. Which makes it sound pre-destined that in every life, you will meet this person. It’s not. It’s already a choice you made, you are already connected and it’s already happening (much like the premise of “Somewhere in Time” another one of my epic faves) ANYWAY………. I won’t confuse you further BUT I have always felt a pull to a relationship that doesn’t “complete” me but actually enhances me to be someone outside of my frame of reference. Something that entices me to become more than I am in this very moment. With someone that is meant for me and I’m meant for him. For as much as I have wanted it, I have also run from it.  BUT before I get too far down the rabbit hole, let me focus up and finish the assignment. I’ll save discussion on the above for another day 🙂

How this ALL ties in, is that the tattoo I currently have, is one that I got when I was 18. It’s two roses intertwined in a circle, which is a symbol of one manifesting their twin soul mate. You can Google it these days and find all kinds of interpretations. When I was 18, the internet had only been released to the public for about a year. (Yes I know this dates me) So I didn’t have that to guide me.

This was a tattoo of a symbol that I’d literally had a recurring dream about. And still do. I researched copious amounts of spiritual books on it. Then one day, I found a thin book, that was simply a book on religious symbology. On a page towards the end, I found the exact picture of what I was seeing paired with a small blurb that simply said “The manifestation of love. Love for yourself and love for another. Where it meets at the top is where two become one.” That one little phrase encompassed the very circumstances of my recurring dream. So when I was 18 and nobody could stop me, I got the tattoo that was calling for me.

It is located around my belly button which is located in your “Root” Chakra. Now I didn’t know much about Ayurveda at the time. All I knew was that was where I wanted it. Now, of all the myriad of places I had chosen, this was one of the more painful places you could ever do it. But that was where I wanted it to be. What I came to learn was that the Root Chakra your base sense of safety and security during our journey on this earthly plane. It’s “grounding” as it were. Your foundation of what you need grows from there.

So in line with my beliefs, my experiences on how I viewed love, how I received love and how I sought love, this spot made a lot of sense. I’ve always lived my life coming from a place of love and empathy and compassion. It’s gotten me into trouble a couple of times, but I still believe it to be the best way to live. Even in the moments where I feel impatient and angry and lash out, that only lasts for 2.5 seconds and I revert back to a place of patience and compassion.

Despite my innate sarcasm on many topics, the root of my spiritual beliefs start here: The only thing we are on this planet to do is learn how to love and forgive and grow. The rest doesn’t matter.

So there’s your longwinded story about my tattoo. 🙂

Until the next entry.

Writing Prompts: Fascinating Folks

Missive goal: Someone who fascinates me and why?

While there are many people who fascinate me, I think I have to narrow it down to the one man that has shaped a HUGE portion of my life: Walt Disney.

 

dbmwaltelias
This is one of my FAVOURITE pictures of him – taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt

My fascination with Walt came to me at a very early age. You see, rumour has it, that I was conceived on a trip to Disneyland. It has been embedded in my psyche from a very early age. It was considered my safe haven, my home away from home. It made sense, in the moments that I couldn’t physically BE in Disneyland, I read all the stories and books they based their movies and attractions on. And that included the books of how Disneyland came to be. And then from there, it became about reading books on Walt Disney himself. I became more and more fascinated as time went on. What made him tick? How did he come up with all of his ideas? What was his life REALLY like (behind all the sappy syrupy image that the Disney Corporation now feeds the public)? What happened after he died?

It made sense that as soon as I could, I got a job at The Disney Store. It opened the door to my many other adventures with Disney, and as far as work experience goes, to a now, 19 year relationship with the company.

When I moved to LA, the first thing I did was start to visit all of the places he lived, worked, played, and moved to. I am still working on that list. It’s very long and some things haven’t been so accessible to me. For instance, Clifton’s was a place he would frequent. But it was closed and then they renovated but now, finally, it’s open! So that’s on my list. And the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour that ends in his Apartment over the Fire Station on Main Street – haven’t done that yet either. Not that I need the tour – of the MYRIAD of books I’ve read, I already know many of his routines and walks around the park. But what I would pay the money for is the opportunity to see his Apartment. I have yet to see the man’s Apartment. Grr. Yes. I know I work there. But no, I have not found the opportunity yet. It will happen though. Worry not!

Now I suppose if he were alive, I’d be considered a stalker. I’d like to think that I’d be a very polite one though. I wouldn’t snap any “unauthorized” pics, or interrupt his dinner or anything. That’s not how I roll – I am the Queen of Etiquette after all. I would just hang out in the park and see if I could catch a glimpse. Maybe even shake the man’s hand, or *gasp* get to work with him on some crazy brilliant project like E.P.C.O.T. (and I mean the REAL E.P.C.O.T., not what took it’s place after he passed)

This is enough for now. It’s made me think that maybe I should start a blog page documenting some of the spots I’ve been etc….hmmmmmmm

TTFN.

Don’t Fall In Love With A Warrior

This is everything said beautifully.

Jamie Catto

Don’t Fall In Love With A Warrior

As his love will cast such blazing illumination upon you

That the darkest edges of your resistance will be etched too vividly for you to ever ignore again.

You will be faced with yourself in his reflection, and fixed with his gaze.

His care will trigger weeping for all the unloved places that had ’til now been left unheld

And you will be faced with your grief and your rage

And there will be a melting.

But though he’ll never save you from your pain

He will sit beside you, matching your breath

Supporting you invisibly until dawn rises again

Until your ribs ache with the opening

Revealing new spaces for your heart to reinhabit.

He will call you back to yourself from the caves where you’ve hid

Hid your power from the world, and from your self,

He’ll plant a question in…

View original post 234 more words

Writing Prompts: Bucket List Destinations

It’s two in a day again – I went to bed early last night and forgot to get this out!

The assignment: A place that I would live but have never visited.

This is, by no means, a fully comprehensive list of where I would love to travel. It would be hard to narrow down since I have so many places I want to go. And I’ve never been there, so have no idea as to whether I would really like it, but if I were to imagine I liked them, here are my top 10. Some of these are just “wants” but some of these are because these are places in my ancestry that are rooted there and I would love to visit and explore all of them.

1. PARIS, FRANCE

11224012_10153161576941931_2169129209117493323_n

I have ALWAYS wanted to go to France, for as LONG as I can remember. So much so, I even learned French. Still haven’t made it there yet though…

2. STIRLING, SCOTLAND

12190985_10153161582226931_4140379310276002363_n

Because who wouldn’t want to study abroad in a castle?? And a beautiful medieval town….

3. KENMARE, COUNTY KERRY, IRELAND

11220079_10153161586081931_2829381865037405569_n

It looks quaint and quiet and charming, especially being on the bay. I always imagine it to be lovely. And oysters.

4. LONDON, ENGLAND

12190860_10153161587296931_1842916415151235466_n
BECAUSE LONDON!!!!

5. GRUYERE, SWITZERLAND

12191781_10153161588056931_7440853805676991196_n
Well, Gruyere is one of my favourite cheeses, but I’ve always felt this place looked GORGEOUS. I feel like anywhere is Switzerland would be fine by me!

6. ANYWHERE IN NORWAY

I always see pictures of Norway and am absolutely floored by how gorgeous it looks. GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS! Who wouldn’t want to live there?

7. ROTHENBERG, BAVARIA, GERMANY

Because this picture, history, beautiful, and CASTLES!

8. STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

The amount of history here would keep me occupied forever.

9. CASTLE DOUGLAS, SCOTLAND

There are only ruins of the actual Douglas Castle at this point, but the town looks charming and modern all at once.

10. ANYWHERE IN WALES

12191760_10153161613771931_1477944590044571652_n

Because Wales looks beautiful and how could you not want to see all of the places like this?

Writing Prompts: 10 Things I’ll Tell You About Me

10 interesting facts about myself? I’ve always felt “interesting” is in the eye of of the beholder. But I will endeavour to choose the best facts I can come up with that seem interesting enough. I hate to be rote and just list off, but I’m lacking the brainpower today. Here we goooooo…

1. I used to drive a bus. Way back in the day. Mostly because people thought I couldn’t. So I made them lose their money when they bet I wouldn’t pass my DMV test. Hah!

2. I’m a sucker for anything lightshow/fireworks/lazershow oriented. I love sparkly lights.

3. I used to spend so much time reading as a kid, that my parents limited me to only reading after 7pm on the weekdays. Keep in mind, my grades weren’t suffering. They were just afraid I was becoming anti-social. Which, in a way, might possibly have been true. But I didn’t care and still read all the time anyway when they weren’t looking.

4. I have a tattoo that I got when I was 18. It’s two roses intertwined in a circle, which is a symbol of one manifesting their twin soul mate.

5. I love interior design and am known for reorganizing my house 3-4 times year.

6. I love fancy hotels. I love the designs and walking around the grounds. Especially the historic ones. It explains much of the first 10 years of my career working in them.

7. Dancing is my outlet.

8. I’m a LOT geekier than I let on. You see, back in the 80’s and 90’s, being a geek wasn’t the “cool thing” like it is now. I learned to hide it well to avoid the merciless teasing that true geeks had to endure.

9. My CD/Music collection numbers in the thousands. It’s a serious addiction for me.

10. I’m a classically trained singer.

There are lots more I suppose. But that’s some fun stuff I thought of off the cuff today. I’ll write more in depth on tomorrow’s post. 🙂

Writing Prompts: Romantical Firsts

So today’s assignment: My first love and my first kiss; if separate, discuss both. (My goodness, these questions sometimes make me feel like I’m signing up for some kind of dating event.)

These were two very different occasions actually. I won’t say any names here, just because this is online and all that.

My first kiss happened when I was 16. I worked at a pizza joint in high school and so did he. Even then, I was kind of a loner when it came to dating. Translation: I didn’t. So when I met him and we hit it off and it just kind of went from there. I’m afraid my tendency to remain a loner in the dating world eventually got in the way of things, but my first kiss was a very sweet and very romantic experience. He’d had 11 roses delivered to me at work “Just Because” and he was always the utmost gentleman. At the end of the night, he delivered the 12th personally, sealed with a kiss.

The first person I fell in love with? That’s a much more LOADED answer. If you know me, you already know the whole story. Now, keep in mind, there were some HARDCORE crushes that happened before that. But when I was 18, I met a man who became a “First” in many things. We started dating when I was 19. I ended up staying with him for 10 years.

Unfortunately it didn’t work out for a wide variety of reasons. And I learned the hard lesson of being in love with someone who wasn’t quite in love with me. To be fair, I’m sure he loved me. But I don’t know that he was ever IN love with me. If that makes sense. We had a lot of adventures and were very close and it was a very rocky road when I made the decision to go my own way and break up with him. Thankfully in the following years, we’ve found a peace about it all and it’s all in the past at this point.

A very sobering experience for me, when viewed in the frame of many other things happening in my life at that time. The way that it impacted my life was profound. It was a HUGE learning experience at the very level of my soul. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to go back to do things just a touch differently. But then I remember that if I did that, I would risk rewriting my entire history and there are moments I’ve had since then, that would have never come to me otherwise, and I never want to erase them. I would not be who I am, I would not know what I know, and I would not have gone through many things in life that led me to where I am now.

Until tomorrow mes amis!

Writing Prompts: A Few of my Favourite Memories

I have to write about my earliest memory.

 Surprisingly, I can remember quite a bit. It was what I remembered that caused me pause….It’s bittersweet, like many childhoods are. Some of it is a bit tragic in my eyes, and I don’t necessarily want to focus on that. I just want to release the emotional energy around those, forgive and forget. This may be a good exercise for me. Or exorcise, depending on your preference of words. So what should I write about? It says my earliest memory. My earliest memory of what? I suppose this is where I can take a little bit of artistic freedom.

I’ll give you some of my favourite earliest memories. None of the bitter. Only the sweet. They are now, at this point, more like sensations, fleeting sounds, smells and colors.

  • The sounds of the sports games emanating from the TV all the time. The sound of whistle as the refs made their calls. The sounds of the crowds cheering. That sound is still a very comforting thing to me when I hear it. My Grandpa Grim loved his sports. Sometimes I would sit with him, when I knew it was almost time for The Lawrence Welk show to come on. Then we’d watch that together and he would tell me stories of all of the classic movie stars and how Bette Davis and Joan Crawford never got along.
  • My Grandma Grim always let us watch TV in her room. We watched Singing in the Rain, Brigadoon, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, Gigi, The Last Unicorn….just to name a few. She even bought us little dinner trays so we could eat dinner with her while we watched.
  • The sound of the traffic on the nearby busy State Route when we stayed at my Grandma and Grandpa Grim’s. It was just far enough that if I listened to it just right, it sounded like the ocean was going all night long.
  • Living in Ashland, Oregon when I was SUPER little. I loved (and still do) going to Lithia Park.
  • Walking into the house after school and the smell of sautéed garlic and onions when my step-mom was making dinner. Sometimes it was the smell of a yummy dessert she was making. All the same, it made me feel cozy.
  • The sound of my Daddy’s keys in the door when he came home from work. This lasted throughout my teenage years. I would fall asleep on the couch after a very long day of school, horses and work, and he would come home from his swing shift and rouse me to tell me to go to my bed.
  • The smell of sawdust and alfalfa. I was an equestrian when I was younger, and these smells are one of the many staples of owning horses.
  • Fresh cut grass. Then it would rain for a while. The gloomy cool clouds would stay on even if the rain stopped. As the evening dusk descended, I could always hear the whistle of a train in the distance. It always struck me as a very lonely sound.
  • The sound of a good rain pour.
  • The smell of hops from a nearby brewery. Yes, the craft beer craze actually originated in Portland and as early as in the 80s. So there.
  • The lights of Portland at night as we would drive over the Fremont Bridge. I always thought that city was most beautiful at night.
  • Going to visit my Daddy at Cummins NW, where he worked as a diesel mechanic at the time.
  • My Grandpa Larson always making his own dried fruit. Then blending it with the taste of the fresh batch of homemade yoghurt my Grandma Larson had just made.
  • My Grandma Larson’s owl paintings. I love all the little different shapes and sizes. These were among some of her first art pieces.
  • Hearing my Mom’s van coming up the driveway to pick us up for visitations. I was always super excited to see her and go on to our next adventure. Especially when we were going on a road trip somewhere.
  • Hotpot parties at Deanna and Eric’s with Mom, Michael and various guests. We’d all eat together, then the kids would wander off to play and the adults would all get shit-faced. We always heard them laugh uproariously, in excited conversations. Then in the wee hours it would get quiet and I would go upstairs to use the bathroom. All the adults would be in various stages of sleep (or close to it) under the table, on a couch, halfway up the stairs. It was hysterical and oddly comforting.
  • The sound of someone reading to me. I love being read to. One of the most peaceful things ever.
  • The little notes that my sister Kristie would leave me in books and jewelry boxes.
  • When she was super little, my other sister Patricia would crawl into bed with me in the wee hours of the pre-dawn. She would sleep with me until she heard our Mom coming and then jump out and go back to her own bed. You see, my parents were trying to break the habit. But I never cared and always let her anyway.
  • When my brother, Jeff, and I had to rake leaves in the yard, we would find hysterical ways of letting all of the yard rakes fly out of our hands in random moments whenever the chorus of “Beat It” came on the radio.
  • Sleeping bag wars. Us kids would put sleeping bags over our heads and wander around bashing into things whilst trying to catch each other. Probably not the best strategy, but hysterical nonetheless.
  • But my favourite earliest memories were three-fold. When I got to meet each one of my siblings for the first time. They were, and still are, among the loves of my life, from the very day I got to breathe them in. I couldn’t wait to hold them and feed them and love on them.

Of course, I’ve made many many more happy memories since my youth. These are just a few of the early ones.

 And now I bid you adieu. At least until tomorrow’s writing. 🙂

Writing Prompts: Social Media Faux Pas

There’s always a pro and con to everything, especially if we don’t remember to do things in moderation. As we all know, I don’t have any problems with doing things in moderation. (Yes, that’s sarcasm folks 🙂 )

So let’s pretend we all know some of the pros of Social Media – we are all on this platform for some reason or another, so we must find some value in the experience. Here are some of my thoughts on problems (sometimes AKA pet peeves) on Social Media.

1. You don’t know who you are really seeing online. The fun thing about this medium is we can post items of interest, pictures of fun things, and all kinds of super-spastically positive mantras. We think we have a sense of a person and we feel a familiarity with who we perceive them to be. HOWEVER you DON’T know them. You only see a carefully cultivated and curated image of what they want you to see.

You don’t see the bad days, you don’t see the ups and downs, you don’t see the neurotic insecurities; you don’t see how a person may advertise they are a go-getter but in reality all they do is go to work and come home and veg out and accomplish nothing. Or you may see all of the accomplishments, but none of the work, blood, sweat and tears that went into that one single moment. You might see an “empowered” woman who claims to be independent but really has someone behind the scenes completely monetarily providing for her existence. You might see a “gentleman” who professes he is looking for love, but then has no interest in maintaining any kind of healthy relationship.

Now none of these things are inherently bad – if you’re honest about it. It’s the lack of authenticity that bothers me. The images we cultivate based on some kind cultural popularity contest. It’s an empty and vapid existence. I love actually interaction – person to person. I don’t know who a person is online. I don’t know who they really are until I meet them, look them in the eyeball, and get a sense of their energy and have a valid in-depth conversation to see their facial tics, their gestures, and their emotional reaction to stimulus around them.

2. Trolling and Bullying. I think that speaks enough for itself. It’s disgusting and ridiculous that we still live a world where people are mean and violent. It’s gross.

3. Spastic Marketing Burst strategies and MLM marketing. They are shaming and dehumanizing and predatory. I don’t like how they are phrased. I don’t like the claim of “Work for yourself!” but yet there is one guy in charge of the whole pyramid who’s buying a yacht and sailing to the Bahamas, while you are spending $$$$$ on starter kits and giving even more money to this guy while you have a hard time moving the product. Newsflash: That’s not your own business. You are working for somebody else. And I don’t like the ads that are posted by individuals 5 or 6 times a day, proclaiming not to understand why I wouldn’t want to do better for my life by buying and/or selling a particular product. Then on top of that, we are going to “Like” our own status, “Share” it, “Comment” on it tagging 50 people, “Tag” more people in the update, and “Re-Tweet” it at all kinds of random people.

Yes, the internet is a great platform for businesses to advertise. But it’s a machine that has become a monster when unchecked. I have to go through constantly to untag myself and even block some people when it’s an egregious amount.

 4. “Selfies”, or as I call them, “Narcisselfies”. I try to hold back on this because I can be pretty opinionated on it. And let’s face it, we all do it. I do it too once in a blue moon. You’re feeling good on a random day so you post a pic of yourself. Epic Cosplay costume? Awesome! You’re in front a place that you finally get to visit for the first time, and you snap a pic. You’re with a good friend you haven’t seen in ages, and you snap that memory (I call those, “Ussies”) Those newborn baby shots with Mama and Papa. I find those moments to be quite touching, because it’s a legitimate moment in a very profound relationship. Nothing wrong with that. Artistic moment? Snap away.

What I find narcissistic and entitled, is when you go through a person’s photo album and it’s ALL selfies.Your feed is flooded with them. AND THEY TAKE PRIDE THAT THEY TAKE SO MANY! What the…..? They post 5-10 selfies a day. The girl with the duck lips and the drink her hand, striking a pose. The mirror shots. Selfies of “What should I wear” whilst giving the most provocative choices. Ugh. Really? You know you aren’t looking for advice on what to wear. Selfies in bed. SERIOUSLY! SELFIES IN BED? Especially those with your significant other. Don’t need to see that. Selfies in the BATHROOM??!! I meeeaaannnnn………

Then you scroll forward and find there are VERY few pictures with friends or family or in any kind of cool environment. When there are “Ussies” of them with friends, do me a favour – take a look at the focus of where the lens draws the viewer in – 90% of the time it focuses on the person in the foreground and the friends look like semi-random people in that joined them in the background.

It’s a good sign of the amount of narcissism that is present in your relationships with them. You’re not gonna get a whole lot of enlightened ways of being there. Just sayin’.

5) The lack of energy to energy human interaction. Yes, we interact online in many ways. But it’s caused us to care more about Friend and Follower counts, rather than quality of relationships. It causes a disconnect and we say things that can be construed in many different ways, oftentimes, never in the way we intended. Sometimes we are braver online than in real life. We say things we would NEVER say to someone’s face. We are often surrounded by more “casual” relationships (if you get my meaning) because there is more of an opportunity to just move on to the next latest and greatest, without actually looking inward and doing some self-reflection about what we might be (or not be) contributing to certain patterns in our life.

Much like air travel and highway transit systems, it has opened us up globally, yet has managed to isolate us and disconnect us with our immediate communities.

 I’ll wrap up this missive by saying, we all have to decide what we want to do with Social Media in our lives. Everyone is different and certainly entitled to their own way of doing things. But don’t be surprised when people receive you the way you’ve defined yourself. And if you don’t like how’ve defined yourself, change it.

Whooooooooo Aarrrrrrrrrrreeee Yooooouuuuuuu?

Every once in a while, I’ll post my morning reflections on Facebook due to some kind of random inspiration. (This one got a lil long so it ended up here.) Then again, I don’t believe things happen randomly. I believe in signs and synchronicity. Somebody needs to hear this message, so for whoever this is for, I hope it’s as cathartic for you to read, as it is for me to write it. 
 
Maybe it’s just the Fall time, but it seems this time of year, I’m reflecting. Always reflecting.  My career and things that I want to experience in life: places I want to go, chances I want to take, things I want to see/feel/smell/taste.

Last year at this time, I was reflecting on the very reason for my existence.  I had questions on what I was called here to do. Perhaps it was nothing. Maybe we are just a freak accident from an asteroid that hit Earth and there is no purpose. But then why would we strive for purpose in our lives, if it’s not something we are meant to have?  I felt called to do some things. Travel. Write. Act. Produce. Be in love.  But then when I would focus on those things, I would get thrown for a loop. Why? What was I doing wrong? I could go on with this. But you see what I’m saying here, I’m sure. 
This year, my reflections have gone past the reason of existence to, “Well, I’m here regardless. So what do I do with this time? How to I enjoy it?” I’ve had a lot of change in the last year. A LOT. I set about to change that question of existence to just being still and being in existence. Feeling every moment. Learning how to say yes and no. Learning how to actually take the road less traveled, not just talk about taking it.  Learning how to have faith in myself and my abilities. How to love myself.
This approach has utterly changed my life.  If you told me what I was about to experience in job, home, dating and spirit, I would have laughed.   “Yeah right”, I would have scoffed. “I’m never leaving my cozy cottage paradise in Altadena and moving to Orange county. I’m most DEFINITELY not going to be working Attractions in Fantasyland. And FOR SURE not going to be ….. <insert a million other things here>…”  Wasn’t the way I envisioned life happening. I had a plan for my lofty goals and aspirations.
But life. Life is what happens while you’re making other plans. Life swept me out to a very big ocean of self-discovery. I’ve always said, everything is always about learning and growing. It’s a humbling and enriching experience all at once; but a necessity. So while, this year’s ups and downs were not at all what I planned,  it’s made me the strongest I’ve ever been. I’ve had to, in a sense, break my heart open again to survive it. I’d been holding onto a lot of fear and pain. But I couldn’t go on like that anymore. I was getting in the way of myself.  I had put up a very strong wall around me. I had a hard time letting people in. In retrospect, I think I had to though, for a little while at least. I couldn’t let anybody else in when I wasn’t even letting myself in. I had to learn how to love myself and take care of myself. Not materially. Emotionally. Spiritually. 
 
Much like caterpillar has to build it’s chrysalis to protect itself while it morphs into butterfly, I had to learn how to grow within the very fears and pain I was trying to run away from, so that I could break through that wall and crumble them in bits of dust particles to be swept away from me by the winds of change, into the vast universe, never to be seen again.

Who Are You?
Who Are You?
 
When you learn to stand on your own two feet on a spiritual and emotional level, it is an exhilarating feeling. I can’t quite describe it. Materially, I’ve been on my own since I was 16. But spiritually and emotionally, this is the first time in my entire life, that I feel completely independent of anyone outside of me. Buttons and triggers that I used lovingly protect, are gone. I don’t need the validation from anyone else for my mere existence or ability to get through life. I was not made to be a marionette puppet and I learned how to stop acting like one.  This goes so much further than having control of the remote for the TV at the end of a long day. This is deeper than anything I’ve felt before. There is a sense of calm for me amidst the storm of life. Nothing and no one, will ever break me again. I could put my heart on the floor at a man’s feet, and he could stomp on it. But that’s not going to break me. Sure, it’s not gonna feel great. But it won’t shatter my existence, my very soul.  I could have conversations with my family about how I really felt about things in life, show them pieces of who I really am and I didn’t need their approval nor did I care if I got it. I have found a level of unconditional love for myself and others that I did not know I was capable of. 
Now this is not to say I don’t have my moments of frustration. There are PLENTY of those. But instead of letting those moments hinder me, I let them propel me. That’s the difference. It’s about making a choice to hold myself accountable for where I go in life and what I do. I can decide how to shape my attitude and emotional reaction around something.  I have NO control over anything outside of myself, let alone any other person. When I released that burden of responsibility, that’s what opened up unconditional love for me. I can choose to either say yes, or say no without dispensing judgement, and without taking judgement in.
 
I had written a status last year when contemplating some pretty big determinations  and life changes I had just made on my trip to Kauai. I always jokingly blame all of these life change on Kauai – but in a way it’s true. Kauai brings me back to life. Reminds me of the deeper parts of myself. It’s my spiritual spot. I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, I was finding, when got back into my routine in LA, I was starting to feel disconnected again. I searched for inspiration to help me reconnect. I pulled a book off my shelf, and it was the last book my Grandma Elsie ever wrote. These were the last words I ever had from her. And they were beautiful.
 
And that is what inspired this whole post was, today, the Facebook “On This Day” feature delivered those words to me again, at the very moment I needed to remember them. Without fail, I always hear the words of my Grandma when I need them the most. 
I feel compelled to share them again. New starts are bold & brave and humbling all at once. You have to shed all of the weight of your past, who you think you are and embrace your “highest you” that you can be. 
 
“Each of you, dream big. Fix your gaze
on that far place you know is yours to seize;
Set your steps to win, and when you
reach your dreams, new paths will touch your toes.
Your far horizon gleams
with treasure beyond imagining.
Choose, then, and go, our loved ones, go!
But go with God….
Becoming real takes faith in God:
Takes trusting more when doubts
loom large and fear sucks out our breath —
Takes being willing to walk blind
through sorrow —
Takes standing still,
when we want most to run —
When all is lost to struggle on —
Takes firm belief, no matter what,
that God turns bad to good….”
—- Elsie Larson
 
Take this with you. Be brave, bold and courageous. Go with love. You cannot fail.