G – Go to it

“Go to it… Ask not what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go to it, because the worlds needs more people who have come alive.”

Yesterday was the final installment of Amy’s 7 Notes on Life, but my day was full of back to back family commitments (all amazing), and by the time I realized it was the end of day seven, it was time to rest my head.

The final note is Go to It.

And for Amy it is all about going to what makes you come alive.

I can say, today, I have gone to it.  Over the last 24 hours, I have watched my son play hockey, saw my daughter interact with her team at karate, shared a moment with my second family at my part time gig, spent a couple hours with my family, siblings, mom and kids celebrating and had an amazing night reconnecting with someone who has been absent for a little bit.

I have, without a doubt, found all the important things in my life that make me come alive.

Laughing, loving, planning, celebrating, being in the moment, sharing those intimate moments that cannot be duplicated.

In my 41st year, I am, alive.

And I am so extremely thankful for Amy’s Life Notes. It may be a little magical, maybe me beckoning the lovely, it could be trusting the connection in others, me doing what I know I need to do, treasuring the empty space that is granted once and a while, figuring out shit as it happens and definitely, going to what brings me fireworks and joy.

I have enjoyed honouring Ms. Krouse Rosenthal; the world is a better place because of her.  Her words brought me clarity when I needed it; and for that, I am thankful.

Axxo

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Figure it out as you go…

Figure it out as you go…

For those of you who know me, I can honestly say, in retrospect, I was pretty uptight when I was in the corporate rat race.

I would stress, plan, stress some more, over plan, worry, get stuck on the many, many endless details of whatever it was that was taking up most of the space in my brain at the time.

Amy’s sixth note, F, is for Figure it out as you go.

The very idea of this can have any Type A personality in a downward spiral of anxiety (and please, I’m not making light of any sort of anxiety or stress disorder as I truly believe I suffered greatly from both – resulting in a handful of panic attacks).

I was the classic Big A personality:  A temperament characterized by excessive ambition, aggression, competitiveness, drive, impatience, need for control, focus on quantity over quality and unrealistic sense of urgency. It is commonly associated with risk of coronary disease and other stress-related ailments.

Now, this is a fairly exhaustive and frightening description, but I would say, especially after having my daughter and going through two years of postpartum depression, this was me.  Now, I still think I knew how to have a good time and enjoyed myself when out with my friends, but even during my big annual Valentine’s Day Feasts, I would lament for months before the actual dinner, focusing on the tiniest of details.

Fast-forward to this year’s party, I catered in and set the table.  I was ready in less than an hour. I focused on the company and the rest just naturally fell into place.  Previous years’ parties would take me days to set up and I would avoid answering the phone worried my friends would cancel last-minute – what did that say about me?

This Note on Life is absolutely wonderful – like really magical, succinct, and timely for me.  If there is anything out of these 7 Notes that I adore most, it is this.  The reason F sits so heavy on me is that if you follow F, the rest just seems to happen organically and without thought or plan.

There is a part of my life I am not writing much on right now, which in itself is a little against the grain for me – but let me say this – my motto is Amy’s 6th note.  I am entering this facet of my life with no plan, no assumption, no worry or conviction of what should be, just sketches of the outlines (as she puts it) and know I will figure out things as I go.

Some friends have asked how I have walked away from being so regimented – I really don’t have the answer.  Maybe I realized in the end, having a full life of experiences and not a scheduled life of predictions is funner.

I am thankful for Ms. Krouse Rosenthal’s introspection on her Life Notes.

Like much in my life, I really didn’t have a plan of where this writing would go; the only thing I committed to (the rough edges drawn out) was that I would stick to the consistency.  Her Notes have kept me focused during an otherwise insane week for me.

And tomorrow, well, we’ll just see what happens – I choose to figure it out as I go!

Axo

Empty Space

Today was about enjoying the Empty Space; disconnecting and just being.

On the way to work today, I pondered this idea of Empty Space as Amy describes it in her 7 Notes on Life. To me, it is about enjoying the silence, the less busy and quieting the noise in our head.

I shut all my notifications off on my phone today on the way to work (all but text messaging and phone calls – well BBM as well for a separate reason but we won’t get into that). Part of the empty space is sometimes creating it where it may not otherwise exist.

Surprisingly, not having that constant distraction forced me to really look at my day; what thoughts I was left with, what plans I was making, who I daydreamed about. It was incredibility refreshing.

I am fortunate for undertaking these 7 days. I am learning more and more about myself, my misgivings and definitely what is truly important to my life.

How do you shut off and just be in that empty space? When was the last time you tried it?

Axo

Do…

Day four of Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s 7 Notes on Life bring us to D: Do.

She says in her TedX talk, “If I were to tell you to do that one thing tomorrow, you will instantly know what that is.”

The notion of talking about something as opposed to just doing it often times will lead to less of a likelihood of that “thing” coming to fruition. 

I believe this to be true.

I woke this morning, tired and a little confused as the alarm went off at 5am; but I knew today was DO day. 

So, I did. I won’t go into details as to what I did but it was something I really wanted to but let fear get in the way. I took a breath and just did. 

For today, do. For tomorrow, do. For the next day, keep doing. And as Amy says, don’t talk about it. Intention and action are very different. 

Do you know what you have to do?

Axo

We are all… Connected

As I approach the third Note on Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, the idea that this could NOT be something to explore boggles my mind.

But I don’t know what to write tonight.

I don’t know if I’m too tired, too drained, too quiet in my home, my feet too cold or my tummy too full, but the idea of explaining the notion of “we are all connected” literally has me in tears right now.

I believe this Note to be true.  Full stop.  I know this Note to be true.  Full stop.

And it is not because of social media, or online relationships, or anything of the like that could arguably TAKE AWAY from the pure, in-your-belly feeling you get when you are connected with someone eye to eye, face to face.

Have you ever walked by someone, and for a second your eyes lock and you both smile?  That happened to me today.  It wasn’t sexual, or romantic, or a glance down to see if there was a wedding ring moment – it was just two people who shared a feeling who may never see each other again – and then, it was gone.

This encounter reminded me that by stripping away all that we tend to rely on to keep us connected, the human soul will always go back to what it knows – finding in others a little love, a little light, a little laugh and maybe, just maybe, a little connection; that connection may last a few steps on the sidewalk on a sunny March afternoon, or the fortunate chance of lasting a little longer to help that connection grow stronger.

We are all connected – don’t fight it.  Soul mates may exist.  Life-long partners may exist.  I don’t care for labels any more; but whatever you call it, embrace the beauty of our fellow human beings.

We are all pretty fucking awesome.

Axo

Beckon the Lovely

As I continue my 7-part series on Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s 7 Notes on Life, I don’t think number 2 could have come at a better day or time.

Please see post on why/how I am exploring her Notes via yesterday’s post HERE.

BECKON THE LOVELY

“I tend to believe whatever you decide to look for you will find, whatever you beckon will eventually beckon you.” A.K.R.

For those of you who follow my social media or read my blog, you may have seen a wee bit of media attention towards a photography series my photog friend Julia Busato started called the #mannequinseries.  This series of photos featured naked women (and some men) posing with a ‘typical’ sized store mannequin.  I posed with the mannequin back in June as part of a gift to myself for my 40th birthday.  I did it for several reasons, mainly to celebrate where I was in life – not my healthiest, not my fittest, not my thinnest, but definitely my most liberating time of my life.  I was recently separated from a 21-year long relationship and finding myself again since 19.  I wanted to do participate in the series in order to ‘bookmark’ how incredible scared and excited I was to start on my own.

For my blog post on that topic, you can go back here.

Amy’s second note on life is to BECKON THE LOVELY.  This photo series went viral two days ago and in a matter of 36 hours, Julia was banned from Facebook and women from across the globe were reaching out commending her and the models who shared their bodies, stories and courage to produce art in a way that we all could connect.

Like, really viral!

My photo was one of the few photos that were removed – by Monday morning, it was gone as part of Facebook’s response.  I was curious on how people were continuing to respond to the album and my picture in particular; I logged on Monday morning to shift through some of the hateful comments and those that included empowering and encouraging words.

Now, prior to this, I had a very good friend of mine private message me this… (I love you, and I know you wont be mad that I’m sharing this)”

I started reading comments and am so upset I had to stop. I was going to start replying to some of those awful comments about you but I had to stop myself because I am just so upset. I am crying and shaking from anger and sadness and I just can’t. I just want to tell you that you are beautiful inside and out and I really hope you know that every second of every day and that I love you… I am just so sorry there are nasty people and I hate them being so judgemental… I felt the need to stick up for you but started to get soooo upset and angry and then crying…I had to close it.

I love her for being so loyal to me!  But, I quickly replied and said… “Their comments have NOTHING to do with me, but 100% of what they, themselves, are dealing with.  Their opinion of me is really none of my concern.

Now – I will be truthful here and I did reply back to some of the the over 700+ comments, but only to point out that ignorance is a terrible trap to be in; not so much for my sake but for themselves.  I stopped, though, much like my friend I knew there would be no positive result in defending what I did.  In fact, the very idea of defending my actions defeats the point of doing what I did.

Back to this idea of Amy’s Note #2 on Life – Beckon the Lovely.  I loved her quote in the above:  “I tend to believe whatever you decide to look for you will find, whatever you beckon will eventually beckon you.”

Do you believe this?  That whatever it is you decide to seek in life (positive or negative or even indifferent) is what you will attract?  I could have been stuck in that rabbit-hole of an abyss and continue to reply and comment and hate on those who had very awful things to say about me – instead, I chose to go through each and every positive and uplifting comment and LIKE and respond where needed.  I chose to beckon the lovely in what could have been a very ugly 36 hours.

What happened when I chose to do that?  Well, I was positively charged and found a voice in the cause behind my photo.  It was not super easy sharing my photo among my friends and family because, well, let’s be honest, I’m naked.  But the principle became so much BIGGER than any of our photos in isolation.  It was now a movement to push forward against censorship and the ability to express ourselves as we wanted.  My day was exhausting, but I am so happy I chose to beckon the lovely.

What are you focusing on today – what’s going right or what’s going wrong?  How a special someone’s words can make you feel amazing when you hear them, or the fact they are 4,000 km away and you can’t hug them?  That you have to get up at 6:30am for work tomorrow or that you are gainfully employed?

I’m choosing to focus on the fact that I have a choice in a lot of things in my day and life is just funner if you just do shit (that makes you happy).

Dedicated to the one who has helped me beckon so much lovely in my life.

Axo

 

Always Trust the Magic

I had the fortunate opportunity to have an impromptu dinner at a good friend’s house tonight.  Her thoughts as to why I wanted to come by were way off base – my reasoning was simple – to see her and catch up.  Birthdays, vacations and work shit had all taken place in the short span of two weeks, so we had lots to chat about.

The lamb was delicious and the coffee was what we both needed as we wound down our Sunday night.

I couldn’t help but profess how incredibly happy I have been; twice I think.  At one point as I was describing my why, she produced such a look of pure contentment on her face it made me stop in my tracks; I had to call her out on it.  I hadn’t seen that look on her face in a long while and, as it happened, she…

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