journey

Why Size Matters.

Women will give coy smiles and giggle, then say, “It’s not about size, it’s how you use it.” But that’s a lie.

Because a heart closed by fear, pessimism, and doubt can’t be used, not fully.

Let’s go Dr. Seuss for a minute with the Grinch.

00 grinch

The dude had serious issues beyond eye twitching and dressing his dog up like a reindeer. Why? Because the Whos down in Whoville were celebrating life. Okay, Christmas, but there’s a bigger picture here. They were happy and he wasn’t, so they weren’t allowed to be happy.

This goes back to heart.

The narrator cleverly inserts: “But I think that the most likely reason of all, may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”

00 grinch heart

(CSI-like Exhibit A)

Closed or shrunken hearts can happen over time. Let’s face it, life isn’t always happiness and giggles. Cycles of unhealthy relationships are handed down from generation to generation like keepsakes. Moreover, if you’re not willing to participate in the negativity and codependency, then your punishment is withheld affection and love. Yes, love is used as a punishment in these dynamics.

But people have the power to smash the crap out of those cycles and make different choices.

I’ve written it before but it bears repeating:

The heart is like a universe, incomprehensibly vast and continually growing to accept new situations and people; never filling up because it’s endless.

While it can’t be filled, it can close off or get smaller.

How to stop it?

Well, there’s no ultimate manifesto of love, but I have a few ideas that are working for me.

  1. Only allow positive things and people in. This isn’t a call to arms to block out everyone who might be having a bad day, but it is a suggestion to love people who are chronically negative from a distance.
  2. Watch your words. Pay close attention to what you say, think, and write. If the majority of it isn’t positive, then stop and change it. Bring your thoughts and words back to hope. Evaluate the negativity, then turn it around to see the lesson in a situation or how to change it altogether.
  3. Make a conscious choice to take responsibility for your own personal happiness. Do, say, live the things that make you happy, and stop doing the things that don’t.
  4. Walk away. If someone is committed in a Grinch-like way to arguments, fighting, gossip, and misunderstanding everything you say, then pull up stakes. Life isn’t a battle. You don’t have to prove a point or argue one. Save your sanity and peace, then slip out the backdoor.
  5. While I’m on the subject of gossip… Don’t.  Gossip is an ugly habit and hurts people. Period. So embrace the love and turn the conversation to how your kid picked every flower in the garden because he thought it was Mother’s Day, then destroyed the kitchen making soggy cereal and glitter laden cards. Everyone will chuckle, and you’ll all feel better.
  6. Be honest about what you want, who you are, and do it unapologetically. Again, not a screw you to the world. A simple to say: this is what I want for my life, and I respect what you want for yours. Sometimes, people don’t want the same things. Sometimes people choose to accept who you are and sometimes they don’t. The ones who support, understand, and respect your choices (and you) will stick around. The others will lose interest and find something or someone else to occupy their time. Not good or bad, not a statement about your worth or theirs, but a sincere realization that not everyone will get you. They don’t have to because it’s not their life.
  7. Control is an illusion, so don’t waste time or energy trying to master it. We have control over one thing – our choices. Not the consequences, not other people, not anything else that exists in the world. Only the choices we make. Take your time, choose as wisely as possible, then learn from everything that happens afterwards. If it gets totally screwed up, then make a different choice next time, but don’t wallow in what ifs. That’s a quick road to depression, anxiety, and crippling fear. This is 40 plus years speaking here. Again, save your sanity.
  8. Life is an adventure, so live it. Sometimes I go out and enjoy the world, but most days I’m perfectly content with doing that in my own backyard. If skydiving is your adventure, then do it. Just don’t ask me to go with you. I don’t jump out of perfectly good planes.
  9. Peace is an active pursuit, find it daily. Whether you’re into meditation or vegging to music or driving dirt roads with the windows down, take a moment each day to actively pursue things that put your soul at ease. Peace isn’t going to come find you, you have to search it out. As you remove negativity from your life, it’ll get easier to find, but it still takes conscious effort to live until it’s a natural state of being.
  10.  Remember your heart is a universe and big enough to love the entire world. Do you have time to love the entire world? Probably not, but my point is – just like when a new baby is born – hearts and families expand to accommodate one more person. It’ll continue to do it for the rest of your life. New family members, friends, and even strangers on the street, there’s no end to how many people you can love. And just like the Grinch’s heart, yours will grow and grow until it’s nearly bursting out of your chest. But don’t worry, it won’t pop or anything. It’s custom made by some cosmic force to be pliable and stretchy.

This is you on love, only maybe not so green and minus the Santa suit. 🙂

00 grinch heart grows

 (CSI-Like Exhibit B)

Is this going to change the world?

Maybe, maybe not.

Can it change your world?

Well, that’s for you to decide. All I know for certain is I’ve been traveling this path for a while and slowly putting these into practice. Sometimes I really suck at it, but I’m getting better. And in the process, I’m living happiness and peace in a way I never have before. When I screw up, I make a different choice. When things start flowing, I keep doing them. Things like lying in the backyard and hanging with my family while watching the sun set. If that isn’t pure love and happiness, then I don’t know what is.

Categories: allowing the positive, conscious choices, happiness, heart, honesty, journey, life, love, patience, peace, relationships, self reflection, spirituality, the next step, what matters to you, what once was | Tags: | 1 Comment

Cerise Dawn

0 red dawn

* * *

Cerise dawn,
lawn still fresh with dew.
She withdrew to uncover
spades large enough,
their rough watercolor edges,
and smooth ledges worn by love;
all scenes she could not see.

Dug in,
she begins the task
to unmask stalemates
that bind her heart.
Another start, but no falter.
She’ll halter the opines
until the job is done.

Letting go,
walk slow to keep from tripping.
The ripping no longer sounds
like bugle calls at twilight,
No night to halt the day,
these memories stay intact,
but lack the shadow
pain once cast.

* * *

Healing for the mind… and heart… and soul. 🙂

Categories: behind the words, certainty, Choice, choosing faith, heart, hope, journey, lettng go, rebirth, scars, unconditional love | Tags: | Leave a comment

First Steps

“And  the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the  risk it took to blossom.”
~ Anais Nin

* * *

Pain.

We suppress it. Look for any possible means to avoid it. Some people choose drugs and alcohol, others throw themselves into love, while still others are addicted to chasing after it as a completely different type of escape.

I did everything I could to avoid feeling the pain of losing that relationship—threw myself into writing, created the entire illusion of a life, including temporary relationships that would dull it for a time. Sure, they were all very nice, and the life I’ve created is less of an illusion now, but the truth is I needed to feel the full unbridled emotions of loss in order to move forward.

We all need to mourn. For many, they never get the chance to say goodbye. The long slow transition from lovers to friends hadn’t allowed me the closure I needed to let go of the first to fully embrace the second. I do blame him for part of that. My repeated attempts to say, “This is the end of the romance we had” were met with opposition because in some ways he was never ready to let go either. But, and this may sound harsh, his selfishness in not allowing that final moment, that final kiss prolonged what should have been a faster transition.

There would have been pain either way, but at least there would have been closure too.

After lying in a puddle on the kitchen floor, trembling and sobbing, the white-hot stabbing pain in my chest became a dull ache. It’s not over completely, one day of mourning isn’t likely to bring finality to anything, but it’s a start—one that was a long time coming to bear.

Happiness and bliss are wonderful, and I’d like to say that we grow more from love than anything else, but we’re human. So I’m not going to lie to you. Pain, loss, grief, anxiety, fear—they’re all a part of the cycle of growth and life. We must dig deep to find the tools to deal with them, instead of burying everything in an endless cavern for fear we won’t survive. We’re stronger than that, and built to withstand the successions of death and growth that face us. It’s a fact of our existence that everything eventually ends.

We are then confronted with another fact—The Next Step.

Where do we go after challenging our demons? Up?

Do we wake to another sunrise, drag out of bed, and then fall down into slumber to start again? Yes… and no.

Well, after a bout of compression (down cycle) we then move into expansion… or at least we’re supposed to. Some people get caught in a Bi-polaresque growth/death scenario because they have yet to fully deal with the pain. It’s rapid and destructive and tends to pull people back repeatedly. As long as we’re imprisoned there, we’ll never reach the expansion (up cycle) part of the journey.

Now, I’m not saying that up cycles are all giggles and laughs, but what’s important is the emotional and spiritual growth that happens because of the new tools we learn. Better ways to tackle anxiety, facing a loss instead of hiding from it, accepting failure as a part learning a better way to do something, creating long-lasting relationships built on a basis of love and trust, living in a daily state of happiness because you’ve seen the darkest days and know that the sun will eventually rise. All of these build a foundation. In them, we find that life can be as remarkable or ordinary as we choose to make it.

Ordinary is fine. However, most people choose it not because they desire a generally calm state of being, but because they’re afraid of facing pain, loss, grief, anxiety, and fear. Hiding ourselves from the world won’t stop any of those things from finding us, and can actually contribute to extended compression cycles in which no growth occurs.

Remarkable takes less work than most people think, but requires greater risk—risk of heartache, of loss, of failure, of everything not turning out in a precisely calculated way. But some of the best things, the greatest blessings in my life happened by sheer accident. I didn’t seek them out, but was open enough to let them in when they appeared.

That’s the way the universe works, it’s random and beautiful and calculated and spontaneous all at the same time. We may not know what lies in wait around the next corner, but after facing the darkness and coming out alive… what do really have to fear and what can we gain by risking it all?

Categories: belief, certainty, Choice, choosing faith, heart, hope, journey, lettng go, loss, love, moving forward, relationships, taking risks, the fear that binds us, the next step | Tags: , | 4 Comments

The Business of Writing

0pen

*

So often writers complain about lack of inspiration or writer’s block. It’s not that these aren’t issues for us, but I see a larger problem behind the complaints. The best way to illustrate exactly what I mean would be to chronicle my journey as a writer.

When I first started writing, I waited for that lightning strike of inspiration to begin a post or story. Convinced that writing was a matter of feeling the words, I would go for days or weeks without putting pen to page, and then emotionally vomit out words. The posts were fair and well-received, but in all honesty they weren’t anything earth shattering. Sure, I had my own style—slightly clunky at times—and form. Again nothing any other writer couldn’t do.

This process applied to my novel as well. I would wait days, weeks, or sometimes months before I would block out a scene because I thought the universe needed to send me just the right inspiration to write it properly. I’d used everything from the dishes to laundry to my kids as an excuse as to why I wasn’t open to that divine hammer wallop.

The truth? I’d chosen not to do the work, chosen not to put in the long hours required to write properly or continually.

It’s akin to a toddler throwing a tantrum. “I can’t write, I can’t write, I can’t do it! You’re not gonna make me until I’m good and ready.” Yep, that was me inside my head.

*squeezes temples in shame*

After working with some incredible editors and writing coaches, I began to see the cycle clearly—the choice I’d made time and again to not write. Even now I fall back into that pattern for a little bit before I stop, reset, and refocus.

The work of a writer is not in waiting for inspiration or the right mood, it’s a dedication to putting our rears into the chair and blocking or outlining or actually writing. There’s never a lack of stories or subjects, only a lack of commitment to our craft. That may sound harsh, but more often than not I find that it’s true.

Writing is hard work. To do it well, we must continually hone our craft through reading, taking classes, writing, blocking, or working with people who can help us see through our bad habits. It requires the same devotion as any other profession. In order for us to continue to grow we must make the choice to work hard and work often. That’s the cold, hard, in our face truth.

Having said all of that, I do believe that taking a break from a WIP—consciously putting it aside for several months—can give us a new perspective. Time is good for that, but it doesn’t mean that we walk away from writing altogether. There are still other stories, posts, or craft-based books for us to seek out. Again, we must choose to evolve or find something else that better suits our personalities and passions. But even then, we’ll still need to put in the effort to make that new passion a success.

So, I guess this post is a call to action, a call to my fellow writers to make the choice to write instead of excuses as to why it’s not happening. I know it’s in you, I’ve seen the incredible universes inside your head. Make the choice to live out your passion whether or not you know exactly where it’s going or how to get there. All journeys start somewhere and it’s the steps in-between that make every moment worth it.

*Heart Hugs*

Categories: Choice, Craft, Inspiration, journey, writing, Writing Process | Tags: , , | 12 Comments

Certain & Full

*

Grace bound

Not found, or lost

just tossed into humanity

A quick turn of clocks

tick tocks of phase

Center stage never ample

Its light too bold

for them to uncover

 

Cloud bound

Da Vinci’s sound, or silence

piece defiance collected

His turn of the clocks

still mocks the sage

Their page never ample

His riddles too bold

for them to discover

 

Rhapsody bound

Wings drown, or amplify

the mortality she hides

Her turn of the clocks

a flintlock ready to fire

Phoenix pyres always ample

Her rebirth too bold

for them to suffer

*

“And down the waterfall, Wherever it may take me…”

Categories: behind the words, belief, certainty, clocks, found, heart, hope, journey, moving forward, purpose, rebirth, the universe, time, unconditional love, wings | Tags: | Leave a comment

Seeds

I marvel at the simplicity of a seed. It’s a self-contained universe, ready to grow into an incredible creation of the universe given the right conditions. But without those conditions, it becomes hard and lifeless.

It makes me wonder if people aren’t similar to seeds. We all have incredible potential at birth. Capable of growing into great artists, musicians, leaders, inventors, or the support system that makes it all work. We all serve a purpose, even if the conditions surrounding our growth aren’t ideal. But I wonder what would happen if we were given everything we need–enough sunlight, love, water, and just the right soil to sprout roots.

Would we grow into the mighty Sequoia that stand against the elements for centuries? Would we become the beautiful rose, blooming season after season until the universe shifts to transform our energy into something else?

What does it take to help that seed evolve into exactly what the universe intends it to be?

I can’t say for sure. I know it has something to do with unconditional love and support. I know most people never experience either… at least, not from those around them. I know we are more apt to damage what we seek to foster. I also know we can’t do it alone. If we could, then only one person would exist on this planet.

Categories: belief, childhood, hope, journey, messages, purpose, relationships, seeds, the universe, unconditional love | Tags: | 4 Comments

Crossings

Disquiet

hubris and lassitude

don’t sooth their rendition

the trinkets wallet-bound

though sound, grant little warmth

while, his torch only serves

to light a dim sign

this time has passed.

 

In the distance

where sea meets sky

the chariot flies soundly

winged triumph on still waters

as denizens find footing

on rock-ridden shores

the score of fury

a flurry, now tamed

 

Multifarious

hidden talents

salient in their reach

each given without cause

the flaws of big-heartedness

a barrier to this trek

yet she will not back down

heart-bound to love

 

Of sinew and bone

lone rider of swans

the dawn of chariots

drops to distant horizons

as the raucous caws

from gnashing claws

falls deafly behind them

Categories: heart, in the cards, journey, life, love, purpose, swans, the universe | Tags: | 3 Comments

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