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Authenticity, Learning, Relationship

Feeling Guilty? It’s Bound To Happen So Hug It And Let It Go.

We’ve all been there. After making a choice to do something we know we need for our own happiness / sanity / serenity / growth, a foreboding sense of guilt begins to slowly creep in.

We leave the person who hooked us up in our career. We end a relationship on its last legs because we know deep down we’re simply not connecting anymore. We leave the kids with a sitter to treat ourselves to a day at the spa.

After weeks of dreading about having to stick to plans we booked and knew we weren’t really feeling in the first place, we bow out gracefully. We do too much. We don’t do enough.  

All of these situations express our need to feel more free in our lives.

When we feel guilty, it’s a call from our soul to move more freely, choose more freely and be more real and open about our own needs and desires. It’s a call to set boundaries, expectations and speak from a place of authenticity.

We reach for more. We work harder. We work less. We reach our goals. We do more than people expected of us or ever thought could be achievable for themselves.

Some of us live with a constant sense of guilt because we know no other way. How could we possibly NOT feel guilty about doing something that feeds our ambition, soul or desires? Maybe we grew up in a household where guilt pervaded everything we did.

So then, we begin to feel guilty about feeling guilty. And so goes the vicious cycle.

We need to pause for a minute and recognize that, rather than trying to eviscerate the guilt or trying to ignore it, we need to simply let it be and let it go. We won’t magically start feeling less guilty one day.

We’re going to feel guilty. It’s literally the price we pay for being brave and acting on behalf of our soul. So I guess what I’m saying is that I’d rather feel guilty than feel nothing at all.

xo

Authenticity, Relationship

What It Really Means To Be Vulnerable. Because Intention Is Everything.

Vulnerability.

Authenticity.

We toss these terms around when we talk about what real and solid connections are made of and there’s a lot of merit in being wholly open with the people in our lives. When we share from a space of authenticity and vulnerability, we’re speaking to the very things that bind us all. We’re sharing thoughts, feelings and impressions about the deep-seated fears and desires that we don’t always easily divulge and in turn, we connect on a level of truth and trust.

We connect on an authentic level when we trust another soul enough to say the things that are hard to say.

We connect when we admit to the things that make us feel weak, confused, embarrassed or lost in this world and when we admit to the things we fear the most.

Rather than pretend that everything’s perfectly a-ok, we recognize that there’s something we need to face – a hurdle to overcome, something we aspire to, a fear to annihilate – and when we say it out loud, we take ownership of it. We take our power back. We own it for what it is and we begin to see ourselves in others when we begin to realize that we’re all afraid of something and often the same things.

But here’s what we need to remember when we think about being vulnerable, real and raw:

When we constantly repeat our fears – hoping to connect – we begin to weave those fears into stories and stories stick. Stories imprint in our DNA.

When we sit too long with the stories we tell ourselves, they become truth and no longer something to overcome or move beyond. They become part of our identity.

When we sit too long with these stories, we’ll often feel weighed down, defeated, restless and constricted. And when we begin to recognize that something has to give – that something has to change – these stories creep in as we’re trying to move along without them, reminding us why we can’t do what we know we need to do.

We need to recognize our fears for what they are and share them with someone we trust wholeheartedly with the intention to set them free. To let them go. To move ahead.

There’s magic in setting an intention to release and move beyond our fears. There’s magic in grabbing someone we trust, looking them square in the eyes and saying:

I’m afraid to…
leave this relationship
quit this job
accept this promotion
create this piece of art
take a chance on love
change

Because I…
might fail
don’t know what I’m doing
am afraid I might make the wrong choice
don’t think anyone cares
might get hurt
might have to do some really, really hard work

But once we say it, we must do so heart-fully, honestly and with intention.

Let the words brush our lips so as not to make a firm defining statement about ourselves but rather express it to allow it to leave our bodies.

And then keep going.

xo

Lifestyle, Relationship, Wellness

A Love Letter To Friendship

It was a brutal week for me and while typically I can easily spot the silver lining, I was finding it really hard to develop the negative into a positive picture. You brought me back to a place of calm despite the storm and practically spoon fed me poutine because you know that somehow that gravy-laden magnificence can make everything right in the world again.

We were both utterly exhausted (you were probably more so than I) but you stuck to our plans because you knew how much it meant to me.

You squealed with delight right along with me when I landed that gig.

You reminded me to keep going even when all I wanted to do was bury myself under the sheets, admit defeat and never try again. You reminded me that all the effort was worth it and that I was a better person because I put myself out there. You reminded me that you would love me all the same and I could see it in your eyes that you really, really meant it.

We danced like our lives counted on it and walked home arm in arm in the early morning sun.

You think I’m hilarious and witty and kind and brave. (I love that you see the very qualities I appreciate about you in me).

We cried together.
We prayed together.
We meditated together.
(All of which make you kinda uncomfortable but you did ’em anyway).

You always get the most thoughtful gifts.

You were straight-up when I asked for your opinion. You knew what was best for me and often know me better than I know myself. Gently shaking me out of my self-denial you unfailingly deliver the truth with kindness and respect.

You forgave me when I found it impossible to forgive myself. 

We don’t always agree or see eye-to-eye but that doesn’t stop you from supporting me because you love me for exactly who I am.

And you. My dear friend, you. I wouldn’t be the person I am today had it not been for you – had you not been a part of my life to remind me of everything that is good and pure and simply fabulous in the world. And for all this and so much more, I fucking love you.

xo

Image by Brittany Connell.
Authenticity, Relationship, Spirituality

Letter From Your Future

Dear Human,

Remember how your entire being ached after you lost in love? You vowed you couldn’t possibly ever open up again in the same way. You guarded yourself and tread carefully with matters of the heart. But I was there to give you time to heal, distance to gain perspective and strength to move on.

Remember when you would wake up restless in the middle of the night, your mind racing as you worried about your mounting bills? You felt like you were missing out, lacking something and struggling to survive. Yet you always had a roof over your head, solid ground under your feet and food on the table. You may not have had the biggest or fanciest house or lavish gourmet bites but I was always there to protect, support and nourish you.

Remember when you doubted that your body intuitively knows what it needs? When you dismissed how energizing it can be to stretch your muscles, walk, eat healthy, and breathe deeply. When you could see sickness and lethargy creeping in and instead of heeding the signs, you moved through your days as if nothing was wrong. When you could feel your thoughts reflecting your scattered energy. Yet here you are. You woke up this morning, you walked to work. You didn’t have to ask your body to get you to where you needed to be. You just got there.

There was a time when you felt like you had to have everything figured out. Here’s the thing: you can’t possibly have everything figured out and you’re not supposed to. Your experiences, the things that happen to and around you that make you feel something in the moment, and how you move through them all – that matters.

There was a time when you were obsessed about “finding your passion and purpose” in this world. Passion. Purpose. Those are just labels you use that actually complicate things that can be so very simple.

Does it feel good? Does it light you up? Does it make you spring from bed in the morning to check in and work? Do you fall naturally into flow and lose track of all time as you dive into it? Do you love it? Then go do it.

You don’t need to “find” anything. Your passion and purpose aren’t elusively hiding under a rock. You just need to be and allow things to unfold naturally. Recognize what feels right and trust that the more you make choices based on how you feel, the better you’ll get at knowing where to focus your attention and what to let go of. Don’t try to figure everything out. Just feel everything. Be. Love.

There will be times when you break down and question it all. There will be moments when hearing that ‘everything happens for a reason’ will positively infuriate you in the face of death, loss, sickness and struggle. But I promise you – in even your lowest moments and darkest times – when you think that you’re alone and there’s no rhyme or reason, there’s an invisible thread connecting your experiences resulting in the person you are today. And you’re fucking beautiful.

The point is to try not to busy your mind with over-analyzing and worrying about possible outcomes. Experience your unique experiences. Sit with the emotions. Refrain from judgement. Move through it all. Do everything with love.

Comparison will only rid you of your own personal growth and happiness.

And then.
One day.
You’ll find yourself in some place new, doing something that feels like home. And when your mind is at peace with yourself, your choices and your surroundings, I promise you that you’ll begin to see that invisible thread. And it won’t be about understanding it but rather, accepting it. Being thankful for it. And knowing that the less you try and the more you just be yourself – kinks, contradictions and all – the more things will continue to fall into place.

With mad, mad love,

The Universe XX