There comes a time in life when you look around and take stock and have to be honest with what and where you are.

Birthdays are that for me. Having just had one, it’s was a time to reflect and analyse.

I’ve had a life that was, at times, nasty and rough and hell to wake up to. This same life has had moments that took my breath away, times that I simply could not have been any happier without bursting was how I felt. Lots of times of just middle of the road “ok” as well. We all have. I know what it’s like to be miserable and unhappy in the truest meaning of those words. I count my blessings that my life is pretty good now. I have a lot to be thankful for – and I am.

So what’s worse than “bad”? It’s becoming complacent with less than what you really want. Becoming accepting and tolerant of the unacceptable.

So I asked myself what’s so unacceptable in my life? Settling. Not going hard for what I want. What I desire. Having dreams and goals and not making them happen.

I’m tired of listening to my Self desire and to seeing my Self no further towards the realization of that.

It’s easier to look around and say “it’s pretty good”. My son said to me the other day that he wonders who he thinks he is to feel that he should have it better than other people… That made me reply swiftly that not just him, but everyone, deserves – seriously deserves – the best and to have dreams and goals come to fruition. Then I had to sit back and wonder why I wasn’t necessarily living that sentiment myself.

I have been, for a couple of years now, allowing myself to start to grieve the death of my dreams as I get older. Shelving some aspirations as unrealistic or unachievable. Telling myself to stop dreaming and smarten up and just enjoy what I have and not desire anything else. There’s always something that comes up and demands energy and focus… and I allow that “something” to be not Me. I allow that “something” to take that focus and energy in entirety…leaving nothing for me to draw from to make happen what I want to happen.

I get slightly infuriated with myself when I take time to look at where I am with regards to achievements. Knowing that I am the only reason why I haven’t progressed further. Time to change that.

I look at travel options and lifestyle choices and I ponder and I think “one day” or “maybe” to things that I want, things that speak to me living my truths. Then I face the “why not?” … and the only answer is for me to get off my ass and make it all happen. No more waiting, no more “one day”. We all have a finite number of days and we don’t usually know what that magic number of them is, so….

Good enough isn’t good enough anymore. A nice life is nice…but I want one that sweeps me off my feet and leaves me breathless and grinning and saying “again!”. It’s my life, time to craft it, nurture it and make it that way.

That feeling, that vague something that you just can’t put your finger on the pulse of. That sense that something just has to give…
At times, like running blind and deaf, careening about as I scramble for a hand-hold in the darkness. It’s my Self, treading water, knowing that I can’t keep afloat indefinitely.

The spark that has caught and flickered is there. A part of Me is quietly sitting and blowing on the ember… bringing to life the flame… that part of Me that is waiting, less and less patiently, for me to acknowledge what I already know but can’t quite grasp.

Almost cyclical in occurrence. A knowing that I’m not realizing what I need to. What I should be.The frustration building. Small and not-quite-enough changes made here and there. the venting of the pressure to release before critical and allow the day to day to go on.

All the while the fire burns steady; stoking the ever rising force that screams for change, for transformation, for authenticity and abundance.

The sense of anticipation, of seeking and searching. Not for an answer… I know I’m the one holding the light to see the path… Waiting for what? To have myself lift the light a little higher, to see a little clearer… to realize what I already know. I have the answer, I just need to know it.

There have been brief times of clarity. Times when my spirit sits content and I feel … found… by my Self. Times that have been a struggle to hold to after they pass. A mourning for those times overcomes me as “real life” slams back in. Only reinforcing that it’s those glimpses of authenticity that are “real life” … they aren’t an escape or a distraction, they are how it should be… known because of how my Self soars at those times.

The unease with how things are is growing and I can feel the urgency there as the knowledge that change is afoot gets stronger.

Time to retreat, look inside, chart a course, light the path brightly and buckle up for the ride. I’m a hell of a good navigator and an even better driver ;).

Sitting in the sauna today … I look down and I see the ink on my forearm. By ink, I mean my tattoo. I have a number of them but this one is my newest. It is simple script and it reads “and she flew”.

Words that resonate with me and that were inscribed on my flesh as a reminder. A reminder of the freedom that I have inside of me. A reminder that I am blessed to have experiences that brought that feeling to me.
A tattoo that was brought about from a writing of mine that embodied a transition sought … Just days after that writing I found that freedom, that flight of knowing ease and peace. However fleeting it was, the knowledge that it was there inside of me was a gift to discover.

Today, at a time of struggling with life again, looking down and seeing those three words brings it all back.
And that was why those words were inked there. Reminders are helpful sometimes.

and she flew

wind dances in her hair, lifting and playing with the jumbled strands
the breeze kisses her
tingles bring a shiver to her as she roots to the edge
eyes closed softly against the view
the horizon’s image burned into her mind
the setting sun blazes but no heat reaches her
the season has turned and taken the warmth with it
leaving a chill mated with the sun now as it lowers in the sky
steady and strong is her stance
she waits
she knows when its the right moment
she waits
the movements awakens far inside of her
long before any perceptible sign is visible
she draws her breath inward
slowly and deeply, fully into her
her wings unfurl, expand, reach
face uplifted, eyes opening as she gazes
exhale and an effortless lean forward
not so much the freedom of flight she seeks
as it is the release of the weight she leaves
as she soars

and she flew

I had a quote pop into my head today from long ago: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” (Marianne Williamson) Have you ever wondered what and who you could be?

It’s scary to admit, even to yourself, that you’re more afraid of succeeding than you are of failing. Some people are so mired in who they are as the smaller version of themselves that they have become too comfortable there. Truly, the only thing in the way is what you’ve put there. What if all that energy and focus that now sits on the negative was instead directed and fueling the positive? Now that would be something…

We are so much more than we let our Selves be. Let’s lift the caution tape and take the blinders off and put the fear to bed and just live who and what we are. Realize the potential and say f*&# you to the little voices inside that say we probably will fail so why bother trying.

I see those around me struggling. I have clients and friends and loves who start and stop over and over with goals and dreams. Not just physical but life goals. Wanting to travel, wanting to go back to school, needing changes… and when push comes to shove and I ask them why not, what’s holding them back, what answer is there? There are excuses, there are shrugs and “I don’t know” or “I know, I need to change” or “I know, I should do that”, and then? Nothing. Followed by, a few days or weeks or months later, the same energy put into complaining or revisiting what they don’t have in their lives that they want. People who really are only limited by them Selves.

I referenced a little secret desire I have to be Lara Croft in my blog post yesterday and that’s what has been on my mind…For those who don’t know, Ms. Croft is the kick ass awesome independant sexy strong heroine of both the video game of the same name and the Tomb Raider movies. Suffice to say that my reaction the first time I saw her was “I want to BE her!” Ok, ok, also, that’s she’s hot, but that’s another post…

What was it that struck that chord in me? Her strength, her independence, her rawness in being who she is and living how she wants. Her physicality and skill. More than anything though, her strength. Even typing that, I see that I do embody a lot of those qualities. Which brought me to my musing of…what can I achieve if I really put my mind to it.

Just think…how amazing, truly amazing, can you be if you got out of your own way and let your Self actualize what’s already inside? That’s what’s been bouncing around in my head lately. What can I achieve if I really put the focus into eating well and regularly, exercising hard but balanced. Caring for my body and my mental health the best that I can. Where can I go in 29 days? Just how much can I do? That’s the question. The answer is limitless.

We all have needs and wants and we’ve all had it drilled into us that wants are different from needs. That we don’t “need” all the things that we think we do; that, in fact, most of the things we think we can’t live without are just materialistic wants.

But what about when the line between what is a need and what is a want becomes blurred?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week on this and how it affects my life and more importantly, my quality of life.

The truth is that we only need a few simple things to exist. Food, shelter.. really not much to live. Our society has become so stuck on wants that are perceived as needs that there is almost a disgusting sense of greed that so many think they need to have a life.

When I moved a year and a half ago, it was a long distance move from one city to another and I decided to make this the time to purge my “things” and start over. I held onto the most important items but very much cleansed my life of most of my material objects. What happened is that I have found myself living with the sense of “I have what I need, I don’t need more than this”.. true in one sense but the reality that has become obvious to me lately is that sometimes something that you think is just a want is really a need… when you look at living versus existing.

I can live anywhere… yet I moved to Victoria – and specifically to the area of Victoria that I did – because of a need to have a certain lifestyle to have a quality of life that’s not just a want anymore, but a need – a need to be happy. Being able to walk to work instead of drive in gridlock commuting… being close enough to the ocean and beautiful beaches to walk to on a whim and sit and stare and smell the air…having an apartment with character instead of a cookie cutter look… these are all, on the surface, extraneous wants yet to me, they have become needs for me to have a life that is fulfilling. Going back to the morning rushing and exhausting end of day from commuting hell is not something that is permissible now to me. This lifestyle is a need for me. Non-negotiable to my happiness; and my happiness is finally on my radar.

Just like we need food to fuel our bodies and enable us to live, our souls need nourishment too. You can argue that having love and companionship isn’t necessary and in some sense that’s true. I have spent the last long while living the truth that while friends are nice and feel good, anything beyond that isn’t a need for me. That I’m all good alone and that I don’t need anyone in my life to make me complete… and that is a truth… I can exist alone. Yet having recently started to let people into my life and my heart, it has shown me that what I have always perceived as a want may in fact be a need. Not in the way that I can’t live without love and companionship, but with an awareness that for my life to be the quality that I need, then having people who I love and hold close to me is fundamental to that happiness. Living openly in relationships that fulfill who I am and how I love is a need to me now in my relationships, no longer just a want.

We always hear “life is too short to live without….” and the simple truth is that it’s not the quantity of life, it’s the quality of the life we choose to live with that’s important. Sometimes the wants become needs and we don’t realize it.

Smiles and happiness today because I am blessed enough to have people in my life that I care deeply enough to call my chosen family… and doubly blessed that they have chosen me as well to be part of theirs!

The saying “blood is thicker than water” doesn’t do justice to the truth that the people we chose to bring close to our hearts have special meaning. Whether right or wrong, there is a certain sense of obligation to love and care for the people that we are born into as family…if we’re lucky, then we like them too… but that’s not a certainty – the odds of actually liking and wanting to spend time with the family you are born to aren’t great. You have genetics or nurturing in common but that’s about it. All too often, families are groups of people who tolerate each other because they “have to”.

Yet with chosen family…we’re able to connect with a person or people that we share so much with… and build that connection and nurture a bond… and chose to invite them into our lives and our hearts and call them “ours”.

As I close today I smile because of that blessing.

I’ve said for a while now that it’s time to put the focus back into finding and experiencing joy again. A text conversation with one of my sons the other day was like a smack upside the head… a simple idea: the “big” happy moments in life come by few and far between but every day pretty much has at least a few little things that make you smile (or at the very least make you think “hmmmm” in an amused way!)… and it’s the accumulation of all those little things that bring the most joy to our lives.

An evening spent with people I care deeply for – laughing and talking, snuggles and holding hands together … reminding me that an easy and fun evening can be simple and enjoyed. That I can still feel what I wasn’t sure I could anymore.

Living through grieving and at the point of moving forward now sometimes I lose sight of those little things.

So, in the spirit of life being lived with smiles and laughter again it’s project time 🙂

365smiles… everyday a picture or a writing of something that brings a smile to my face or laughter to my day… because joy should be shared 🙂

I’ll be posting using my lolabits blog; https://whiskysweet.wordpress.com/ . If you’re reading this on my truthfreedomjoy blog ( http://truthfreedomjoy.wordpress.com/ ) pop on over and sign up to follow or sign up for email updates :).

Keep smiling – or start smiling if you’re not 😉

Lola
Live Openly, Live Abundantly

Wishes, dreams and goals.

I was at a dinner with a few friends last night and the topic of wishes came up. The question was “what do you wish for”. It is something that’s been in my mind for years now and last night’s discussion has really set my mind on this.

A wish is basically a “want” usually. Something that we desire and long for. Almost always mentioned with longing and with the sense that it won’t be achieved or “granted” somehow. As the saying goes… If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

A wish is ethereal and tossed out onto the wind, no matter how badly you may wish for something, until you decide to grasp it, it’s nothing more than a wanton desire. Voicing it is a step towards making it something more though… a Dream.

A dream is something that is tangible with some weight behind. You may wish for something in a passing way, even chronically; but a dream has substance. I might say I wish I lived on an island with goats (yes, this is a long-standing wish/dream of mine!)… that’s a wish I have. But when I start thinking about what I would need to do for income and where I could find acreage and a little farm land and how in the world you take care of goats… well then it takes shape beyond just a wish. Making something a dream is the step towards seeing if it’s possible or whether it will stay in the land of “wish”.

Just dreaming about something won’t bring it to being a goal… so many of my dreams aren’t goals and never will be, but they’re still fun to think of and they give me a taste of what it is that is IN that dream that IS a possibility. I don’t have any intention of actually moving to a gulf island and raising goats… but it shows me that the base of wanting a simpler existence is a possible goal (and one much more realistic).

Listening to one of the women last night voice a wish, followed with “I’m going to make that happen” was wonderful. It inspires me to take a closer look at some of my wishes and to start dreaming… one step closer to making them happen 