Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath oh Fresh Air

Remedy

Last Thursday I watched myself sweat some small stuff. 

You know how sometimes you see something that is about to happen, and when it does happen it almost seems to be in slow motion? This is what I mean. In most of these cases, the something is actually happening too fast for you to stop it. But in my case, (this time!) I was able to hit pause before freak hit the fan.

Let’s face it – sometimes our radars are rigged for reaction with imposing (uninvited and unbeknownst to you) influences. Subconsciously (or sometimes consciously), our actions are affected by avoiding pain or pursuing pleasure, and or our decisions are directed by impressions (stains) of negative or positive experiences. And this isn’t always an either or / and situation – sometimes these influences role play as cause and effect.

For me – the trigger was (is usually) time – a perceived threat to a lack thereof; too many demands and not enough down time = not my best self. So it just took one more person asking me to do one more thing (that mind you I actually wanted to do) for a myriad of imposing influences to begin managing my mind, making my readied reaction a rhyme of all the wrong reasons (and “F” bombs). But lucky for me, this wasn’t my first mind-mess, so from this circle of (kind of retrospectively somewhat splendid) chaos, what spun out was a past positive experience reminding my head and heart that this stun(t) too shall pass.

And since I could see the mad in my moment, I restricted any reaction in hopes of finding the right response in 24 hours (aka the sleep on it and see how it sounds tomorrow test). 

As I awaited the results of my mind trial, I talked things out with my husband and my mom [I am lucky to have many good listeners in my life]. When I shared my story, I could hear the right side of what was wrong. The answer to my annoyances was not new wisdom; I needed to transfer my expectation of flexibility to my side of the situation, and remove it from the who / what / where/ and when-s I can’t control or change. This realization came with relief, and I knew that this meant I had stopped sweating. 

In seeking more awareness in my after, all of this made me wonder (in my best Carrie Bradshaw):

Is flexibility the remedy for frustration? And can it free us from being framed in “F”-this?

One look at life can be that when we are frustrated we are fixed, and when we are flexible we are free. In this frame, flexibility is flipping fantastic. But is it even realistic that we can friend flexible all of the time? Since we (I!) are progress, not perfection, probably not. 

progress

But I do think this connection advocates for a much needed awareness; if we can introduce our frustrated to our flexible, it might result in less “F”- that(s). This means that practicing flexibility may just be our right remedy.

 Practice makes progress. Progress makes more peace of mind. And this pattern can prevent us from sweating our small stuff.

 

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Getting Better

humbleOne of my new year’s intentions is to be better about giving people the benefit of the doubt.

More specifically in my case, this relates to assuming people have a good reason for their behavior, removing any need for my approval (aka if I agree with the behavior or not).

For example – if someone cuts me off when I am driving, I want to choose to believe they have an emergency situation instead of assuming they are just an asshole. This leaves me in control of my positive perspective and prevents my Judge Jeni from appearing.

My intention was going good – and then I got inspired g[r]o[w] even better. Here’s my how:

A friend (Martha) and I regularly talk about a hard to handle situation she has with her manager at work (Vera). Vera makes Martha’s work environment toxic. Martha tries and tries to do right by Vera, but over and over her efforts are rejected without reason. Many of us have been there, and we know how exhausted, endless, and empty this can make us feel. It’s tough to keep showing up when you are always turned away.

Last week Martha was in a committee meeting with Vera and many others from their company. Martha had been recognized by the committee for her great contributions, and as a result she was invited to play a more integral role. She was responsible for creating the agenda for its execution. (yay Martha! [said me, not Vera]). So, titles aside, this meeting was more Martha’s show. But nothing was never enough to stop Vera slamming doors on Martha at every opportunity. This time though, other people were present for her reproach and rejection, and their whispering went more to WTF than wonderful.

Well, when I heard this story, I was satisfied. After all, Martha has suffered for months, and now Vera had publically validated her vampire side! I felt a sense of victory and vindication for Martha.

But… Martha didn’t see it that way. Instead, she told me she actually felt sorry for Vera; that despite how Vera treats her, she didn’t wish anything negative for her next.

Awestruck- I SO wanted (want!) to be more like Martha. Her higher love level of humility took my breath away.

lewisThis (happily ever) after introduced an awareness that my intention could be improved. It wasn’t enough for me to apply my right reason to positively purpose other people’s behavior – it needed to extend to keeping the karmic cycle clear. If I aspire to always add well wishes over personal priority, it allows me to hope for the best beyond the behavior and go all the way so someone else’s better.

So now – that same car that cut me off – not only do I decide it was due to an emergency situation, I also wish for them to arrive safely at their destination.

Martha changed my scene and my intention improved, getting me to my so much better [than my day before]  – all the time.

(Thank you to Martha for switching on a new light so I could see more love.)

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Looking Forward

today When you look at your life in the right light, you can see a string of starts instead of shadows of successes and failures.

Finding this light is easier said than done (progress not perfection), but if we can manage to land in this light as or even after our lessons are learned, we open ourselves to embracing and engaging in all experiences (good/bad/in-between) without overly attaching to the outcomes. In this light, we grow to view experiences, and ourselves, from a perspective of potential instead of with pause and from past. This requires owning who we are; committing to taking charge of making our most versus letting life happen.

This is us shifting our stance from “why me” to “why NOT me?”.

When we adopt the “why not me?” mindset, it fuels our forward, leading us to a life of letting our WHYs be BIGGER than our BUTs.

[phrase is from Emiliya Zhivotovskaya, check her out at https://vimeo.com/183022706].

So how do we shift? Where do we start?

For me, I didn’t find my shift forward until forty.

My story goes like this: I graduated undergrad (with no flying colors there…) and my plan was to someday own my own restaurant. I loved the restaurant business from the second my sixteen-year-old self served a someone a sandwich. The industry’s nonstop party pace fit my space at the time. My (nothin’ but a good) time lasted until 7 years ago. I hit a wall with the hours, the holidays, the hustle and (what had become) the hassle. My happy turned to heartache, as restaurants weren’t just a job for me, they were my life and my lifestyle.

My next years were spent at “just jobs”. I was in a mindset of miserable (yet a face on of happy) most of the time, and attributed this all to what I did for a living. It wasn’t until my wake up in late 2013 when I realized it wasn’t work that was my miserable – it was me, and my “why me” world. I wasn’t believing in myself – so why / how would anyone else?

A “why me” mindset kept me from finding (or even looking for) my fulfillment. This mindset made me think I wasn’t accountable for finding my own happiness; I didn’t really realize that I was responsible for creating my own engagement, joy, meaning, and connection in / to life. But once I freed myself from my “why me”, and accepted that I was the author of my own story– it became a watch out world situation and a whole lotta WHY NOT ME?!!

My “why not me” road trip (that I am still on!) started with getting my Master’s degree – (BUT) my undergrad grades weren’t going to be good enough, and (BUT) my test taking skills (and abandonment of anything algebra still to this day) were not going to get me past the GRE. This time, (my time!), these BUTS didn’t stop me – my WHY was way too big; I was ready to g[r]o[w]. So I met with the advisor at Roosevelt in the Training / Organization Development Department; I advocated that my passion should trump any testing, and she suggested I write a letter (yay, my strong suit!) to the Program Chair of the Department. So I wrote it. He read it. We met. And I was granted into the program. I graduated last May with a 4.0.

Once I broke through to the “why not me” side, there were no BUT-s about it! I rolled right into my next. I started this blog (because, “why not me?”!) I got my ACE Personal Training Certification and a job at Elements Performance as a Personal Trainer (because, “why not me?”!). And finally, I started a new (not just a) job as a Student Success Coach (because, you get it!). All these accomplishments fueled my forward and freed me to align my external world with my intentions, embracing the person I was always meant to be. All I had to do was (get my head clear) and take responsibility for my role(s); from there I could start to expect (and explore) more of myself and deliver. And since this (it is all) progress not perfection, when I do find myself paused, I look to the people who light up my life with love for support and a (loving) shove from my stuck.

And from all that, my personal mission, to be “better than my day before”, was born.

Today, my mission continues to grow; I keep practicing to keep any “BUT-s’ off of my path to potential and work hard to wonder only about the right kinds of why-s.

Watching Emiliya’s video earlier this week reminded me of how far I have come, and got me excited about how far I can still go. Sharing this is my way of sending that same message to you all, reminding you how a little hope and hard work can make your heart smile.

So, be ready and take a look at your world – what WHYs can you free to fuel your forward?

LISTEN and Love. #livelifelovemoment

 

 

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Long Promised Road

This month at the gym where I coach (Elements Fitness), we started keeping track of our monthly goals. This is something we used to do when I was a client at the RUSH in Arlington Heights, and this helped me turn goals into daily habits. The new habit I remember best is working to drink more water – starting with 1 liter a day, then 2… and now, for the past year or so, I have been at a gallon a day (but admittedly still a work in progress to turn this into a habit on weekends too).

The goal I wrote down last Saturday was to “respond, not react.” This is something I have practiced for a long time, and it is more a habit than when I started, but it is something that at least for me demands a constant, vigilant awareness. This means when my attention is drawn to other areas of my being better, I become vulnerable to slip ups.

So my story starts here. So far 2017 for me has been off and running with changes – I started my yoga teacher training, a huge time commitment and information overload, AND (yay!) I am starting a new job a week from Monday (more info to come!). So you can only image how my A.D.D. mind is handling all this spin-out – positive or not I am anything but grounded right now…. So sure enough, yesterday I found myself in a slow-motion spin out with someone near and dear to me. I lost control, and I reacted to something instead of responding.

This is emotional intelligence (at its best and at its worst). Emotional intelligence is being aware of what our triggers are to prevent reactions and instead, inspire responses. I know that not being in control can trigger me; and at the same time, I know not being in control is good for me. I am a true Gemini with a dual personality; I am a free-spirit / control freak, but I am working hard to find my harmony; my middle.

Because I was triggered, I didn’t even realize how my words sounded outside of my own head. When we are set off, we descend into fight or flight mode, and we go into a version of a defensive back on auto-pilot in an effort to protect ourselves. Our brain thinks we have been “threatened”, and we start self-preservation. We can be in this mode without realizing it. It takes a MINIMUM of 20 minutes to come out of this state (and can take much, much longer). But when we “wake up”, we are still responsible for our actions, and often what we thought was SO right turns out to be SO… not.

This is exactly why I set this “respond, not react” goal for myself; because I know I (we!) are more susceptible to slip ups when our foundation is slippery like mine is these days (a good slippery! But slippery nonetheless).

I am sharing this today because I committed to a goal and less than a week in I already FAILED. Yep. FAILED.

BUT, failure is only a real fail if you forget that failure is TEMPORARY; because what you did is NEVER as important as what you do NEXT.

trySo reflect. Then take responsibility; say you are sorry to yourself and (then) your somebody else(s). Last, use your new strength to get to your NEXT – your RECOVERY and your REBOUND.

As long as you always head forward, you will learn to learn from the curves on your road.

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Break on Through

paddleboard yoga in Colorado We all have things we want to do. And then of course there are the things we already do. So when something new comes along that disturbs our delicately (UN)balanced routine, we reassess. We reprioritize. And sometimes we sacrifice: we accept the not now-s and the next times that we promise ourselves; filing our futures’ back burners and all the “one of these” days.

Unsupervised, life can be a chaos of could and should and would on a trampoline of have to. It’s only a matter of time until something bounces off. All our good intentions and attempts at accountability sometimes can’t fit into the amount of time in a day.

This conversation isn’t new. I have talked before about choosing something over nothing and changing our conditions to allow for will over won’t. Finding this new space, this middle, has served me well, and I truly believe I fit more life (aka joy, engagement, and meaningfulness, my [un]holy trinity) into this past year because of it.

My magic middle was a way to bend time and I made (more and more of) the most of it.

But it’s no secret that when you bend something too far it breaks. And so sometime softly something gave up space to make room for my more, leaving something in me unsettled.

My head didn’t see it until my soul started to feel… slow. Then I realized what went missing: I had gone from practicing yoga 2-3 times a week to once a week maybe. This took a toll; my body, mind, and spirit missed the peace and energy my practice generated. This left me too depleted and too full all at the same time. Without yoga, I wasn’t breaking out of the world and into the part of my brain from where all these words come from. There wasn’t enough replenish or release.

I assumed I had gotten stuck in the traditional time trap – too much to do and not enough time to do it in. But I couldn’t figure out how I was going to commit to practicing more to be my best self. My (our!) daily dance is already on a pretty thin wire.

I needed a new method to my madness; to make more of my middle without more hours in my day. I couldn’t further bend time; what had to bend was my approach.

There was an obvious answer – online yoga; yoga that could come to me when I wanted. But the idea didn’t appeal to me. I liked being in class: the attention, the adjustments, the guidance, and the community. And most of all I loved letting myself be mindlessly led to mindfulness and positioned to be patient in my present. I didn’t think I could get any of that by watching someone online, practicing alone in my living room.

But here’s the thing: I hadn’t tried it – I just took it as my truth. Not sure where I wandered off my path of purpose and into a distorted version of “I think therefore I am,” but my mind was sure shortsighted under some sort of matter. This wasn’t me working to be better than the day before; this was me forgetting flexibility in favor of fuck it. ICK! My choices were to practice online or to not practice as much, and in my right reflection that isn’t a choice – it’s a (get your head out of your ass) done deal.

So, I let go of my limits and finally tried it… AND – I liked it!

Letting go let me be aware of and break through barriers to my best that I didn’t know I had.

Letting go eliminated distraction, allowing me to discover that my motivation to practice yoga had shifted to something intrinsic – a mindfully magical thing in and of itself.

So, as it turns out, my “truth”, not my time, was my trap. My middle wasn’t (isn’t!) maxed; my perspective was predicated (prevented!) by my levied limits.

I don’t want to limit my life (so therefore I won’t J).

Accomplishing this requires breaking through assumption to awareness; from absence to accountability; from ignorance to intention.

Not later. NOW.

Where could your life g(r)o(w) if you let go of your limits?

🙂

 

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Lately my heart has been hard.

Let me explain.

I have been frustrated, angry, out of sorts and in all sorts of other things not so sugar and spice and everything nice.

This happens to the best of us, even with sights set on living our best life. The best remedy for a negative feeling is a positive one. Turning selfish into selfless. Focusing on being grateful; giving to others who can’t get what they want or what they need. These tools are (most times) spoonfuls of sugar that help me swallow my blues and put positivity back in my perspective.

But sometimes those tricks of my glass half full trade don’t work. Sometimes I let the bad bake for too long and my heart hardens. This doesn’t mean my will to be good turns bad. Instead, it means that simply being good stops being enough to make me feel good.

We have all been there; that place where we realize more of our energy is going out than coming back in. When we have done everything we are “supposed” to do. We met with all the right people and taken all the right advice. We said yes instead of no. We traded sleep for sweat. We gave instead of got.

From there we read all the books; joined all the groups; did all (or okay some) of the necessary networking; and (just about!) got the degrees. We put in the work and built a foundation for a future full of our version of freedoms and our pursuit of happiness. And finally it was time to let the universe know we were ready. That we had arrived! So we sent out our invitations to our best life, each carefully addressed and stamped by forever.

And every day we check our mailbox (phone / email), hoping to hear back from just one someone that they care. That they noticed. That they believe we can add value somewhere.

And after so many nothings it wears on us. And it has worn on me.

Is this a pity party? I am really trying to make it so it’s not. And that’s why I haven’t written about any of this (or anything lately), which hasn’t helped my heart. (You know that) I absolutely abhor giving any of my energy to anything negative. I have said it before and will say it again: it feels wasteful and whiney. There is a reason this blog is called “A Breath of Fresh Air”: when people take the time to read my thoughts, I want to inspire hearts and minds to open and smile. I want to leave people feeling better than they did before. I am not here to add to what’s wrong in the world; I am here to protect and project a positive perspective.

Moving off my pedestal onto what happened next:

Yesterday I went into the kitchen to grab my coffee, and I found a note from my husband. This is what it said:

Note

I have been writing for months about change. This entire blog is about my change experience: the search for my best life and my best self – the challenge to be better than the day before; to find my happy beginning / middle / ending.

But here’s what I realized (remembered) when I read Matt’s note: I can only own an action (aka my energy) if I can be accountable for the results. And in too many recent cases, I was sending all my energy into some/one/thing else’s somewhere, really rendering me powerless. And this is what transformed the charge from my change from energizing to draining.

Enough of what I had been doing up until lately required no one’s permission or endorsement but my own. But too much of what I have been doing lately required external versus internal validation. To find harmony within change, I need to keep changing things I can control the outcome of while reaching where I may be powerless but want to have purpose.

So the fix is still countering the negative with the positive, but the touches are more tangible.

I took over my day yesterday; I moved in the direction of change that I had power over by doing things I could complete on my own. I made my day about only what I owned; and I made progress I was proud of.

Best of all, my heart is happy again. And this post is proof of where I can put my power to the positive.

(heart helped, humbled, and no longer hard: I might not have what I want [yet!], but I certainly have what I need).

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Wake Me Up

Wisdom Life is a puzzle that comes to us in pieces.

Some people believe there is a big picture in place and we assemble predestined pieces. Others believe that our puzzle pieces come together from a conundrum of circumstances and our own criteria and causes.  If you are like me your soul stands somewhere in between

In my mind, our puzzle pieces start off as clean slates and have (un)predictable potential. Each piece represents knowledge (aka a lesson learned) and is a part of our life’s puzzle. But it is wisdom that assembles our pieces, turning our puzzle into our life’s picture.

Wisdom is knowledge with years of experience behind it (said someone to me recently).

Putting this puzzle together is a perpetual project. Sometimes we think all of our pieces are perfectly placed, only to realize later that were a few forced together. This is a result of trying things out to know if it is our truth (our right piece in our right place). It doesn’t make these misplaced pieces any less a part of us; it merely means that they were in the wrong position.

This puzzle is an exercise in being patient and present. As part of my journey to be better than the day before, I practice honoring both. On my puzzle project this means working to accept less than perfect while waiting for the wisdom to truly understand each of my piece’s “perfect” place.

We are all works in progress, and so are our puzzles.

Stopping to speak to “perfect”… for me, something is perfect when I hear harmony in my heart, mind, body, and soul; when I make decision that is followed by relief and not remorse. Perfect is personal and in my mind it’s also pliable; our own perfect has nothing to do with anyone else’s. (My only real rule for perfect is that a personal perfect puts no wicked in any other’s world).

So… on my journey, I collect my pieces and try not to be preoccupied with their placement. And I try not to figure out what everything I know means right now.

I DO try to give my wisdom the space, time, and the experience(s) it needs to result in my realizations. I DO sing as many songs as it takes to find my soul’s (“perfect”) sound.

When we stop searching for “perfect” placement, stop trying to make sense of everything NOW, we allow purpose to paint our picture; our intuition to guide our intention; our details get more dancing space; and we put together a puzzle that portrays all the pieces in our life’s picture.

This is why wisdom is worth waiting for.

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Raise Your Glass

I like to save things. Not save things for reference, reflection, or to mark milestones or memories; those saves I am safely selective on. There is somewhat of a saving situation in my house in the recycler respect; I have a problem letting go of tinfoil timely. Today’s story though is about being a saver by way of saving special things for the right special occasion.

For example, the free samples of stuff (think hair and make-up) I get that I would not buy (/need / even know how to use for that matter). I would save them for this (never to be named next) special occasion. But waiting only led to forgetting, or deciding that the situation wasn’t special enough. (Or weirdly and worse I would worry I would like the expensive product too much and a want would become yet another needless need). You can see where this is going – a drawer full of fancy waiting to be worn that went bad before ever making it out of the box.

Recently I realized that this saving was not solving OR satisfying anything; in fact, it was simply creating more of the clutter I rebelled against in other areas of my life. This epiphany challenged me to question what I was qualifying as a “special occasion”. Why wasn’t I just enjoying what I could, when I could, simply because I could? We all know that I don’t wait for an invite before opening a door; yet, here I was, waiting for that special something that never seemed to start.

True to Gemini fashion, I (fortunately!) found that my other side is not a(n over-)saver. For example, I don’t save special jewelry for my someday Cinderella story; this I wear whenever and wherever I want. I learned this lesson from my Gramma (her spelling!) Charlotte. She would always say that jewelry was meant to be worn; that beautiful wasn’t meant to be left in a box. Now, I don’t wear much jewelry at a time, but I am lucky to have a husband with a good eye for simple yet pretty things. (I am a pearl girl; I have a June birthday and my nickname growing up (and to some today) was Pearl due to my last name being Perlik).

Like all ladies, some of my treasures are fancier than others. But I don’t let their pizazz predicate my preferences. I will wear a string of pearls with jeans and gym-shoes if that’s how my feelings fly, just as nothing stopped Gramma from exchanging her (and now my!) everyday bangle bracelets for her tennis bracelet and diamond earrings to play bridge (or even tennis) on a Monday morning.

It’s time for my other side to start seeing the world from Gramma’s ground. Gramma would have used any samples she got the very same day, whether she was going to play golf or to a play downtown. She wasn’t afraid of “use it or (to) lose it”; she simply wore when she wanted and she wore it well.

For Gramma, special could be worn any day, because every day was special.

So it’s not about waiting for the right moment; it’s about making my moment right.

And letting LIFE be my special occasion.

L’chaim!

(Facts for fun: Gramma’s diamond earrings are now Ali’s and my engagement rings, and her tennis bracelet was worn by each of the four granddaughters (as well as the granddaughter’s in laws) when we walked down the aisle. And… full disclosure – my tinfoil thing was also Gramma’s).

My beautiful picture

Left to right: Mom, Gramma, Aunt Debbie, Aunt Karen, Laurie Thomson, Shelly Kaplan, and me (borrowing Gramma’s glam).

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State of Love and Trust

Something I strive to be is trustworthy.  This isn’t as simple as saying I am; to me, this is a show versus tell situation. Being trustworthy is comprised of authentic actions that stand on top of our words in a “Queen (/King!) of the Mountain” fashion: Queen

  • Doing what we say we will do (in a reasonable amount of time).
  • Admitting our vulnerability to ourselves and others.
  • Honoring (and expecting) honesty over bullshit.
  • Valuing relationships; always remaining respectful and sincere.
  • Having the courage to place our trust in others and in ourselves.

I practice these postures as I continue to construct my character. My process isn’t linear or perfect; it is (I am!) ongoing and open. Lately I have been sensitive to the amount of trust I place in myself.

We all know that I am slowly changing my life to align myself, well, more with myself. These (all…) changes come with a provisional price (risk), but also with potential for peace and a place to put my passion (reward). Currently I want to make changes that may be more carefree than cautious, and I am finding reasonability restricting. I want to do more leaping and less looking.

I have made some good and bad leaps in my life, and both kinds have made me into who I am today. They have been my greatest lessons learned, and my life has always gone on. As I grow more into life (a much better way to say “get older”!), my instinct seems too often compromised by (over)insight and it dissolves into indecision. I think of practical over purpose, and consider first my chances of falling versus flying.

So sometimes I think and therefore I don’t do.

Herein lays my trust trap: when does being practical become harmful versus helpful? Can protecting myself be preventing myself? And over the rainbow to the optimistic side of overthinking: what if I leap without looking long and it turns out all right instead of all wrong?

Most decisions don’t have to be permanent (even though the [positives or] penalties may seem so). We may end up further from the starting line than we were to begin with if we make a mis-step, but can we really not be better off for not having tried?

So… what’s trust got to do with all this?

My energy for exercising my best life is abundant; I function at full speed and if I am not careful, my ideas move too fast to fully form into my ideals. This can turn my reliability into recklessness without me realizing it.

This is when my most trusted people step in, hoping to harness my energy so I leap with a safe landing in sight. There is no intention to inhibit me, and if anything they believe in me more than I do. But right now and perhaps unreasonably, I want to LEAP less from looking and more on hope and faith, and just trust (myself!) that I will land somewhere safe.

So… who do I trust – them or me? Is my pause plagued by self-protection (aka a part of me that knows they are right) or self-doubt (aka not trusting that I can try and thrive)?

… As I write my way through this, I realize I am not going to end up with the results I was rallying for.  When I started this, I thought my ending would reconcile risk and reward in a way that illustrated that I should cut cords and leap long. But in honoring honesty, I asked myself if I am really reliable right now; if I am genuinely the best source of trust in my tomorrow. Given what I went through this summer, my “seize the day” sword is at my side (too) ready to slay. I am all too aware of time and afraid of missing out (on me); this makes me more reckless than reliable.

So back where I started… I set out here to tell myself to trust myself:

I honored honesty and admitted I was vulnerable. I vented about the value of my relationships and realized raw sincerity. And now, in order to do what I said I was going to do, I realize that last step that shows I am trustworthy is to trust myself to trust my others. And this is my state of love and trust.

So this time, I don’t fall or fly; instead I find middle ground – I keep one foot on the land while the other’s toes dip into new waters, gradually working towards my gratification.

My protection is not my prevention – it is only a placeholder until my purpose produces harmony between my practical and my (pursuit of) peace.

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