It’s not scratch…

So I’m learning about value.

Value – n. – a fair return or equivalent in goods, services or money for something exchanged; relative worth, utility or importance

This is really huge for me. I have this idea about what the USA is. What it’s about. What my life would be like here. I have ideas. I have had them my whole life. But they never felt like my own. They felt like … and still feel like, I have no choice. But I’m realizing that now and that is so powerful to me.

Basically, in 2017 I had to prepare for a big life change. 2018 has brought that change. I knew it was coming and I thought about it. It was hard. It still is hard. Because I realized that before, I had a life with everything I thought I valued. And I feared that I would be leaving behind all the things I value and not be able to have them again.

I am home. Here in Jersey. It’s different here. Before I even came home, I felt suffocated by the fact that it feels like money is so important here. Money is the trump card (pardon the pun if you so choose). I gave myself this idea that I would not be able to have the life I had before. That I would have to start over. Start from scratch.

But then these past two weeks I had to work hard. So flipping hard. In so many ways. The biggest way that I had to work hard was inside. It was inside myself. Realizing a bit about value. And actually realizing what I don’t value.

The truth is that I don’t value my experience enough to believe that I can have what I want now. And the other truth is, that I am so afraid of dying because I fear that I don’t value my life enough to live my best. And so if I died, then I wouldn’t have done it justice. It being life.

Knowledge is power though right? So now that I know these things about myself… Serendipitously I had the opportunity to have a conversation with a special person last night. This person asked me what I want to do and what’s important to me. And I had the opportunity to speak my truth.

I hold myself back a lot from speaking my truth. Inside my head I think “wow I really have a lot to say about that. I know a thing or two about that.” Inside my head I say “I have so much to share. I have learned so much.”

So why don’t I speak up? See above. Being afraid. Fear man… it’s so crippling. But in these past two weeks, I have been thrown into an ocean of fears. And yesterday, I had my time to speak up. Twice.

Aloud, to a room of beautiful souls, I shared my journey to realizing “wholeness”. Along with this, I released the fear of speaking up long enough to realize my wholeness. In front of a room of people, spontaneously I spoke, not realizing that this was what I was going to say. It was waiting there, behind the shields of fear. And of COURSE it was. Geezus haha I am flabbergasted a bit now because it’s like… duhhhhhh of course I am whole. I can’t be partially existing. No human is. But the mind allows us to compartmentalize. This is a dangerous task. So yesterday I realized that over the past two weeks I have had the opportunity to put some pieces together. IN this piecing together I have realized how this is my journey – to uncover my whole self. In the process I will discover what I already know (as I nodded to last week).

So the other thing … about starting from scratch. Nahhhh. Just no. Because what I have realized in recognizing my wholeness, is that I have that, the whole me, no matter where I go and what I do. So it’s not scratch.

I am not starting from scratch. I am here with everything that I am and all that I have lived, proceeding forward with a whole lot more than scratch.

B-

Thank you to the individuals whom I have met in the past two weeks. I’m grateful for the conversations, the energy, the experience, the soul, the life, the opinions, the perspective. 

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How simple is simple ?

Okay … I’ve been thinking about this one for a few days now. I don’t feel the same way about it that I even did when I wrote the title. But I will say this – simplicity is layered.

Simplicity is something … that has the purest of intentions, the clearest of executions, but in it’s development, is as fking complex as they come. I mean my god. Whenever you think of something – think of something now… something that you think is simple. Something that you might say oh that looks so effortless.

Can you grasp it?

I’ve got a few things…

A white dress

A black dress

The sand on the beach

A snowflake

Did you ever think about how many colors make up the color white? Every SINGLE color. Every single one of them. Black? Absorption of EVERY SINGLE color. How many grains of sand does it take to make a beach? So many that a number probably can’t even describe them. And a snowflake… well if you ever zoomed in on a snowflake you would see that the symmetry and the unique pattern, as unique as our fingerprints in that every single one is different, their intricacies are infinite.

What about this one? Wow they really make that look easy. 

Have a think about that….

A ballerina

A professional athlete

A musician

A mathematician

What we see is a snapshot in a journey of a lifetime. That’s what we see. It looks easy to us because we can’t possibly imagine or witness the eternities that have been spent on achieving simplicity. This really, and truly, blows me away.

And what blows me away about it the most… is how much I value seeing snapshots in the process where things aren’t so simple yet. What blows me away is seeing a moment of layering, where the intention becomes just that little bit purer or the execution a little bit clearer. What blows me away is realizing that this is what it takes to achieve something that can be simply received and understood as simple.

I mean my god, it actually makes so much sense to me now. In order for something to be delivered in its purest form, it must be known to the nth degree. The process or contents must be completely clear. So how can you expect for something to be simple to you if you don’t practice the hell out of it right?

But here’s my issue… when I was a kid – everything seemed simpler. And I thought it was because I didn’t know as much as I did now. Now… I sincerely question that notion. I think I knew everything that I know now and everything that I will ever know in my life. I knew it then. I can’t help but wonder if every single one of us is like that. We know it all from the moment we begin to exist. Because we know ourselves. And what this journey reveals to us, to some more so than others, is what we can discover by seeking that knowledge from the inside out.

Simple right? HAH.

But it really is that simple. Seek and you shall find.

There’s something else I want to share. This is what has really sparked something for me about simplicity. This past week… I had to ride the subway 3-5 times a day. And I was terrified. I’m not sure how this has developed, but I have become extremely anxious in certain situations regarding travel and enclosed spaces. Over the past few months I have become increasingly anxious on planes, subways and elevators. I’m not sure why.

2018 started and I had a training schedule that required me to be in 2 different places in the city everyday, requiring me to take the subway to each one and from one to the other. Loads of trains. So freaking many. And every single one was terrifying in it’s own way. I kept talking to Erris about it, and she kept asking me, what is it that makes you most afraid? I said “getting stuck”. I was afraid of getting stuck. Why? She asked me why. So I asked myself … why?

I really asked myself- WHY? Why am I so afraid of getting stuck… well that lead to – If I get stuck, what am I afraid is going to happen? Then that lead to … something bad will happen to me… and so on and so forth until I came to the simple fact that I am terrified of dying.

Afraid to risk my safety because I am afraid to die.

Well as soon as I figured that out, each time the train stopped (and it happened a lot – because there seems to be a whole traffic system down there hah – duh….) I went right back to that. That I am afraid of dying. But then I was able to recognize that this probably wasn’t the time for that…. aka death. It calmed me. Slightly. A layer peeled away. There was increased clarity and purity. It’s becoming simpler. Being distilled.

The distillation has given me space inside. Space enough to find a method to tolerate subway travel. And now I am on my way toward recovery. It is becoming simpler. So if someone came on to the train and looked at me they wouldn’t even know how much I had to go through to be able to sit on that train as calm as I was. You know? Because it’s that simple. But it isn’t really.

I think simplicity requires a process. I think we are born knowing it so deeply, the simplicity of life, because maybe as we grow, for me anyway, we become farther removed from it. But because we know it so deeply, we can distill our lives and hopefully, become simpler.

Simplicity is humanity in it’s deepest form, a representation of all of the colors that make up white; a formation of the grandest snowflake in the sky, a collection of billions of grains of sand on the beach. Simplicity, is the complexities of a human who is in touch with the deepest parts of themselves. Who is cycling, revealing truths, shedding layers. Damn, it’s unbelievable really. Happy Sunday y’all.

Talk soon,

B-

Be magnanimous, darling.

January 1, 2018 – magnanimous – adj. – showing or suggesting a lofty and courageous spirit; showing or suggesting nobility of feeling and generosity of mind : FORGIVING

In an effort to live more magnanimously, I will be looking up one word from the dictionary, every single day this year. I am excited beyond believe about this little project of mine. I shall keep a record of it here. Happy New Year y’all. May you be blessed with magnanimity. Thanks to Cheryl Strayed for the word inspiration.

January 2, 2018 – ebullience- n. – the quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts or feelings :EXUBERANCE

January 3, 2018 – integrity – n. an unimpaired condition :SOUNDNESS ; firm adherence to a cod of especially moral or artistic values : INCORRUPTIBILITY ; the quality or state of being complete or undivided :COMPLETENESS ; see HONESTY

January 4, 2018 – intention – n. a determination to act a certain way : RESOLVE; purpose with respect to marriage; what one intends to do or bring about, the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered; IMPORT, SIGNIFICANCE; CONCEPT: a concept considered as the product of attention directed to an object of knowledge; a process or manner of healing incised wounds

January 5, 2018 – splendor – n. great brightness or luster :BRILLIANCY, :MAGNIFICENCE, POMP; something splendid

January 6, 2018 – cadence – n. a rhythmic sequence or flow of sounds in language; the beat, time, or measure of rhythmical motion or activity; a falling inflection of the voice’ a concluding and usual falling strain; specif: a musical chord sequence moving to a harmonic close or point of rest and giving the sense of harmonic completion; the modulated and rhythmic recurrence of a sound especially in nature

January 7, 2018 – motif – n. a usually recurring salient thematic element in a work of art; especially: a dominant idea or central theme; a single or repeated design or color; an influence or stimulus prompting to action

January 9, 2018 – faith – n. allegiance or duty to a person: LOYALTY; fidelity to ones promises; belief and trust in and loyalty to God; belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion; firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete confidence; something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially a system of religious beliefs; in faith: without doubt or question:VERILY

January 9, 2018 – courage – n. – mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, an withstand danger, fear or difficulty; syn – COURAGE, METTLE, SPIRIT, RESOLUTION, TENACITY

January 10, 2018 – foundation – n. the act of founding ; the basis upon which something stands or is supported; funds given for the permanent support of an institution: ENDOWMENT, an organization or institution established by endowment with provision for future maintenance; an underlying natural or prepared base or support, esp: the whole masonry substructure of a building; a body or ground upon which something is built up or overlaid, a woman’s supporting undergarment: CORSET

January 11, 2018 – timbre- n. the quality given to a sound by its overtones as : the resonance by which the ear recognizes a voiced speech sound, the quality of tone distinctive of a particular singing voice or musical instrument

January 12, 2018 – religion – n. – the service and worship of God or the supernatural; commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance; the state of a religious; a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs and practices; archaic: scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS; a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

January 12, 2018 – religious – n. – relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity; of, relating to or devoted to religious beliefs or observances; scrupulously and conscientiously faithful; FERVENT, DEVOUT

January 12, 2018 – spiritual- n. – things of a spiritual, ecclesiastical or religious nature ; a religious song usually of a deeply emotional character that was developed especially among Negroes in the southern US: cap  – any of a party of 13th and 14th century Franciscans advocating strict observance of a rule of poverty for their order

January 14, 2018 – faith – n. allegiance to duty or a person: LOYALTY; fidelity to one’s promises; belief and trust in and loyalty to God; belief in the traditional doctrines of religion; firm belief in something for which there is no proof … WOAH. I Looked ths up already

January 14, 2018 – endurance- n. – PERMANANCE, DURATION; the ability to withstand hardship, adversity, or stress; SUFFERING, TRIAL

January 15, 2018 – complicated – adj. – consisting of parts intricately combined; difficult to analyze, understand or explain : see COMPLEX

January 15, 2018 – complex – adj. – composed of two or more parts : COMPOSITE; hard to separate, analyze or solve

January 16, 2018 – reunite – v. – to bring together again; to come together again : REJOIN

January 17, 2018  – sigh – to take a deep audible breath (as in weariness or grief); to make a sound like sighing: an act of sighing especially when involuntary and expressing an emotion or feeling ; the sound of gently moving or escaping air

January 18, 2018 – flourish – v. to grow luxuriantly; THRIVE; to achieve success: PROSPER; to be in a state of activity or production; to reach a height of development or influence; to make bold and sweeping gestures

January 19, 2018 – inquisitive- adj – given to examination or investigation; inclined to ask questions; especially inordiately or improperly curious about the affairs of others’ see CURIOUS

This post had a name earlier… OH! Start as you mean to go on

And just FKING goooooo. You know? Just go. Go on – keep going.

Today, December 31st, feels like the start of the new year for me. I think it always has felt like that but I have not really acknowledged it until this year. But this morning I woke up and I decided not to treat it any differently than any other day, apart from I decided to myself that I would do all the things that are important to me and have been important to me. So I want to start as I mean to go on. This led me to meditating, writing in my journal and cleaning my room. But what it also gave me was a massive reminder – in my belly somewhere, you know that place in you that knows everything that you already need to know? The reminder? That I love to write. And I need to write. And it needs to be here. Shared.

Why? For me. That’s the thing … it’s for me that I need to just get these things out – I’m not sure who I am sharing them to exactly, but because I believe that we are all deeply connected, well I know that I am sharing it with everyone by just getting it out of my head.

I have been doing a lot of reading and writing over the past few months, but particularly the past few weeks. A lot. And I am loving it but also I am realizing… well that I really have no idea what I’m realizing because I’m reading and writing so much!! I haven’t been giving myself time to think… or not think really. Time in silence you know?

I have ideas about what I want this new year to be for me. Like I’m sure we all do. But I think that what I really need to do in order to have these ideas become reality is say what this past year has actually been like for me.

I have had my heart broken hundreds of times this year. 2017 – the year of heartbreak and surrender. Today I experienced one of the hardest of them all.

I woke up this morning and I journaled three pages in my shiny silver journal (bought from Tiger for 4 euro – amazing purchase to be honest, I love it). I am currently participating in the Artist’s Way – I’m on week 6 this week. So this morning I wrote that I’d like to go down to the basement to bring up my oldest journals. Because I wanted to go into this new year with all my journals. I went downstairs to the basement and they were nowhere to be found. My heart hurts as I write this because I actually cannot believe that 7-8 years worth of journals might actually be completely missing. I just can’t find them. My things have been through a lot of moves and reorganizations – 9/10 of them without me actually being around. So I understand it is hard to keep track, for other people, of things that aren’t yours.

But honestly, of all the shit I own, these are actually the only things I would save if this whole building went up in flames. My journals. My journals are me. They are meeeee. Me at 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, and now at 27 – this writing is my life. It is what I am here experiencing and what I am here to share.

God I could have actually cried myself into 2018 if I let it happen earlier. But as I sat there on the couch, sulking to no end, a voice inside whispered to me – “It’s in you.”

I used to write to document my life. If you want to know why I really started journaling, at 14 years of age – it’s because I was deathly afraid that I was going to get older and forget everything I have done with my life. I didn’t want to forget. Life, at that time, felt like this thing that was SO unbelievably amazing that I just didn’t want to forget a single second of it.

So I had to write it down. I documented my days, every single day. I thought that’s all I was doing.

But it turns out I was building a lifelong habit and I was developing a way to express myself, to understand my life and the world around me and to discover what it is that I am here to share. And I swear to you, over the past decade and a bit, my writing has catapulted me through life. It has become far more than documenting my days. It has become my lifeline, my companion, my bible, my escape, my passion.

How could I be so silly as to let myself slip out of this habit? I have. Gravely. Not the writing though. The courage. The sharing. The courage to share.

So here I am. Recommitting to that. And wanting to stop the bullshit of writing through a lens.

The lens should be my own and nothing more or less. I know that now. So I am done writing the way that I feel I should in order to communicate myself. I need to communicate myself in order to write the way that I should. You know?

If I think about it I could actually scream. Sometimes it seems so complicated to just be here. And then other times it seems so divinely simple that I become immediately filled with gratitude for my existence.

2018 – 18 is my favorite number. I really like it, always have.

I am terrified of myself. Is anyone else like that? It’s actually ridiculous to think that as much as I resist the things that I do in life – what I really want, believing that I can achieve, loving myself and caring for myself, putting myself first, being unashamed of who I am and what I do – that is how much power I actually have to explode into these things once I set myself free.

We all have that. I listened to a talk today – about how to love your relationship with money. I really struggle with my relationship with the green. I just have some beliefs about it that are preventing me from having enough of it, or any of it really.

So I have decided it is time for that to stop. During this talk I was presented with a quote by a woman named Barbara Starmy (my god my handwriting is not cute … her last name could be completely wrong and a part of me hopes it is lol … what is that ^^). She said

Your degree of resistance will be proportional to the amount of power waiting for you on the other side of that resistance.

Geezus I love that. I really do. So what the hell am I resisting? This year I have resisted change. I have resisted love. I have resisted generosity. I have resisted impulse. I have resisted desire. I have resisted self-care. I have resisted sharing. I have resisted belief. I have resisted faith. I have resisted acceptance. I have resisted forgiveness.

And I have suffered.

Now don’t get me wrong 2017 has been amazing in many ways. But that is not what this is about. This is about cutting through the bull to be here when 2018 turns and to reaaaallllyyyy be here. How can we go forward without first acknowledging where we’ve been right?

Well here’s my question – How the hell can I be here now if I can’t let go of where I’ve been or where I’m going?

So that’s where I’ve been ^^ You wanna know where else I’ve been?

Ireland. Germany. Belgium. England. Scotland. USA.

Daydreaming.

Afraid.

Purely terrified at times actually.

Excited.

Grateful.

In love.

Hurt.

Hurting.

Suffering.

Surrendering.

Welcoming.

Accepting.

Expressing.

Crying.

I’ve been there. You know? I’ve really been there.

I understand why people get tattoos in places where only they can see. Sometimes we just need something for ourselves. Whether it’s a reminder or a memory or a gift, we need something only for ourselves that stays with us forever. We can carry it around, knowing that it’s for us.

There is a flame inside of me that I carry around with me. It’s just for me and I never knew that before. But now I know. It’s not for anyone else because if I share it, they might blow it out. I need to keep this flame alive.

This year I’ve shared my flame so many times. Hence the heartbreak.

But now I know. So I will protect my flame and watch it grow. Because now I know that the warmth from this fire is enough for me and everyone I know and love. So I don’t need to expose the flame to keep everyone warm.

Happy Happy new year.

Talk soon,

B-

 

PS. I will be seeing you in the cybernet every Sunday from now on. That is my pledge to my flame. What’s yours?