Pain and Poetry

There must be a word for the sensation of being oneself. An appropriate word must exist for the ever-present, but sometimes violently acute, grasp on what it feels like to be alive, inside this one mind, this one body. “Self-awareness” does not seem to verbally do this heightened consciousness justice. It’s just too common a phrase. No, this feeling calls for a much more technical, even elegant, term. This intense cognizance that sometimes overtakes us, grappling with us, ungracefully pulling us to our knees – occasionally beckoning our gaze skyward, in awe, but almost never passing through without causing an utter ruckus between our ribs – must be captured by a word of great potency.


Mmm. Sentience. That may just have to do. Perhaps we can allow that to be the soldiering word that carries this burdensome and fascinating notion, for now.

Being cognizant of our own sentience, and our own ever-changing nature, is a dangerous art. It’s a state we are always in, whether we choose to see it or not. Isn’t that funny? Not “ha ha” funny, but ironic. Just as I learned the other day that the eyes see everything upside down and the brain has to flip the image right-side up, that the eyes see the nose in their line of vision but that the brain steps in and blocks out that needless obstruction, that the cerebral cortex’s entire occipital lobe is devoted to vision and how we take in the world…that we can see so much, and yet not even be aware of it…reminds me of this. That, in our purest essence, we are living, feeling, breathing organisms, always connected to the sensation of what it feels like to be just that – and yet we can block out that capacity for great introspection so much of the time. So much so, in fact, that we find ourselves utterly bulldozed by the self-analysis and soul-searching that periodically drapes itself over us like a thick, dark cape, blocking out the light of the rest of the world and closing us in on the sensation of feeling, knowing, and existing.

That we can ever feel as if we’re not powerfully rooted in our own sentience, every moment our heart is beating, makes me think of all the rigorous work the brain is doing up there in our skulls. It is always there, and yet it takes us by such surprise when we choose to look it straight in the face.

The way this alert sense of profound presence takes over can ease into our thoughts gracefully, or can arrive in the most alarming fashion – the reflection in the mirror catching us off guard, the date scrawled in the upper corner of an old letter leaving us palpably shaken, the memory of how things once were and simply no longer are gripping us with unparalleled intensity – it’s almost like a drug. Like someone slipped something into my tea and I’m on a trip; one that I’m powerless to, one that heightens every sense. Distinctly contrasting what was with what is, with artful and almost painful clarity. And such comparison never comes without criticism. It is an inherent flaw in the human psyche. I have yet to encounter an earthly being who can entirely detach from self-criticism. Although, I am hopeful that such celestially-blessed spirits exist upon this battlefield utopia we call “our world.” But, for most of us, the mental journeying back is peppered with comparison, and criticism. Hence the throb that accompanies such fleeting lucidity, a deep ache that seems quite the unnecessary accomplice to what could otherwise be, plainly and simply, a sober observation. Of one’s life. Of one’s memories. Of one’s existence.

I sometimes feel like I have been very different people, all in this one life. In this one body. Using this one brain. I feel like I have changed, drastically, again and again. Whether I meant to or not, I have changed, radically. I sometimes feel as if I don’t recognize myself, and sometimes I feel as if I can’t recognize the person I once called myself.

I understand that we are meant to change. It is not just in our nature, it is our nature. I understand that, in youth, we often try on different guises, attempt different scopes of existence. I understand that sometimes we come back home to ourselves, our core Selves, and sometimes we do not. No two stories are the same and neither are they intended to be. I think that’s what I’ve been experiencing, of late. A coming home to myself. Literally and figuratively. I’ve moved back to the area where I’m from. But it’s more than that, although related, I suspect. I’ve been tussling with a deep sense of familiarity, an ahh, there she is, inside the fibers of my own being. I see photos from my past and feel as if I’ve come round a circle, or through a labyrinth, back to that girl I once was. Even though so much has, and still is, changed. How could I feel the same as I once was, when so many years have passed, and I have done nothing to intentionally return to her? Nothing but release, I suppose. Release emotionally and spiritually, release the baggage that was burdening my forward motion. I suppose I didn’t expect the energetic homecoming to feel so sweet.

Bittersweet, really. Because I’m home, but I’m changed. It’s as if I’ve stepped into my warm, childhood home from the cold, but everything’s changed. The same house, but all the furniture in a different arrangement. Different food on the stove, different music on the stereo, a different feeling in the air. Same, and yet not the same at all. That’s how I feel. I am the same, and yet not the same at all. It’s quite unnerving. It begs me to question and inspect nearly everything I’ve ever experienced.

I find myself looking at old photos, scrutinizing, what was different then? What was better? What have I gained since then? How have I come to be better off? In what ways could I revert back or imitate this past version of this person I know as Sara, in order to suffer less now, today, in this current translation of me?

It makes me laugh. How I can look at a photo of myself, at 19, with a completely different set of rules, daily routines, and objectives. It puzzles and amuses me that I could look at her, this earlier edition of me – who is both inherently me and yet a me I no longer know, intimately – and think I could press a button and become her again, leaving behind today’s worries and fears, as if taking off one hat and donning another. As if she was free of worry and fear, as if she had less suffering, less struggle. As if it would be an escape into unfamiliar territory, rather than a return to terrain I’ve (both she and I, together) already traversed, successfully traveled through, come out the other side of…alive and stronger, wiser even.

It’s easy to both look back and think things were simpler, and yet to also look back and think man, I’m glad I don’t have to be there again. The mind is such a funny, fickle instrument. Casting shadows and light as it will, dressing up memories and editing their reality liberally.

The truth of the matter is we can never know if it would be easier to go back to an earlier time in our lives. Not as if to have a chance at a “do-over”, but rather to just escape the sometimes sharp and scalding experience of living, the accumulating nature that comes with the territory of being here for increasing turns ’round the sun. We can’t know if it would be, and even if we could know, it still wouldn’t be possible.

It is just not always easy to be human.

We grow wiser, yes. But we also grow wearier. We pine after times when things were (if only in our slippery mind’s eye) simpler, gentler, laced more amply with ease. And perhaps they were. But only because we had less of the perspective we have now. We had less of the preferences – agonizing preferences, truly one of the most basic causes of our suffering, and yet are lives are positively cluttered with them, are they not? – that we have now. We had less of the life experience. Less expectation. We carried less of the knowledge, were marked with less heartbreak and loss, knew less of the fear that comes with seeing firsthand. We’d had less of the sorrowful experiences that now weigh upon the seams of our soul.

But we also had countless fewer chapters, fewer messily filled in pages of our very own, personalized, little leather-bound survival handbook. We had fewer first kisses in our romantic registry that’d left us with unforgettably tingling legs. We had wished on fewer shooting stars. We’d wet our lips with fewer cups of bottomless tea and left marks on fewer rims of fragile glasses of sultry, aged wine. We’d locked eyes with fewer strangers. We’d taken less trains, read less books, been less acquainted with how actually wonderful disappointment can turn out to be. We’d not been as many times mystified by the cracks of lightning, the pounding thunder, the lightness of nourishing rain. We’d shattered the silence of a cold night with howling laughter fewer times, filled pages of journals with fewer tales of romance and anguish, seen less ravishing sights, had less “firsts”, been held in the warm cocoon of lovemaking fewer times.

We’d danced far less with the impossibly fleeting, but exquisitely breathtaking, nature of what it feels like to be alive, right now, in this moment. This moment that will pass and never come again. We’d not yet become so familiar with the breath-catching-in-our-chest feeling of anticipation for what will come next. The next moment, the next day, the next glance.

So perhaps being human, while inexplicably difficult and painful, isn’t so bad after all. Perhaps it’s the only reason we’re here. To learn how to do it, how to come home to ourselves. To become adept at befriending the many volumes of our own lives. To pull up a chair to our own stories, stand on two firmly planted feet at the helm of our own existence, use our every filament to see our purpose for what it is – to live. Without any expectation for life to be anything but what it is. Painful, but poetic, the latter of which matters more. Yes, life, in all its mystery and wonder. It is painful, but poetic, and it is unceasingly marvelous.

An Ode to Grandpa Courter

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There are so many meanings to this. So many layers.

I am reeling from saying goodbye to my Grandfather, on his deathbed, yesterday afternoon. The air in the room warm, balmy; holding his fragile frame in its tender embrace. The essence of God’s presence so palpable in the room, like a hand of comfort resting on my shoulder, on my Grandfather’s forehead, sweeping gestures of reassurance through the thick atmosphere. A silence so light it could never be heavy.

Last night, and this morning, I’m reading this favorite quote through new, tear-filled eyes. Letting go…the concept. The irrevocable process.

He is letting go, gently and willingly, after 96 years on this earth. A family, children, grandchildren, a legacy, a long life well-lived. It is such a strange notion, life and her cycles, yet simultaneously rooted in the very most basic law of nature. Of existence.

In these fragile moments where life shows her true colors, where she – in all her violent Grace – tears us from the scribbles of our own human minds, the constant barrage of needless worry, in a moment of stripped-bare humanity when we’re looking upon another person whom we’ve loved all our lives, teetering on the doorstep of this realm…we are reminded that this journey is finite. So very transient. We are reminded that nothing stays the same. That everything we does matters, and yet, it too shall pass.

In these fragile moments, life brings us to our knees…in gratitude, reverence, knocked dumb and silent and scared and profoundly moved. In these moments God wraps us up and hushes our frantic whispers of why, and when, and how long and how will I cope, and all of the in between fears and inquiries that language cannot even form for height of emotion.

My Grandfather himself pointed out to my mother, when she was the ripe age of 22, as they exited a funeral, “These experiences remind us all of our own mortality.” And they do, don’t they? How can they not? How can we witness a body, so ready to perish, a soul coiling deep, springing low, ready to launch from the very pores of its earthly vessel and return home without thinking of our own loss? Of our own journey? Of the lives of those we love? How can we not be rocked by it?

Life. Cycles. So difficult to swallow when it comes down to it, and yet truly, nature’s most basic law.

Life begins, proceeds, and one day ends. No one of us is exempt. This terrifies me and yet it is true, it is nature itself. Pure and simple. Life is ALWAYS happening, always progressing, no matter how hard we try to freeze moments or press beyond struggle. There is a steady pace, a pulse, over which we have no control.

So why resist? Why struggle against what IS? Why waste even a DAY in any vibration other than love? Other than that which feeds us, fuels us, and builds up the love in our lives.

We all know our source(s) of love. We all know where to seek. May we let go of anything which isn’t THAT. May we let go of anything that doesn’t lead us HOME. May we always love each other, love ourselves, and live.our.lives. NOW. Our sweet precious lives. Live them big and messy and loud and real. May we never take a single moment for granted. There’s just not time for that. There just isn’t time for anything but love. ♡

Just Show Up

While I am supremely grateful for all of the love and abundance that IS my life, some of which is a result of living in this modern world, I have a GNARLY bone to pick with modern society.

Or, rather, the fucked up messages that modern society projects.

We are not meant to be perfect. I repeat: WE ARE NOT MEANT TO BE PERFECT. Perfection is some illusion, existing in frozen hell land where pigs fly and Donald Trump is president (shudder). Human beings were never (EVER) intended to be flawless. We weren’t intended to all be one size (yep, you heard me ladies, you aren’t SUPPOSED to personify Barbie’s inhuman measurements…your thighs are allowed to touch, having breasts is pretty freaking neat – being predisposed to pencil legs and a flat chest is rockin’ too, so long as you’re thriving in your natural body frame, you are doing it right! And men, size does matter – the size of your heart, your smile, the expanse of your embrace, the width of your smile, the depth of your gaze, your capacity to LOVE and stand in your power and be vulnerable and hold space). We weren’t meant to all speak, dress, act the same way. We aren’t robots programmed to be without fault.

We are messy. We are complicated. Walking with fear, standing in it, is a necessary part of our evolution. Sometimes not a Goddamn THING in the Universe makes sense. It’s okay. Be afraid. Be imperfect (because that’s what we ALL are, and it’s not an antonym – it’s a glorious, universal adjective). Just show up. In all your messy, complicated, scared-shitless magic…SHOW. UP. The rest will follow. ♡


Surrender, and Be Carried

So many times I have paused, inspired to write. So many times my thoughts have been seized, overwhelm crashing through the partitions of that very inspiration. So many times since the 14th of August, I have collapsed into the carefully wrought stories of others, instead of weaving my own.

I am a writer. This act, of creation and confession, is a part of me, at my very core. As a child, I kept a diary, dutifully. I have stacks of journals, filled with my hand-written accounts of life as I have seen it. The practice has always been one of great comfort, honor, even duty. Definitely one of ritual. I have gone through spells, however, of neglecting my journal. Falling into bed at night too fatigued, too guilt-ridden, too drenched in denial to express in true light what life was like at any given time. These spells were few and far between, but they happened. They did not lessen the potency of my journaling practice, my self-inquiry, the necessary check-in (and sometimes check-up) brought by silent time with pen to page; heart expanding, and sometimes breaking, mind churning, right hand dancing. In fact, I returned to my journal with a keen and fervent need to express truth; a penchant for what once eluded me. Denial is a beast that blinds us; compassion is the champion that delivers our vision unto us once more, lifting the veil of ignorance so that light may illuminate its rightful scope.

Just as I have been on a hiatus from this gentle space for nearly seven weeks, so too I trust my absence has been one of merit. One of need. One of expansion.

When one hasn’t the words to bring together something of sense, one needn’t write at all. My thoughts these past weeks have been tumultuous. My journal carries a burdensome 70 or so pages of fresh ink. I have leapt, urgently, into the novels of great authors, seeking refuge in their carefully constructed vestibules of creativity, escape and wonder.

There has been movement (literally – I moved for a second time in 3 months) and there has been stillness. More stillness than I have allowed for several years. There has been fear, there have been moments of deep despair – the ones that drop you to your knees in prayer – followed by cavernous, swallow-you-up-whole dances with the very Grace that is gratitude herself. There has been an experience so foreign, to me, that I was knocked sideways by its newness; the uncharted territory of navigating struggle alone. Not alone in the deepest meaning, but highly aware that my troubles would only further burden my usual confidant, and acutely sensitive to not spilling my worries into air already polluted with chaos.

It is a great learning experience to gather forces – namely, one’s journal and a pen – and support oneself through a transition, through the lifting of ignorance’s veil, through the painful and obsession-laden process of understanding one’s own journey of healing, step by step. 

There have been moments of lightness and moments so leaden that the change in altitude was exhausting. There have been moments, as a woman of 27 years, that I have felt so suspended in time – so utterly perplexed by the simultaneously painful and EXQUISITE experience of being a human, alive on this planet – that the feeling of it all just made me weary.

Have you ever felt weary? I thought I had. But I have truly felt it this past summer. If anyone has ever doubted for even a moment the mind’s power over the body, doubt no longer. I fell ill for the first time in years. I slept 14 hours a night, my body weakened by my mind’s running circles all day long. The marks of emotional and psychological stress making themselves present in a debilitating week of intense fatigue.

But I believe that everything is Divine. I believe that in the shadows and struggle, we are reborn. With the onset of the Autumnal Equinox last week, I found my deliverance. I found, through the watchful and attentive self-care I had administered in the weeks prior, that I have begun to see myself through gentler eyes. Baring all cliched implications, I speak freely in saying I see, and loving hold, my inner child in a way I have never before been able. I am weepy with softness, fortified without having hardened, completely alert to every fixation and the purpose it has served.

I have found the long-misplaced courage to look my neurosis in the face and, rather than cower from its sullen expression, inch closer, seeking understanding.

There are so many of us in the world, and we experience so much of the same joy, the same suffering. We call them different names, we separate them by classes, we claim possession over the misery that we are convinced could only be grasped by our own wretched hearts. But we are mistaken.

In sorrow we are united. In agony, we are made one. This is the human experience. This is the communal cross we bear. This earth, this human life, is a battlefield utopia. Peppered with corpulent grief and stippled with incapacitating rapture. It would behoove us to realize that, while a solo flight, we are part of a grand team. We are all navigating the same ocean.

And, while it pains and shocks us to suffer, these experiences are Divinely poised for our transmutation. Our own transcendence.

There is no accident in the timing of my recent, gradual awakening. Autumn is my favorite time of year. The waning of the light, the inherent urge of Mother Nature to slow down – my own personal battle, that of moving slowly, that of balance and moderation, that of thwarting the temptress that is excess and over-achievement. The sweet, beckoning call for rest and recalibration that Fall brings with her is irresistible. There is harvest, there is the onset of night. There are leaves dry and curling, burnt and blushed, beneath our heels. There’s a slow waltz of warmth and cool, a harbinger of hibernation well-lit by the glow of an Indian Summer.

There was the Blood Moon Eclipse, several days ago, that laid yours truly flat on her ars. Utterly wiped out by the sheer energy swirling overhead and underfoot. There was the sweet release of surrendering to this, to all of it, the beautiful and delicious flavor of allowing what is. So often we fight our innate instinct, our responses to the realms articulating around us, and this causes resistance. We all know what happens when resistance, uninvestigated, is allowed to build.

Life offers us many, many opportunities to turn the rigid gaze of guilt and loathing upon ourselves. Why must we bolster its efforts? Why would a lapse in writing, or art, or work, or dutiful practice of whatever it is that you do, be yet another reason for us to cower in shame at our perceived inadequacy?

We have the power, the capacity, the URGE to heal. We, and we alone, can heal ourselves. All the powers of the universe are poised to facilitate this evolution, even the moments that shatter us to bits. They are all part of the process, down to our very cells. This miraculous scheme is so beyond our comprehension. All we must do is surrender, and be carried.

These lapses, these dances with the void, are not flaws. They are the sanctified act of surrendering to God, to ourselves, to the Divine essence of the most fragile present moment. They are consecrated invitations to inquire within. They are holy opportunities to heal. They are portals we must walk through, if only to lean against the door once it’s closed, and rest.


Blessed to Bitch and Moan

Life is so funny. Not “ha ha” funny (although, sometimes, indubitably it is – gutting you in that sweet, sweet, comedic way). Life is more like “what the actual HELL is happening in the world?” funny. More like “where did I begin to believe that I have any control whatsoever?” funny. I mean, do the bumps in the road ever stop coming?

Not to spoil the ending, but they don’t. They dot the road ahead. They do. But that’s not a bad thing, in my humble opinion. Wouldn’t it be so boring to know everything was just smooth sailing from here on out? No jarring mishaps or unexpected jostles to keep things interesting? Just plain, flat freeway. The kind that lulls you gently into a doze. We’re not meant to live unconsciously. I don’t know about you, but I’m not trying to fall asleep at the wheel of my LIFE.

I turned 27 this summer and am beginning to notice the shift into my mid-to-late twenties. Subtle nuances in behavior, interpretation, perspective and interest. I am also noticing a pattern of things going askew “just when everything was under control.” Sound familiar?

At first I thought it was a coincidence that things would go “wrong” all at once. I’d find reasons, breathe it out, relax once everything was handled and settled back into normalcy. But, as the years pass, I’m starting to see, and understand, that this is just life. To a degree. Ideally things aren’t constantly in chaotic motion, but for the most part, incessant change (read: GROWTH) is the very nature of life itself. The essence of being alive, on a cellular and spiritual level, is that “things” are always in flux. Each moment our cellular makeup is microscopically evolving; each lap around the sun our spiritual matrix is growing richer.

I found myself, just this week, chewing on this paradox. Mercury isn’t retrograde. It’s a New Moon, not a Full Moon. Things have only been “settled down” for a couple weeks, so it certainly isn’t time yet for the universe to topple the snow globe of my life and shake it all up again. What gives?

Then I realized: ADULTHOOD. Adulthood is what gives, sister.

This is life. This is being grown up. This is being a functioning member of society. Your car’s gas tank will need replacing the same week your internet goes out, and the week before you receive an eviction notice. Money will vanish into thin air and the crummy, dramatic people from your past (who somehow feel compelled to try and haunt you presently) will rear their seriously ugly heads, not caring that you have a million other “things” to deal with. You’ll get in a fight with the person you love most because, hell, they’re the only one in the world you are so shatteringly vulnerable with that you can unleash the vulgar underbelly of your loving Self upon them, knowing they will still forgive you; still hold you in your suffering. This will all happen within the same 168 hours because life does not operate on a schedule. 

I’ll be darned if there’s not incessantly something to fix, send back, pay for, drop off, pick up, buy, sell, settle or rectify. I used to think these things popped up neatly – one at a time, as if patiently waiting their turn – to be handled, with help, in a timely fashion. Now, I’m realizing, there’s no authoritative gatekeeper checking boarding passes, preventing them from tumbling in all together, ass over teakettle, ruining an otherwise perfectly organized and solidly structured week.

But then, in the midst of my situation(s), I’m struck down with the most powerful sense of gratitude. I’m alive. I’m healthy. I’m well. The ones I love most and cannot live without are, too. I have all my fingers and toes. I have a job (to pay for all this shit that’s hit the fan). I have a car (even though it’s threatening to poison me with noxious fumes). I have another car to drive while mine’s being repaired. I have someone to repair it. I have a house to live in (even though it’s only for another couple of weeks). I have a bed to sleep in (and I’ll sleep in it in my next house, too). I have rights and opportunities, I have an education and dreams, I have all the things that so many human beings would year for…and I’m complaining about the baggage that comes with it? SERIOUSLY?

I have been blessed and guided these 27 years to sit here now and have this revelation. So have you, to sit there and be reading this, too. Despite everything that has threatened our wellbeing, everything that has brought us to our knees, everything that has irked the living hell out of us…we are here. We are stronger. We are fiercely alive. 

All this “stuff”, all of these responsibilities and aspects of our lives that layer on the complicatedness like fragile layers of icing on a triple-tiered cake…stem from abundance. They stem from the simple nature of having something, having enough, being “okay.” They are birthed from the most organic space of a life well-lived. Making change in the world, showing up to do a job, coming home to build a life; making an effort, doing your best, showing…the…fuck…UP. And, in that moment, I realize: It’s a god-forsaken BLESSING to bitch and moan. 

I imagine people who have nothing find less to b & m about. Don’t you? Such simple matters of survival take up that space; a safe place to sleep, a warm meal to eat, preventing illness and injury, keeping life going, just one day at a time.

But with abundance, comes complaint. Now, that’s about as “funny” as life gets.

So, as I house hunt again, for the third time in 5 months, I will just smile. Slowly zoom out, in my mind’s eye, and take a gander at the bigger picture. When has life not ended up “okay”, really? Probably rarely, if ever. Learning to give up on the well-intentioned but poisonous desire to always have a blank slate “to-do” list. Learning to see it not as a success, but as that boring flat stretch of highway we discussed before. Yes, it’s satisfying to remove obstacles from our path, to see that stretch of flat up ahead. But what if, instead of squinting fervently, trying to scout out the bumps in the road to come, we instead turn our eyes to the rearview; admire the flat stretch behind us. We always make it over those bumps, obviously we do, if we’re here to share in this revelation together. I think a smooth rearview bodes more success than a sickeningly predictably flat future journey.

Learning to navigate the bumps and twists, the potholes and detours, are a rite of passage. It’s a gift. So the next time we, all of us, are burdened by the hectic dissonance that life sometimes serves…may we soften, and remember, one must be blessed to bitch and moan.


Talk About the Shit You Don’t Want to Talk About


This. This is everything. Brava, dear girl. Never stop talking about the shit you don’t want to talk about. Bless your beautiful, brave heart. Namaste.

Originally posted on yogamaris:

School has started.

Back to school meant back to the mat, pushing me to brave rush-hour traffic, squeeze into parking Tetris behind Just Be, and squeeze my way into overstuffed classes just for 75 minutes of nothing but breath and sweat. I needed it, a chance to hit the pause button and regroup, like calling together the troops in my head for a come-to-Jesus meeting that says, “Get ready to go back to real life.”

Because instead of starting my day with a yoga class at eight AM, I’m starting my day in a room with a clock that doesn’t seem to move and a classroom of students who don’t want to be there. It’s the final year, and motivation is either skyrocketing as kids aspire toward college, or already taking a dangerous plunge toward a terminal diagnosis of Senioritis. My life feels like it’s taken a complete 180 from the summer-…

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From a Sweet, Juicy Place of Love

So much has transpired since my last entry here. I turned 27. There was a Full Moon. We nearly lost our patriarch, my Grandfather. His circumstances improved. I thought I had to move. I house-hunted like mad for a week. My cousin got married. There was a New Moon. I found out I didn’t have to move. I went on a couple dates. The earth did who knows how many pirouettes on her axis.

Life went, beautifully, on.

Despite the epic changes I have imparted on my life in the past three months, despite the uncertainty – a thing I bend over backwards, quite literally sometimes (on the yoga mat), to avoid – I have been brought to my knees in sheer gratitude for all the love and abundance that IS my life, lately. More so than ever before. I have been brought TO LIFE.

I find it so interesting, the concept of uncertainty and “the unknown.” I mean, it’s hilarious to me that I even look at it as an option. As if my perceived structures of control have any effect whatsoever on the chaos that is time and space! Things are going to happen, the earth keeps spinning, life goes on.

I recently joked with my parents, “Is this just how life gets, as an adult? One thing after another? You think you have everything all settled and then BOOM, car trouble. BOOM, something at home breaks. BOOM, something else pops up.” They smiled sideways and wrinkled their brows as if to say, “………Well, DUH.” The problem is not that life hurls “one thing after another”, I am now realizing. The issue is that I expect it not to do that! The story that I have is one of a child, where others take care of business for me, others help me through every decision and oftentimes make them for me. It’s kind of my autopilot, to be honest. I’m used to calling up my mom when I get a confrontational text message or email, when something happens at work, when someone wants to have a serious discussion – I need to carefully detail her advice before reacting. I do this. I don’t trust my own judgement, even though my life is lived by way of intuition. It doesn’t make sense, right?

I think a lot of us are like this. I am so endlessly blessed to have the support system I have, but I see now that I have taken advantage of their wisdom and advice so frequently, that when it’s up to me to make decisions…I balk. I worry that someone will say, “WHY did you say/do that???” I worry that someone is not going to like that I acted like a doormat or didn’t stand up for myself, or that I didn’t say the appropriate things during the conversation and now the moment has passed.

But you know what? WHO CARES! SO WHAT!?

If I’m in the driver seat and it’s up to me to make the decisions that only have to live with, then why wouldn’t I be most concerned with my reaction to my own life?

It makes so much sense, when I lay it out like this. But, at 27, I am just now learning how to carefully remove my training wheels and balance on my own. I am just now respecting and giving weight to my own thoughts, opinions and motives. It, is, SO, liberating.

I am also working more towards being more grounded and authentic (read: less of a people pleaser), and more trusting and content in the day-to-day (read: less of an “uncertainty avoider”). I am fiercely working on coming from a place of love rather than fear (have you ever taken a day to do inventory on how many times you move from a place of fear rather than a place of love? It’s astonishing, really).

No matter how much we plan, life has its own agenda. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way demonizing planning. It’s awesome. It’s kind of my middle name. I always have a plan. But sometimes, just letting the fluidity of life take its course, can be so much more delightful than you ever could’ve planned. I’ve begun planning for today, instead of all week. Yes, there’s a rough outlined sketch of the week in my head, but by not calendar planning every detail of the week (in pen, no less), I suddenly can breathe so much more deeply. I have the freedom (as if I didn’t have it before…) to change my mind. To do things differently. To make my Tuesday plan my Thursday plan instead, and do something else on Tuesday. To NOT do things I don’t want to do, and to add in as I see fit. Why wouldn’t I live this way all the time?

In the well-intentioned act of planning so as to cultivate a structure of perceived security, we can often sink unconsciously into a fear-based way of living. Preventive. Frightened. Walking forward, tentatively, with our hands outstretched trying to ward off any potential chaos. 


So now, I am taking another vow (y’all know how much I love those…). I am taking a vow to live life as it comes. I’m always going to scribble lists on post-it notes and write on my calendar. I’m always going to roughly sketch out my plan for the week, mentally. It’s who I am. There’s nothing wrong with being this way. But there’s something very wrong with going on autopilot and boxing out the potential for unexpected beauty. Unexpected chaos will enter our safe little emotional villas whether we invite them in or not. But unexpected beauty? It has a much harder time sliding through the cracks. We actually have to step outside, we actually have to look up, to see it.

And it is there, always.

I am committed to stepping outside, as often as possible. I am committed to looking up. I am committed to letting the beauty wash over me, shatter me, day after day. I am committed, in every single moment, to approaching my life from a sweet, juicy place of love.

Won’t you join me?