Advice for Women · Andshelaughs · andshelaughs writing · Dating Advice for Women · Feminism · Feminist Culture · Feminists · Girl Stuff · Guy Stuff Women's · Happy New Year · Health · Healthy Living · Lean In Girl Stuff · Men's Health · Mental Health · New Age · New Feminism · New Year's Eve · New Year's Resolutions · Professional Women · Sexual Health · The New Feminism · Uncategorized · Wellness · women · Women's Issues · Women's Rights · Working Women

New Year – New You; When Did You Stop Dancing?

mirror heartThree days ago I danced naked in front of my bathroom mirror.

I watched as every ounce of my forty-three year old body jiggled and bounced. It wasn’t pretty by anyone’s standards, but it was joyful.

Until it wasn’t. As I took in my reflection, I wondered at how different my appearance is to the way I feel on the inside. What happened to my firm body? The one I used to work so hard, make love with, gave birth with, and adorned to glorify it?

It got caught up in all of the should’s, my anxiety, eating away at my piece of mind, padded my tushy, and provided a thicker layer of protection against a demanding world.

But three days ago I used it to dance.

And being the turn of the new year, I couldn’t help but want to love it a bit more. All of it. You know, let my bones rest from carrying so much should-shaming, and shake off the madness by dancing from the inside-out.

Yes, I do need to lose weight and get in shape. I really believe that it comes from the inside though. I never make resolutions, but this year will be an exception. 2017 saw an overhaul of my emotional landscape, and damn it, I’m going to celebrate!

This year I will dance; in the moment, not wishing to be anywhere but where I am. I will do my best to be joyful, and present, letting the discomfort of my patterns make me uncomfortable enough to explore outside of my comfort zone.

One of my gal-pal’s posted her word, “GLOW”, as her word for 2018, I had to nod my head in agreement.

If I have to narrow down one word for this new year, may I suggest, “DANCE”. Not the kind of dancing that will make you an overnight YouTube star, but the kind of dancing that starts in your soul and shines in everything that you do.

2018, I will delight in dancing within the moments you gift me by loving the body that carries me through it all.

Wishing you everything you need to dance.

when did you stop dancing

Advertisements
Advice for Men · Advice for Women · Advice for Writers · Aging · Andshelaughs · andshelaughs writing · Anxiety · Anxiety & Depression · Anxiety and Depression · Art of LIving · Artists · At Issue · Break Ups · Break-Ups · Breaking Up · Breathe In Breathe Out · Breathe In Breathe Out Move On · Broken Hearts · Buddhism · Buddhist Philosophy · Buddhist Writers · Canadian Writers · Coffee Talk · columns Dating Advice · Columns Relationship Advice · Comedy · Communication · Communications · Creative Life · Creativity · Dating Advice · Dating Advice for Men · Dating Advice for Women · Dating Advive · Dating Love · Dating Over 40 · Dear Asshole · Depression · Entertainment · Falling In Love · Fearless Living · Fearlessness · Free Thinkers · Freedom of Speech · Friends · Friendship · Girl Stuff · Graceful Living · Guy Stuff · Happiness Project · Having Fun · He Said She Said · Healing · Health · Healthy Living · Human Rights · ideas · insight · Inspiration · jealousy · Jimmy Buffett · Jimmy Buffett Toronto · Joy · Joyful Living · Kindness · Kindness Project · Laughter Therapy · Leadership · Lean In · Lean In Girl Stuff · Learning · Life · Life Lessons · Living · Loneliness · Loss · Love · Love Letters · Love Songs · Lovers · Marriage · Matters of the Heart · Mature Dating · Meaning of Life · Men's Health · Men's Issues · Men's Sexuality · Mens' Issues · Mental Health · Mindful · Mindful Living · New Age · New Feminism · New Year's Eve · Nostalgia · on-line dating · Pema Chodron · Perspective · Philosophy · Psychology · Rants · Relationship Advice · Relationships · Religion and Spirituality · Romance · Romance Dating · Sadness · Singles · Social Anxiety · Social Commentary · Society · Songwriters · Spiritual Living · Spirituality · The Art of Living · Therapy · Uncategorized · Wellness · Whole Living · Women's Issues · Words of Wisdom · Working Women · Writing · Writing Inspiration

Sink Or Swim; Nostalgia & a Little Shove

mylifeHolidays tend to make us nostalgic. Thank goodness that they’re officially over for 2015.

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve heard, “2015 was a terrible year“. Wow.

I prefer to frame my year as a deli sandwich. The bread was delicious, but the meat of it was a little sour. In other words, the first and last thirds were great (as in; good enough), but the middle really blew.

How often as children did we say a year was terrible? We didn’t darlings. We just did the 10 second countdown to the new year and moved forward with joyful, curious abandon.

sufferingNow we yearn for the days when life was simple and  we still believed in magic. Friendships and family were taken for granted, and happiness was just on the other side of the screen door.

As adults, we tend to overcomplicate things. ‘Be kind and play fair’, seem to have gotten lost in the big, adult personal ethics playbook. And that just stinks. Because it hurts. Yes, people can be selfish and cruel, but they can also be kind, giving, and lovely to snuggle up with. Naked.

As human beings, we all want to be loved. We all need and want strong friendships, a true love with whom we can  share our most intimate selves , and bourbon. Ok, maybe the last bit is all about me, but whatever.

When we lose ourselves in the fray of losing the one person we fell in love with, we feel broken. I’ve been there. It hurts. It’s scary, and it puts a pretty harsh filter on our vision of the future.

Just this summer, I sat, sobbing on my friend’s front step, while she nursed my broken heart and damaged pride. I felt empty, hopeless, afraid and lost.

We live in a world that prizes the individual and yet makes it impossible to live without the safety net of community, family and friends. Yes, the great Western-way-of-life has unfolded into a wonderful cock-up of psychological dissonance. But what do I know? I’m just a girl after all.

I do know this. The holiday season has seen a lot of falling in and out of love; happy hearts and hearts that have been broken and need time to heal, relationships that are worn thin, or worn out altogether.

The beautifully terrifying part of it all, is that the only way to heal a heart is to live life. The very life that has tossed you like a small boat on a big, angry, ocean, leaving you feeling washed up and broken beyond repair.

Cling to curiosity. Let your friends lead you when you are  blinded by tears. Be wary of the seductive pull of too much sleep, lack of self care, and try to remember how good it feels to laugh after you decide to, ‘fuck it’.

As a quasi-Buddhist-lover-of-Christian-ritual, this speaks to me. You have two choices; get up, dive back into that same unpredictable ocean to wash yourself clean, or wallow in the sand getting burned by the sun and possibly gnawed to death by vicious, exotic fauna.

Sometimes you need a friend to role you back into the ocean. In some cases, you need a friend to drag you, kicking and screaming, back to life. It’s called tough love, and we all need it once in a while.

Nostalgia and wishing for a happily-ever-after is a waste of time.

havetimeYou and I both know that more than anything else, this is true; life is short and precious.

Take the time you need to sit quietly with your broken heart. Don’t run away from it, or deny it what it needs to tell you.  Take your sadness and swaddle it like a helpless infant. As difficult as this may seem, you will see that soon enough, you will be at peace with it.

Weep. Cry. Scream into your pillow…and as you take your last gasp of sobbing breath, get ready for a shove back into the ocean of life.

You’ve always been a beautiful swimmer darling. Always.

 

 

 

Advice · Advice for Men · Advice for Women · Advice for Writers · Andshelaughs · andshelaughs writing · Anxiety · Anxiety & Depression · Art of LIving · Artists · At Issue · Battle of the Sexes · Beauty · Bereavement · bloggers · Blogging · Blogs · Buddhism · Canadian Poets · Canadian Writers · Capitalism · Columns · columns Dating Advice · Columns Relationship Advice · Communication · Coping · Creative Writing · dating · Dating Advice · Dating Advice for Men · Dating Advice for Women · Dating Advive · Dating Love · Dating Over 40 · Death & Dying · Depression · Faith · Falling In Love · Fearless Living · Fearlessness · Feminism · Feminists · Free Speech · Free Thinkers · Freedom of Speech · Friends · Friendship · Friendships · Girl Stuff · Graceful Living · Gracious Living · Gratitude · Gratitude Journal · Grief and Loss · Guy Stuff · Happiness Project · Health · Healthy Living · Heartache · Hope · insight · Inspiration · Joyful Living · Kindness · Kindness Project · Life · Life Lessons · Living · Love · Love Letters · Lovers · Marriage · Mature Dating · Meaning of Life · Meditations · Men's Health · Men's Issues · Men's Sexuality · Mens' Issues · Mental Health · New Age · Opinion · Pema Chodron · Personal Development · Perspective · Philosophy · Psychology · Relationship Advice · Relationships · Religion and Spirituality · Romance · Romance Dating · Sadness · Self-Help · Sexual Health · Simple Living · Singles · Soul Food · Spiritual Living · Spirituality · Sprititual Living · The Art of Dying · The Art of Living · Thereapy · Toronto Life · Uncategorized · Whole Living · Wisdom · Women's Issues · Words of Wisdom · Working Women · Writers · Writing Inspiration

When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough

IMG_6406I wasn’t going to write tonight.

What I wanted to do was to turn out the lights, curl up in a ball and shut out the world.

What I really wanted to do was to turn out the lights, curl up in a ball with my sweetheart, and shut out the world, possibly hearing those magic, fairytale words, “It’s ok”.

I don’t have a sweetheart to curl up with, and I can’t sleep. Right now, it’s not ok.

You see, today, despite always trying to be kind, loving and the world’s greatest promoter of open communication, I was hurt by two people very dear to me.

Call it what you will; lying, omission, whatever.

Being played for a fool, and not being trusted with emotional content is the emotional equivalent to tunneling through my heart with a grapefruit spoon. It’s messy, and it hurts like hell.

When someone  isn’t honest with me, I figure it’s for one of two very basic reasons; They’re afraid of being judged, or they’re an asshole.

Very few people I care about would fall into the latter category. So that makes me think that it’s something that I’ve done wrong. I must make them feel like I’m critical…They must think I’m stupid…They must be ashamed and are afraid to tell me…I’m a terrible person who makes people feel like they can’t talk to me….

And so it goes. I beat myself up and feel like my best just isn’t good enough. I feel like I’ve failed the people whom I care the most about.

Guilt, sadness and feeling inadequate; The trifecta of feeling like crap. There is never any rejoicing in being lied to or taken for a fool.

I practice what I preach when it comes to matters of the heart. I leave it all out there every day. I don’t miss an opportunity to let someone know I’m thinking of them, and I always, always, always tell them I love them.

Life is, by the way, a matter of the heart. Just in case you forgot what being a human being is all about and have mistaken it for a game of who can acquire the most stuff, the quality of your character matters, not the quality of your clothing.

I know that being able to open yourself to love is the cost of being loved. In other words, if you put it all out there, like I do, it’s a risk. But it’s a great risk. If you don’t allow yourself to be seen (in the spiritual sense), you don’t allow yourself to be loved, nurtured, or to grow in the warm light of relationship.

As my humble roots might mutter, “If you half-ass it, you’ll get half-assed results”.

For wearing my heart on my sleeve, I’ve had it beaten up, mocked and treated like hell.  It’s a tough old heart, but it’s just as tender on the inside as it was when I was a school girl with the school girl crush, and that’s the way I plan on keeping it.

After all, if you don’t put it out there, the right people will never be able to capture and care for it.

When your best isn’t good enough, it’s ok to be sad, to cry, to feel alone, and to dig your heels in and battle on in the name of all that you believe to be good and true.

 

Advice · Andshelaughs · Buddhism · Girl Stuff · Humor · Life · Living · Magic · Meaning of Life · Men's Issues · New Age · Psychology · Self-Help · Spiritual Living · Spirituality · Women's Issues

Women’s Intuition & Other Things that Make Perfect Sense

intuitionI’ve been criticized, laughed at and accused of being dishonest. I’ve had people give me funny looks, and think that I was crazy. Well, I am sorta crazy. Just crazy enough to let my hi IQ and creative side shine, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

What I’m talking about is a woman’s intuition.

Oh, don’t go all eye-rolly and flippant on me. If your are a woman, or you know a woman, you’ve experienced this sixth-sense phenomenon first hand at some point in your life.

If you are hiding something, it will be found out anyway. Oh lawdy, yes it will.

My general rule of thumb is if you have a gut-wrenching inclination to check facts, you already know the truth. This is also known in the common vernacular as; being fed a beautifully creative line of el poopo. Why give it any energy? That kind of stuff burns itself out soon enough.

So, let’s go back to  being sorta crazy. First let me say in all seriousness, and with no sarcasm at all, that most women fancy themselves at one time or another to be sorta crazy. We all like to think that there is a wild fierceness about us. I believe that this is drawn from our desire to connect with our ideas of archetypes which combine great femininity, power, love and magic. Sorta crazy is not at all like bat-shit crazy, but it does live in the same town.wildwoman

Regularly, you will find me up on my soapbox, preaching intuition to my friends, younger women, and those who have sought my confidence.

Despite this, I’m not so  good at is using my intuition when it comes to  matters of the heart. Well, only one matter of the heart; my romantic interests.

Yep, I sorta suck at that.  I tend to get dreamy-eyed when my heart is feeling warm, cozy, and snuggled up to a deliciously wonderful man.

Even though I believe intuition is king, I ignore it when it comes to matters of the heart. Why? Because, it’s ok to be dreamy, to believe in something, to want something, and it’s also ok to be wrong.

When intuition can’t be heard over the pitter patter of your heart, remember that your friends still make perfect sense. They are the voice of reason when our heads are buried in the sand, up our bums, or on Cloud 9.

The bottom line remains the same; have the courage to just go with your gut. Raise your intuition high on a pedestal and honour it. Sometimes the things to which we cannot apply logic make us the most human and make us feel alive.

Being wrong is not a sin. Being too afraid to live, is.