I had a rough relationship with my birthday for a good decade.
All through my twenties, it seemed like something happened right on or around my birthday that was less than celebratory.
On my 25th birthday, I threw a party and literally no one showed up.
On my 27th, I was in the emergency room for a ruptured ovarian cyst.
But on the day before my thirtieth birthday, I laid on the bathroom floor at my sister's house, my head in her lap, drinking tequila out of the bottle and smoking weed out of a bowl shaped like a glass slipper, weeping uncontrollably. (Note to reader: I don't recommend adding tequila and marijuana to an already emotionally charged situation. But we live and we learn, right?)
After shoving a towel in the crack in the door, turning the fan on and lighting candles to conceal the smell from her sleeping husband, my sister just sat quietly and let me cry, rubbing my forehead and passing me tissues.
We've always joked that I am the emotional one of the family and she is the logical one. (Although, I think she was feeling much stronger than she was letting on at the moment.)
This was the beginning of the end of my marriage.
And definitely not the last time I would find myself weeping on the floor of one of my sibling's houses.
Fast forward three years, and I am approaching my 33rd birthday.
33 is magical. It's the Jesus year.
And I can feel some goodness swirling around this birthday. I can feel some momentum building. I know some good shit is coming.
I am manifesting the life of my dreams. I am literally in the process of creating my best life. It may not seem like that from the outside, but thats the funny thing about manifestation. It's sneaky.
From the outside, I live in my brother's extra room and work at a bar part time. I am paying off a pretty intense amount of debt. I am driving a car thats been in a wreck and the door is all f'ed up. I am in an "odds-stacked-against-us-but-we-don't-care" loooooong distance relationship. I have no idea how I am going to pay for what I am planning for the rest of this year.
From the outside, this doesn't look like much of a life that one would manifest.
But just you wait. I'm not even gonna tell you what I am cooking. You'll just have to follow the journey.
One of the reasons I know there is good stuff coming is because I have a ridiculous, abnormal and outstanding amount of trust. Trust in God, and trust in myself.
The other reason, is because I have been doing work.
I have been working on myself, my patterns, my habits, my view of the world and of myself, my discipline, my bravery, my uncomfortableness. I have been putting in the work. Because nothing is going to change unless you do the work.
I did the work with no guidance, with no help and with no understanding or knowledge of what I was actually doing. I wonder how different my story would be if I had taken initiative to heal my heart and fix my life before it fucking fell apart at my feet that night in the bathroom.
I encourage you to start looking at some of your shit, man. I encourage you to bravely, courageously, and nakedly peer into the parts of your life that you have been avoiding or hiding from or pretending is not there.
Heal your heart and fix your life before it implodes before you.
Today, I am so grateful to my ex and for every single tear I wept over the end of our marriage. I am so grateful for how incredibly difficult this road has been.
I am a fucking warrior because of it.
A warrior of love. A warrior of hope.
And I am going to help a lot of women become warriors as well.
Just wait and see.
(If you're ready to look at your stuff and start taking steps toward healing your heart, I would be honored if you would consider trying my 7-Day Journaling Projects. I created them for people to start dialoging with themselves about stuff in their life that needs their attention and their love.)
This was last year on my birthday. This was the best birthday I had had in over a decade.
This year will be even better.
Never let anyone tell you what you should be doing.
Never tell yourself what you should be doing.
Don't tell other people what they should be doing.
What should be done about a relationship, a job, a living arrangement, a financial picture, self-love, free time, spirituality or anything else for that matter.
I was told once that if someone tells you that you should do something, you should run in the other direction as fast as possible. (I love the irony of that - but stay with me. haha)
How on earth can someone else know what is best for you?? How does it make a glimmer of sense for someone to look at your life from an outside perspective, and have the capacity to gain enough insight into your experience, to be able to offer any valid amount of advice?
Seek council from people you trust, yes. But learn to trust yourself, homie.
Use caution when your inner monologue runs things through the mind like, "I shouldn't do this or that." "I should own a house or have a kid by now." "I should stay at my shit job for security."
When you use should language toward yourself, you are sacrificing the desires of your heart for the cultural conditioning of what is "normal".
Screw normal, man. Normal is lame.
Do what makes you joyful. Do what makes your heart sing. Be on your own timeline.
Quit the job, leave the relationship, travel the world, fall in love, get out of debt, buy the house, have the baby, save for retirement, go back to school, learn to play the ukulele, paint faces at festivals, be friends with your ex.... OR DON'T!
Don't let anyone, including me, tell you what you should be doing.
The only thing you should be doing is living. Whatever that looks like for you.
Cheering for you.
When I was in the seventh grade, a classmate of mine bled through her shorts and didn't realize it until there was enough blood to pool in her chair. She ran to the bathroom weeping, and although I don't remember her name, I would almost bet that the memory of that day stays with her all these years later.
I learned in that moment how horrifying, embarrassing and gross periods were.
And at that time, as a disgruntled late boomer, I was still almost two years away from starting my own. I was angry at my period two years before it even began. (Wtf is a late bloomer anyway? There is no time frame in life. Not for periods, school, marriage, babies, anything. Time frames are stupid.)
I can't speak for other cultures or other women, but until recently, I haven't really ever spent time with any woman who loves her period.
What's to love, right? The cramps, the bloating, shoving foreign objects in private places, the avoidance of all things white... the list goes on.
But this thought occurred to me yesterday: Healthy women have healthy periods.
Go have a quick chat with a woman trying to get pregnant who hasn't had a period in 18 months. She is praying for those menstrual cramps you've been bitching about.
In November, I started using a menstrual cup. I was sick of tampons, sick of the pink tax, sick of putting weird shit in my body. Plus, I was starting to believe that tampons were making my cramps worse, giving me yeast infections and just pissing off my reproductive system as a whole. (I was right, btw.)
This simple act of switching my personal hygiene product of choice has changed my entire relationship with my body, and especially with my period.
Let me say this loud and fucking clear: YOUR PERIOD IS NOT GROSS. Your body, and anything it does naturally, is not gross.
I have said for years that I never want children. I used to have a strong pattern of picking less than "father material" men in my past, and I think out of protection of my heart, I just declared I didn't want children. (Would have been easier to choose better men, but I'll save that one for another post.)
What I didn't realize was that in this declaration of not wanting children, I was neglecting my womb. This neglect, coupled with the cultural conditioning that "periods are gross" created a shitstorm in my mind and in my body.
Basically, I was at war with my own body. If you think one part of you is disgusting or wrong, that creates disharmony that ripples out into other areas of your relationship with yourself.
You can not love yourself completely if you still hate something about yourself. Even if it's your period.
Periods are a gift. They are a reminder that we are strong, healthy women capable of bringing life into this world. They serve as a reminder to slow down and rest, even if it's just once a month, to nurture yourself and love on yourself. They serve as an indicator of our health.
Change your relationship to your period and I guarantee your relationship with yourself and the rest of your body will change too.
You should love your body and everything it does. Learn to listen to whatever the body is trying to tell you. Instead of fighting the symptoms of your period, approach your cycle with love.
The only way we can ever change the cultural conditioning around a woman's period is if we change it within ourselves. We can't expect men or culture to change their beliefs around periods if we refuse to change our beliefs first.
Love (ALL OF) your body. You can do it.
I'm always game to chat more about this. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email if you want to go deeper.
I met a gentleman named James today.
(I love using the term gentlemen for dudes that are older and cooler than me. Try it, they love it.)
He had white hair down to the middle of his back, a perfectly manicured, matching beard and the coolest Harry Potter glasses.
He had really cool and calm energy, and I could tell he was a young, old soul. Or an old, young soul. I couldn't quite tell which.
Anyways, he is a writer by trade, and I shared a bit about my own writing journey and how I am currently trying to become a professional writer in some way.
I told him about my book, my blog and these emails and he immediately asked for my blog address.
I instantly started sweating and felt the blood rush to my face.
I was stumbling over my words about how my website isn't published yet because its not finished and blah, blah, blah.. and suddenly the quiet voice of my true self whispered, it's not published yet darling, because you're scared.
(Insert wide eyed emoji here.)
I ask people to read my stuff at the time. Every day in fact! Why did this random guy illicit such an intense response!?
So, in the middle of my sentence, I stopped myself and said, "You know what, James. Since you asked and you're curious enough to write down my blog address, I am going to get it published within 2 days."
And so I did.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, first 'cause I want you to check out my shiny, new website. Obvi. www.thedefiantdreamer.com (Blog posts, Journaling projects other goodies are on there!)
And second, because this experience gave me such a clear understanding of how I get in my own way, just because of a little fear.
Fear of being judged. Fear of being rejected. Fear of not helping people. Just stupid fear.
I learned this weekend from a brilliant podcast that any decision, (or lack thereof) made in fear, has a karmic retribution that will have to be paid at some point.
(And I am fo' sho not trying to rack up any more karmic debt, am I right?!)
So, I am going to face my fears head on.
I am trying to have enough awareness that when I experience the sensation of fear, or fear masked as any other negative emotion, I just go towards it and do the opposite of what the fear is telling me.
You should try it.
'Cause fear is a little bitch.
Usually something magical is waiting for you on the other side of the fear. You just have to trust yourself and trust God to get you there.
You can do it.
I'm cheering for you.
P.S. My first ever webinar is going to be on my 33rd birthday!
Save the Date: Sunday, July 29th. Time: tbd.
I'm gonna talk about my journey and give you some action steps and tangible things you can do to start overcoming anything that is holding you back so you can start creating the life of your dreams! YAY!
People on my email list get in for free, so enter your email here to get the link!
If I had to condense my message into one sentence, it would be this:
I want to help people be free.
I know that my jam is not for everyone and that is totally ok.
Because really, I'm only capable of helping the people that get down with my vibe, anyway.
But I want to help you be free. To feel free. To experience all the beauty and love this life has to offer once you release the chains that are holding you down.
Freedom can have many definitions and that statement might land differently with each person who reads this.
Although, our burdens may be different, our innate desire for freedom is one in the same.
Maybe your burden is a lack of self-love.
Maybe it's a devastating divorce.
Maybe it's an embarrassing amount of debt.
Maybe you're controlling, and you're preventing the possibility of miracles in your life.
Maybe you're jaded on who God/Universe/Source/Divine Love is, based on your experience inside a building.
Maybe it's a shit childhood or emotional trauma.
Regardless of what it is for you, I believe with everything that I am that I can help you.
I just don't know how to do that yet.
I am writing a book. I am writing a coaching program. I am doing other big projects that will require a little more time to come to fruition.
But I want to start something now.
So, I'm gonna do a webinar.
I don't know what I'm going to talk about just yet. Probably some yummy goodness about freedom and self-love and stepping into your power 'cause you're a boss, type shit.
It's gonna be on my birthday because I am turning 33 and that is a magical year.
So, the best way I can think to kick off the big 3-3 is with some good, old-fashioned love and encouragement. Literally, my 2 favorite things.
Save the date: July 29, 2018. Time: TBD
It's gonna be live and awkward and amazing. And I can't wait.
And since you're on my email list, you get access FO FREEEEE, yo! Instagram peeps are gonna have to pay for this goodness. ;)
So click here and enter your email so I can send you the link for the webinar.
It's a beautiful day today, folks. Life is a dream and I am so grateful.
Cheering for you,
P.S. Today was the first time ever that I said the word "divorce" on social media and I feel FREE AF after that. Time to do werk.
I posted a video on the 'Gram yesterday of me dancing around my living room like a crazy pants, rocking out to Drake.
You know white girls love Drake.
(It's on my Exactly Me Highlight spot, go peep it 'cuz it's cute.)
So, I'm looking at the video again today and I am just laughing because when that song came out I was leaving LA.
One day, I was in conversation with a friend about my ex and how we were meeting up later that day to "talk".
And I said to her, "I'm blem for real, I might just say how I feel." (Line from the song, Blem. Blem means high... stay with me now. ;))
And when I went to talk to my ex, I did say how I felt. For the first time ever. Just laid all my shit out there.
So now, I am watching this silly video of me dancing and singing to my dogs, to a song that actually empowered me 2 years ago to start speaking my truth.
I thought to myself, "What other nuggets of wisdom are in this song??!" Allow me to share my findings:
But here's the takeaway:
Cheering for you.
*Basic is slang for white girls that listen to Drake and drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I don't get down on the PSL, but you know me and Drake are homies.
The moment you realize that everything you’ve ever prayed for and everything you ever dreamed of, is being handed to you, is an overwhelming one, to say the least.
Not only is it exactly what you prayed for, but it's even more. It’s better. As if God said, “I know you prayed for this, but I’m gonna do you one better. Let me show you how much I love you.”
Over the last four years, through the hardest season of my life, I look back at journal entries and the things that stand out to me the most are my unwavering trust in God and my abundant gratitude. Even in the darkest moments of misery and pain, I was thanking God for everything He was doing, for everything that was happening, even the painful stuff because I knew He had a plan. I just KNEW it. I could feel it.
In the beginning of this hell of a season of life, I once heard the words, “gratitude precedes the miracle.” That rung in my mind for weeks and months, and now years later, I am witnessing the miracle. I can specifically look back on times when I was thankful for this exact moment, even though I had no idea what this moment would consist of.
This moment, I am sitting on a plane flying across the world to spend 19 days in Australia with a man who loves me more than any human being on this earth ever has.
This moment I am thinking of the plans we are making for our future, to travel, to help people, to have a family and be good parents. To grow together, to help each other. To stand by each other no matter what.
This moment, I finished watching a silly movie and for the first time ever in my life, felt that love in real life is better than in the movies.
I believed that this life was real. I felt it in my body years before it came to existence. I created the type of relationship I wanted in my heart and I wrote it down, specifically, the kind of man I wanted to be with, what our relationship looked like and how I felt when I was with him.
I imagined a life where I had the opportunities to travel and experience culture, and see the beauty of creation. I prayed for a chance to help people. To share my story to empower others. To not be ashamed of what I had been through, knowing I was going through it so I could have experience that would give me opportunities to speak truth to others who are suffering.
God took me into the depths of hell and asked me to trust Him. He put me under immense pressure and heat. Everything I loved and had built, He asked me to throw it in the fire, including the person I thought I was. He said, “follow me” on a treacherous journey and I did. I did my fair share of kicking and screaming along the way, but I followed. With a trusting heart, I followed.
Can you identify the feeling of trust? Can you describe the physical sensation in the body that happens when you feel like you are trusting someone, yourself or God?
I had been hurt so many times and by so many people over the course of my life that I realized I had no idea what trust actually felt like. I didn’t know how to surrender because I had been dropped on my face so many times.
So this experience of trusting God that I am describing is not one of surface level, church chatter of “just trust God.” This was a, “I’m jumping off a cliff for you, God and I know without question you will catch me.” This was a, “every other plan I have made for myself has failed and I am literally at my rock bottom so I have no way out” type of trust. This was a, “I’m sick of my own bullshit, so I am down for whatever” kind of thing.
And when you have nothing left, when you are literally just an empty shell of a person you thought you once were, when the world has beat you up and all you have left is hope and gratitude, thats the formula for a miracle.
That’s when God steps in and fills you up from the inside out. You are no longer the person you have built or created based on peoples feedback and reflection of you. You are no longer wearing a mask of who you think you’re supposed to be based on your age, race, demographic, religion, income, etc. You simply become you. When you let God determine who you are, and then you fully embody and become that person, that is when you can start shining your light brilliantly.
Strip away all the bullshit layers of who you think you are and be the person that God created you to be.
Be big, loud, beautiful energy. Be unapologetic for your joyfulness and love of life. Attract people into your life that love everything that you are and repel those who do not. And simply do that by being unapologetically you.
I pretty much operate from my feelings and emotions about 100% of the time. Give or take.
I navigate this crazy world based on how I feel; Based on what is presenting itself in my body and my emotional reaction to any particular situation.
For the most part, it serves me really well. Sometimes however, I'm way wrong, and how I feel about a situation is not necessarily the reality. (But I'll talk more about that another day.)
Today, I feel unsettled. Distracted. Unmotivated and uninspired.
So much so, that in the in middle of my yoga practice, I felt like I needed/wanted to cry.
But I was not getting a clear message or understanding from the body as to what was actually going on.
In the past, when my relationship with myself and my emotions was stressful, confusing and misunderstood, I would have aggressively demanded of myself to declare what was wrong. "Give me the story you crazy brain, I can't take the unknown."
But I'm different now because I am gentle with myself. I give myself the freedom to feel whatever is there regardless of whether it "makes sense" or is "justified."
I just lovingly said to myself, "You're safe. You can feel."
So, I did. I felt physical expressions of uncertainty, fear, and inadequacy.
I looked at those feelings. I looked at the way they felt inside my body - heaviness, pressure, gaping holes, resistance, etc. - and I just made space for them.
I actually don't really care what the story is. I don't need to know why I am feeling fear in this moment. And it honestly wouldn't serve me right now away. (I don't need the mind running away with some crazy nonsense story about all the things I am trying, yet feel inadequate to do.)
So I sat a few moments, simply acknowledged that I was feeling- what some might call - unpleasant emotions, and I observed the way those particular emotions actually felt inside me. I described it with words like I used above.
Then, they just left.
This practice is one I now incorporate into my every day life. I am such an emotionally charged, empathetic, sensitive, feeler-type person. Before this practice existed for me, I was just a tornado of emotions, wrecking havoc in my life and the lives of those I love.
Now, I can use the emotional system inside my body to help me make decisions, to identify suffering in other people and to offer goodness and more love to the world.
Anyway, just want to encourage my other feeler friends out there. Give you a real life example of what feel your feels actually means.
You can do it.
I'm cheering for you.
P.S. I'm sending out an email about debt soon. Its about me getting out of it and helping other people get out of theirs. Its fucking uncomfortable to talk about, but I said I was gonna do it so I gotta do it.
P.P.S. Just remember how amazing and wonderful and magical you truly are. Your life is what you create. So, create wisely. :)
I'm reading "You Are A Badass at Making Money" by Jen Sincero right now. (Highly recommend, btw.)
She speaks my language so precisely it's kind of weird. I read her first book, "You Are A Badass" and that changed my life and has been a huge inspiration in my own writing. (Also, highly recommend.)
What I've taken from this book so far is your thoughts and beliefs around money are a pretty clear reflection of your thoughts and beliefs around yourself.
That seems crazy, but for me, it rings true.
The book challenges the cultural stigmas around wanting money and makes you take a good hard look into your subconscious to find out what is blocking you from receiving abundance of any kind, not just money.
So, yesterday in meditation, I had an insight as to one of my limiting beliefs around money.
"I am not responsible enough to handle a influx of money."
Well, today in meditation, it became clear that I have a strong false belief about my ability to be responsible in handling an influx of anything. Money, success, responsibilities, work, relationships, etc.
Basically, my subconscious mind has been telling the Universe that I am not responsible enough to handle shit, so don't send me anything.
This has been happening since I was 19, cultivated by a conversation with my dad on the day that I moved into my first, very own apartment.
Before he drove away, leaving me alone in my empty apartment full of mismatched, hodgepodge furniture, he said, "You better keep a very detailed record of how you spend your money because if you need help, I am going to want to see where exactly all your money has gone."
I'm sure he meant well, intending to mean something along the lines of, "Be sure to create and stick to a budget, make wise choices and always floss your teeth." You know, supportive dad stuff.
But my terrified, little 19 year old brain said, "oh, shit. We have no idea what we are doing. I'm not responsible enough to be an adult."
Now, almost 15 years later, I am seeing how the false belief that "I am not responsible" has been flipping tables and wrecking havoc in my finances, my "career" (or lack thereof), and even my relationships.
Time to do some spring cleaning on my false beliefs.
The point of this post is twofold:
1. Whatever your subconscious mind believes, rules the roost as far as what the Universe hears and responds to. Even if your conscious mind is in the good place, the subconscious is the force field communicating your messages. Sit still and be quiet. Meditate. Find out what the heck your subconscious mind is telling the world. And then figure out how to change those beliefs pronto.
2. If you look back on your childhood/teen years at any strong memory that was less than pleasant... (Like the conversation with my dad around money. Or that one time my brother got in so much trouble for not sharing his Halloween candy with me. Or when my sister made fun of my at the bus stop because of the way I put my contacts in.)... You can pretty much guarantee that event or circumstance left an impression or stamp at best, - or a puncture wound or scar at worst - on your subconscious mind. Look into those memories and find out what false beliefs they "taught" you about who you are and what you're worthy of and then challenge the shit out of them.
I AM responsible. With money, with time, with resources, with relationships.
I AM worthy of receiving abundance. Abundance of money, opportunities, adventures and Halloween candy.
My learning curve is not crippling. Even if it takes me years to find out my career path, to find myself, or to put my contacts in properly, I can take as much time as I need.
This was a long one. If you made it this far, what do you think?
Keep going. You're doing a great work.
Cheering for you,