2018 was the absolute best year of my life, without a doubt.
I got to see so much of this beautiful earth.
I got to experience myself in ways I had never before.
I felt the overwhelming love of God from people that know and support me, so many beautiful strangers that I passed on the streets, at the beach or on a plane, and from God, himself.
And as I sit here now in sunny, southern California, there is an obvious contrast to the way this year was supposed to end.
It certainly hasn't gone as planned.
But in the supposed to's and the should have's is the suffering.
As many people ask why I am back in the states, and what my plan is and blah, blah, blah, I am now at the crossroads of how I want to imprint this entire last year into my memory.
How you recall a certain situation is how you will remember it.
The story that you retell over and over to your family, friends, your dentist, or whoever, is how your experiences will stay in your mind for years to come. Even for the rest of your life.
I have a choice. How do I want to frame this?
I will forever look back on this year and every experience in it, as the most love-filled and joyful season of my life. (So far.)
I will remember this year as the pivot point when everything changed because I fell madly in love with myself.
I will remember this year as the most blessed and beautiful experience, ever.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the love and generosity I was shown. I am a better person because of it.
But if I only focus on what the end of this year was supposed to look like, then I'd miss all of that.
And I was there for a few days, trust me. Ya girl is not that mindful, yet. It's so perfectly human to get lost in the disappointments and hurts of life.
The goal is: just don't stay there.
Since I have a very nosey family and friends, and support system, (love 'em, but damn.) I realized how important it is for me to decide how I want to remember this year, this relationship, and all the experiences that have led me to this exact moment.
I am the creator of my reality after all.
So, I'll be over here focusing on all the beautiful things I felt/experienced/tasted this year. All the things I want more of.
Love, laughter, vulnerable tears, safe spaces, joyful hearts, kindness, gentleness, beauty.
Because any amount of those things is definitely worth a few tears from time to time.
Cheers to whatever's next. And since I create my life, I have a feeling it's going to be pretty amazing.
Sending you all the love and joy in the world.
Be so very blessed this Christmas.
Give someone you love a big squeeze.
I just read this cute little saying on the IG:
"Magic happens when you do not give up even though you want to. The Universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart."
Looks like me and the Universe are a match made in heaven.
I am not good at the whole "finish strong" thing.
I have had a couple super emotional days and I just didn't know what to write for my last #30daysofemails (really its #33daysofemails but whatever.)
And I still don't really know what to say.
I know I have said it a thousand times, but I am so grateful to all of you who read these and sent back love and encouragement.
I am so grateful to those of you that emailed me wanting to stay on my daily list.
This has been a tremendous learning opportunity for me.
Obviously the whole moving to another country thing but this email thing as well.
It has given me a chance to flush out some insecurities I have about my writing.
About what I think people do or do not want to hear.
And how I feel about people unsubscribing. How social media f's with your head and how I want to put myself out there. And so much more.
Thanks for being here.
As I mentioned before, I will go back to sending emails to this list one to four times a month-ish.
If you want to keep getting the daily ones, just send me a quick reply and say let's goo and I'll add you to the VIP. (Very Interesting and Personal)
Sending you all the love in the world.
Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters, is love.
The three virtues that I aspire to live my life by are,
I believe that the secret key to everything in this human experience is contingent upon one's abilities to do those three things.
It has been my experience that the more open and available I am to pursuing/maintaining/balancing/nourishing those three channels, the more satisfied, content and joyful I am.
But the balance has to be equal. You can't focus on only one and neglect the others.
You can love God with all your heart and never once show that love to another human being.
You can love yourself so much that you forget about God and others. (Please note the emphasis between 'Yourself' and 'yourself'.)
You can love others so much that you sacrifice yourself at all costs.
The delicate and gentle balance of the three is key.
My rules of life:
1. If you operate from a place of love then you are never wrong.
And one might ask, "but what if you're wrong?"
2. See #1.
Love you. Thanks for reading. Tomorrow is the last day.
Cheering for you!
Send me a quick reply if you want to get on the new VIP daily list. Just say yaaassssss and I'll put you on it. ne email every day for the foreseeable future. Things about to get cray. :) (VIP = Very Interesting & Personal)
omggggg I am feelin' like myself again and it feels AMAZEBALLS.
So, according to my mother, multiple doctors and numerous tests on the internet, I have "depression".
According to me, I don't know what that means anymore. I am constantly challenging my "depression".
(Depression is subjective. It changes. And it's different for everyone. So, basically the concept of depression just describes normal human fluctuations of mood and energy states, exacberated by an excessive thinking mind.*)
*I'm not a doctor. Just a human.
Is it a chemical imbalance?
Is there something physiologically happening in the tissue of my brain that does the depression thing??
Have I believed that I have something called "depression" since I was a child and everything that happens in my brain is a result of that belief??
Or is it both? Or a fluctuating blend of the two?
Or am I a freaking chosen spirit in human form that is here to transcend the spiritual understanding of the modern world?! (As many tribes in Africa believe, of those gifted with what we refer to as, mental illness.)
I don't know. But what I do know is that whenever my particular flavor of "depression" shows up, I feel it.
And I can't ignore it or behave out of alignment with it.
I have had these episodes for as long as I can remember.
They usually go a bit like this:
Days, weeks, months on end of ridiculous positive, bubbly, joyful energy. Motivated, inspired, brilliant, excited. All the good things, yeah?
Then, days, or weeks sometimes (Thankfully, no longer months.) of heavy, lazy, resentful, annoyed, unmotivated, dark, gloominess.
And just as life goes, one day, I wake up and the clouds have cleared and I feel like myself again.
And it feels so damn good, man.
Carry on for an unpredictable amount of time and then do it all again.
It can be quite exhausting. For myself and anyone around me.
But this is the part of me that I have been condemning. This is the part I decided wasn't lovable.
And I am still working through dismantling that belief.
I am starting this intense endeavor of changing a deep-seated conditioned belief by recruiting the body to help me.
I have only really started paying close attention in the past few months of what it feels like to be me. (Like physical sensation, inside the body.)
And then, what it feels like when that feeling fluctuates.
It's a skill and it takes practice.
But I think it's changing my life. And I think it helps my argument against the depression diagnosis.
I think involving the body is brilliant. Because the body can't think it's way out of anything.
And apparently, my brain is well experienced in thinking it's way into or out of things.
Sometimes, I actually think myself into and out of the same thing.
Anyway, I feel so much better. Thank you for all the love.
Just a few days left! :)
Love you, mean it!
Cheering for you,
If you want to keep getting my daily emails after our #30daysofemails is over, then just send me a quick response letting me know you want to keep going on this crazy adventure with me.
It's kind of like a VIP list. Only the people who are really into my shit should be on it, ya know.
I'll be sharing way more personal stuff, way more cool spiritual stuff, way more depression/anxiety stuff and who freaking knows what else.
Just a few days left and the #30daysofemails is in the bag.
I can't believe it.
I went back and read the ones I wrote on the first few days of being here.
I am so freaking grateful I did this and I am grateful to all of you that continue to respond in love and encouragement.
This experience has been so much more than I was anticipating.
The reason I decided to do this was because I needed a jump start for my practice of writing every single day.
It has been time for me to start taking my craft more seriously. Ya know, if I actually want to be a writer.
(And write the books and screenplays and the comedy and the children's books and all the things I have been declaring (for years!) that I was going to write.)
So, thanks for giving me a space to practice.
What I have decided, that since I do lack a bit of discipline and follow-through(#truthhurts) I am going to keep going on these daily gems.
But don't worry - I am making a separate list for those ones.
This list will go back to one to four emails a month-ish, maybe, we'll see.
SO you have to sign up if you want to get on the new list.
You also have to know that its going to be weird and personal and intense. I have some ideas for how I am going to use it as a tool, but the disclaimer is there for the taking.
Anyway, only if you love my shit you should sign up, is what I am trying to say.
Just send me a quick reply and say you're so down.
Anyway, Freaking love you.
I have had some beautiful, unexplainable, surprising, pleasant shift in my energy and that feels magical.
Cheering for you!
The new list might just be my journey over the past several years of living in a super conservative Christian culture, battling deeply with depression and anxiety, the process of being unhealthily married and healthily divorced, learning of consciousness and having incredible Divine encounters, learning how to love myself and forgive everyone else and literally everything and anything in between, broken down into small, digestible chucks you can read while you have a morning pee.
Hahaha, and here I thought I was over here on a remote island in a shit storm all by myself.
But it seems like there are a lot of people I know going through their own stuff.
Maybe the moon is doing a thing or a planet is spinning backwards somewhere.
Or there is a black hole in the universe that is sucking up galaxies and shit.
Or maybe life is just freaking hard sometimes and we are all the same.
We are all one. We are all in this together.
Are you going through a thing?
What do you do when life gets weird or crazy or terrifying??
Sometimes I feel resentful of my "calling" to write/help/encourage other people.
Sometimes I can't even encourage my damn self, let alone the strangers on the internet.
Sometimes I question this "calling" altogether, and think to myself, "What an arrogant way to view yourself. Who do you think you are to believe that is your calling?"
Anyways, y'all. Australia is crazy. I highly recommend giving up everything you know, moving to another country - without the ability to work, remove any outward reflections of who you think you are, and then sit in that space for a little while. (Wide eyed emoji here, please and thank you.)
I trust that what's on the other side of this is f'ing beautiful.
Just gotta get there.
Cheering for you. And for me.
Lean into your people and let your people lean into you.
If you're struggling, then that means your alive. And that also means someone else in the world is struggling too, so the best thing you can do is just offer your heart to anyone that might need it.
Start with yourself.
Work outward from there.
Love you, mean it.
I only have 6 of these emails left, can you believe it?
I did skip yesterday, so there's that. Some might say that voids the whole #30daysofemails thing, but whatever.
I was being in the present moment. Enjoying every bit of this weekend, especially as the after shock of the transition began to soften.
I don't really know what I was expecting to occur when I got here.
I don't think I thought too much past getting on the plane, actually.
I certainly wasn't super prepared to come face-to-face with old belief systems, and deep-seated fears and insecurities.
I definitely didn't anticipate having to take such an honest look at myself... if I am being honest.
I am still digesting and processing the things I have learned. I am still hiding a bit and retracting into my safe space.
But I think that's ok. More than ok.
This idea came to me yesterday,
What if I lived my entire life as if I knew nothing and everyone else is right*.
I said this to myself:
"What if for a day, you just took the phrase, "I know" out of your vocabulary.
I know what is going to happen.
I know what that person is feeling/thinking.
I know the truth of creation and the Universe.
I know what I am doing.
What if you just decided that you in fact, actually have no idea. About anything. And everything is open and available for exploration.
Because if you know nothing, then anything is possible. "
And the second part of that, is that everyone is right*.
The * means thats everyone is right, in their own experience.
Their experience is probably different from yours, but they are right, from their perspective, just exactly as you are right from your perspective.
What if we looked at challenging relationships, political and religious discrepancies, lifestyle choices, cultural differences and really, just any and every interaction with another human, and remembered that each one of us has a lifetime of experiences that have culminated in each of our position/belief/ideas/reality/whatever.
You have yours, and I have mine.
They might be similar, they might be polar opposites. We are both right, because that was our experience.
Anyway, I dunno.
Just some food for thought. Chew on it and let me know what comes out the other end. ;)
It made sense to me, so I thought I'd share.
We did acro yoga in a beautiful park on Saturday with some lovely folks and that was a freaking blast.
Yesterday, we got some plants for the apartment and enjoyed the sunshine on the balcony. (Sorry to you guys with the snow. ;))
Life is a dream.
Sometimes, it's hard as shit, but even then, it is still a dream.
I've struggled with the holidays for a few years now.
For several years in a row, I was in the midst of heartbreak or let down, and the holidays just seemed to exacerbate whatever was there.
This is technically my first holiday away from family and in another country.
And I don't have a community yet. I thought about trying to host an American Friends-givng here in Aus, but in order to do that, you need, well... friends, and the skill and talent to cook an entire feast with one oven. (I don't know how people do it.)
So, I spent most of the day today alone, which was beautiful for so many reasons.
I let everything and anything that is inside me be felt, heard, and acknowledged.
I sat with all the fears and sadness and insecurities that keep popping up instead of distracting myself or pushing them away.
And I had some feelings of homesickness when I saw everyone's photos on the 'Gram.
My amazing sis-in-law announced her pregnancy, my older sister has a table that can sit about 1000, my baby sis has been chatting and texting me all day, and mmmm... my momma's mashed potatoes are gravy are the literal and actual best in the entire world.
So, I am just feeling today. Strongly.
But I am noticing that the more I allow the strong feelings to be present and felt, the greater my capacity grows to hold the feelings.
It's like all the intense feelings are transforming into yumminess as long as I allow them to be there. A certain strength comes after. A power.
But overall, I am abounding in gratitude. 2018 has been my year of living in, feeling and expressing gratefulness. (Maybe exploding in gratefulness is more accurate.)
When I started intentionally being thankful for every single thing in my life, for every challenge, for every celebration, for every blessing, for every person, every relationship, every heartbreak, every tear, every opportunity, everything that had come to pass and everything that was on it's way to me, my whole life changed.
I have some intense feelings about the American celebration of Thanksgiving, if I am being way honest. Not at all the point of this email.
But I will take the opportunity to share how gratitude has single-handedly shaped everything about my expression in the world.
Gratitude precedes the miracle.
I am so, so, so thankful.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading these emails, for sending me replies and messages, for being a part of what I am doing here. (Which, if you didn't get my last email, I actually have no idea what that is.)
I am cheering for you and your families as you sit around your table and share a meal.
I pray for an opportunity to be fully vulnerable and to share more than just the sweet potato casserole.
I pray you can share some of your soul because only there is where the medicine that every person craves and needs.
Real, intimate, vulnerable human connection.
My sweet cousin wrote a novel, and the day that we had planned to meet up to cheers before I left for Australia, she received her first rejection letter.
I could feel that she had sadness and that she felt heavy, and then when she told me, I sort of blurted out, "OH, that's great!" (Definitely too enthusiastically for what the scenario called for.)
And she gave me this quick, short glance like, what the fuck?
By happenstance, I had just read a book about writing as I am also an aspiring writer.
And the book said something like: if before you started your writing career, you knew you had to create, produce and be rejected ten times before your big break, would you approach your writing differently? (The War of Art is the book)
And i just thought that was brilliant and and the timing of the fact that I had just read that sentence that day. I was so excited to share with a fellow writer.
So, basically, you go willingly.
You go willingly into the years of doing the most work with no reward. You go wilingly into the days where you think you should quit or you throw your third manifesto in the garbage this week. You go willingly into the uncomfortable, trusting that you will get what you seek if you just keep focused on it long enough.
So, I am applying this frame of reference to my writing, (#obvi) but more importantly, I think the lesson is that this might be very well true of my real life as well.
I think I am on a grand mission here.
I believe that my soul is here to do some really big things.
But how different would the journey be if I went into it knowing that I would have my heart broken over and over again. That people would hurt and let me down. That I would try path after path only to have to retrace my steps and start over.
I think so often we get discouraged because things don't work out the way we want them to.
Or they don't work out in the timeframe we thought they would.
So, we give up.
But if you knew ahead of time that your journey required X number of rejections, or X number of lost loves, or X numbers of failed attempts at starting your own business, and only THEN would you achieve the success you desire, would that change the way you started on the path?
Would it change the way you viewed your "failures"?
And it would it change the way you cultivated your ambition when it gets hard??
Because at the end it, are they really failures if they are required to fail in order for whatever is next to come to your path??
I want to live my life with such a trust that no matter what I come across, no matter how many tears I cry, how many people let me down or break my heart, I KNOW that each one of them is there to help me along my way.
I will thank my "failures" wholeheartedly because they put me one step closer to my Victory.
And I have no idea what my Victory is... but I KNOW it exists.
And if my soul is here to do BIG things, then I better believe it's going to be met with some resistance. My job is to toughen up and keep going.
I half-jokingly announced that I was writing a book called "I Don't Know What I Am Doing."
And I was so gratefully humbled and tickled by people's response to that.
Why would someone pick up such a weird book?
But it is the truth. I don't know what I am doing. (Do any of us?!)
But I think the point of all this human stuff is to become very comfortable with what you don't know.
There is a direct correlation between one's ability to be comfortable in the unknown and one's measurable contentment, joy, and peace in life.
And Peace is the name of the game.
And peace in the face of uncertainty, trauma, loss, stress, fear, etc is just one of the zillions of benefits of the experience of peace.
I am finding, the best way I can cultivate more peace - and I mean like true, deep to your core peace - is to eliminate it's opposite.
I don't know what I am doing, but I DO know that as I intentionally attempt to reduce the chaos, in my external and internal experience, the peace grows. (...or fluctuates, or appears, or pops in, or runs up your spine, or glows, or bubbles, or waves, or whatever peace feels like to you.)
In my experience, the only way I have even flirted with the idea of reducing chaos, especially in the mind, has been to go into the depths of my heart and my subconscious and intentionally be with everything/anything that still needs healing.
I continue to be blessed with opportunities to grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally, whatever; At the expense of, a willingness to look deeper and more honestly at myself.
The willingness is the key part here.
This is happening by looking at the way these things show up in how I express myself (or don't) in day-to-day life.
A more aware witness to my ego, my habits, my patterns, the awesome stuff about me and the less than awesome stuff about me. My past, my pain, my traumas and the way I identify with them, the things outside of me that I use to determine who I am, my accountability or lack thereof, in the significant circumstances in my life, my worth and how I establish(ed) that, my relationship to others, to myself, and my place in the world, and the list goes on.
It's intense, man.
But I have met the Light that animates my existence. I am gifted with amazing miracles so incredibly often, I see tremendous beauty everywhere I go, I have seen, felt, touched something that goes completely beyond words...
I have to keep going on this journey. I can't turn around now.
The Peace that I hunger for can only be found from that which I came.
Crazy, amazing, beautiful, TERRIFYING, wonderful, intense, magical, and UNCOMFORTABLE things are happening.
But I am getting better at being uncomfortable.
The only route to peace is paved directly through discomfort. It's up to me to make the journey.
So, for Thanksgiving this year, I am having a double helping of humble pie.
Because I know what is supplying the energy behind this work, and I trust it with every fiber of my being.
So, if this is the trade off, I should probably just go ahead and put all my chips on the table.
Maybe this is the introduction to the book. ;)
Anyways, that's what I'm doing.
Cheering for you all the while!
All the love!
Would love to chat or answer any questions you have! I have tons of books/resources I would recommend if any of this stuff is pushing your buttons, or flipping your switch, or ringing your bell, or landing, or absorbing, or sinking in, or whatever that feels like to you.