2011, you were a powerful year. You pushed me, encouraged me, surprised me and gave me a sense of self I never thought possible. You tested me for sure--there were a few moments where I wished your days away, cursed your existence and threw my hands up in defeat. I've watched my relationships be majorly tested in you; some survived, grew and flourished...and others didn't. Some I miss very much and others I have found peace in letting go of. You made me question everything under the sun.
But you also cracked my heart wide open and flooded it with love; powerful, beautiful, raw love.
I have felt very, very alive in you.
Thank you for it all. The good, the bad, the silly, the confusing, the humbling, the exciting, the mundane, the nerve racking, the scary, the freaking awesome and the unknown. I am deeply grateful for the lessons learned, bridges crossed, chapters closed and new dreams realized (and even manifested!). I am especially grateful for new and old friendships, including my family. The community of people who fill my days with love and laughter are sources of light I hope to always have the pleasure of watching shine. I have to pinch myself I'm so lucky to know them.
My dear Grateful Lifers- I wish you all peace in 2012. Peace within, peace all around you. Peace with the past, for what's done is done. Peace with the future, for what will be will be. Peace in the present, for it is the only space we are guaranteed and should be embraced wholly.
Be safe, be well.
As my dad always says in his emails to me, Be good.
Happy New Year!
...I couldn't finish my margarita bucket with the girls in one sitting (oh man I'm/we're getting old). And the restaurant definitely wanted folks to finish ASAP so as not to take up table space...soooo I left this:
And then did this:
Welcome back to the west coast :)
My marm always says "make new friends, but keep the old" and I couldn't agree with her more. I have loved connecting with new people at every phase of my life (I will never get sick of the moment you realize you and another person were totally meant to cross paths..it's so magic!), but I also deeply cherish the connections of years past. It's OK to sometimes let folks go; to recognize they were sent to you for only a certain amount of time for one reason or another. I think it's actually a pretty loving thing to do, releasing someone you can no longer fully commit to as a friend. But I also feel there are other relationships that deserve to be nurtured until the day your souls leave the planet. I'm realizing I need to step up my game in this department.
My friendship with Tori has truly been a sisterhood. Our paths have taken us down very different roads (I still can't believe she is a mommy of 2 precious little guys!) but we have always managed to pick up right where we left off, regardless of time and space between us. This is a love worthy of never taking for granted and I'm afraid I have done just that as of late. It's my biggest New Year's resolution; to make a greater effort towards reconnecting with people who have touched my life in a plethora of positive ways. Without them, I would not be where I am today...and I am SO in love with this space that my heart teeters on the brink of bursting with gratitude and happiness on a daily basis.
I know what you're thinking and I, too, can barely contain my giggles over my 18 year old self below...those overalls! that turtleneck! that BLONDE hair!! What.A.Catch. :)
Almost 10 years later, I still love this chica like a sister...
Make new friends, but keep the old. They are part of your souls journey to it's highest self. Make time for them, commit to exercising gratitude for their presence in your life. Don't get so wrapped up in your own journey that you lose sight of what you can offer to theirs. A purpose filled life is far more rewarding than a pleasured filled one. Besides, finding a purpose is the highest form of pleasure there is anyhow. Be available to offer guidance and support or just a hug and an ear to listen. Actively participate in your friendships. Let the love flow easily between you by taking down walls of "things just got so busy...".
Don't get too busy for your friends. Cherish them now, OK?
1. A loving place to call "home" that I can return to whenever I want. My path may take me to the end of the earth and back again, but I always know I have a support network that knocks my socks off patiently waiting to welcome me home, should I ever need it. 2. Loving people who make time to visit with me upon my return. I know that everyday life continues as normal for all my hometown friends, regardless of what coast I live on or happen to be spending time on. The fact that I left while they stayed does not make me special. I so appreciate people's efforts to see me and catch up; I feel welcomed (and humbled to be so) during each and every visit. I learn so much, feel so fulfilled, by our time together. 3. East coast bagels and pizza. I can't explain why they are better. They just really, really are. 4. A little furball helping me pack:
5. A loving place to call "home" I get to come back to. I made this life for myself. I grew it and tended to it; searched, fought and risked for it. I love settling back into a world that's so *me* in California. Nurture your roots, spread your wings; in this balance I guarantee you'll find much happiness. I know I certainly have :)
Great gift from my sister.
My sister's dog Winnie is such a cutie patootie! What a good sport for rockin those antler ears :)
She loves to give you her paw...
Then promptly lick it...
And if your face is available, consider that licked as well...
So many four legged loves in my life...I'm thinking owning a pup of my own may not be too far off. Pretty sure I'd be a rockstar mom :)
Hi Friends :) I hope you're feeling merry and bright, my little lights!
I've thought quite a bit about what I want to post today and tomorrow, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I don't want to take up too much of your time as I hope you are just waaaayyyy too busy feeling the love from friends and family to pop in and visit the lil ol' Grateful Life...but I also want to share a dose of gratitude with you on such a heavily celebrated 2 days.
So, I've decided to simply point you to a December 2010 post
that remains very real and very relevant for me. It's a gratitude reminder that will always stick in my memory.
I must also add that my life has been a whirlwind of positive changes since this piece was originally posted. I have become quite the little hokey, life loving, soul searching, gratitude vibing gal! I've pulled my freak flag out of the bag and proudly hoisted it high on the life pole. Looking back at the last year I find myself doing a whole lotta smh-ing (shakin ma head-ing) and "wow" sighing. I have truly come a long way. I have truly been given amazing opportunities. And I have truly seen the ways in which the attitude of gratitude can enhance a life and manifest awesome realities. Last year I spent Christmas oh so far away from my family, sort of making peace with a lot of tough life decisions (though I was and still am so thankful for the generosity and kindness of the France family for hosting me!). This year, as we speak, I am (in the most cliche holiday way possible) sipping a gingerbread latte in front of a gorgeously decorated fireplace while my favorite childhood cat and my mamacita are resting their eyes on the fluffy couches next to me. I mean c'mon. I'm a melty puddle of peace and joy.
I feel more relaxed and calm than ever. I feel rested and refreshed. I feel my relationships continuing to grow with love in all areas. I feel inspired, motivated and excited for what's to come. Forgiveness is a daily, respected practice. Kindness and patience rule the roost in my mind. The unknown is no longer a threat; the unknown is where my greatest adventures lie and wait for me...
And for that, I am extremely grateful.
Love and Light,
I have always loved my parents. Even during my angsty-est of angsty years, I loved them in a way that my rebellious teenaged soul couldn't resist.
But what's been awesome to learn over the past year especially?
I actually like my parents.
I spent so much time running and pushing and aching to grow, be free and fly that I neglected to stop and cherish the quiet moments of pleasant stillness offered by time spent with them. I don't think this is a particularly uncommon path for parent-child relationships. This is not a ground breaking story; girl grows up and relationship with mom and dad evolves to a more mature and peaceful place. I'm just glad I've learned (before 30!) the balance between continuing to push, grow, be free and fly and coming back to cherish and nurture my roots. Both are important sides of life.
I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to sit in front of the fire place at home, watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory with them, munching on brownies and milk and just be...content. And happy. And not wondering what everyone else is doing or itching to go out and adventure on my own. Being with them is fulfilling enough when I choose to see that time as equally as worthy as all the rest; when I change my perspective and practice gratitude for moments I may otherwise take for granted.
It feels great to realize that often times when I felt I wasn't being supported for a certain decision it was because I approached them with said decision already projecting that they wouldn't approve. I made assumptions. I set the energy. I manifested the result. How is anyone supposed to get behind you when you yourself are doubting? Do you feel you are capable of handling this decision? Are worthy of it? Or are there insecurities you are masking and hoping to hide? When you approach others with a degree of confidence--even if that confidence lies in the knowledge that eventually you'll figure out the areas of "unsure"--I think you'll be amazed to see how much faster folks will get on your side.
My parents and I still have varying differences of opinion in many areas of life. But that's OK. We're all adults and can respect these differences; there's no need for a clash when there can be a dialogue instead. I can only control my own actions and must release that desire for control over the rest. Parents are humans, too. This was, admittedly and slightly embarrassingly, a huge revelation for me. They are partners and daughters and coworkers and friends in addition to being your parents. They have their own suffering, too. They have their own insecurities. They approach life just as you do--from their own level of understanding and consciousness. See them through eyes of love and understanding of this humanness, and you will see them in a whole new light.
I know not everyone gets to be around their parents. I also know some child-parent relationships are wrought with a level of true darkness that requires much more than a few good thoughts to heal. This time of year especially is a pretty big reminder of that. So today (and every day I'm back in good ol' NJ) I'm focusing the majority of my gratitude on my mom and dad and the gifts of their support, love and (sometimes slightly eye-roll with a side of "yes ma, I know" enducing) guidance. I've said it before and I'll say it again--I have never doubted that they would go to the end of the earth and back again for me. How fortunate am I?
My parents apparently are pretty rad people.
I am the worst gift wrapper in the history of gift wrapping. I bring shame to my family with hot mess jobs that I actually try and make look good. I totally missed the gene on this one. I mean c'mon, have you ever seen such a silly thing?
My kids are screwed.