I love this piece of advice, thought up by a kindergarten teacher as a way to help her students understand kindness and resolution, passed down to our yoga class yesterday by the lovely, strong and bendy Lindsay.
It's kind of as simple as that, don't ya think? Life, choices, relationships, actions and reactions, I mean.
When faced with right or wrong, good or bad, what-the-eff-should-I-do-or-say-or-be scenarios--this is a pretty solid question to ask ourselves. It's what it all comes down to, this human connection thing.
Do you want to make someone's spirit feel big, or do you want them to feel small?
I found these photos last night of my first ever visit to San Francisco at the ripe old age of 16, in the summer of '99, and couldn't resist sharing them here. It was the shortest my hair has ever been...and will ever be. I'm about 10-15 lbs lighter (don't leave me, super teenaged metabolism!!) and not a drop less feisty than I am now. I loved this city (and the rest of California we visited, too) right away but honestly? If someone would have told me then about the life I would be living here, now, I never would have believed them. I would have looked at them like they belonged in the psych ward of Alcatraz and gone about my teenage existence wondering who my next boyfriend could be.
But I live here now. I work, play and full time live here. Alcatraz may be a tourist attraction for most of the world's population, but it is basically a "house" in my neighborhood, for gosh sake. I guess it just goes to show you that we never really know how things will unfold for us; we can never fully predict the story of our days. Even our best laid plans fall subject to deviation and where we think we'll be at one point in our lives may actually be 3,000 miles off the mark.
But, we can be open to it all. We can say yes to adventure and yes please to possibilities. We can dream and wonder, explore, try and occasionally fail. And then we can take action--this is a key piece to the puzzle. We can take action that supports where we'd like our paths to go and we can have faith that in taking this action we are bravely navigating this world of possibilities with the guidance of our spirits and support from the deepest, most loving, authentic places of our hearts.
At least, that's how it's been for me :) Now on to the funny photos!
Me and my old friend Jessica (Jess--how the heck are you?!) at Ghiradelli Square.
Taking my turn posing at the super touristy Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Pier 39.
Once a tree hugger, always a tree hugger.
love and light,
I had a really great and enlightening conversation with a lovely friend of a friend a few weekends ago while she was in town for business that put a lot of thinking in motion.
Over a glass of wine and a few tapas we caught up on work, family, friends, life and inevitably...as the female gender somehow always does...made our way to the topic of romantic relationships. I listened to her explain her current, somewhat unsure, "status" and gave as much support and girl, I hear ya love as I could.
"So," she asked "are you dating?".
Oy. When, I immediately thought, will this not be such a loaded question?
Yes. No? Sort of. I think? Not really. But yea?
This is what I could muster:
"I'm trying to trust the process with someone I've known for years", I said, "who is an amazing man I'm so grateful and happy to have in my life. He's funny, thoughtful, smart, loyal, playful and so easy going. Also, let me be real--he is a total effing babe. But he lives on the east coast and I, obviously, live 3,000 miles away from there. So...it's....I don't know. And sometimes I feel...just...I don't know."
Then a few days later, in an unfortunate liquid courage fueled moment, the act of trusting the process was crumpled up, lit on fire and used as the flame to burn up a great deal of my street cred. In short, I came clean about my fears of the blurry, undefined nature of the relationship to B way too late at night through tears I could barely understand my own thoughts within. To be clear, it wasn't the coming clean aspect that I was disappointed in myself for (this is a brave and necessary act in relationships) but the salty, boozy, shouldn't-you-both-be-asleep timing I chose for it. Even Superman has his kryptonite, though, right?
Much to my relief...and much to B's credit...when I then called the next day to apologize, he was sweet and forgiving, kind and patient. Telling me "there's nothing to be angry about. Everything you said was totally fair." He even made a few jokes to lighten the entire ordeal and lessen my worries. If it were possible, I would have reached through the phone and kissed him for that. And even though no great mystery was solved or resolution shook upon, I felt a lot better simply because of B's nature to be generally unafraid of the unknown future and his gentle willingness to let the past stay where it is...including "the past" of just a few hours before.
So here's what this mini melt down lead me to wonder:
If I truly have the faith that I speak of here on TGL--faith in myself and God, faith in the process, love and light--what, exactly, am I stressing about? I think it comes down to a couple of things. For one, I've got a lot of love to give and I'm excited to share it with someone. For another, my past few attempts at dating have left me still a little scarred. The residual fears and insecurities from those are hard to keep from bubbling up at times. And most of all, I'm homesick. It's odd for me to publicly state that since my rolling stone soul has craved ever changing adventure for as long as I can remember, but there it is--I am deeply homesick. This wave of homesickness has caused me to feel like the glorious freedom I've had for the past 2 years in particular...a freedom that has been a huge gift, learning process and healing path...has finally started to lose its appeal a bit. Or perhaps more accurately, I'm losing my ability to manage it. In the ultimate #firstworldproblems statement, it's almost as if too much of my life is flexible, willy nilly, fly by the seat of my pants. I have no one to answer to, no one to hold me accountable for much and no one to make a priority besides myself. And that has been OK. Good for me, even. But I think I'm craving a bit of structure (security? responsibility? commitment? I'm not quite sure.) now and I've been putting all my attention into gaining that structure in the form of a partnership when there are so many other ways to be fulfilled.
Ironically, everything that I told my wine and tapas date a few weeks ago in the style of big sister advice applies to me now, too. Mostly:
Love comes in many forms. It's important not to close yourself off to any of it.
At one point in our conversation my friend glanced at her phone, sighing. "You know what sucks? I have 4 different friends texting me kind and loving things right now..but because none of them are *him*, I feel like I can't appreciate it." Nail on the head, right? Life is big. Our hearts can be bigger, if we open them enough. So learn to appreciate love of all kinds; let it come in and freely give it out.
Be careful where you put your passion.
In reply to an old, dear friend and Grateful Lifer I recently said (pardon my email cut and paste job): Passion is something I will, like you, continue to chase my whole life. It's just who I am...when I put my source of passion in another person, however, I'm screwed. I wouldn't recommend that to anyone. But when passion comes from within, is generously shared with others (including friends, family and partners) and explored even within the mundane? That's when I feel the most full. Make sure to take the time expressing and indulging in passion from the ooey gooey goodness within you, instead of seeking it in another person.
And here is what I know in my heart, above all else:
No matter what, everything will be OK.
I know that both B and myself are in the midst of a number of life changes and there are things for us to "figure out" that have nothing to do with one another. I can't speak for him, but I know it's important for me to figure out my own shit first in order to be the best possible partner I can be to him or anyone else. Two halves don't make a whole; two wholes do. The "security" I was seeking in a title of sorts is for the benefit of others, anyway. A title only goes so far; the life that happens between two people is what really counts. And if you can be light and love during that shit figuring out process, regardless of the outcome? If you can be present and playful, authentic and kind while knowing you are worthy of good things?
Well, that's a pretty damn great place to be.
I talk fairly frequently about the Universe on TGL so I'm sure it'll be of no surprise how much I love this brief but beautiful video (thank you, Adam, for sharing on Facebook!). As I was watching this morning, an image of my computer mouse in the form of an alert popped up just below the video saying "Connection Lost". It popped up as Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was telling me that when he looks up to the sky, he feels big.
Connection Lost. Damn. That's how I've been feeling lately. That's the way I've been feeling but couldn't quite put my finger on it. So this reminder? This reminder today is key...
"We are part of this Universe. We are in this Universe. But perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that The Universe is in us...there's a level of connectivity. That's really what you want in life; you want to feel connected. You want to feel relevant. You want to feel like, you're a participant in the goings on of activities and events around you. That's precisely what we are--just by being alive."
love and light,
Seriously, you should take 5 minutes to read this. I randomly stumbled upon it just now, heard a message of "this is going to be good" in my head and couldn't help but chuckle at a) the author's name and b) how perfectly timed its message is.
"...why be good at something when you can be GREAT? Why half ass it, why do just what I need to do to get by...this isn't just achieving something so others can see... it's about what I see...what I know about how far I can go, and how to make myself better. It's about digging deep when no one is watching, and reaping the rewards in a way that no one else will 100% understand. It's about saying, I can, I can, I can... and I will" -JH
Thanks to the super generosity of my fabulous friend Deva, I was able to attend Sunday's lineup at Outside Lands.
Naturally, I needed major help on what to wear to this oh so popular outdoor music festival.
Jenny to the rescue! She put this look together in about 3 minutes at her shop using a jacket and boots I already owned :)
I had to slightly modify it come Sunday (added a basic, neutral sweater) simply because August in Golden Gate Park = foggy and cold...layers are KEY when it comes to SF weather. You just never know if you're going to be schvitzing or freezing! And yup, those would be gloves I'm holding in my hands in the 2nd side shot :)
I had an awesome time at the park...even got pretty up close and personal to Jack White!
Thanks so much, Deva!!