“Be Safe”

Okay, I’ll admit it. I want to be safe in the sense that I don’t get shot in my house. I want to be safe in the sense that when I walk down my streets at night with my little dog, waiting on her to do her “business”, I’m not going to be attacked. I want to be safe enough that when I follow the road rules, I don’t get in an accident because others also want to be safe, or rather, unharmed.

But there is a part of me that doesn’t want to be safe. Being safe takes a chunk away from the loudness of life. It reduces the voices of exuberant laughter to polite chuckles. It sucks the genuine grief from our deepest fears and distills it into quiet murmuring condolences. It shatters the adventure of stepping one foot outside of your comfort zone by giving the illusion of safety.

But safety, like everything, is an illusion. It’s not real. It surprises us because we expect things to be the same. We expect to wake up, go about our day without incident, return home, eat the same meal we did last week, watch regurgitated shows with different characters but the same stories, and go to bed at the same time. It’s our expectation of safety that, pardon my french, fucks us up.

Chaos and change are the way of the world. If we could control any of it, we’d be reasonable in our expectations, but we do not. We can do our best not to contribute, by following the rules, obeying laws, keeping an eye out for ne’er-do-wells, but being safe is a lie we tell ourselves so we can live with minimal fear.

My Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Dave are driving a different route back from their vacation in Maine. It has places for them to stop that they’ve never been before which means the potential for a fantastic adventure. But in the commentary on their shared pictures, there were all the comments from a variety of people telling them to, “Be safe.” The comments are made with love and not as admonitions, mind you. They are meant with the best of intentions. But I don’t think I’ll wish them the same.

I wish them to be unharmed but in no way to be safe. I want them to have the adventure they’re hoping for on the new route. I want them to have experiences that will give them the best adventure with minimal difficulty. I want them to see things so spectacular it takes their breath away because they chose to stop somewhere they wouldn’t ordinarily get to see. I want them to experience every drop of grandness in the views, every bliss to be had floating on the breeze. I want them to taste the rain as if it were their first time. To have Ruby show them the newborn idea of life heroic in a way that brings them fits of delight. But, I do not wish them to “be safe”.

I can’t but I can

I can’t tell you where to find your peace of mind

or to hear the voice of the Universe coursing with power

or to notice the song of the world’s orchestra as it plays

or even to taste the brisk of sharpened words.

I can’t show you the color of your balanced spirit

or tell you the tale of your sacred birth

or cherish the moment of truth you witnessed

or embrace the love you so rightfully deserve

I can’t marry you to your passion for life

or point you in the direction most profound

or take away anything you’ve learned

or dictate your growth rate in any form

Loving you Always

Loving you Always

What I can do is:

hug you

reassure you

encourage you

believe in you

support you

hear you

see you

love you

The Month of May I Please

I believe in good things. I believe in great people. I believe that talking to the ceiling and looking to the sky will get anyone through anything (I’m living proof) if they want to see the change happen. (Barring major health issues because I’m not sure how it works with that thank goodness). But I’ve been given something I’ve dreamed about my entire life; Happiness.

During the month of April I participated in a NaPoWriMo via Magaly Guerrero. It was a challenge to complete but I did it and, if I do say so myself, kicked out some pretty decent poems too. Then May rolled around to my front door while I was beset with grief over the loss of my best friend, Gary Buckets.

Gary Buckets

Gary Buckets

Gary Buckets is asleep in the picture, not dead. I wouldn’t do that to you.

Anywho, the month of May rolls in with teary eyes, a feeling of resounding loss that even as I write this hasn’t quite escaped my heart. But, I’ve been artistically on a roll. I’ve just published my first book, broke it up into two other editions (three of them for sale), had art displayed, have art in an auction I take Knoxville Pride in, and have a solo show coming up on June 20th.

The deepest feelings I’ve expressed artistically are something I treasure about myself. I wonder how I got so lucky. I mean, I’m rarely with money in my pocket, but yet I rarely want for anything I need. I have limited mobility, but I’m always where I seem to be needed most. I’m a hard worker, but I’ve had more fun painting, drawing, and experiencing life in full color, full emotion, full on/head on in the month of May, then I’ve a recollection of doing. It’s been an extraordinary bout of love, grief, joy, peace, spirituality, conviviality, writing, poems, and art.

The only thing I did differently in this month was saying Yes to what fills my heart with the most joy. If that means serving, then I’m doing it. If it means transporting, okay. If that means sitting with a friend whose heart hurts, then so be it. I’ve listened to my intuition every day with such great success that I will continue to do so. It works. What’s weirder still, to me anyway, is that not only am I happier, but other people around me seem to find happiness easier too. They seem to take my challenge of “Why not?” seriously and have tried some pretty extraordinary things which, good or bad, have all taught grand lessons of fantastic proportions.

I encourage you, my friends to do the same for thirty days. Follow the bliss that is your heart. The negative voices be damned. You are worth every bit of this joy. I keep saying this, even in a recent post, but it’s true. It really is. The world needs YOU! The YOU that you’re meant to be, not the one you’re told by outside people you SHOULD be. Give it a spin. 30 days. If you can’t commit to that, I’ll show you a quick way to learn to fall madly in love with yourself in three days if you’ll trust me.

May I? Yes, please!

25 Struggles Only ENFPs Will Understand | Thought Catalog

25 Struggles Only ENFPs Will Understand | Thought Catalog.

This article is so me it’s frightening. I had no idea I was this difficult to live with, but my husband, thankfully, has figured out my key to happiness. Let me ramble until I figure it out myself then poke a couple holes so I think some more. AND I LOVE people but LOVE to be alone too. Oh boy, if this doesn’t describe me, nothing does.

 

Chance of a Lifetime

Live in the now, man.

Live in the now, man.

2015 begins with shouts of “This year it will be different!” “This year I will lose weight!” “This year I will be a better person!” and I sit at my table shaking my head in disbelief. You already have the tools to skip to the good parts. You can already make every change. Right now. Today. Reading this. It’s a matter of putting yourself into uncharted personal territory.

One of my favorite pieces of advice given in a common language is, “Live right now.” It doesn’t take a year to figure out that you’re still going to a job you hate that pays a tolerable salary. It certainly doesn’t change anything when you buy a size larger than you thought you should because that weight has miraculously grown on your buttocks. It doesn’t bode well that you already believe yourself to be a bad person. Shake the dust off your boots and look to the horizon of possibilities that are just outside of the comforting circle you’ve established. This moment is your chance of a lifetime.

Imagine yourself resting in the middle of a circle that is made up like a protective wagon train hunkered down for the night on the Oregon Trail. As you sleep in the comfort of this circle near the campfire that keeps the darkness at bay, you’re surrounded by the security of friends, family, income, a home, food, reliable transportation, hobbies, and the knowledge that you know exactly (more-or-less) what will happen in the morning because every day starts out the same,  progresses the same (twists and turns happen but usually nothing major), and the day will end roughly the same. We feel in control and safe. It becomes, to some, a prison of mundane predictability with no opportunity for progress. The horses are staked, the homestead built, and yet many have not traveled more than twenty miles from their origins.

Outside of that circle of wagons is a vast prairie. The golden grasses of adventure wave with friendly light at the rise of a new breath, a new dawning. Away from that blazing campfire is the cold face of unfamiliar people, confusing ideas, opportunities to explore growth, languages we don’t understand, beliefs that have never been mentioned within our safety circle. There is nothing written in stone even on the distant mountain peaks. But there is much knowledge, many ideas, creative blossoms of ingenuity to be picked from the stems of the wildflowers, the winds of change tickling the skin of those who put up the sail on their wagon to find their own home.

The opportunities to change don’t come once a year. They are always available to you. It’s not weakness to have to keep trying again, it’s weakness to reject an idea without sincere effort. It isn’t easy to unhitch your wagon and move out into the darkened prairie where things get larger than life that seethe with intimidation. It’s instant change. But, just as the original circle brought comfort and safety, so does the place outside the circle if you can learn to trust yourself. If you learn and remember that you really do have the answers even if the outcome isn’t exactly as you’d expected.

You can choose to be anyone you wish to become simply by willing the change. Obviously, this isn’t going to work for every condition. It can’t raise the dead or take back something done/that happened/circumstances, but it can change the attitude with which we are using to deal with the emotional upheavals.

Take the chance by saying “Yes!” to Opportunity:

There are many things that I know how to do because I’ve tried a lot of different things. I can draw, write, paint, organize, create, visualize, produce, etc. But this comes from seeking new opportunities as often as possible. If I don’t change what I’m doing every day while expecting things to change, that’s just insanity according to the quote attributed to Albert Einstein.

Take the chance to say “No!”:

I see many unhappy people saying yes to things they don’t really want to do. They say yes out of some twisted sense of obligation. It can cause them to blow off the people who were depending on them, not completing the tasks they said they’d do, as well as driving away potential for further opportunities. Understand that if you don’t place and maintain your boundaries, you’re not going to find that happiness because resentment will build as fast as that half-hearted yes came out of your mouth. It’s okay to say no if you don’t want to, are already stretched too thin, or hate the idea of yet another meeting.

Take the chance but know that you’re not Atlas:

We are, as a whole, superhero wanna-be’s. We’re told we can have it all. The problem with that is, we’re not Atlas. We can’t balance the weight of the world, or rather our own personal worlds, on our shoulders as well as taking on everyone else’s. If you’re already juggling three balls and someone asks you to take a fourth you have the option to say, “No thanks, I have enough going on in my juggling as it is.” OR you can say, “You know, I think I will try it.” You really have a 50/50 chance of success which increases depending on your experience, knowledge, skill set, and time.

Say Yes to things about which you feel deep passion:

When I joined a church nearly a year ago, I was given the wisdom from one of the elders, “There will be many great things offered for you to do. Only choose those which speak the strongest to your heart and say yes to those. There are enough people to say yes to the rest that you don’t have to say yes to everything.” I realize this contradicts my previous statement about saying yes to opportunity, but it isn’t an opportunity if your heart isn’t willing and open to try it. You have to figure out what truly moves you to action.

Each breath you take is a new opportunity to make better choices. You have that opportunity every moment of every waking day. Be a member of the breathing life, not the stagnant life. No amount of good intentions will ever allow you to move forward if you don’t actively work towards being happy.

As far as the right now, I am not going to make any resolutions unless I can achieve them right now. I think of it as a bit of pocket change. If I can embrace it right this moment, what does tomorrow give me that right now doesn’t? Not a thing. Tomorrow isn’t promised, only this moment as you read this is and does. It’s all we have. Why worry about what we can’t change or dream about what we will do? Right now is the chance of a lifetime.

“Just Do It” –Tagline from Nike ads

“Follow your bliss and the Universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”–Joseph Campbell, Author of The Power of Myth

“Live in the now, man.”–Garth Algar, Wayne’s World (Dana Carvey)

Transitions

Solemnity spoke

Solemnity spoke

When death comes knocking at my door,

bony feet with dusting robes stepping on my floor

My fleshy shell will open to allow my spirit to soar

I will no longer look at the life of the living

wishing more time for regrets and forgiving

I will return to the spirit with thanksgiving

The height of my body will no longer matter

The color of my skin no longer the chatter

The question answered, my lifeline flatter.

I will gaze with love at those who surround me

with their beautiful faces weeping around me

and I will know that my life shined brightly.

As I pass from this life unto the end

In my very last moments I will attend

to touching your cheek and saying, “I love you, always, my beautiful friend.”