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
What I can do is:
believe in you
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
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!
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.
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)
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.”
Why do I need to act like a “lady?” What does that even mean? Be a yes, sir, no ma’am demure wall flower in hopes that I’ll get picked to be the next Cinderella? Does that mean I have to put someone else before me always and pray that my needs get met because I was a good girl and followed the rules?
Why do I need to play like a boy when I can be a woman and ditch cars, ride horses, bake cakes, kick dirt, saw wood, paint wordy pictures, dream just like any other human? Why does that even have to have a gender placed on it? We all know what we can do, why separate the two?
Why do I have to be respectable in public when the public slut shames my gender? Starts war upon my sisters with horrible results and back-alley horrors committed against their beauty out of spite, anger, jealousy? Why do I have to bow down to the “mighty” man of six years old because he was born with a penis and I was not? Fuck that. I’ll be who I am. You adapt to me. I’ll color just enough inside the lines so that you’ll have no choice but to look at my art, but when you start telling me that a sun has to be yellow and not purple, we’re no longer friends and I don’t have to be nice to you any more.
Why can’t I be passionate no matter where I am? No matter where I’m going? No matter what I’m doing? If I feel it, why should I make an excuse for loving my life and everything about it? This seems insulting to the very gifts I’ve been given. This seems selfish of me to hold back the beauty that is everything I am. It’s disgraceful to not be passionate about the life-gift we’ve been given and I don’t think it has anything to do about being a sexual being.
I treat my body like a temple, not a mausoleum. I don’t need quiet pristine walls to know that I’m alive. I need vibrant colors, loud music, laughter and singing, dancing at all hours with colors winging the ceilings and candles and joyous arousal. I need hats and capes, and delicious chocolates dripping with harmony. I’m here to live life not pretend I only want a little bit of a taste. I want the whole damn thing. I want to swallow it whole and chew for hours on ideas and thoughts of what I see; experience on every level.
Why can’t I treat my body like a motel if I want to? Why can’t I take a lover into my arms, no matter the number, no matter the reason? Why should I be held to a different standard than someone who happens to have different genitalia? Why do I need to limit myself to the taste and pleasures of one gender? What if I want to dip fingers into honey as much as I want to lick my lips up the honey dipper? Why can’t I smear sex on my body like peanut butter if I desire it? That’s a horrible double standard and I refuse your rule book, your little black marks, your stigma, and your anger towards my freedom to choose what I do with my body. It’s not some body. It’s MY body. See that? It’s not called YOUR body. It’s MY body. I can have a revolving door if I choose, so don’t dictate my hours or my calling. It’s not your motel to run. I’m sorry you’ve found the Bates Motel more to your liking, lurking with the dead and dispassionate. That’s not me.
I refuse to love unconditionally. If I were to do that, I’d be God or Goddess, or Buddha or Christ and I’m not any of those. I’m a human. I can look at you with disgust if I want to. I can refuse you entry to my chapel of horrors and my circus if I don’t like your act. I don’t owe you anything which, as many misconceive is what love is when it’s unconditional. That, in many people’s minds means without question. I’m not going to love someone who harms children, particularly me. No way. Been there done that and I’ve served my life sentence every day since my birth. No. I will not.
This part I can agree with. I will speak my truth and I will live as honestly as I can. Not for your benefit but because my spirit is peaceful when I know I’ve done my best to follow my own compass without your rules holding me to unrealistic and unreasonable behavioral constructs that do not belong in my body, mind, spirit, or hands. What I will further agree with is that if you trust me with your heart and I trust you with mine which means we vow, with word or not, to never betray that trust intentionally, you will never again have to feel alone.