No sharp edges

Have you ever heard a new idea or concept and thought:

This resonates so hard, I’m vibrating.

That is how I felt when I first listened to the Desire Map intro podcast by Danielle LaPorte.

Basically the premise is that you identify your core desired feelings and use them as a guiding post in life.  Focus on how you want to feel, rather than what you want to achieve.  (And I am a big time feeler from way, way back!)

I haven’t completed the program (yet) but I have listened to the 3-hour overview podcast about a dozen times this month (maybe it’s time to splurge and buy the book!). Since then, in times of emotional turmoil, my inner voice has shifted from ‘ugh. I feel shitty’ to ‘how do I want to feel right now’. Sometimes I scream back “NOT LIKE THIS!!!!!” but then I stop. Breath. And regroup.

“I want to feel peaceful.”

Believe it or not, it works.

And if I’d written this post last week, I would have told you how empowered and in control I felt. (In fact, I actually did brag a bit on IG) How despite the fact that I am taking on a multitude of new projects, I’m excited and managing shit like a rock star. I was focused on my desired feelings and dammit, I was feeling them.

However.. that was last week. Currently I am actually writing this in the midst of a two day, melodramatic, all-consuming, foot-stomping funk.  And let me tell you, this falls into the “This is not how I want to feel” category!

I often hate going public when I’m feeling shitty because inevitably I receive the well intentioned advice to use positive affirmations and to look on the bright side of things. But the idea of telling myself to focus on the positive, kinda makes me gag. I never really knew why it felt so icky to me (I mean, what’s wrong with being positive?) But Danielle nailed it when she said, in these situations,  ‘positive affirmations can feel like a bullshit pickup line.’

#Preach

The last thing I need right now is fake cheer. (insert your favourite fake news joke).

In order to feel better (read: get myself centred), I will focus on my core desired feelings. By reminding myself of how I really want to feel, I haven’t invalidated what’s currently happening. This is key for me – I’m a firm believer of moving through every emotion rather than dodging them.  It also interrupts my mental complaining voice and points me into the direction of what I really want. This will inevitably lead to positivity (in it’s proper place) and open my heart to what is possible.  And in the words of Danielle it can help me ‘lighten up and stop being an asshole.’ Hey Danielle – you should meet Jen Pastiloff (if you haven’t already) – she has an awesome “don’t be an asshole” segment which I borrowed for a video blog once.

A couple of weeks ago, I met my fabulous pal for a writing date on my lunch break. We started with a stream of thought writing process and then finished with haikus ’cause

  1. I only had 4o minutes to write
  2. who doesn’t love a good haiku
  3. haikus remind us of our missing (sniff) writing date comrade who is currently residing on the more summery side of the world

My stream of thought turned out to be a ramble about what I wanted 2018 to feel like. I had only just begun listening to Desire Map but it had already seeped into my ink. I wrote about how 2018 would feel calm and smooth. Not to be mistaken with boring. (I gots to have intensity and adrenaline in my life!) There just wouldn’t be any sharp edges. Nothing poking me in the gut that cuts into my breathing.  No sharp edges into my thoughts that give me headaches and pulsing anxiety.  I want to feel…smooth. As I played around with my words, I saw the rounded corners in 2018. I turned my page sideways, the 8 became an infinity symbol. And suddenly, the possibilities were endless.  I want to feel empowered.  I want to feel calm. I want to feel divinely feminine. I want to feel free. I want to feel happy. I just want to feel what I want to feel.

Year twenty eighteen
No sharp edges to be found
Giggles. Breathing. Calm.

Xo,

e

Twitter: @Pixiepaperdoll7
Instagram: @PixiePaperDoll
#TeamAdventurers

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CBC Radio spreading good music & good karma..

About a week ago I was having a very dark day in a series of dark days. My incredible friend Beth (along with some other amazing friends and family), had been pulling out all stops to pull me back to the land of the living. True to her sweet yet random form, Beth answered a trivia question on Facebook with CBC Radio 2 Drive and indicated that she wanted to donate her answer to me (her fellow uber CBC geek friend). She told radio host,  Tom Power that I needed the good karma in my life right now.

Well… She won.

And Tom announced her response on the radio program the next morning. He said that no one had ever donated their answer before. He sent me good karma and encouraged all of Canada to send me the same. Another friend texted me that she had heard the program on the way to work and was so excited that she actually pulled over to listen. Karma was spreading.

That morning had been one of those ‘struggle to leave the bed’ mornings and I was facing some very difficult meetings and conversations. But as I set off walking down the path, I started reciting to myself (softly at first and gradually getting stronger), ‘People care. Tom Power sent me good karma. People all across the country, who don’t even know me are sending me good karma. Everything will be okay. There is good in the world.’

And I felt it. This amazing sense of people coming together to support each other. That even in such a lonely time, I wasn’t really alone. Oh, the power of radio, friends and community.

My name (as per Beth’s request) was submitted for their weekly prize pack draw and …… (drum roll, please)…. I won !!!! R2 producer Emma wrote that she hoped this made my week even brighter.

It did.

Kindness matters. Sprinkle that shit everywhere.

xo

e

@pixiepaperdoll7

 

Freedom 39

Today was my last day of work (at the organization we’ll call, E**) where I have supported kids with physical and developmental disabilities and their families for the past 13 years.  It was also Rain’s Grad 5 graduation, which turned out to be way more emotional than I had anticipated (so proud of that lil dude and damn his dad have been proud of him too). Needless to say it was an emotional roller coaster day but I am so happy and so ready for this new adventure that waits for us in Peterborough.  Keith – we are making progress !! Here is the good-bye email I sent my friends/colleagues.. So surreal:

Thirteen years at the same organization. Wow. And here I thought I had commitment issues. I did not anticipate staying here for 13 years nor did I expect to make some of my greatest and most truly phenomenal friends imaginable yet, here we are.  And I wouldn’t change a thing.

Not only have I witnessed a lot of changes within E**, but this organization has also seen a lot of changes with me.  It was there during the purchase my first house, the birth of both of my kids, the survival a separation, and provided me comfort during the sudden death of Rain and Moxie’s dad. And now as I start this new exciting adventure in Peterborough with an evolving heart and family, it’s time to reflect on how far we have come.

Throughout the years, I have been employed in various roles, shuffled between most of our sites and worked with a variety of equally amazing teams. But through all the changes, E** has always felt like my second home; and I think I have spent just as much time cleaning up dishes in that kitchen as I have my own. (Although I have learned to bring my own cutlery because scavenging to find forks for soups and spoons for salad just didn’t cut it after a while – The other day I was had to choose between eating my yogurt with a butter knife or an ice cream scoop).  Ps. I’ve recently discovered the secret stash of bowls. (SCORE!!) and I’m open to bribes for the hidden location.

When I first started my journey here, I was determined to make a difference (in some epic fashion) – I wanted to change the world and solve everyone’s problems (talk about a heavy load). I also really wanted to prove how much I knew and how smart I was.  However, it turned out that the people I wanted to prove my brains to and solve problems for ended up being the very ones who taught me how to be a better person.  And then somewhere along the road that desire to fix, became a desire to simply help.  Genuinely.  From the depths of my heart. And within all the constraints that exist within a large organization. Nothing epic. Just help.

I’ll leave you with three small reminders that I have learned along the way (again, nothing epic; just reminders):

1.      One person can make a difference (even if it’s not the difference you had intended on making)

2.      Don’t judge upon appearance.  This is nothing new but made even more clear as I met these resilient kids and their families.  Some of the most frail by appearances can be the most stubborn determined fighters that you will ever meet.  And some that appear to be the strongest might just spend an hour sobbing in your office.  Please take that hour. Give your shoulder. And refer to point #1.

3.      Don’t take your job so seriously. Remember to laugh. Remember that we’re supporting kids. Have some fun. If at all possible, come to the Drop In or the Teen Dance, (you will quickly be reminded of the drama which is high school) And oh yes, Drama – come to the drama production or a music show and watch our clients radiate on a stage as an entire audience cheers them on.

I am incredibly honoured to have had the opportunity to work with you.  All of you. Thanks for all you have taught me. Thanks for all you do.

xo

Erica

#TeamAdventurers

@pixiepaperdoll7