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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March is for madness.

 

I don’t know about you but I am not at my best in March. All of my strategies to get through the long dark winter have been tossed aside along with the chip wrappers, wine bottles and dirty casserole dishes. I’m tired. I’m hiding an extra layer of fat under my sweat pants and tights. I feel gross. It’s become painfully clear that once again, I will not be dashing away for a hot weather, scuba adventure. I am bored and even worse…I am boring. I have nothing to talk to anyone about except for my own misery which makes me retreat from everyone to save us all my moaning.

Having said all of that, you may not believe me when I tell you that I actually consider myself a fairly enlightened person. I spend time in gratitude every morning before getting out of bed and set my intentions for the day. I walk to work and spend my lunch hours power walking by the water listening to uplifting podcasts. In fact, in a recent attempt to make the best of this lull in my life, I decided to throw myself into active waiting, a term I learned from Danielle LaPorte podcasts. While waiting for nicer weather, I started tackling some of the winter house projects that have been accumulating on my to do list.

If I can organize my entire house, redecorate rooms, create every meal from scratch, work full-time, care for both of my children, ensure all household chores are done to perfection, find time for close friends and spend at least one or two evenings/week with my bf, then I’m winning right? IF I can pull all of that off, then maybe I’ll be less gross and boring.

Or maybe instead I will become completely overwhelmed, have a house full of half-finished projects and dwell on all the areas in my life where I am failing, which now also includes active waiting.

*insert sad monologue about the disappointment of not being able to do it all

Lately the biggest feeling of failure for me has been in the parenting department. Because while I’ve been struggling to keep afloat in my lifeboat, my kids have been floating along beside me. (Thank God they are good sports and good swimmers!)

We’ve always been a tight team and I try to keep a strong connection with them. I spend about 10 minutes of 1:1 time with each of them every morning, we eat a (mostly) home cooked meal together every day and we read aloud together every night before bed. But even still I constantly worry that they spend too much time on their electronics, feel immense guilt when I don’t have time to play cards when they ask, and have no idea what goes on in the mind of a teenage boy. I don’t know if it’s their ages, my schedule or my anxiety-driven imagination but I worry that we are losing our connection.

Last week I decided to take action and booked a cottage for the following weekend. We needed to get out of our daily routine and shake things up. I wanted to be fully present with them, without the distraction of life.

On Friday I loaded the car with our comfiest clothes, board games, books, art supplies, journals, a cooler full of quick and easy meals and a hopeful heart and we drove 2.5 hours north to our little cottage retreat.

And for the entire weekend, I was entirely present and available to my kids.

We watched movies together. We played umpteen hands of gin rummy, board games, and scrabble stopping only to meander to the mini fridge for more snacks. We explored by the water without having to rush so I could get home and start dinner. And when we wanted time alone, we created art and read books.

It was bliss.

Now that we’ve reconnected and I feel assured that they feel assured that I am available to them, the next step is to keep this momentum alive. It’s completely unrealistic to take a vacation every time I want to spend uninterrupted time with them. And despite the fridge magnet that says, a messy house is full of memories, it’s also full of anxiety ridden chaos which makes it just as unrealistic to stop cleaning.

So instead I will simply acknowledge that there will continue to be highs and lows along this journey. There will be moments when I feel I have it all together and others where you’ll find me under my covers eating ice cream.

The good news is that warm weather is on the horizon and no one is ever boring while wearing sundresses and flower crowns.

Be grateful. Be present. and it will be okay.

(But really….what actually goes on in the mind of a 13 year old boy?)

xoxo,

e

#TeamAdventureres

@pixiepaperdoll7 (twitter)

@pixiepaperdoll (Instagram)

 

PS.

This beautiful song kept coming on my playlist while we were away and it definitely needs to be shared. Rain and Moxie, you are and will always be, safe and sound with me.

 Safe and Sound – Hawksley Workman

 

unnamed-1

Exploring. Of course they both fell into the lake. Don’t worry, it was shallow.