In New York in April, over the sound of conversations and loud music Therese leaned into me and said:
“You need to write a blog so people can experience your writing, life is hard and your words are so lush. I think underneath it all, that is what everyone is striving for-a lushness in their lives.”
I was flattered, but I think she was right about one thing for sure. I think we are all trying to find the summer within ourselves. To sit, if only for a moment, beneath the trees and feel peaceful and grateful and present.
She and I were on the phone today and we were discussing very deep topics.
“What are your non-negotioables?”
“What are your core values?”
“How can we learn to handle things better?”
We were discussing boundaries. How to create them, what the rule book could be for an adult life, how that is different for every person and how you learn what those rules are, where does religion and God fit into this, what is true friendship.
These are no small things. (We decided we were not fans of small talk.)
It takes years and years to learn how to answer these questions and certainly a lot of trial and error.
But I find it interesting that as a woman just stepping into my 30’s I don’t have a lot of these questions answered right off the top of my head. I have things that I think are right and things I believe are wrong but life tends to be so much more grey than I realized, and within that grayness lies a confusion about how to handle the more difficult situations that arise.
Intuition is something we all know. Everyone, perhaps differently, experiences this 6th sense. For me it is in my stomach, an immediate reaction that is body-brain first before my mind can get a hold of it and twist things around. Isn’t that funny, how powerful your brain can be? Something simple becomes complex if your mind gets a hold of it. If you listen to your body, it is often times a simple straight forward answer, and your body tends to have a good indication on where our heart is. I’m not sure why I don’t listen to that intuition more. I think maybe because I am trying to over-ride what it is saying. Which is counter productive to creating situations where I am true to myself.
True to myself, what does that mean these days?
After our conversation I kept mulling this over and here is what I know so far:
1) Loyalty is a non-negotioable. I think being loyal to myself needs to take a front seat for a while. Empathy is a non-negotioable. That goes for treating myself thusly as well. Laughter is a non-negotioable. Because if you aren’t going to have fun, what is the point?
2) Kindness is free to give but not always easy. Perhaps kindness does not mean being sweet and accommodating, perhaps it means being truthful and fair. Kindness is walking across the street from understanding. Even if you can’t empathize, putting yourself in a position to at least look at things and see differently is never a bad thing.
3)Creating boundaries with one’s self before you create them with others is a good first step. And listening to your intuition is the best way to begin this.
4)In order for me to give to others, my battery needs to be charged. I charge this battery alone. It takes me a long time, I get irritated when it is inturrupted.
5) My sister said this to me around my birthday: “Being honest means letting whatever happens- happen. And being okay with it.” Mom said this to me on Wednesday: “Make your decisions and be ok with the consequences. And let it be what it will be.” Both statements coming from the strongest women in my life. Certainly something to meditate on as they were saying the same thing.
6) Finding whimsy within life makes life more magical. And why not? Who says everything has to be grown up and serious. Add the rainbow sprinkles, buy the sparkly shoes, never say ‘no’ to champagne.
7) I’d like to be better about giving my time and energy to people who deserve it. I’d have more to give to those who truly are in my inner circle. I can’t forget that I am ALSO in my own inner circle.
8)Don’t look at your phone first thing in the morning, it will not do you any good. Instead, journal. Or stare out the window. Or listen to your favorite song. Literally anything other than my phone will do.
9) Don’t talk so much for a while. Maybe listen more.
10) Forgive yourself for the past, and let go of your anger. Dad always says: “Life turns on a dime.”
I’ve started collecting dimes whenever I see them. Perhaps it’s a hopeful sign.