Inspiration is all around us and can be found in the simplest of places. Once again the Minds Journal has nailed it with a paragraph that speaks to my current now. I feel spoken to as if someone looked inside of my heart and took note. One of the things that is ever changing for me is that time has become very important and has taken on a new meaning. I always knew not to take it for granted, but these days it holds even more significance. Perhaps we feel our mortality as we get older. Perhaps we become pickier and life teaches us not to take anything for granted. It’s a little like “Don’t sweat the small stuff” and it’s surprising how many of the once big things have turned into small stuff, no longer holding the same value.
Another thing that has changed is how, and with whom I want to share this most precious commodity and gift. How I fill my space and my time, whether it holds importance and meaning. Every moment is vital, meant to be felt and enjoyed. To be nourished, regardless in which way it appears. Of course we will always look for the moments that restore and fill the cracks of our breaking heart. Spent in solitude or with special people, these moments can only be shared with souls that truly get us. The Minds journal reminds us of our feelings and what’s going on right now. Take a peek.
“One of the changes you may be feeling right now is that you want to be with people who SEE you – the real you, all of you, those who get your FULLNESS.
It’s no longer about hangin’ with peeps you know just because you know them or have been in their lives for years; it’s being with those who understand all of your layers and dimensions.
They SEE your journey with deeper eyes,”
And I believe this is the point. To be seen with deeper eyes. To be embraced and accepted. No questions asked, no explanations, no judgements. Just pure love and comfort.
I am revisiting wildfire season again and we still have some weeks left to battle. I have been extremely fortunate this year during the most unfortunate of times. While multiple fires are still at large, my surrounding area has recorded the worst air quality in the world. In the WORLD, can you believe it. And even here I feel spared, mostly, but drive a few miles down the road and the scenery looks as grim as this picture I recently took.
I was mourning Summer this morning. Summer has become no longer enjoyable and it marks a time of great devastation, loss, fear, awful air quality and obstructed views. It’s like living in the thickest fog and the mountains disappear for weeks and months at a time. I remember last year and the many times we scouted out areas away from the smoke. It was crazy how far we had to drive to get away. It was a great time to explore our home state Nevada vs visiting the neighboring state of California which has been our main get away. It’s amazing how different two connecting states can be and it was a bit like the Sound of Music meeting Mad Max.
It is said that one of the current fires will not be contained until the end of September and another new fire just recently started, which is burning close to Lake Tahoe. It has destroyed more than 400 homes already. My blessings and prayers go out to those living close, in fear of losing everything. I know from last year what a frightening feeling this is and I pray for rain and these fires to be the last of the season.
It’s already the end of August and we are quickly moving into September. I can hardly believe that it’s almost three month since I moved into “The Tiny Abode.” It remains an ever changing project with many names such as one mentioned above, or Expedition Base Camp and Zennnn. It’s been taking some time to make it into my own and create a place that is sheer bliss, simplicity, freedom and tranquility. From the moment you walk in, it tells a story, the story of me and what I hold near and dear. New spaces are maximized and utilized daily, making it a very efficient but also very cozy space. In the beginning I always looked at it as a transitional space and in some regards it remains as such. But these days I see it less as a transition which means a temporary space to me, but I see it as a home. A place I can be comfortable in, a place I can feel at peace. The home is a castle for any Cancer sign and this has always been the case with me. Feeling that this has become a castle stems largely from the way I have decorated it and when you live in a small space, only your most favorite things can come along and take up what I call prime real estate. There is no such thing as three Pepsi’s in the fridge and it’s not allowed unless it is in between shopping trips when the fridge slowly empties. And how lucky am I that Cinnamon see’s it as a big playhouse and absolutely loves it here. I think she loves her human actually and would love it anywhere as long as she can be close.
In the beginning I was busy just stowing everything and getting it out of the way. Later function stepped in and to this day I buy shelves to stow things vertically, such as big plates on the bottom and smaller plates on top of the little tray table/ shelf that fits perfectly into the larger cupboard. Of course I could store them right on top of each other but with achy hands, removing 4 plates to get to the one can become a struggle, so a little shelf within makes it much easier for me, plus it takes up the wasted space, vertically, we do often see in our cabinets. I have become an expert of freeing up space and a love for the game of Tetris has served me well. Chances are that with every day, The Tiny Abode looks just a little different and one project after another is being knocked out. You’d think in such a small space it would be a breeze to take care of it quickly, but not for me as my days depend on how I physically feel. It has been fun though to see it transform into a Boho chic, spiritual place of calm.
I believe that I passed the test and I have aced this little trial run to tiny living. You wouldn’t believe how important and essential each piece in here becomes. My advice to everyone wanting to go tiny or to become a minimalist would be this. Every piece should bring joy and no matter where you turn your head, you should be surrounded by your favorite things. And this doesn’t matter the size of space you live in and is a great rule in general. My space is definitely an eclectic mix of things and you will find drums on display, a Rain stick, a Ukulele and a Didgeridoo. There is a Bear carving that shares one bench of the dinner table, there are a few favorite acrylic paintings, one I painted and one that was a gift. There are prayer flags inside and out the home, a heavy metal personalized sign with the name of my future home, already picked out. There is a dream catcher, star lights, bottle lights, a Himalayan salt lamp, my old hiking stick that now holds a curtain to separate the bedroom. There is a giant wooden/metal tree of life sign in the bedroom, and you will find sage, essential oils and lots of healing gemstones all around. There is a very personal and favorite painting from a dear soul that means a lot and and which I see every day, and you will find stars on the ceiling that glow at night, a Native American arrow and Witches Bells over the entry way to shield off negative energy and protect the home. Besides there is a library, a Tibetan singing bowl and even a few plants got to squeeze in and so much more, all geared for ambience and a serene feeling. There is a big rock in my house that I remember carrying for about two miles back to the car from one of last years trails.
Currently I am working on a basic boring, multi opening, white cabinet that I had in storage and I am refinishing and repurposing it. It has taken on the color of “The real Teal” amongst a base coat of navy blue, and accent colors of brown, orange, mint green and gold. The back of it will have a big white stencil with the OM Symbol and a mandala around it, and eventually it will house one of two very important guests from Wales that I am expecting. Stay tuned, as new energy is about to enter my life to aid in my healing process. There is another spiritual decal that needs to go up in the bedroom and a bench and tree stomp in the back yard needs painting and staining. A directional wooden post with distance markers, all found in the surrounding area will need to be assembled, painted and brought to life sometime soon. It will finish the outside area nicely and compliment the hammock, the cinder block bench, the homemade wind chimes and the waterfall tapestry hanging over one of the exterior wall.
I was ecstatic yesterday when my bright red retro toaster arrived. It was a pretty penny, but I don’t care and I love it. Toast this morning left me with a big smile and I say that’s what it is all about. Today I upgraded the old mattress and I can’t wait to try it out. At the moment it is still rolled up tightly, outside by the front door and I have to wait for help to bring it inside since I can’t budge it even one bit. I hope it will prove as another investment that was well worth it, and hopefully I wake up as if from a heavenly slumber on Cloud9. My arthritic bones better thank with less pain and increased mobility.
I was born on the day of ups and downs and life certainly has echoed this theme. I say this and realize that most likely everybody on the planet could make a similar statement, the difference is that when we talk ourselves vs somebody else, it always becomes more personal. That doesn’t mean that it’s more important or takes the first row, but it leaves us as the experts to our own story.
There used to be a time when I viewed being born on the day of ups and downs as a curse, as the Story of my Life . Over time this has changed and like everything else it is what it is. I have come to accept it and I roll with the punches whenever I can. Successful or not, it is my motto. We seldom have another choice anyways, but I am extremely grateful that I was able to see these times as learning experiences without getting discouraged, disgruntled and turning into a negative victim mentality. Talking about the dark night of our soul, I feel that there have been a few of them throughout my life, but the past two years have brought some of my most important work as a person. It has taken me to the edge nearly losing myself, only to show me that I come back stronger each time. It had taught me that nothing fuels and develops me more than adversity itself, when challenges arise and when the predictable happens and is trying to hurt me. That pain has always made me rise stronger. It’s a process that is ongoing and it wasn’t until recently that I could understand and fully grasp the meaning of the words written by Aby Vohra in regards to what the dark night of the soul is and how it will transform your life.
It is referred to as a long, depressing, and very dark experience that can continue for days, months or even years. If you’re experiencing the dark night of the soul, you will feel a sense of being lost. Your heart will be in anxiety as if your world with its known habits and conditioning is coming to an end. This is because, after a spiritual awakening, your conditioned mind pattern is dying. While dying, your mind is making you feel miserable by re-identifying yourself with its old dysfunctional patterns. The soul is about to shine like a sun, and deep down, you have started to feel it’s presence. While a spiritual awakening is the process of rebirth of everything you are! The dark night of the soul is the process of dying of everything you are not!
I have felt this in layers, one after another peeling away, at my pace and when I am ready, having fully processed the prior learnings. It has been an up and down, physically and emotionally, at times empowering, stepping into my own and at other times devastating and lonely. Through it all people continue to come and go. I trust that the people I need or the ones who need me will or have crossed my path to be in my life. Only meaningful relationships are honored at this time and there is no time for chasing false ideals. This morning I drew an oracle card soliciting the universe to share which spirit animal will lend us their energy for September. I was surprised at who showed up and we have seen this animal earlier in the year. Perhaps more work is waiting to be done as we will revisit this energy in an upcoming post on September 1st.
Time has also been a great teacher this year, pain has been a great teacher and so has been the isolation and the experiences I have encountered, along with the choices and decisions executed this year. It can be maddening at times, but it is a test of times. A test of how I process these experiences under extreme circumstances, a test of who remains in the end, what I shed and no longer give importance to, and how I form new beliefs. It’s a time picked by me and chosen carefully. Everything falls to the wayside that does not support this journey.
If I had to sum it up in a few sentences I would say that the dark night of the soul has brought me face to face with myself. It allowed me to process and discover the layers to myself that I have experienced so far. It has brought me face to face with my past and my upbringing to learn and understand who I am. My times of struggle have shown me that times can be very lonely since everyone needs you to be that upbeat person, the one to look up to, the one you have something to gain from. It also has shown me that our Motto’s a time have to be selfish and nobody is in a position to take on additional issues, especially if it’s not theirs to carry.
The closet door has been unlocked and the skeletons have been freed. Through the process I have come to love myself and don’t act from a place of not tolerating certain things anymore, but from a place of a higher self worth. Time is limited and we better not waste a moment of it. The dark night of the soul sounds intimidating and scary, but it can also be one of the most freeing and worthwhile times in our life. I am grateful for this time and no matter how painful some of these experiences have been, I wouldn’t change a thing and do it all over again vs. sitting there comfortably, numb, lost, alive but not living. Maybe this post brings a sense of familiarity to you, as you recognize your own journey. Know that it cant be rushed, let’s just hope it doesn’t last for years. And if it does, then I say it is due to being beyond profound and special, and may you never seize to see the lessons and your growth in the process of it.
I noticed again that more and more I am becoming a collector of those peaceful moments. You know the ones that make you sigh and instill that deep feeling of bliss. The ones that restore and nourish us at a deep level. I have felt them many times before but with each go around, they appear with new layers and new aha moments to be appreciated with. Each time they come around, it’s like the first time, offering new understanding and new learning. Each time I feel restored and it feeds something that has been quenching inside of me. I think sometimes we believe that these moments entail something big, something we need to plan for or dedicate a lot of time to, but that’s really not the case and you’d be surprised how simple it can be.
I believe that my trials and struggles with pain have shaped me, and I didn’t arrive at this special location by accident. Pain has been a constant over the past three month’s, most of the time pretty severe and debilitating. But then there are the moments when it’s not thaaaat bad and I can actually function a bit. Those are the moments that instilled hope and each time I hoped it was the moment when I kicked the RA into submission again. That moment has not lasted so far and just like my world suddenly filled with hope, it also came crashing down faster than I could acknowledge it. Each time brought disappointment and another battle was waiting to be fought. And then I stopped hoping, maybe wishing, perhaps expecting and trying to control it. What ended with it was the cycle of ups and downs. It’s still here and it’s hard to not hope and wish, but I stopped paying attention to it and I learned to ignore it the best I could. I started to accept that whatever was…was. That whichever visitor came that day was out of my control, but equally welcomed.
What pain has taught me, is to enjoy those moments of peace. To collect them and recognize them as precious commodity. To not take them for granted but to show them gratitude and happiness in return. Those are the moments I can function, the moments I can take a deep sigh of bliss, the moments that actually make me feel human and alive, the moments I have surrendered to, and the moments I don’t try to influence or control anymore. It is kind of strange that those serene moments have increased since I have surrendered the reigns. I can’t stress enough how important making time is for our well being and a healthy balance.
So if you can’t run off to a cabin in the woods right now or take that needed vacation, perhaps there are some other things you can do. Remember it doesn’t always have to be big. Start small. Maybe you go for a drive with your bestie or alone, blasting that favorite tune. Maybe you pour yourself a glass of wine and put your feet up. Maybe you run yourself a bath with lots of bubbles and great aromatherapy. Take a nap or read a chapter. Watch a motivational speech or something that is uplifting. Turn off your phone and carve out time for YOU. Make yourself a cup of tea, do some Yoga or just practice being still. Fight for theses moments of peace amongst the craziness in your day. It is not that hard and I believe in you. You are worth it and you got this.
Are you a side sleeper or do you sleep on your back? Apparently and according to eightsleep.com it doesn’t only make a difference in which position we sleep, but also on which side. It is said that sleeping on the left side is extremely beneficial. It alleviates acid reflux and heartburn, boosts digestion, stimulates the drainage of toxins from your lymph nodes, improves circulation, and helps your brain filter out waste. Due to anatomy and the location of your body’s organs, these amazing benefits only come from sleeping on the left side.
Pain and darkness go hand in hand. Despite, that one can fully exist without the other, they are often linked and associated with each other. When one is present, it’s most likely that the other is not too far off.
Pain is a dark feeling,
This post is to raise awareness. It is to acknowledge the many that suffer in silence, whether it is from chronic pain, mental or emotional pain. The ones that are riddled by anxiety and depression, seemingly relying on themselves only because of not knowing where to could turn to. You are not alone and you are being heard. I have been no stranger to the many faces and layers of pain. That’s why I decided to make it bigger and write a book. I feel we need relatable content, stories and experiences shared, not only to motivate and keep each other going but also to spread hope and a feeling of companionship.
It comes with conditions to express,
Rules made before uttering a big cry,
Emotions dealt with others concerns,
Certain drafted ways to hide your deep cracks
And an unusual pause to act normal in front of people!
Feeling depressed deep within,
Pretending to be very casual though,
One eye open, filled with happiness to show the world
And another eye closed, with tears to calm the storm inside
Yet another day loving with thoughts to end life,
Still manages to pass through those times with a fake smile! “
This is Charlie Chaplin at age 26, photographed 100 years ago. Below is a poem he read on his 70th birthday, written by Kim McMillen. Enjoy!
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is Authenticity.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call this Respect.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded was inviting me to grow. Today I call this Maturity.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call this Self-Confidence.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do why brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call this Simplicity.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people; things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is Love of Oneself.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is Modesty.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only love for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it Fulfillment.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection Wisdom of the Heart.
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing, new worlds are born. Today I know: This is life!
What a wonderful outlook on life and I would like to add one (or two; three) last one’s, based on my own experience that sound a little like this:
As I began to love myself I stopped trying to fit into what I believed people expected me to be. I learned to embrace my uniqueness and all my quirks and I see them as special qualities and attributes that will attract like minded tribe members to share my passions. Today I call this honoring my Self Worth.
As I began to love myself I started to show myself the kindness and forgiveness I had previously denied myself. I began to be much gentler with myself, realizing that I was human too and made mistakes just like everyone else. And most of all that I was deserving of a second chance just like the next person. Today I call this Compassion.
As I began to love myself, my awareness grew and I am more conscious of how I feed and treat my body, my mind and my heart. What foods I consume and what thoughts I entertain. Today I am picky about what I feed my temple with, and how and with whom I spend my time. Today I call this Courage and being brave enough to not only hear but also for answering the call.
Shhh Mark this post is for you, especially the first paragraph. Sorry I couldn’t help it. If you don’t know Mark, please be sure to stop by and say hello. He is simply amazing and there are not enough hours in the day to brag about him and tell you how awesome he is. Plus he likes chocolate Hehehehe, so here we go. These are essential points for a happy life according to butterflies and pebbles and chocolate tops the list. 😉
Make sure one of the paths in your life leads to the beach, the forest, and on some days a table full of cake and chocolate. 🙏🏼💙
Walk barefoot wherever and whenever you can.
Learn to love your alone time.
Always let your heart hole and dream and love.
Be honest with yourself.
Turn the page you are stuck on. Expand the story.
Make enjoyment important in your life.
See your age as a gift and not a curse.
How many can you check off? In light and love, always. 🙏🏼💙🦋