Finding Joy

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I struggle out of bed each day, stumbling to the bathroom with my eyes half shut, taking on the day as if it’s a burden just to be me. I’m 27. I’ve only had 27 years to become this jaded but here I am. I’m cranky, and in the comfort of my home I cry for no reason- more lately if I’m honest.

I stress and worry and agonize and sometimes it’s over the things I can control and sometimes it’s over the things I can not. There’s no off switch. I don’t think the way I feel is anything out of the ordinary. I think I’m amongst friends with a whole generation of lost souls starting out with debt, a technologically-fueled competition at life and no purpose.

Every now and then I stumble onto my path in a drunken stupor and realize I’ve gained clarity in my life that has set me “right”. In those moments I feel like I have it all together and the fog clears and I have a way out. In those moments I begin to know who I am. They’re fleeting. They are like a dream I wake up from too soon. As they slip away I try to hang on to the edges so I remember what it feels like to be me.

Last week I took time away from work to join an art workshop and get re-connected with that creative side of me I keep tucked away. I’ve gone down paths in my career that have led me further and further away from the authenticity I feel when I create. At the end of the week I felt good, but I wanted the magic of creating to save me and it didn’t. I wanted it to give me back all of the things I’ve been lacking and I wanted to come off the week knowing my work reflected me and I was proud of it. It didn’t because I’ve lost my sense of what that is and one week was just a teaser. One week was re-acquainting with an old friend just long enough to scratch the surface.

Brene Brown said, “Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame”.

The visual in that is so great, it forces me to understand this as a real thing- not a hysterical making of my imagination. It is a real whole piece of me that is turning sour with suppression. It’s not the whole problem but it’s a big one. I wonder how many others are on this journey, carrying only pieces of themselves through the day-to-day?

I had to get real. I had to begin the treacherous climb out of the rabbit hole.

There is no shame in admitting that success is not a paycheque and a life that looks good from the outside. Maybe it is for some but for me, success is a joy that starts at the center of your chest and spreads out through your whole body. It’s an expression of love and a connection with your real self that is untethered to anything but your personal journey. It shines out through your eyes and breathes out through your mouth in peaceful little wisps of certainty. I’ve seen it in others, but until now I didn’t recognize its value.

 

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Faded To Grey

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Today is one of those days I felt I needed to write but I couldn’t figure out how to get anything down without it reading like defeat.

It feels like defeat and it echoes like defeat in my head but the one place I couldn’t stand it to look that way is in my writing.

It’s funny that writing sometimes brings me that perspective. It’s like a birds-eye-view of my thoughts.

Today though, it hasn’t changed them and I find myself unable to edit out the truth. It’s one of those tidal-wave-of-raw-emotion kind of days that feel like drowning no matter what.

It’s one of those dark chaotic days that feel fragmented. How is it possible to give to everyone else when you feel broken? How is it possible to pretend none of it seeps into the center and cracks you from the inside when it’s digging so deep?

People can be so cruelly unaware of the way they hurt that it’s like a sledgehammer swung loose without direction. I want to believe they have no idea. I want to believe their cruelty is catapulted from a place of innocence and escalated by happenstance.

Do I swing back or let it hit me? Do I cry out in pain or keep my emotions to myself?

It’s all just as it is; A vast mouth of supple emptiness.

It’s all coloured and I’m faded to grey.

I’m curled defensively beneath the guise of protective cover.

Hoping, Wishing, Yearning- For better days.

Everything Is Not As It Seems

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I’ve been dwelling, lately, on thoughts surrounding the life and death of Robin Williams. I’ve been thinking of how he represents, in so many ways, the truth behind the notion that everything is not as it seems and that he exemplifies the scary truth behind depression.

Depression is this crazy, cancerous, ruinous disease that spreads silently and viciously. If untreated, it works its way into every part of a person’s life until there’s nothing left but solitude and depressive thoughts. 

It is the enemy to hope and perseverance. 

It is the brutal price we sometimes pay for giving away too much of our own energy to make others happy.

It is the terrible consequence of never feeling enough.robin-williams

It is riotous and numbing and dark.

It’s a vast and quiet ocean of lost. 

It is the reason souls lose their glow, eyes lose their shine and hearts lose their swell. 

It is the silent killer that preys often on the person at the center of the room. 

It is the thief of colour and joy and wonder and light. 

And at the center of it, it is the insufferable mountain of grief that is absolutely exhausting and most terrifyingly not always visible. It is a mental illness.

**If you or anyone you know can relate to these feelings, please reach out and talk to someone.**

 

Positivity Project Day 7

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This is it. Today is the seventh and final day of The Positivity Project. What a great experiment. I am wholeheartedly willing to accept responsibility for some of the negativity in my life and also to acknowledge that I have the power to change it. I didn’t think reminding myself of three things that I’m grateful for each day would have much impact. I wasn’t sure I’d even make it through all seven days but figured it couldn’t hurt to try. Ending each one of my days over the past week with positive thoughts has helped to change my perspective and find a little peace where before I didn’t allow it. It’s significant because its reminded me that no matter the day or the situation, I can always find the time to stop a moment and appreciate what I have in my life. 

Inspiring Quote: “Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things. Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a raindrop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep, feel it all- look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love”- Zooey Deschanel

Three Things I’m grateful for:

1. Local fruit in season. YUM!
2. Pink Voltage nail polish by China Glaze. It makes me SO happy!
3. All those who read and follow my blog. I’m still amazed that anyone would want to read what I have to say but seeing the little orange light at the top of my screen when I log in telling me someone has liked or commented on a post or followed my blog is pretty awesome. Thank you.

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Positivity Project Day 6

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Positivity Project- Record 3 things I’m grateful for and 1 inspiring quote everyday for 7 days to promote a happier, more positive life.

Inspiring Quote: “Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.”

Three Things I’m grateful for:

1. Exceptional feedback after delivering a training session. Ie a person in my session yesterday wrote “Rhianna was truly amazing. She put me at ease on my first day.” Heart warmed. 
2. Short naps on the subway on the way into work
3. Chocolate. Specifically dark chocolate but I’m pretty grateful for all. 

 

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Positivity Project Day 5

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Positivity Project- Record 3 things I’m grateful for and 1 inspiring quote everyday for 7 days to promote a happier, more positive life.

Inspiring Quote: “Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”

Three Things I’m grateful for:

1. Country sky at night- millions and millions of tiny dancing lights on the blackest canvas
2. Smores around the campfire
3. Friends that treat me like family

I should be long in bed but I am fresh off a weekend that fed my soul a little and I wanted to write about it before I launch into a busy week. This weekend I headed north to spend time with a family my parents and I met camping about 24 years ago. They’ve known me about as long as I’ve been me and I spent my childhood either running after the three girls or being carted around by them. They now have children and husbands of their own, live in different cities (one out of province) and come together only intermittently.

On Saturday I sat at a table amongst the girls. Their mom was on the end and we were all laughing and joking and playing bingo. One man asked their mom if we were all her girls. She smiled and looked down the table. “Well those three are” she said, pointing to her daughters. “She’s more like my half daughter but she’s definitely one of the family” she explained, pointing to me. Later when they invited me over for dinner and I asked if they were sure it was okay that I crash the family affair they all laughed. Their mom bumped my arm and leaned in, “You’re always welcome here. You’re one of us you know” she told me.

I’ve spent all my time and effort lately trying to belong somewhere. It sounds crazy but I’ve been feeling, in some ways, like I don’t belong in my own life. It’s part of the reason I started the Positivity Project. I wanted to remind myself of all the ways I am lucky and loved and fortunate in my own world. I think I’ve been too easily forgetting about the good bits. This weekend I laughed until I cried, felt so much love I thought in moments my heart might burst, and remembered what that sense of belonging is like. I wanted to write it all down before I let any more of the good little bits slip through the cracks. Life is too short to let that keep happening.

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Positivity Project Day 4

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Positivity Project- Record 3 things I’m grateful for and 1 inspiring quote everyday for 7 days to promote a happier, more positive life.

Inspiring Quote: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

Three Things I’m grateful for:

1. Surprise bags.
2. Really great concert experiences.
3. Weekends away from the city.

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