On Fresh Eyes…

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I am definitely a woman of many hobbies. Taking breaks from them is how I manage the fine art of juggling all the things I want to try…

For those who may be wondering where I’ve been (hello? Anyone?) Let me rewind.

Since I last wrote, I:

  • Had a baby.
  • Travelled halfway across the world for several months.
  • Quit my permanent, stable job.
  • Took up a few side gigs. Do you still call them “side gigs” if they are the only gigs?
  • Worked on some fundraising campaigns.
  • Learned how to bake more professional cakes.
  • and… oh ya… was stuck at home for 10 months (and counting) because…. Voldemort.

The past year was a little crazy. I’m sure you can relate!

The one thing I did not do much of this past year is writing. I gave myself a little time to miss it. I’ve always been the type to sit quietly in the back corner, observing things and not speaking, until there was something valuable to add to the conversation. I think you need to do a little living before getting back to writing, you know? If you take a little break, you can come back to your true calling with fresh eyes.

Speaking of fresh eyes, we all gained a lot of insight in the last few months, didn’t we? Before the pandemic, I was still juggling the things I did not want to do along with the things I actually valued. There were still some expectations I felt I needed to live up to. I’ve had a bit of a change of heart more recently. If you read this blog, you know that I am a big believer in designing my own luck. Like anyone else, however, it’s easy for me to get bogged down by the constraints of the moment. This mindset that I choose to live by requires a little bit (ok… a lot!) of nurturing. In the past few months, I’ve struggled through the motions of making sense of this new reality while somehow keeping my head above water. It hasn’t been easy, but it has taught me a lot. Between postpartum and social isolation, there was plenty of time to contemplate what really matters. The answer, though it seemed complicated at times, always came down to one simple truth: I really matter. If you truly believe that you matter, and really put yourself first, everyone around you also benefits ten-fold. This is a fact that I now understand, but still struggle to master. Don’t we all?

I’m grateful for the last year, as much as it sometimes felt like being stuck in an underground tunnel with no way out (an experience I have had, by the way, as a young teenager travelling through Vietnam on a historic tour). Much like that trip, and the baby that I somehow (still can’t believe it!) brought into this world, this year showed me that, one way or another, we will have to find the way out. We are more resilient than we ever imagined. The soundtrack to my year was a children’s song that played on loop for months on end:

“Goin’ on a lion hunt.
Goin to catch a big one.
I’m not afraid.
Look, what’s up ahead?

Mud!
Can’t go over it.
Can’t go under it.
Can’t go around it.
Gotta go through it.”

Really… it is that simple.

Tell me about your year. What’s it been like, gaining fresh eyes?

And remember… we design our own luck!

M.

On Resolving Pain…

My readers know that I am an advocate for making the most of the present moment. I am always writing about the importance of intention and mindfulness when making decisions about how we live, think, speak, and feel. For the most part, I try to live my own life in this way, constantly checking myself in to the present.

The truth is, however, that fully immersing oneself in the present moment does not mean that the past can remain ignored. We are all products of our personal past, and of our ancestral past. Our histories are boundless and they extend well beyond our own life experience. Dissociating from our past can be incredibly dangerous because, one way or another, the pain bubbles back up.

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On Imperfection…

Sometimes, things just don’t go so well… and that’s O.K.

The modern global culture, especially social media culture, is obsessed with an unattainable standard of perfection. From the perspective of the outsider looking in, everyone is on cloud 9. It’s no wonder that this causes severe cases of anxiety and depression over time, as individuals come to believe that they are the only ones left behind in imperfection.

Imperfection creates character in our lives… it’s the spice that turns out a little too spicy, and is therefore memorable. What are we, if not a compilation of broken pieces fused together? Whole, but imperfect.

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