I am blissfully aware that for a 27 year old kid from Tucson, I am living a life only found in dreams. No, it isn't void of hardship or heartache... but for every broken heart and barrier, there are ten beautiful counter-blessings. I need a moment to let them spill everywhere, and I chose now.
Life is definitely a dream, sweetheart.
My world has been shifting, moving, rotating, and spiraling in and out of control in the most marvelous way imaginable. I've been learning to dance, live, breathe and communicate with my shoulders back and my heart exposed. I've been embracing energy, people, projects; the good and the bad as it comes and I'll be damned if it isn't the secret to life. This all kinda sounds like hippy dippy mother earth goddess love that I'm not old enough to appreciate though, doesn't it? Well, it is. And I totally do. Meditation and conscious living have found places in my life and they've never been more welcome.
I work all day and facilitate conversation about changing the way we see the world as well as ways to better the behavioral health system. Afterwards I meet up with chicks committed to change and drink coffee while figuring out how to take over the world. I come home and do as much as I can to catch up on necessary projects, and then I enjoy peppermint hookah while I snuggle with three cats. I also take an unhealthy amount of photos of them and Instagram more than most like. I sometimes watch Sherlock in bed, and fall asleep to the hum of a heater. After sleeping a little, I do it all over again. Weekends are spent riding my bike to coffee shop get-togethers and karaokeing with gorgeous men who have stars in their eyes as they thank me repeatedly for being so sexy. Not a bad job if you can get it.
I lose my breath a bit when I think about all of the opportunities I have received and am able to participate in. A book proposal that is guided by a supportive and beautiful woman in NY. A chance to write reviews for Broadway in Tucson, allowing me to indulge my inner musical theatre enthusiast. The many offers to lecture and speak about what is closest to my heart. A "day job" that is as challenging as it is fulfilling and offers me a way to pay my bills and take care of health needs. Secret sexy photo shoots that are upcoming and exciting and experimental and will change the way we all see the world. National conferences and multiple trips across the country. Presentations followed by hugs and tears. I get to do all of these things.
Until now I've been afraid of my inbox. It's done nothing more than overwhelm and intimidate me, but since I've allowed myself to be imperfect at managing it I can now see what a beautiful thing it can be. It fills with adventures, projects, and planning meetings daily. It lets me connect with Virgie, Gala, Marianne, Tess, Louise, Substantia, and other sheros that have played an integral role in my personal evolution. It gives me great news and sends me love letters. It continues to grow and I'm starting to realize that it's a gift. Not a terror. And I'm appreciative.
I also find myself in awe daily of the women that I am surrounded by. They are some of the most beautiful, kind, compassionate, talented, and loving individuals I have known in my lifetime. I have a core group of close ladies who continually inspire me with the social awareness, dedication to getting shit done and overall positive perspective of the world AND I've also had the recent opportunity to meet a few dozen other women who have joined forces in the name of body love.
When we had our first general committee meeting to jump start the Body Love Conference I was astounded at the fact that the room filled with volunteers. Each lady capable, enthusiastic, and willing to give her time to promote world change. As I've meet with the groups (every other day it seems like!) I've come to know and love each and every one of them. Often showing up to meetings with hilarious gals who've brought banana cupcakes and a million clever ideas to share. When I'm exhausted, seeing this amount of strength + smarts makes me smile even more. I'm truly realizing the power of groups and teamwork. It's a beautiful thing.
I’ve met a community of women through Jade Beall's African Dance class (remember this post?) that have shifted the way I see the world as well. There is something so healing about sweating your ass off and then hugging a dozen women, thanking all of them for their dancing, love, and lovely energy. All of the sweat. All of the endorphins. All of the healing. And no judgments. That's the greatest part.
I’ve learned that it's okay to wear purple slips instead of blouses and rock red confetti flats after a life time of thinking this was inappropriate. I'm comfortable posting pictures of myself with a noticeable double chin because I'm no longer ashamed of this feature (BTW, did you see Rachele's illustration of fierce double chins? It's pretty great.) I dance around my house to Sara Barilliases "Brave" and consume copious amounts of pumpkin spice coffee. I go on pinball arcade dates with my little brother, revel in Arizona fall weather, and anticipate change like it’s a glorious thing. Which it is. Which it will continue to be. Which is incredible to me.
I work daily on becoming a better person; becoming more aware, educated, and sensitive to the needs of those around me. I surround myself with beauty because now I know this is the only way to happily make it through life. I challenge myself to learn new skills, think new thoughts, and try new instruments. I ask myself to share my vulnerabilities and recognize my mistakes as part of the plan. I allow life to be fucked up and hard and am sure to remind myself that this is just part of the human condition. I try my best to do no harm and take no shit and to get a little sleep in between it all.
I am exceptionally blessed and the more I focus on this... the better person I become.
That is my gratitude list. What is yours? What are you grateful for? What are your days filled with? How do you create a life full of happiness?
Give me the top three things you’re overwhelmingly grateful for… I’m all ears.