29 December 2016

Finding my "word"....

Over the past few years, I have begun a tradition of choosing a word that I envision for the coming year ahead.  It is a word that I want to use as my focus and something to come back to in the event that I stumble upon my way. Last year my word was "CONTENTMENT" and it was definitely my intention for 2016.  I found myself coming back to it again and again, as things inevitably go out of focus.  I strived to be content in each moment - to stay present and enjoy the journey rather than only the destination.  There were times that it eluded me and times I got swept up in the romantic notions of what the future may hold.  But in retrospect, I do feel as though I was able to feel contentment for most of this year that now comes to a close. 

And so, with the 2017 year nearly upon us, it is that time to choose a new word to move forward with.  I've been thinking of a few and thinking of what I want this year to hold for me in order to narrow down the list. What keeps coming to me is the word COURAGE.  I have admittedly been afraid, especially after going through so much change this past decade or so.  I think what I have learned this year has brought me to the point where I feel ready to have courage.  

Closing the store is the last official tie I had to my previous life - it is the store that I opened with Tim, in the hopes to have a family and live "happily ever after." It is what I came home to when I returned to Canada. The past few years have been about so much change both personally and professionally, that by closing this chapter I have allowed for the space to bring in new beginnings.  In the moments where I felt as though I was stumbling and not where I thought I should be, I now feel as though I am returning to some of my original dreams.  

I have been trying to answer these 25 end of the year reflection questions a friend at work gave to me and there were a few that it took me quite a bit of time to answer.  The first question was "What is the best thing that you did this year?" - seemingly easy but no.  What could I actually quantify as the BEST thing? I read through my journals, I opened my Gratitude Jar and I relived most of this year in order to come to that answer.  And what I have decided is that the best thing I did this year was allow myself to fall in love with a great man.  He may not get to be my man forever, but by loving him I learned so much about myself and about what I want my life to be.  I have guarded my heart so closely over the past few years - even at the times when I thought I was letting love in. In retrospect, I can see how I let the same toxic man into my life over and over again.  I realized what love is by loving JC and I have come to terms with knowing that T and I didn't share true love.  That was a very big lesson to learn.  So as scary as it was and even though it ended beyond my wishes, opening my heart to love this year was by far the best thing I could have done for myself.  I have learned that it is my life mission to love, how wonderful and freeing a discovery that has been.  

The year 2017 is a "1" year in numerology and bids us all to start something new - it is about new initiatives and beginnings.  I look at the coming year hopeful for all the possibility that lay before us.  Building on the word contentment from last year and the word love from the year before that, I look ahead with courage because new beginnings are often scary.  I strive to Be Brave and live an authentic life to honour our dear Allie Sunshine, who live on in us all. I want to be courageous to start a new career, to purchase myself a new(er) car, to allow this new chapter to unfold and remain present to appreciate each day.  As I allow my heart to heal, I will learn to make space for love to come again, now that I know what it is that I am looking for and the kind of love I learned was actually possible.  The last few days of this year are about closure and completion and then we begin again. Tomorrow is never guaranteed and so I will do my best to find courage every day to try something new, to do something that scares me, that pushes me and that allows me to grow.  I strive for the courage to be myself and to be content with all that I am, knowing that in time, the person I am meant to share my life with is going to love me for all of me.  Looking forward, staying present and being my own true self. xo

13 December 2016

I suck at goodbye....

It's true.... I totally suck at saying goodbye. I am not good at all at letting go.  But here I am... 

There has been a lot of introspection over the past while - a part of me started to say weeks but really, it's been exponentially longer than that.  I feel like much of the past 6 years have been about looking inside, digging deep and beginning again.   To be honest, I feel very grateful for all the ups and downs of the past few years because it is in that time that I have truly found myself.

The intention in yoga last night was to remember, without pressure there would be no diamond and without mud there would be no lotus.  Without so much struggle and change, there would in effect be no Lindsay.  I am who I am because of all I have endured.  I am me because of all I have learned, all I have worked through and all that I have struggled against.  Sarah's intention the other night was about perhaps not always needing to let go - to realize that it's not a black and white instance of just cutting things off, but perhaps we need to look at it as "softening our grip." That there is a lot that we have to process and learn from and it's not as simple as just letting it go.  Maybe by just softening around something, we can take those lessons in our own time and allow it to lead our growth.  

I cried in yin tonight because I felt truly grateful for all that this year has brought to me - as hard as some things are to let go of, I am so blessed to have had them.  I remember as part of Gram's eulogy, the words of "how lucky I have have been to have loved something so much, that it makes saying goodbye so hard."  I finally feel at peace with knowing that yes, JC was who my heart was waiting for because I needed to finally love someone who was good for me.  I needed to open my heart to a wonderful, kind man.  I needed to know that my heart, battered and bruised, had the actual capacity to love again.  How lucky am I to find that loving was still there within me? I am so grateful. 

When I decided to close my store, my initial announcement was set for December 1st however here we are Dec 13th and I've finally had the courage to make this real.  I'm slightly over-whelmed by the love and well wishes I've been receiving - it's been quite the battle of head vs. heart to get to this very moment.  It has been a decade of learning and now as it comes to a close, I look forward with great anticipation.  I am confident that there is a whole wonderful future ahead of me.  For the first time, in quite some time, I realize that it is the future that I deserve.  I need to make room for all the wonderful success and love that wants to come into my life.  

I think I am also ok with sucking at good-byes because loving just a little more than the average person is who I am and after many years of soul searching, I am at a place where I truly love me.  I finally believe that after all the years of strife and struggles, that I am making space for love, for success, and for contentment.  Every ending is another beginning so as I say good-bye, I also say hello.  Hello to new possibilities, new lessons, pushing to new limits.  This may be the end to a decade in my life, but I am ready and excited to see what comes out of the next one! 

12 December 2016

 


Today was the first real snowfall of the season! Bundled up in layers, I put on my headphones and trusty Sorel boots and off I went! Along the waterfront you couldn't see across the river from the grey of the sky.  I found myself singing along to what was playing in my ears, smiling wide and loving the chill of the air. At one point, I looked up to the sky and twirled, twirled and twirled around with my arms spread out wide.  I'm sure anyone who passed by probably thought I was off the deep end but it was just me, exuding happiness and being grateful.  Later I took the live music moksha with a friend of mine - it always makes me happy to bring someone new to our studio.  At one point during there was some words intertwined with the acoustics and they just hit home.  Whatever the lecture was that James had piped in to accompany his music, said the words "what if today was your last day on earth? did you do what makes you happy?" My answer was yes.  My heart was full at that moment - I had a leisurely morning of coffee (too much coffee), Christmas movies, and left over mexican take-out.  I journaled, I wrote on here, I worked on my vision board and I thought a lot about what I want in the years ahead.  I danced around my apartment and I danced along the riverfront in the snow.  I went to yoga and I had plans to spend the evening enjoying dinner with friends.  It was a lovely, perfect Sunday.  I added to the Gratitude Jar today that is certain.  I'd like to spend more moments being thankful - thankful not only for the present, but for all the moments that got me right to that point.  There have been many that were so happy they seemed fleeting. And there were many that I thought would break me in half.  But all of the moments - good and bad - have aligned me to today and for that I am truly grateful. xo

11 December 2016

Vision Board

So I'm working on a new vision board for 2017 and trying to think of what my word will be for the coming year.  2016 was CONTENTMENT but I've yet to decide on what next year's word will be as of yet.  I decided not to create a whole new board but to take parts of last years and add to it.  There is so much that is still the same in what I search for; health, happiness, love.  I've kept the notes from friends that lift me up and added words like Courage and Faith.  

In going through stacks of magazines I stumbled upon the journal that I took with me on our trip to Chicago - the words I wrote while I sipped coffee in the early morning before JC awoke.  Reading them now, they almost break my heart.  It's so hard to think that just a few months ago everything seemed like it fit.  I wrote about all these little moments that I just cherished - reading on the plane and he turned toward me to rest his head on my shoulder and close his eyes, cruising the Chicago river in the sunshine with his arm around me, laughing in Target as someone facetimed his wife about which tampons to buy and I promised JC that I would never make him do that! On our first trip together, I imagined so many more in our future. 

One morning, I actually wrote the words that "I am afraid if I allow myself to fall in love with him, that he will leave me" but then as we did yoga under the stars I decided then and there to let go of that fear.  I felt like over all these years, my heart was waiting for him.  That trip was the first time I said the word 'girlfriend' and it felt so great to finally take that step.  And now, it's over.  I did fall in love and he did leave me.  It makes me sad because I truly felt like it was real.  And it makes me sad because I have to accept that it's what he wants and I'm not who he wants.  I have to be grateful for those few moments made me believe in love again and for the picture of us where we are just laughing and being our silly selves.


As I look toward the coming year, I want courage.  I want the courage to try again and to open my heart to love again even though I know it can hurt.  I want to be brave and go for things that push me and that make me grow into a better person.  I want to be brave enough to share my love and my heart with others.  I want the courage to share all my thoughts with someone and let them see the real me.  The girl who notices and cherishes all the little things the most.  The girl who is about to bundle up to go twirling around in the fresh snow falling. Life does happen FOR us and even though reading these entries bring me tears because I'm sad that we're over, I want to be hopeful that by taking this chance it will lead me to where I need to be to find contentment.  By loving him my heart has grown and my heart has seen a new kind of man who is lovely and kind.  By loving him I now know that it's worth the risk - even on days like today where there are few lonely tears.  I will never regret any moment that we shared together - I am thankful.

02 December 2016

the passing of time...

There are some moments where you just realize that life is truly fragile and that time passes so quickly.  I found out this morning that my cousin suffered a heart attack last night (he is now stable & recovering from surgery).  Tonight I will spend time with Peggy before another surgery and more cancer treatment.  Earlier this week, we got the news that another friend's cancer is terminal.  Life can change in the blink of an eye.  Please - if there is anyone out there that actually reads these words - say I Love You more to the people in your life, hold hands, give long hugs and never take for granted that tomorrow is a promised day.  

Christie is the only other friend who is up at the crack of dawn with me and sometimes we have the best conversations during those early hours - before the rest of the world wakes up.  This morning was no different.  I woke up to a lengthy text message from her chalk full of love and exactly what I needed to hear today. It's funny sometimes how friends can sometimes see the things in you that you are struggling to see.  At at time where I kinda feel overwhelmed and I don't feel brave at all, her words telling me how I have inspired her to try new things and push herself beyond what she ever thought she could accomplish touched my heart.  She said that she has just been thinking about me and how I have handled life over the past decade.  How in the face of adversity, I have always tried to be generous and kind.  And there has been a lot - infertility, divorce, moves back and forth across the ocean, moves of my businesses, a few bad dating relationships, losing Dad, losing Paco even and now a few new changes.  It sometimes surprises me when I think of how quickly the years have gone by since I moved back to Canada.  Today I thought a lot about all the ups and downs during that time - all the growth and all lessons learned.  Talking to DJ today helped to refocus my thoughts on just wanting to stay present in this moment - enjoy things day to day.  I want to keep my heart open to whomever is meant to join me on this adventure.  I want to accept that the Universe has a plan for me and for my life and, as much as I think I know who and what would be best for me, I have to relinquish trying to control it and allow things to be. 

With my 40th birthday approaching in less than a year, I started to make a list of a few things that I want to accomplish prior to that milestone.  I leave myself the wiggle room to make changes as needed through the year but for the sake of keeping myself accountable, I wanted to list them into the Universe to make them real. 

1.  Yoga under the stars 
2.  Chicago Architecture Boat Tour 
3.  Ski or Snowboard down a non-bunny hill 
4.  Have something published 
5.  Say I Love You to someone 
6.  Re-climb Grosse Mountain in less than 2 hours 
7.  Visit a new province 
8.  Go to the Zoo or Aquarium 
9.  Try Korean Food 
10. Learn proper Italian 
11. Go on a Yoga Retreat 
12. Run a full marathon 
13. Go on an impromptu road trip 
14. See the Tigers play outside of Detroit 
15. Learn to write my name in Calligraphy 
16. Teach Davis something 
17. Take a roll of pictures with Dad's camera 
18. Ride in a helicopter 
19. Go to a ball game in a different city 
20. Read Little Women 
21. Open champagne on a weeknight 
22. Run a 2hr half marathon 
23. Watch stand-up comedy 
24. Sew a dress for myself 
25. See live ballet 
26. Take a spa day 
27. Ride a trolley 
28. Go to a Drive-In movie 
29. Skinny Dip 
30. Do something that scares me
31. Host a dinner party 
32. Watch all Best Picture nominees 
33. Build for Habitat 
34. Go on a picnic 
35. Go fishing 
36. Ice Skate on an outdoor pond 
37. Hike a mountain 
38. Try surfing 
40. Attend a live concert

I accept that life doesn't always go the way that we have imagined and that sometimes the best-laid plans don't mean shit.  More and more I see how much yoga and meditation have found their way into my daily routine as I strive to live more presently and with gratitude.  There is a part of me that can't wait to open my gratefulness jar in a few weeks and write my New Years notes to people who have made a difference in my life this year.  I don't want to focus on the things I wish for in my life, but rather appreciate all the wonderful people and experiences that I have been blessed with.  I remember at Allie's funeral and how Christie and I sat there, holding hands and trying to sing You Are My Sunshine, with tears streaming down our faces. At the wake, I remember listening to Jeremy and thinking how I would be so lucky to ever have someone love me that much.  We all have "Be Brave" on us somewhere to carry on her spirit and I needed to be reminded of that today - life doesn't go the way we hope or plan but true grace is facing whatever comes with kindness.  The sometimes courage is just the whisper that says "I will try again tomorrow." Be happy for today internet world.  Love big.  Be honest.  Be kind.  Don't be afraid to share your heart.  xo