Life out loud

Life out loud

“You need to forget what society has told you about life and expectations, and don’t let anybody make you pretend. You are enough, just the way you are…”

                                                                                                        – Maddie Dawson

I think the majority of us probably spend too much time in our heads; wrapped up in our own lives. The magic starts to happen outside of ourselves. It’s hard to believe sometimes because pain is out there, too. But it’s true. Truer than true.

You have to be brave to show up as you are without a mask and to open your whole self up to the world and be damned what comes flinging back at you. That is not an easy feat, nor for the faint of heart. But it is required to live life out loud. It is just the way it is.

Michelle Murnin Paulson (3)

Even though it can be scary and the armor feels necessary it is best if we keep going out without it. It is best if we keep showing up as ourselves; brave and open. You will find your people, and you will find the people who aren’t yours. Keep and love your people and let the others ones go. It is okay. If they are meant to be, they will come back.

We can get easily discouraged, too. Get wounded and retreat. Lick our wounds and decide the world is just much too much to be out in it without any armor to shield our soft and easily pierce-able hearts. Some people stay in that place of retreat for the rest of their lives; they get so wounded. They start to believe they are damaged. That isn’t true. No one is so injured they can’t find some healing. Anything is possible. That is true, too. I have seen it with my own eyes. I have seen a mama bury her baby and then rise again. I have seen that happen more often than I ever wanted. I have seen heartbreak up close. Heartbreak so big that it starts to swallow you up with it and then somehow on a day down the road the same heartbreak finds laughter. Laughter that burns so bright it catches everyone within earshot and lifts them up with it.

Healing is hard. Healing is forever work, and sometimes we need rest from healing, and we get so cozy and comfortable we forget we need to go back to that healing work. When we forget that we should keep up that healing work; the universe gets involved.

It really can stick its ugly head into things and make a great big mess, and it is almost impossible sometimes to go clean it up after you have been so cozy and relaxed in the pleasant little rut you had carved out for yourself. So sometimes, people don’t clean anything up. They just leave that mess and live there because they already have had just about enough; thank you very much. So they sit right there and stay in that mess. They learn to cope and survive in that clutter and debris until they just can’t see it anymore.

And sometimes no matter where you might be or what mess you might have left lying around just a little too long; you wake up and decide today is the day, and you get right back to the work of healing. It feels so good to stretch your legs finally and climb out of that rut that you are so enamored with the way the world looks you don’t mind the healing work at first. It is okay that it is hard. Then one day, BAM! It is like the cycle is right back where you started and you remember how hard this thing called life can be. It makes you want to give up right then and there. And maybe you do, just for a little bit. It is okay to take a rest after all. But after a few days or weeks you pick yourself right back up and dust yourself off and start out again. Sometimes rest clears our vision just a bit and we can keep at it a little bit longer.

Copy of Michelle Murnin Paulson

You know, one thing that I have figured out so far is that life is going to happen however and whenever it wants no matter what we do. The best thing is to try again; even if we fall, even if we get comfortable, even if we are knocked down by the big old universe because we weren’t paying attention. The best thing to do is to keep at the healing work and keep unlearning and learning and re-learning what works best for us at the moment.

Copy of Copy of Michelle Murnin Paulson

Some things are seasonal and temporary, and others are built to last through thick and thin; through ugly crying and even some yelling; those things may even take a break, but they never really leave us because they were built to last after all.

Copy of Copy of Copy of Michelle Murnin Paulson

And most importantly, don’t forget to love yourself along the way. A great deal of us forget that part. We love our people fierce and well, but then we stop one day and realize we forgot our own hearts somewhere along the way. Remember that taking care of yourself helps you take care of those you love, too. Hearts are resilient creatures; once they are remembered they seem to find a way to start to refresh themselves even if we fight it.

Live out loud. It is worth every second. Even when you are lonely and lost. Even when you don’t think you can for one more second. Even if you have stopped for a while; go back again and be loud, be you. In the end, it leaves your life fuller and more well-rounded. It strips away the fear and unnecessary and what is left overfills every second of every space across all of your time here and you will look around on the good days and know that you are and have always been right where you need to be. And you will look around on the bad days, and you will know you have always been right where you needed to be.

Today is the day. Set your armor down and try again or keep plugging away or lift your head a bit to see if you can look out of the rut you might have curled and cozied into. Today is the day to be you out loud for the world to see. Let love lead your heart and guide your feet, and you will always know the way.

Until next time,

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May, June and beginning of July lessons 2015 style…

May, June and beginning of July lessons 2015 style…

Did you miss me? I know you did; I know you could barely stand the suspense I have built being on hiatus this past little while.

I should be at a reading tonight, but I am sick. I am 37 sick, which is different from 25 sick. 25 sick you can pop some DayQuil and still conquer the world. At 25 you can medicate and barely feel sick. 37 sick is different. You pop DayQuil and still need a nap. Your body aches (that also may be because of the fall I had yesterday – which by the way is also different at 37). So in my 37 year-old sick, medicated haze I felt it might be time to spread some of my 37 year-old wisdom, which again is different from 25 year-old wisdom, and by different I do mean better. At least wisdom gets better with age.

1. Beverly Hills Troop is the way to go…

So my daughter is a Girl Scout. This year was her first camporee. I now know I missed out on nothing as a non-Girl Scout. Camping is not my cup of tea. I love nature and smores, but I am more of a let’s go for a hike and then sleep in a warm bed with a solid roof over our head kind of girl. I did however get the tent up all by myself! And it stayed up all night long. I know, I know I have a plethora of miraculous secret super powers.

                      This is the tent  I set up!
         This is the tent I set up!

2. Keep things big and small…

Most of us I am sure have a little box of special keepsakes, but if you do not; you should start to put one together. I have kept cards from birthdays, letters from friends and yes the shirt my husband was wearing the day we met is also in this box along with the balloon he gave me on my first birthday we celebrated together.

Now that you are done gagging, let me reiterate that you should save things big and small. I went through my box the other day and came across a card that my friend’s mom had given me for my 16th birthday. The memories that came flooding back as I read this card brought a smile to my day. These little mementos are what become our priceless treasures.

The Birthday Card I saved!
               The birthday card!

3. There is so much more to do than play video games…

If your house is like ours the kiddos are always wanting to play on electronics. It is a constant battle to keep them entertained without having to pull out the electronics. My advice is get outside – we have invested in a trampoline just to lure them to the outdoors. But also, go places – we do this as often as we can. I recommend the Children’s Museum in Monterey. I especially liked the life-size Operation game myself.

Life-Size Operation!
            Life-Size Operation!

It is also fun to find other past times – my kids like to play Life and Mancala. I also recently purchased a puzzle from Amazon and my oldest and I spent a good 90 minutes of quality time putting it together.

90 minutes of quality time all due to a puzzle full of old candy wrappers.
90 minutes of quality time all due to a puzzle full of old candy       wrappers.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I am any less addicted to Candy Crush or Solitaire on my iPad. Nor does this mean that my kids do not play video games – it just means we strive for a more well-rounded day.

4. Make time for friends and family…

Believe me I get it; I am an introvert to beat all introverts. Sometimes even going out with people I want to see is a challenge. I also know I am repeating myself, yes even though I am 37 I can remember that this is a lesson I have talked about before. Making friends and letting people into your life is huge. It is definitely quality not quantity that you should be concerned about, but it is important to show up for those you care about no matter what.

Me and My Bestie back in high school.
Me and My Bestie back in high school.

5. Be yourself…

“To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day, to make you everybody but yourself-means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight-and never stop fighting.” E. E. Cummings.

This past week I was at a team meeting out-of-town and good old self-doubt popped into my head second guessing things I said and did and reliving moments when I said and did things and then this new wiser 37-year-old voice piped up and said, “what the heck, you were you and if that was something that was too much or too little for anyone else there than you narrowed down the pool of people who accept you for you.” And then I did a wonderous thing; I stopped reliving the moments of the meeting and moved on to the present. I am pretty sure the whole world shuddered a little with this earth shattering revelation. You felt it I am sure; it was that HUGE. Be yourself AND be at peace with being yourself. It doesn’t get better than that.

Until  next time…

me

necklace from my sweet friend
necklace from my sweet friend