Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Embracing the Journey

 I approach tonight's blog post with reverence. It has been so long since I felt like blogging. 

So much has happened in a short month that is has passed into two months without me realizing it. 

Writing is the the essence of who I am, it is all I ever really wanted to do and yet the one thing I have never completely done. It's why I enjoy this blog so much. This is my platform and I can say what I want in a way that is best understood.

So how do I begin...Two years has taken it's toll on me and my family in ways that I never reflected on until recently. And it never made sense until...tonight.

The loss of my Dad, my grandpa, my grandmother, my other grandpa, my step dad, and a child in a two year span. That child was a miscarriage, but still a great loss for me. I think I believed that I could withstand all of it because I was not close with my family. When I was called to come see them before they passed, I did not go. To my dismay, they passed without me being able to really say goodbye. My ego got in the way of what was best for me. In that I became very distant towards everyone. I often cried alone. Pushed myself to get up and out of bed even when all I wanted was to just close my eyes and pull the covers over my head. I didn't tell anyone. I was strong. Unshakeable. Death was not the end but only the passing into a new life and hopefully a much better one, right.
I thought so at the time.

I had grown to be very unaffectionate over the two years. I had always wanted to not be penetrated by anything remotely close to love. In my experience as a child and growing up and in my early twenties and thirties, to me, everything that I love, with the exception of my two children, would go away from me. Love was not something that stayed.

Anxiety attacks plagued me last year. Determined that I would not let them control my life, I began an overhaul of how I ate. I went clean, so clean that even I was shocked. I became obsessed that I was dying, every time panic hit me, I was dying of something. My family made fun and got annoyed. I continued working out, walking, meditating, doing yoga, eating clean, breathing, I was persistent and then one day....I had over come the anxiety. 
But my soul was lost. 

I was in a human body, performing my tasks, doing zero of anything I enjoyed. I longed to travel, to conquer my fears, to fly, to play an instrument, to sell everything and write and travel, to gold pan on the Fraser River again, to hike in the mountains, to start a lifestyle blog, to move to the mountains, get married and live happily ever after....there was so much I longed for. So much I never said. Why aren't you happy...it was a constant question that everyone asked. You run your own business, you are in love, you have a beautiful house, you can do as you please, why has happiness evaded you? Why indeed...

I read a lot of self help books. Did the Marie Kondo tidying up method, which by the way felt good, but left a lot of nothing. I would look around and like the simplicity of everything, but it was colourless, lifeless, just like me. I had lost my passion for reading, exploring, designing, writing, I gave up Reiki, gave up friendships, blamed myself a lot, spent a lot of time alone in a huge house in the country.
(Side note: i am currently reading the "fuck this shit method" which I like a lot more)

 I like to call it my year of solitude. The cats were my best friends. The squirrels, the birds....it sounds crazy right? It is. But I look back over that year as a year I needed to heal and I am able to reflect and see that the year of solitude is probably what I needed to discover something deep inside of me and makes for a very good novel. I had to remind myself on many occasions in that house all alone that monks do it because they want to, so being alone was okay, lol, what a joke.

A few weeks ago my sister sat me down in a graveyard on my Dad's birthday, which happens to be September 11th. She told me what happened when Dad died, she told me how everything happened in the events leading up to his death. She explained choosing his urn and told me where the ashes were thrown. She told me some of Dad's last words to her and how he was funny right until the end. She said the flowers I sent were beautiful and that there were pictures of the four of us, his children, that none of us knew existed. She shared with me all that happened during his final days and I felt a wave of beautiful peace wash over me.

 And then I smiled at her and I said, "He's here" and she suddenly looked like that little girl I used to protect so long ago, and she quietly smiled, and she said, "Yes, right over there" and for a very long time, I felt bathed in love. In that moment, my baby sister was just my baby sister and the world was ok and I wanted to hold her and tell her how much I loved her and thank her for soothing a fire so deep inside of me. I loved my Dad. He rescued me on a few occasions from catastrophe. He taught me to two step and ride a horse. He also taught me not to be a pussy, except I think I took that to an extreme. I have been making sure to hug the kids a lot now, besides that I need a hug at least ten times a day now.

That's progress for me ;)

In recent events we lost our home. I had to move and find a new one quickly while staying in a bloody hotel with two teenagers who are moody as fuck and upset over the whole ordeal. Okay, so it isn't enough that you loose all these people in a few years and then you loose the cat {cats}, and then well, your home...seriously. Not only that, but my fiance couldn't come home and had to stay at work due to the fact that we needed the money to move...holy fuck. 

So I needed to really take a step back from everything.

Tonight I had a very eye opening moment. See yesterday, I thought I should see my counsellor because I can feel the stress pounding in every area of my body, but seeing her didn't help. I should not have bothered seeing the counsellor.

So then, after my appt, I went and pummeled my body with a friend in a training session. I think I did 100 push ups and certainly more than 10 planks. I ran. I hate running, but I ran. Burpees, fml....So I should feel better right?

No, I came home feeling worse and had a hot bath and a good cry. My head was pounding. I finally gave in and took Advil. I tried to quiet my mind. Fuck my thoughts. Fuck this whole thing right now. What the hell is going on? 

So I stayed up until 3am. My throat was burning all night, I thought it was because I had given a good loud FUCK YOU sort of scream to the universe earlier...turns out I was getting sick. [insert lol face here]....so fuck me right. How much more shit does one person need. I just gave over and said fuck it, if it's all going away, then fine, I know where I am going to. 
I suddenly knew what I was going to do. 

I woke up this morning, and of course, couldn't sleep in, that would be too fucking much to ask. Four hours, okay, better than three hours I told myself. I got showered, worked on my paperwork that desperately needs to be completed and stayed away from my phone. I apologized to my kids for having a semi mental break down the night before and thanked my daughter for giving me the benefit of the doubt and not calling 911. My arms and upper body felt like jello, but fuck, I could feel the muscle. There was a least a positive! 

My throat ached, my nose would not stop running, and my mind could not quit working on overtime making up scenarios. I just wanted to focus on the moment.

<There is something I am not telling you here, yes. Some other factors in my life are going on right now and it's affecting the entire family. It's like a never ending string of bullshit that I am pretty much done with. It is stuff I just do not wish to go into at this time.>

So, after dinner tonight, I drew a hot bath and soaked and meditated and had really good long, long hard cry. It was a release I desperately needed. And then I let go.

 I just let go of everything that was holding me back, everything that felt like it was not giving me a choice and keeping me in prison. And suddenly words began streaming in my head.  I had the urge to blog. I had a moment of "ooooh", 
"yes I can just not give two fucks anymore."

Things on this two year journey began to make sense. One thing stood out for sure, my anxiety was due to a whole lot of fucking stress and not going to funerals or being with my family during that time. It affected me the way it did because I dealt with it alone and never said goodbye. Then I dealt with anxiety alone. Then I dealt with myself alone....you see a pattern here right.

When everything quieted in my head tonight, I could hear the ego screaming loudly, then there was silence and it was peaceful and I was like "yup, shut that shit down ego", so sick and tired of you telling me I am afraid. Bullshit. Bullshit. No matter what I am not afraid. I can make my own decisions and love those decisions. I had silenced myself long enough. All anyone heard this past year was what I was saying....but not what I was really saying, which was help, can't you see me hurting.

As it often happens in those moments, my path made sense. All that happened would come to pass and I would come out on top, like I always do. Okay, it took me a few years, I felt sorry for myself, still do a bit, but I think I can make that list now. I think I know for sure what it is I need and want now. I think I am done being a punching bag for everyone around me and I am hoping that my ego keeps that shit shut down and I can finally speak from a place of love like I used to. I really miss me. I laughed. I hugged. I had fun. I had eternal hope and I believed in something far bigger than myself. 

As I often do during times of great fear and stress, I grabbed the first Paulo Coelho book my hand touched, opened a page and read it. "You repaid my support with COWARDICE. What should I do with your life?" ...."As a man of honor, he knows he risks causing shame to his descendants. But his heart has been turned into stone by pride and vanity."
(a lesson on forgiveness)

 ~Paulo Coelho - The Fifth Mountain.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Why Fear Should Not Stop You

My mind is on fire and so I need to do what I do best in these moments.

First, I have to admit, I have really, really been trying to keep my shit together and carry on. That has led me through moments of tears, depression, anger, grief, and lastly apathy. 

So I give up.

I am changing things.

It's really quite simple. While I was busy doing my life and living, I stopped to check in with myself and realized that I was actually slowly dying. Inside.

I can't remember the last time I had an in depth conversation with another human that left me feeling alive, creative, and full of energy, save one, in the past week.

I feel like the outcast of the Mom group, but hey, you know what, I like it that way. I am not the mundane. I never have been nor will I ever be. I am a constantly changing and evolving person and I like change. I may never be quite settled. I seek and live on the next adventure. I love meeting new people. I know there is a whole world out there to explore.

Everything and everyone has drained me. I really hate to break it to you, but I was stuck in a matrix I created. I only just realized this tonight.

This bullshit thing called life as we know it. Really? I think we can do better. 
I know I can do better.

Kenny Rogers sings The Gambler. You've heard it, right? Most of us have. 
"You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em, and know when to walk away, know when to run." 
I feel that. It is time to run. 

When everything around you and everyone just makes you feel blah, it is time. I have complained about the area I live in so much that I have become a broken record to myself.
I need something new.

Everything about where I live just does not resonate with me.
I allowed my fear to step in and take hold.

"The fears we don't face become our limits."
"We have no choice but to go through our fears in order to get over them."
"Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision"

I have always been of the mind that it is okay to just leave it all behind and seek better if you just feel that it is necessary.

I am probably the only Mom in our group that listens to Hospin while making muffins. I like to think outside of the box. I like yoga. I like eating healthy and I will turn down running my kid around to be sure I am home to make a meal that fuels me and my kids. 
I operate the way I operate. 

"Life happens not to you, but for you. Work on yourself. 
Fill yourself up and keep your cup full."

I am filling my cup. I am going to make decisions and make a list that will help me with those decisions. I am going to seek the people who went before me to see how they did what I want to do. And I do not plan on letting fear stop me.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Writer

Within the context of a well constructed secret group lies a body of collective minds. They work alone, with a whirring of secret thoughts and stories. They enlist the provocative nature of the soul to conjure the words that bring forth the story. Insights are written, the incessant desires of beautiful minds eloquently bringing forth the world of words.

Movies. Books. Newspapers. Music
The secret group that brings it to life.

If you will for just a moment, understand that the writer will, it seems, forever see life on a different level. Each person they meet tells a story, each soul with an unwritten story that is brought to life with the skill of the writer's mind. The one who can tell that story as it should be and bring even the most boring life into it's full beauty, just for you.

I can make you believe anything. I can make you amused. I can make you frustrated. I can agitate you or leave you speechless. I can bring tears. I can bring laughter. I can create for you a drama. I can bring a simple, everyday object to life. I can entice you to do anything I want. I am the writer. You will be swept into my story, whether you watch it on TV, at the cinema, or read it somewhere. You become privy to my secret group, if only for awhile. 
You may hunger for more and I may give it to you.

This is the beauty of the writer. This is the gorgeous magic the writer holds. You will never capture the writer's entire soul, for it has never been one to be held. You will never understand, always agree, or comprehend what the writer tells you. You may view the writer as you will, but you will never understand the true nature of their thoughts or where they abound from.

The writer is an expose of many things. They inherit a quality from the ether that haunts their souls forever. They will begin the story and rewrite it many times. The writer does not seek your approval, they seek the justification of the mass hysteria that abounds during the time of writing. Should the writer avoid this task, they remain in ruins.
Until they write.

The one percent of us, this is for you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dreams. Determination. Motivation. Here's to a Better Year


First post of 2017. I have got to say I really have not felt much like blogging these days. 

That's a lie. I have brilliant blog posts, I think of them while I am driving, get home and well...that inspiration just kind of leaves me.

This got me thinking...I kind of thought I am just going to have to sit and blog, even if it is at first, a little different, but it needs to become my habit again.
I lost myself in 2016...hello from the other side.

I must say I am more then happy to bid adieu to 2016. Hello 2017.

2016 goes down as the worst year of my life.
I felt 2016 in every ounce of my being.
It is the year I quit Reiki.
The year I believe that I know now how death feels when it's knocking.
I died a little each day, then a little more in the nights.
I found out what being alone is....again.
Fear came knocking.
Love kind of left...for a long while.
I got knocked down and then kicked while I was down.

That's pretty dramatic isn't it...

Hey. I met my darkside again.
We had cookies.
Discussed things.
It was a bit too dark though, so I had to leave.

I think the only way to put it into words is here, in words.
And in song, because I feel and process things deeply within the words and the music.
So, which song can sum up 2016 for me?
How about this one, you can click that link and take a listen.

You laughed right?
I hope you did...

Finally I had a breakthrough and I got mad.
I was done feeling sorry for myself and I got mad, because if you flip that inner bitch switch, she gets things done and sorts the shit out. That's what's happening now.

I got back on track and reminded myself, after about 150 days of thinking I was going to die, that if I am in fact still alive then I guess it's time to live. I reminded myself how far I have come in 10 years. Reminded myself of a few of the key people in that 10 years that helped form me and I found me again. I was an amazing little ball of fury and strength and that's why the people who came along during that time in my life came. Those people are forever etched in my soul, there is no forgetting them.
And to be honest, I needed to talk to a few of them.

They are the people who knew me before The Black Star Boutique.
Before the Reiki.
Before I couldn't see past my small town.

That was the only small piece of insight I needed to regain my strength and have a little faith in myself. I mean hell, I had a bad year personally, but hey, The Black Star Boutique had a fabulous year. We made appearances on The Vampire Diaries, Day 5, and well, we have some things coming that are huge for 2017.

So I know it well. Hell and back.

But I have a dream and I will not stop until I achieve it.

This is my motivation, daily. Take a listen and hear it out.

Have a dream. Then go get the damn thing.

Here's to the next year...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hello from The Black Star

 Hello xoxo

It has been awhile since I sat to blog and I apologize. I have been busy with fulfilling orders, designing new items and many behind the scenes tasks that have kept me busy.

How are you? Stressed over the holidays yet?

I think for all it's worth, knowing that many of us aren't feeling as prepared or perhaps, happy, this time of year as we would like to be may offer a bit of comfort. Christmas season brings out the best and the worst and I find being thankful for what's right in front of you can help a great deal. It is hard missing loved ones at this time of year. My fiance deals with that at this time of year, as does my girlfriend and many other people I know.

We have to find the reasons to be thankful. Knowing we cannot change the past.

I am happy knowing my fiance will be home soon. My kids are healthy and happy. We have a beautiful home and food on the table. The four of us have each other and for that I can be thankful. I had another amazing year with The Black Star Boutique and my jewelry designs making appearances on Stephanie Drapeau and her mini series, Day 5. I am thankful for this creative outlet that allows me to reach out to my customers and try to add a little pretty, handmade just for each and everyone of them.

Whether I ship within Canada, into the USA, New Zealand, the UK, or Australia, each piece I make is designed with love and care. I often wonder where those little pieces of my creativity travel to when I ship my parcels...are they well received, I often wonder.
I do love it when my customers touch base with me whether via email, my FB page, or Instagram, it gives me that moment in a day to just sit and smile.

Carl Jung is probably one of my most favourites to quote, when it is not Paulo Coelho that I quote, when I feel a little uncertain or down.

I think our world is awakening to a very new reality.
The upcoming year will be full of change and we all need to move along with that change.
I often feel fortunate that although I am from Alberta, my life and that of my fiance's is never tied to the oil issues here and that we are free to pick up and go elsewhere if we choose. We make a good pair, as both of us have always had to adapt and we do adapt well.

I have had time to heal in this pretty place we live and am hoping for a year of upcoming good things and happy times. 

I promised to share a few pics of the area I am in and I completely forgot. So here are a few of my autumn pics of the very first street in Alberta where I live...
I wasn't able to capture the eagles that lived out here in summer months, but they were amazing too see up close.

Morning views from my front yard

Several of these monuments mark the walking path that will be in place next year

I love the old brick houses here, this one is at the end of the street. It was for sale and I contemplated buying it and using it as a bed and breakfast, alas, I don't think I will lay roots in this place though, my heart is not here.
(And Edmonton, Alberta is #8 on the list of 10 for clean cities...there's cleaner places to live)

This is the old church and just up the road in behind is an old cemetery that we walked through a lot in August and September. 

This picture can be deceiving. It looks like clear blue sky, however if you were to zoom in closely, you would see the smoke stacks from all the plants that are in that direction...very deceiving. But, this was a place to help me rest and I can't say enough about the peace and quiet here. No noisy vehicles, no noisy neighbours, a whole lot of breathing room to just get ready for the next phase of life.

Wherever or however this time of year finds you, I hope you take time to just enjoy the season and be thankful for all that is right in front of you.


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