pioneers of ourselves

Radical Honesty Coloring Book

Releasing Old Patterns

Yesterday, I walked away from a camp job opportunity and it was challenging for my ego because I want to be the kind of person that teaches activities at a camp and can get kids excited about outdoors experiences. The reality is, I just want to write and read in the woods. I am proud of myself for walking away from something that wasn’t my cup of tea so that I can focus on what really matters to me: writing, making zines, drawing, dancing, exploring the forest on my own, and many other mysterious futures.

It is important to accept what we really want and part of that journey is finding out what doesn’t work for us. I can forgive myself for not being who I thought I was and accept who I am. 

Respecting the Process

I have spent so many hours trying to understand why I need to do all of the things that I crave, like peanut butter cups and binge watching shows about bad ass women when “I should be making all of the art in the world and never doing any ‘unhealthy’ activities.” And I have spent weeks in the forest dreaming about scones and lattes and wondering why I am not able to fully surrender to the beauty of being in the wild world of wonder. I have read about artists and writers going crazy in their maniacal pursuits of their crafts: F. Scott Fitzgerald ignored his body through all of his novels and drove himself insane. Looking back he wished he could have taken care of his mind. And maybe going crazy in the pursuit of your art is a romanticized notion in my head and I sometimes wonder if I have been the most proud of those moments in my life where I have pursued my writing and drawing in spite of myself. 

However, since my car was stolen I have been pushed to slow down in my life and walk to wherever I need to go; I have found that in this inbetween time is where I am able to process all of the minuscule moments of rage and emotional detachment. I have been able to find some peace inside of the chaos so I can get to the root of what is magical about making art: celebrating yourself and what you love to do. By relaxing and watching hours of a television show last night, I was able to forget about all of my projects and just be with my spirit. I can see that all of my time spent trying to understand why I want to do something that my rational mind can’t explain is time I could be spending accepting what I want to do. I can acknowledge that it is a part of my process.  I have to let go of self-judgement so I can realize my potential as a human being. 

Turn It Around

Rather than live inside of regret, I am choosing to view my past as a road filled with passionate love and hopeful jumps into the unknown. There have been so many experiences with people that I no longer see that I have spent years grieving and bemoaning and I can see that by living inside of that pain I was keeping myself from seeing the beauty of what it was. I have fallen in love with tragic heroes and I have flown across the country to go roller skating and adventuring. I have professed my love for gardeners and musicians, and I have kept allowing love to fill me up from the inside out. All of these experiences have shown me what I have always had inside of me. I can make up songs around a campfire and yell heartbroken tales to crows as they fly by. I can pretend I know the words to a karaoke song accidentally chosen. I can dance in strip clubs and go hiking in the snow. I can live in the forest, participate in rap battles, play Nancy Drew, and listen intently to tales of woe keeping intuitive awareness at heart. I am grateful for all of the love that I have had that has shown me my power as a human being. I am grateful for the quiet moments shared with loved ones over tea, jokes made about movies and walks taken across cities just to explore the world. All of the moments of my life are still alive inside of me. They remind me of who I have always been even when I am confused about where I am heading. 

Checking in with Myself

You are not alone (1)

I  have let myself be alone a lot lately, just sitting with myself. I have been watching all kinds of thoughts come up in this time. I want to save other people, like I can do their work for them. I have learned that I need to save myself first because if I try to save other people before I have healed my own shit then I just end up getting brought down by their problems. Plus, I can’t do the work for anybody else anyway. So, I sit by myself and work on quieting my active monkey mind. There are always so many realities that haven’t happened yet and it is fun to get lost inside of my own head. I guess fun is a bit of an overstatement. It can get overwhelming unless I remind myself that they are just thoughts. Oftentimes it can feel isolating because it feels like it is only happening to me.

The truth is: the whole world is at a loss for what to do. Everyone is trying something without knowing how it will work out. Everyone is avoiding themselves in little and big ways. We are all figuring it out as we go along. My life can seem aggrandized when I am sitting inside of my own head, like I am larger than life. When I admit my insecurities out loud I find that everybody deals with some level of uncertainty and confusion about the pathway of their life; the point of it all; how to survive the boring moments; etc. It is confounding to walk around in the dark. It is annoying not knowing. This is what life is: an infinite puzzle that keeps us fascinated, if not a little aggravated along the way.

There have been so many moments of overreactions and running away. Little moments that changed the course of my life drastically. I didn’t know what I was doing and I wasn’t always sure of myself, but I made so many clear decisions along the way. Sometimes those decisions were made by not deciding, waffling to the point of losing out on opportunities that I felt too scared to try on for size. All of those things that I chose to do in my past, led me to here. It is a pathway that I never could have predicted and certainly many of the choices that I have made have seemed peculiar to many people that I have told. It is easy to wonder how things could have been different. If only I could have changed something knowing what I do now: how hard it is to live with all of what you have done when the feelings are gone, when all you have are the facts that have never made sense.

The past is just like the future is just like the present: it isn’t supposed to make sense. The magic was/is/will be the mystery of not knowing. It is easy to get sucked into these thought spirals of trying to understand something that is endless. But in order to understand myself, I have to acknowledge where I have been and I have to see myself in all of my ugly and beautiful reality. It doesn’t have to bring me down because it is just what happened.

By sitting with myself and seeing these stories pop up, I am able to understand that it is all inside of me; I am going through my own files in my brain and sorting them out so that I can make clearer decisions for my future self. We all have these lives filled with intricate webs of stories upon stories and we are all learning how to let go of them so we can move forward with a clear mind. We are learning how to be okay with who we are in all of our humanity. We are learning how to accept ourselves exactly as we are; even if it is not always what we would like to see.

Following Your Own Path in the Crowd

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It can be hard to hear the whispers inside of your soul that are telling you which way to go. It can be especially hard when everyone around you is giving you a piece of their mind and their thoughts on your life sound just as reasonable as anything else. Maybe it is as small as wanting to leave in the middle of another person talking for longer than you want to listen, or as big as selling your car or quitting your job, but the quicker we learn to trust ourselves, the happier we will be with our lives. Happiness is an interesting conundrum because one of its biggest requirements is having a fascination with our life and the choices that we are making. I am not here to live this life for you, but I support you in whatever decisions you want to make that are true for you. I dance on, knowing that I have this in my heart pocket and I know which way I want to go.

via Daily Prompt: Swarm

In the Middle of it

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We have to trust ourselves, listen to the voice inside no matter how small it is, and accept that we have everything inside of us. When I see someone being greedy, jealous, silly, mean, enthusiastic, ignorant, etc, I know that it is also a part of me. I get caught up in ideas that I have it all figured out at times because I am tired of running, I am tired of feeling so confused all of the time, I want to feel secure in something. I build up walls around me that explain that everything that I think is valid and okay. This is okay. It helps me build up the strength to go back out into the world and remember that I don’t have to feel confused, I don’t have to run away, I don’t have to be scared because I am a part of everything. I was building walls because I was hurt but we are all hurt and I can trust that I have can handle whatever comes my way and I am the only one that has access to the universe inside of me. I am human.

via Daily Prompt: Center

New Beginnings

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I have fallen down the well a few times and gotten lost in my mind. I have thought that happiness was something to be found outside of myself. I am realizing that life is uncomfortable, no matter what. It is filled with surprises and there is no way to be predict where we will end up. The only certainty is this moment, where I am remembering how to begin again and again. I have the choice of what I would like to spend my time doing and that is going to continue to change as I go about my way. I can proclaim as many potential futures as I want because I am only starting from right here and who knows how I will change as I work towards that goal.

My past is littered with nostalgic reverie and losses that sometimes keep me from being able to remember that I am right here. I think about projects and relationships that have ended either successfully or unsuccessfully and I wonder how I will keep going. The truth is that no matter what has left my presence, it is still living inside of me, around me, through me. I am still all of the people that I have ever been and I am just as capable as I was back then to begin any kind of project that I want to put my heart into. I can also start truly believing that I am a worthy human being. I can trust that I am enough and that this moment is all that I need.

The Path is Unfolding

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I have spent so many hours trying to figure everything out. My mind has been trapped with so many thoughts traveling through in an effort to make sense of it all. Why did that person not want to be friends with me? Why did I not get that job? Why did I get kicked out of that space? Why did I want to stop hanging out with that person? I look through pictures and I am reminded of all of the things that I have done and I can’t understand how it all worked out. I have wasted energy blaming people for my circumstances when really everyone is responsible for their own life.

I am at a point in my life where I am coming to terms with the fact that I do not know where my life is going to end up. I have dreams of millions of things that I want to try and do and I talk about them as though they are about to happen, but the truth is always lingering under the surface saying, “I don’t know!” And instead of putting this pressure on myself to live up to past expectations I have painted for myself, I am allowing myself to dream up future scenarios and not get caught up in the stress of trying to make them all happen right now. I want to publish my writing in magazines and I want to travel to France! I want to travel across the country! But I am also healing and wanting to rest and write. I am taking it day by day because that is real and I am giving up my expectations of what I need to look like and do in the future because I am tired of being so hard on myself. It is freeing to loosen up and admit uncertainty. Wherever I am is where I need to be and there are lessons wrapped up in each of these moments. Thank you, life!

The Nature of Life

The truth is: I am trying to convince myself of a new story. I am trying to hear myself over the roar of society and good-wishing friends so that I can hear my little child inside that has the secret to my own happiness. It is about trying things on and seeing how they feel. It is about making mistakes and laughing at ourselves. It is about the silliness of thinking there is a right and a wrong. It is hard for me to remember this when I am surrounded by people. Everyone has their own way. We all have to figure it out for ourselves.

Following Yourself

Fear of what people think

I have been coming to terms with the truth that I care what people think for some time now. Every time I admit it to someone, I wince a little bit inside because it feels so vulnerable. Last night, while I was walking with a friend, I heard myself speak this truth again and it felt a little bit easier to stomach. He said, “We all just want everyone to like us. Please love me!” and I laughed because this truth is universal! As humans we feed on connection and love and that is what sustains us. It is okay to care what people think. It is just when we let the fear of what other people will think of us get in the way of following through on our dreams. I am following my heart and opening my heart to criticisms without reaction.