All Kinds of Silliness

Your past life boyfriend was James Dean, the ultimate rebel without a cause!
You are adventurous, sexy, rebellious and you love a boy that pushes the boundaries. There’s just something about “bad boys” that was always exciting for you and you’ll never settle for a run-of-the-mill guy. You don’t want a nice guy with a good job and decent salary. You want something more interesting! You need romance that makes you feel like you’re living life to the fullest. Boy, oh boy, was that James Dean! He was a cultural icon of disillusionment and rebellion. You two had the best, most adventurous time together.

Yes, it’s little bits of silliness like this that help to balance out the heavy, dramatic and often unpleasant aspects of life. James Dean would certainly be on my list of Top 10 Interesting Men, so I’ll happily buy into the belief that he was my boyfriend in a past life. Why not? There are times in my life where a certain horoscope on a certain day delivered a certain message that I desperately needed to hear; do I believe astrology is a science? Nope. Don’t need to. I just needed to get that message and a horoscope was simply the method of delivery. But there is often times a great deal of common sense and sage advice hidden amongst all the soul mates, dream jobs and overgeneralized warnings of unspecific happenings that could conceivably happen to you, if you do this, that or the other thing when the moon is here, there and everywhere. You get the idea. Other times it’s just something like this little distraction that provides food for the imagination to feast on and gives my overactive brain something pleasant to chew on and honestly, it’s pretty tasty. James Dean. I mean, seriously. Not to take away from Liam or anything, but James Dean is in the spiritual realm so it takes on an other-world quality that the living just can’t quite reach. Find some silliness to indulge in today and feed your imagination, inner child and that silly part of you that we often times have to keep heavily medicated and restrained in our minds (or maybe that’s just me).

Wherever You Go, There You Are

To say that 2015 has been the Year of Travel for me would be an understatement in my estimation. I have traveled more in the time from December 2014 to today than in the whole of my life previously. I have traveled out of my comfort zone in many ways; the walls around my heart have fallen, my views on what it means to be independent have changed to include the possibility of someone walking beside me through parts and pieces of my journey, while still remaining true to the spirit of independence. There is the spirit of the law and the letter of the law, my dad used to say. I believe in upholding the spirit of the law because the letter of the law would not allow for unexpected gifts from the Universe. So I have traveled from being alone in my fortress, safe yet alone, unburdened by the weight of others’ feelings or thoughts. I believed I was free, master of my destiny but I was really just scared, hurt, angry and confused. The lessons of the soul are the most difficult to bear but also reap the greatest rewards, if only we can let ourselves feel those uncomfortable, intense feelings that bring the much needed knowledge only experience can provide. I look forward to more travels, both geographical and internal. No matter how far I go, I will always take myself. Accepting that and knowing that any real change has to come from internally tends to make my journeys far more enjoyable and my expectations more realistic, thus saving me from horrible disappointments and heartbreak. It’s another area where I am seeking balance and constantly reevaluating what I’m thinking and where my expectations are; if they are outside my “Hula Hoop” I need to let it go and replace it with no expectation at all. Easy to say, more challenging in reality. 

If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

Happiness or the Art of Being

Ernest Hemingway
“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
Ernest Hemingway (The Garden of Eden)

I think that all of us have at one time or another time have contemplated, pursued and/or attempted to identify what would bring happiness, make one happy, keep one happy and in general, simply feel pleasure overall in the day to day routine of our everyday lives. I know that the old saying, “Ignorance is bliss” came to be an old saying because time and time again it proved to be true in one circumstance after another. To know, really truly know and be completely aware of the depth of despair, loneliness and the loss of any hope for real change is torturous; to simply lack the capacity or intelligence to recognize the significance or scope of said darkness is a gift, in my opinion. People have told me my entire life how intelligent I am, how smart and quick my mind is; that may be true, but it hasn’t always been what I would consider an asset. Everyone is fighting their own battles and we never do completely understand how another feels, no matter how great our empathy; this is the time when our humanity has to fill in the blanks, our intuition guides us to the truths we need to be aware of and directs our path to where we are meant to walk, to intersect with others who are on their journey. If we can look past the facade and the stereotype that we have been force fed, perhaps the diamond in the rough will revealed for the treasure it is and valued for the incredible gift that the Universe has offered. In this way, I believe that happiness will find one, no matter how intelligent and it will be rare; but not impossible. If we can love ourselves first, build a foundation on that self-love, then whatever happens after that is all the better; if it lasts, it will stand strong because the foundation will not be dependent upon the success of the secondary relationship. If it is only a moment in time, there will be pain and heartbreak but there will be no loss to the foundation because the foundation is based solely on self-love. Now, this is all my philosophy, my dogma, for lack of a better term and I am not stating what I believe to be Absolute Truth, the Gospel According to Me or anything like that. This is just what I have experienced, what I have come to accept as truth and it, like me, is ever-changing, evolving and improving. What I believe today may not be what I believe tomorrow because change is the only constant. So the art of being Michelle for me is my happiness. So long as I am true to who I am (have been, will be) then happiness will follow. It is only in denying the truth that we lose ourselves and our happiness.

Counting Blessings

Awaking from a deep sleep I find myself thinking of the dream I’d been dreaming; I was lost and alone, crying for someone to save me. I looked around and the vision that I did see spoke to me of despair and darkness, deep and foreboding. No matter how far I looked, no friendly face appeared, no kind voice did I hear. I wondered how I had found this place, what wrong turn did I make? From out of the darkness came a brilliant light and I felt a voice of great might speak to my soul. It told me to reach back in my mind to find the place to hit rewind; take back those words of false bravado where I proclaimed I needed no one, I loved no one and no one loved me. That’s just the way things were to be. For me. I turned my back on friendship and family, chose wrong and felt trapped; how could I ever turn back? The voice encouraged me to count my blessings, begin at the beginning and continue clear until the end. Count your brothers, sisters and family of choice; count your good health, curly hair and strong voice. Speak of kindness you have received and of goodness in which you believe. Give a hug, share a laugh, hold someone and let them cry, mourn for those who have died. But count them all, each and every one and you will find the way back to your heart. For to live alone is surely a choice, once you have found your voice. Sing it, say it, write the music, color the feelings and carry it with you always. You are blessed, believe it or not. The world isn’t all bad; just count your blessings and treasure the good times you’ve had.

Thank You Rachel Platten

If you haven’t heard it yet, this song is one that will either speak to you and encourage you to get back up, dust yourself off and get on with the business of Life. It’s like the high school fight song for the football team, when the game is intense and the players need a burst of strength they don’t feel they have, this song brings out the fighter, the survivor and the BadAss True Self that’s just been waiting to be called into being. I heard this song for the first time when I needed to be snapped out of my apathy and break through the brick wall in my mind, allowing me to move forward and out of the quicksand of too much looking back, questioning, agonizing and ruminating. It’s all to easy to be apathetic, to ensure that those unpleasant feelings are avoided, but the good feelings are avoided, as well, which is why I finally got tired of existing that way and began to hope that if I could rise up and free myself from it that I would be able to make some real change in my life, my heart and in my purpose. Sometimes when we need it the most, the one thing our hearts wish for and yearn for actually comes into being. It is not something that can be ordered, scheduled or planned; it just appears when it is time and when one is (hopefully) able to recognize it for what it is and grasp it with both hands and bring it into their heart. But a broken soul cannot accomplish this and will instead grab it, only to bring it into down into the darkness that will ultimately be the death of it. A diseased, unhealthy soul will eventually contaminate all that it touches, whether the intention is there or not, so best insure that the love in your heart is self love, first and foremost. Without the desperation of needing to be loved, a real honest relationship is able to happen, in its own time, without the manipulations and games that are often played when self love is absent. To love another in expectation of being “whole” or “fixed” is a dangerous exercise and one I would not personally recommend.

Well, I managed to completely get off topic there for a minute, but it does all tie together in the end. This song speaks to me and gets my blood pumping, my thoughts moving in the direction of change and positivity; it is my cheerleader in the game of Life. So, thank you Rachel Platten, for standing up for yourself, your beliefs and not letting anyone try to change who you are. You are brilliant.

Things I Learned in Scotland

This morning I woke up with a heavy heart, knowing I would be leaving this country I love so much; kind of like when you have to go to work and leave your warm bed, your sleeping lover and the bubble that contained you together, I did not wish to go but knew I must. This trip to Scotland was so much more rich and full of surprises, due largely to the fact that I wasn’t seeing it all alone this time. But also because I realize now that I am so much stronger, more confident and fearless than I was last December. The events between then and now have not all been pleasant or even desired but they have helped me to continue on my personal journey. Here are a few things I realized this time around:

When you take a big risk, listen to your intuition and push the fear away, you can see big rewards. 

Now, I don’t mean to say that I would walk through the streets naked wearing a sign that says “free to a good home” or anything like that; more like, open my heart to the possibility of something good happening and Hot Damn – good happens.

If you can pass for a Canadian, people will treat you very nicely. Once you admit to being an American, that may change.

Fortunately, everyone I encountered was very nice to me, although the majority did mistake me for a Canadian, which I took as a compliment.

Americans crossing the street in Scotland will (almost always) look the wrong way and step into oncoming traffic (I almost did this multiple times but was saved by a saner mind and strong hands). Additionally, we will be on the wrong side of the street to catch the bus/tram/train.

They do tend to drive on the opposite side of the road and if you believe this doesn’t matter because you’re not driving (as I did) you may get hit, eventually. 

As an American, expect to mispronounce just about every other word.

St. Giles Cathedral is pronounced “Jiles” instead of the hard G we are used to. Same goes for Gyle/Gyles. When in doubt, just ask.

I absolutely, completely and totally love oatcakes. Throw down some almond butter and honey on that bad boy and you’ve got some pretty good grub. (Yeah, like I need something else to be addicted to)!

Who knew?!

Not everyone in Scotland drinks.

I know, right?!

The most important thing I learned is that home is where you make it, where you are and where you are loved and you love back. I’ll carry that feeling with me for always and soak up some more when I return.

Lastly, Carpe Diem is for real. Carpe the Hell outta that Diem, my friends! Your adventure awaits.