cherry chapstick

We can live. By all means, live. Wake up, eat cereal, walk, work, talk, eat, sleep, live. I know I can accomplish great things when I live. I can get a bonus, have a relationship, read a book. Read 100 books. Hell, write a book.

Or, we can Live (did I lose you?).

We can fall in love. Or fall in Love over and over again, and without fear or apology.
Be fascinated by the freckles that make each day staggeringly complex and different. And similar.

We can listen. Or Listen with true openness and tolerance. To even the intentions spoken between words and without speech. Not just to those we understand with ease, but also those whose actions we will never understand.
And to those who are no longer with us, and exist instead in the slowdancing of snowfalls. And cherry Chapstick.

The only thing that’s constant is change, and we feel safer to resist impermanence. So, we can live. Or Live and open ourselves, as petals, and remain passionately curious.

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comfortable abundance

We don’t have to push against nature to find joy. It wants to present itself to us on a path that requires the least effort. 

Even after a harsh winter, when the ground is frozen and inanimate, the flowers do not struggle to blossom. They simply reach up and open their petals.

Much like how we can open ourselves up (easily, gracefully) to joy and peace, when we turn our awareness to the possibility of a perfect outcome. Instead of closing ourselves (painfully, rigidly) with fear and insecurity. 

When we let go of the thoughts that keep us stuck, the direction of our lives will unfold for us with effortless ease. 
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one for me, one for you

Opening and giving to others is a movement that starts and ends within.

In order to offer our love to others, we need to first give to ourselves. Does that sound paradoxical? It’s not. The amount you can give is directly proportionate to the capacity of what you are.

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When we pause for a moment in stillness, we become instantly more self-aware. Oh, there you are. We are present and able to see clearly the most important character in our lives – ourselves. Our “selfs.” Are we really paying enough attention to this person?

Taking good care of yourself seems easy, right? You just do it. Of course. How simple. Except it’s not. Because until you actually accept and understand who your “self” is, it’s pretty hard to actually love it. We do this by simply being present with ourselves. Discovering our needs and filling them, just by asking, “what is it that I need right now?” Taking our time, taking what we need. Offering basic compassion. Nourishment.

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When we are filled with self love and approval, we are better able to give. What’s more is that we can give from an authentic and meaningful place. We can continue thirsting to offer more of ourselves, but without internal neglect, mindlessness or deprivation. We can channel our motives for avoiding focus on ourselves and learn that we can give not to fill a void. That void is filled with peace and love from within, not without.

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wage love, spread peace

The judge. The critic. The timekeeper. The doubter. The persecutor.

Hearing it.

And then, opening the heart instead. Feeling the fear, breathing into it and just opening even more anyways. Self compassion.

Who could be more deserving of your unconditional love and support than yourself?

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if you call one wolf, you invite the pack

I’m an intelligent chick. I learn quickly and make rational choices to stay out of trouble.

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Still, every now and then, a negative idea will pop up. As if it was planted there by some external force. It stands alone like a weed in a garden of all the other thoughts and feelings that bloom in my mind. Many of these ideas are easily debunked by my rationality, quickly plucked from the garden and discarded.

Many aren’t so easy to get rid of. Sometimes, I remove them only to find they have bloomed again the next day, in the same place or somewhere totally different. These peskier thoughts activate my negative mind and like to stick around for awhile.

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Instead of being quickly removed by my rational thinking, these manipulative weeds seem to harness my strengths, capitalizing on my intelligence and excellent vocabulary. Suddenly, I’m negotiating with them, wondering what would happen if I simply left them there. This kind of upkeep requires a lot of work and I grow tired. So, what if I just left one maladaptive thought? Maybe I could take comfort in its small presence without allowing it to take over…

We can’t. It breeds. It grows. Allowing one thought to take root is letting others sprout up around it at impossible rates. We must remain vigilant, strong and positive. And, if anything, one step ahead.

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