a sweaty hand and kindness…

when is enough, enough one may ask…when does the feeling of being disappointed ever go away…when does the words of another stop echoing in one’s ears…when does the silence become comforting…when does a experience become a pattern…when is enough, enough one may ask…

it’s a new year with new beginnings and new celebrations and as the days slowly creep towards spring, I’ve been thinking about aging…more specifically how aging changes our bodies, our minds, our souls and our priorities…expectations of aging – phew…never thought I’d be the one who peed a little when I laughed, coughed, or sneezed…never thought my hormones would race like the be’jesus for the majority of each month…never thought I would choose the silence of my home over the music of a restaurant or the smell of booze at a bar…never thought my soul would yearn for essential oils or my priority would be in the form of an animal and a career…

this aging bit got me reminiscing…been looking at old pictures and skimming through my memories…i live in a world that ignites my senses, I mean we all live in the same world but as the years pass I’m developing a knack to ‘experience me’ in slow motion…I start my day laying in bed whispering a prayer, sealing it with a kiss and as I snuggle, I whisper thank you – yes, no joke…I end my day sitting on my bed, crossed legged, lavender oil slathered in my hands and I breath as I chant a mantra slowly in my head – it’s been a few years but the animal still stares at me with a wtf look in his little eyes at this one practice…

it’s a practice that keeps me grounded…well as grounded as I can be…am I grounded enough – I think so…I mean I’m surviving in the best way possible…

a history search on my computer these days reveals my life in words, phrases and questions… horticulture and nature and well being…perimenopause…loose stool in dogs…peeing when coughing…horses…super moon…full moon…moon…insomnia…is it weird to enjoy the smell of a dog’s paws…are essential oils harmful to dogs…hormones…menopause… outcome measures…meaningful activity…is kylie really pregnant…life after grad school…advocacy boards in NL…ideas for wall behind couch pictures…why do dogs scuff grass after pooping…I mean I could go on forever…

as I wrote those things, I giggled (especially at the kylie one cause come on girl, show us damn it) and thought, where am I going with this…and then I had the brilliant idea to do one of the outcome measures I research on myself – why should I have the right to administer this daily to my clients and not experience it for myself…before putting my fingers on the calculator, I giggled and thought sure this would be fucking awesome if it legit correlated with how I’m feeling and what I’ve been searching with my good friend google…

drum roll…my raw score was interesting (my trusted colleagues will laugh at this because yes, I’m a nerd)…my needs identified revolved around being able to manage stress, advocating for myself, feeling part of my community, enjoying my home, being respected by others, contributing to my community, and spending my day doing the things I enjoy…now the analyzing part – was there a link between my recent computer searches with my identified needs – I’ve probably lost readers at this point, but I’m literally blowing my own mind…and again, my blog, my thought process – so yah linking my computer history search with my identified needs reveals a telling tale of the life of danilynn at this present time…

my needs in life are simple – I need to surround myself with those that respect me both personally and professionally…my contributions to my own self and to my community need to be meaningful in an effort to enhance my enjoyment of both myself and the communities where I belong…and the hormone and doggy stuff relates to my enjoyment of my home – with doggy bowel issues and a fucked up backyard and with hormonal changes impacting day-to-day functioning, my daily enjoyment factor has decreased dramatically…when you live in a state of flux and not knowing what’s wrong, you begin to resent the environment where that occurs…

so now why write this…well I want people to know that life is full of weird and wonderful questions and at some points in life it’ll be fucked up and if you think it isn’t well wake the fuck up…you know all those google questions you enter – I mean clearly others are asking the same things cause there’s actual answers and sometimes forums…lol lol…it’s not a bad thing that life is weird and fucked up or that our desires and aspirations meander from time to time on the path that we had carved out for ourselves…it’s okay…change is so good for us…it’s downright scary as shit but it’s good…

I feel like my dad groomed me to be the strong aging woman I am today and one of the ways I survive and keep myself safe in this big wonderful world is by using my senses to guide me…one of the things my dad preached to me in life – something his grandfather taught him…you can never trust a man with a sweaty handshake…I think over the years, I’ve picked up my own tricks of the trade and even though I don’t have kids to bestow my tricks on, like the sweaty hand – I use them to help others move forward in their own lives and sometimes they’re a mantra at bedtime to help protect myself…there are people in our world that project such an elitist demeanor – that in their presence you can feel your self-esteem, your confidence, your self-worth decrease as quickly as one’s blood pressure would decrease sitting poolside in a cabana with a frozen piña colada in a pineapple tingling their lips…there are people in this world that thrive on being perfect, envied by others, and revel in their success but at what expense…what I witness is the innate sense of entitlement at the expense of others…

my sweaty hand story is simple – no one person is better than you…people are afforded many different experiences in life that impact their journey and it’s not only those experiences that shape them but the people they encounter along the way…people’s needs can be as simple as a clean bed…a warm blanket…non-expired, non-dented cans of food in the cupboard…an education…shoes that fit…a stable income…a support system…or as complex as a home without drugs, alcohol, violence, threats…now we can’t be everyone’s savior or fulfill everyone’s needs but we can be kind…if nothing else we can practice kindness in society…

you may never know the impact of being called ‘crazy’, ‘mental’, ‘sicko’, ‘loser’…you may never know the impact of being diminished by a society that believes if you are breathing, you should have a job…you may never know what it feels to wake up and be haunted by feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and down right degradation…but believe me when I say, if you don’t practice kindness, you are adding to the already broken system…

my parents taught me to smile at others, make eye contact, don’t judge, treat others like they are one of your own…my parents taught me safety in terms of protecting myself in this world…my parents worked their fucking butts off their entire lives to allow me the privilege of an education…my parents taught me love, laughter, emotions and a strong voice…my parents showed me how to live with humility, empathy, kindness, and compassion…my monetary value or educational status in this world means nothing in this life of mine…my thanks to my parents, my legacy to my name is my heart and my kindness – and that is enough for me…and that is my sweaty hand story – kindness trumps everything…not one person is better than another – it’s hard, man it’s fucking hard but we have to keep chanting that until it becomes part of us…the harder they throw, the quicker you catch…the harsher the words, the wider you smile…kindness is contagious…

the next time you feel yourself judging another, averting eye-contact of a stranger, or crossing the street to avoid a disheveled man…the next time you think others envy you or begrudge you for your monetary or educational worth…the next time you disregard, neglect, disrespect or dismiss – think about where your needs are in comparison to the other person…

when is enough, enough one may ask – when you believe it is…

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pause your world to grow your community…

there’s so much negativity in this world, I sometimes pause to drown the noise…

I like silence…it helps me reconnect with myself and with the person I strive to be in this world…stress is a terrible feeling, that overwhelming weight that lingers and lingers and tears your belly apart with waves of nausea…you know it’s there, you fight it and then you eat, well I eat – insert emotional eater alert right here…

the balance in life is, for lack of a better phrase, a balancing act…in my profession we preach to the world about balance and yet I falter from time to time…I faltered recently when I realized that I missed a hair appointment – no laughter please…I see my hair magician every three weeks – because like he says ‘I’m worth it’ and god damn it I am…so how in the name of sweet baby jesus did I miss it…it struck me, balance…you did it again danielle, you’re last in your world…

now being last in your own world kinda doesn’t work for me…cause I think everyone should be first in their own worlds…how do we know though when we are sliding from first to last – for me, it’s my hair appointment – the most important appointment in the world…why, well because I got the bad hair genes from both sides of the family and honey I’m too young to be grey…so that week, I punished myself – I nearly panicked without an appointment, I nearly called and demanded to be ‘fit in’ however I decided to try to be comfortable being uncomfortable in my own skin for a week knowing that my hair was not up to par – yes 1st world problems, but my blog, my story…I won’t talk about my caterpillar eye brows just yet – god forgive me but vanity is real…

why am I writing about my hair, a missed appointment and eye brows that go on for days, well it made me reflect – yes that damned word reflect – on how I have a lack of balance of things that make me feel good…for me feeling good and taking care of myself involves indulgence in self-care and when I don’t indulge in my self-care, I lack the feelings of being prepared to take on the world…I think as I get older, I am realizing I define myself by the work I do, I define myself as a mental health advocate and by god I define myself as a good person with a strong passion for recovery within one’s own self and for independence in one’s own world…

today during a self-indulgence activity, I sat in silence and I fucking loved life…

I mean I really thought about my week and how there were days when I hated the world and then I’d debrief with a colleague and they’d make me laugh and then the world moved forward again…it’s okay to have ups and downs, it’s just a matter of how we allow ourselves to experience those ups and downs – learn from them, we must learn from them…

beyond feeling lucky as fuck in life, I feel privileged lately – not in a weird way but privileged to be part of a community of good people…after years of trying new things, clawing my way into new ventures and simply not being okay with how others didn’t believe in me – I’ve met those that do…that’s the difference in this life, we need to keep striving to find those who will stand side-by-side with you through adventures that yah sometimes seem out of the ordinary, but yet seemingly interesting….

I’ve been involved in a movement lately – well in my mind it’s a movement because it’s nothing short of one of the most magical things I’ve ever been part of…it’s that butterfly in your belly good feeling…it’s that tear rolling down your cheeks emotional journey to great things and it’s not about me – that’s the glory in all this…it’s about a greater good…it’s about connections…it’s about hope…it’s about freedom…it’s about community…and it’s about kindness…

I have many conversations with people on a daily basis and honestly I’m good at it…again my blog, I can compliment myself…lol lol…I was chatting with someone today and as we well-upped with emotion, I said to her – you know the world is full of conversations and it’s up to each of us to hear what we need to hear from these conversations…interpretation is a marvellous thing…I believe if we pay more attention to the messages in the conversations, if we really listened in a mindful manner, we’d get to know each other a hell of a lot better…I had someone say to me once, I question why people are drawn to you – maybe I don’t know you as much as they do…and I thought, yah great question – why are people drawn to others…is the perception that everyone sees each person the same way…does every conversation have the same meaning to every person that hears it…well we know that doesn’t happen…my interpretation is that we see in each other what we make time to see in each other and we take from each other’s conversations what we make time to hear in the conversations – nothing more…

once you have been bullied in life, your spidey senses are always on alert…when one questions the intentions of your interactions with others, your commitment to others, your experiences and your own words – you kinda sit back and think, fuck is it me? well I’m here to scream, no my love it’s not you…bullies target strength…I feel confident writing that…hell, I’ll write it again, bullies target strength…not one human has the right to make another question themselves…not one human is better than another…and not one human has all the answers – and thank god for that…see bullies haven’t learnt to silence their world yet…their communities aren’t complete yet…they work diligently to find where they fit into this world…i believe there’ll come a day when the loudness of their imbalance will slowly lead them to witness life in all its glory beyond their structured chaos…

my words…my life…

why can’t we as humans be thankful for each other, each and every day…well because we all can be assholes and get caught up in our own worlds from time to time…ever use the words – too busy; wow I was swamped; bad week; too much on my plate; it was too late; I didn’t have time – I have and honestly I’ve used them too…but I got to thinking lately – what if that one text, is the last text…what if that one missed call, is the last missed call…what if…what if…now don’t get your undies all caught up – I’m not saying that we all have to be on alert as if we’re all gonna die tomorrow but in this world we live in, not many get to see tomorrow…so it’s time to get our heads out of our asses and answer the text, answer the call…someone once said to me, but what if I have nothing to say…well for fuck – say that, chuckle and hang up…

my point – well my point is to learn to be present in this world and simply be kind…what one defines as an inconvenience – one may define as a link to feeling loved…what one defines as, it’s just a text – one may define as feeling connected…what one defines as boring – one may define as their life…what one may define as useless – one may define as their world…feeling alive in this world involves feeling connected and it involves being part of a community – however you envision it…

just…be first in your world and never falter…

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we all have a story…

 

trust is a mere 5-letter word that can pack a punch…over time we develop trust in many people in our lives…but what happens when someone breaks that trust…what happens when someone really uses those things you are passionate about against you…what happens when you work your damnedest to create a persona of yourself, only to have someone make you question your life’s work…

it’s hard to gain trust…we talk about it daily and we emphasize that without trust there really is no relationship – no matter what type of relationship you are involved in, there has to be trust…

I hear stories everyday…real stories…real stories I can’t share with others…real stories that make your hair stand straight up on your neck…real stories that you need a hankie to wipe away the disbelief and sadness for humanity…

how is one person in this world put up against another…what gives one the worry of the world and the other the glory of the world…

am I jealous…am I uptight…am I angry…what am i…

do I live my life in a bubble….do I live my life for my work…what do I live for…

who even cares…

I cry with people who have experienced great loss in their lives…lost their love for themselves…lost their innocence…lost their hope for a life beyond tragedy…lost their belief in human kind…lost their dignity…and lost their spirit…

I think as life progresses into the latter years for me, I’ve become an advocate for those that have no voice and those with voices who speak just to hear themselves really just piss me off…

I love fighting for those who are belittled, degraded, stomped on, lost, driven away, and forgotten…and I damn those who think they know more, can make better decisions, and have better lives than those they encounter…

life is about learning and if you think you are beyond learning, then shame on you…

I look back on my experiences and I shutter to think I went through them but I cherish the end result…growing older and wiser isn’t about walking away from your past…it’s about walking towards your future with your past experiences in a knapsack – always there if you need to reach in for some encouragement from your younger self, but always zipped closed so nothing your future self may need gets lost…I’m a true believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’…I’m a true believer in negating your life of negativity as a means to survival and I’m a true believer that no matter how others view you, you are always the priority in your life, you are always the expert in your life experiences and you are always the one with choices of how today, tomorrow and the next day will play out…

I lived a life of control at one point…a silent partner in a world of opportunities…a world of opportunities that never really went anywhere…they surrounded me like childhood friends in a playground…remember the days of Red Rover, Red Rover…I’d silently yell ‘send Danielle over’ in my dreams night after night…where did she go, I’d tackle from time to time and then I’d forget…it wasn’t until a few years later did I realize that Danielle never really went anywhere…

I think the loss of a best friend at an early age really hit me hard…it was a time of denial that she was gone…it was a time that I wasn’t allowed to grieve cause grieving didn’t make sense…I look at 21year olds now and I think, gentle jesus your babies…the feelings of love, the feelings of heartbreak, the feelings of loss, the feelings of shock and the feelings of shear emptiness…how is one to deal at any age…

coping day-to-day is a chore for some…it’s a goal for some…and it’s taken for granted by most…I preach daily that everyone has a story, a story worth sharing and a story worth living…we talk about each story, we role play situations and we problem solve daily decisions…we live in a world of unknowns and we live in a world where we forget that today is a gift…

the focus of mental wellness should be on everyone’s radar…wellness is not only about what we put in our mouths as nutrition nor is it how much we exercise…wellness is about the clarity in our minds, the interest in opportunities, the ability to cope with those day-to-day stressors and most importantly the feeling of meaning and purpose in this life we live…

trust in a partnership with ourselves is key to mental wellness…building a life of trust within our own selves is the first step to true happiness – now this is in my mind, remember my blog – my thoughts 🙂

I’m learning at the tender age of 46, that living life for yourself isn’t well received by others living their lives for others…it’s weird really…ever think, how is that person so happy – there must be something she’s hiding…ever think, of course that person isn’t with anyone, she’s always working – there must be something wrong with her…ever think, why is she so busy – she must be avoiding something…ever think, why can’t that person do that one thing for me – god she’s no busier than I am – she must be evading something…our minds are wonderful things…I think I wrote before that I was always the yes person…the one that would do anything for anyone…you all know one of those people in your life, don’t fib…see when that person finally decides to live for themselves and not others, the others struggle to find balance…all of a sudden, the yes person in your life is saying no…the yes person is happier without you…the yes person is replacing running around for quiet time…the yes person has screwed with your mind…

don’t be the yes person in people’s lives for the sake of being the yes person…you’re wasting away your valuable time…don’t get me wrong, enjoying company is something I crave…but I want everyone to experience the feeling of craving themselves…

sit on a dark patio on a Saturday night…listen to the party across the street with a smile on your face…picture the stories of tomorrow…stare at the stars and know that there is someone else out there staring at the same stars…enjoy life as life is meant to be enjoyed – free from judgment, free from ridicule, free from the loudness of humanity…

when you wake in the morning, you’ll rejoice in the sound of your first breath and as you wipe away the sleep from your eyes, remember everyone has a story – your day is your day, use it wisely…

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‘you be you and i’ll be me’

unless you’ve lived alone (for longer than a minute)…unless you’ve been the only single friend (for longer than a second)…unless you’ve never been the one…unless you’ve never been called mom…unless you’ve never witnessed humility and despair…unless you love the silence…unless you really love who you are, you won’t get me…

sharing was never my strongest skill…ah hell I actually hated sharing until I started writing…I was reminded about societal views of being single a few weeks ago when someone questioned how could I be so busy in life when I don’t have kids…straight faced, eye to eye contact, no malice intent, just a straight forward question to me across a table…I think I may have paused for a split second, no rage inside (which is so weird) and answered…no matter my answer, this person was bewildered…I could see it in her face, no matter the justification I presented, she was mystified by my self-pronounced love for life despite not having children…

sitting at home that night in my silence, I reflected back on this question and had a mean girls moment where I pictured myself flying across the table and fucking drop kicking her in the throat, but I giggled instead…it’s 2017…I remind myself…it’s 2017…

why must we question others’ choices I wonder…I work diligently to break down the hierarchal boundaries that exist in my professional world, I thought my personal world was safe…in the political world we live in, as a woman I applaud loudly as we strive to make a mark in this world…a gathering of women marching strongly for the betterment of a generation to learn harder, speak louder and love healthier…but somehow we’ve learned through life that knocking each other down is okay as long as it’s not face to face or as long as we say I’m sorry or as long as we love each other…

the cut of a tongue…

living life to our fullest potential is really a gift…I look around my own world and there’s so much uncertainty as to who will be here tomorrow…I look around my own world and I think how was I so lucky to get the people I choose to surround me, surround me…why am I the person I am…because I am is basically the answer…no one person shall understand the depth of another nor should they try…experiences shape and mould us…the bad, the good and the ugly – god I think that’s a movie 🙂

the cut of a tongue…the glare of an eye…

I learn everyday that I am literally the carbon copy of my parents…my mother’s sarcasm…my father’s quick wit…my mother’s motherly worry…my father’s everything worry…my mother’s lack of morning pep…my father’s powerful mind and sharp tongue…and both their love, support, work ethic and open mind – well my mother’s open mind and my father’s ability to fight the good fight…ain’t no one stepping over this hogan, he claims…and so I pronounce loudly, ain’t no one stepping over this hogan either pops…

I’m not sure when I realized humanity really needs a swift kick to the crotch…it’s usually on days when I claim, I can’t adult today with a smile on my face – the smile meaning I’m joking, the smile meaning fuck I don’t wanna be an adult today…

it’s funny that when I describe my upbringing to people, I always go to the supper table and rejoice in the fact that my parents made sure we ate together nightly…it was a place that we came together as a family…it was a place where we shared our thoughts about the day and our plans for our tomorrow…not many families do that anymore and I really think it’s a shame…I fret for days gone by sometimes…I fret for that family I could have had sitting around the table with me and I fret for those that have a family and choose not to sit around the table with their kids…technology, busy schedules, extracurricular activities, and work always seems to take precedence these days…making the almighty dollar to have the almighty house, the cars for summer, the cars for winter, the newest brand names and the biggest vacation album… kids of this generation, I’m not sure what they’ll remember about supper times…

the cut of a tongue…the glare of an eye…the subtle rise of the eyebrows…

my new quest in life is to live in the moment…be honest despite the hurt that comes with it…drink the Kool-Aid of those who love Kool-Aid…align with those who choose to align with me…and to rid my inner world of those who live in a negative energy field….i went to a gathering of colleagues a while ago and the discussion was around energy and how our sensory systems continue to develop as we grow and how our energy systems need nourishing to flourish…energy systems – danielle of 2006 would have punched danielle of 2017 in the throat for this new belief….even my 2004 self isn’t over my passion of horses yet…and here I am bringing in energy fields to my repertoire…

I never realized how much I loved learning up until a few years ago…I blame my parents for my desire to be knowledgeable, to be innovative, to be a leader, to be heard…I blame society for wanting to break me down…what’s the saying, 2steps ahead and 4steps back…every now and then when the world is cruising, I lose track of my negative experiences and I soar…and then…

the cut of a tongue…the glare of an eye…the subtle rise of the eyebrows…

my words of my practice ring in my head…you can’t control how others react to you, you can only control how you react to others…and then I raise my eyebrows and think shut the fuck up danielle…and then I breath…and then I laugh…although I sometimes cry…funny story, I was sitting in my car one day crying and I’m an ugly crier…a lady knocked on my window and I nearly had a heart attack…but the lady knocked on my window and I rolled the window down…are you okay sweetheart, she asked…oh my goodness yes, I responded as I wiped a tear away from my smudged glasses…it was a hospital parking lot and she definitely thought I had just found out the worst news ever but I responded ‘hard day at work’, she smiled and softly said, ‘every day won’t be our best sweetheart but remember it’s the experiences in our lives that makes us better with each passing day’…I smiled…she walked away slowly, got in her car and drove away…

the passion of a stranger…

if your work doesn’t define you, you won’t get me…if your desire to make a difference in this world isn’t a priority, you won’t get me…if you’ve never been obsessed with your dog, you won’t get me…if you’ve never been called a name that hurt your insides, you won’t get me…if you’ve never been told, you gotta lose weight, you won’t get me…if you’ve ever been told, maybe you’re doing too much in the middle of a break down, you won’t get me…

it’s out of love they say…it’s out of concern they say…it’s out of their mouths before the sting is visible…

I can’t say sharing isn’t my strongest skill anymore…for those that really know me and have seen me in action, I actually share everyday and I’m pretty darn good at it…sharing equals vulnerability and it’s the cut of a tongue, the glare of an eye and the subtle rise of the eyebrows that can paralyze that love of sharing…I share to guide, to coach, to enable, to facilitate and to problem solve…I share with those that listen, that respect and that are invested in me as a professional and as an individual…

too many times in life we have to explain who we are, why we are like we are and be asked to be different because our mannerisms are uncomfortable to others…too many times our vulnerability is let loose only to be trapped in a web we can not escape…too many times honesty reshapes barriers where barriers were built long before…a friend of mine the other day said the cool kids now say ‘you be you and I’ll be me’ – we chuckled and giggled…and then I thought…I love that…i’ll be me and you be you…it fits so nicely where I am as a 46year old independent woman, bombarded with life at times, blasted for her inability to let go at times and wanting to be loved for just being her…

no matter who you define yourself as, don’t falter…surround yourself with those that build you up despite your downfalls…be a mystery to those who question what makes you tick…if they haven’t figured it out yet, they won’t…the map to your life is unfinished, keep chasing the vision in your head and folly on…those who walk with you are keepers, those who walk ahead of you never had your best interest at heart and those that walk behind you never really tried to keep your beat…

smile without thought…cry with dignity…mourn with hope…be angry when needed…giggle your ass off at least once a day…feelings are healthy as long as we don’t live in them…be the best person you can be moment to moment…at times, you’ll suck #sorrynotsorry but at times, you’ll soar…

in my life experiences I’ve come to realize that although we can’t love everyone, no one person is a better human than you are…put your own self on a pedestal and never jump off…that’s self-worth – it’s a priceless essential…let no man, woman or beast take it away…

the cut of a tongue…the glare of an eye…the subtle rise of the eyebrows…

life…46years of it and counting – ‘you be you and I’ll be me’

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the best day in my life was the worst day in theirs…

today larry is 11 and my love and thankfulness lives on…

Nanette Danielle

I’ve always known that I’m addicted to my phone…but I actually laughed at myself a little while ago and thought jesus, this is an obsession…I was in the bathroom at the airport, waiting to board my flight…I was in a line up of anxious travellers trying to empty their bladders before heading to other parts of the world…I think the thought of using a airplane bathroom haunts a lot of us…as I was waiting for my turn, I felt my bag vibrate and I immediately reached in and pulled out the phone…sure enough, yup it was ringing – it was my sister…

so here’s where joey turns crae crae…my first thought was weird, why is she calling, we were just texting…my second thought was obvi something is wrong…but before the third thought came to my head, I was saying ‘hey sis’…her bubbly voice answers ‘hey just wanted to say have…

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sorry not sorry…#unapologeticself

my sister gave me a necklace this year for Christmas…the card attached read “I’m not sorry” – “she is unapologetically herself”…it was both beautiful and inspiring…it lies neatly around my neck and it defines quite nicely how I have chosen to live my life…she did it again #winning…I’m not sure if she knows how this necklace made me feel but it stirred up enough thoughts to write….

I sit on my floor this morning and I gaze at my pup laying on the couch, my face to his nose so I can feel the warm air he exhales…breathing in and out, I wait for that warm air to brush my lips and nose…he snores, I chuckle…breathing in and out…it’s the last day of 2016…i choose today to be alone so I can reflect on my year…the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful…i didn’t use all my insurance for my psychologist but drained my insurance for my naturopath, so I think I’m dealing with things a bit differently than 2014…

I think we all get sentimental around the new year and this year I question – but why…tomorrow is certainly a brand new day, a brand new start but so was yesterday and so is today…why do we always yearn for that Monday start or that January one start…a start is defined as the beginning of something and not as the beginning of something ‘on Monday’ or as the beginning of something ‘on January 1st”…we need to stop kidding ourselves and take some responsibility for how we live our lives, take ownership of the decisions we make and ultimately admit that we are okay…

we humans tend to hold onto the negative experiences and brush the positive experiences aside…I’m guilty of it but by god I’m not letting the negative experiences define my person nor take over my memories of a full year anymore…did that, wore the t-shirt, rode the pity party bus and then realized I had to jump the fuck off before I let bad vibes tarnish my memories of days past and steal the hope of my days to come…

as years pass by I try to live without regret…every decision I made got me to here…every choice I’ve made got me to here and here is okay…every year people experience loss – loss that makes your heart ache with every beat and that loss is often unbearable but every morning you take one foot and place it on the floor and you follow that with your second foot and you get out the door…life is a fascinating thing…it’s unforgiving, it’s everlasting…I find myself crying lately for things that I will lose and not for what I have lost…funny thing about me – the losses are numerous, the heart in several pieces but still working as a functioning unit to sustain me…but the past is the past and I cannot grieve it any longer…I lump my experiences into a big ball of ‘get your ass out of bed you fucktard’ and I forge on…my sadness for what is to come is also ludicrous – I know this and I lump all that anxiety into a big ball of ‘get your ass out of bed you fucktard’ and I forge on…

see you can’t live in the past nor in the future…if we do so we miss today and today has the potential to be the best day ever…

she is unapologetically herself…

ever try to define yourself…I can’t be the only one…I so thrive on feedback, it excites me knowing what others see in me…am I doing all I can do to effect change…am I doing all I can to make others think, reflect and pursue something in life…am I doing all I can to make others love themselves…am I doing all I can that when I’m gone, they’ll say ‘she did all she could do to love life’…

it’s not easy being close to me…it’s not easy being my sister, my parents or my friend…I’m not sorry for the person I’ve become…I think I’ve written in the past that I was always that person that said yes to everything, went to everything, smiled for everyone and was everyone’s best friend…that was then and I was fucking miserable…this is now and I say no, nope, nada, never, and hells no…when questioned why – my reply is simply ‘just cause’…it makes me a bitch, it makes me unapproachable, it makes me stubborn – that’s what others think…but me – it makes me happy, it upholds the danielle that I’ve created, it allows me to be true to my passion…I wear my heart on my sleeve – you’ll never question whether I’m unhappy, angry, perturbed or simply bored – you’ll know it…I am self aware, I am confident, and I am me – unapologetic…

life could be so much easier if I could go with the flow and embrace the day as others want me to…but holy no…my unapologetic self will always be passionate, will always draw enemies, will always swim upstream, will always face resistance, will always lose friends but will always have your back and remain true to the person she has chosen to become…no one made me the person I am today, that’s my own doing and damn I did good…

a new beginning…

albeit a new start – there will be heart ache…it’s life folks…not one of us will not be affected…god that sounds terrible…but I’m learning as I grow older, loss is inevitable and I think it’s why I’m so unapologetic…I need to love now…I need to learn all I can now…I need to embrace all I can now…because there is no guarantee that I will have a tomorrow…I need to lay my head on my pillow at night and thank the stars that my day was a good day…with loss comes strength…with loss comes growth…with loss comes tears and heart ache – but how lucky are we to have had people in our lives that we cherish…if someone chooses not to be in your life you need to thank them for not wasting your precious time…time is valuable…never let others try to take you down…stand up for yourself – learn to love yourself…

I learned long ago if you don’t love yourself first, how is anyone going to love you the right way…I finally love myself and I tell myself that everyday…#weird no #awesome…

she is unapologetically herself…

in 2017 keep the fire that ignites the passion in you going…it’s not about weight, it’s not about relationships, it’s not about a bigger house, it’s not about more money, it’s not about more anything – it’s about you and what you do with each precious moment of your life…embrace it, strap on your wings and forge on…never regret – always remember…

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reflections…

sitting at a table in a crowded coffee shop – reflecting…

sitting on my patio, surrounded by nature and a dog – reflecting…

driving aimlessly down the road with the dog panting in my ear – reflecting…

lying in bed at night, lavender oils filling the air – reflecting…

my god I’m a reflecting whore…

I remember in university the word reflection sent us into a spiral of eye rolling, f-bombs and blank stares into the twilight zone…why must we always fucking reflect we’d scream to ourselves as we dug into the chips and dip and sipped our beers…reflections were to be documented, reflections were to make us better thinkers, better clinicians, better empathizers…just better…that was 15years ago when that word became part of my vernacular…

today it means something greater to me…it means I’m comfortable in my mind…people often don’t believe me when I say that I literally can sit and clear my mind – thinking of nothing just blank space, well those that have seen me hypnotized can vouch for my ability to lose myself but others are non-believers…I hate myself for saying this but I love reflecting…as long as that reflecting is healthy and I don’t get caught up in unhealthy thoughts cause that happens…

reflections…

lately I’ve been trying to calm my mind and body before settling in at bedtime…i’m starting to realize that I need to start practicing what I preach on a daily basis…

a few weeks ago I had an episode that scared me – a medical scare that has since resolved (no need to worry)…I was home alone and terrified…but I was calm…my mind was racing, my phone was dying, my dog was sleeping…knowing a little about the medical field I had myself diagnosed, deficits identified, house for sale and home care workers hired – despite being calm, I was full of worse case scenario…that night I became dependent on others and it was the worst feeling ever…I managed to call a dear friend who stood by me the whole night and what she witnessed was a mess…a mess that we can now laugh at but a mess…fast forward about 2days later and I began to realize that as much as I preach I am independent and I don’t need anyone, I realized I was dependent on everyone in my life…and those people were ready and willing to jump at the chance to help me…

I became humbled…

my preaching gets me into trouble sometimes and I’m so damn stubborn that my own mother said and I quote “I feel sorry for you how you block people out” – I laughed at this when she said it but was she ever right…I am the master of blocking people out…I am the master of ‘I can do that myself’ until a few weeks ago when I became dependent for the first time in my life on my friends to help me with day to day things…things we take for granted…the funny thing was that I wasn’t the one who reached out either – why I wonder am I that god damn stubborn…it was another dear friend who quietly reached out to others to tell them that I needed to be checked on because my parents were travelling…when confronted she said ‘obviously I told them, you weren’t going to you fool’…we chuckled cause she was so right…

always the rescuer, never the rescued…so I preached…

not asking for help in my life, makes me strong – that’s what my stubborn mind tells me…well in reflection it just makes me stupid…

as I sat home on leave, I reflected daily…my phone never stopped, my friends reaching out hourly to make sure I had everything I needed…humbled, happy, lucky, relieved but above all willing to accept help…that’s hard for me…accepting help…these feelings always lead me to back to weakness and vulnerability and I feel like every time I write I use those words…but I’m learning that in life, lessons take a life time to learn and I have a desire to share, to educate, to enlighten, to reiterate that weakness is strength…

my father sat me down the other day and said, yup it’s my fault for how you are…you have my desire, my anger, my work ethic, my cut throat tongue and my unwillingness to be weak but dancer (yes that what he calls me) it’s killing you…and when he said that I think back to when he was my age, I remember seeing him angry at the world, screaming into the phone at inconsistencies in his work life, carrying the weight of the job on his shoulders, phone constantly ringing, people constantly fighting and him the rescuer…I am my father’s daughter…I witnessed him fall, I witnessed him struggle, I witnessed him save himself, I witnessed him change and I witnessed him survive…I think the thing that scares him the most is that he sees me experiencing the same thing he did…but he’s the one trying to break my fall and up until now I wouldn’t let him catch me, until now…

reflections…

I’ve become my father…I’m laughing as I’m writing this because I so am…when this finally hit me, I am painstakingly transposed back to my youth – I close my eyes and I see my father’s figure at the table, phone to his ear, red in the face, puffy in eyes from lack of sleep, lack of quietness, lack of peace…I hear my mother plead, don’t answer that phone call, let it go to voicemail…I see my father squirm cause he can’t – he picks up and the cycle continues again…these people need me, there’s no one else that knows about this…omg I’m my father…

reflections…

when dad wanted to return to work, I wrote him a return to work plan – yes I did…and now they write mine…

so my bedtime routine, is a routine…it involves lavender oil, reading for enjoyment and reflecting…waking in a pool of drool means its working…independent versus dependent – two words that guide my clinical practice and perhaps I’ve held on to the meaning it takes on in my work world and haven’t embraced what it means to me as a person…being independent is who I am but I have a wealth of friends I don’t give enough credit to…I have a wealth of friends that I need and saying that kicks me in the guts a little because it makes me vulnerable…but again practicing what I preach is what I aim for in life…

if we don’t open ourselves up because we’re afraid to be hurt or disappointed, we’re missing out on the kindness and love that those around us want to give…not everyone has the opportunity to live and experience emotions…we need to place value on the opportunities that present themselves to us and let go off the negativity that comes with hurt but rather embrace that hurt and understand that it is okay because we are alive…sad feelings are okay because we learn from them and we nourish our bodies and souls from all emotions…

for those that have left this earth, I’m sure they’d long for one more moment to feel emotion – any emotion…living is a gift…don’t be stupid and waste it…live it, embrace it and own it…

today I sit alone on my patio with my dog at my feet and I reflect and smile a little wider…

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