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12 April 2014

saturday stillness

I started today off with quietness & stillness. I made a pot of tea, journalled, finished a book I'd been reading & listened to the birdsong. Traditionally, Saturday is a day of chores, grocery shopping, running to & fro. I haven't been doing that lately. It's becoming a slow day.



By not turning on the tv, or music, I felt very awake, yet calm. Not overstimulated or distracted. It was amazing. Filled up my soul. The morning actually felt a lot longer than it was, but in a good way. It was like being in the flow of creating something. I know this to be true & yet I get sucked into technology sometimes. It's just so easy to fall into the trap of just checking my phone or logging onto the computer or turning on the tv. It's a way to fill up the silence, a distraction, a passive form of entertainment. Usually I just feel exhausted by it all. Today was a good experiment. I need to unplug at least once a week for more than a few hours. I think I need to retrain myself to be able to unplug for longer periods of time. I think I need to bring more slowness to my days, not just on weekends.

When I have periods of quiet, untouched moments, I can fling myself into my art journal more readily.

first page to current art journal

This past week I went through my past journals (written ones, art journals, mixes of the two), reading snippets here & there. It surprised me how I knew right from the start that the ex did not respect me. This completely shocked me. He had this way of making me feel like it was something I'd done, when it was really his actions that were the problem. I have no idea why I didn't figure this out straightaway & end it. I was not myself back then I suppose. I had gone through a lot that last year at university. I felt like a shell when I returned home. It's only been since I took up yoga that I rediscovered myself. Obviously, being single has also helped me come back to myself too.

Spring seems to be on a slow track to arrive. It takes tentative steps, retreats, peeks out, runs away. I long for a few days of warm breezes, dappled sunlight, blue skies. Not a few hours here & there, interspersed with rain or snow. Everything feels so unsettled.

I switched the table legs on the coffee table with the kitchen table. I needed the smaller table in the kitchen. It just fits better & feels like there is breathing room in there now.I need to get new brackets or some such to firm up the legs. The brackets that were on each table don't fit the opposite table top. Of course the tall legs would have two bolts & the coffee table legs have one bolt. So, I'll have to cobble something together. I just really wanted to see if the legs would actually swap. They do. Although the kitchen table top is still a bit too big as a coffee table, at least it isn't square. I might actually disassemble the kitchen table turned coffee table & stash it behind the buffet in the kitchen for now. I kind of want to make my own rustic coffee table. Naturally, once I get it all sorted out, I'll take photos.

04 April 2014

lessons


I have spent a lot of time journalling & thinking & journalling some more. I have learned a lot of things about myself, relationships, needs versus wants. I'm still unwinding things or coming to realizations that begin unwinding other threads that need to be explored.

There was an absence in my past relationship. I was not respected. That was always the push/pull friction that eventually destroyed the fabric of that relationship. I tried so hard to be heard or understood, but it just never quite seemed to make a difference. Nothing ever changed for long.

 I can't quite describe what it was like to be living with someone who didn't respect me. There was always a feeling of tension in the air. Just sitting in the same room, I could feel the waves of disdain & pissiness emanating towards me. Uncomfortable. Hurtful. I knew something was bothering him & yet, was letting him have his space to work it out. I remember putting a book back into the bookcase & thinking to myself that he would come around once he had time to figure out what was bothering him. I wasn't going to take on his emotions for him. That was a pivotal moment. He never came to talk to me. In hindsight, the drop off in communication was the first indication that things were crumbling.



Nowadays I feel whole & complete. Happy! I feel like myself. I'm not lonely very often, even though I spend the majority of my time alone. Hello introverted lifestyle. I look back & remember how crushing it was to feel alone while in a relationship. I never want to feel like that again. It was a bewildering, lonely & hollow space to inhabit. I have come to realize how crucial a role respect plays in relationships. It's now a part of my boundaries ... if someone doesn't respect me, then they don't deserve my time. 

31 March 2014

ouch



Last night I stumbled across something that deeply upset & wounded me. I was a bit annoyed that the situation even had the power to upset me. It seemed ridiculous on the surface to be upset. So I journalled into that emotion for a bit to figure out what was going on. I realized that I felt like I was once again on the outside looking in.

Going back further I remembered being bullied in childhood. I was not invited to the birthday party of the girl who lived down the road. On purpose. Once, I did get an invite to a party from a girl that I did think was strange would invite me to her house. I knew she didn't really like me, but taking the invitation at face value, I accepted. I planned on going. It sounded like fun. The day of the party, which was going to be a pool party, came around. It was cool & rainy. Definitely not much swimming going to be done. Shortly before I was due to leave, the phone rang. It was the girl & her best friend on the phone telling me their party was cancelled due to the weather. They seemed a bit bummed about it. I was disappointed as I was looking forward to it. 
On Monday back at school, these girls were talking in front of me about the pool party. I questioned them on it. Asked them why they didn't call me back to let me know the party was back on. They lied and told me it was last minute that her parents said it was back on & that they tried to call. I knew right then that they were lying. They had only invited me just so they could dis-invite me. Just to be cruel. (These girls were quite cruel too. Beyond plain meanness.) That was their entertainment, to be cruel to me. It gave them a thrill to see me wounded I suppose. I don't understand the minds of bullies. 

I was so upset last night because it triggered this past wound of being excluded. Over a month ago, I reached out to reconnect & catch up on the past few months with a friend. I was brushed off with a very lame excuse that this person 'doesn't really go out.' I let it go & kept my tone silly & light, however, I was angry & hurt. Going out for a cup of coffee is too much to ask? Really? I knew it was a lie because this person has mentioned other things they have done, such as going to concerts and such. I thought it was weird & hurtful, but I wasn't surprised. We had grown apart in a few short months. Maybe I should have expressed my anger & hurt. I doubt it would have changed anything at all. I realized that I needed to let go of any expectations of friendship from this person in the future. For someone who 'doesn't go out,' they sure do go out on a regular basis. Such as what I saw last night that triggered me. It just cut me to the depths. I felt so hurt because I am living with an open heart. This wounding (whether accidental, or intentional) is part of living vulnerably. Perhaps I'm a bit too close to the edge. I'm tapping into my resilience.

30 March 2014

boundaries

taken in the early part of autumn 2013
I forgot I had taken this photo. I found it in my Dropbox earlier this weekend. I was startled by the sheer brilliance of that blue sky & yellow leaves. The straight lines of the sidewalk & orderly placement of the windows in the buildings. There is order all around in the city. Even if it doesn't always seem so.

One of my words for 2014 is 'wild.' That word seems to lend a nod to chaos, no order, no rules. So far, I've found it's the opposite. I've been thinking about boundaries lately. Mine specifically, & why it is so crucial to have a firm understanding of my boundaries to avoid any collisions. I do wonder about other people's boundaries, out of curiosity. How did they arrive at that knowledge that X was ok, but Y was definitely not? It's intriguing.

cute journals at Chapters
For the past year (possibly two), I have been operating without a firm, solid sense of my own boundaries. I was all betwixt & between after the break up. I didn't know who I was anymore. All I knew was that I was ... different. But I didn't know exactly what about myself was different. In a lot of ways, I was a stranger to myself. I've gotten to know myself quite well over the past year. I'm pretty awesome, if I can say that about myself.

I struggle with the concept of boundaries. I have always thought of them as a wall or shield. Possibly a sign that said "KEEP OUT" affixed on the margins. I don't like this idea though. Having fixed boundaries as walls or shields would mean not allowing myself to be vulnerable or frightened or worried in front of someone else, because my boundaries would be a barrier to intimacy. Even between friends. I can't live like that. I need people to see my heart. You know, the kindred spirits people. Just to get to know me as a friend would require dynamite & shovels. That sounds totally exhausting.

 Then I started bringing in my second word for 2014 which is 'magic' to the concept of boundaries.


This additional word just blew my mind. Yep. Totally. I started thinking of boundaries as magical spaces for myself to inhabit. A sacred space. You behave a bit differently in a sacred space, right? Whatever sacred space tends to look like for some people, whether it is a building of worship, a deep forested canopy overhead, the sea, a library, there is a certain thrill that runs through your body to be there. A stillness that dives deep into your soul that makes you feel safe & happy & swept up in love. It makes you quiet & respectful. You may be physically alone, but not feel alone. In fact, you probably feel more connected than ever. Things are clear. You realize that you are able to hear yourself finally & your intuition lets out a deep sigh of relief.

Perhaps boundaries are natural. It just takes time to figure out where my stuff ends, & another person's stuff begins. Such is the dance of the living.


29 March 2014

refresh

I changed up the look of the blog a little bit. I made a new header & found some sweet social media icons by Vervex. I like the look of this place a bit more now! It was definitely in need of a refresh.

I felt a bit out of it all day since my alarm this morning woke me up right in the middle of a dream. A seriously crazy & surreal dream. Getting pulled (or yanked) out of dreamland like that was incredibly dislocating. It was raining when I woke up. I love that sound. It made me want to roll over & fall back asleep. But I was diligent & stumbled out of bed. I have my fingers crossed that Spring is on her way. I am quite done with the cold & bitter wind that seems to cut through whatever I'm wearing.


It was snowing again yesterday. This was very upsetting. It has been a long, cold & harsh winter. More often than not, just being outside hurt my face if it wasn't wrapped up. Getting through the winter takes a lot out of me & it seems, most everyone! I shall soon be going to bedfordshire, since I'm feeling rather sleepy now. The noisy neighbours upstairs are making random noises tonight. Possibly cleaning? at midnight? Probably not. I have no idea what they are doing, & it's making my imagination run a bit wild. Moving furniture or some such around? More likely.

24 March 2014

right now.


Another lovely long weekend comes to a close. I'm really loving taking Mondays off as holidays. I feel much more relaxed. I went thrifting today & found two new sweaters. I was looking for water glasses & food storage containers, but no luck on that front. I was going to check out all the thrift stores around (or make the attempt), but I wasn't feeling up to something that intense.

I worked in my art journal(s) today too. That felt good. I hadn't gotten the paint out for about a week or so. I love the creative abandon, but after I come out of it, I don't like cleaning up the chaos! But it only took me about 5 minutes to clean up tonight. It helped that I didn't make a ginormous mess this time either though.



Also, I have filled up the Moleskine I bought at the beginning of the year. Yep. It's completely done. I've never filled up a journal so quickly before that I can recall. Lots of processing & working things out & letting the knowledge filter back in. I now have to move on to a new journal. I don't think I'll be filling the next one up quite so quickly. But maybe I will. Who knows. I certainly don't.

Starting to feel incredibly sleepy now. I love crawling under the blankets & drifting off to sleep.

16 March 2014

quietness

I've fallen quiet on the blog of late. I'm huddled up against Winter that just won't leave. There was another storm this week that left more snow & that was hard to take, especially because the day before was so Spring-like. I woke up very early today & am rather bewildered that it's only just shy of noon. It feels like it should be around 4 pm or so.

I took this photo from my balcony last night just before I went to bed. Crazy full moon action right there. The clouds were all billowy & racing & at their most mysterious. I put all my moonstone pendants on my windowsill to recharge them.

wild full moon
I've also injured or strained my back a little too. I honestly have no idea what I did. It's been about a week since it started bothering me. Today it feels pretty good, but I haven't lifted anything heavier than a mug of tea. Yesterday I went on a mad closet cleaning/reorganizing binge & my back was pretty sore. Lifting the kettle onto the stove for tea at night seemed like the heaviest thing. I could feel the tender spot in my back not enjoy the weight of the full kettle. I have lots of laundry to do, but I don't relish the idea of trying to balance a laundry basket on my hip & walk up & down stairs. I'll probably use my big IKEA shopping bag to tote things around for now. My laundry baskets are all cracked and hard to carry anyway. The dang things tend to shift at just the wrong moment & that can't be good for a tender back. It's time to get new baskets.

Most of the cleaning frenzy was due to discovering a notice on my door when I got home on Friday from the landlord who will be doing a 'general inspection' of the units on Tuesday. Part of the frenzy is also a pre-Spring cleaning fit.

I had wanted to clean out all the closets for the longest time. The state of chaos that all of the closets were in was bothering me. I got the front hall closet cleaned out & reorganized the way I want it. I figured that was all I could manage yesterday. Then, the linen closet beckoned to me. It was a disaster. I definitely need new towels, pillowcases & fitted sheets. At least I know that now!  I went through my sweaters last weekend & put aside a few that I don't wear anymore, don't fit & are just generally nothing I want to wear anymore. A few pairs of jeans & other odds & ends made it into this pile. I need to find a box to pack it up & get rid of it all. Ah, to be organized feels wonderful. Finally, I tackled the bedroom closet. Crazeballs amount of closet cleaning/reorganization up in here.