Getting older and living deeply

thedoor

Cailin Way Photography @ cailinwayphoto.com

 

So tomorrow’s my birthday.

December 18th. A week before Christmas.

Mixed emotions fill my heart and mind as I ponder about whether to be excited or simply scared to death.

As you might tell from my previous thought, I have extreme tendencies. It’s my habit to be all or nothing.

So, this life?

It’s my practice. The art of finding balance.

And oh what a practice it is.

You see, I set high expectations for myself. Having perfectionistic tendencies to top it all off, and that my friend can be a recipe for disaster.

Or not.

The reality lies in a simple matter of choice.

What do I choose?

Because in reality, life is all about choosing. We always have choice.

We may not recognize it, or be aware of it, but it’s always there. Waiting for us to choose. Then take action.

So, tomorrow’s my birthday. And I feel damn excited.

And you know why? Because I choose to be.

And all of that other stuff? The perfectionism, high expectations, anxieties and disappointments in life?

That can to go to the wind.

Because the life I choose to live is a conscious one. To be a light. To love deeply, knowing that pain will come in life no matter what because it’s life.

Pain is here to teach us something.
To give us clues as to what’s next to learn during our journey here. So why not give it all we’ve got?

I feel my experience of life continues to grow deeper by the day, I feel life intensely, wholeheartedly, fully. I know the truth of who I am. And that fear? The fears of making mistakes, the fears of not being enough, judgement and disapproval?

That fear that does so great at keeping me small?

No longer will it win.

Not if I have anything to say about it. Not here, not now.

And you know why?

Because I have a message to share.

To the WORLD.

And it’s not my message, but the absolute truth that the universe turns on in cycles as its effect.

And that message is one of love. Of light. Of abundance, and radiance!

Of life.

So, I’m getting older?

Sure.

And it’s absolutely beautiful.

Brilliant, really.

Because you know why?

Because it is. And the “isness” of this life is indeed perfection.

Absolute divine perfection.

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Thank you so much for reading!

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Also, feel free to check out my YouTube Channel here where I post short inspirational videos, music, and other random musings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDHpEALAPz2TCtZIFLBF0tQ

😉 Muah!

I love you,
Brittany

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Why are we so damn hard on ourselves?

I have a question to ask you..

“Why are we so damn hard on ourselves?”

No. But seriously?

What purpose does it serve, and honestly…tell me, does it REALLY help us to show up more vibrantly in our lives? Is it reallllly THAT empowering?

Still thinking this through, but my initial response is “NO.

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This subject and idea is so strongly on my mind this morning because I’ve been having SUCH DEFEATING thoughts about myself! (And in all honesty…who DOESN’T?!)

About my body:I’m too big. I’m not as fit as the other girls I work with. I wish I had a lower body fat percentage. I feel so ugly, WHY IS MY BODY SO UGLY!? I hate my cellulite. I wish I could look like X,Y,Z..

About my life:I’m not successful. I wish I were successful. Why can’t I just BE THERE already? I feel like I’ve put so much effort into growing that I SHOULD be somewhere else than I am in this moment.

I need more money. I wish I made more money. I want freedom. Why can’t life just be EASIER?! I’m 27. I’m anxious as hell thinking that I may never live up to my potential! I thought I would ‘feel’ like an adult by now..but I still feel lost and scared and have NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING.

So these thoughts and worries and nit-picky criticisms we dish out to ourselves..what purpose do they serve?

And if we’re doing this to OURSELVES…it only begs the question..”Are we doing this to others as well?”

And how does that make THEM feel?

I mean, we all have our ups and downs…we can’t expect to be “perfect” in the sense that nothing painful ever happens..

But we sure can change our perspective on what ‘perfection’ really IS and what that looks like.

We can, in turn, say that “All is well and is unfolding as it should. I am okay. I am enough. In this moment.” And then breathe that deep sigh of relief that we are, in fact, EXACTLY where we’re supposed to be RIGHT NOW. No where else. We’re meant to be RIGHT HERE.

So…What can we learn? RIGHT HERE. In this moment..?

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And just to clarify..this message isn’t so that people feel sorry for me..no.

I’m no victim. Unless I choose to be..

All I know is that I feel 100% better when I start focusing on all that I DO have.

What can I be GRATEFUL for?

Like TRULY GRATEFUL??

Find it. See it. Hold on to it. SHARE it.

I’m in a current practice of being more gentle in this lifetime. Being kinder..starting with myself.

Whatever is going on in our internal world shows up in our external world.

So..

  • Be love.
  •  Be kind.
  • Be intense JOY.
  • Be lighthearted.
  • Be easy-going.
  • Be forgiving.
  • Be OUTRAGEOUS!!
  • Be fun.
  • Be understanding.
  • Be gentle.

…and start with OURSELVES first!! Then it’s a simple game of domino effect.

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When we can truly shine that deeply cultivated joy and happiness from the inside-out, others will notice. And it just might brighten their day up to a whole new world of possibilities.

I love you SO SO much!!!

You are beautiful. And wonderful. And absolutely perfect..RIGHT NOW. In this moment.

To all of you humans in need of hope, love, joy, and happiness..
❤ B

Five years ALREADY?

So today is my 5-year wedding anniversary..(wow, has it really been five years?!) Interesting how the time goes by whether we ask it to or not..we can’t control it..and after all, time is just a feeling.

Anyway, back to the message at hand.. 😉

So I felt inclined to read through an old letter my husband wrote me last year, that I stumbled upon this morning in my dresser drawer. Of course, I was hit with tremendous waves of emotion..mainly those of deep gratitude, joy, and love.

I am so grateful to get to peek inside his heart at any given moment, day or night, through his gifts of the written word tucked away in notes for only my eyes to see.

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I love that he puts in the time and effort to express his love, devotion, and appreciation to me in his writing. I really am loved. And I am so grateful for that.

I wanted to write a blog-post, well..mainly because I’ve gotta get down to the REALITIES of life, love, and marriage..but ALSO I wrote too much within a single Facebook post (haha!) so I figured I’d transfer it over here where it’s more easily accessed, read, and so on..

Sooo…MARRIAGE. Oh, what to say about marriage.

It’s definitely not what I thought it would be..

It’s MORE.

Like, I never thought a person could encounter so much happiness, and struggle and pain, move through it, and end up on the other side stronger and more in love than ever. And oh, has it been a ride!

I’ve literally wanted to give up more times than I can count, thinking the grass would always be greener on the other side..but then after sticking through the tough times, speaking my truths, being completely torn apart and vulnerable and communicating with words and actions of love..failing with the love part sometimes a lot..but continuing on..

Well, it turns out that keeping both feet in only made for a better tomorrow..and the next day.

There’s a quote I’m reminded of in this moment..”That which is most satisfying is that which is earned. Anything received free of charge is seldom valued. You can’t get something for (from) nothing. The price is too high.” -Kekich Credo #38

So the message I really want to convey today is this: anything actually worth having will require a certain level of persistence, effort, commitment, and understanding. If I have learned anything in my marriage over the past five years, it is that we create our own realities and that we have all the power in the world to cultivate what we want in life… especially in our relationships, not only with ourselves, but with the ones we love most dear.

I am coming to realize that within this experience I call our “humanness,” is wherein lies absolute perfection.

Without the sudden changes, the unknowns, the plans not going according to plan.. all of it is on purpose. And we don’t have to understand right away, or ever know why. But, what we can do, is trust that in someway, whatever happens in our reality is what’s meant to happen. It’s what’s better for us in the long run. Even if we don’t fully understand it in the moment.

My marriage has been filled with all sorts of amazing things: lessons and learning, adventure, passion, love, joy, faithfulness, commitment..but I won’t delude anyone into thinking that it’s been an easy ride..or “perfect” in the sense that nothing painful ever happens.

Just because on my Facebook profile you only see the happy, adventurous, seemingly-perfect moments, doesn’t mean the exact opposite hasn’t been a complete part of my journey here as well. In fact, much of my time has been spent in darker places before the sun could shine through.

In my marriage over the past 5 years, there has been miscommunication, pain, personal suffering, confusion, questioning, fights, arguments, you name it… But in the end, and through it all, my husband and I both have grown tremendously and are exponentially stronger than ever for going through the pain, truly dealing with it, and moving forward.

I hope that this message can shed some light on some of the realities of life. I hope that what you gain from reading these words is that life in itself IS perfection. All of it’s seemingly random moments, the confusion, the pain, the struggle, the loss, and most of all the messiness.

It’s all a part of the journey.

And the more we can honor and embrace those tougher moments, and really GO deep within ourselves to find our truth and deal with what’s coming up for us, the better off we are in the long run.

I was chatting with my friend Brittany just last night..and we talked about the truth that “the old must die off, before the new can come in.” And what a solid truth that is..in ALL aspects of our lives!

So. Here’s to five-years my love! I am now such a radically changed human in comparison to who I was when we first met.. the old has officially died off (and continues to die more every day) and the new is shining through. I see light in our future. Abundance. Joy. Growth. And a whole lotta love.

I love you more than words could ever express and I look forward to the adventures and struggles that lie ahead..which will only serve to move us closer to our goals in healing the world and making it a better place..making a positive impact on those we meet along the way.

Happy sunshiney day! Be a light in the darkness. Find the magic in all the moments. And live with purpose. Joy. And a heart full of love.

Sincerely yours,
❤ B

How rich is YOUR life?

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Life is continually reminding me to take a closer look to the present moments I find myself in. Whether “doing another chore” or “just another day at work,” I’m learning that I can find the love and the beauty and the pure, innocent joy of being within it.

And when we think about it, that’s all we really DO have, are multiple, tiny moments all consecutively pieced together to create our reality we call “life.”

But have you ever thought for a second what would happen if you were to just live fully in each of the tiny moments?

To not be in such a hurry to rush off to the next one…to just fully embody the moment, noticing just how rich and full it really can be?

Something as simple as sitting under this willow tree I find myself under right now can become a truly rewarding, and life-giving experience.

Finding life in the unseemly of places..

Trust me. Just try it out in this moment now! Or the next.

Notice what thoughts or feelings or activities you may be resisting or not looking forward to.

Let it go..

And indulge in the delicacy of the moment that life has to offer you.

Not in the next 5 minutes, but RIGHT NOW.

What can you learn?
What can you notice?
What can you GIVE?

I love you.

My heart is SO full right now..

Full of gratitude.

Full of light.

But most of all..full of LOVE.

❤ B

P.S. You’ll notice that the more present you become, the deeply felt joy there is to find.

#livefully

Lessons learned from my friend who is dying

Love, infinite love.

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She is exactly that.

And as I sit here writing today, bittersweet feelings rush through my body. Feelings of grief and overwhelming sadness, but also of absolute joy and abundant love.

You see, my best friend in whole wide world, Precious, is entering her last stages of life. We’ve been joined at the hip for 17 years now, ever since I was 12.

She’s been through every thing with me: grade-school, summer vacations, jam-sessions, holidays, break-ups, adventures, graduations, marriage, the ups, the downs, and all of the in-betweens.

She’s heard my laughter and has seen my tears. She knows all of my secrets.

Memories upon memories we’ve shared..

And.. she’s dying.


I’ve seen this day coming for a while now, but it doesn’t make it any easier. So, in order to release what’s coming up for me during these tougher of times, I’m using writing as my outlet.

She’s here with me now, helping me as I write, (critiquing as always) and she says it’s okay to share some of her kitty-wisdom with you today. 🙂

I’d like to share with you all of my most “precious” lessons learned from this amazing, tiny, lady cat who may not speak much human, but has a tremendous way with words. She will forever live in my heart, and her spirit will never cease to guide me.

Lessons learned from my little bundle of joy:

❤ How to keep on going when the going gets tough.
❤ How to love so deeply that it hurts.
❤ How to comfort others.
❤ How to have fun.
❤ How to do what I want.
❤ How to not care what other people think.
❤ How to truly give and expect nothing in return (okay, except when treats are involved! 😉 )
❤ How to fight back when necessary.
❤ How to stay strong, even when I’m at my weakest.
❤ How to be gentle.
❤ How to find strength in the pain.
❤ How to flow through this river of life.
❤ How to be vulnerable.
❤ How to use my intuition.
❤ How to trust.
❤ How to be patient.
❤ How to speak my truth.
❤ How to fully enjoy life.
❤ How to relax.
❤ How to “just be.”
❤ How to be independent.
❤ How to soak up the sunshine on a warm summer day.
❤ How to be present.
❤ How to find peace.


She’s given me the true gift that keeps on giving, and that is real, absolute, and self-less love.

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My mom messaged me the other day. She told me that “Precious is very lucky that you chose her.” And it’s funny, because although I’d like to buy into the story that “she’s the lucky one,” I feel that “I’m so lucky that she chose ME.”

She’s saved me.

Dr. Seuss says, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” That’s hard sometimes. And although I’ve had my bouts of tears, I can genuinely smile knowing that she’s lived a long and happy life, full of love and joy and adventure.

It’s tough sometimes, this life. We want so badly to hold on to things forever, but sometimes it’s more meaningful when we allow ourselves to let go.

It’s less painful. Less suffering.

True love lets go.

Since I really love her, I’ll have to allow myself to let her to drift off into that peaceful, and dreamless sleep. To rest. To be at peace.

I started feeling really anxious and heart-broken so I went outside to think and to meditate. I sat under the willow tree in my backyard.

And I cried.

Like that deep, most vulnerable cry… I cried like a child.

And as I sat, looking down at the grass that connects us all, I decided in that moment how I want to honor Precious when she passes on from this life in the physical world.

And (after clearing it with her of course) I’ve decided that I want to bury her under the willow. I decided it might be nice to also plant some shade-loving flowers over her that will come back every spring, in memory of her.

After all, she is my little flower, beautiful in every way.

She is also my love and is love in every sense of the word. She has made such a tremendous imprint on my heart and I’ll carry her for always.

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I’d now like to send out a genuine token of appreciation to all of my friends and family for your love and never-ending support through this season of my life.


A most genuine “Thank you.”

To my husband, Nathan, who was there to support me through this last leg of the journey of Precious’ life, for being strong, and loving me through it all.

To my dad, who made countless trips to the store for more foods than he could ever have imagined buying for this picky little lady.

To my mom who was always there to comfort the girl when I was away, for all her love she’s given through the years.

To my sister, Denise, and my friend and soul-sister Kimberly, who would check in on me and kitty, sending all their love my way.

To Adyson, who would comfort and love on kitty when I was away..always being so gentle with her.

To Alejandra and Tyler who helped keep my heart light on the days when I felt the most despair.

To Sara, Zac and Katherine for prayers and the freedom from work to spend quality time with this girl.

To Dr. Zack who made this process a gentle one, believing that every thing happens in due-time. For respecting the natural processes of life, and of death.

To my friends and other soul-sisters Anna, Christian, and Meda for truly knowing and understanding the connection and depth of love one can have for a cat. For helping me not feel so crazy about loving mine so strongly, and with my whole heart.

And last but not least, to my Grandma and Grandpa Usher, for gifting me with this beautiful soul..these moments could never have been possible if we never went and picked out our tiny rescue kitty on that beautiful autumn day 🙂

I know there are many more friends that have meant so much to me that I have not named, (Cough, cough, Edwin!?) but know that you mean something too and that I am completely grateful for you. Each and every person in my life has helped me cope with each of life’s surprises in one way or another, and for that, I love you all. ❤

May we all find peace and love in the life that we were given. May we learn lessons in the tough times and help others in our moments of strength. May we love fully, even when it hurts.

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I love you,
❤ B

The Present..it’s a gift.

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I was never taught, growing up, about being present. About truly living in the moment. My head was generally up in the clouds somewhere looking to the future. Looking forward to my next ice cream bar, or my next chance at going swimming at the local pool.

It would seem that we are naturally born with this gift, (of being present in the now), but it seems that as we age things change. We learn new things. New ways of thinking. We learn to get stuck in the past, or anxiously await the future and what it has to hold.

For me personally in my adult life, the past had become a sad and dark place. Full of guilt and regret. Full of stories. I would tell myself stories of how I was maltreated in relationships with men. I’d play victim. I’d allow my past to define me as a person.

Who I am.

Who others are.

Assuming all the while that because of past behaviors, people were who they are. And things would never change. They’d be that way forever.

I’d play a story in my mind about my future. I’d say things like, “I can’t.” “I’m not good enough.” Defeating myself before I even began. Defeating myself before puting effort into something I desperately wanted to achieve.

Being present has never been easy for me, and I’m continuously training myself with each day, bringing myself back. Back to reality. Back to myself. In this moment.

“Who am I in this moment right now?”

Presence in life is precious. It’s a gift. That’s why they all it the present. It’s where all the real-time action takes place. The excitement. The misery. The inbetweens. The confusion. All equally important and necessary for living a well-balanced life.

The present is the most important place you could be at any given time. And there are tons of benefits to being fully present. Throughout your day. And in your life.

#1. You can truly listen.

I’s a well-known fact that we all love to be heard. During conversations with others, it’s quite obvious when someone is truly listening to what you have to say and responding–vs–when someone is in their own head, with their own agenda, just waiting for you to close your mouth. They can’t wait just tell you what’s in their mind!

Some people like to just brain-dump on people randomly in conversations instead of keeping engaged in the subject at hand, listening, and responding to what’s happening. Right then. In the moment.

You might find that by becoming more present in life that people will actually want to be around you more and really desire your presence. But you’ve gotta’ listen.

Don’t try and solve their problems. Just listen.

When you’re not in your head calculating — when you’re truly listening — magical things can happen.

This brings me to my next point, because when you’re totally present and truly listening..

#2. You build a foundation of trust.

People confide more in people who are in the moment. It’s like a natural instinct we all have or something.

They can trust, that in the future, you’ll be there. You’ll be that person to go to for guidance, for a shoulder to cry on, for a deeper connection.

When you’re not in your head, creating your own agenda, you can start to help others in a more authentic way.

You can truly be grateful for moments. For other people. For yourself.

And gratitude, as we all know, makes us feel whole. Gives us feelings of abundance.

Which leads to my last point. By being present..

#3. You gain a sense of well-being.

Your health actually improves physiologically when you’re mentally present in all your moments. You can check in to your body and how it feels.

Get a sense of what makes you feel good. What makes you feel great.

You get a good look into the effect people have on you — whether they’re a drain. Or a fountain.

Whether they’re toxic. Or whether nourish you.

You’re not stuck in the past nor the future. You’re experiencing new things. Creating new thoughts and thought patterns.

You just feel better!

You’re not stuck in the story of the past where you play victim and feel sorry for yourself. Feeling victimized for all the things that have ever happened to you.

You’re free.

No longer are you stuck in the future, telling yourself stories of how you can’t get what you want out of life. About how you can’t achieve greatness.

You’re in the present moment. So you just start doing. Start achieving.

You become yourself again. The true you.

Simple. Pure. Real.

YOU.

You’ve arrived home within yourself.

And what a gift.

Afterall, there’s no place like home.


Thank you so much for reading, friend. I am truly grateful for you.

Thank you for being present with me in this moment. It feels good, doesn’t it? 😉

I challenge you to put an effort in becoming more present in your day, and in your life.

Start today! Right now.

Bring yourself back home. Live a richer, fuller life. And just be.

With gratitude and grace,
❤ Brittany

Comments on the site are always welcome! Thanks again friends, you're amazing. ❤

My heart weeps in moments like these

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!WARNING: This is an extremely controversial topic, but I can’t help but share some of my thoughts. You’re welcome to disagree, to quit reading after the first paragraph, or to comment with any thoughts or emotions that are brought up for you.

Keep in mind while reading, that this post is out of love. For the love of the animals! And the planet. ❤ I love you.

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Big truck. Semi. Hundreds of tiny feather-lined cages. Now empty.

Tears fall down my cheeks. I know the truth. I know the torture. Innocent babies. Innocent friends.

Murdered.

Nobody realizes. Nobody realizes the truth.

Super market shelves stocked full of cleaned meats, organized & all prettied up for display. No blood. No tears. Nobody realizes the torture that went into getting that meat from factory farm to market.

I cry. Weep. I feel extreme pains in my chest. My stomach turns.

I was once a murderer too. In a way. I paid others to kill animals, so that I could get my daily dose of protein and flavor. I thought it was the only way. I was once paying for my plates ‘full of fear’ at the local restaurants. Everywhere. Plates full of sadness. I didn’t know. In fact, I had no idea.

I grew up eating this way, why would I ever change?

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It is in these moments that I am so grateful for finding a different path. A new path. A diet that is filled with compassion and love, no animals harmed in the process.

When I see trucks filled to the brim with livestock living beings, my beautiful friends, I want so badly to set them free. I want so badly to purchase them myself and give them home. A kind home, full of love and peace and playfulness. A place where they can live their lives. The way they were meant to.

I believe I will one day own my personal animal sanctuary. I can’t help but feel extreme compassion for living beings. I can’t help but love on all the animals that roam this beautiful earth.

They’re all here for a reason, and I’m not so positive it’s just so we could eat them. They have souls. Just as we do. We wouldn’t eat each other–or our cats, or our dogs, or horses–so what makes a chicken, a fish, a pig, a deer, a lamb, or a cow any different?

They play. They all have the ability to feel joy. Feel fear. Nurture their young, and protect their families from harm. They’re so much like we humans. But we fail to see that sometimes.

This video brings up extreme emotions for me. At 1:17 into the video when the cows start literally jumping in the air, full of happiness and joy, I myself am filled with those emotions 🙂 But it also pains me. I wish all cows could experience life in this way. But they don’t.

This inspires me. Inspires me to make a difference. To create a peaceful planet full of safety and love. A place where all beings look out for one another, despite their species.

But it all starts right here. With me. In order to create the world I want, I must start actually doing things in my own life. Creating real change in myself, in order to create the change I want to see in the world.

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This post wasn’t written to bring up guilt in those who choose to eat meat. It’s not so I can say to everyone “I’m right. You’re wrong.”

I don’t know everything. I only know what I feel and what I experience personally.

The reason I wrote this was to bring up an alternative perspective. I understand that our culture tells us a different story. We’re brought up in homes with parents who teach us their ways, and many of us never question it, let alone change it.

I’m only asking that more people just think about the other side of the story for a second. See if their lifestyles are consistent with their deepest values. I mean really think about it.

And, if during that search within yourself, you find that perhaps your lifestyle doesn’t quite match up with your values, it might be something worth looking into.

Again, I love you. I’m so grateful for you. We’re all here for a reason. Let’s make a positive change in the lives of each other. In the lives of all living beings.

With peace & love and as much gratitude a heart can hold,
❤ Brittany

Photo Credit: Compassion Over Killing – http://www.cok.net/inv/maryland-egg-farms/county-fair-farms/02_4cff05cu3/