“I’m gonna get out and give you a kiss now. And then I’m gonna show you what I keep underneath the floor of my trunk.”

// Words from My Lyft Driver

Taking a break from the existential questions and holistic healing stuff and telling a story today instead.

I don’t take Lyft rides very often. I almost always take my car when I’m going places, and I’ll sometimes take public transportation but I’ve only ever taken an Uber or Lyft maybe 10 times in my life. I know, I know… What kind of millenial am I?

A few months ago though – scratch that – a year ago now, I was hanging out with a friend in Gloucester and found myself in need of a Lyft ride home to Lexington.

It was around 11 PM. I was pretty beat (those of you who know me know my bedtime is usually closer to 9 or 10 PM 👵🏼) so I figured I’d just hop in the back seat and not say more than hi, thank you, and goodbye to the driver. Alas, the Universe had different plans.

Do you ever have those moments that feel like there’s some sort of divine force orchestrating the situation you’re in, and somehow you wind up having a wildly deep and profound conversation with a total stranger?

THIS WAS ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS FOR ME. I don’t remember who started it. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me God herself came down, tapped us both on the shoulder, and whispered in our ears to get the convo going, but my Lyft driver and I wound up talking about all things faith, God, and spirituality throughout the whole ride home.

And it was amazing. I even heard about his wife, who I saw a picture of (she’s beautiful). And I heard all about how he’s working hard to provide for his family. And on the weekends (get this) he sings opera at a church in Rhode Island. And not only that, but he was so excited to tell me that a guy who knows how to professionally record music just happened to walk into the church he sings at a few months ago, and now he’s recording his first opera album with him. COULD THIS GUY BE ANY COOLER?

He also is around 65 years old (I’d guess), has a heart of gold, and is one of those people who you can tell has been through a lot, yet STILL has this relentless optimism that just emanates from his very soul. I wish I could remember everything else we talked about… At one point he even gave me his number in case I wanted to visit his church. But the bottom line is, this man was an angel. Had the stars not aligned in the way that they did, we could have very easily sat in silence the entire 40 minutes to my house. I’m so glad we didn’t, and I’m so grateful I got to talk with the kind-hearted, hard-working, cute* Lyft-driving opera singer from Rhode Island that night.

~~~

Oh right. The title. DOY. I almost forgot the end of the story. So when we finally pulled up to my house, he said all these really kind and encouraging things to me – which made me promptly want to weep – and then he said, “It was so lovely talking with you sweetie. You’re a good woman. Keep the faith. I’m gonna get out and give you a kiss now. And then I’m gonna show you what I keep underneath the floor of my trunk.”

Now, this was one of those moments where I had to really check in with myself, because the paranoid part of me that watches the news and also took that line out of context told me to run for the hills. But the other part of me (my core) didn’t feel threatened or unsafe in any way, so I didn’t run – although I will admit, I was wondering what the EFF this guy was keeping in his trunk.

So we both got out of the car and he gave me a hug and a kiss (on the cheek guys, geez), and then he walked around to the back of his car and opened his trunk. This was the critical moment for me… the moment where I was either going to be kicking myself for trusting in the goodness of humanity, or I was going to be pleasantly surprised. THANKFULLY, it was the latter.

The cute old man lifted up his trunk floor, I hesitantly peered in, and I saw….

A Bible.

A BIBLE YOU GUYS. He told me he never goes anywhere without it. I almost threw my arms around him again. As if I didn’t already think he was adorable enough.

So that’s it. I don’t really have anything more to say except: sometimes it is okay to trust in the goodness of humanity, and as long as you really don’t sense you are in harm’s way, I think it’s good to have a little faith in people. I don’t know where the Lyft driver is nowadays. I never did call him or visit his church. But I sincerely hope he’s loving life, singing at church, and well into recording his second opera album by now.

Thanks for reading! Have you ever had an experience where you have a conversation or interaction that seemed extraordinarily sacred or divinely orchestrated somehow? I want to hear about it!

*(in a dad/grandpa kind of way)

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Withholding Joy… Why do we do it?

I’d like to bring you back to my junior high days for a second. Allow me to paint you a little picture of a classic “Bibs in junior high” scenario: I’m sitting in class, and the teacher is handing back our tests from the week before. My palms are sweating, my face is anguished, and the narrative repeating over and over in my head is,

“I failed. I failed I failed I failed I failed. I knew I failed it. I’m prepared to fail. I can’t believe myself. Why didn’t I study more? Maybe if I had studied more I wouldn’t have failed! UGH HOW COULD I HAVE FAILED AGAIN???”

This is all running on a loop in my head until the teacher comes to my desk and puts my test face down in front of me. I pick it up and as I begin to flip it over the thoughts in my head are going strong,

“I failed. I failed I failed I fai– a ‘B’! I got a ‘B’! Holy crap I didn’t fail! How did this happen? It’s a miracle! It’s a true Christmas miracle!”

This happened every time I took a test in junior high. (And I do mean every time). And actually also throughout high school, and even a lot of times in college. (Anyone else???)

Basically, I spent the majority of my younger years expecting the worst in not only my test grades, but in most areas of my life if we’re being honest. 😏 It’s like I was so scared of being disappointed that I would preemptively disappoint myself whenever possible, just so I could avoid the potential of disappointment (and be “pleasantly surprised” if the outcome ended up being good). In other words, I was the poster child of a Debbie Downer 💁🏻‍♀️ even in situations where, in the end, I had no need to be disappointed (i.e. Had I just expected a non-failing grade on my exams, when I got a non-failing grade back 90% of the time, I could have bypassed the disappointment stage altogether!)

Why do we do this to ourselves? Brene Brown talks a lot about the topic of suppressing joy. (So does my therapist incidentally. 😄) And they both come back to this question of, “Why do we pretend we’re not invested in something, when we’re clearly already invested?” Or, “Why do we prepare for the worst when what we’d like to do is hope for the best?” It could be something as simple as a grade on a test, or something as big as wanting that job you interviewed for, or to date that person you like, or to get pregnant, or to get that clean bill of health (or a million other things in between)…

If we’re being truthful with ourselves, for all the times that we prematurely prepare ourselves for the worst and pretend not to be invested in things that we actually care about deep down, what we’re actually doing is refusing to grant ourselves the opportunity to hope and experience joy, even if just for a time. Because at the end of the day, we’re either going to be disappointed in the outcome or we’re not. The only difference is, with premature disappointment, we will find ourselves either disappointed for a whole lot longer than just the actual period of disappointment, or for no reason at all if we do actually get the outcome we were secretly hoping for.

So I guess we get to choose really. Do we want to experience true, immeasurable hope and joy as we anticipate the outcome of things that matter to us (with the potential for true disappointment in the end)? Or do we want to experience feigned disappointment as we wait for the outcome of things that matter to us (with the potential for true disappointment in the end)?

I’d like to choose hope and joy more during the waiting periods of my life. To hope is just so much more fun that to willingly and pointlessly dive into a pit of disappointment before I even know if that’s where I belong yet.

Why are we so afraid of negative outcomes anyway? Why can’t hope that is either fulfilled or not still be GOOD and celebrated and enjoyed regardless of the outcome? My hope (lol) for us humans today is that we wouldn’t be afraid to hope and celebrate HOPE as one of the very things we want, rather than just certain outcomes. Because more hope is what keeps us moving forward and upwards. And we’ve been taught to fear disappointment, but I think it’s actually what makes us strong, and resilient — the combination of that with hope (and of course, some positive outcomes along the way).

I mentioned in my last post that our hearts were made to be break. I think it’s still sometimes a foreign concept to me, that it’s possible to experience immense, intense joy, and also experience immense, intense sadness and heartache, sometimes within the same day, sometimes even within the same minute. Incoming sadness does not take away from or need to cause us to fear any preceding hope. I wonder why I so easily forget this.

Another way I’ve caught myself withholding joy is when I’m enjoying one area of my life and not another. Let’s keep it super general and say I’m really finding joy in my job, but experiencing disappointment in the area of a friendship — all hypothetical. So I’ll find myself enjoying my job but then as I’m working will think, “Wait, I forgot things with my friend are really sucky right now. I can’t be happy about this!” and I’ll actually try and suppress my happiness about my job by re-membering (over and over) the situation with my friend almost as if to imply that if I did dare to be happy about the work situation, I wouldn’t be honoring the sadness of the friend situation.

Now, as always, there are exceptions to everything. For example, I would say that if I was ALWAYS focusing on how happy I was in my job, and pretending that the thing with my friend didn’t exist (otherwise known as denial) then it probably would make sense for me to spend a little more emotional energy on the thing with my friend. (As I’ve mentioned on Instagram, living in reality is important) BUT regardless, that still doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy my job situation as it truly is.

I guess my point and my note to self here is everything in life doesn’t have to be good or even mostly good for us to feel really GOOD in a certain moment in time. We should all dare to experience joy and hope even when not everything around us points us to doing so.

3 takeaways:

 

  1. Get comfortable with disappointment. Don’t expect it, but acknowledge before you begin to hope, that if your hopes are dashed, you are more than capable of handling the heartbreak and disappointment that will come with that, and you are strong enough to fully and truly grieve the loss of what you wished would be rather than pretending you weren’t invested in it in the first place.

 

  1. Get comfortable with joy. And get comfortable with it coming and going. Don’t view it as something you have the right to “have” all the time (it’s not a commodity that you own), but view it as something you’re gifted with along the way, as you continue in your journey. This way, you can let it come and go with a certain lightness and gratitude for it in your heart, knowing with certainly that even after it goes away, it will always come back to find you again.

 

  1. Have the courage to hope. Not with the expectation that you’ll definitely get the outcome you desire, but with the intention of giving your desires the space to make themselves known honestly. Not only does it tend to sway things in your favor (and minimize the cynicism that is rampant in this day and age), but it also allows you to live a more honest life, and not pretend that you actually like expecting the worst all the time. (Nobody likes a Debbie D).

Okey doke. That’s my brain dump for tonight. Happy hoping, y’all. ✌🏼 As always, let me know if any of this resonates with you (or not)! Always interested in your experience.

“May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” Romans 15:13

Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

Let’s talk about BODIES.

Something weird just happened. I was sitting in the car with my friend. We’ll call her Light. Light’s driving and she’s telling me about how she’s going away with her boyfriend to someplace warm and she’s going to be going to the beach a lot (#jealous). I asked Light if she was excited and she said she was, but she told me that the thing that was on her mind the most, of all things, was her body.

It’s funny, because a few years ago I would have been right there with her. I would’ve nodded my head in agreement, said something like “I hear that” and would’ve moved right along with the conversation… because what she said was very normal. And before I discovered (and promptly proceeded to drown myself in) the body positivity world a few years ago, thoughts about my body were totally commonplace. Especially if I was about to go someplace where I was expected to wear a bathing suit. 👙

Anyway, back to the conversation. After Light told me that her body was on her mind, instead of nodding in agreement, I asked her why it was on her mind instead. I was curious. I wanted to hear her take. And I was surprised actually, as someone who is newly acquainted with getting angry, at how unexpectedly pissed I found myself, as I realized how NORMAL Light’s comment was, and how just a few years prior I would’ve done nothing more than nodded in agreement… and in the process also affirmed that YES, Light was right to keep using a significant amount of her brain power worrying about what her body was going to look like on her vacation.

I wasn’t angry at Light of course… How could anyone be angry at Light herself? 

But I was angry that this is the world we live in. One where women are expected and encouraged to spend large amounts of their precious time and energy worrying about how much physical space they take up in the world. That fact to me is infuriating. And the fact that it’s not infuriating or even questioned by so many men and women actually only makes it that much more infuriating.

So I asked Light why and we went on to have a great conversation… about how we both are very aware that society has warped our views of bodies. And this is not how things should be. But how it’s still hard to live from a place of having genuine love for our bodies because of how we’ve been conditioned.

It made me sad and mad and most of all MOTIVATED to do something about this. What can we as women do to change the world we’re living in? (Serious question). How can we say with our actions that enough is enough already? We refuse to waste another ounce of our energy focusing on the size of our bodies and we pledge to start celebrating bodies, our own and our sisters’, for how inherently beautiful they are.

I know there is a lot we can do when it comes to activism and really making our voices heard in big, loud ways, but I think the most revolutionary thing we can do every day is so so simple.

✨✨✨

It is to stand in our bodies, out in the open, just… proud. As is. And say HERE I AM. Look at me if you want. Or don’t. But look at me with eyes of RESPECT. I look different than every single other person on this beach (and on this planet) and I LOVE that. And you don’t have to love my body if you don’t want to, but you DO have to respect it. And you are not allowed to shame me through encouragement or complacency of body hatred, objectification, or anything of the like.

✨✨✨

I’ve done a lot of work the last few years…. Through therapy, immersing myself in the bopo world, positive affirmations, prayer, etc. and I have only recently come to a place of TRULY loving my body, and TRULY loving everyone else’s bodies. Of course I am not perfect, but I am so happy (and proud and grateful) to be able to honestly say that the first thing my mind jumps to when it comes to my body and others’ bodies is not judgment. It’s beauty and appreciation and celebration, which I think – I REALLY THINK AND BELIEVE – is how it ought to be, and dare I say is how it WAS once… for all of us… before we first realized that our society categorizes bodies into fat, skinny, good, bad, healthy, unhealthy, worthy, unworthy… There was a day before our minds were tainted, when there was a lack of judgment when it came to our bodies. And I think I’m coming back home to that place. And can I just say that damn it feels GOOOOOOD to be home. And it’s for that reason that it makes me infuriated and heartbroken when friends like Light (when I ask them what they’re excited about for their vacation with their partner) say to me that they’ve actually been thinking most about their bodies.

Mind you, I recognize that I am coming at this whole topic from a place of immense privilege, being on the relatively small side. It makes me ALL the more infuriated to think that my friends of size have not only been subjected to this societally fucked up world where thinness and smallness is praised, but also where they are bullied, harassed, looked down upon, and judged openly, verbally, and cruelly because they are not what mainstream media/culture has deemed ideal this century. It’s beyond heartbreaking that this is the reality we live in.

✨✨✨

With things like the body positivity movement, I do still have hope though. And I believe that things are changing when it comes to bodies and body image, slowly but surely… just as I believe they are also changing (again, slowly but surely) when it comes to the rights and treatment of women in general, minorities, people of color, LGBTQ+, the underprivileged, the differently abled, ++++. I think this is right in line with all of that and I PRAY this conversation looks worlds different in 5, 10, 15, 50 years from now.

STILL. There is a lot of work to be done. And I LONG for the day when all of us know and LIVE from a place of knowing that size does not reflect health or goodness or worth. Some of the healthiest (and HAPPIEST) people I know are people of size. And vice versa. Small does not equal healthy. Large does not equal unhealthy. Skinny does not equal better or prettier.

Beyond that, I long for the day when we ALL, ALL PEOPLE, live in a world where each unique, different body (big, tiny, and everything in between) is revered and appreciated and seen as the unequivocally, undeniably, absolutely BEAUTIFUL creation that it is.

If we keep taking up space unapologetically, I have hope that our world will soon see:

cellulite,

big butts,

small butts,

bellies,

six packs,

rolls,

thigh gaps,

acne,

chub,

arm fat,

jiggles,

bumpy skin,

freckles,

dark skin,

brown skin…

as PURE and UTTER BEAUTY!!!!

This is the world we are headed towards. I feel it in my bones. This is the world we have the power to create. NO MORE WASTING our precious time and thoughts on what we look like, or how we can become smaller, or how we can try to make our already BEAUTIFUL body look like someone else’s body.  

Your creative energy is worth way too much to be wasted on trying to take up less space in such a big world.

And your body is only beautiful if it’s YOURS.

Sigh. I could go on. But for now:

I love you, just the way you are. I hope you know how beautiful you are. (Yes, you, reading this right now).

P.S. Sending love to all the men out there. I know that men have their own set of body expectations (and not all of you are contributing to the objectification or shaming of women’s bodies), but this has just been my experience as a woman, so that is what I can speak to most easily.

P.S.#2 What has your experience been like (man or woman) with body image stuff? Does any of this resonate with you? Not so much? Would love to hear about what it’s been like for you. 🙂

 

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash.

A word on grief

“The truth has legs. It always stands.” (Rayya Elias)

Rayya passed away at the beginning of this year. I love this line of hers. I don’t know if anyone else has felt this, but it feels like there have been a lot of deaths lately. Lots of friends and family members I know have experienced loss of some kind, and it just has me thinking a lot about grief… It’s such a weird thing, isn’t it? It’s the worst. On the one hand it is the absolute WORST. Grief is horrifying and tragic and I hate it and I wish it didn’t exist.

But on the other hand… I kind of need it. Maybe “need it” isn’t the right way to say it. I desire it? That doesn’t sound right either. I’m not exactly sure how to put this into words. Grief… I benefit from it — I guess. It’s like this:

The death of a loved one to me, on its own, is the worst thing ever. Period. It is in one word:

hell.

At least for a time.

Here is the difference maker:

To me, death without grief is hell without hope.  

But death with grief… it’s hell with hope… it’s a temporary hell (if you will).

Death + Grief —> Hope….

Hope that someday things will be better.

That someday it won’t be so hard to do the simple things that feel so impossible to do in the midst of loss: like get out of bed, or go to work without crying, or respond to “Hi, how are you?” with “I’m fine, thanks” without feeling like the biggest bullshitter on the planet.

It leads to hope that someday we’ll meet again… somehow… the person I’ve lost and me…

Hope that all that I’ve been through with the person who is gone wasn’t for nothing. Hope that it all had a purpose.

Hope that all the loose ends that weren’t tied up,

all the things that I meant to say when they were alive and didn’t,

all the things I wish we did together,

and all the regrets…

they’re all okay… they’ll all somehow, someday, in some way be resolved.

It leads to hope that the person who died is not really dead,

but alive in a new way that I haven’t totally figured out yet.

Hope that there is a good God out there, and that He’s somehow going to use this whole fucked up mess for something freakishly beautiful.

Grief to me is the bridge…

from dead to alive,

from hopeless to hopeful,

from “How will I EVER EVER be okay” to “Even though it is so not right now, someday, everything is going to be alright.”

What is grief anyway?

Grief; n. “keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.” (Dictionary.com)

Grief actually comes from the Latin word gravare, which means to “make heavy.”

This is the important part for me. The making heavy part. It’s taken me a long time to learn this, but to me to grieve someone’s death is to “make heavy” their death.

To experience the intense GRAVITY of their no longer being here.

To not try and do normal life like I did before they passed,

To not try and brush it all off and put a smile on my face when my insides are scorched for the sake of making other people comfortable,

To not make light of anything that’s just happened.

But to let the reality of the person’s death be as heavy as it is, which is always just way too heavy to bear. … And what happens when something that is too heavy gets placed on someone or something that cannot bear its weight?

It breaks. Naturally. It quite literally cracks under the overwhelming pressure.  

And that is the key:

The breaking. The cracking.

When we allow ourselves to grieve, we can’t help but break under the weight of it all… because it’s just too horrific, when we look death in the face not to, isn’t it?

It’s too unfair. It’s too brutal. It’s too ugly. It’s too gut wrenching. It’s just too damn much.

And it’s in this breaking that lives the hope that I’m talking about. Ironically. It’s in the shitty shitty brokenness that it seems we can begin to heal (and I mean REALLY heal and begin to be okay in our hearts, and not just pretend to be okay with our words).

The problem: We don’t like grief very much.

At least I don’t. Or I should say I didn’t…

For the first 20 years of my life I tried to convince myself that I was somehow above grief… that I could somehow bypass it. Like maybe if I just forced my cheek muscles into the shape of a smile hard enough and kept moving fast enough, I wouldn’t even feel sad about the fact that my grandmother died a slow, brutal, entirely unfair and horrific death when I was growing up (just one example).

The problem is we’re afraid to break. For me, I was afraid because I couldn’t possibly imagine a world where I let myself break and in that same world, would also have the capacity to someday be put back together again. I thought I couldn’t handle the breaking, and so I made it my mission to run from it.

The problem with the problem: We can kind of get away with not liking grief in this way.

We can actually delude ourselves into believing that we are above grief, and can outrun it if we want. The problem isn’t that it’s impossible to do that, the problem is more that when do that… how should I say this… it fucking blows. 😃 You can “move on” with your actions sans grief, but there’s this part of you that still feels unresolved inside because of it… unfinished, icky, bad somehow. That’s what my experience with avoiding grief has been like anyway. (Maybe it’s more pleasant for other people).

Grief as Friend

Anyway, I’ve been trying to welcome grief in as a friend in this season. To “make heavy” the loss that is around me, mostly, selfishly, in order to avoid the feelings of unresolved and unsettled-ness that come with dubbing grief my enemy…

And surprise surprise, throughout this process I am finding myself very much broken under the heaviness of it all.

And it’s awful.

But also wonderful.

It’s weird.

In the heartbreak I’m finding a strange type of liberation that I haven’t experienced any of the times I’ve disowned my grief. I am indeed seeing glimmers of hope.

I guess I’m learning that it’s only when we acknowledge the reality of what is that we’re able to welcome in the hope of what will be.

ALSO, as Glennon Doyle says, our hearts were actually made to break. There’s no need to run from heartbreak, because we were created to be strong enough to handle it.

Grief looks like…

I firmly believe that grief can and should look different for everyone. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve. But here is what it has looked like for me recently (and at different times of loss throughout the past few years). Maybe you can relate.

Grief to me looks like

getting emotional in inconvenient places (and not apologizing for it).

Grief to me looks like

taking my emotions (or lack thereof) in stride. It looks like not beating myself up (and asking myself why I’m such a cold-hearted B) when I can’t seem to cry when everyone else is. 

Similarly, grief to me looks like

being patient with myself when I feel overwhelmingly sad about the loss long after I think I should be “over it”… Grief looks like recognizing that in the same way that I can’t rush grief along, I can’t slow it down either.

Grief to me looks like

locking eyes with death, and saying a giant F you to its face. (I can grieve, but it doesn’t mean I have to pretend I don’t despise death).

Grief to me looks like

going through old pictures, singing and listening to old songs, and going to familiar places that all remind me of the person who’s gone.

Grief to me looks like

appreciating my deep desire to take the pain away from those I love who are also hurting from this loss. At the same time, grief looks like me gently reminding myself that even though I’d do anything to if I could, it is not actually my job to take away the pain for them (nor is it possible for me to).

Grief to me looks like

being patient with myself, recognizing that in spite of knowing on a logical level that I can’t make the pain go away for those that I love, I will stubbornly still always try to (classic 🤦🏻‍♀️)… and then when it doesn’t work, I’ll inevitably try to blame myself for it, telling myself I’m not doing enough or saying enough to make the people I love feel better. Grief looks like constantly reminding myself that I’ve already done more than enough (showing up is my only job), and I can rest in that. I can stop trying to hold together what so desperately needs to break right now (my own friends, family, and self included).

Grief to me looks like

patience (always more patience), anger, confusion, tears, laughter, reminiscing, heartache, grace, pain, joy, and suffering… oftentimes all in one day, and sometimes all at the same time.

Grief to me looks like

viewing every aspect of my grief, no matter how ugly or painful, as an act of celebration of the person who’s passed away, and a palpable representation of my refusal to let them go without proper recognition.

Grief to me looks like

breaking, and then sitting in my brokenness. It looks like hitting Rock Bottom and letting myself stay there for a bit, feeling hopeless… knowing that my feelings don’t equal the truth (or at least the permanent truth) all the time.

{A tangent on Rock Bottom}

a metaphor for grief

A funny things happens when you’ve sat at Rock Bottom for long enough. Any of you who are familiar with Rock Bottom will know what I’m talking about… What I’ve found happens is, after some time (sometimes a LOT of time)… Rock Bottom actually begins to rise… without you even realizing it, because you’ve been so absorbed doing all these things (i.e. looking at all of the brokenness inside and outside of you, mourning with friends and family, missing the person you lost, being present with the heaviness of it all). It’s like suddenly you look up for a minute from all that is in front of you, and you notice a ray of light coming from up above you that wasn’t there before and that wasn’t previously within reach, but now kind of is. It’s small and it’s still pretty dim, but it’s definitely there. Agh. Am I making any sense? Has anyone else experienced this?

What I’m trying to say is:

Grief  = Sitting at Rock Bottom  →which leads to→  Light

Grief to me looks like

trusting that that light will continue to get closer to me and brighter naturally, with time, so long as I keep staying in the present, feeling the heaviness, and letting myself break when I need to. (I will continue to rise in the midst of the brokenness, I don’t need to try to make myself rise. The place where we surrender is the place that God steps in for us).

Wrap it up Bibs, wrap it up.

Okay last thing, which is really the only thing I wanted to say all along before I started sharing way more than just “a word” on grief…

One thing I’m always so starkly reminded of when someone passes away is the fact that virtually NOTHING matters in life…

except Love.

Nothing. Drama, questions, (first world) problems, wants…. None of it matters. Period.

“The truth has legs. It always stands.”

In times of grief, the ONLY thing left standing at the end of the day is Love. The truth is Love. That’s it.

May we never require an event as tragic as a death to remember this in our daily lives.

And to my grieving friends out there: may you know how loved you are, and how okay it is to let your heart break in such a heavy time as this.

Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

I tried floating in a tank of salt water for an hour and it was kinda trippy (vlog)

Hello friends!

This month’s blog post is actually a vlog. 🙂 I took a mini “self care” staycation and decided to use it as an opportunity to try my hand at vlogging. The quality of the actual videos and video editing are below average at best, but I figured it was still worth just putting out there for fun. Hope you enjoy it!

One of my favorite things I did during my time off was actually go to a place called Float Boston. I talk about it in the video, but for those who prefer reading:

Float Boston is a place that allows you to “float,” and experience sensory deprivation. Sensory deprivation is exactly what it sounds like. It creates an environment conducive to stripping you of your sensory experiences. So the idea with floating is you become very aware of you; your body, mind, and breath… and that’s about it. So you don’t feel anything, see anything, smell anything, hear anything, or taste anything.

Practically speaking, what floating looks like is essentially walking into a walled in bathtub or “tank”, filled with salt water that makes you float when you lie down.

The water is perfectly calibrated to 98.6 degrees, the exact same temperature as your body, hence, why you don’t feel the water on your skin.

The tank you go in is sound proof, plus you wear earplugs, which is why you can’t hear anything (except for the sound of you breathing in and out, and any sounds you make while you’re in there with your voice or by splashing around in the water).

You don’t taste anything because what is there to taste except really salty water? Gross.

And there’s not really anything to smell either.

You can choose to stay in longer, but my session was 1 hour long, and I really loved it.

I was scared to try it at first, because it’s not totally uncommon for people to have hallucinations and/or hear voices that aren’t there during floating, BUT I didn’t experience anything scary like that. I DID however see a bunch of lights flying through the tank (along with these weird outer space-like contraptions), and felt like I was actually floating in outer space myself for a good portion of it, which I go into more detail about in the vlog. I walked out feeling VERY zen-y, relaxed, and super calm (chillest I’ve ever been, non-medicated). It was definitely trippy, but in a good kind of way.

I think floating is a concept not many people have heard of, but it’s something that, as weird as it may sound, is really really good for you! The idea of it is to get you into a state of meditation and deep relaxation (sort of in a similar way that yoga and normal meditation do, just much faster and without much effort on your part at all).

I’m pulling these from Float Boston’s site (thanks Float Boston!) but here are a few of the top benefits of floating:

  • Reduces anxiety by triggering your physiological relaxation response
  • Improves sleep (for days afterward)
  • Reduces pain from injuries and helps along the process of healing injuries
  • Improves mental focus
  • Gives you access to a less logical, more creative way of thinking (inspiration galore)
  • Can help you elevate your spiritual practice and give you access to an altered state of consciousness (think: savasana on steroids)

If any of you are thinking of trying floating, or are looking for a way to relax without having to TRY to relax, I highly recommend Float Boston! (Not sponsored). It’s a little bit pricy, but not nearly as bad as you might think. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about it, too. 🙂 Happy to go into more detail. See you all next month! For now, catch you on Insta and FB.

float

P.S. What do you guys think of the vlog thing? Yay? Nay? Would love to hear your opinion!

P.S. #2 Top Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

2018 // the year of truth-telling (in realtime), gratitude, & boundaries

Happy (almost) 2018 y’all! I love New Year’s… I know goal-setting can happen any time, but it always feels more official if you set a few goals (resolutions, if you will) at the start of the new year. Here are my top 3 for 2018:

Truth-telling (in realtime)

I have a lot of thoughts/feelings/reactions when I’m interacting with people… (as do most people lol). Something I’m really good at is expressing those feelings when they fall somewhere within the happy/joyful/excited range on the Spectrum of Human Emotions. I’m quick to tell the person I’m speaking with how I’m feeling and expressing that in whatever way(s) feel right. I’m actually also not half bad at expressing sad feelings either.

Something I’m not so good at though, is expressing emotions that relate to being upset, angry, hurt, or confused (conflict-related emotions). I experience these more uncomfortable feelings not all the time, but definitely sometimes in conversations that I engage in, but whenever it happens, I do this annoying thing where instead of talking about it right then and there, or expressing those emotions in the moment, I sort of shove them away somewhere. I ignore them and leave them for later. I think, “There’s not really any conflict here… Now’s not the time to say that.”

I do it as a way to avoid confrontation, and in the process, I try to convince myself that I can’t and shouldn’t trust my instincts when they tell me something is wrong here, that something other than happiness and good feelings needs to be addressed/expressed right now. Then I leave the conversation, and when I’m removed from the situation, I either journal about it alone or talk it through with a close friend or family member. And then one of two things happens:

1. I make excuses and tell myself to let it go.

I convince myself the situation/conversation/conflict wasn’t significant enough to bring back up again with whomever I was speaking with. I tell myself it would be weird if I resurfaced the conversation and expressed myself so long after-the-fact. Basically I tell myself some BS excuse as to why I should be A-okay with whatever happened. I tell myself to just forget it.

2. I get back in touch with the person I was speaking with and I express my feelings after-the-fact.

I’m bothered by what happened and how I’m feeling to the extent that I can’t ignore it. I call/text/meet the person, bring up the past conversation, and express my feelings and thoughts to them then. Up until and during the time that I’m confronting this person about my thoughts, I am nervous AF, thinking about how I’m going to do it, what I’m going to say, how I’ll come off, etc. etc.

More often than not, I opt for Option #1, because (even though I know that unexpressed emotions manifest in some NASTY ways) it’s easier in the short-term to just not say anything and take the easy/cowardly way out.

I’m just starting out, but I’ve tested the waters recently, speaking my mind/truth in the moment in conversations. It’s kind of amazing when I decide to go for it… When I do it I feel so light and real and honest. Issues and conflicts are put on the table and not ignored. They’re resolved right then and there, and they’re resolved so much more quickly than they would have been had I shoved them away and left them for later. And it’s never as scary as I thought it would be either. (Turns out waiting to process and then bringing it back up later is actually what causes a lot of the fear). So I want to do more of that in 2018. More truth-telling in realtime, even when uncomfy emotions/feelings are involved.

Gratitude

(n.) loving what is.

2017 was a year of discovering the power of gratitude for me. As cliche as it sounds, there’s a reason that gratitude is the thing that so many religious, spiritual, and healing people point to as the thing we need more of to be truly happy. So much of our quality of life rides on what happens in our heads. I spent so much time growing up moping around about what was not… I’m still learning, but I want to keep leveraging the power of gratitude in 2018, loving what is, working towards what can be, and not dwelling on what isn’t. (More on this in posts to come).

Boundaries

As a mentor and friend of mine likes to say, “Boundaries are to bless.” I want to make 2018 a year of greater blessing through greater boundaries. A few areas I’m setting boundaries in specifically:

  • The things I allow myself to say, both to and about myself and other people
  • The people I spend time with
  • The things I talk about
  • The shows I watch (both the quality and quantity)
  • The social media accounts I follow
  • The food I put in my body

I can be the type of person that accidentally throws out any and all boundaries in my life for the sake of making other people happy (whoops… any other people pleasers out there?), but I’ve gotten to the point where I really can’t (and won’t) allow that to happen anymore. For a long time I think I thought it was okay to do that, because I like to help other people and I really want them to be happy. (I also really want them to like me.) But it really depletes you after awhile, and I discovered that if I live my life in a constant state of depletion I begin to feel like I’m not actually living, but dying (a slow, steady, and resent-full death), and I don’t think that’s the way life’s supposed to go.

Something that’s really helping me as I continue to set boundaries (relational boundaries*) is looking to Jesus and the way he lived his life. It’s fascinating because for someone who healed as many people as he did, and spent as much time literally saving the world as he did, Jesus set a LOT of boundaries. He didn’t give himself away all the time to all people. He took time to be alone with God, to pray in the woods, to recharge and recoup. (“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16; “After He had sent [the crowd] away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23). While there were always people who needed healing, he had to retreat sometimes, so that he could be filled up and FULL. This way, when he returned to the trenches he’d be able to give from a place of overflow, rather than lack, providing people not with pieces of his broken/depleted human self, but with God’s healing Spirit.

Too many of us are giving away pieces of ourselves, because we haven’t taken the time to breathe for a second and be filled up by God. We think we’re some kind of martyr for never saying no, or for allowing people (ourselves included) to constantly violate our own boundaries. And then we wonder why we’re exhausted and resentful all the time… There are a few select circumstances when making exceptions for certain boundary implementations may be necessary (in rare times of crisis), but a boundary-less life should not be the norm, and if it is, I think we have to make some adjustments. So this year I am making it a point to remind myself that there’s always more work to be done than can be done, and if even Jesus set boundaries (?!), then it’s okay for little old me to, too. Boundaries can be the difference between living from a place of abundance and living from a place of depletion. And the former just sounds so much more appealing to me.

Happy 2018 everyone. Let me know what your New Years goals/resolutions are in the comments below or via email! I’m always on the lookout for more good ones to implement myself… 🙂 Whatever they are, I’m wishing you all the best as you set out to put them into practice.

xo

Bibs

(Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash)

SUCCESS // Ambition versus Competition

An open, melodramatic letter from myself to myself (re: success)

Dearest Self,  (Lol, too formal.)

Yo Yo Yo Self!  (Yikes, too informal.)

Hey, it’s me. (That’ll work.)

No use wasting time on any introductions or lengthy formal greetings since we already know each other pretty well… so, getting straight to the point:

There are going to be many times in the years to come when people praise you and tell you that you’re better than other people: for graduating, for getting a job, for going back to school, for dating that person you’re dating, for someday buying a house, for getting a promotion, for maybe getting married someday, for following your dreams, and for a bunch of little things in between.

There are also going to be times when people, sometimes even yourself, tell you that you’re worse than other people: for not using that degree like you should have, for not getting a better job, for not getting another degree, for not having a five-year plan, for not having settled down yet, for not having it all together, for following your dreams, and for a bunch of little things in between.

This happens because we live in a world that looks at success as climbing “the ladder.” You’ve heard of the ladder… you know, the very small, narrow, nearly infinitely tall one? The one that 7.4 billion other people are trying to climb up? Yes, that one.

And this happens because we’re taught that the way we get to the top of said ladder is by competing against our peers for one of the few places at the top and by being better than them.

This, in turn, leaves us in somewhat of a pickle if we’re being honest. It leaves us comfortable rooting for other people’s success, sure, (because there is a genuine part of us that’s happy for them after all), BUT only until they start to succeed as much as or God forbid more than us… at which point we’re taught that this person is now a threat to us and our success, and while we can smile and congratulate them to their face, it’s probably a wise idea to

A. Do something to discourage them from climbing any higher and/or sabotage their efforts in some other way

B. Do something to catapult yourself up a few rungs, so as to distance yourself enough that their success no longer poses an immediate threat to yours.

C. Frantically do both A & B simultaneously.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned the last few years is this: Options A, B, & C are all god awful, and the view of success as something available to only the few who make it to the top is really and truly a load of crap.

I’ve learned that all that this view of success does, at the end of the day, is get us caught up in perpetual cycles of jealousy (when other people are “better” than us) and pride (when we are “better” than other people). It makes us look enviously to the “more successful” person to our right and say things like, “Why can’t I be where she is?” and then makes us promptly look disgustedly to the “less successful” person to our left and say things like, “Well at least I’m not where he is.” SMH. This is no good. No good no good no good. And this will not do any longer.

➡️➡️➡️     ➡️➡️➡️

Here’s what I know now: one of the best things you can do as you continue throughout your life is to remember that real success isn’t making it to the top of some teeny tiny ladder. It’s actually a recognition that TRUE success is looking beyond yourself, to the people to your left and to your right, and not asking, “How can I be better than you?” but by grabbing their hands, pulling them close, and asking them the question, “What new thing can you and I create together for the Good of the World that we couldn’t create on our own?”

Success in its purest form is contributing to the rising of human consciousness for the sake of Love and all things Holy. Real success [dramatic pause] is Sacred.

And while there is totally a time and place to use competition as a catalyst to make yourself your best self, the importance of possessing ambition to be better than who you were yesterday far outweighs the importance of any competition to be better than who other people are today or might be tomorrow.

Other things to remember as you go forth:

1. Ultimately, one person’s individual success doesn’t collectively take away from the potential of another person’s success. (So chill tf out)

2. Success is not a limited commodity, because it cannot and should not look the same for everyone. As has been taught in many a motivational workshop, in this context, scarcity is an illusion. (So once again, chill tf out)

3. It’s silly for all of us to try to climb up a room-for-one ladder, when the world was built for ALL of us to elevate collectively. (So just don’t be silly… don’t do it)

Bottom line: if you ever EVER find yourself coming from and acting from a place of “I’m worse than” or “I’m better than” someone else, to put it bluntly, you’re missing the point, and it’s time to recalibrate.

That’s all for now….

Onward and upward (together),

Bibs

(Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash)

10 (Really Deep) Conversation Starters for Anyone who Hates Small Talk

So, I have this problem when it comes to small talk – mainly that I tend to feel like I’m a floundering fish out of water every time I have to do it.

It’s funny because if I’m talking one-on-one with someone about strange, confusing, existential topics that I care about (strangers and friends alike) I am ALL ABOUT IT. That is my happy place. I’m into it. (My friends are all nodding their heads going, “Yup, sounds about right.”)

And even when it comes to speaking in front of other people; if I’m asked to talk about something that matters to me in front of a crowd, I’m also all about it.

BUT if there’s a situation where I’m expected to just casually chit chat about work or the weather with people I don’t know, or if there’s a situation where I’m (God forbid) required to…… MINGLE (I’m shuddering just thinking about it) that’s where we have an issue.

Now it’s not that I can’t do it, or that I absolutely hate it… I just… kind of hate it. No I’m kidding.

I’m exaggerating, but I would rather talk about the deep stuff.

Rest assured, I’m working on this. When I started my last job I didn’t set foot in the lunchroom for the first four months because I was so freaked out by all the small talk and mingling that I heard happening in there every day. (Lol true story). I share this knowing this is not something to brag about.

I also know that just because I’m a raging introvert (that undeniably has a little bit of social anxiety to work through), that doesn’t mean that small talk is bad or that I have an excuse to try and bypass it altogether.

Small talk is vital, in fact, because as great as deep conversations are, let’s be real here: not everyone likes being asked what they think will happen to them after they die before they’ve even been asked their first and last name.

So I’m working on it. Nevertheless, I do still love asking people hard questions, and over the past few months, I’ve compiled a list of my favorites (some from me, but most that I’ve borrowed from others).

So for anyone out there that’s about to embark on a long road trip with a close friend, or who likes to risk freaking strangers out by asking them obscure questions like I do, I hope you find these helpful:

1. What are you most excited about right now?

2. What question is really consuming you these days?

3. What do your inner voices/inner critics say to you?

4. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made, or way you’ve failed, that’s taught you the biggest lesson?

5. What do you like most about yourself?

6. What has been your greatest positive impact on the world so far?

7. What breaks your heart?

8. What do you want to be known for when you die?

9. Tell me one thing I don’t know about you, or the world.

10. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

Thanks to Jonathan Fields, Liz Gilbert, John Maxwell, Lewis Howes, et al for (unknowingly) contributing to this list.

Happy Conversing!

E

 

3 Words for 2017 (that all happen to begin with C)

Curiosity

You know how sometimes you wake up in the morning, you blink, and then the next thing you know you’re in your pajamas, staring at yourself in the mirror as you brush your teeth getting ready for bed? And then you think, “What even happened today”? It’s like, we get so comfortable in our routines that we go on autopilot the minute we wake up and don’t turn it off the whole day. 

We manage to get ready for the day, drive ourselves to and from our jobs, do our thing at work, say our “Hi, how are you”s at the appropriate times, eat 2-3 meals a day, maybe go to the gym, and even brush our teeth before bed, but by the time we get ready to go to sleep, we can’t even really remember anything that stuck out from the day. 

I don’t like that. I don’t think that’s how life is supposed to be. Not all the time. Not every day at least. This year I have a challenge for myself. Feel free to join me if you wish. This year, I want to live from a place of curiosity, instead of obligation, and a place of intrigue instead of necessity. 

In the mundane tasks, instead of being bored out of my head and thinking, “Same thing. Different day,” I want to ask, “How can I make this thing or situation better, more efficient, more exciting? What is this thing teaching me about the way that I am?” 

And in the new or unexpected situations I find myself in, instead of thinking, “Dear god get me out of here. Get me back to my routine, where it’s boring and comfortable and safe,” I want to ask, “How can I bring value to this situation? What can I learn from this person? How can this propel me forward, into growth and increased understanding?” 

How cool is it that everything and everyone are opportunities to learn if we allow it? Rob Bell says that one of the biggest tragedies of life is clinging to the belief that tomorrow will be just like today. 

What if we cling to the belief that tomorrow will be different than today? What if we make it different? 

Concern

I am amazing at worrying. Seriously, one of my biggest talents. In Brooklyn, Liz Gilbert spoke about the root word of the word “worry” versus the word “concern,” and it was so interesting to me.

The root word of “worry” is “to wring,” as in, to wring one’s neck.

The root word of “concern” is “to sift,” as in, to sift through, “This is my problem… This is not my problem. I can do something about this… I can do nothing about this.”

In 2017, I want to live from a place of concern. Because let’s face it, it just doesn’t do me or anyone around me any good to wring my neck. If anything, all that wringing just inhibits any ability I might otherwise have to do something productive about whatever I’m worrying about. 

To sift through what situations I actually have a level of responsibility for and can change though… that would be helpful. Let’s do that.

Confidence

Lord knows I’ve talked a lot this year about how I’ve spent the larger part of my life lacking confidence, so let’s not talk about that again, shall we? But I do just want to say that I’m excited, because since 2016 was becoming aware of insecurities in myself, I’ve set 2017 up to be a year of actually DOING something about those things. You can’t improve a situation until you know there’s an opportunity for improvement, right? I feel like I’m on the path to improvement now.

I’m not 100% confident in myself, or overly confident (I hope), nor have I obliterated any and all insecurities from my life, but the place that I’m coming to is one of much greater confidence than I’ve ever been to before. 

And I think it’s a unique place of confidence I’m heading towards. I don’t want to be confident in everything (I want to be confident, not arrogant, you see). Really simply, I just want to be confident in what I know and what I don’t know. 

Maybe what I really want is just to be confident in the fact that I’m not always confident… I want to be confident that I will never again pretend to be confident in all things, which is what I thought I was supposed to do for so long.

Here’s what I want: 

I want no false confidence in things I don’t actually like about myself, no pretending to be an expert in things I’m not, no making it look like I’m solid on what I believe in when I’m not… just God honest confidence in what I do know and what I don’t. Ugh, that sounds like freedom to me. 

So these are the words I’m going to come back to this year, to help move me in the right direction. I hope some of you find them helpful, too.

Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s to a year of greater curiosity, concern, and confidence in hopes of a life of greater Love and freedom for each of us.

If you like periodic emails with messages like this one, subscribe below! 

Thanks for reading,

E

To the Rule Breakers of the World:

As a kid, I remember how exciting it was the first time I talked bad about one of my friends behind her back, and realized that some people gave me more time of day when I did that. I knew I was supposed to show respect to everyone, so I kind of felt like a rebel, talking about someone behind her back, and getting fed the attention that I longed for as the awkward and insecure 5th grader that I was.

Growing up, I remember how oddly stirring it was to yell, scream, and get ridiculously angry at my sister for getting in my way every morning as we’d try to get ready together in the bathroom before school. There was a sense of prideful excitement that came from the hateful words I’d spew at her every day, simply as punishment for her asking to take up a little space in our home, too. I knew I was supposed to be kind to others, but it felt good to be mean – like an exerting of my power, a marking of my territory.

Throughout college, I remember the exhilaration that came from the sheer act of hating myself. I remember how satisfying it felt to reprimand myself for not being good enough according to my impossibly high and altogether distorted standards, by talking to myself cruelly, and routinely engaging in various forms of self-punishment. It was almost like some kind of dirty little secret: making it look like I had my stuff together on the outside (smiling, cheery, and on my way to success), but not telling anyone that my mode of transportation wasn’t one of love or respect for myself, but instead one of hatred and self-deprecation.

I believe in a God who is love, and a God who calls us to show respect, kindness, and love to ourselves and others as part of our purpose here on earth. While we no doubt have free will to do whatever we want, and while I am by and large NOT a fan of portraying God as a god of rules (He is so much better than that), in the interest of making this blog post work, you might consider these three things I just mentioned a few key “rules” that God would like his children to follow, for the purpose of the betterment of his world and his children.

So I’ve realized some things lately (which seems to be the reason for most of these blog posts, doesn’t it?).

Well first, I’ve realized that the thrill of breaking rules and the excitement of an adrenaline rush are things that are part of the human experience. I think it’s natural and not necessarily a bad thing that we crave them to an extent.

Second, I’ve realized that I have spent the larger part of my life claiming to believe in these rules, or beliefs, of respect, kindness, and love for all, but have found myself getting my fixes of adrenaline, excitement, and the thrill of rebellion largely from breaking these rules.

Another thing I’ve realized: I am not perfect (seriously, nowhere even close), but I have noticed that I don’t, or try not to, break these rules quite as often as I used to anymore… and yet, my human cravings for adrenaline fixes, the thrill of rebellion, and subsequent excitement are still being satisfied… which has led me to ask the question,

If I’m no longer breaking the rules of God (at least not as much), then whose rules am I breaking? 

I can be really fake sometimes. I blame it on American culture, but in reality, I have a natural tendency to be phony and try to act “normal,” and I just never did anything about it. Lately though, I’ve been trying to fight against this tendency. Not all the time – that would be overwhelming for both me and whomever I’m speaking with – but sometimes. Sometimes, I’ve been trying to be more real, and more me. Turns out the real me is VERY different than the fake me. She’s much more quirky and honest. She’s also much louder and more talkative. Interestingly enough, she’s also much more confident. And every time I am the real Elizabeth, it’s the weirdest thing; I feel like the biggest rebel.

It’s like, my whole life, the world has taught me that fitting in, even if it means talking bad about other people behind their backs to make myself look better, and punishing myself into looking and sounding like everyone else, is what’s best. And for the first time, I’m rebelling against the world by being kind of quirky and weird, but real and honest, and even awkward and sometimes insecure… but I’m letting other people see those sides of me in a way that my 5th grade self never did.

If I had to sum it up in a sentence, when I used to meet people, I’d say some variation of, “Hi, I’m Elizabeth; nice to meet you!” then smile politely. And now I’m kind of just like, “Hi I’m Elizabeth this is who I am I’m a little different and weird and honestly most of the time a hot mess but hey aren’t we all do you want to be friends if not no problem take me or leave me!”

The reactions I get are so much more fun and varied than when I just say hi and smile, which makes it all so much more exciting.

Another thing: maybe you’ve noticed, I’ve been sharing more lately on here. Not just words or posts in general, but the last year or so I’ve been sharing more about me, what I stand for and what I don’t, who I hope to be and who I wish I wasn’t… real things, fun things, confusing things, sometimes dark things.

And it’s funny; every time I click Publish on a blog post, or post the link on social media allowing other people to read it, my heart rate goes up a little, my palms get sweaty, and I get kind of nervous-excited… the same kind of nervous-excited I used to get when I would be a jerk to my sister, or punish myself in secret and pretend everything was fine.

To take a common metaphor too far, it’s kind of like all my life, I’ve had LOADS of dirty laundry that I hoarded all for myself and just let accumulate and fester. And now, due in large part to other people giving me permission, and ultimately me giving myself permission, and also just due to the fact that my laundry room is totally full, I’m airing all of my dirty crap out.

A couple things: one, turns out dirty laundry doesn’t smell nearly as bad when it’s out in the open and not tucked away in a tiny room in your home. And two, what’s even better is as soon as you’re like, “Hey guys, look at this dirty laundry I have!” other people tend to react with, “No way, I have that same exact dirty outfit! Look!” and air out their dirty laundry, too. And then it not only becomes much less stinky, but an opportunity is born to do laundry together, and clean things up as a community. And let’s be honest, chores are always way more fun when you’re doing them with other people.

All this is to say that as of late, I’ve been getting my “adrenaline fixes” from breaking rules, but I’ve been breaking the rules of the world that tell us to play it safe, fit in, stay the same, pretend everything’s fine, and act phony around other people. And it’s been working for me.

I spent the beginning of my life breaking the rules of the divine, which left me lying in bed at the end of each day, exhausted, but staring at the ceiling unable to sleep, with a pit in my stomach.

I’m finding that breaking the rules of the world leaves me lying in bed at the end of each day quite the opposite: exhausted, sure, but with my eyes closed and a sense of peace in my heart… not to mention much more fulfillment, joy, and true-ness within myself than I’ve ever felt before.

So I think I’m kind of done trying to break the rules of God. Love, respect, and kindness are all good things, and I want to expand those things, not diminish them.

I’d like to spend the rest of my life breaking the rules of the world instead. I think life will be much more beautiful and productive this way… and I think I’ll incidentally sleep much better, too.

If you’re interested in also pursuing a life of breaking rules that are meant to be broken, and/or if you’d like to watch me as I try to do this myself, I would love it if you’d subscribe below.

Thanks for reading!

To the rule breakers of the world,

Bibs