Category : Canon AE-1
Some people ask how I can be so open, how I lay my heart out, how I let myself be seen. Today’s entry in Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening gives a powerful answer to those questions that rings true for me… “One of the most painful barriers we can experience is the sense of isolation the modern world fosters, which can only be broken by our willingness to be held, by the quiet courage to allow our vulnerabilities to be seen. For as water fills a hole and as light fills the dark, kindness wraps around what is soft, if what is soft can be seen. So admitting what we need, asking for help, letting our softness show – these are prayers without words that friends, strangers, wind, and time all wrap themselves around.”
I went to a screening of Janis: Little Girl Blue this weekend, and was blown away by the powerhouse that Janis Joplin was. Like so many creative people who have died too young, I couldn’t help but contemplate what she would have gone on to make and do in this world had she not been gone at the age of 27. One of Janis’ bandmates described her as someone who lived with enormous emotional honesty, for better and for worse.
Emotional honesty. This phrase has been lingering in my mind since I saw the film. It hit a chord in me as I believe I have been leaning into that very type of being. Living and loving with my whole heart. While that may sound all unicorns and rainbows, I can assure you it is not. Yes, living with my heart wide open includes parts that are beautiful and rich and amazing. But. Not wearing armor is also RAW. Tender. Vulnerable.
Still, for better and for worse, I wouldn’t live any other way. Emotional honesty is living the truest version of myself. It’s being all in. It’s risking everything to have everything. I’m learning that we cannot have the fullest love, the fullest relationships, the fullest experiences, without risk, without emotional honesty. And yes, that takes enormous trust and is scary as hell. As buoys in this sea of emotional honesty, I hold on to Brené Brown’s sentiment that we cannot selectively numb. That is, we can’t numb out pain, heartache, and disappointment without also numbing joy, happiness, and love. Numbing is numbing, across the board.
Living and leaning into emotional honesty means I’m going to cry at yoga. Ache in my heart. AND. It also means I’m going to laugh with my whole body. Be bliss-filled. And love the whole experience — darkness and light — all the same. Emotional honesty. I’m in.
I’m a big believer in the Universe and that everything is unfolding as it should. BUT. That sentiment is so incredibly challenging to hold on to when you feel like your life is a shitshow and everything appears as though it is falling apart. When the seams of your life are unravelling, it’s beyond hard to think, “Yup, this is right where I need to be. This is good. This is what I need.”
Yet, I realize I can’t trust in the Universe and believe that everything is unfolding as it should ONLY when life feels good and is matching my version of what I want it to be. That’s not what trust is. As difficult as this past year has been, and as much as I would have told you to “shut the fuck up” if you had uttered the words to me that life is unfolding as it should, I am actually coming around. I’m beginning to see that, yes, there were some very good reasons my life needed to blow up. Among the darkness and pain of 2015, so much beauty has shown up. The Love Campaign would never have been born. My heart wouldn’t have broken open. Love wouldn’t have been able to pour out of those cracks and flood to the people dear to me. Nor would love have been able to come in, be received, flood my heart. I wouldn’t have seen so many dear friends from across the continent (thank you, Melissa, Corinna, Hillary, Tracy, Andy, Josh, Cherish). And I know, I trust, there are so many more amazing and beautiful things unfolding that I’m not even aware of yet.
So, yeah. Let me hold on to this moment. This knowing that in what feels “bad” and what feels shattering at the time (and for quite awhile after) is likely creating space for so much more of what I need.
Big love to you all. xoxo
Happy October, friends! I’m relishing the autumn air, the turning leaves, and cozying under the covers. Along with enjoying the season, I have some good news to share — I have a piece published in the current issue of Somerset Life! The piece includes an article and nine photographs. What I might love the most about this work is that all nine photos are film shots across three different cameras and six types of film. This self-portrait is one of the images featured.
I hope you check out the article and photos. My hope is to build momentum from this published piece to push on with writing and working on 365 Impossible Self-Portraits.
Do you look with wonder upon the world?
Do you see the good that surrounds you, that lies within you?
When was the last time you felt awe?
Like gobsmacked-stop-you-in-your-tracks-you-almost-can’t-take-it awe?
I want to live like that.
Astounded. Speechless. AWAKE.
I want to see with fresh eyes,
touch with new skin,
taste with eager mouth.
I want wonder to be my bridegroom, for all of my days.