Be here now, even if the thought absolutely terrifies you. Don’t check out. Don’t go back to sleep. The world desperately needs you — it needs your talents, your passion, your ideas, your voice.
IMHO, ‘Normal’ is highly overrated. I am abnormal and proud of it. Yep, I am a big weirdo, navigating this clown car called life.
In my dreams lately, I’m walking through the forest of my youth, heading toward the sea. Sometimes the dreams are reminders to let something go; sometimes they act as a remembrance of what was and how that experience molded my current life.
If you are awake, you know we’re riding the waves right now.
We’re floating in boats without oars, under a dome of blinking stars, surrounded by glowing sea life, and the occasional humpback whale.
We’re on our way somewhere new, but we don’t know where. Yet.
Hours later at home in Phoenix, I called her to check on her. Asleep, she was momentarily disoriented when she picked up the phone.
Then the distance asserted itself.
We both felt it grab hold.
My throat tightened and I couldn’t speak. For a long moment we just listened to each other’s quiet breath, wordless and lost. I longed for another chance to kiss her cheek. I longed for another cup of steaming Earl Grey tea, for another rainy afternoon of doing nothing other than sitting across the table from my first love, my mother, my skin horse.
I see a gazelle's shoulders,
A mouth smeared with blood
Traces of a woman falling inside out
What I miss. I miss his callused hands and the way he said my name. I miss the language he used: the slang from the forties and fifties like hot-diggity-dog and lickedy-split. I miss the way he looked at me at the end of his life: with pride, sadness, regret and love. I miss the way that he believed in me: wholeheartedly, with nothing held back.
Every wrong turn, every lost opportunity, every moment of red-faced shame, every single one – built us.
I built this life with my own hands. I built this body and this face through what I’ve seen and what I’ve done. I may have bruises and bumps and a few scars, but the house of my spirit is mine. I forged it. I earned it.
So, my advice (to myself, more than anyone else) is to love your big ass and your juicy face and your real life.
Don’t waste your life living up to the expectations of others.
They won’t regret what you didn’t do. You will.
I have cleared my plate and cleared my throat; I feel a stinging sense of rightness, of joy, rising up from the root of my life.
There’s no time left to do anything that doesn’t make my whole life say Yes.
Why would anyone encourage me to do otherwise?
I remember a scene in We Bought a Zoo with Matt Damon’s character, Benjamin Mee, talking to his son about life, “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
That’s some of the best, kindest, most helpful advice any kid’s father could ever give him.
WHEN THINGS ARE FALLING APART, LET THEM.
Let them. Open your fist and drop seeds into the damp soil at your feet.
Water them – with your prayers, your effort, your energy, your hope.
Those fields of possibility represent you.
Notice that they stretch for as far as your eye can see.
What did I learn from falling?
I discovered how much love there was for me in the world. Falling forced me to ask for help — and you know what — help arrived from all corners of my life. For weeks afterward, I had to call on others to do what I could not do for myself. I began to see the value of developing a willingness to lose control, to be vulnerable, to allow others to see my soft underbelly.
I let go and I fell deep into my life. I saw the strength it takes to lose control and let myself be truly seen.
I was also curious to see what might happen if I focused my energy only on what I was grateful for, not what was wrong, less than optimal, or just plain disappointing.
A profound shift happened within hours of starting. The more I celebrated what was good, the more good things happened to me.
We are tattooed—marked for life—by our affection for things that will not live long.
Everything reeks of impermanence: our colorful, fleeting meals; our luminous young faces; our sweat-soaked feelings of lust or love…
We cannot manage stasis and still grow and stay alive.
Eve’s gotten a bad rap, in my humble opinion.
I’ve always thought so. As someone who was thirsty for knowledge my whole life, I often wondered why we have to slut-shame our girl, Eve.
After all, what did she do that was so bad? She just wanted to take a bite of that juicy red apple.