A note on life

Portrait of woman, just the face

Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale through the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.

(L.R. Knost)

A note on life and a few reflections from the past couple of weeks.

I like organization and order and for everything to be planned and in it’s place. I like linear. I struggle with the zig zag and the up and down and the scribbles all over the place.

I would describe my childhood as a Jackson Pollock painting, all over the place. No offence to Jackson. I have therefore tried to create order in my adult life. Anything that threatens to disrupt that order throws me off course a little. Like my head starts spinning and I feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable.

There was a point last week where I wanted to cry because I was in the middle of a scribble. Everything was all over the place and I was trying to find the linear point, the part that made sense, the part that I could understand and be comfortable with. The part that would centre me.

And I was struggling in that moment to find it.

My solution of course was to be dramatic and to start thinking about giving up everything, this blog included.

I got stuck in a moment and I wanted to use that moment to throw my big girl panties up in the air and say, “That’s it, I’m done.”

Stop the presses.

It’s over.

Well hello Lisa Marie, we’re back at this point and this trigger.

What are you going to do now?

Behave the way you always have and stay stuck in a cycle or stand in the oncoming tornado and face the unknown?

This voice in our head is our “awareness” politely asking us to slow down and see the bigger picture instead of snowballing into a minor detail.

It’s like the Universe is reaching out and saying, “Here it is, take this presence of mind and show me how much you’ve grown.”

Now I’m a pretty stubborn and sometimes obstinate person BUT if nothing else all I could remember to do was go back to the basics.

And breathe. Slowly. Breathe. Deeply.

A note on life is that breath is life.

Sometimes we forget this.

And in that breath we remember that being uncomfortable is ok because it helps you grow. It helps you change. It moves you out of cycles.

A moment in time, no matter how chaotic, unnerving or uncomfortable, is just that, a moment in time.

Be in it and move through it. Don’t try to avoid it.

Because by the grace of a power that is far greater than us, it too shall pass.

Once it passes, we stand in a far greater place of wisdom, strength and faith.

And we can exhale, amen.

Blessings to you and your loved ones. Hold them tight and keep them close.

With love,
LML

How To Preserve Your Mental Health On Valentine’s.

A man and woman on surfboards as the sun sets over the ocean

I personally cringe at the mention of Valentine’s day and the visions of red in every store. I tried to celebrate it once and it was such a half hearted effort that I swore I wouldn’t do it again. I feel like my mental health takes a bit of a dip on this day so I thought I’d share some tips on how to preserve your mental health on Valentine’s day.

Whatever your situation is trust me someone has it worse. Try being in your 40s, unmarried and childless on Valentine’s with all those ‘I feel so sorry for you’ looks. As if your expiration date has been reached and you need to be pushed to the back of the shelf hidden out of sight.

I feel like the demand on women to be married and having children is a little outdated and a tad patriarchal. We all make our choices in life and should be allowed a non-judgmental space to be unconventional.

For those of us who are a little jaded on Valentine’s here’s a few tips to preserve your mental health.

1. Pamper Yourself

Just because you’re single or in a relationship it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the most important person in your life. YOU! Pamper yourself and do things that make you happy. Cook your favourite meal, have a long bubble bath, get a pedicure or have a marathon netflix fix.

2. Celebrate All Your Relationships

Take a break from all the lovey-dovey stuff on social media and celebrate new and old friendships in your life. Reach out to friends, organise a zoom party or simply chill with your family.

3. Gifts Do Not Equal Love

In fact they are not necessary. Expensive gifts may not suit you or your partner’s budget at this time. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Remember that your love does not equate to money.

4. Take A Break From Social Media

Social media can take a toll on your mental health. Most of what you are seeing is highly curated and not a real representation of what’s happening in your friends or families lives. Save yourself from the mindless scrolling and take some time in nature.

5. Reach Out To Someone

Talk to a trusted friend or get together to watch a comedy. Laughter really is the best medicine. If you have no-one to reach out to write all your thoughts and feelings down in a diary. Dump all your thoughts out and you’ll feel so much better.

Whatever you decide to do be safe and take good care of yourself.

Let me leave you with this quote that I love: “loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself” (Rupi Kaur)

Love to you and yours,
LML

A note on love

Hands linked

As we enter this month of February, which for some is the month of love, let me leave you with a note on love.

Whether you are single, in a relationship or married, there are still so many that are seeking love; that touch, that look, that feeling, that taste and those words.

If you are on a journey for love in the world, it will be long and weary.
For love, it is within.

So what does this mean?

It means that you love yourself first before you offer it as a gift to someone else. For you cannot give someone something that you yourself do not have.

To love yourself means nourishing yourself and making your own well-being and happiness a priority.

To love yourself means accepting yourself and recognizing your worthiness.

To love yourself means having compassion for yourself and speaking to yourself with gentleness and care.

Self-love is a practice, it is a skill and it takes work.

If you are on a journey for love within, it will be long and it will be rewarding.
For love, that is within, is unconditional and freeing.

…….

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto to you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart” but rather “I am in the heart of God”.
And think not you can direct the course of love,
for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. (Kahlil Gibran)

…….

Sending love to you my friends,
LML