"WE ARE STARS WRAPPED IN SKIN, THE LIGHT YOU ARE SEEKING HAS ALWAYS BEEN WITHIN." - Rumi
Life isn’t a one size fits all pair of drawstring waist sweatpants; something you just plop yourself effortlessly into and everything is hunky dory. It’s more like a pair of skinny jeans, uncomfortable at the best of times but you do what needs to be done to get into those puppies. Even if it means morphing into a human sausage stuffed freshly into its casing; with a little elbow grease, strategic manoeuvring, and sometimes nothing but the grace of God you make it work. It’s what we humans do. We take whatever happens to be in front of us by the horns, wrangle it into submission one way or another and keep on trucking. Yes, behind every person strutting their skinny-jeans-wearing stuff, is a dork doing deep knee bends, shimmying like they’ve never shimmied before, or lying on a bed quite possibly coated in butter trying to squeeze into a pair of pants. (At least that’s how those of us from The Dairy Capital of the Maritimes roll.) Just like behind every non-fat, no-whip, extra-hot, Grande Mocha at Starbucks is someone who’s practiced ordering in their head long before ever stepping up to the counter—or maybe that’s just me. Sometimes it’s a mountain, sometimes it’s a molehill; but rest assured there is always something, and behind that something usually far more than meets the eye.
I didn’t write a book to assert my spiritual guru, Dalai Lama-like sage, or expert status. It’s hardly about standing on my soapbox and proclaiming to all the land: “Behold! A faultless young maiden whom ye shall look to for inspiration and fashion thy lives after!” It’s more like if that weird Welshman on Notting Hill and Bridgette Jones had an awkward little offspring (no offence mom and dad) and she bumbled her way up there: “Listen up, folks. I’ve struggled. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve fallen flat on my face, literally and figuratively. When you once got so injured in a piggyback-ride-gone-awry that an ambulance needed to be called, you can say that. It’s taken me a long time to figure out what the heck I am doing with my life—longer than most—but I would rather have taken a long time than never have attempted to figure it out at all. I’ve learned some lessons fairly painlessly, some the hard way, and many I’m still very much procuring. But despite my many failings, shortcomings, and flaws a plenty I’ve oddly enough never felt closer to God or more in harmony with my longed-for purpose on the planet; albeit ever-evolving. If I can arrive at that place of peace, believe me when I say, anyone can.”
I am just a girl in drawstring waist sweatpants, Cirque du Soleil’ing herself into skinny jeans from time to time. A girl willing a lobster to appear who has decided to let the world take a peak behind the scenes at her overgrown sausage-of-a-self slathered in butter. A girl who is tired of living in a shallow, spiritless, surface-level society that values projection over connection, and would rather reveal her true self floundering toward her purpose than furthering the illusion of unattainable perfection. It is this notion in the first place that we ourselves have created that has caused many to suffer needlessly, myself included, and I fear for future generations should we fail to correct our course. We are all that person who’d rather be in sweatpants; that goes without saying. But when the skinny jeans are calling us off the couch, out of our comfort zones and into the world to make it better; answering is not optional, it’s essential. Which means we are bound to look ridiculous; to not have it all together or a clue what we are doing much of the time. Our book titles are far more apt to be Fifty Shades of Dishevelled, than anything to do with refined. But that doesn’t mean we can’t shine brighter than the sun, Light up the world with our radiance and live joyfully ever after. The only thing any of us are obligated to be is everything that we already are, and to know it is a thousand times enough.
Most of us want to figure out why we are here, to live a meaningful life, to make it count; we just don’t always know how to go about it. We fail to see that, in many ways, we already are. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not about the size of our bank accounts, how many fans or followers we have or how swoon-worthy we make our lives look on the Internet. It’s not about labels, titles, or what we do for a living. It’s about daring to be ourselves—how we love, what we have to give, and what we do with our pain. It’s about the energy we bring to those around us; our compassionate presence; the intention at the heart of our actions. It’s about developing a deep sense of self-worth so that we can own our unique gifts and impact the world with and through them, even if it is only person-to-person. The tiniest love-infused act outshines the largest self-aggrandizing gesture any day in my books. Making a difference isn’t as much about moving mountains as it is moving people.
I can’t help but see myself in others: the desires, the struggles, the striving, the failing, the fear, the joy, the love, and the pain. All the complexities of the human experience, I realize, are universal. Our circumstances will undoubtedly vary, but life will forever be full of unforeseen twists, turns, setbacks and disappointments. It is never going to be perfect but it doesn’t have to be, to be vibrant, beautiful, and alive with peace. It’s not about being flawless or even fearless, more authentic, brave and on purpose. It’s less about what you do and more about how you are, less about trying to find the Light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, and more about realizing that you are Light. I have come to believe that even burdens are incognito blessings essential for soul expansion if we lend them (and ourselves) enough time and space to come full circle, that we can thrive and shine—not despite our imperfect journeys—but because of them.
As a human race we are brothers and sisters cut from the same cloth, far more alike than we are different, and the time for unity consciousness is now. When we lift others up, it is as though all the forces of the Universe unite with the undying need to reciprocate, seeing to it that we are rewarded accordingly and likewise rise ourselves. You rise, I rise; we all rise. Trust your inner wisdom and allow your heart to lead. They know the way and so do the signs.
All my skinny-jeans-wearing-but-totally-wishing-they-were-sweatpants love,
*** The book will be available for purchase early in 2019.
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