writing

Not Today Boys

Not Today Boys

So there I was.
Standing on the edge.
Feet scuffling pebbles
into the abyss below.
One shift.
One tiny shift in weight
and I would fall.

My life is not a movie.
There would be no
superhero to catch me.
No resilient awning
to bounce me back.
Just the hard, cold surface
of rock bottom.

In a way,
it called to me.
So much easier to fall than to fight.
I could lose myself…
and gain nothing.

In the not too distant past,
I would have let myself slip;
welcoming the familiar
pain and self-satisfaction
of mini-martyrdom.
As if falling into self-pity
was somehow noble,
wise,
deserving.

But today,
I am different.
I step back,
hug myself,
thank God for all the good in my life,
and walk away from the edge.
As my heart proudly whispers
“Not today boys.
Not today…”

This is a part of my “I can write/post whatever I want” freedom. Self-pity is a pit. A deep, dark pit of unnecessary negativity. I don’t step away from the edge every time but it sure feels great when I do. Do you know this edge? Have you heard the endless echo of the rocks falling beneath you into the darkness? What did you do? What stories do you tell yourself to back away from it? What stories do you keep in your heart to keep away from the edge altogether?

I’m not asking because I’m trying to get you to leave a comment (and therefore make my blog look more appealing). Please leave one if you have something to offer. I’m new to this kind of self-awareness. I’m mostly just curious about how other people stay sane. 🙂

As always, I’m grateful for your time. I’m grateful that you read my words. Sincerely. Namaste, my friend.

Love and Light,

Ginny

Advertisements

Searching for My Stride

047

Forget about having an identity crises and get some identity capital.
Do something that adds value to who you are.
Do something that’s an investment in who you might be next.
– Meg Jay

I’ve been absent. Not just from my blog but from my WordPress Reader, my computer, and the world wide web in general. I had that “too much” feeling. So I did what I do instinctively: I backed off. I took a break. I needed to look at my life from a different perspective. I don’t like admitting that I feel overwhelmed. To me, it means I didn’t plan well enough or research enough before I started. It means I admit to being in over my head. And to admit that offends my pride. Deeply.

Maybe I got tired of taking pictures of my outfits. Maybe I felt like I was letting people down if I didn’t respond to each comment. I’ve broken all the main “rules” of successful blogging. Consistency? Fail. Specific niche? Nope. Quick, thoughtful reply to every comment? Uh uh. Then there are all the lovely awards I’ve been given and have yet to “accept” with a post and my own nominations…

I feel all tangled up in blogginess. In my writing and my life and my house full of extra stuff, I long for simplicity. But simplicity isn’t simple. Perhaps that is an obtuse view. Perhaps I have an overly-romantic view of living a simpler life. And underneath it all is a deeper hunger: to write. To just let the music of my soul pour out into words. That the few people who read this would have a little more sunshine. That the tiny space I’ve cleared in this cold, chaotic universe would hold enough light to warm a heart and start a fire somewhere else.

But something holds me back. I hesitate. I wait.

I do write but I wonder if my Eliza Doolittle literary ways shine through. Though in “real life” I do not have a low class accent, I wonder if my writing does. I’m so often careless and overly wordy. I lack formal education. I lack that sense of confidence that I believe “real” writers have. And yet I keep writing.

I’m so close to something new. Something really exciting. I can feel the heat of it near me. And I have no idea what it is.

I’m not fishing for compliments or “hang in there” sentiments. Sincerely, I’m not. I’m seeking wisdom. Advice. Random words of experience. Blogging is such a different beast. Sometimes, I spend all of my writing time catching up on comments. It overwhelms me. Do you feel this way? Why do you blog? What do you blog about? Do you love writing? How do you get in your writing and keep up with your comments and keep up with your everyday life?

This week, I start training for my first half marathon. From what I understand, it’s a different kind of training. I have to know things about myself and running that I did not really need to know for a 5 or 10K. It is where I am in my life – ready to raise the bar, intimidated by the possibility of failure, and utterly surrendered to the process of growth. I’m searching for my stride…

Thank you. Thank you for stopping by. Thank you so much for reading my words. Thank you for whatever kind thoughts you send my way. Thank you for being a writer. I wish you joy and clarity and love. So much that you have to share it all the time, wherever you go.

Cheers,
G

Blog Shine Sunday {Sept 15}

20130817-165412.jpg

As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.
Marianne Williamson

Hello and welcome to another Blog Shine Sunday! I’m in the process of creating a Super Blog Shine Sunday for next week to get caught up on some sweet awards I’ve been given (and oh too slow to accept). So this week’s Blog Shine Sunday features just one blog. Just one post. But since I read it, it has stained my heart with many thoughts. Big picture stuff. Life. Death. Life in light of death. So please check it out. Read it. Read it again. You might find a tear in your eye when finished but read it anyway.

This is from a blog I mentioned last week.

Enjoy…

The Adventures of Fanny P
” …because life is just one big adventure…”
From this Blog: “Fanny P is a 30 something year old girl married to The Husband, a 40 year old boy. They have two children, Thing 1 and Thing 2. Two years ago they swapped London Living for Lombardy Living and are now enjoying the highs and lows of life in the Bel Paese.”

Check out this post: Thank You Cancer

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
G

  • To read last week’s list please click here.
  • If you’d like to start posting your version of Blog Shine Sunday, please feel free to copy the image I created to go with this. It’s my photo with my edits. So it’s royalty free to you! Cheers! 🙂
  • My original inspiration for this is from Lois at Living Simply Free. Because of this, I’m going to include a link to her site with every Blog Shine Sunday.

Keep Writing

20130913-075209.jpg

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
― Confucius

I got another one of those “nudges” again. Like that night at the bar when I felt like I needed to tell that woman she was beautiful… This time it hit me while running. While letting my mind wander in the beauty of the hard work of a good run, it filled my mind and heart. When this happens, I know I have to do it. Whatever it is. Even if I don’t feel qualified or “good enough”. Just gotta shine or I will shrivel up.

Life is too short. So, I here I go…

If you are reading this, there is a very good chance that you are a writer. Almost certainly you are a blogger. For whatever reason, you chose to put your thoughts out there in the wide, wide world. Kudos to you. I’ve only been blogging for a short time. I’m no expert but I know my heart and I’m learning how to be transparent and honest with my work. Sometimes, my honesty is all I have to offer in a post. It’s working so far.

So in all honesty, I encourage you to write. Keep writing. Until your soul feels empty. Until you can’t think another thought. Just don’t fucking give up. Not on writing. If you let it, it can be a constant in your life that helps you find balance. It can help you find a bit of peace in this world of chaos.

In my short existence as a blogger, I’ve already seen others flame out. Don’t let that be you. Write when you don’t feel like it. Write when your heart is breaking. Write when the sun is shining. Just write, dammit. Don’t. Give. Up.

You don’t have to publish all of it. And you don’t have to look up “rules for a successful blog.” Fuck the rules. This is about you and your writing. Your blog. Forget about making money or being famous. Just reach into your life, find that light that burns to put your thoughts into words, and shine. That’s all. It’s that simple.

You might doubt yourself. You might be a little frightened to put yourself out there. Keep writing anyway. Find your courage in the beautiful process of creating and polishing your paragraphs.

If you need someone to tell you to hang in there. I’m right here. Leave me a note here in the comments. I might not respond right away but I will respond.

So dear reader, my fellow traveler along my simplicity quest, thank you for stopping by. Thank you for reading my words and listening to my heart. You are a beautiful part of my life. Whoever you are. Wherever you are. Shine on and KEEP WRITING!

Cheers,
G

Blog Shine Sunday {Sept 8}

20130817-165412.jpg

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Hello and welcome to another Blog Shine Sunday! I hope that last week was wonderful and that your week ahead is even better. Here are a few blogs to check out – all wonderful works of inspiration and insight. They certainly brighten my days. I hope they do the same for you. 🙂

~1~
Missus Smarty Pants Style Blog
“Enjoy the Little Things”
From this Blog: “Improve your personal style. Gain style confidence. Stay current on the latest trends”

~2~
I Want Less
A Guide to The Simple Life
From this Blog: “This is your life, it’s short and it’s precious. Do you really want to spend it making money for somebody else? I don’t. I want to get out of the hamster wheel. And this is what this blog is about. ”
A Post I Love: Psychological Cost of Your Stuff

~3~
Everyday In A Dress
From this blog: “Dresses, and nothing but dresses everyday! Here you can see how I do it.”
A post I love: Is Summer Over?

~4~
The Adventures of Fanny P
” …because life is just one big adventure…”
From this Blog: “Fanny P is a 30 something year old girl married to The Husband, a 40 year old boy. They have two children, Thing 1 and Thing 2. Two years ago they swapped London Living for Lombardy Living and are now enjoying the highs and lows of life in the Bel Paese.”
A post I love: Women’s Problems

~5~
A Nine Pound Hammer….or a woman like you, either one of these will do
From this Blog: “Sparks from the anvil while exploring life and America’s treasures-South of the Mason Dixon line.”
A post I Love: All that I need…

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
G

  • To read last week’s list please click here.
  • If you’d like to start posting your version of Blog Shine Sunday, please feel free to copy the image I created to go with this. It’s my photo with my edits. So it’s royalty free to you! Cheers! 🙂
  • My original inspiration for this is from Lois at Living Simply Free. Because of this, I’m going to include a link to her site with every Blog Shine Sunday.

Blog Shine Sunday {Sept 1}

20130817-165412.jpg

I’m very much about letting other people shine, because it makes us all shine brighter.
Chelsea Handler

~1~
Everyday Spiritual Wisdom (http://everydayspiritualwisdom.com/)
Spiritual Wisdom. Spiritual Growth.
From this Blog: “Everyday Spiritual Wisdom’ is about the wisdom we find in our everyday life.There is wisdom all around us, just waiting in our day to day experiences ready to inspire and encourage us. Be sure to share your thoughts by commenting at the end of each post, it’s lovely to hear from you. Fiona,x
Fiona Lundy is a professional healer and intuitive. Living in Berkshire, UK.”

~2~
This Felicitous Life (http://thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com/)
From this Blog: “Hi! I’m Laura. I am a Catholic Christian, a mother, a part-time lawyer, and a recovering overthinker. On this blog you’ll find mainly light and fluffy thoughts on food, books, clothes, parenting, and assorted other topics. Thanks for stopping by. I would love to read your comments.”

~3~
Living Minimalist (http://living-minimalist.com/)
From this Blog: “Welcome to Living Minimalist, I started this blog in April 2013 as a way to discover what was really important life and perhaps even redefine happiness along the way.”

~4~
Free But Fun (http://freebutfun.wordpress.com/)
From this Blog: “Ideas for how to have a full and fun life without spending too much. Activities, events, crafts and travel.”

~5~
Hiking to Healthy (http://hikingtohealthy.com/)
From this Blog: My hiking adventures in Colorado and how my love of hiking is helping me get healthy again.”

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
G

  • To read last week’s list please click here.
  • If you’d like to start posting your version of Blog Shine Sunday, please feel free to copy the image I created to go with this. It’s my photo with my edits. So it’s royalty free to you! Cheers! 🙂
  • My original inspiration for this is from Lois at Living Simply Free. Because of this, I’m going to include a link to her site with every Blog Shine Sunday.

Blog Shine Sunday {Aug 25}

20130817-165412.jpg

I’m very much about letting other people shine, because it makes us all shine brighter.
Chelsea Handler

My first Blog Shine Sunday was a huge success. I know it feels good to give but holy cow! I had no idea. It’s totally worth the work involved. It’s a simple process, really. And I get to stand here in blog land and point the way to beauty. What a rewarding way to spend an hour.

Please explore the following links. Find a treasure in their writing. Be inspired. Own it. Then go out, live it, and shine on…

~1~
Caffeinated Yogi (http://caffeinatedyogi.com)
“Thriving on Coffee and Yoga, and Blogging about it.”

~2~
Testimony and Truth (http://testimonyandtruth.wordpress.com/)
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.” — Flannery O’Connor”

~3~
Wellness (http://wellnessblogging.wordpress.com/)
“Wellness Enthusiast. Runner. Explorer. Blogger. Dreamer.”

~4~
Becoming a Minimalist (http://becomingaminimalist.wordpress.com/)

~5~
Being Black and Minimalist (http://justlynne.wordpress.com/)
“This chicks way of getting rid of the stuff and start to live.”

~6~
A Conversation Over Coffee (http://aconversationovercoffee.com/)
“Don’t we all just want that?”

~7~
Lauren Sapala (http://laurensapala.com/)
How to write your novel, find your readers, and stay sane while doing it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
G

  • To read last week’s list please click here.
  • If you’d like to start posting your version of Blog Shine Sunday, please feel free to copy the image I created to go with this. It’s my photo with my edits. So it’s royalty free to you! Cheers! 🙂
  • My original inspiration for this is from Lois at Living Simply Free. Because of this, I’m going to include a link to her site with every Blog Shine Sunday.

Little Heart. Beautiful Courage.

You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it. – Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon’s Character) in We Bought a Zoo

My favorite man on the planet has many talents, and he gets to include “versatile, gifted musician” on his life’s repertoire of skills. A bar in a nearby town has become a pretty popular spot on Thursday nights because they host an open mic night. It’s not your usual gaggle of solo singers and wannabe guitar players. The guys and gals who show up to perform have some serious chops. On a whim, I decided to release my deep attachment to going to bed super early and go with him.

I don’t know how things are for you. But I have these weird days when my perception of myself is all wonky. No matter what I do, I feel like my hair and skin look like crap and my clothes look boring, old, and show off every flaw in my figure. That’s how I felt while getting ready that day. I finally settled on my tried and true Lily, no accessories except for my dry, summer locks, and a little extra eyeliner.

I’m a bit of an oddball. I bring a notebook with me and write my thoughts when I don’t know what else to do with myself. I use writing to help me push through my strange insecurities. Oh, and beer. Beer helps too. While I sat with my little notebook, I watched people and listened to the music. I noticed the beauty in all of it. A light began to grow in my heart. Here are some snippets of what I wrote:

  • I’m fucking in love with all of it. This place. The dirty hardwood floor. The smoke. The lanky cowboy dancing with his granddaughter. The chick with the super bright orange toenails.

  • It’s a gritty good time at its finest and I’m so in love with all of it.

  • None of these people give a shit about minimalism or running or travel clothing. But we are here, connected to the music and the beautiful noise of a good time.

  • I’m not a smoker but I inhale deeply. Let the air and the music of voices fill me.

  • I stand at the edge of the universe in complete awe of it all.

Then my eyes wandered to a rather overweight woman across the room. She was sitting with friends and seemed happy. There was a lovely glow about her. Then a familiar “knowing” came over me. It doesn’t happen very often. It requires a lot of courage on my part. Mostly because I’m still growing out of my insecurities. But I also know that I must do it or I will regret it forever.

I knew I had to go tell her I thought she was beautiful.

So here I am, bad hair day, running low on confidence, and I feel the nudge to walk across a crowded room, in front of the band, approach a stranger, and like a total kook, tell her I think she’s beautiful. Great. Just great.

At first, I really balked. No way was I going to do this. No effing way.

So I drank another beer and thought about it. My heart felt so full love for the moment. So in a break between songs, I gathered my courage and went for it. I walked across the room without tripping. I made it to her and here is how the conversation went:

Me: Hi. I know this is really random and you might think I’m crazy but I just want to tell you that I think you are beautiful.
Her: Me? Oh thank you. What a sweet thing to say! Bless you.
(She touched my arm.)
This is my first time to go out in years.
Me: Well you look great. There is just something about you that I noticed from across the room that glows and I knew I needed to tell you that.
Her: Oh thank you (with tears in her eyes). I was just telling my friend that I thought you were beautiful had such pretty hair.
(Then she hugged me.)
(I smiled.)
(Her friends were giving me some pretty strange looks.)
(I didn’t care.)
Me: That’s all I had to say really.
(I smiled and shrugged. Unsure of what to say next.)
(She hugged me again.)
Her: Thank you again.

Tears filled my eyes as I went back to my seat.

I pulled out my notebook and wrote about our conversation. Then I wrote this:

Now I’m the nerdy girl in her Lily dress writing in a journal. In a bar. Shit yes. This is who I am.

The memory of the last time I felt the urge to tell a stranger I thought they were beautiful came back to me. I’ll skip the details but the bottom line is that she hugged me too and told that her husband had been fading into Altzheimer’s and that she had been having a really rough time. She said it made her day to have someone tell her she is beautiful.

For the rest of the night, I didn’t care about my hair, or my dress, or just about anything else. I was alive and full of light. Completely on fire with life.

My favorite man on the planet played like a boss and on the way home patiently listened to me as I told him about what happened and how this moment made me feel so beautiful. It wasn’t about the damned dress or the hair or my nerdy little notebook. It was about being connected to the light inside and pushing past my personal barriers and feeling myself shine. He smiled and agreed. He already knows I’m a total kook. 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to read this, friend. I really appreciate your time and I hope that in some small way, it encourages you to listen to your heart, step outside of your comfort zone, and shine…

20130824-123207.jpg

This is me and my adorable friend Nikki on Thursday.

Blog Shine Sunday {Aug 18}

20130817-165412.jpg

I’m very much about letting other people shine, because it makes us all shine brighter.
Chelsea Handler

Lois (from Living Simply Free) does a “Friday Faves” post. She is a lovely woman with a beautiful heart for all living things. She practices what she advocates (and has some great pictures to prove it!). She reminds me often that life is not just about us and what we do. It’s about what we give. I’m still fairly new to this blog thing but I’d like to do a weekly spotlight of others. It’s a way to shine the light on others’ beauty. I like that. Because there’s so much beauty out there…

~1~
Living Simply Free (http://livingsimplyfree.wordpress.com/)
“simple living in 300 sq ft and saving the planet one day at a time”
(had to list Lois as my first link – she is the one who inspired me to do this!)

~2~
Smart Living 365 (http://smartliving365.com/)
“Sustainable Meaningful Aware Responsible Thankful”

~3~
Journeys of the Fabulist (http://fantasyholidays.wordpress.com/)
“Making it up as I go along.”

~4~
Big Little Living (http://biglittleliving.com/)
“Big ideas, little changes, better living”

~5~
From 2 to 3 Kids (http://from2to3kids.wordpress.com/)
“Simplifying my life (700 items gone so far), detoxing my world, and still hoping for baby no.3”

~6~
My Year of Sweat (http://myyearofsweat.wordpress.com/)
“I have spent a lifetime chasing quick fixes with disappointing results. Now I’m ready to make a real change. So… I resolve to make 2013 My Year of Sweat. I will exercise each of the 365 days of this year… even if it kills me!!!”

~7~
The Snazzy Turtle (http://blog.snazzyturtle.com/)
“Musings on life, simplicity, and design”

It is my hope that you will find at least one on this list that you will read and love. I love them all. I considered making the list much longer (to include all the blogs I read) but I’m going to stick to seven. I have this terrible habit of biting off more than I can chew when it comes to personal projects. Keeping it seven at a time helps keep me focused. I included a tagline from each blog to help give you an idea of what you might find. They are all wonderful stories and very close to my heart.

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do.

Cheers,
G

P.S. If you’d like to start posting your version of Blog Shine Sunday, please feel free to copy the image I created to go with this. It’s my photo with my edits. So it’s royalty free to you! Cheers! 🙂

Confessions of a People Pleaser

20130816-141631.jpg

‘You want to know how I did it? This is how I did it, Anton: I never saved anything for the swim back.’
– Vincent (Ethan Hawke’s Character) from Gattaca

Writing about minimalism has been quite an experience for me. It’s like my soul needed to get rid of all the physical crap covering my dreams. There were reasons I buried them. Deep, personal reasons. I didn’t know it until I started digging and purging and writing. The more I pull away the clutter of my life, the more I must deal with those reasons.

In keeping with my commitment to remain transparent in my writing, I have a confession: I have this constant, inner-nagging to start a money-making blog. “Do what you love” they scream from flashing banners and obtrusive adverts, “and you can be rich.” I constantly go back to my own post about Making Money Online to remind myself that it takes time…and money does not pour in from the sky as I write about my personal struggle with releasing boxes of junk from my attic.

Still my little brain continues to buzz with ideas and strategies.

Which brings me to my second confession: I’ve been holding back. I have ideas and topics I want to write about and decide to “save them for my someday blog.” (You know, the one I’ll create and from which I will instantly get millions of viewers and huge commission checks?) And here is where I argue with my teenage self (my self-righteous, know-it-all teenage self who thought I should always have a very “noble” job) and tell her that I want to write about clothes.

Yes, clothes.

Not saving children in third world countries or how to live without plastic. But clothes. And not just any clothes. Adventure clothes. Clothes that can go from home to work to play. Clothes that travel the world or to the grocery store and still look great. I believe that all of life is an adventure.

It’s one of those dreams I found while digging. Letting it lie dormant was an early lesson in impressing people. When I said I wanted a career in fashion, people often nodded and smiled. When I changed my answer to “lawyer” I got a lot more interest and encouragement. So from then on, I dedicated my little soul to making sure my answer impressed people. Even if my heart wasn’t in it…and I intentionally hid my desire to do anything with clothing as a way to make a living.

But here I am, surrounded by people who choose to read what I write. Encouraging, wonderful, beautiful people. People like you who love to write and explore and discover the dreams we left behind. You don’t seem to mind my strange hue of sunshine. It’s a new, beautiful place. I love it. I don’t have to impress you with my words. I just have to be sincere.

Clothes sincerely fascinate me. I love how lines, and fit, and color, and fabric can highlight our best (or worst) features. I love discovering new ways to wear a sarong. I love figuring out how to coordinate five items into twenty different outfits. Versatility. Quality. Comfort. Function. Style. I love all of this about clothes.

I’m tired of letting my old need to impress people keep it buried.

So from here on out, I’m not going to hold back. Clothes are a big part of my simplicity quest and I have much to share on the subject. I read other blogs (about clothes) that I want to share with you. I want to learn more about the science of style and the beautiful differences in our body shapes and tell you what I find. I will continue to praise the Lily Dress but I want to explore other items I might consider essential. I’m so excited. I’m smiling as I type.

I come full circle with another confession (and a bit of surprise to myself): I don’t care if I make a dime writing about it.

It feels so much better when I don’t hold back. And when I don’t apologize for who I am, what I love, and what I want to write about.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this. It is my heart and soul poured out into words…

20130816-141528.jpg