I Want To Be The Ocean

I want to be the ocean, 
I want to be the sea,
I want to be the place people seek out to feel their heart beat free

I want to engulf others in a cleansing embrace,
And hear their deep sigh as the worry leaves their face

I want to be the ocean,
I want to be the deep blue,
I want to be the thing that inspires you to be unapologetically true

I want to be the ocean,
I want to roar when the skies are grey,
I want you to feel me and know you can't go on living in non-compassionate ways

I want to be the ocean,
I want to be able to change your course with the wave of my hand,
And leave you aching for that familiar land,
Hanging on through the storm,
And waking up with new eyes, that are a lot more kind and warm

I want to be the ocean,
I want to be the calm, settled as smooth as glass,
And for you to notice, every storm indeed does pass

I want to be the ocean,
I want to be the steady lull that can always put you to sleep,
And for you to know the secrets that you share with me, I will always keep

I want to be the ocean,
Accepting of all that enter, even if you're just passing through,
Yes, I want to use the ocean's eyes and see the world through equality's view

I want to be the ocean,
Not in full control,
I let the sun and moon pull me and together, we are whole. 

I want to be the ocean,
When one wave crashes, another one is born,
Just as our hearts come new and leave here worn. 

I want to be the ocean,
Concurrently, shallow and deep
A transparent mystery, all my lessons; yours to keep. 

So, when I leave this Earth
I want to be forever cooled and in flow,
I want to be the ocean,
You can find me when the sun hits the surface and causes a glow. 

REJECT IT

My mind has been frantic lately. At a pace it's never gone before and nothing substantial has changed in my life.

Why do I feel this way? 

There's been other moments in my life where I've felt super stressed, but I've always been a person who could shut it off and get a good night's rest. I've never felt pressure in my chest from anxiousness and really make peace with situations as they come pretty well. 

Until, now.

The past few weeks I have had an actual physical pressure in my chest from anxiety. Over what? I have no idea! I woke up defeated, negative. And yeah, somedays you wake up less grateful than others, but this was different. I'm not one to wake up "defeated," but I was. 

My mind and body were go, go, go. 

I don't know how people keep this up for months, years, life times.

This weekend, I disconnected. I listened to music, I talked with my family, I got outside. I didn't think once about my "next steps," or my Instagram following. 

I just had to write this, because I feel like so many of us get all twisted up in this social media age, when really- if we sit back- social media doesn't matter at all. Not even for your business. Yes, you might get more foot traffic here and there, but honestly- what's good is good. You will be successful in the real world if you're great at your craft or profession and you don't need any kind of help/following/Facebook page to validate that. 

I just wanted to tell, who ever is reading this, you can completely reject things that our culture offers us and deems normal, if it doesn't feel right with your soul. It doesn't make you out-dated or weird. It actually probably makes you more whole. 

I'm just scared to death, when I go or you go and we see that light at the end of the tunnel, instead of beautiful images of my real-life people who were there for me and eager for hugs and eye contact and your real life people who craved your connection, we're going to have OTHER people's little squares in our highlight reel. 

Doesn't that terrify you?

Doesn't it scare you that while you're looking at other people's adventures, you're missing the adventure right there in your living room? 

It really terrifies me. 

People claim "community," on Instagram and I see it. I really do. I see people rising together for certain causes and attention being brought to things that matter and ya know, real-life friends are indeed made through social media. BUT lots of us don't get that part, but we still claim we have community through the device in our hands. We get 40 likes and have a moment of togetherness, but does that really give you that rich feeling of community? It doesn't do it for me.

When we had our second child, I faced a long period of a very dark time. I was so overwhelmed every single day and at the end of it all, I would zone out on my phone. Seeking success and community, when all I really had to do was call the people who mean the most to me and I mean the most to them and I bet that time would have gotten brighter a lot quicker. I'd talk about my hard times, but in a reflective tone via Instagram captions, so I didn't sound so depressed, but really, I was down and I was so isolated. But you would have never been able to tell via Instagram.

You can feel this isolation with 100 followers or 1 million followers, BECAUSE Instagram is NOT real.

Nothing can replace real community and what it will bring to your life.  

So reject it. Do life your way.

Be silly. Be Facebook-less. Wear the same shirt everyday. Dance with no music. Sing your replies to people. Make NO plans. Lay on your couch and don't do ANYTHING on a Wednesday (doesn't have to be Sunday). Stare at your children. CRY when you feel it, even in casual conversations with people you don't really know. Be weird. Be you! Reject whatever you have to reject to live your happy life. 

We must reject certain parts of our culture if they don't fit in with the puzzle pieces of our heart.

I'm seeing it more and more clear each day;

The warm heartbeats within arms reach should matter more than the glow of the battery life of our device. The warm heartbeats within arms reach should matter more than anything.

When it's all said and done and we're laying in our beds, with just a few days left. Do you see yourself with your phone in hand? Posting and DM'ing? And then going peacefully?

I'm sure the answer's "no," but are you living life in a way, so that that isn't the outcome? 

I hope to be in a familiar room, that many of my loved ones are familiar with as well from all of our times together. I hope to be surrounded by books with the words that brought me to tears or moved me in a better direction, I hope to have a plant that is still alive, I hope I can still bob my head and wiggle my arms to some Bob Segar or Stevie Nicks. I hope to be fueled with memories of real, tangible magic moments of human connection. And most of all, I hope to see real people surrounding me. Real smiles. Real reminiscing discussions. Real laughs, until the very end. 

So, I'll be here. Pursuing the connection with the warm heartbeats around me and rejecting things that are "normal," for my own peaceful being. 

You deserve that too!

I just wanted to tell you that it is OK to reject things to make your life more whole. 

Inspiration: This piece of writing was inspired by the memoir, Tuesdays With Morrie and oddly enough, the new Jerry Seinfeld on Netflix. I pulled one ringing message from both of those pieces of art and that was rejecting certain things that society tells us are the end all, be all, in order to live a simple, abundant life, that really isn't too serious.

 

Red Love Seat

New love, fast love
Airplane rides and spiraling kisses

Drinks and whispers,
Dim lights, loud laughs

New town, new baby, and a red love seat,
Flowers in a vase and on my pillow,
No money and lots of tears

Questions, confusion, and a red love seat,
Walks with wine and a stroller,
Baby food and growing up

Defeat, patience, and a red love seat,
A juice machine and new friends,
Rare date nights in the dark

Progress, a ring around my finger, and a red love seat,
A new car and new dreams,
Kisses and consistency

Me and my girl, me and my love, and a red love seat
Just starting out, trying to figure out what our life's about

I reminisce about it now, 
The dreams, the love, and the showing up,
And that red love seat. 


 

48 Hours

Good day, friends!

So, if you follow me on Instagram, you know I'm weird about it. Every few months I grow this ache inside me and feel the urge to just delete ALL social media and throw my phone into the ocean. I have yet to actually do that, but I'll proclaim that I'm leaving Instagram to experience the real world and then I come back a few weeks later, because I miss certain aspects of the virtual world, as well. The digital age is a weird one and it confuses me. 

Anyways, instead of just proclaiming I was leaving Instagram, I was like, "HEY! What about going through a whole weekend with NO phone, AT ALL!" Very basic idea that I thought was genius. So, I texted my husband trying to pump him up about an electronic-free weekend and he replied with a, "Let's do it!" 

So, Friday evening when he got home from work. We did it.

We turned our phones OFF.

When was the last time you even touched the power button on your phone? Turning my phone off felt so weird, which in turn, made me feel even more weird, like...WHY don't I EVER turn my phone off, ever?!  

So, they were off and I hid them in a drawer that we don't really ever go by. 

At this point, I thought we would feel strange and be itching to check everyone's updates. How can we go a whole weekend without knowing the latest news or new movement started or which long lost friend had a baby or got engaged? These are things we are always in-the-know about these days, so we must need to know them, right? 

Wrong.

You guys, the opposite happened. I didn't feel strange at all. I felt more alive, more connected, more relaxed, more productive, more everything! 

Saturday we had the most Instagram-worthy day and I didn't document ANY of it and it was divine! My family ventured into downtown Fort Worth and we went to this old, magical book store. We had never been to this bookstore, so we didn't know how to get there. This would have been an easy cop-out to bring our phones along for good ol' Google Maps. But you know what we did, we MapQuested it, on our home computer and wrote the directions on a little piece of paper and then we said, "We'll try our best and maybe find something cool if we take some wrong turns."  

So, were there wrong turns taken?

No!

Oh my gosh, you guys!! It was one of the most low-key, nice drives we've taken as a family in a while. We aren't actively on our phones in the car, but usually if we're leaving our little every day radius, I have Google Maps to help guide me to and from places. The thing I realized is, our actual brains are way more aware of directions, surroundings, and where the heck you need to go, if you actually have your brain on. I can guarantee you, if Google Maps was on, James and I would have bickered over a turn missed or a re-route or whatever! But our minds were open and on and we arrived to that bookstore on a breeze. 

The bookstore looked like a uniquely shaped attic, with stacks of books and the smell of old paper in every crevice of the building. I was in heaven. My husband read a book about guitars almost the whole time, my kids were touching everything (which I had to tell them to stop about 107 times, but they were so excited, it made me excited), I found a classic Hemingway novel in the prettiest of blues. We roamed around with child-like wonder for over an hour in that shop. No distractions; just books, my family, and using all five senses in every moment.

After that, we headed out to find some lunch. James said, "Hey, let's stop here and see what's in the area." Buuuut, we didn't have our phones, so we had to old-fashionedly walk around just stumbling upon restaurants to see what sounded good. Again, it was magical. We ended up at the cutest, locally owned cafe. We had the best sandwiches of our life, on a patio, with the breeze blowing through our hair, the ding of the trolley passing by, and the perfect shade cast from the historic buildings surrounding us. 

After that, we walked around, in no hurry and with nowhere to go or be. 

Saturday night we made dinner as a family and watched a family movie.

My whole Saturday felt like a long, relieved sigh of pure contentment.

Sunday was spent sleeping in, making breakfast together, and working on house projects. 

Again, I cannot remember the last time I felt SO rested and SO productive all in the same weekend. Doesn't it usually feel like one or the other? Almost like you have to choose, but apparently, you don't. You just need to free yourself from useless distractions ie. the cellphone. 

Sunday night we waited until we had to set our alarms for Monday morning to even turn our phones on. We were buzzing off of a fully, in-the-moment life high and I certainly wasn't ready for it to end. 

The biggest take away from 48 hours with no cell phone was the amount of TIME and ENERGY we use on those things. When I say that you probably automatically think about social media and that's a huge part of it, but ya know what else is a huge part; the texting and the constant awareness of time!

So, texting; we all feel OK texting all the time, because we're actually "communicating" with some one, but really, that texting is pulling you out of the moment that is right in front of your face and those moments are the most important ones. Even if it's a loved one. So, your loved one in the text is getting half of you, because you are not physically there and your loved ones with you are getting half of you, because you aren't mentally there. Do we really want to give half of ourselves all the time? To everybody? 

Not me.

I want to give 100% to people I am with. 

So, time; having your phone makes you SO aware of what time it is at all moments of the day. Walking around Fort Worth, we had NO idea what time it was and I can't even explain the kind of ease that brings you. Why on God's green Earth should we know what time it is at every waking moment?? It cuts long conversations short, it speeds up lovely strolls, and it deafens hearing ears. Who cares if the morning rolls into the afternoon, which rolls into the evening on a Saturday? ENJOY your moments without giving them time restrictions or filling them with guilt.

My last little realization is that "mindlessly" scrolling your feed takes actual energy. We act like it's a relaxing tool or a way to zone out, but what I found out is it actually takes a lot of brain power to keep up with all of that. Do you ever scroll through your social media and NOT have ideas, inspiration, or comparisons? Not likely. Your brain is TURNING, when you are scrolling. And for me, I have LOTS of things I want to use my brain power for and social media and a cell phone are not even close to my list of things I want to invest my time and energy into. 

So, friends, this is my challenge to you: GO 48 HOURS WITH NO CELLPHONE. Free yourself. Free yourself of time restraints, of "luxury" crutches (GoogleMaps, Whats In My Area, etc), of constant inundation. Shut it off. 

You really do deserve 48 hours of pure life. Please give yourself that.  

I think you'll find it is way more natural, fun, easy, and any other good adjectives, to actually be invested in the world around you, rather than the pocket world in your phone. 

Let me know if you do this!! I want to hear if you had any epiphanies, if it was super challenging, if it changed your life, etc.

Here's to the real world, friends! Always sending you love and light!! 

 

 

No One's Safe From Love

In your darkest hour,
In the midnight scour,
In the moments that make you sour,
No one's safe from love.

Up high in solitude,
On the lowest point of latitude,
Walking with the worst of attitudes,
No one's safe from love.

In the shack at the end of the road,
In the mansion of luxury's abode,
When bamboozled by life's code,
No one's safe from love. 

While strutting on an everyday sidewalk,
While interacting in mundane talk,
While trying to find the key to your heart's lock,
No one's safe from love.

Just as no one is safe from pain,
No one is safe from love just the same. 

We say life's not fair,
But it's cruelty and kindness doesn't judge or spare.

There's pain and heartache
And there's love and Joy's sake.

Life is completely fair in the delivering of unfairness,
It brings waves of love and damage that are relentless.

So hold on, cry, smile, and learn
And know as this world turns,
No one is safe from love,
You will be greeted with it, even if it's just from the warmth up above.