Today I pray for the ties that bind me– may they support suspend us if we fall; keep us stable when we waiver, loosen when it is time to move and tighten when we are afraid we’ve come undone…
I pray for forgiveness: of myself, for myself and from myself into the hearts of others. We are all worthy and wholly loveable. We are capable of miracles, and we are capable of misconduct. This is not a flaw; it is a truth. I pray for the ability to love myself and others in the starkness of our humanity. I pray to receive the same treatment in return.
May we all see love, be love and cultivate love in ourselves and each other. Even on days, like today, when its hard. This is my prayer for today.
And so it is.
What are you keeping on the inside?
Here’s my basic rule: Keep inside only what you want to grow.
If you asked The Besticle, my
former beau, to describe me, I know he’d use one word: Emotional.
Then, when if I didn’t lunge at him, he’d smile and say, Patia Braithwaite has feelings about everything, and she always wants to talk about them. With everyone. Who will listen. All the time.
He’d punctuate that statement with an exasperated ‘ugh.’
And…for the most part, he’d be right.
I’m an extremely emotional being. I feel things. I find joy in identifying my feelings, in describing my feelings, and in feeling the feeling underneath the feelings. If I could get a PHD in feelings, I probably would. I’m a feeling connoisseur. I feel in an intense way. Feelings come out of my eyes. Feelings pour off my skin. My friend writer friend, RP, says sometimes I wear my feelings on the outside like a coat.
I make decisions based on feelings. I give those feelings fancy terms like “intuition” and “inner knowing.”
I make my feelings sound sophisticated and special.
Despite all of this, I’ve learned that if I don’t honor my feelings and live in integrity with them, I’ll be miserable. I have to understand my own feelings in ordered to be authentic, and so my general rule of thumb is: Only keep inside only what you want to grow.
Thus, in learning how to deal with my emotions I’ve learned that if I’m upset, annoyed, angry, jealous or resentful — I’ve got to get it out. I’ve got to let the feeling seep out from my lips (in a kind and honest way), to diffuse some of the energy. When we try to ignore our feelings they grow larger, they create shadows and block better feelings. They become perverse and rule our actions. I don’t want those feelings to grow, so I let them out.
Conversely, I imagine my good feelings are like babies. Feelings of enthusiasm, hope, optimism, happiness, joy, anticipation are kept inside of a little while. I like to let them pulsate in my belly or the center of my heart. I let them radiate and imagine light from that feeling is shining out into the world. I protect those feelings – I don’t throw them around so that people can diminish them. I keep them inside and allow them to grow.
Here’s some goood-feeling news that’s ready to come out: The Huffington Post has invited me to blog for them! I get to blog on HuffPo about love and relationships. I think this is the coolest thing ever, but I kept this quiet because I wanted to protect it. I told a few close friends and then waited until I got the guidelines to share it with more friends, and now I’m sharing it with you (and I’ll share it once again when my first post is up). I wanted to protect the good feeling. I wanted to nurture it and water it and coax it to fruition. I kept inside what I wanted to grow.
So today, I urge you all to check in with your feelings – what’s going on in your body and do you want it to grow. If its good feelings, find ways to feed that inner fire, and if the feelings aren’t positive find ways to let it go. My sincere belief is that we are all conduits for the universe – we’ve gotta keep the pathway clear so we can be embodiments of love.
Anything you need to let go of? Use the comment section below!!
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
“Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle. The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. They both had their weapons. The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go into battle with you?” Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.” Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?” Fear replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.” In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear. ”
― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
One of my greatest soul teachers masquerades as my good friend. She is in recovery, and we became pretty close when I was coming to terms with an ex-boyfriend’s addiction. Her wisdom, deep deep wisdom, allowed me to see addiction as an illness, and the addict as a human. I think she saved me from a lifetime of bitterness.
She was instrumental in the healing and fortification of my heart. I will always be profoundly grateful for her support.
Anyway, we were recently having lunch in Brooklyn, when she was telling me about her latest journey in AA.
“I had to get rid of my sponsor, ” she said. “I feel bad…”
“Really? I didn’t know you could get rid of your sponsor. That’s tough…”
“Well, she’s very nice, but I wannna become a sponsor and she’s not gonna be able to take me where I need to go. She helped me to this point, but I need more…”
Something about that resonated with me, so I said what I always say when someone’s strength inspires me.
“Damn,” I said. “That’s really deep.”
It is hard know the exact moment when someone has taken you as far as they can. Like a hitchhiker with a destination, sometimes you’ve got to gauge when it’s times
to make a switch. We tend to hold on tightly, slow our progress and even deviate from our course in an effort to keep from changing. It’s scary to tell someone that we’ve outgrown them, or that, even with the best intentions, they are impeding our further growth.
It takes a brave soul to separate from what was, to make room for who they are becoming. Sometimes our potential scares us into staying small, but to love yourself enough to separate from what is unhealthy…that is some
deep deep stuff.
Today, I find myself replaying that conversation with my friend and thinking about my own life — how am I growing? How does my support system help or hinder my progress? Is it time to let old relationships go?
I don’t know.
So instead of taking action, I pray. I pray for serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can…and the wisdom, the divine whispers of wisdom, to know and act on the difference.
And so it is.
Are you ready and willing to let go of folks who know longer serve you?
Did I ever tell you all about the time I married my brother?
Cue laugh track.
No seriously, I performed and wrote the marriage ceremony for my brother and sister-in-law. It was easily one of the best moments of my life. I bring this up because, while I honestly don’t remember the vows, one part always lingers: I promise to love you as God loves you, and see you as God sees you.
Sometimes I write things that I’m certain come thru me. I was suffering from a broken heart (as usual) and I wrote the vows from a deep longing for companionship.
I promise to love you as God loves you. I promise to see you as God sees you.
I want a lot of things. Last week, I wrote about wanting flowers and a bear. That’s still true, but more than anything, I want the embodiment of those vows. I want a relationship rooted in our mutual ability to see divinity in each other. This is the only way love endures. Even though we’ll fall short, the effort is key because humanity is a mother fu*cker and we all disappoint sometimes. People are flawed and sometimes loving them isn’t easy. So I want to be loved even when its hard. And I want to do the same for the people that I love. I want to love as God loves, forgive as God forgives, heal as God heals, and be cherished as God cherishes. I want to see universal order in another person — choosing to see the perfection in the amalgamation of flaws.
We are all works in progress, but love is our birthright and our DNA. It is in us, of us and through us…anything else is an illusion and a waste of energy.
How are you experiencing love today?
SO I decided to post twice today. Like I said…I love V-day and I love love. Sue me.
I’ve touched on all of my favorite Valentine’s Day topics recently ( self-love, loving your friends, opening your heart/forgiving, and self-worth), and I don’t have anything new to say at the moment. So, instead, I humbly share my top-secret lady love-vision with you, and I lovingly challenge you (and myself) to enjoy all the love in your life, WHILE clarifying your own vision for the love you desire.
He is a man. A man’s man. An honest man. A handsome man. A man whom I desire. A man who walks into the room and ignites my heart. A man who supports me — all of me — the best and worst parts of my…self. My man is a balm — a salve — an ointment that makes life a little bit less painful. A man who teaches me how to feel safe. A man I can trust enough to relax. He is a romantic man. A man who spoils me and sweeps me off of my feet. I am constantly surprised and I am open to receiving. He takes me on adventures — in our living room, in our backyard, and across the globe. A man who makes me laugh so hard I could throw up. A man who is honest — spiritually, emotionally, and physically present. A man who stretches me…as I stretch him…and we grow together. He is a man with whom I feel a soul connection. A man who is available. A man who scares me in the most constructive way — in the way that challenges who I am and fosters who I am becoming. A good father for my children. A good leader for our household. A good partner for my soul…for our team…for our tribe…for our empire. A man who is deep and philosophical — a thinker. A confident man…secure in his desires and comfortable with the life he is choosing. A creative man — one who understands his own power and ability to create his future. A man who is ready to be my husband — who can help me feel ready to be his wife. I am ready, willing and able to be this man’s wife. A man who loves, honors and supports the artist in me. A man who occasionally reads my work but is never intrusive. A man who sees me clearly and loves me unconditionally — who helps me deepen my relationship to myself. A shepherd…a confidante…a partner…a friend.
This is the man I will marry.
May your reality and your vision always align.
What are you MAN or WOMANifesting?
I had another blog post written this morning. One that was positive and upbeat. One about clarifying your vision for love. I called it MANifesting. It wasn’t all that bad. I even wrote my own vision of my future husband. I was going to share it with you, but I woke up this morning and it didn’t appropriate.
Maybe I’ll schedule it to post later. I’m writing this post on the fly.
A friend of mine once told me there are professional mourners in the world: people hired to go to funerals and sob so that others can feel comfortable accessing their own grief.
Today, I’m that person for those of you that needed it.
Here’s the truth I’m going to get off my chest: I love Valentine’s Day. I love the idea of a day that reminds us to get into our hearts. We live from so many other places: our heads, from other’s expectations, so if there’s a day that screams LOVE LIVES HERE (even with obnoxious teddy bears and stupid candy hearts) I believe that is inherently good. So I’m honoring my humanity. I’m a person on a path, but I f* cking like bears and roses too! I’m not above it! I don’t care! Sue me…
My disappointment today is almost palpable.
I know I’m not alone. There are others like me. While everyone is instagraming heart-shaped boxes of chocolate crap, we’ll put on our gamefaces and go out into the world.
I don’t like Valentine’s Day anyway, we’ll say.
We should show love everyday…
We’Il love people in our lives, and we’ll truly and authentically appreciate the love they give us. But inside…I, for one, will still feel a little sadness. I feel called to write this post to rep for those who feel the same.
Today, I’m the professional mourner for the lonely.
This is a post for all sad and disappointed people — those both in and out of love. I get it. This shit sucks. I understand. The downside of a championship is that someone has to lose, and the downside of this day is that, with all this outward loving, sometimes your quiet simple love life (or friendships and familial bonds) just doesn’t feel like enough. But trust me, your love is beatiful and valid. These emotions are transient; they will pass before you know it. And if they don’t… Well, I think Scandal airs on ABC tonight.
Yesterday I wrote a post about how happiness is a choice, and today I am a little disappointed. That’s okay. There is nothing wrong with any of what I’m feeling. So I stand boldly in my feelings for those who may feel sad, overlooked, disappointed or confused. I acknowledge your feelings so that you, without a doubt, know you’re not alone.
Today is a shitty day to feel alone.
So anyone who needs a valentine has one: me. This whole blog is the love letter just for you.
Happy Valentine’s Day, my love.
I love when my best friend comes to visit. We’ll call her Trela. She makes me happy (if its possible for one person to do that for another). She doesn’t come often, but when she does we do weird things like meditate together, sage my apartment, and eat sushi. We also watch trash tv and talk a lot of shit.
On her last visit, we were perusing the shelves of Barnes & Noble, when she picked up a book called, The Happiness Project. She flipped through it. According to the book jacket, the author spent a year of her life trying and testing the methods that supposedly lead to happiness. It sounded pretty dope to me, but Trela tilted her head from one side to the other and tossed the book back on the table.
“I don’t think I’m quite ready to be happy.”
“That’s really deep,” I replied. I was prepared to launch into an intense philosophical discussion about what she’d just said, but Trela shrugged and picked up the latest Game of Thrones installment.
She is both very deep and very dismissive.
In her offhand and effortless way, Trela hinted at a profound truth — we are only experience as much happiness as we’re ready for. We are only as happy as we allow ourselves to be. Happiness is a choice. It doesn’t feel like it, but it is. Its not something that we have to pursue as much as its something we have to step into. If happiness is winter, we have to brace ourselves to go outside. If its summer, we’ve got to get naked so we can be comfortable in it’s heat. We must make ourselves accessible to happiness, but we don’t need to quest for it — its not at the top of a corporate ladder or the bottom of beautiful woman.
Happiness is an internal condition. We must open the door to our hearts to let happiness in….
Now, I should add that just because happiness is our natural state, doesn’t mean it’s comfortable. Just like skinny dipping, stepping into happiness requires bravery and courage. It requires nakedness and vulnerability and loss of inhibitions.
That’s why most of us decide to chase it’s shadow.
I promise: happiness is right here, right now — right in between the shadows of stress, and fear. It’s standing in the shadow of that thing you “think” you need. So lets stop chasing the shadows. Let’s all let go of weight loss, of self-help, of scarcity, and of longing
for The Besticle…and we’ll see happiness was right there all along.
I don’t live in this space every second of every day, but I’ve been there enough to know the path.
And, what I’ve learned is that when you decide that you’re happy: those things you work so hard for seem to fall in line. So much of my learning is about making myself ready with the same unwavering trust (and excitement) that I prepare myself for bed. No matter the delay, or circumstances… When I’m ready, I always get to bed.
Let’s get in bed together and make comforter angels. Lets sleep on clouds of cotton and marvel at the softness. Happiness is right there…waiting.
If you were ready to claim happiness NOW, what would have to change? What would preparedness require? Are you ready for happiness?
I have this habit of experiencing a thing, finding the lesson in that thing, and then thinking I will never have to experience the same thing again.
This is clearly flawed thinking.
When I first started becoming a better steward of my finances, I experienced a series of setbacks. No matter how many books I read or spreadsheets I created, I found myself over drafting. I had over $300 in overdraft fees within two months of tracking my spending.
I was embarrassed and discouraged and frustrated. How can I know all the right things, follow the right steps and still f*ck up so royally? That question can probably, at one point or another, be applied to every aspect of life. Just because we acquire knowledge about something, doesn’t mean we’ve “conquered” it. Just because we’re able to manage our addictions (spending, gossiping, eating etc), doesn’t mean they’ve vanished. We are all, perpetually, recovering from old habits and bad ideas.
Despite this awareness, I persist in thinking that once I’ve found the insight I’m done. No matter how many times I’ve been proven wrong, I always think: ah! Got it! I can cross that off my list. It seems that the first part of this year has been all about revisiting old lessons and going deeper. Most days I feel like I’m sticking my fingers in old wounds and pulling out lodged bullets.
Sounds super fun, doesn’t it?
It seems the universe wants me to revisit the concept of forgiveness. AGAIN. Those of you that have read my blog for a while might remember my forgiveness challenge which resulted in a lot of really awesome realizations about forgiveness. And yet, here I am six months later trying to forgive and heal my heart. It sucks. I’m tired of feeling and dealing and healing all over the place. Yet I know that life involves a constant unfolding and deepening. The relationship that I had with forgiveness is not the same one I have right now. The post I wrote about surrender last Easter is not the same post I would write today. Life is a spiral staircase — a cyclical journey. Whether higher or deeper, there is always someplace else to go.
In my Foundations of Life Coaching class, we’ve been discussing how the brain works. Here’s what I’ve learned thus far: Each time we do something we reinforce neurological pathways –this is how habits are formed. Each time we repeat an action, it becomes a bit more engrained. The habit becomes a little bit easier to do and a little bit harder to break. This is why changes — from dieting, to drugs, to finances –are very hard to sustain. We can’t erase old pathways, we cannot completely undo our old habits, BUT we can create new habits and new pathways. We can create a new habits of being (and doing).
Today, I understand that when life finds me learning “old lessons” and involved in the “same ole situations,” I’m simply being given the opportunity to form new habits, and to strengthen my new neurological pathways. I am being given the opportunity to grow myself — a little more fertilizer, a little more manure. I’m being given the opportunity to solidify and express the highest version of myself.
What new habits are you making and breaking today?