Steal my sunshine- Wise Project 2019 #Naked Wednesday

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I had a great day yesterday, one of those days that makes you feel filled up. I was talking with a friend that has a lot of exciting things going on and then I met another friend for coffee that is on a new and exciting journey and I felt such immense excitement for the two of them. It was a powerful and thrilling feeling and as I sat with it I was immediately taken back to a time when those electrifying feelings were not possible for me. There were many times throughout my life that the world around me felt very out of my control. I subscribed to the belief that life was happening to me, not through me or for me and my best defense was BRACE. DUCK. COVER. ENDURE. During those times I saw people in my life having better luck and getting things that felt impossible for me. I am sure I feigned some sort of halfhearted interest but I am being honest in saying that I did not always feel it. Sometimes your good news and your accomplishments made me feel small and diminished. That shook my confidence and though I desired things as much, or even more than I do now, they felt very unattainable.

I am delighted to be able to say that in the last couple of years I have realized that I am in charge of my life. I am not always in charge of circumstances but I am in charge of how I react to my circumstances. Life is at all times happening for me, and it is not happening to me, it is happening through me. I am the co-creator of my life. This has been huge. I have made some huge changes in my life and most of them started with something very simple, choosing me. I had to believe that I was worth the investment and a great deal of that, I will admit, is because of my children. I am their teacher, the person they will look to as they grow and spread their wings. Sometimes it does not matter what I tell them, yet it will matter what I show them. If I never choose me, if I never deem myself worthy of good things, I will teach them the same. I will raise people pleasers that gage their self-worth against how much they can do, not on being who they are meant to be. Being yourself is the greatest revolution, it is something that can never be taken away from you and once you know yourself and love yourself and choose yourself you open up a world of opportunities. You start to connect the dots that the universe has laid out and you create a network of people, places and experiences for your highest good. You begin to realize that people are not always in your life forever and you learn to be okay with that. The people that are meant to be in your life forever, you learn to hold them carefully, to support them properly and to find honest ways to share and communicate openly and honestly. You become accountable to the fact that you may have been the toxic one in past relationships. You learn to own that, to learn from it and to move forward gracefully. You learn to say goodbye to the things and the people that no longer serve your greatest good. You choose the things that speak to your soul, you plant the seeds, and you tend them and water them and watch them grow. You feel the energy in that creation and you are inspired to create more for yourself and as you do this you become very captivated by what your people are creating in their lives. You support them and encourage them and you feel this massive enthusiasm for their successes. You feel drawn to lifting your people up when they struggle and it gets less scary to reach out and admit when you are struggling and your tribe is always happy to provide perspective and lift you up as well.

You become very comfortable creating boundaries and you construct a revolving grid of mutual respect and equal parts give and take. It feels amazing and it empowers you to do things that you never thought were possible.

Today I am sitting in a place of extreme gratitude. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have the support and inspiration of some of the most gifted, loving and encouraging individuals. I am also not afraid to say that I feel like I fulfill my role in those relationships and that was not always the case.

Someone else’s talent, dedication and worthiness does not diminish your own. If you are not sitting in a place of gratitude you may been wallowing in scarcity and that is a dismal place to be. Please know that you can be grateful for what you have and still desire more and from there you put in the hard work to make it happen. Generally, when you see good things happening for people, they were not born with a “horseshoe up their ass” as we like to say on the East Coast. Most of them work incredibly hard for their accomplishments and just because you do not see that does not mean it doesn’t exist.

I want to say a huge thank you to my people (you know who you are) I see you, I love you, your support and inspiration means more than I can ever truly express. The conversations that we have had, honest, void of ego conversations that have helped me to grow, your willingness to allow me to express myself without judgement and your loving acceptance of all of me has made all of the difference in my life.

Nobody can steal your sunshine without your permission, even on the days when you feel you are attempting to shine through dark clouds, take all the sunshine you can.

You are great. Go be greater.

You have a cheerleader in me.

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Baby, I love your way – Wise Project 2019 #NakedTuesday

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Our craving to be deeply seen
Is often eclipsed by our fears
of being genuinely witnessed
with all of our invisible stains
and rooted soul blemishes;
to be wrapped in the embrace
of purely humbled affection
both tenuous and rare
is something we quietly desire
without having the courage
to ask for it, receive it, or give
it to others…

~Michelle DeBay

 

I promised a piece on intimacy this week and it has been a little tougher than I thought. Everyone has different ideas about what intimacy means to them and most people relate it to their romantic relationships. Being single, I believe I am able to see a less narrow definition of intimacy, one that is reserved just for romantic relationships, but one that if also often missing from romantic relations.

I believe that one of our deepest desires is to be truly seen and understood, void of judgement. Though we desire this, I also believe it is one of our greatest fears. Even those that shine the brightest lights have dimly lit corners that we they do not allow just anyone to see. We have cravings, wants and aspirations that we estimate we will be judged for so we keep those parts of us hidden.

To achieve complete intimacy in any relationship we have to be willing to trust that we will be loved and accepted for who we are and all of who we are. For our humanness, our flaws and all of the things that make us beautiful. Allowing anyone to see those parts of ourselves, despite any initial apprehension is what creates and builds intimacy.

Though our modern society has managed to somewhat separate sex from intimacy, admitting that intimacy involves both emotional and physical connection and vulnerability, we are often still guilty of confusing the two and end up feeling that horrible feeling of betrayal when we fail to satisfy our desire for intimacy with sex, leading to hurt, confusion and questioning our worthiness. This cycle on repeat can leave us feeling consumed, exhausted and depleted.

In any relationship, intimacy creates better and stronger connections. In a romantic relationship it can be the difference between a good and a great relationship. My friend Charmaine said that to her it’s the freedom to explore one another physically and emotionally without judgement. The comfort to be herself without hesitation. To look into her partners eyes and feel safe. I wonder how many people can boast having that in their romantic relationships. Being able to be themselves and be confident that they are enough at all times; free to desire and want and need and express and explore all of it without shame or fear of judgement. Studies show that about 20 percent of marriages are sexless and 43 percent of women and 31% of men (reported…believed to be much higher) experience some sort of sexual dysfunction. I believe it is safe to say that when intimacy is absent, problems become magnified.

I was with my late husband for 20 years and in the beginning things were tumultuous as we struggled to grow as individuals while remaining rooted together, raising a family and hiding our fears and insecurities. If I am honest it wasn’t until the last couple years of our relationship that we found a place of complete intimacy and unconditional love. It was scary for both of us and it meant seeing and being seen without judgement, it meant no blaming or shaming and to always, in any situation, approach the other with love before automatically arbitrating. There were times in our relationship that we were dishonest, we told white lies or untruths and the reason being is we feared the judgment and shame that would arise so it became easier to eliminate certain things from our conversations or to shave little bits off of the truth to make it fit into a pretty box. I am glad that Kirk and I were able to find that place and I know it will help me in all of my relationships going forward. I can recall in the last couple of years of his life having moments that I felt so close to him, that we were somehow connected by invisible bonds yet still felt free. In glimpsing back on those moments I feel amazingly proud that we were able to fight our own fears to get to that place, I can assure you it was not easy.

I have discovered that being yourself is way less scary than having people in your life that do not see you and that you fear you would lose if they really knew you. The greatest revolution is in being yourself and realizing that not everyone is meant to be in your life forever, but the right ones will stay and no matter where they are in the world you will know that a part of them is always with you, and cheering you on, no matter what fucked up thing you just did or said or admitted to.

When someone makes you feel safe and seen and whole and worthy, no matter what, that is intimacy. Not everyone is able to achieve true intimacy and we really need to look inside of ourselves and stare down our own demons. If we fear not being loved for who we truly are, would we really want to be in a relationship with that person? Fears are not always reality, but we create our reality.

I have fears and insecurities, we all do. I work hard on them and at this point in my life I am only interested in investing in people that genuinely care about me for who I am. I do not care about the latest fads or being in the cool club, for me the coolest club is one that you feel like you belong at all times.

In the last several years of my life my experiences have lead me to believe that intimacy is not a passing whim, it is a deep psychological need. Learning to get that need met, in a healthy way in nourishing relationships is a step in the right direction to a meaningful life and happiness in the here and now.

When we connect in an authentic way, from a place of love and vulnerability, we can create magic!

~Michelle DeBay

 

 

 

Celebration Wise Project 2019 #NakedTuesday

Good Day!!

Happy Naked Tuesday and Happy Birthday to me.

I know that some people think birthdays “meh”  it is just another day yet for me, it is a celebration of me, all that I am, all that I have overcome, achieved, experienced and all the wonderful things that are on the way. Just last week I was at Tony Robbins and he said we do not celebrate our lives enough and that really resonated with me. There are times that I have really exciting things going on and I am hesitant to share. It is the fear of being too much that really rears its ugly head a great deal for me. How dare I take this life I have and make rainbows and fire them into the sky and stand back and fucking admire them?

How dare I not?

Several times in the last year I started to feel a disconnection with Tenacious Tuesdays. I used to subscribe to the Glennon Doyle Melton School of “we can do hard things!” Yes, of course we can, do we have to? I feel, and I have been gently nudged on this by more than one well meaning person, that the universe gives us what we need and that it follows our lead. The thought that I unknowingly call hard things into my life so that I always have something to conquer is kind of alarming. I have learned a great deal from the situations I have faced this year and I am proud of the fact that I have faced them all head on; however, if I am being honest, I am wide open to things flowing easily going forward. I caught Robbie Robertson’s blue train and ended up fighting the current somewhere on the crazy river and I am more than ready to haul my ass unto a tube and float down the lazy river for awhile.

I am learning that there are plenty of exciting things to fill my life besides struggle.

Since I lost my husband Kirk to suicide in June of 2017 I really tightened up my circle. Some unfortunate situations occurred after his passing that made me reluctant to allow new people into my life. I am happy to stay that this year a wonderful friend and mentor, Dawn Southy Hills gifted to me a life changing workshop with Integrity Seminars called The Gift. It opened up my eyes in a whole new way to how I was accountable to my life, my choices, my reactions, the way I feel about myself, about others, about situations and how I often place chains on myself to keep me small. I had an uncomfortable week after leaving the course and I struggled with letting go of old beliefs that kept me rooted me firmly rooted in mediocrity. The Gift also gifted to me, an entire community of inspiring and growing individuals that have welcomed me into their lives and hearts with love and embraced me in kindness, understanding and non judgement. The Gift really is a gift that keeps giving. I was able to share that with my oldest daughter Morgan, who for the first time in a long time feels listened to, understood and loved by her peers. At 19 years old she has gotten serious about healing and has decided what she wants to do with her life. I walked into her graduation on Sunday night and as she was introducing me to the people in her group and I was amazed and inspired by their glowing eyes and radiant faces, they were shiny. They are on the beginning of a fantastic journey and they looked like they had just been pumped full of sunshine. Our most fundamental relationship is always with ourselves. Nobody else goes through this entire journey with us. It is essential that we learn to love and invest in ourselves, that one change, can be the catalyst in changing everything.

I feel that my greatest success in 2018 was asking for what I wanted and being honest about my feelings. It does not always get you the result you desire, yet there is a great deal of empowerment in attempting to get all of your needs met in a healthy way. Sometimes, ironically, not getting what we want can be a wonderful stroke of luck, I am learning to celebrate my successes and take the lessons from from the situations that do not produce results I had wished for.

I struggle with patience. I have decided to stop blaming it on being a Capricorn and really work on it. It is a virtue that has escaped me for all these years and I genuinely want to be a more patient and reflective person as opposed to reactionary.

Today I am rolling out Naked Tuesday. I am not getting Naked today, at least not publicly, or in the sense that automatically comes to mind when we conjure up images of naked, however what better time to be naked then on your birthday. We came into the world, not just unclothed, also innocent and without fears, insecurities and inhibitions. One of my biggest goals this year is to come to you vulnerably naked and speak to you honestly about some of my most critical struggles, as a woman, as a widow, as a parent and as a friend.

In the next couple of months I will be doing a complete overhaul of my blog to reflect this naked vulnerability. I am not quite ready to share my ideas in regards however; you will be the first to know.

I have some things to celebrate currently that I would love to share with all of you. I have started some exciting writing projects, I am 25% through my Life Coaching certification and this year I will be working the amazing Ev’Yan Whitney of Sex love Liberation. Ev’Yan is going to work with me intensely to help me heal from past sexual trauma so I can step into my full power as a woman. In the last couple of years I have admitted to myself that though I have pushed the memories down as far as they would go, being raped has had a significant impact on my life, my choices, the way I feel about myself and the way I interact and react to others. My hope is that in continuing to put this work in and heal my unhealed areas, I can focus my life coaching on working with women who have suffered trauma, are rape survivors as well, have fears, insecurities and/or inhibitions and help support their journeys as they find and step into the full expression of their sexual and sensual selves. Pleasure is our birthright, and too often we are willing to accept things as is when they can be and should be changed. Society puts a lot of pressure on all of us, as a woman I can relate to that quite intimately. We lose a great deal of our personal power struggling to meet the grand expectations of the masses and we end up in a place of fear and scarcity.

The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.
~Mikhail Baryshnikov

I invite you to continue to follow me on my Naked journey. I know my mom will love that name and never stop fearing the day where I decide to get Naked. I am a wild card…love you mom. Thank you for everything, always, especially my beautiful life.

 

If you would like some incentive today I would like you to join me in a small exercise. I want you to write down five things that you like about yourself, as you are doing this I would like you to remember that your self image is tied to your energetic vibration and your physicality so try to choose things that are a combination of physical and non physical traits. If you find this exercise difficult and are being bombarded with things you dislike about yourself, this is an exercise that you should commit to daily for awhile. Consider the traits that you like and admire in others, as other people serve as mirrors for us; these traits are most often traits we possess as well. If you can only come up with a couple items that is fine, lets all try again tomorrow. Let’s continue until Sunday and see and celebrate  all of the amazing things that make us unique. If you continue to struggle feel free to reach out to me through private message or leave a comment and I will modify the exercise for you to help you find and celebrate the amazing qualities that make you so very you.

 

Thank you for being you.


xoxo-michelle1

 

 

 

 

Walk this way -Wise Project 2018 #TenaciousTuesday

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How many times in our lives have we sat in disbelief and shock, in tears, shaking our heads and saying over and over “I just don’t understand?” No matter how much contemplating and suffering we do, we still cannot figure it out.

When I lost my husband to the beast of depression I had to surrender to the idea that life’s maneuvers operate corresponding to a mastermind that is way beyond anything linear.  There are enough challenges while navigating trauma and loss, and as you move through that pain the only thing that is expected of you is to simply take the next best step. There is no map to navigate through grief, you are not expected to control the territory around you, you simply have to take each step forward as it presents itself to you, and if you do that in your pajamas with three day old make up and your hair in a bun trust that that is enough.

When you do not understand, you just need to trust, and I know that when you lose someone tragically trusting that everything will be okay seems ridiculous. To me, the world felt scary and unsafe, although at a certain point I was able to abandon the what ifs and the ideas of the way things should be and slowly and with intent put one foot in front of the other .

“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die”

~ Thomas Campbell

I have become very aware of the cycle of life. Death is inevitable and though we are given life, how we choose to live it is optional.

Members of my family on both sides are experiencing grief, loss and heartache today. I come from a small town in a small province surrounded by small villages. Loss has a ripple effect and can be felt throughout the communities. There is a lot of love, and sadly, as always a lot of judgement because judging is always easier than understanding. Empathy is a concept that not everyone is able to grasp.

People treat pain like a hot potato and to avoid experiencing pain they often pass it along to others. It is not right and it is not pleasant, and it is a certain reality that anyone who experiences the loss of a loved one will likely face.

Today I am compelled to share with all of you the importance of holding space for someone, which simply means to be present and to allow them to feel everything that they are feeling.  Grief can be uncomfortable, for the onlookers it can be as difficult as watching someone with a bloody, open wound. Sometimes the automatic instinct is to avoid those that are suffering until the wound begins to heal, or at least till the wound has been stitched up and covered. At that point you may have lost a friend. Relationships are severed, formed and strengthened in times of struggle.

For me, the right people showed up, the right people came, the right people stayed and the right people left. It can be hurtful to lose connections at such and important time in your life but it is powerful finding out that the people that belong in your life will always be there, in some capacity and definitely when you need them the most. We are continually growing and changing and it is important to realize that not everyone is meant to be with us for our entire journey.

“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”

~ Terry Pratchett

There are some simple things that you can do for people that are grieving. I often hear, “ I do not know what to say”, “ I do not know what to do.”  Here are some simple important things you can do.

  1. Show up– let them know that you are there and that you care. There are no magic words and you cannot take away the pain but knowing you want to is enough.
  2. Food is always appreciated. My boss kept bringing a food. I would not have cared if I ever ate again but when someone set a plate in front of me I did. There will also be a lot of visitors and people like to eat when they are sad, just as much as they do when they are happy.
  3. Avoid phrases like, “it was God’s will or “everything happens for a reason” and “don’t cry”. Nobody needs to hear any of that shit when they are grieving. If you are unsure of what to say, just say “I am here.” Or simply just be there.
  4. Recognize that you can ask a grieving person what they need a million times in a million different ways and they will not know. What they need is their loved one back and they cannot see past that. When you are grieving shock suspends you in a weird place for awhile, a place where everything is numb so that the pain does not bring you to your knees. Pick a task and do it. Fold laundry, go get milk and toiletries, make phone calls, assign tasks to other visitors.
  5. Share your memories. People often avoid talking about the person that died which is just weird and creepy. They lived, they existed and they will always exist in our hearts and memories. Share your memories and your funny stories, share them now and share them always.

 

To all of you that are suffering and finding your way through the pain of loss please know that my heart is with you. You will be ok. There is no timeline, or magical manual to navigate grief and nothing I can say that will make sense or ease your pain except to say that if you choose to, you will be ok.

 

“All the art of living lies in the fine mingling between letting go and holding on”

Havelock Ellis ~

 

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Naked -Wise Project 2018- #TenaciousTuesday

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Last week I wrote about a workshop that was gifted to me called the Gift, facilitated by Integrity Workshops here in Edmonton. I was really excited about the tools I had gathered to move forward with me on my journey and how I was committed to setting clear intentions, standing in my own personal integrity and being in charge of the experiences I wanted to have in my life. I was expecting to have a much different week, but I experienced a great deal of discomfort, sadness and emotional mood swings. It wasn’t till late last night that I was able to see the gifts amid my struggle.

I have been struggling with something in my personal life that has taken up a good chunk of my head space and after finally reaching out to a trusted friend for some much-needed perspective I felt a bit renewed but at bedtime the monkeys in my head were talking very loudly and I found myself being bullied into feeling bad about myself because what I see as fearless tenacity, society often refers to as crazy, brazen and entitled. How dare I ask for the things I want, how dare I fight for them, how dare I expect them? They say I am messy with all my wants and all of my feelings. I am supposed to take what I get and smile and say thank you. Do not ask for more, that is rude. Why would I imagine that I am deserving of all these things? What makes me so special? I am just a foolish woman, outrageous, irrational, way too wild to fit into civil society.

How dare I?

How dare I not?

I decided to do a guided meditation before bed to quiet the noise and it was something Deepak Chopra said that that soothed my soul “If you want love in your life you need to give love, if you want kindness in your life you need to give kindness….” This was not new knowledge for me at all but in that moment, it was an affirmation.

Society would like us to believe that we only love people that love us back, we are only kind to people who are kind back. It is no wonder that we are living in a time of political unrest, an us vs. them society. We withhold the healing power of love and kindness because of the expectations we hold that we give to receive.

In that moment I realized that in my week of discomfort I was receiving the greatest gift. The unconscious was becoming conscious. I was becoming aware of the old vows, contracts, promises and beliefs that kept me small, that kept me quiet and most of all kept me from growing and giving the best of myself for fear of appearing”too much”. My self saboteur is a mean bully and has always been there whispering in the quiet corners of my mind, but I was somewhat powerless her when I was not fully conscious of her. Now as she roared at me, I hollered back.

One of our most paramount misconceptions I have had is that life is happening to us when in fact life is happening through us. There is a responsibility in that. Everyday we talk about wanting change, but we declare ourselves powerless. I think one of our greatest fears is realizing that we are indeed very powerful. We hold these outdated beliefs about the world around us and our automatic default is to follow along instead of lead. When we heal ourselves, we also heal our ancestors, our lineage; mothers, fathers, grandmothers. Many of us come from backgrounds of generational trauma, abuse, addiction, poverty or some sort of struggle. Healing is not comfortable or convenient, but it is a fierce catalyst in living a beautiful life and it is an amazing gift to give to future generations. There is a formidable amount of power in that. What we create in our own lives not only matters now, it will matter to our sons, daughters, grandchildren and on and on. To say we are powerless is really just shunning our responsibility and in some instances we pretend not to know because we perceive it as easier. We choose to go through the motions three hundred and sixty-five days a year and call it a life. That will not be my choice. When you know, you cannot un-know.

“No matter who our ancestors are, our own personal and monumental task is to become the best person that we can possibly be – someone in whom our own descendants in times to come can take great pride and find inspiration.”
~ Laurence Overmire

I believe people are inherently good, we come into the world that way at least and we also carry the beliefs, attachments, contracts and vows of our fore families and possibly past lives if you are a believer of such. Add on to this our own learned beliefs, behaviors, traumas and struggles there is rightfully a whole lot of shit in our piles. Now pile on expectations, media and societal norms and we feel the need to constantly hide who we truly are to fit a mold that was not made for us. We are told how to dress, how to act, how to get the job, get the girl/guy, appear ten pounds thinner, enhance our breasts and diminish our free thinking. Love, kindness and vulnerability are things the world needs to survive but we are taught that they are weaknesses. They will hurt us. So we suit up in our protective armor daily and call it “being strong” We shun human connection, the very thing that can heal our world.
If we don’t do the work, if we feel powerless, who will step up? Who will we allow to lead us and where we they lead us to?

None of us are safe from what is happening in the world right now. Hate and division is killing people at an alarming rate.

When you know, like I do, it is the end of denial and as I said it comes with a fair bit of responsibility and this almost insane need to be honest, not just with myself but with others. It may not bring me the victory in any popularity contests, but it will help me reclaim power over my own life, heal and transmute old wounds that have been carried forward generationally and alter the path for myself and my family going forward, interrupting generations of trauma and struggle that created restraints, beliefs and blocks. That is how an entire lineage progresses. There is no denying how fucking powerful that is and no amount of noise in my head can convince me otherwise.

When I am not standing in love; love for myself, for others, for creation, for the world, I am sitting in fear. Fear keeps me small and insignificant, it keeps me from taking risks and having the joyful experiences I want to have in my life.

Am I too much? Am I bold? Am I brazen? Am I entitled? Do I want too much? Do I expect too much?

DAMN RIGHT I DO!!!

I am learning to trust in myself and the work I am doing in the world.

I feel a bit like I am standing here naked, stripped of all I once believed to be true. Stripped of vows and contracts and burdens that were bestowed upon me unknowingly. I stand here naked yet more powerful than I ever thought imaginable.

I am expanding, learning to fill my space and to stop hiding behind fears, insecurities and outdated beliefs. I am worthy and what I bring to the table is valuable. I am doing work that is challenging me and it makes me question everything and even when it is hard and everything feels awful I keep showing up, heart open and vulnerable. My  courage and strength surprises me.

The noise I now hear is my ancestors cheering for me. My passion and desire is needed.

Find your power. Stand in your integrity. Create the life you want.

xo

“here’s to being your ancestors’s wildest dream”

~ evyan whitney

 

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Waves -Wise Project 2018 #TenaciousTuesday

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I had a conversation with a friend the other day that has been facing a serious health battle; she was not only facing her battle with magnanimous grace she had made the decision to live every single day to the fullest. I am so proud of her and many other of my old friends who are facing the blackness of grief and trauma and those that are struggling with their health and facing their own mortality, what I am seeing time and time again is though we have been dealt unimaginable circumstances the universe has also handed us a gift and in that gift is a wisdom that perhaps we were just not ready to see before. There is nothing like tragedy to make you see things in an entirely new way. Life itself is a gift but we rush through the most important moments, always planning for the future or stuck in those places in the past that ripped our souls out, that taught us to be small and fearful, to doubt ourselves and to obey old vows and commitments that have been handed down for generation upon generation, that keep us sick and bound. I remember as young children everything I told my girls they would say “but why?”

It was incredibly irritating and I usually gave the customary answer that had been handed down among generations of mothers “because I said so”

At some point in adulthood we stop challenging the social and political norms and we follow along like good little soldiers with a little voice in the back of our minds. “mama said be polite, mama said be a lady, mama said don’t get my clothes dirty.”

We stop asking “but why” and we allow life to move us along.

For me, when tragedy hit I was so fucking terrified. My husband was my rock and facing a life without him had me panic stricken but loss brings with it a certain understanding of the world, a thoughtful consideration of the seemingly unpredictable ebbs and flows of life; that move us, cleanse us and guide us.

There is sadness in saying goodbye not just to our loved ones but to all that we believed would be our lives,  just as there is sadness in saying goodbye to the breathtaking magic and fearlessness of youth. Moments, memories and days we thought would never end slip through our fingers; like the sand we packed in our hands at the beach as children and the tighter we held on the more it seeped through the cracks.

It hadn’t yet occurred to us that we would run out of time or that the transient nature of life came with a reckoning so we lived without a fear of dying.

The thing with being a kid is that most of us didn’t know devastating loss and we hadn’t yet been faced with the impermanence of life. We hadn’t said our final goodbyes in hospital rooms our spoken heartfelt thoughts about our loved ones in eulogies. It hadn’t yet occurred to us that we would run out of time or that the transient nature of life came with a reckoning. The beauty in that is that we lived without a fear of dying.

I remember when I lost Kirk there were days that I was overcome with an irrational fear of evanescence. I believed that if I allowed myself to heal and to move forward then his memory and essence would rapidly fade. I wish I could come up with something to say to make everyone that will inevitably face loss understand, that that fear could not have been further from reality. As I began to allow myself to inch forward I began to see Kirk in a whole new way, not his death or the tragic illness that ripped him from us but as a quintessential life, something that could and would always transcend time and space to guide and support me. My memories of him are vivid and though the moments of struggle and fear we faced have insignificance now, it is the laughter and the stolen moments of candor and abandon that live in around me and propel me forward.

The wisdom that tragedy gives us is that we should all live in the wonder of youth.

I will not follow the rules that someone else made and call it living. I will not live to please everyone but myself; I will not rush through my life as if it is a race to my death. I will not allow the death of my great love to be the thing that cripples me and drains me of life little by little until I die. I will let love and death be my teachers; those things that remind me to live big, to laugh and to always choose love. The wisdom that tragedy gives us is that we should all live in the wonder of youth. Calamity knows no prejudice, at some point it will bring us all to our knees, it will not leave us unchanged but we should never allow it to diminish us.

Life, love, loss; it comes and goes in waves.

Roar (Too Much Woman) Wise Project 2018 -#TenaciousTuesday

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I posted a piece a couple of days back called Too Much Woman by Ev’Yan Whitney, I shared it having no idea who she was and it was a couple of days later when I found myself going back to the piece to read it over and over again that I decided to look her up. The piece was written back in 2014 and published on Ev’yans blog Sex Love Liberation.

Her blog is stunning visually and it contains a lot of raw truth for anyone who struggles with their sexuality and womanhood. I would even suggest that men read it, if you are in love with a woman who has difficulty accessing and embracing her sexual side you may want to gently direct her to this blog. There is a lot crippling shame and emotional discomfort that plaques both men and women who deal with sexual issues and it can be emotionally draining on the individual with the issue as well as there intimate partner. Relationships are not easy without the added stress and shame of sexual dissatisfaction.

I was lucky to be a part of a presentation yesterday put on by The City of Edmonton and facilitated by ex British Military and intelligence Dave Ainsworth. The course has absolutely nothing to do with sexuality but as all things are relative and I find myself frequently connecting the dots of the universe, David said something that resonated with me and I wanted to share it with you both in the context that it was intended and in the way I feel that it relates to everyday life. It led me back to this piece and how we so often let our fear of embarrassment, our fear of speaking up takes precedence over what we know to be right. The course was an Active Intruder/Shooter course and Mr. Ainsworth took us through multiple scenarios where if one person had spoken up, the outcome could have been different. I was relaying this message to my daughter on a walk last night and she said “but that stuff doesn’t really happen in Canada” and the truth is yes it does. Yes it happens on a smaller scale but Canada has unfortunately had fatal instances of terrorism as well as school, domestic and work related violence. In almost every scenario we were guided through, there was an incident where someone could have and should have spoken up and didn’t and it affected everything. I highly recommend that if you have an opportunity to attend a course in your city to do it but for me this message led me back to Ev’Yan Whitney’s piece “Too Much Woman” because so often it is ingrained in our being to be small, be polite, don’t create waves, don’t speak up…

I am telling you today “FUCK THAT” ‘Too Much Woman” we need you. Keep showing up, keep speaking your truth.

I am sharing this piece below because it means something to me, it reminds that it is OK to be all of me, to be expansive and fill my space, to want, to ask, to seek and desire. To move, to expand, to feel and to be every single bit of me.

I am a “Too Much woman”

Too Much Woman

There she is. . . the “too much” woman. The one who loves too hard, feels too deeply, asks too often, desires too much.

There she is taking up too much space, with her laughter, her curves, her honesty, her sexuality. Her presence is as tall as a tree, as wide as a mountain. Her energy occupies every crevice of the room. Too much space she takes.

There she is causing a ruckus with her persistent wanting, too much wanting. She desires a lot, wants everything—too much happiness, too much alone time, too much pleasure. She’ll go through brimstone, murky river, and hellfire to get it. She’ll risk all to quell the longings of her heart and body. This makes her dangerous.

She is dangerous.

And there she goes, that “too much” woman, making people think too much, feel too much, swoon too much. She with her authentic prose and a self-assuredness in the way she carries herself. She with her belly laughs and her insatiable appetite and her proneness to fiery passion. All eyes on her, thinking she’s hot shit.

Oh, that “too much” woman. . . too loud, too vibrant, too honest, too emotional, too smart, too intense, too pretty, too difficult, too sensitive, too wild, too intimidating, too successful, too fat, too strong, too political, too joyous, too needy—too much.

She should simmer down a bit, be taken down a couple notches. Someone should put her back in a more respectable place. Someone should tell her.

Here I am. . . the Too Much Woman, with my too-tender heart and my too-much emotions.

A hedonist, feminist, pleasure seeker, empath. I want a lot—justice, sincerity, spaciousness, ease, intimacy, actualization, respect, to be seen, to be understood, your undivided attention, and all of your promises to be kept.

I’ve been called high maintenance because I want what I want, and intimidating because of the space I occupy. I’ve been called selfish because I am self-loving. I’ve been called a witch because I know how to heal myself.

And still. . . I rise. Still, I want and feel and ask and risk and take up space.

I must.

Us Too Much Women have been facing extermination for centuries—we are so afraid of her, terrified of her big presence, of the way she commands respect and wields the truth of her feelings. We’ve been trying to stifle the Too Much Woman for ions—in our sisters, in our wives, in our daughters. And even now, even today, we shame the Too Much Woman for her bigness, for her wanting, for her passionate nature.

And still. . . she thrives.

In my own world and before my very eyes, I am witnessing the reclamation and rising up of the Too Much Woman. That Too Much Woman is also known to some as Wild Woman or the Divine Feminine. In any case, she is me, she is you, and she is loving that she’s finally, finally getting some airtime.

If you’ve ever been called “too much,” or “overly emotional,” or “bitchy,” or “stuck up,” you are likely a Too Much Woman.

And if you are. . . I implore you to embrace all that you are—all of your depth, all of your vastness; to not hold yourself in, and to never abandon yourself, your bigness, your radiance.

Forget everything you’ve heard—your too much-ness is a gift; oh yes, one that can heal, incite, liberate, and cut straight to the heart of things.

Do not be afraid of this gift, and let no one shy you away from it. Your too much-ness is magic, is medicine. It can change the world.

Don’t believe me? Check this: All of your favorite women, the ones who’ve made history, the ones who’ve lent their voices for change and have courageously given themselves permission to be exactly who they are. Some examples: Oprah, Ronda Rousey, Beyoncé, Kali, Misty Copeland, Janet Mock, Mary Magdalene . . . they’re all Too Much Women.

So please, Too Much Woman: Ask. Seek. Desire. Expand. Move. Feel. Be.

Make your waves, fan your flames, give us chills.

Please, rise.
We need you.

 

Share this message with your friends, it is important that we not only are assured that we are enough but that we feel free to be all that we are. We are never “too much”

This is no time for us to roll over and purr, it’s time to ROAR

xo Michelle

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