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Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you're here.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

This Little Light of Mine


“If we are going to find our way out of shame and back to each other, vulnerability is the path and courage is the light. To set down those lists of *what we're supposed to be* is brave. To love ourselves and support each other in the process of becoming real is perhaps the greatest single act of daring greatly.” ― Brené Brown


Something really importantly huge is shifting in me and it has so much to do with, well - everything.  As I begin to write this morning, I remind myself to 

B  R  E  A  T  H  E.  

There is this explosive, little beam of light inside me that wants to just fly, that is so very tired of being contained and careful and, well - it's hard to put words to an explosive little beam of light.

So.  Where to begin?

I think I'll begin with what happened last night.  For the last week or so, I've been lucky enough to be a "student" in my brave friend, Alia's, online class (beautifully called Soul Harvest).  Yesterday morning, she shared a video with us that shifted something inside of me, the video was about being willing to show up, fear and all, being willing to be utterly vulnerable and uncool, because this kind of showing up is true FREEDOM and opens the door to, well-

everything.  

In her soul-stirring video she sang the song "This Little Light of Mine," and it made me cry. And, she invited us to sing along.

So, what did I do?  Despite the grumbling & persistent protest of my eleven-year-old I 

SANG 

and sang and sang.  I sang until one of my two dogs started anxiously whining (the other one is deaf which, in this case, makes her lucky).  I sang even though it was growing increasingly darker outside and I still hadn't started dinner.  I sang quietly.  I closed my eyes and felt my heart fill.  I belted it out way loud to my striped tabby cat in the garage. For a couple of seconds, I worried that the neighbors could hear, and then I realized something really important - 

I didn't give a shit.  

Not in a non loving, not caring, mean way, but in a FULL, all encompassingly, wholeheartedly loving myself way.  

And right in the middle of all this singing, I realized...oh my gosh.  

This is it.  

When we really and truly get to the point where we care more about showing up with our whole, wide, broken, vulnerable, messy, REAL, beautiful, SINGING heart, rather than what people may or may not think (or what our critical, "tiny-me" minds think) - we are 

F R E E.  

And, oh goodness me - how we all want/need - are insanely HUNGRY - to be free.

Deep breath.

So.  After all of this singing, after driving my daughter out of the kitchen because she kept insisting that I STOP singing, I did something else that was utterly liberating.  

I recorded a video of myself singing, "This Little Light of Mine," and then immediately posted it to the private Soul Harvest Facebook page.  And then I had a moment (but just a tiny one) of, oh shit.  What the hell did I just do? And then this - 

I don't care. 

I realized that, even through my "tiny me" eyes, and through the eyes of almost everyone I could think of, I looked like a complete and total uncool DORK, I didn't care.

I am imperfect and I am enough.  I am imperfect and I am enough.  I am imperfect and I am enough.

To be, finally, in my 40s, setting down this ancient, heavy list of what I'm "supposed" to be, to no longer be fixated on what "needs" to be hidden or changed or fixed, to know that I can show up exactly as I am RIGHT NOW - is 

Freedom.

I am imperfect and I am enough. 

Big exhale.  

Yes.



17 comments :

  1. Big smiles :D

    The best feeling in the world is knowing you're free, I think. Free to love ,free to choose, free to dance--free to be anything you want to be.
    Society puts so many restrictions on us--what we should think, how we should act, what should we do. We even judge others, saying "that's not appropriate for that person of ____ age" or "he/she is crazy for doing that".
    The point is, it's every person's choice to do what they want (within reason--I'm not talking about illegally or immorally, though a person could argue that point as well). But if a grandma wants to dress like a hippie, well then why not? If you want to sing This Little Light of Mine at the top of your lungs all night, that's your right. If you want to dance in the rain, say hello to everyone you meet, or perform random acts of kindness, then you should be able to!
    We judge ourselves perhaps more harshly than anyone else, and while there are "standards" for behaving in society, we often hold ourselves to stricter standards--because we let our pride tell us what to do.

    Wow, little rant there. Ha. But I think it's great to rediscover the freedom you had within yourself all along.

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    1. I love hearing your thoughts here, dear Karin (and said so eloquently). I agree, freedom really is just about the best feeling in the world, and feeling un-free might be the worst.

      I so appreciate your presence here.

      Smiles and love.

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  2. Oh Julia . . . . yes yes yes yes yes YES!!!! I have to wait till next week until the battery I ordered for my camera comes in . . and then I'll take a picture of a piece of art I did that is JUST what you are talking about .. .

    your daughter might want you to stop singing now, but you are actually giving her a gift that she will likely remember well into her own adulthood, that Mom sang her heart out and let her light shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

    I saw a bumper sticker that I love: "I tried to contain myself . . . but I escaped"

    I see your light, Julia . . . and you have helped me keep my own light lit . . . keep shining, girl . . keep shining. . .

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    1. Maureen! I love your YES-es - you're always so beautifully, colorfully FULL of them. I can't wait to see your piece of art - please do share when you get the photo taken.

      As for my daughter..I hope you're right, hopefully my singing with abandon will do more than embarrass the heck out of her. :)

      I see your light back, my friend & it is so, so bright.

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  3. Wonderful! What a feeling to have and makes me think of having many more wacky moments, not that yours was wacky, but really letting go stepping outside of the non conforming box - Go you and I hope next time when you sing, its louder and you share your video ;)

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    1. Tracy - those singing moments were most certainly wacky but, more importantly LIBERATING! :) Thank you for coming here and blessing me with YOU today - you made me smile.

      As far as sharing my singing here - a few more things may have to happen before I'm that brave, but, who knows...it may not be long!

      Love to you.

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  4. You are such a beauty, Julia. Thanks for sharing your story.

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    1. Cheryl, thank you for blessing me with you today.

      Sending so much love your way.

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  5. I am just so blown away by the beauty of you, Julia. That video was such a gift and I am so blessed to have been witness to the pure love there. Thank you for being on this journey with me, sharing your wisdom, love, and LIGHT! I love you.

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    1. Dear Alia...and it all started with a wise, brave, beautiful woman named Alia. You're amazing & so full of light.

      I love you back.

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  6. Julia, I am so incredibly touched by this story. I love how you just kept singing, and kept singing. I followed your lead by dancing in the kitchen much to the dismay of my 11-year-old, but I could tell she also was slightly amused. Here is to letting it lose. FINALLY! Sending love! I love your picture too. It is just wonderful. You are precious and amazing! Glad you are letting your light shine!

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    1. Brooke...it makes me smile when I imagine you dancing in the kitchen with M looking on. I'm not sure if there was even a tiny bit of amusement as my eleven-year-old looked on - she actually said the words: "Mom, you're seriously scaring me." Thinking about that goofy, ALIVE evening makes me laugh!

      Thank you for coming here and leaving your preciousness, Brooke. I appreciate you so much.

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  7. How wonderful and inspiring - thanks so much for sharing this, Julia! I'm working on really, really don't caring what other people think/say about me... and it's so good to see that it's possible!

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    1. It really is possible, dear Rosie - (in moments, at least!) & oh, how freeing it feels.

      I'm really getting that at the root of so much of our pain/suffering/discomfort is the thought/belief/feeling that we somehow need to be different from who we are - everything shifts when we get that we really are ALL that we need to be. When we make authenticity/showing up fully being LOVE the most important thing (and others' opinions NOT the most important thing) - there is so much relief & things start to shift & open.

      Life is amazing.

      Thank you for taking the time to connect, Rosie - it really means a lot.

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  8. Goosebumps. I so love this post. Of course, how I could I not. I've heard you sing, and I can only imagine how beautiful the sound must be when you hit the "I don't give a shit" place! You are remarkable and way, way more than enough. xoxo

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  9. J, how I adore you.

    I don't know how beautiful the sound was but the FREEDOM I felt when I hit the "I don't give a shit" place was truly the gift. I'm so getting that this freedom, this true expression simply for the sake of expressing and then sharing this sacred GIFT with one another (not because it's "good" but because it's REAL) - is really what we're all aching for.

    I love that you're here beside me, J - I take such comfort in knowing you are here.

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  10. oh to be FREE!!!!
    you inspire me
    to embrace ME
    as I am right NOW
    in this moment!
    and yes, in this body
    imperfect perfection!!!

    thank you!!!!

    p.s. I found your post the same day I found this one, with a very similar message....the universe is certainly telling me something!! http://www.rebellesociety.com/2013/05/17/8-wondrous-ways-to-restore-your-wild-spirit-2/

    check out the first quote in it!!!! SHIVERS!!!!

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What are you thinking/feeling? I'd really love to know...

♥ Julia