The healing of an open heart

It feels like a weird old time at the moment. I feel like my life’s exploded – in a good way but I also feel exhausted and overwhelmed and worried…and incredibly excited. I keep getting these bursts of natural highs as I’m being published on a site – a very cool and very popular online journal/magazine – that I recently got an apprenticeship for, as an editor.

That feels bonkersly cool. Like so cool. It’s the first time I’ve felt this excited in freakin’ ages. And happy – actually warm and happy when I’m working and editing.

The other thing I’m feeling loads of at the moment, is grief. So much grief. Like a loss, a hole, that’s in my chest. Like a well of sorrow open wide and sitting deep. I feel able to hold it, though. My heart feels so open at the moment. Like, so open. It feels beautiful. Within the pain, I have so much warmth and tenderness for myself and others. And an openness too. But an openness with protection, with boundaries. That’s not like before.

My openness I think used to feel wide open without limits, or protection. I used to shower love and really believe I meant it – which I did – but now I see that I was also hurting like a motherfucker, and the openness was raw and too painful. It was excruciating, and the love I gave, and could give, from this place, was without boundaries or protection of myself. It never went inwards first.

But now it does. I feel like I’m continuing to master the art of loving number one, and then loving someone else.

And this last year or so, I feel like my hearts been somewhat out of protection for myself. I’ve needed to go inwards, because I was afraid of over giving, of over loving, and getting depleted. So I tried to limit my giving and my openness, my love and my warmth, because I was afraid. And, I needed all I could get.

I totes think this is fair enough, and incredibly healthy. And, even within that, I know I still gave. And loved. A lot.

But something’s changing. My heart feels open and it feels safe. It feels safe to love again, and love from a place of depth and protection, of boundaries and compassion.

It feels safe to tell someone I love them, from a place I really really mean it. It feels safe to hold protection and fierce care for those I hold close to my heart.

It feels safe to hold my power by the hand, and walk with it by my side. It feels safe to step into it and allow it to help me shine.

20140226-071351 pm.jpg

Freedom

20131222-064327 PM.jpg

Oh man, YES. Freedom is the word of the day today. Freedom with myself, my pure and simple, wild and open, self.

Freedom from the world, from the city, from the worries, from the madness, from the emotional drought. From the chaos, from the chase, from the trying,
and from the hidden grace.

A spray painter I spotted today thought so too:

20131222-064430 PM.jpg

It wasn’t for me.

photo 3-5

Right now, I’m writing a piece about my overdose with the hope to get it published and seen. As I write it, I’ve been swinging between concise, conscious writing, and just allowing myself to free-write all over the page, because I can’t seem to stop myself. It’s a bit fucking annoying, but I also feel like it’s part of the process. Talking with a friend last night she said to just let it happen – let the words spill out if they need to. This Is Writing. I realise that hours and hours can so often go into writing just one thing, but I just want it to be concise and easier! I just want to have my words all neatly packed in paragraphs so I don’t have to fucking sort through them afterwards to edit and filter what I want.

But I think I realise this isn’t me, nor will it ever be me. I’m not entirely sure why I thought it would be any different this time round. When I think back to uni, and any other piece I’ve written, I’ve exploded thousands of words onto the page and only used half of them, or less. Part of me does neat and tidy, concise and ‘together’, but the other parts of me Do. Not. And that’s creativity.

Anyway, as I was writing just a moment ago, I was in a phase of spilling the words out onto the screen – them hitting the blank page before I realise what they say – and I found myself writing this:

“It’s a place that I think I needed to visit to know it wasn’t for me. I think it’s a place I needed to visit to know it wasn’t for me.”

I had to write it twice because it blew my mind. I was referring to my overdose, and I was referring to that time in my life. I spend so much in time in total fear and terror that it’s going to happen again. Not because I want it, but because it’s trauma. And trauma can make you feel deluded to the truth, and make you feel terrified that it’s going to happen again. It’s not a case of rationality or reason, it’s a case of terror and a lack of sense of freedom. So when I wrote that just now, it almost made me cry. Instead I found myself sat with a gaping mouth at the screen… maybe this is really true. Maybe it won’t happen again, maybe it was somewhere I needed to go to know that it wasn’t me.

To know that time in my life was perhaps a place I needed to go to find the deepest, darkest medicine that I could ever get. To know suicide is not for me. To know that following the path of my mother wasn’t, and isn’t, for me either. To know that I am who I am today because of what happened, and everything else too. To know that my fear of it happening again, is just a fear. It really was just a stage, a time, a chapter, a nugget of sea salt in this entire ocean of my life blows me away. But I think  I really knew that. I think I always have. I think I’ve always known that I won’t go back there again, but  the fear of really giving myself that feels greater than living with the fear and the hypervigilance that it might…because that’s known ground – the confidence is wayyyyy foreign territory.

As I heal though, and as I type this, I find myself frowning at the screen…do I really feel that? I really do… and that shows me I’m healing because these norms and these levels of thinking or ways I’ve believed I need to live in, aren’t truth anymore. I’m discovering newer and healthier ways of being that are relevant and are real. Like living with trust – for myself and for my life, and for the universe around me.

That’s nice. I’m off to eat some food and – temporarily – drag me out of this writing stuper I’m in. It’s not a bad one, but sometimes I feel like I realise things that literally blow my mind out of my room and into next door’s garden…I think that just happened with what I wrote about, so I best go find it and celebrate.

Love.

20130907-112807-AM.jpg

Body, be a beautiful thing

The past few days I’ve been really wishing I felt beautiful. I mean like properly beautiful. I used to think there were people that oozed beauty and feminity and womenhood, but just recently I am seeing that actually literally all my friends do this, whether they mean to or not. It’s just what being a woman is. I feel like I’m noticing more and more, the beauty and the femininity and the womenly-ness of those around me. It’s like my eyes are looking at the world a bit differently now. And, it means I am looking at myself a bit differently too. There are just still all the old messy self-loathing patterns that are lingering around too, that I need to wade through and kick the shit outta, because they just stop me feeling beautiful so freakin’ often.

I often just look at women in awe, wishing I could feel as beautiful as they look like they feel. But that’s the fucked up thing, none of us know how the other one feels. And the even more fucked up thing is that so so so many women I know, in fact all of them, don’t bloody know how beautiful they are. At. All.

1010745_220656751391708_1987630956_n

Reading a beautiful and inspiring and empowering article just leaves me in awe of these women that are living as empowered, beautiful and mega strong kick-ass, women. I want to feel the WOMAN I am. I’m bored of this nonsense of feeling ugly. But it is changing. All this work on myself, all this shit-kicking trauma work (emdr), all the self-care, mindfulness and mind-body connection that’s growing, and all the time I am spending only with myself in all the raw and vulnerable states, is all working towards me embracing my body. And that may be the most beautiful thing I have ever written. I just wish it would hurry up and happen.I want to feel beautiful and glossy and shiny and lush, whether I’m wearing gold hotpants over my leggings and a fake moustache (there are more photographs of me wearing this kind of outfit than ‘normal’ photographs), or whether I’m wearing a ballgown and heels (this isn’t such a common outfit of mine).

I want to say that Chronic Fatigue was the beginning of me being really aware of the relationship I have with my body, because it was. The aware bit – before that I didn’t even know what those words “have a relationship with your body” meant. I would have thought you were talking Ancient Greek at me. I guess this relationship with my body started the moment I was made. The moment I entered the world, it’s just the awareness of it that came later. The moment I began to think, hear, and see all the opinions, facts, theories, judgements, of my lumps and bumps and that of the world and people around me.

I am so much more woman than I was even six months ago, and this just makes me glow with pride inside. And, it makes me know that this will only ever continue happening – this journey into womanhood. I know I’m already a woman, and I know all this lingo is on the verge of becoming a massive cheese-fest, but it’s just where my thinking has been recently. Ask any woman who radiates out woman-ness and I reckon they will have been on one of these journeys themselves. The journey of learning to love and know your body. The knowing bit I think is the most important bit. Yes, the love thing to, but for me I have needed to know what works for my body. I have needed to, and continue to need to, do solely what my body needs and nothing else. I have needed to know and listen to my body’s limits. I need. And then from this comes the love bit.

I was raised by the most fucked woman in terms of her relationship with her body, and I know part of this healing is me finding my own relationship with my own body on my own terms. I can literally feel this moulded thick waxy shell of suppression, self destruct, self sabbotage, ugliness and self hatred, melt beneath the healthy glow of listening, attention, care, nourishment and love I shine upon it, upon my body. Something I never did before, because it was something I never knew how to do.

beauty in a breakdown

There must be beauty in this mix of mayhem,
There must be beauty, there always is.

Life works like that,
It always does.
I just can’t see it now,
It just doesn’t feel it exists.

But it must,
It has to.
Otherwise where would life leave us?
Feeling shit forever is where.

At times it’s hard to remember this beauty, this gift of life.
When what’s happening to you is because of stuff that happened when you were a kid.
When what’s happening to is because of some fucked up shit someone else did to you.
When what’s happening to you is because a tonne of atrocities that have run riot in your bones for all these years, and only just now are being given a voice to sing.
When what’s happening to you leaves you breathless and crying for that love that never came. That love that isn’t there.

Just like a flower needs to blossom and be watered and nurtured,
So do you.

And just like a seed needs warmth, comfort, nurturing and nutrition to grow into the plant it’s destined to become,
You need a constant, consistent and genuine dose of this too.

If there’s noone there to give it to you. It the parent you do desperately long for is not there and never has been, this in a sense is a gift. This brings the discovery of the beauty of nurturing yourself. Becoming the parent to yourself you so deeply deserve. This gift, this beauty, this need to parent yourself can feel shit. It can leave you feeling less empowered, more hopeless, more sorrow, more loneliness at the fact it’s just up to you, but beneath these feelings is a feeling of everlasting gratitude, love and relief from your inner child to you. YOU. Because you’re the one that can do this. You’re the one that can give you what you need. You’re the one that really knows what makes your heart sing, what lets that inner child’s beauty shine and shine through to all bits of you.

In those moments of fragility, those moments of vulnerability, wrap yourself up and hold yourself close. Know that you are there for you, and that is what matters most.

20120901-204337.jpg

It still doesn’t stop you wanting a big old cwtch* from those you love though.

*cwtch – cuddle in Welsh. One of my favourite words of all time.

As the shadows fall

As the shadows fall and the nights draw close,

I look outside to the thunder and think of what I love the most.

I feel this in me, so longing to shine, blossom, and grow.

I feel this radiance blocked by a continual flow,

Of negativity and pressure and should’s,

Of worries, and fears and would’s.

As I long to cradle this need for love in the arms of my own,

I can’t help but feel like the words I say to myself only make my heart stone.

I have one side of me that’s shining and one side that’s burning.

The heat of the latter could bring an iceberg to shatter,

Yet the glow of the first, should be all that mattered.

Maybe one day, the two will blend?

Maybe one day this isolation and pain will end?

Although I know it never will,

I know life will always hand us turmoil and thrills,

I don’t really mind this,

Provided I can survive this.

Provided my parts can blend,

Into a being who’s strength will never end.

I long for health and energy and vibrance,

Rather than living in either a wired angst, or a sleepy trance.

But as I want to trust the above, I also want to trust this.

That as time flows on, and this work moves forward,

This healing will bring with it bounds of energy and light.

Bounds of what I have wanted to be all my life.

Bounds of what I think I can be if I keep trying with all my might.

Love to you beautiful souls. I share with you one of my favourite songs of all time. This video is a treasure, so put it on repeat and let it flow through your bones and remind you how it feels to be alive.