staying slow

I feel so grateful. I have been practicing daily gratitude for almost five years, and I’ve never felt this grateful. I also feel really happy right now. It’s interesting to feel happiness and pain at the same time.

I’ve been struggling lately, and I have so many people reaching out to me, visiting me when I am stuck at home, and supporting me no matter where I am on any given day.

And at first, I was completely embarrassed. Right now I am having trouble living up to the expectations I have for myself, and others are carrying me through this wave of uncertainty. I was embarrassed because I truly cannot bring my A-game to my daily life.

I’m letting go of embarrassment now, and turning it into gratitude. (or at least, attempting to do so)

I have been living in self-reliance for so long. I think I was in denial of it at first. So stuck in denial that I didn’t even realize it until my therapist suggested it. I have this attitude of, “leave me alone, don’t carry me, I can take care of myself.”

But the truth is, right now, I need others. And that just feels odd to me. That others are offering to take some of the weight off my shoulders, and I am giving it to them.

When I teach self-compassion, I do the common, “what would you someone who loves you say to you in your time of shame and struggle.” Currently I’ve been asking myself, “what would your higher power want for you?” And the reality is, my higher power is within me. When I sit and get quiet, I know what I need, despite the fact that what I want is the opposite. And I’ve just been trusting in the spirit of the universe and staying true to what I know I need. Letting others know what I need is difficult, but I am trusting my truth and letting them take pieces of my burden.

Sometimes I feel like a badass warrior princess because I am showing up and doing what I can do, and not doing what I am not able to do right now. Sometimes I think that’s really badass. Other times, it makes me feel like I am weak to let others help me. On an intellectual level that that’s not true. However, I can’t help but feel it when I really want to do something and I have to let that something rest in someone else’s hands.

I’m working on all of this. I am just so full of gratitude that I have people who love me enough to watch me struggle and to do what they can to make that struggle hurt less because they love me.

fourth day of slow

I feel so free here. More free than I’ve ever felt. There is magic in this island. Every moment is a lesson. I see the Spirit of the Universe so clearly in every person I meet.

This place is special. And it comes at a time where I am opening up more than ever spiritually. I feel myself blooming in to my connection with my higher power. It is easy to believe in something beyond myself here.

Yesterday we went on an incredible hike to a beach called Colombier. It is only accessible by foot or boat, and the hike was amazing. We saw a beautiful white bird with this long, flowing tail. We saw a really cool rock wall and talked (like a bunch of granolas) about how cool it would be to bring a crash pad and boulder it. We saw the most incredible views of the ocean and the tiny islands surrounding our tiny island.

It was such a clear day. While I was swimming in the ocean, I felt totally connected to my existence.

Last night at dinner we talked about the Big Bang and what it means to us on a spiritual level. It was a very long conversation, and we came to some pretty cool conclusions about the idea that the Big Bang being the Oneness that we all come from. How the Big Bang was one singular purity, and everything that has come from it has that in every piece of its structure.

Right now I am sitting on the back patio of our place enjoying some music and watching the trees grow. I just ate some crepes. Jonny is smoking a cuban cigar. We’re about to go swimming.

The last time I felt this free was about five years ago, when I was discovering myself in outpatient treatment. I got to experience life in total awe because I had just chosen life. Here I am, five years later, in total awe of life. I forgot that I was missing this feeling. I forgot that this feeling existed.

Now that I remember, I think I can tap into this no matter where I am. I think that in meditation, I can create a bubble for myself where this freedom and lack of worry exists. I am so grateful for every breath. I feel like I am discovering the world for the first time. My curiosity and wonder have been re-ignited.

7 days of slow

I have not been taking good care of my body. Body image issues, little sleep, and long work hours have resulted in a malnourished Simone. Honestly, I am embarrassed.

I want to be put together all the time. I want to look healthy and energized everyday. I didn’t stop when I fell down my stairs. I didn’t stop when I fainted. I am on this quest to prove to my imagined audience that I am not disposable. And I tell myself that in order to do that, I must keep going.

I tell myself that when I miss a day (and a day off, to me, means I am missing a day of work — so I work on my days off), I am giving people the opportunity to realize, “oh yeah, we don’t need her, let’s get rid of her.” I know, I know, that is not at all what anyone is thinking.

It’s what I am thinking.

Really, this couldn’t have happened at a better time. I have been confined to the doctor’s office and my bed for the last two days. I am beginning to feel better, and I get to start eating solid foods today. I’ve decided to use this experience as my bottom. My realization that my mental health isn’t the only thing that comes first, my body is, too. Really, if my body isn’t doing well, if my brain is not nourished, my mental health can’t be 100%.

Tomorrow, we go on our honeymoon. I will rest. I will walk slowly through the market and I will take my time. We have no agenda, no strict itinerary. Just 7 days of slow.

I will not work. I will not check my email or call my coworkers to see how it’s going. I will rest. I give myself permission to let go, and trust. Everything is fine without me, that doesn’t mean I am disposable. That doesn’t mean that I am not valued in my work community.

I will spend today resting and preparing for a long travel day tomorrow. I can’t wait to write from the easiness of a beach.

guest appearance poem

Jonny wrote this song and I begged him to let me share it with all of you. It’s beautiful. The song is beautiful, and I can’t post that (yet?), but the words make a beautiful poem. So, here it is:

I was raised up,

Believing in,

Anything,

Greater than me,

But I didn’t believe,

What I couldn’t see,

So I chose me.

Then I saw the ocean,

I saw the trees,

I saw the sky up high,

And I saw me,

So I chose the ocean,

I chose the trees,

I chose the sky up high,

And it showed me.

That I’m just a man,

On a spinning ball of things,

I can walk any way,

But my troubles follow me,

So I take a breath,

I feel the leaves,

I taste the water,

And the water’s clean.

So I forget me,

I forget my troubles,

I forget my need to know,

And I remember curiosity,

Like I was a child,

Before I knew the world,

Might swallow me whole,

And spit out my bones.

So I grasp at air,

I hold it tight,

I put aside the things I know,

And I take flight.