Monday, December 31, 2012

This was the year...

And what a big year.  We moved to LA.  I finished a novel and started another.  We had seven sets of visitors.  I visited the South Island of New Zealand, Hawaii and Orlando. I started writing for a few new travel publications, did some PR work for the first time on the side.  Tom and I took trips to Laguna Beach, Palm Springs and Santa Barbara.  We flew back to Toronto to visit family twice.  I completed eight full weekends of a yoga teacher training.  I've made new friends and kept in touch with old ones. I did my first three-day juice cleanse.  I started riding a bike.  I started writing this blog.  Tom and I made a new home. Close to the end of this year I hit a bump in the road and stumbled.  Now it's the last day of 2012 and I'm pretty much back on my feet. My knees may feel a little wobbly but there's sturdy ground beneath me and strength in the muscles that hug to my bones.

So those are the main events among the many others of 2012, but in truth, this was the year...

   ...the ocean got closer

....and I remembered you can always hear it, even in the sound of a breath.

This was the year of knowing you're always moving forward as long as you don't give up

...and that gratitude is infinite is of the utmost importance

....and fear is what you feel just before your spirit grows.

This was the year I was reminded you can't worry about unanswerable questions

 ....and that hope is at its strongest when you're staring the hardest truths in the face.

I learned that love travels through text messages, and webcams and emails.  It sits inside photographs and birthday cards, on notes written on the back of old bills.  And even when you're not thinking about it, it's hanging out in the air around you, connecting you to the world, and all the people you love no matter how far away.  It's connecting you to all beings.  Everywhere.

You are you.  Dare greatly.  Put your true self out there for the world to see — even if that means risking failure, being vulnerable, and writing corny, heartfelt blog posts that are a little too sappy for most people's taste.

See what can happen when you just go with it?

Know that you are blessed beyond your fondest dreams.

Keep your heart open... give, give, give and to receive.  Forgive yourself for being human.  Find gratitude even for the things that happened this year that were excruciating, or at least work on finding it.  Because one day you're going to look back on this year and be in awe of how long ago it was, of how it shaped you, of how you got through it, and of how you were actually able to accomplish so much.  Even though it may not feel like it, even though it might feel like the opposite, you're stepping up.

And the truth is no one can promise you this means you'll see your dreams realized.  The truth is no one knows that much for sure.  But if you're here, you're fed and clothed, sheltered and breathing, you've got today to give it your best shot.

This was a year of love.  This was a year of greatness.  This year and all.  xo

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hope - warning this isn't full of warm fuzzies

If there are any of you out there that wondering where I've been, well, to be honest, I've been avoiding posting for the last little while.

I'm not going to go into it here, but what I will share is that I'm struggling with some things.  I'm okay.  Everyone's healthy.  It's just that, as we all know, life has it's good times and it has its not so good times.  This is just one of those not so good times.

Part of the reason I've been avoiding putting anything up on my blog is because you can imagine what this has done to my writing life.  I struggle with procrastination at the best of times, so when I'm in a funk, there ain't a lot getting done.

I was thinking today though:  Regardless of how far away I am from reaching the goal I set out for myself at the beginning of the year, I've still accomplished a lot.  I have a really solid working draft of my first book.  And I'm almost half way in to my second.

I don't want to lie and tell you that I'm not questioning just about everything right now.  Because I am.  I'm wondering if my plans for these novels are just way too ambitious.  Yet at the same time I've come so very far that I just feel like I've got to keep going.

Honestly, if there was one thing I could wish for it would be for someone to light a fire under my ass so I could speed up and write these books as fast as so many authors write there's — in weeks, in months — and regardless of time spent have the books still turn out fantastic.  At this rate, the time span I'm working with just seems to somehow be growing, regardless of how much closer I get to an end.

Phew! Talk about a pile of depression just in time for the holidays.

Like I said, it's why I've been avoiding this blog

But if I didn't post anything until things got better, then I would start to feel like I was hiding parts of me.  I am a believer in positive thinking.  I am a believer in gratitude (as you know very well if you've read this blog in the past).  But I also believe in truth.  I'd be putting a whole lot of fake up on this blog if I only posted when I was feeling motivated, happy and optimistic — or even just pretended I was.

The truth? I'm human.

And right now this human is feeling a little lousy, and in some ways like she's let herself down.

Do I know if tomorrow will be better?  Does saying it will be, over and over again make it so?  Not if there isn't any action to go along with.

In the meantime, what I know for sure is I've got hope.  After all this time, after so many years of having a dream, even when I've worked at it at a pace that seems to move me forward in inches instead of miles, I've still got hope.

Because regardless of the time that's past, of the months I've been productive and the months I haven't been, regardless of the steps back I've taken in light of the steps forward, I haven't given up.

And I don't intend to.

I can be grateful for that.