Tenets 

Ten (or so) things that are of chief importance to me:

  1. To be the kind of person living the kind of life that I can be proud of. I want to be able to look myself in the eye every morning and every evening. I want to do my best, even if for that day it just means I get through it.
  2. Everything I create is a fractal of my relationship with Source energy. I am not so foolish as to believe in my own purpose, but that God put me here to act in service of a higher purpose. My job is to remain open, because I am but a vessel.
  3. Everything and everyone is connected. My mother recently made the observation that I rarely get angry at people, even when they deserve my anger. I guess I just always think people make sense in their context. And I try to be understanding of that. I suppose I always have. Plus, I think not much gets accomplished with anger except I can recognize it as an opening for healing. We have the power to heal one another because of our connections. There is a reason people get under your skin or ignite your bones, do not try to keep people out, learn from them. At least that’s what I try to do as much as I can.
  4. Love is boundaryless. I know for me when I allow someone in and I truly love them, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them. Even when I don’t like them very much at the time. Love is continual forgiveness. I forgive you for not being the person I imagined you to be, and I am grateful for who you are.
  5. Life is always talking to you, it is your job to listen. I used to say that first life whispers then it talks then it yells then it screams. And I wanted to get to the place  where I could listen at the whisper. I am not there yet. And in many ways I feel my rape was life screaming at me. Discerning learning from blame, it happened to me therefore I have every right to question why and to make meaning of it as I do with all things, all opportunities or losses or interactions or events.
  6. You always know. And
  7. Listen to yourself. Trust yourself. Try as best you can to give yourself credit for knowing you best. You are the expert on you. That is not to say don’t learn vicariously or take advice, but even the advice you receive either lands or misses. If it misses then it wasn’t meant for you to follow at that time. Forgive yourself also for not being the human you previously assumed yourself to be AND be grateful for the human that you are.
  8. Timing is everything. I believe that God doesn’t do almost or halfway. That is evidenced by nature. And every adjustment or adaptation in nature is for a larger purpose that rarely makes sense at the time. But there is a synchronicity that is unspoken yet vital to sustaining. There’s never any doubt in flowers blooming or the sun rising, so why should there be doubt in us? I trust that what is meant for me is mine in its due time. It is frustrating for me to wait because I am impatient and impulsive, but at my core I know what will be will be.
  9. Love (which is to say forgiveness and gratitude) heals all wounds. Time is just you getting to the point of forgiveness and gratitude.

Losing ground 

I asked myself how much more I could take. Clearly God knows there exists a strength in me that I was previously unaware of. Not wanting to numb the emotions means electively choosing to feel all the hurt, the pain, the brokenness. And then it means constantly telling myself that I am strong enough to handle the hurt, fortuitous enough to endure the pain, and not broken but human. Then…I write. Because I couldn’t breathe if it weren’t for writing. It’s how I know what my tears are saying or what energy exists within my thoughts. I was thinking about writing when I came across GG’s blog this morning which opened with a quote 

“A writer – and, I believe, all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our misfortunes, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.” ~Jorge Luis Borges

From that moment I was in, hooked. This wasn’t just a blog, this was the universe, Spirit, The Divine, God. This was the message I most needed in this moment. And then came GG’s own words which I will end on. Gina, you beautiful soul, you were my life raft this morning: 

This is when we most need our own compassion and we need to believe that everything we go through is survivable by choosing moment to moment to moment to keep breathingand keep going.  We can’t go around it, we have to go through it.
Feelings demand to be felt.  Explore them and find the words to describe them.  At first for yourself, and then for others. There is purpose in making art with your troubles and sharing the wisdom you gain. 
Always stay true to loving yourself and being brave with your story no matter what is going on.


Transition

As the seasons change winter into spring, so do we also. I am in flux. Sifting through the wreckage learning what I can and cannot hold. Somedays I feel stronger than the day before, somedays I do not. The only things that feel good are sunshine and writing, and long walks at the ocean. Blessed am I to live so near the ocean. 

Erika says to be patient with myself, to give myself permission to not be okay, to do what I can rather than what I used to be able to do. Find a new normal. It’s harder than it sounds and it sounds horrible. Small things, she says, become big things. 

I’ve been wanting to bypass survival to get to thriving. But not only can I not, I quite literally am not. Eating is still hard. Sleeping still requires medicine. Living takes every ounce of energy I have. I get to the end of each day hanging on by a fingernail. And so maybe that’s me right now. 

I keep getting told I’m brave I’m strong I’m courageous, I don’t feel it. I want to. Perhaps I just have to trust that eventually I will. I hope I do. 

Morning 7: Being and Become a Dangerous Woman

A woman can never be too rich or too thin, but until very, very recently, she could be too powerful, for which–if she wasn’t smart enough to camouflage herself–she generally paid the price.

~Stacy Schiff

The day after I was raped I cried uncontrollably, continually repeating “I just don’t understand, I can’t make any sense of it.” Weeks later I’ve had time to reflect and examine the situation and ask myself really hard questions. Why? Because it is important to me to understand my life for the purpose of growth. I wanted to know what I did that I should not do again. Now, I want to try and draw a line of distinction in the proverbial sand: while I do not blame myself for the act, I do hold myself accountable for the circumstances that lead up to it.

I was in a place in my life where I did not put a high value on my body. I may not have articulated that a month ago, but my actions made it clear. Everything from what I fueled it with (late night fast food runs) to who I allowed to access it–men I was not in any kind of committed relationship with. I don’t think casual sex is wrong. I don’t even think random hook-ups are wrong, though that was not really my thing. But I do think that for me my life was incongruent with what I wanted. And truthfully what I deserve.

Previously I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept of celibacy because it seemed punitive; why intentionally deny yourself pleasure if that’s what you want? Well because there is something else that you want more. It’s the difference between long and sort term goals, and if we are continuing to be truthful it is the difference between maturity and immaturity. Not the sex itself, but the ability to have a healthy relationship with delayed gratification; that is maturity.

I was too much id and impatient and too much a slave to my emotions. In reading my “Loneliness” post it dawned on me that previously, I would have tried to assuage that feeling with temporary companionship rather than sitting through it. Because I hated the feeling. I still do, but at present my discomfort with physical intimacy outweighs my want for it. And I’m hoping that the discomfort is replaced by emotional fortitude. I don’t want to reach for just anyone in the moments I feel weakest. I want to have the ability to wait it out.

Full circle, I want to have the ability to believe myself bigger/stronger than my moments of pain/hurt/loneliness. That is what I was unable to do before. I caved. I sought attention and I used my body it obtain it. The men I associated with…

And sidebar, in this moment I am feeling the need to explain the relationships I had. To tell the readers of my public journal that I was not a whore or a slut…and in this noticing I realize that in hindsight I judge myself and I was about to beg forgiveness of my audience for being those disgusting misogynistic and pejorative terms, but no. I don’t need it. Part of my learning since the rape is that my appraisal of myself is more important than others’ appraisal of me. AND be it ironic though it may be, since the rape, the understanding of my own self-worth has increased tremendously.

So, I was saying…the men I associated with did not value me. And if it is one thing I’ve learned from hours of Pinterest therapy, it’s that if you do not know your worth, you’ll allow other people to assess your value and you’ll believe them over yourself. Again, a month ago I would have never said that, but my actions indicated it. I consciously sought out the approval and appraisal of men.

I don’t want to be that woman anymore. I want to dress for myself. I want to undress for myself. I want to walk, talk, eat, and exercise for the love and honor of myself. I want to grow for myself and not for the promise of love or a partner. I want to be better for myself. I want to glorify God and use every ounce of potential placed in me for my own gratification and not for the applause. I want to be proud of the person I am without accolade.

My sexual assault was a wake up call. It was a startling jolt of awakening that opened my eyes to the energy I was emitting into the world. I suppose that’s a controversial stance, but in my refusal to be a victim it also means I have to be accountable for my role. Not in the act, not in the force or the violation but in the circumstances that created the opportunity. I couldn’t have known he would do what he did. But, what I glean from the entire ordeal is that if he would have never been at my house or even in my life if I could have given myself what I was seeking from him.

Hard lessons. And maybe in a year I’ll disagree with myself but for right now that is my understanding. One last step before I end, “…what were you afraid of anyway?” A woman who is living for herself is a dangerous woman. It is not the disregard of the need of relationships, I need you to see me but I do not need you to define me. A woman who knows who she is, is a dangerous woman. She does not crave and subsequently cave. She realizes her own self-sufficiency because just as the universe can provide for itself, she is a universe in her own being. A woman who does not live and die for the approval of others is a dangerous woman. Because as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give permission to others.

Here’s to being and becoming a dangerous woman

Day 6: Clean

Before I went to bed I knew the next day would be spent cleaning. In the midst of everything else my roommate and I found out Monday that we would have to move. It wouldn’t have been such bad news of we didn’t a) absolutely love our place and b) have no time to move. However, with our lease ending at the end of April we had to make something happen. True to form by the end of the week we had secured a new place. Smaller and just a bit cheaper but secured. And that’s all we needed. So to make things easier on myself once packing time came I decided to go through all my things and do all the sorting one usually only does in the midst of moving. I tossed old things, made a clothes donation pile, scrubbed my bathroom, vacuumed, once I got started I just couldn’t help myself. 

When I got in the car headed to go get dinner (and a car wash–my car was filthy from days spent at the beach) Taylor Swift’s “Clean” came on. 

Rain came pouring down 
when I was drowning, that’s when I could finally breathe. 

I don’t know why but these lines felt exactly right for my moment.  The more I sit with it the more I find this horrific event to be one that changes me for the better. Drowning in all the overwhelming emotion of the aftermath you, I, become incredibly clear on what it really takes to survive and thrive. And it wasn’t the things I was dedicating much of my energy to. 

Ten months sober, I must admit…just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it. 

That at was my backslide. Slipping into old ways and habits and mind sets the day before…but I was reminded of how ill-fitting that old skin was now. I am different. I cannot do the same old things in the same old ways anymore. And thank God. 

So while my feeling might only last a day, I’ll take my one day. My clean day. 24 hours sober from a life spent undervaluing myself and overvaluing the appraisal of others. 

Day 4: Relax

It was a perfect day. Quite literally, it was one of those days where people would take photos to be made into post cards selling the Southern California dream. Eighty degrees and a slight breeze, clear blue water and shady Palm trees, yesterday was perfect. 

I started off with a manicure. Actually I started off with a shower. I always feel the need to have my legs perfectly smooth when I get a pedicure. I feel it’s the least I can do as someone graciously agrees to get my toes in order. So I showered. I put on one of my favorite maxi dresses and tied a knot in the bottom–you know the kind of knot you tie when you suddenly find yourself walking along the beach and don’t want your dress to get sandy or wet? Then I headed over to my favorite nail salon for a manicure and pedicure. Next I headed up north to Ted’s for a massage he gifted me. Let me say two things about that, one is that Ted is amazing (and not just because of the gift) but because of his thoughtfulness. I am continually impressed by men who pay attention. Actually I am continually impressed by people who pay attention, but especially men. One of my favorite things about him is when you’re having a conversation and suddenly get interrupted by something, say the waiter comes or you have to cross the street, as soon as the distraction is gone he picks back up, “so you were saying about your…” He always remembers right where we were and wants to go back to it. The second is that his generosity is never without intention, which I love. It is not haphazard or ostentatious. It is thoughtful and well meaning and always from a place of love. I continually tell him what a blessing his friendship has been to me. 

So I got a massage. My first one ever and it was amazing. I am pretty sure I fell asleep I was so relaxed and the masseur worked out kinks and knots in my shoulders (weight of the world) and back (concern over provision). I’ve honestly never felt better. It could also be that sometimes you just need someone to touch you. With some intention and purpose for your betterment and for your healing. I fully believe in the art (and science) of Chinese medicine. And our body energy and flow cannot be ignored. I feel like a new person after that massage. 

Next, I headed down south to shower and get ready for dinner with Ted and Elizabeth. We were going to Mister A’s because they were one of the few places in the city that was selling foie gras. Note, the delicacy has been illegal in California for some time and the ban was just recently lifted. It seems, though, some restaurants are still iffy on incorporating it into their menus. So, after a few drinks and an Uber ride we arrive at the restaurant fashionably late, which is perpetually our style, and sit for dinner. And while the food was certainly delicious–I ate everything on my plate including three pieces of bread a foie gras appetizer and multiple glasses of wine–the conversation was better. 

I love having good conversations with people. I will note that we were so engaged with one another that we did not even comment on the view, which is the reason people even go to this restaurant. We were fully present with one another and it was magnificent. The conversation spanned from joy to love to expectations, to energy to travel to art. It was perfect. After each of our respective bathroom breaks and three hours of one another’s company we got up to leave. Hugging and saying our thanks and deciding to do it again. 

As I woke up this morning after a great nights sleep, something I hadn’t had in a while, I smiled in remembering last night. There’s a reason days like that don’t happen everyday, it’s the law of relativity. But man am I ever so grateful when they happen. It reminds me of what great people I have in my life, which makes me proud of who I am. My accomplishments do not do that, my bank account doesn’t do that, nothing makes me prouder than the people I surround myself with. So it was a day of relaxation but it was also a day filled with honor. Honoring myself. Honoring those in my life. Honoring the spirit and love and connection. It was a delicious day. 

Day 3: Joy 

This morning, I wasn’t feeling particularly well physically. Yet, my spirit was so full from all the attention I’d been dedicating to myself in the past few days. Laying curled in bed I began to wonder where the joy came from exactly? Did I get it from the sun or the ocean? Was it in isolation or in community? Where had it been and how had I stumbled upon it? I asked about a hundred people:

If someone asked you the secret to joy in life what would you say?

“Motherhood”
–my mom

“My belief in Jesus. That belief centers everything for me and is continually the basis for my joy. It’s my ultimate constant.”
–Katrina

“Freedom. Most people are so tied to working and sustaining lifestyle and bills that they don’t get to truly live, pursue their interests and passions or even form meaningful relationships with loved ones.”
–Dell

“Friends like you who make life splendid.”
–Rox

“I would say it’s just living without worry. Letting go of worry over things you can’t control and understanding that joy is something from within and you can’t find it outside of you.”
–LaNeshia

“I would ask them, why they think I’d  know where this highly sought after gem is located lol” ((he later added)) “My answer isn’t one. Because I think only that individual can find out what will bring them joy. And that no one solution will be universal.”
–Tyree

“A willingness or ability to be joyful. Impossible without that.”
–Linda

“[To] Do what you want.”
–Melissa

“Butter”
–Jennie Miller

“Love. Love of yourself and others. Mindfulness is also a big part of it.”
–Nicki

“God, seriously I’ve seen and experienced so many disappointments but all my joy that I have experienced comes from his blessings.”
–Troy

“Knowing that my presence in other peoples lives somehow enhanced theirs after meeting me and knowing I contributed to the betterment of mankind by my actions! And having a daughter as smart as you to further that tradition!”
–My Dad

“Maybe doing what makes you happy no matter what people say or the obstacles stacked up against you?”
–Latrisha

“True friends. That’s really what’s it all about is love. Friends lead to spouses and children. If I have learned anything in life [I’ve learned] the people in my life are my joy.”
–Britney

“Peace & love….although I’d hardly say those are secrets”
–Adriana

“Being content where you are.”
–Jakora

“passion, pain, and love and the recognition that each of those things needs the other.”
–Whitney

“The way you process your thoughts.”
–Lee

“Self-love and appreciation.”
–Miki

“The secret to joy, eh? Welp, I would say that has to do with trusting your internal voice. It’s when you get to a place that you don’t need the external validations and where you feel comfortable in who you are and how you feel. It’s in knowing that external supports are present but you don’t need those supports to necessarily know what you want. It’s in being able to know who you are enough to continuously surround yourself with the people that challenge you, encourage you, make you laugh, and want you to be your best self. It’s in the ability to make yourself laugh because you enjoy spending time with yourself. You enjoy your quirks but you don’t need others to tell you that your quirks are cool. Also, James Taylor and the ocean.” She later added, “I also think that joy is about heartbreak. Not everyday is “happy” but happiness isn’t joy. The two aren’t one in the same. And perhaps I can’t articulate the exact difference, but it still exists. It’s being okay with immense heartbreak because you’re better for it. You’re better for being resilient and you’re hopefully able to give yourself more fully after the fact. After you weave in and out of comfort and putting up walls, you can look back and say, “I’m okay.” It’s appreciating those wins- big or small. I know I can sit here and say that I’m incredibly glad to have gone through the worst kind of heartbreak one could ever imagine, because it helped to challenge my views on the world. It made me harder and it made me struggle faster to realize that I didn’t want to be so hard. But not everyone should or needs to go through heartbreak, but it’s appreciating all of the losses and letting them add to your being.”
–Emily

“Lately I feel like I plan for it- what will I do today that I really enjoy? Even if it’s just a good cup of tea or a true hug from a friend. I also find joy in finding the joy.”
–Fabiola

“Not sure I know it. LOL. Um, enjoying as much free time as you can with family and friends.”
–Audrey

“The secret to joy in life…I would say faith. Faith, not specifically religion, but faith in something beyond what you see.”
–Arika

“Being willing to get lost in things that are beautiful.”
–Conor

“The secret to joy in life is… To not take it too seriously and try to see the light side of everything (as opposed to shadow). The light would thus include stuff like love, fun, etc etc. ”
–Annie

“Finding the “awe” in it. A lot of people say gratitude and maybe I have always needed more than most people, but I need to remember awe in order to be happy. I can be grateful for a beautiful night but I am happy when I think about the mystery and magnitude of the stars. Why?”
–Crystal

I think it is important to note that this was the first time anyone asked me “why” I’d inquired in the first place. I told her, I’m just taking an inventory. Curious about the contents of joy. And carried on…

“Being comfortable in your skin…it has an uncanny ability to allow you to “do” and accomplish what you want in life…also, you know me, Jess, dogs😘”
–Heather

“Be still. Joy is always present. You just have to take time to notice.”
–Cheryl

“Realizing that becoming the best you is the happiest you. Won’t matter how much or how little you have if you trust and love yourself to guide your path.”
–Demetric

“[To] Keep looking forward.”
–Julia

“Hmm that’s tough. Living in the here and now so that you can enjoy the good moments and understand that bad ones will pass and will not last for ever. Also, don’t beat yourself up too much when you make mistakes but learn from them and realize how those mistakes have made you a better person. And wine lots of wine 😀”
–Jillian

“Simplicity.”
–Mariko

“It depends: Love and purpose.”
–J.T.

“Finding yourself and a career that gives you purpose?”
–Carmelita

“Life is short. It takes up too much energy to worry about what other people think. Your life is yours to live. Don’t let others dictate how you live it or have power over your own happiness. That’s what initially popped into my head. So I’m gonna go with it.”
–Ben

“Gratitude.”
–Michael

“Gratitude.”
–Meredith

“Giving.”
–Marianne

“Hmm good question. I would probably say to love yourself as you are & without any regard to your external circumstances.”
–Rebekkah

” Grace”
–Ted

“Being able to find peace of mind and contentment in your current situation… Whatever that may be.”
–Dominique

“It’s funny to read this today because I’ve had kind of a crappy few days, and while these days I’m normally really happy with my life, lately it’s been harder to make the choice to be happy. But for me, I think the “secret” to joy is actively choosing to be joyful, and seeking a path that aligns with what makes you happy. Focus on the good and actively let go of the things that make you unhappy, even if it feels good in the moment to nurse a grudge. I think joy requires active participation until it becomes a habit.”
–Anne

“Seeing love in life, that is, having a genuine interest in seeing others and myself succeed in achieving our dreams to better the lives of others. A life sourced in forgiveness, integrity, and hope so one might be able to live in and appreciate the present moment to the fullest. (By present I mean, being informed by the past, firmly grounded in the present creating the future dreamt of.) Enjoying the paradoxes in life, exploring them as a pleasant and playful mystery. How about you?”
–Rod

Rod was the first to ask my answer in return. To which I said, “experiencing the gratitude of love.” And carried on…

“Disposable income. There are so many needs that stand in the way of me being able to do what I want. Buy a home, travel, do things other than working to live. And that’s terrible and shallow but that’s what makes things difficult.” She later added, “How did I forget being able to eat well? That’s another thing that I need to do.”
–Alex

“I would say what gives me joy is being spiritually balanced, financially stable, good health and finally having the perfect woman in my life. Financially stable translates to having a good job.”
–Thomas

“Being kind to yourself and others.”
–Erica

“Be with people that bring you joy, work hard, play hard, give, look for the silver linings and laugh, even if you have to fake it or force it, it will become real.

That’s the short answer. For the record, I prefer the word “key” instead of “secret”. It’s not a secret, everyone knows this. But knowing and doing are two different things. The real question is how to implement the keys to joy, IMHO”
–My Step-Dad

“Being able to be at peace in and with every aspect of life.  Never settling, but truly at peace.  Accepting what was, what is and what is to come.  Joy is the deepest of gratification and isn’t typically obtained easily, however it IS obtainable.  PEACE is the answer.  And oh what an immense pleasure it is to have both!”
–Shamiah

What I learned was that joy was not quantifiable. Or monolithic. Joy was small tangible things like currency and joy was big abstract things like God, joy was an ideal and a verb. It both happened and could be stumbled upon, given the correct set of circumstances. Whatever the recipe, joy was an experience that every person I asked could recount. That’s what made me smile on my day three. Was that joy could even be recalled in the remembrance of joy. Which makes me think that maybe it’s closer than I imagine. More simple even than gratitude or love. Maybe joy is also in being. In connecting. In knowing AND unknowing. Maybe joy just is. And sometimes when we have sense enough we tune into it.

And to my friends and family, thank you for sharing your joy with me.

Day 2: Annie 

Day two was a day of driving. I kept thinking I would stop, walk the coast or a park. I wanted desperately to write a note to Annie but my spirit just  wanted to keep going, so I allowed it. Though I’ve been in bed resting for quite sometime, I’d just grown still enough for the words to start to arrive. 

Annie, 
I want to know you better. It’s a curious thing to feel the need to be closer when already we are so bonded. But it’s true. Much of the reason I admire you since our first, err, second meeting was because you were honest in a way that would scare most people. I thought then that I wanted to be that courageous about the things I want and the people I want to be around. 
You’ve pushed me beyond any other peer I’ve ever had. And as dear as I hold my writing, I trust you with it. I feel we are equally invested in each others’ success. Truthfully, I partially took this pause for you, too. Practically speaking because it will help me get back to a place of productivity with our writing and editing, and metaphorically because it’s the pause you would never allow yourself. I’ve also been working on words to say about the grieving for us. I can feel the presence of our unhad conversation. I want to find the words for you, but I’m afraid because no combination dulls the pain. No rhyme curbs the hurt. No syntax soothes the ache of what we know was our truth. If only for a few precious moments. 
It isn’t lost on me that you also hold the horror of that night. I’m so thankful you stayed with me as I recounted it for the first time. I think maybe I borrowed your strength to bear the words. Far too many bonds of pain weld us together. Perhaps the alchemy of our experiences will preserve our friendship so that it may sustain without tarnish, or depletion. 
You are like the most beautiful song with no words. I see that. Long sees that. I do believe everyone who has really looked at you must. In your delicate melody houses a million thoughts, not unlike those still deep waters. A love song or the slow march as a soldier prepares for war, a young girls dance through a garden, it could all be there at any time. You’re a curious and enigmatic piece and because of your canvas I see reflected back the very dreams of my heart. 
That is what you do, you continually gift possibility. And I don’t know how that is. So I want to know you better. Because I want to know what to say when your song sounds sad. I want to know how to dance when it’s happy. I want to be a better friend to you. One that is more present and vocal about the gratitude I have for you. 
I do not know what we were in another life, but in this life we are sisters. 

Day 1: A New Shell 

“…and why is it,” I asked my roommate rhetorically, “that its so much easier for people to except change after a tragedy as opposed to anytime we want something different?” 

She said the question stayed with her even days after our initial conversation. The one where I told her all the things I wanted to do differently moving forward, as if my trauma had allowed me a sort of “reset button”. In a way though, it had. So severed from the person I used to be I’m left with two options, to try and inhabit that old me that is just an empty shell or to change. I explained it to my ex: “Trauma is funny. (In what way?) It redefines you. The old you is uninhabitable. It forces a reincarnation of sorts. But it’s the exposed vulnerability as you move into your new self that damn near kills you. Like a hermit crab switching from one shell to the next. 
So I think the past two weeks was me switching shells. And this week, my pause is my first in the new shell and I’m trying to adjust. How does this Jessica walk? Talk? What does this Jessica say? How does this Jessica love? Of course many of those things are stored in the muscle memory of me, some were lost, and some I’m choosing to redefine. 
I had a long walk today on the beach and I didn’t think about anything in particular. Just the walk that I was on. The sun beating down on my face, the sunflower headband at my brow, the grains of sand beneath my feet; I was just in that moment. I sang along with my music and I stopped every now and again to look around. I did not try to make sense of anything or anyone around me. I didn’t guess at their stories. I didn’t listen to any conversations nor engage in any of my own. I simply was. And it was beautiful. 
I have no idea what time I arrived but when I left I felt as though it were just the right amount of time. That’s what today was supposed to be about right? Just being in touch with myself. And it felt good to give myself permission to simply be. I’ll be giving myself permission for a few more things moving forward too. And not asking for affirmation from anyone else either. That’s also what this week is about, I think. Listening to myself and reconnecting with my intuition. Already I have to say, this was a good decision.