Broken Heart, Unbroken Spirit

I wrote this a couple weeks back when this was still new, as a way to put everything out in the open. I am finally ready to share as I am coming to terms with everything and accepting my life in this present moment. It’s getting easier everyday as I recognize that walking away after giving so much is not a sign of weakness. Don’t ever settle friends. Everybody deserves to find their happiness and if you are able to share it with somebody special along the way, then it is that much greater. So here goes:

I have loved you with all of me. I have given all of me, jumped in with my whole heart and never looked back. This pains me terribly that all the pieces of my heart were given in vain. They were taken, slowly, over time. I was OK with this because there wasn’t anybody else I would rather have shared my heart with. I was perfectly content sharing my heart and life with you.

Now I am here, alone in this rented home that was once ours. The tears fall so easily sometimes I don’t even notice. Stupid things remind me of you and I feel ridiculous, crying in the middle of the living room. The pain consumes my entire being. I no longer get a goodnight kiss, hug or even text. I will not wake up next to you tomorrow and this makes me so sad. All I want to do is to stop crying and smile again. Not one of those fake smiles either, the one you do so people will stop asking if you’re alright. I’m talking about a legitimate, down to your core kind of smile. The one where you are completely in love with your life.

I’m not sure which is harder, having this end or not knowing when it will stop hurting. I am so upset with you but I still care for you and I don’t know how that’s possible. Every task in my life now seems harder, yet I feel you are just fine with all of this. The fact that somebody I loved so much could hurt me so badly is still unfathomable to me. I blame it on my naive and trusting heart. On the fact that I take risks, even if it means getting hurt. And because I will always see the good in you, even when you can’t see it in yourself.

You need to figure things out and I honestly respect everything you are going through. I will be here for you when my heart has found peace. But, I am also incredibly broken. You have worn me down more than I ever thought possible. My life had become so intertwined with yours that I lost myself in all of this. Perhaps you were only trying to set yourself free but in turn you have set me free as well. So, thank you. I truly wish you beautiful things and happiness in this life.

Who Are You When Nothing is Left?

I can’t speak for every single person but I do believe that the majority of us will arrive at a point in our lives where we will be tested beyond all measure. We will doubt ourselves and whether we can truly come back from this black hole of despair we have disappeared into. Life will seem to have lost its glow and those rainy days will make it seem as if the whole world is feeling your pain. These situations look different for each and every one of us. It could be the loss of somebody close to you, a terrible break-up, toiling away effortlessly but not landing that dream job or maybe a divorce from somebody you spent countless years loving. It could be a combination of these because when it rains it most certainly can pour. How do you stand tall in the face of the hurricane? Regain that sparkle you once had?

The pain of my step-mother’s passing from ovarian cancer is still raw and fresh in my heart. A month and a half ago her spirit was carried away from a body that could no longer fight for her. It is painful and it hurts. No matter if we are ready for a loss or not, the emotions that are felt when that moment actually arrives are indescribable. It is a head-spinning, leave you breathless, knock you to the ground and bring you to your knees kind of pain. It is real and unreal at the same time. All the words, hugs and prayers cannot rescue you from the depths of just how far these feelings reach. Nobody can fathom the moments that were shared, the memories you hold dear and the love you exuded for this person. You are left feeling utterly alone in this wide, open expanse.

unnamed (23)

The person you are when you have nothing left can only be described as a heartbreaking test of character.

In addition, my boyfriend will be moving out this month and I will move in with a friend this summer when our lease is up. The word “breakup” is not easy for me to say. Not for somebody I’ve known for over six years. Not for somebody I moved thousands of miles for. Not for somebody I have loved with my heart and soul. This is a painful task for both of us and while I respect he needs to work on some things, I feel as though I know where things will go from here. A heart can only handle so much and mine is bursting at the seams recently. I wish I was better at following the advice I give to my friends because I would love nothing more than to walk away. However, I know he is hurting (for reasons I wish not to share) and no matter the circumstances I do not have it in me to abandon somebody who has meant so much to me. Is it worse when there aren’t hard feelings but you both know it has to end? Even though I have experienced both types of breakups, I’m not really sure I have the answer to that one.

All I can pray for at this time is peace and patience. The hurt and pain will subside in time. Just how much time is needed, well that I do not know. What I do know though is that one day the sun will feel just a bit warmer on my skin, the color of the flowers will be a bit brighter, my heart will smile again and I will laugh. But now is not that time. Life is about seasons and this is my storm that I am weathering. I am resilient and fierce. I will stand bravely in the face of the hurricane and I will come out on the other side, stronger and more confident than ever.

That Moment in Meditation When…

Throughout this blog you will hear me talking quite a bit about meditation, yoga, spirituality or a combination of all three. All of these elements have had a profound influence on my life in one way or another. Meditation has been my biggest struggle as it is something that I have trouble sticking to. I find I turn to it when I am experiencing immense grief, struggling internally or facing a big decision. I don’t like to say that prayer doesn’t work for me but maybe I just haven’t found that connection yet that I have found in meditation. I still practice both.

I recently participated in Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience (amazing!) and had participated in a 30-Day Mediation Challenge with Faith Hunter right before that. The challenges keep me on task in the hopes that after completing them I will be able to practice consistently on my own. Much like with yoga or anything else involving practice, meditation is about devoting time and patience to the process. This can be difficult because meditation often involves sitting in silence and just allowing whatever happens to happen. The biggest struggle many people face is quieting the mind. I will admit that is a challenge I still face in my meditation practice and I know it will be awhile until I can overcome that.

I will have more posts on meditation but this post in particular is about that moment in meditation when….maybe you know the one I mean. The one where everything suddenly fits together. Where you have gone so deep that it actually brings you to tears. Where you know nothing else matters except for this moment right here, right now. You feel as if you are one with time, space, nature and the universe. It is almost impossible to describe these moments but you are filled with an overwhelming sense of euphoria and gratefulness. Since beginning meditation, which has been on and off for about 2 years, I have had probably 3 or 4 of these moments. They do not happen often but when they do you will definitely know.

I experienced one the other morning while I was meditating. You see, I lost my step-mom to cancer about a month ago. The healing process during all of this has been just that, a process. It does not happen overnight. There is no magic answer or road map for dealing with this. It just is. You have to find your own way and move through the feelings, which can often be difficult because our society often tells us the complete opposite. We need to tuck them back inside, get back to work and move on with our lives. I firmly believe we are not given the appropriate amount of time to grieve and death is viewed very differently here than in other cultures. I recommend reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying for more on this.

Anyway, more about this moment. This particular meditation was on “finding success without judging others or myself.” It was very powerful stuff, part of the 21-Day Meditation I was referring to. So, there I was in my meditation when I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion. And the craziest thing is, I could feel my step-mom there. I know that might sound ridiculous to some of you but I felt it. She or her spirit or whatever were letting me know it was ok, that she was ok and right there with me. I had always been a little unsure when I heard stories of those things happening to other people but have kept an open mind so I wasn’t necessarily a disbeliever. I had just never experienced it before, until now.

That is my meditation story and like I said I will be sharing more down the road. Feel free to comment on similar experiences you’ve had with meditation or anything I talked about.

Happy Friday friends.

10 Reasons Why Making Your Own Wine Makes You a Better Wine Drinker

Hi wine lovers and friends! Thanks for your patience as it has taken me awhile to launch my next post. I’ve recently taken up a part-time job so I’m trying to balance that with my full time job and writing. It’s just an adjustment so bear with me during this time. 🙂

A few months back I decided to make my own wine. I must admit, it was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself. It was a lot of work and quite a bit of a learning process but I loved every minute of it. I purchased the equipment and “kit” at a home brew store here in Spokane. A kit means that it contains the juice and all necessary ingredients for making your own wine, where as more experienced wine makers may use their own fruit or grapes (depending what type of wine is being made). I chose a Syrah, Grenache and Mouvedre blend, which is a red wine for those who are still learning. 🙂 Without further ado here are 10 reasons why making your own wine is kick-ass:

1) Appreciation – After putting in all that work, it is so great to enjoy a bottle of your own wine. Nothing compares!

2) Science – I was never a fan of this particular subject in school but when it comes to wine I’m completely the opposite. I love learning how everything comes together to make something so delicious.

3) Aromas – You’ll really begin to pick up on certain scents and notice changes throughout the wine-making process. This can help because you can better link which aromas are associated with what wines. It also helps to refine your nose palate. Pretty sure I just made that word up.

4) Knowledge – You will learn so much! I can’t even begin to go into details because I will be writing for days. Also, you will be pretty fancy smancy at dinner parties and such when you’re dropping hardcore wine knowledge left and right. See number 5.

5) Talk the talk – You really want to wow your friends? Use words like malolactic fermentation, tannins and potassium bitartrate. You will be cool and all the kids will like you. (Disclaimer: No promises are being made on that last part.)

6) Dolla’ Dolla’ Bills – So price-wise, making your own wine is pretty awesome and cheap. I paid $90.00 for the equipment, which can be used over and over again. For the kit itself I paid $150.00. I ended up with 27 bottles at the end of the whole process. Not factoring in the equipment since that can be used again that brings us to about $5.56 per bottle. Say what?! And for some pretty tasty wine too! This isn’t wine brewed up in some old boots in your grandpa’s basement (no offense, maybe gramps makes decent wine). That is a sweet deal my friends.

7) Abundance of wine – As stated in number 6, you will have oodles of bottles lying around your house. I kept 2 or 3 bottles out to enjoy right away and then aged the rest. Since then, I’ve tried one bottle at the halfway mark and will let the rest age for another couple months. You will pretty much have a year round supply of wine. Unless you’re like me and consume a bit more. Then it’s enough for maybe 3 weeks. No judgement here.

8) Great gifts – Because you will have so much wine you may suddenly find yourself with suspiciously more friends than you remember. This is ok because you dictate what happens to your beloved wine. Heck, you could even use your wine to buy more friends if you’d like. Remember, no judging here. I have already given away a few bottles and will be giving away more soon. (Please note: It is illegal to sell wine you make at home like this unless you have an established wine business of some sort. So, don’t be silly)

9) Conversation starter – While you are talking amongst strangers and they are all “Yeah I played Call of Duty all weekend” or “I spent my winter break staring at the frozen tundra and hating the world” then you will casually reply “Oh, I just spent the past couple of months MAKING MY OWN FREAKIN’ WINE.” There might be some silence while they take in how awesome you are. This is normal.

Siphoning the wine. I don't recommend wearing white during this.

Siphoning the wine. I don’t recommend wearing white during this.

10) Fun – I don’t really need to explain this one too much. Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of work from start to finish and there is some waiting involved. I did have fun though, especially sampling it during and after. It is so worth it in the end!

Thanks for reading! I know this was lengthier than most of my posts but I hope you enjoyed it. A word of advice: Be sure to keep a journal and record everything during the wine-making process. This is super important and helps you know what to do or not do next time. It’s also ideal for recording measurements and all that fun stuff. And take some pictures if you like!

Happy wine-making!

Tales from a Facebook Junkie : Detox Week 1

As part of my year devoted to me I deactivated my Facebook exactly one week ago. Let me tell you, it feels fantastic!! You never know just how much you need to have a mindless distraction in front of you until you completely delete it from your life. How do I fill my time if I’m not obsessively scrolling through people constantly complaining or somebody ranting about politics? I will gladly tell you. Here is my list of other wonderful activities and/or hobbies I have been able to devote myself to in this past week:

1) Reading – One of my most favorite things to do and now I have even more time to do it! My book list and stack of books waiting to be read has gotten a bit out of hand. Currently reading: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle. Highly recommended!

2) Yoga – My other love. I have been practicing consistently (mostly from home) for a little over a year now. My passion and devotion for my practice has grown immensely in that time. I love the feeling of stillness and being held in this very moment whenever I get on my mat. (I’ll have a post completely dedicated to yoga one of these days.)

3) Arts/Crafts – I think I just like saying arts and crafts because it reminds me of a simpler time back in the days of finger painting and Elmer’s glue. I’ve had some projects on the back-burner for the longest time and aside from the fact that I put the PRO in procrastination, I now have more time to bring some fun into my life.

4) Presence – Dedicating myself to a daily yoga and meditation routine has brought stillness and awareness into my life. Without always keeping up with what is going on in other people’s lives, I have more time to notice the world around me. Small things I took for granted before such as snuggling with my Iggy’s after a long day, taking the time to cook a meal or appreciating the way the sun shines into our home.

5) Relationships – It’s no surprise that relationships take a little more work in today’s day and age filled with technology. Without Facebook around, I realize who the truly important people are in my life and actually take the time to connect with them through a call or text message, instead of just creeping on their profile page.

Overall, this first week has been healthy for me and this might sound crazy but….I don’t even miss it! I pictured myself having terrible withdrawals and coming up with ways of stopping myself from checking what was going on in Facebook land. But not having it has made my life less….complicated I think. I don’t worry about silly things or get caught up in others’ negativity (not that I did much before). I recommend going Facebook-less for pretty much anybody. It’s a nice detox for the soul. Will I come back to it? Maybe one day. However, I’d like to think that if I do it will be when I’m at a better point in my life and can keep the scrolling in check.

Wishing you all a great week!