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SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 64: Feel

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Perfect word for today while tears are streaming down my face.

Last night I noticed that I was searching for attention from others, many others. Then, when I searched for attention from someone I really care about, and I didn’t get it, I was angry at him, at first. Then I quickly remembered how I had been planning to read my books in bed, and go to sleep early, and instead of giving myself the attention I needed, I looked elsewhere. And when I didn’t get the attention I wanted, I felt angry, then sad, then lonely, then, a-ha! I recognized that I was really angry at myself for not paying attention to me. The little girl inside me, the one who didn’t get the attention she needed as a child, was screaming and fucking pissed off, and I was choosing to direct the anger outwards at others. Sometimes I’m not sure I have what it takes to give myself the attention I need.

The person I really care about that I mentioned above, well, we are theoretically in an open relationship. Theoretical because neither of us has really done more than have crushes, or in my case, met for tea. This morning, as I was contemplating this whole subject of attention, I found out from him that a woman he’s interested in has asked for his phone number. Now the hard shit begins, and the feelings – there are so many feelings. I am scared of not getting attention from him anymore. But why? I know he can’t give me attention all the time, and I certainly wouldn’t want that (I had a relationship with a man who doted on me, and it was rather unbearable). I also know that when I’m with others, that I haven’t lost my feelings for him.

I know some people would question my decision (well, at this point it is more experimentation) to be in an open relationship then. Hell, I even questioned it today, and I’m sure that won’t be the last time. But the fact is, I WANT TO FEEL. And yes, I have some feelings that seem difficult, but those are the ones I’ve been avoiding my whole life. Sometimes the feelings seem so crushing and dense, that I just might die. And this whole idea of not receiving attention – I think it’s really a universal fear of being alone. But I still want it.

This seems like a good place to end, but there’s more, and it is also related to attention. My amazing artist friend is having her solo art show tonight. I am happy for her, but I also feel some envy around the attention she is receiving – not just for her art, but the support of her community. It feeds right into the story of my little girl self who feels a lack of attention. Nobody signed up for my last two studio events, so I also register that as a lack of attention.

I see how I try to get attention, through self-portraits, through writing, through art, through Facebook. Part of me is ashamed (oh goodie, another thing to feel!) of this need in myself, this desire to be seen.

I see that I have a need.
How will I fill this need?
Do I need others for this?
Primarily, I want to fill this need myself, but I recognize that I often go to the extreme conclusion that I need no one, and I am sure that won’t work.

I still need support.
I still need some attention from others.
I want to be OK with that, to accept it, and not use others as a crutch.

This is really hard.

Post-script: I attended my friend’s opening and had a great time, and no envy showed up for me while I was there. I was able to really revel in the magnificence of her work and enjoy myself. Yay!

Also, the writing that I did here was a way for me to give myself attention. The painting that I did afterwards was, too.

And here’s a haiku I wrote today:
Attention I seek
Comes not from others but is
Only from me now

To learn more about the SelfLove365 Project, click here.

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 63: Growth

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How have I grown today? In what ways have I stretched myself beyond my circle of comfort? Have I tried a new activity? Learned something? Made a real effort to expand my capacity for compassion?

This is growth: I spend extra time today giving myself pleasure. Allowing pleasure, really seeking it out and giving in to it, has been a slow, sometimes difficult and shame-filled process.

This is growth: I was consistently aware of how I responded to my son with irritation and impatience, and the awareness was almost immediate. When the awareness comes this quickly, choice and change can occur more easily.

This is growth: I spoke my truth to someone I don’t know well, even though it meant this person may not like me.

This is growth: Instead of hoping I could have time to myself this evening, I invited my daughter to speak to me, to speak her truth, express her anger. I stayed connected and present with her, through her “it’s your fault” and “I hate you”. I thanked her. I showed her she’s still loved and is safe to express these things to me, that I welcome hearing them.

To learn more about the SelfLove365 Project, click here.

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 62: Daring

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Truth or dare?

Dare!

I dare you to model in the nude in front of a group of women.

I dare you to speak up for what you want – to tell your husband you desire a sexual relationship with another man.

I dare you to model in the nude again, this time in front of men and women, and be photographed while doing so.

I dare you to ask the universe to meet a man who’s dominant, because if you ask, he will be presented to you.

I dare you to tell the world that shame is your friend, because the universe will provide you with ample opportunities to test your theory.

I dare you to really want something.

I dare you to find things you love about yourself.

I dare you to speak up, cry loudly, feel intense pleasure, eat and fuck with abandon, eat and fuck with total presence, share your insecurities, be completely vulnerable, smile at strangers, smile at loved ones, dance in public, dance down the aisle of an airplane, choose happiness.

I dare you.

To learn more about the SelfLove365 Project, click here.

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 61: Happy

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I can see that happiness is a choice. It isn’t always an easy choice, though. Sometimes my habit of reacting to a situation with anger or fear is very strong, and I forget that there is a choice; I’m operating on automatic.
Several people have asked me in the last few months, since separating from my husband, if I am happy. I can whole-heartedly answer, “Yes.” Happiness in this overall sense doesn’t mean I’m walking around with a smile on my face all the time. I’m constantly diving into the hard (for me) emotions of shame and anger, and working on feeling them as they arise. I probably don’t look too happy when I’m in the midst of feeling shame. But I am excited and happy to be moving on this path of growth, to be curious to see what comes up, to ask for what I want, and to challenge myself to change old habits that no longer serve me. That makes me happy.

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 60: Intention

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How do I move from intention to action? Presence, awareness and breath. Without these things, my intention remains where it was created: in my head.

I need to be careful not to turn my intentions into rules. Once they become rules, I resist them. Intentions have an openness that allows for mistakes. It seems like a fine line, though, between intention and rule. Rules imply a necessity, and an external voice telling me what I “should” do. Intentions seem to stem more from an inner desire.

Intentions are useful within the concept of goals. My goal is to be present in the moment, so I may, for an evening, set an intention to do so, to return to my breath when I think of it. I also have the goal of maintaining a healthy body. Within that goal, I don’t set rules, but intend to workout every other day, eat well, and get to sleep at a decent hour. This doesn’t always happen. Maybe intentions are too easy on me, but I can keep assessing and renewing my intentions everyday. Rules seem so set in stone. The actions I decide to take will really depend on how aware I am in the moment, and whether or not I choose to perpetuate my old habits.

To read more about this SelfLove365 project, click here.

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 59: Voice.

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I want to be heard.

My voice shouts out through teal and red and bright yellow. It sings of hearts and layers and texture. It sighs with the touch of my fingers and the caress of my thighs. It speaks through style, inked skin, and silver accessories. It expresses with movement of limbs and flowing torso.

It remains quiet when it’s unsure or insecure, and speaks up when it’s passionate. It sings along in the shower and discusses the inner workings of the heart and mind.

To learn more about the SelfLove365 Project, click here.

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 58: (heart)

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It’s working hard for me.
When people hug me, most of them tell me they can feel it beating.
I take it for granted.
I appreciate it.
It’s the centre of my feeling body. It’s where the walls begin.
Pump, pump, pump.
Making attempts to pull down the walls.