Tag Archive | self-awareness

If You Don’t Know Where Your Place Is ~ by Chloe Bell

Guest Author: Chloe Bell

Rarely do I have a guest author on Barefoot Baroness mainly because this blog does bear my name. However this is an exception to my rule, this piece by Chloe Bell strikes such a chord inside me I think it’s share worthy. The serendipity factor of finding this while I have been trying to rediscover my place in the blog world caused me to freeze my thoughts when I happened onto this piece of brilliance by Ms Bell.  (yes, FYI, her words have been like a reset button for myself) ~ BB

 

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*Put this next to your bed, where your eyes reach first in the morning light.

Your bed, not anyone else’s. If you do not have your own bed, put it in your place—where you read, where you write, where you know it’s safe to hide.

If you don’t know where your place is, find it.

Written by Chloe Bell

* Cry. In the morning, in the afternoon, on Saturday nights when it will ruin your makeup.
Tears are for washing, for protecting;
stuffed tears turn to poison, to hate, pulsing through the sea of you.
Cry when you are happy, cry when you are broken, cry when you need to
and because someone weak once told you it made you weak.

Begin to belong to you, and only you.
Did you ever belong to just yourself?
Be the person you can count on, to laugh with,
to endure with, to wipe the eyeliner from beneath your eyes.
Be the person to hug your hips, to read books to, to lay in the grass with.
You do not have to fill your spaces with someone else.
If you expect someone else to fill you, there will never be enough love.
Let light flood the empty parts of you and heal with sunshine, not fingerprints.

Exist, and let your existence speak for itself.
Do not make yourself a smoker or a prude or a body cavity to fill.
Do not make yourself into anything other than the person you are.
There is an identity, there always was an identity, you have never ceased to exist.
You have never disappeared, despite your many attempts.
Eat. As much or as little as you want. Do not vanish.
Breathe, deep, shaky, powerful gulps of air. Do not suffocate.

Wander into the places of yourself you’ve been too afraid to touch,
You may find bruises, you may find scars,
Know yourself, map yourself.
One day, someone will want to understand your geography.
Know how to teach them.
Wander too far away from home, leave home, build new homes.
When one burns down, you will always have another one to learn
to trust warmth inside of.

Set down your burdens.
You carried their emotions inside your heart for far too long.
You are not a backpack, or a hamper, or a trunk for all of
their old demons to sit and rot inside of.
You are not luggage, you are a person.

Love will come to you in forms that you don’t recognize.
People will love you who don’t need to be saved.
People will love you for your face in the morning,
and not when they tear down your strength.
People will love you for the way your voice sounds when reading,
and not when telling them what they want to hear.
People will love you because of the creation you are,
and not a wax figurine they tried to turn you into.

Learn to be fresh. To begin each day without yesterday’s mistakes.
Learn to sit in the rocking chair
and hold their flaws gently, cradling them,
as they learn to trust your balance-beam heart.
Learn to smile when plans fall through, when the food gets cold,
when the rain drenches us on our walk home.

Say, “I love you,” only when you want to say it.
Say no, maybe and yes. But not just Yes.
And not just No.
Carry inside of you the story of a person who is a tapestry.
A person made to help flowers grow,
A person made to give the world something no one else could.
A person made in divine light.

Let the hate steep with the tea.
Let your fear of remembering be forgotten.
Let your toes curl up in delight.
Let happiness sit upon your windowsill like a sleeping cat
so that everyone who passes will smile knowing:

You are whole.
You have always been whole.
You will always be whole.

 

Author: Chloe Bell

*I do not own the rights to this intellectual property and share here for only the purpose of sharing because it’s caring.

 

 

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BarefootBaroness2016

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“Take It Easy On Me”

Another-year-wiser-stronger-Happy-Birthday-to-me

 

Happy Birthday to me!

I”m adding another year to my credit today while intentionally celebrating much different from the first 60. {“Is she talking about someone else? Can’t be me. say it’s not true. Can it be so?” }

Reconciling with my chronological age has never come easy for me, I’ve never felt my age. I mean that in both the positives and the negatives. Feels serious this year. I hear my 61yr old Self saying “Barefoot get your soles out there and live life’s adventures you’ve been dream chasing for so long.”

Aye Barefoot.

This year the focus is a celebration that revolves around meeting and learning to embrace my natural self. Learning to like who I see in the mirror, curves and all. Learning to like the scars I can’t erase. Learning that my dream  chasing has never been a ridiculous idea. Today I believe.

It’s been some time since I have felt like I am sitting upright in life’s proverbial saddle again. The last four years Life has led me up and down some very different kinds of trails; including the challenging trails with steeplechase, hurdles, and sometimes spills that seemingly come out of nowhere. Referencing with horse riding is inspired by the old adage when you get thrown from your mount get right back up in the saddle again.” (or something like that)  Because this has become my personal perspective regarding the last four years; rather than letting the spills keep me off my horse I’m committed to continue on. I’m hell-bent on living life and being an active participant, not merely existing in it.

I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that there has been some collateral damage along the way which I’m either saddened by, or I am relieved by. This Blog, Barefoot Baroness, has also taken a few hits and has been relegated to the back seat to other projects that are aimed at inventing this second season of my life. Apparently I am holding onto the reins tighter and with more confidence today than ever before because I’m feeling like I’m remaining in my saddle more often than not now.  Honestly I am actually surprised by this. (Is this really me who is not letting my Self be derailed by spills?)

My absence from Barefoot Baroness has become part of my normal lately. It has become more routine to not blog than I’ve experienced since hitting the publish button the first time almost 8 years ago. I could give lots of excuses why but I rather think my why’s are not important, nor would they make for interesting reading. The fact is that the last four years I have been negligent as a blogger. I have instead become an attentive student of Life who’s reinventing what I call second season of life. I’ve been learning how to live in this thin-skinned shell all my life. I recognize that life has phases and cycles, much like the moon, and it has taken me 60 years of cyclic phases to find complete comfort inside this physical form that harbors my heart and soul.

The past four years have been a lot of things to me, including the powerful phases that have lent to educating and liberating myself. There’s been and continues to be enormous lessons to learn that crib notes and/or an owners manual would certainly have been welcome. But we are individuals independent of one another, my Owner’s Manual could not be your owner’s manual. Maybe there’s good reason we all don’t come with owner’s manuals; although I am often baffled by life’s hurdles and jumps and not always having the answers keeps me putting one bare foot in front of another. Looking back over old journal entries I see that I have been all along creating my crib notes for Taking It Easy On Me.

All along the way I’ve stumbled, tripped, fell out of my saddle, been thrown; and I get back in my saddle each time, albeit not always as quickly as I’d like. Some days it’s a struggle to get back up again, and some days this is an understatement. Admittedly I tend to keep hurdle failures to myself for the most part. The amazing thing though is these past four years I have begun to be healthier than I had been the prior 26 years. It’s not a prideful declaration I make here, but rather instead it’s an admission of the healthy notions from my hopelessly optimistic/positive personality. There are still  times I isolate, on days I tumble and fall, It’s something that I am not proud of, but it’s my truth. It’s what I do.

When my physical body needs to heal I tend to withdraw my whole body & mind. When mental or emotional exhaustion presents itself isolating my Self is instinctively knowing this is how I will put my one bare foot in front of another to get back in my saddle. One foot up into the stirrup, pulling my Self up into the saddle and throwing the other foot over to slip into the empty stirrup….THIS…. is my triumph. This IS my proud declaration. Being authentically true to the ways of how the moon and tide’s impact all the phases of my life.

aging

Starting over again and inventing a second season in my late 50’s was a choice I made. (not to minimize my emotional intelligence knowing I really had no choice) I wanted to be healthy, I needed to be healthy. Today I am healthy. It had been a very long time since I could say that. Because I am an eternal optimist my first nature is to find the positives instead of facing what the reality is. It has been like me to deny that anything is wrong. Denial goes like this:  Deny, Deny, Deny. Keep denying.

I’d become indifferent and had numbed down. Deny.

That I had been living in the midst of personal chaos took me by complete surprise when I stopped minimizing and finally stopped denying. How did I not see what was right in front of me every morning?

Denial, denial, denial.

 

2011 I began feeling again…..every cell, every nerve, each muscle was being wakened by something deep inside. My spirit that was no longer burdened by stress was opening up my consciousness to feelings again. It was frightening, and it was empowering. I had begun to start seeing glimpses of being wholly liberated when in 2012 I could no longer deny even the seemingly insignificant untruths.

“I’d been living a lie.” The 5 word admission….and then..the emotional levy broke. Feelings have been flooding my Self ever since. My emotional intelligence thankfully understands this is an intended phase and I just need to remember to *”Take It Easy On Me” while this steel butterfly learns to fly. (thank you Beth Hart) Being brutally honest with my Self has never come easy. Brutal honesty that comes from another in my inner circle is painfully difficult to accept hearing. Yet there it was. I felt anger and fought the need to defend. Why didn’t someone tell me sooner?

I struggled to not deflect and I tried to truly listen and embrace the perceptions from another. I’ve been so fortunate in that I have people in my life whose mindset is caring enough to accept that mutual reciprocal honesty may involve hurt feelings, possibly something being taken too personal, or too serious. These…the risks of being vulnerable with another.

My belief in the power of transparency between significant relationships remains solid despite that there have been a few sadly misguided attempts by some whose  agenda unkindness came under the guise of being honest. “Yes, go ahead, swear to me just how honest you are, go ahead and convince me that your agenda is coming from a genuine concern for me…while you’re convincing me maybe you can convince yourself.”

It’s the open nature of transparent syncopation that I look for as a solid level foundation for any kind of genuine relationships. Transparency is all about the agenda and the delivery.. maybe most importantly is the agenda.

I also think it’s important firstly to YOU that you are being honest with YOU.

Honesty is difficult, and it’s downright frightening.

Getting honest with your Self’ if you’ve not done this insightful work before might be helpful knowing it’s okay to slow the process down at any time if it becomes overwhelming. During your personal excavation you may at times want to tuck your head down inside your hooded sweatshirt and run the other way as fast as you can.

Denial. Denial. Denial.

Yep. I could only cope with small doses of self truths at a time and I became intimately invested in my over sized hoodie while I allowed my Self the much-needed emotional space between doses of truth. It hindsight it seems that over time I became less sensitive and critical of my Self. “Be kind” my Spirit would whisper to my Self.

“Be kind while you do the work = “take it easy on me.”

I’ve been doing the hard work to finally get to this place where I am strong and confident with my Self;  the if and when questions/problems may arise involving my truths, if so I know how to suss out the answer without it derailing me. In the past without this emotional intelligence and self honesty there was simply denial. I even had created two corners of my mind to sort questions or doubts when ignoring them no longer worked.  I’d either allocate (minimize) them to be insignificant half-truths, or I went straight to denials.

Most of us are deceiving our individual Self’s every day. I was. My evolution into honesty has been slow but unbelievably empowering. Sometimes too painful. I mentioned the fear of getting honest with our Self’s, because being transparent with Self is frightening and it is uncomfortable. My experiences of feeling fear and discomfort today though are being rivaled by the height of my serenity.

I happily have discovered  this internal peace when the oppressive burden of untruths had been lifted. This was my first conscious realization that it was the hard work of getting honest with my Self that brought this amazing first glimpse of the awesomeness of heavenly serenity. A fleeting flash of a moment that I will never forget. Each subsequent moments of gracious serenity reminds of that first glimpse. There is a natural high of serenity for me. A natural high from honesty and serenity that are not laden with shame and guilt, Two emotions best to avoid when possible.

 

Honesty sets you free.

I’d been married for 42 years. I raised a family. I was a Foster mother.I worked outside the home. There were times I lied to my Self by saying I was still there because it was the right thing to do for the children. Right thing to do for me, it was safe. Right thing for him, didn’t I owe him the devotion of forever? But you know what? My daughters both would have preferred to have not had to live in a tension fueled driven home that was broken. Looking back I remember thinking,  I just hadn’t found the right things/ways to keep the peace. My solutions never changed anything, no matter what I tried. Once I began the getting painfully honest with my Self I realized that the work I needed to do was internal, not external. Nor did it really have anything to do with anyone else.

Here’s the thing about honesty. It not only theoretical, but it’s also concrete. It has taken me a lifetime to create my truths through years of worry and trials and errors over how to peel the layers from my core to find my truth. Honesty took a willingness on my part for some serious excavating. There was no place better to start than with my own thoughts. I began asking my Self: “Why am I doing X behavior?”  “Who’s approval do I pathologically seem to need?” “What don’t I want even my best friend to know about me?” “What’s my next step?” Because I am a writer and keep journals I wrote my questions out in long hand…..then….something unexpected and interesting began to come to light.

I realized I needed to seek help.

No, I don’t mean I need a therapist or a life coach because I am a broken mess. Been there, done that. It’s why I can be accountable to my Self today. Yet I still began to understand that outside assistance would be needed to undertake this process to set my Self free.  I know and trust that it’s really best done with an objective ear with a skill for listening. Again my great fortune of God’s and Goddesses smiled upon me, for I have people in my life who meet my requirements, they actually exceed them. Someone who will ask me the tough questions. Making a firm commitment of telling the truth about yourself (especially to yourself) isn’t a linear process. It requires coming back…and coming back again..and again. It is an evolutionary process. Once there’s a sweet taste for the freedom of honesty it’s hard not to want more. I find my Self now even wanting it of others in my inner circle.

Remaining optimistic while being brutally honest and living fully present in my life is how I’m setting my Self a little more free every day, while realizing the key is that I need to take it easy on my self to be able to be honest. Honesty is how I am able to be free with the wings of a Steel Butterfly

Happy Birth Day to me. March 14th.

 

Miss Beth Hart’s Take It Easy On Me

 

  • Take It Easy On Me ~ Beth Hart

ttaylor2016

 

 

 

Perception Is Everything.

Then maybe again, it’s not everything.

Especially if we perceive something in error.

Curiouser and curiouser ‘Life’s Puzzles’ seem, especially when the puzzle’s come with missing pieces. I’m using the word ‘seem’ here because this piece is about perceptions.

And… it would seem my perceptions are being tested right and left lately. Showing me what I often perceive as my reality is not at all the fact.

And maybe that is a good thing, keeps me on my barefoot toes. I suppose.

The recent discovery that the reality of what I believed to be true isn’t so set me back a few paces. That what I thought to be so and isn’t the fact at all points out to me that my perceptions can be completely off. Making such a mistakes in judgements as to what I perceived from others is giving me pause, and is what is inspiring this post.

Thankfully this misguided perception has no negative weight of influence on how I identify with as myself. (I know there was a time in my life it might have) What struck me though was that my own perceptions were so askew and wrong.

I oddly enough discovered that a whole lifetime of interactions were all based on something that was never true, now it’s appearing it had been nothing but charades the whole time.

I’m no doubt too analytical sometimes, but it’s what I do. Especially when it comes to our human spirit and how the world influences who we are, and what we do. I began to wonder about perceptions in general. How do our perceptions affect us?

Discovering that something I believed to be true for decades was never so in the first place is not something I just can say “Oh well” to. That my perception was so off is what set me back a moment. I decided to use the discomfort to familiarize myself again with the theories of perceptions. I’m never being flippant when I say I am a Student of Life, I do like to read and study about who we are as a species.

There are still so many learning curves to life.

How important are the perceptions of others in our lives?

How much weight do we give those perceptions?

Briefly what I know about perception is it’s the way we decipher what we see, and what we sense from people and the environments in our lives. Our perceptions are how we decode all that ‘intelligence’ we receive, if you will. It’s how we see the world, each other, all that which creates our own sense of realty.

And even though I think my sense of perception is keen, sensitive, and intuitive, in reality it’s skewed at times.

Then include everyone else and their perceptions into our realities.

It sometimes surprises me to learn how others in my life see me, their perceptions of who I am. I am often pleasantly surprised by how another perceives who I am… Yet there are other times the perceptions of others could be nothing farther from the truth.

Having the power of choice to what perceptions we choose to give weight to is a freedom to embrace I think.

We are indeed what we think.

I also find it interesting to consider just how much weight we give, or we do not give to others perception’s of who are. Choosing where the power of our thought’s comes from guides and molds who we are.

Our own thoughts can empower. Or not. Just as those perceptions of others can empower Or not.

Acknowledging that letting my ego get caught up in how others might perceive me was really a learning curve, learning it is wasting my energy and effort when I focus it on what others think of me. Instead of dwelling on thoughts of what and how others perceive me I’m putting that focus right back into the ways I most am able to live authentically. I think it might be natural to get caught-up in how others might perceive us as, but in actuality I’ve come to learn it serves no one.

And remember; we might even get those perceptions wrong.

I did.

Thoughts come from our perceptions, and to know what they can do for us, and equally can do to us is to have a keen self-awareness of ourselves and the world we live in.

I suggest that we stop giving away our self-perceptions to thoughts that are not only are self-limiting, but to all the negatives as well. Let’s not feed our self-perceptions and our identities from others perceptions.

Give rise to the ‘You’ that authentically wants to just ‘Be”.

Take advantage of the freedom of free will and choice in your thinking. Let it be your authentic and genuine thoughts that guide how you perceive the world around you, and how you perceive yourself.

Being mindful that we are absolutely what we think we are.

You might truly find an amazing surprise.

©ttaylor2014