Hello Friends! We are currently in the heat of the holiday season and I am feeling a lot of emotions stir up. Today is the full moon and winter solstice – which means a lot of shifts. I am sure that I am not the only one who feels the stress of the holidays already so I wanted to drop in and share how my world has been looking lately.
First off, GRATITUDE. It has been a huge focus in my life and I have noticed a shift in my mental space. For a large part of this year I have been unsure of many things and the uncertainty no longer frightens me. I am transitioning while transforming. I am shedding skins of past versions of Paige. I am packing and unpacking (we have moved five times now and are about to kick off the new year with number six). I am a mess some days and a ray of sunshine others. My world has been flipped and shaken. Maybe this is how life in a snow globe feels – frequently holding on for dear life. When I panic, I find that gratitude helps me cope with life and stress. I want YOU to work on holding more space for gratitude.
Now is a great time to reflect. Not just because of the new year but because the high-energy environments we are all functioning in right now are a lot to deal with. I have noticed that when I feel super low, reminiscing on the memories helps me lift myself up a bit (hint: take lots of polaroids!). It does not solve all of my problems but it helps me come face to face with gratitude. I have been reflecting on my year and here is what I have come up with:
I went to FIVE national parks this year. ( Canyonlands, Rocky Mountain, Cuyahoga Valley, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Hot Springs)
I backpacked through Utah on my first backpacking trip this year.
I attempted to climb a 14er and failed.
I ate tacos at least once a week.
I adopted a whole new lifestyle and diet.
I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.
I underwent radiation.
I got SIX new tattoos – 3 of them are radiation mapping dots…
I got freaking married to my best friend!
My friends and family showered me with endless LOVE.
I saw my first shows at Red Rocks – Rebelution and Shakey Graves.
I completed a huge goal of mine – Yoga Teacher Training.
I sat courtside at a Cavs Playoffs Game.
I cried countless times.
I laughed more times than I can even begin to count.
I kayaked for the first time and it was in green water on Lake Erie.
I traveled by plane, boat, car, and train.
I just calculated and I spent over 200$ on Polaroid film. Not mad.
I snowshoed in Rocky Mountain NP.
I visited a great friend, Sam Sam, in Atlanta for my first time in GA.
I went to the “Switzerland of America,” Ouray.
I slowed down my life so much to really dissect my habits. For this, I feel most grateful. I have been given the opportunity to start over. My life feels like mine for the first time in a while. By opening up my heart to such a scary diagnosis, I found gratitude in a big pile of shit, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I don’t want you to have to learn this piece of valuable life advice from pain. So try it out. Find gratitude – whether it is in a pile of shit or on a sunny day on the beach. SEARCH FOR GRATITUDE. Because no matter what, once you find it and work to hold onto it, you will be able to operate from a place of love.
On those days when it is tough, I turn to my above mentioned Polaroid
money dump investment. I mentioned reminiscing on the memories – well I do so by storing all of my Polaroids in a white box. Anytime I have someone visit, we look at Polaroids. Anytime I am sad, I look at Polaroids. Anytime I am ecstatic, I look at my Polaroids. I have rules – I keep most Polaroids and don’t often share originals. I also don’t let people just smile for every pic. These are not for people to be cute and photogenic. They are my key to memories with my favorite people. I capture their weirdness and I use it as fuel for my happiness in life. When I am down they remind me of what is important – LOVE and GRATITUDE.
That is all I have to say really! Thank you for reading and stay tuned for what I have to share in 2019!
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Happy Holidays and Stay GRATEFUL!