A word or two about confidence

http://www.createwritenow.com/
Mary McCarthy

As I get older, gain more experience about life, understand myself better, learn about the way I handle different situations, and I get into more and more situations where I’m saying things that people disagree with, there is one essential thing about confidence that I have learned.

Confidence is the active process of loving yourself through mistakes, trusting your emotional strength, and that, unlike arrogance, it is a humble recognition that you are not only grand and magnificent, but also equal to your fellow human.

You ever read back on something you wrote the day before, or a few weeks ago or just some time in your past, or you remember something you said, and you realize what a jerk face thing to say that was?

Or how about when no matter how nice you think may be, you find out there are people out there that just don’t like you? How could they not, you’re dripping honey and bursting sunshine, right?

Other times, you meet people that just take out the not dripping honey and bursting sunshine side of you, but rather razor blades and snark.

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Selfies are form of self-love, self-reaffirmation, and self-validation. Not to mention, the 21st century rendition of self-portraits (a-la Van Gogh)

Other times you’ll meet people who will absolutely refuse to let you be kind to them despite you trying.

These are all examples of situations that have made me feel go into self-judgment. I’d feel guilty, stupid, want to rectify the situation but was not sure how…

In February, since I’ve been going through #SeLoFest15, I’ve been waking up every day with the clear intention that what I wanted was to be loving with myself every day. It meant different things on different days. On these days, it meant being kind to myself, and being forgiving. It meant pulling away from the situation and looking at the grand scheme of things. It meant asking myself “what will change because of this, and why and how?” it means asking myself the right questions so that I know that I’m making the best decision for myself, trusting that I will do that, and then calmly living day by day with the certainty that I have my own back, and that we all mess up occasionally, that evidence shows that I am loved truly, unconditionally, and by people that are good and contribute goodness to this world.

I remember the facts, instead of letting fear and doubt cloud my mind and heart.

I try to continue to be good to those I may have hurt, and from a distance, to those I have taken out of my life.

I urge you to do the same, whenever you’re beating yourself up about something. Rectify the situation, but from a place of love for everyone, including yourself.

All my love,

Maelle

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Sweeping Statements

Is it #ThankfulThursday? Cuz I got something I gotta be grateful for.

It’s 10:13am in San Miguel de Allende as I write this, and although it is cloudy and cold (for us San Miguelenses that don’t have to deal with the Artic winters of Minnesotta) the day is beautiful, because the intention of most San Miguelenses is to lead a beautiful life here, and so the sentiment resounds every time you tap into that gratitude.

So I was breathing in the smell of flowers from somewhere, enjoying the clouded cool sunshine (I sure do love sunshine) and  was being generally grateful for the fact that I was in that moment witnessing my apartment become more clean.

I was observing myself sweep and feeling gratitude.

I came on to write a blog post about being thankful for sweeping you guys.

From Disney's Cinderella
Me, about to scrub the eff out of these mental limits dancing circles around me

 

Because sometimes we assign meaning to things, and other times, things mean something  [to you]. Sweeping for me means the following:

  • It means I can physically, mentally, and emotionally afford to get up and sweep. Those of you that live with a chronic illness of any kind may understand what I’m talking about. Spoons and all that.
  • It means that my apartment at this very moment is getting cleaned, which I love. Because clean means things too, it means having energy and being less sick and having more space!
  • It means I have the impulse to follow being responsible with a home, that I could “care” for a space, that I am somehow accountable.

This might be a big jump for a lot of people, but I’m talking about coming from a background of being a bit ungrateful, entitled, and pretty much just like a bit of a spoiled brat when it comes to chores and other things. My home life gratefully allowed for me to live in a setting where I didn’t really “have” to do things, though I was still made to and I did it begrudgingly. When I have my own space, it’s always very different for me, however, as I like being able to keep a place organized. I think this is also metaphoric (or a projection/manifestation) of ways that we are also inwardly. We are self-righteous about certain ways of thinking and don’t empathize or try to see things differently because we believe we are “entitled” to our way of thinking. Fascinatingggg! The human. 

  • It also means that I am in my own space, that I am deciding how and what gets cleaned and when. Having my own space is so unbelievably sacred to me (honk if you agree).

The last one might be an assigned meaning.

Either way, those are all things I am so passionately grateful for, because they allow me things that are so important in my life. Each one is linked to the next one, making it for one simple web of accountability and gratitude.

And it moved me to bit, this realization. I let those in and accept them, because sometimes I overthink and so I try to use that power as a power to break down gratitude and positive emotions to then feel more of those.

And to me, that’s me doing my part in my own happiness.

How are you taking care of yourself?

Go kick the day’s butt.

#SeLoFest15

All my love,

Maelle

Free Hugs

So in San Miguel de Allende, where I live, there’s a beautiful church that stands erect facing the main square. It’s absolutely stunning and everyone that comes here at some point gets a picture of it. It’s our very own Eiffel Tower, if you will.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I was inspired by a YouTube video going around that featured a blindfolded man hugging strangers. I thought to myself, “For February, I’m doing that.” I don’t know what inspired me to do it, but I thought for sure it was a great idea.

The whole concept between “Free Hugs” has always been a great one, but I felt it was too intimidating for some people, and the role that it would put  me in was too intimidating for me.

I liked the element that this particular man had added to it, by blindfolding himself and making it about trust. It was like an extra added challenge, or a more attractive intention for me.

My intention would be to vulnerably, and blindly, give love to the world. Without actually expecting anything in return, but still inviting people to trust me or love me back, which in itself was probably the initial challenge.

I went with my best friend here in San Miguel, Natasha, who took pictures and documented some of the hugs. The plan was this, I would stand in front of the Parroquia, with a bilingual sign around my neck (given the bilingual culture of our town) telling people “Let me trust you. Abrazame” (“hug me”) blindfolded, and arms stretched out. 20150213_124336_20150214091949442

Right before I went ahead and did it, I stood with Natasha and proceeded to freak out for about 10 minutes. “What if no one hugs me?” I thought.

“What if no one does?” the voice in my head asked back. I decided that I wasn’t actually doing this to get hugs, I was doing this because I wanted to give. I wanted to challenge myself in how I gave, in how I showed my love and affection. I wanted to be loud and intentional with my love giving. So I put on my blindfold and said, “let’s do this”. She led me to the spot we had previously decided on and then she sat somewhere where she could watch the oncoming love.

I outstretched my arms, and tried to smile. I set out the intention of simply loving. I stood there, and loved, no matter who or what was going on in front of me. I didn’t care if people did or didn’t hug me, I didn’t care what they thought. I considered myself an art installation.

However not even 5 minutes went by, and my first hugger came forward. I hadn’t really thought about what to say or do so I said “have a nice day” and stuttered and stammered a bit trying to figure out what else to say. By the time she pulled away however and had walked away, I felt free. It was a great high. I had had one hugger, that’s all I needed.

So I stood there beaming in love…and then, soon…

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I must have hugged about twenty people. By the time the 30 minutes were up, I had a mental collection of people’s reactions. I was already going through the mental album I had made of the different approaches people had taken to hugging me and being around. Some had made jokes (some to my expense) others had dared each other, others had hugged me in more a “receiving” fashion while others hugged me in more of a “giving” fashion. It was all ages and genders, most people gave full body hugs though some people did do side hug or pelvis out hug.

20150213_124437I delighted myself in going through the memories I had just collected and took a breath in. The town looked different, colors were brighter, people se20150213_124521_20150214093951545emed smilier. I felt high, on cloud 9, completely in love with love, with people, with life.

I took the feeling with me for the rest of the day, and night. I had a fantastic day and night, and had so much love that I wanted to give everyone else. And sure enough, I see people respond to it. People talked to me more excitedly, smiled more, were more interested in me, and in telling me about themselves.

It was an experiment in loving and love and being loving. It was an experiment because I didn’t want to think about Valentine’s Month as some capitalist month where single people should be depressed and cursing love. Instead, I wanted to bring back February as a20150213_124346 month of Love with a capital L, to give love and be love, to give goodness and share friendship. How people respond so well to it, how it’s hard for someone to turn you down when you meet them with love.

So today, I urge you, if you are bitter or sad about the fact that you aren’t receiving love, remember that it doesn’t mean you can’t in fact give it, and that giving love usually results in receiving it. Sharing love means being love, means linking with your truest most authentic self. Pushing it away will ever only result in pain.

 

So enjoy today, enjoy yourself, be love, do love. All is well.

All my love,

Maelle