Ahhhh trust. It’s been coming up a lot in the last few days. Trusting partners (or not trusting them!) trusting the Universe/God/A Divine Plan (or forgetting to surrender and have faith) trusting systems and formulas to produce said result…..
Thanks to Lynne Hea who shared this pic from some other person who posted it on FB and was shared again and again and again. You inspired this post!
I was having tea with my girlfriend last week and she was describing how she decided she was ready for a big step and BOOM the Universe went BAM! Here you go! And she was like, ummmm, just kidding, am I really ready? Well, YES she was but was stunned and like, crap. The Universe was calling her out being like, YES you are ready, here is what you asked for. Yet, she hesitated.
For me, in this conversation, I saw that I had given up trusting the Universe. It was like, detour! Detour! Detour! And I was like, (not even knowing it!) ENOUGH. Enough with the detours. Too many changes, too quickly. I want to take charge again. I want the perceived and immediate comfort and security of the known and the control over my life (even though I know we’re not really in control) That shift of losing faith happened amidst all the detours I’ve been experiencing and when said girlfriend shared her story, it clicked. I LOST FAITH!
The grey zone of uncertainty and being amidst so many changes can leave one feeling a little crazy (ahem. Picture above. I am on the right. Been there awhile) It’s so much safer when it’s black and white/yes and no. Clear cut. Comfort. But the truth is life is never clear-cut : we just have our ways of perceiving and controlling outcomes and situations to feel safer in knowing and being the driver…yanking the wheel away from who or what is really in charge. Truth is, we are not boss. God/Universe/Divinity whatever you want to call it, is boss.
Another friend and I chatted tonight and she is in the freedom/enjoyment phase of not knowing what’s next. I remember that. I’ve been in this constant shape shifting, never steady, what surprise is coming today, where am I sleeping tonight, what country will I teach in, where’s the money coming from mode since October. It was kinda liberating and enjoyable in the “what’s around the riverbend?” a la Pocahontas kinda way for about 2 weeks. It’s been 4 months.
I know that God gives us what we can handle. I know that my situation is not that bad compared to most people in the world (first world problems – I know.) BUT that doesn’t take away from my experience. Even writing this blog, I feel the guilt of first world white girl. BUT still, I share that this is my experience. It’s okay that I’m feeling a little nutty. Life has been more of a tornado than a light gentle breeze blowing me along.
However, despite the feeling of insecurity and stability, I know I got this. I literally say it out loud to myself whenever I doubt. I GOT THIS. I see that these are just growing pains, mere bumps, erm, potholes on the road and I will drive through them. That’s what I’ve always done. Keep my head down and keep trucking. Resilient. That’s what my hubby called me. I was hugely flattered. I’ve never seen myself as resilient. When he witnessed me roll with the punches and keep trucking and be resourceful ( never thought I’d go back to waitressing….I missed it so much!!) he admired me for my go get ’em/creative attitude.
Universe, I know you got my back. I trust you. I’m sorry I lost faith. It’s been a lot of testing my faith and potholes on this journey the last little while. I know you’re boss. I know you have a divine plan for me. My temporary power struggle was one of a mere mortal trying to gain some feeling of strength and control in this ever-changing exhilarating/exhausting existence. So, I take baby steps to go back to the practice of letting go and surrendering. I’ve been getting rusty in this area, so please have patience for me as I get back to my groove and pass you back the boss baton.
I’ve been crying a lot more than “usual” lately. The majority of responses I get are : “what’s wrong?” which I find fascinating. Yes, sometimes there’s something wrong. But sometimes I just need to cry, let it out, express, let go. I suppose in becoming a meditation teacher, I see crying as an expression of stress. Anytime we’re stressed or have a buildup of emotion/pressure, it needs to get out! It can’t help it! I don’t ponder “why am I crying” or try to attach some meaning to it, it is what it is. Expression. Release.
I know that it’s normal to cry and let these feelings go. I’m grateful that I’ve been encouraged to express them (well, my parents knew I needed to I think! I’m a stubborn, passionate, expressive soul!) Sometimes I avoid these emotions and FB scroll too much, or keep myself busy, or hold it in trying to be strong around my family, but when the valve of emotion releases, mine pours out like a waterfall. It’s transformative to really allow the tears to flow, and the sobbing to be heard. I do hesitate, so not to concern the neighbours or cause them to think “what’s wrong,” but then I remind myself that I need this to feel better. Nothing is wrong; my body, mind and soul need liberation.
I talked to my coworker the other day casually as I dumped out dirty beer glasses and put them in the dishwasher. I put crying into the framework of stress release and ended up scaring him. He says he never cries, he usually gets angry. Poor men. They’re taught to cover up any vulnerable-type emotion with anger. I encouraged him to let it out and if he didn’t, the suppression of the stress needing to be released could turn into major dysfunction in the body. He stared at my blankly. Floored. I recanted, slightly to ease his fears, but reiterated how important it is to have an outlet whether it be meditation, (TM is the most efficient and effective release of stress!!) yoga, running, scary or sad movies, singing etc….and not to hold it all in!
For me, it makes sense that more is flowing out of me. Life has been discombobulating lately: I’m grieving. I’m not sleeping in my own bed. Teaching meditation to inner-city kids in Jamaica was rewarding, yet beyond stressful. Until a few weeks ago, I wasn’t sure if my hubby and I would be heading back home or going on another project somewhere in the world. I confessed to him that for my own sanity I NEED HOME. So, Vancouver we stay. I’ve noticed a palpable increase in my anxiety levels due to the new stressors in the last few months : CHANGE is such a huge stressor!!! and I’ve had a lot of it lately. What’s really amazing is when I sit with it and don’t avoid it, the underlying emotion that flows out is sadness. I’d rather let it pour out of my Being and be free of it, than store it inside me covered up with low-level anxiety. My meditations are such a saving grace, to be able to connect within and touch that deepest most delicate place within me to discover the truth of the matter.
‘Cos nothing is wrong, we just need to let it out. Process. Move forward. Just like Gramma Vi always said, “One day at a time.” Miss you Gramma.
New Years 2017. Part of me thinks its cliche to do the whole I resolve to…..yadadada…part of me wants to gush and have all these huge goals to which I know I won’t realistically fulfill them all, and part of me is thinking OMG it’s 11:48pm on January 1st, 2017 and you only have 12 minutes to publish a perfect post (impossible to be perfect!!!) and I just laugh at myself. Even doing this blog about the entire year and goals to set could potentailly be a pressure cooker! There are so many instances where I create stupid added pressure on myself for what seems to be a legit reason. It’s already challenging enough for me to get through my day trying to stay grounded in the chaos that I feel has been thrown my way, why add a TIME PRESSURE on top of everything else? Well, there’s number one.
I resolve NOT TO RUSH. My parents and I have said this a few times to each other since this is a tendency in my family, so much to accomplish in so little time and we create uneccessary pressure for ourselves. We are aware that we do it and when its happening to each other or the group as a whole, we call ourselves out, despite our deep rooted habits and say “no rushing allowed.” (1/2 the time we still rush but at least we’re aware haha. Progress, not perfection)
About perfection. The concept of BEING PERFECT is impossible. None of us are perfect. Our purpose being on this earth is to grow, learn, evolve,progress.Otherwise we would’ve already ascended and our work here would be done!! My husband loves me for my imperfections. He wanted to buy me a shirt that said “perfectly imperfect” (they didn’t have my size). This was a theme as I was going through my life coaching with Sasha a year ago. Work that turned out to be life altering for me and so absolutely reaffirming. The book she lent me, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, popped back into my view this week, peeking out strewn about with a pile of toiletries that I literally had tossed out of a reuseable bag to try and find my false eyelashes. I laughed really hard at the book reminding me, amongst the mess that my life seems to be, as reflected in the state of my room, (hubby Nick will be pleased at my admission that clean mind = clean room, chaotic mind = chaotic room but, let’s be clear, I’m NOT resolving to put the laundry away right away or hangup my clothes as soon as I change BUT am open to learning more about the Art of Tidying Up) that life is a mess and full of detours (as per an earlier blog I posted) and that the imperfection that lies within me and all around is actually perfect as it is. (including that sentence that was entirely run on and probably frustrating for the grammar nerds out there, who I absolutely love as you are 😉 AND I’m purposefully leaving that sentence as is, ‘cos that’s how it came out.
I resolve to remain and maintain my imperfection and to continue to grow in my awesome unique fabulous imperfect wholeness of ME. It doesn’t mean I’ll be lazy, but it means that there’s been enough perfection that has ruled my life for way too long, ruling me, that I’ve had my lifetime’s max of it and I’m ready to relax and just BE more ME. This includes, but isn’t limited to, the 21 day yoga shred that I want to complete before I leave for Bali to meet Nick in one month; compliments of the incredible Sadie Nardini. I can have the goal of doing it all in for 21 days (yoga and changing eating habits etc.) but I also am FULLY aware that it probably won’t be done “perfectly” as prescribed.
Tonight a group of us went to see LA LA LAND, which about 3/4 of the way through I thought, “oh how charming” but wasn’t completely convinced of the praise it had received. The last part of the movie shook me to the core. Hit me like a ton of bricks. I sat weeping without tissues, my heart blown open. (I needed a good cry anyway, it felt amazing) It inspired myself and my loved ones around me, to live life fully and grab your dreams.I almost wanted to come straight home to be alone and reflect, but instead took the hands of my lovely Leanne and Teresa and let myself be vulnerable. The three of us along with Ann, were all so inspired, giving room for an incredibly raw, inspiring, challenging and reflective conversation on our lives, how we’re living them and what we desire. It was magic. As one typically does on New Years Day, we set some goals and vowed to hold each other accountable to stay creative and inspired and to follow through on these desires we wish to fulfill this year. I won’t put said pressure above on the situation, but I can say that
I resolve to feed my soul. For me, it’s any or all of : doing a female improv group, going back to the piano, sing more, remounting BADMATCH with Leanne, go back to bellydancing with my Sallaaaaa. Skiing, spending time with my nephew Clarke, doing my regular TM full program, more journaling and blogging, Crossfit at North Van Crossfit with Nick, Dave and Nina, huggle with Nick.
The huge changes that occured in 2016 really taught me to embrace the detours that life offers. I’m really killing it in this area. Lots of practice! Haha! Though, I don’t want to actively manifest more change at the moment….. (I’m a bit of a discombobulated mess right now,while maintaining a sense of humour and flexbility-for the most part…..: popping back and forth between my bros/parents, going back to waitressing part time, coming home early for gramma’s funeral from Jamaica which in itself was a detour-a detour within a detour!!! 😛 )….
I resolve to continue to embrace the detours and be open to what life offers me. You never know what’s coming next and if we’re able to see the detours for what they are and use them as a learning tool, we grow and blossom more rather than stress out, shrink and get thrown off course. What a continually challenging practice this life is!
I continual note in our magical conversation tonight was WHAT DO YOU WANT. It’s so hard to know what is true to ourself when we have our world around us influencing our decisions : society, media, family, friends. BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU? What about what YOU WANT. What do I want amongst all of the “should/shouldn’ts” that constantly bring us out of what is true for us, what is true for me?
I resolve to be more true to myself despite the idea of what I should do/be according to anyone else around me. Thanks for your input, it’s noted, but my truth is mine own and my truth will grow stronger, louder and clearer, despite the racket around me, pulling me out of the Self. AND I know that the more I settle into mySelf in my regular practice of TM and advanced programs, quieting the jibber jabber and tuning into me, the answers will come, the magic will happen and the more content I will float through life and let life happen for me and through me.
Especially being that there have been so many detours/changes in the last year, I resolve to be patient and gentle with myself. I am beyond nurturing and supportive of my loved ones, but am the worst self-critic/perfectionist. I talk to Nick and constantly remind HIM to be gentle and patient with himself and here I am needing to do the same. A perfect opportunity as partners to remind each other of the importance of SELFLOVE. 2016 was a gorgeous, fun-filled, life-altering, challenging, gaining a husband yet losing my gramma year and I am so curious and eager to see what life brings for 2017.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good night!*
Love, Aunty Yogi
*(altered from ’twas the Night Before Christmas book)
My brother in-law Joel bought me the perfect gift for my birthday/departure on my adventure to teach abroad : my brand-spanking new journal pictured above. While I was re-re-packing whittling down the “necessities” and “won’t need its” with fashion consultant (Joel again!) the journal popped out to me and made me laugh.
I was ready and packed to leave on my new, to be determined destination by Oct 3. I finally left Oct 23. Part of me was keen to get outta town, but another part of me deep down KNEW that I needed some stillness before propelling myself forward onto the next BIG change. This year was full of them!
Everything was set – I have a tenant to cover costs, I was lucky to have Brenddan and Joel’s second bedroom to myself for the presumed few days of waiting. All I needed was the where. I didn’t see the need to unpack my just-packed suitcases with warm weather clothes as the fall started chilling more and the need for a scarf grew, so I lived off a few items and started making my way into Brenddan’s closet. Funnily enough, we’re about the same size : sister, 33 and brother, 24. I laughed as the days went by and I was STILL living out of my suitcase-my bedroom in Brenddan and Joel’s was the only area that was a total mess!
So there I was, day 1 of waiting. A day of lazy with my LAA, Sally. We walked around B&Joel’s apartment in our oversized t-shirts and made jokes to the boys their new life with lazy Chelsea walking around in a t-shirt. Sally and I relished the prior evening events. It was my last big night with my homegirls. I knew it’d be awhile before I’d see them again, but I just took it all in, without a sense of sadness, but a sense of gratitude. Then to be able to take a day with Sally in our t-shirts just like old times, was a total bonus. My heart was full.
Day 4 of waiting I got hit with a brutal cold. I haven’t been sick like that since, I don’t know when! My body was ready to purge. It took me almost 2 full weeks to recover. I left the apartment maybe 5 times? (it didn’t help that I was up late most nights watching ALL of Nashville, but hey, I was enjoying the down time!) There was a reason I wasn’t called out to my destination.
I was surprised when I would tell people, “still waiting”or “yes there are delays” or “it’s a big project, lots of things need to fall into place” and it would be THEM stressed out or uncomfortable with the uncertainty of my future. I simply basked in the down time and surrendered knowing that, as the journal popped out and reminded me, at the end of my stay at the boy’s place, “enjoy the journey, embrace the detours” and I realize that this last year of detours coming again and again and again at me has really helped me develop and practice my infinite flexibility. It’s helped me go with the flow. It’s helped me be at a solution before any other thought when an issue comes up.
When I was on the phone this weekend with my love, we were discussing his huge personal development on Transcendental Meditation teacher training. One thing that he really resonated with is a quote from the Vedas: “yogastah kuru karmani”- established in Being, perform action. And when he said it, that clicked in me, that it’s been happening more and more. Yes, to be established in Being is to stay connected and integrated with Being/Self and the ever-changing concrete existence that we live in. To connect to Being is to transcend the concrete relative and bring more of that Being out into the relative so that it can be permanent, or established.
By no means am I saying I’m permanently there, that I am not. BUT to hear Nick say that and then realize how patiently I waited to see where I needed to be next (unlike me before-I want it and I want it now!) I realized that there has been a shift toward MORE Being and less what’s next? More “it’s all good” and less “how about now?” more “it’s ok to relax” and less “I should do the dishes”….and as I existed contently without waiting or anticipating, making gentle inquiries and then letting it go again and again, the most perfect opportunity came to me.
I asked around, got a few options and as soon as I saw this clip of the Principal Mrs. Bolt, I KNEW I had to go to Jamaica. She is a powerhouse of a woman. She brought TM into her Catholic school last year and she started seeing results in students and some teachers alike. I’ve arrived at a perfect time, to help teach the grade 7’s and to step in with my teaching buddy to nourish and inspire the grade 8’s who learned last year to stay regular in their TM. The school has a ways to go but it is at a point where amazing things are happening and even more amazing things CAN happen as we shift the Consciousness of the school. If you’re inspired to help support the program succeed, please donate and be sure to Restrict your Donation to Jamaica. Please comment “inspired by Chelsea”
I guess the concept of “nature organizes best” has really stuck with me, it’s becoming more and more permanent. I repeat it enough to my students and myself! I let things fall into place as they were meant to be and found my new home in tropical Jamaica where the papayas and avocados are huge and delicious, the fried chicken crispy, the people are laid back and intimate. I’m gradually getting used to the infinite flexibility here moment to moment as our teaching plans are constantly changing with the continuous fluidity of events/schedules/kids. The necessity of being a spontaneous chameleon is Absolute! I’m teaching young sweet souls that are stressed and hurting beyond what I can comprehend, to connect to what Jesus said in Luke 17:21 – “…behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” They are realizing that beautiful place of wholeness, totality, God, Being is who they are. To be a witness to their spark light up and to be a part of that journey is such a blessing.
As it always does, things worked out just as they should. The detours and delays were many, but I got here and I’m loving’ it ‘mon!
September 28, 2016.
Age : 33 Years.
Do numbers matter? Nope.
What does matter? Right now, in my mind, it is the outpouring of love that I received today (and throughout the year, but especially today) from my friends and family from across the globe. I am so grateful for all the love and support that I have.
Today wasn’t the perfect birthday. I woke up in pain : my neck and right shoulder tend to lock up in times of stress/unstressing, so I started with throbbing pain. No biggie. It is what it is. Taking whatever comes. Nature is organizing. I found myself slightly annoyed at first, but was really looking forward to some down time for me. My gorgeous girls I had to cancel on were understanding and supportive. The thought of having me time, felt like a warm, cozy blanket. Well, that was when I was still in my warm cozy bed, so was already literally cozy.
I finally put clothes on and yanked myself out of bed around noon when my mom and brother came knocking on my door. By then, I was ready to see other humans. And these two, were two human beings who love me immensely. I was pleasantly surprised by a mud pie with candle and “happy b’day” sung. THEN Brenddan said, “Happy Birthday from Nick.” My sneaky, adorable, lovely, devoted husband organized with my little bro to get me the perfect b’day gift and card filled with Nick’s outpouring of love. I cried. So touched.
Time out. Britney Spears’ “Womanizer” is distracting me from pouring out my heart…..LOL by the time I paused my playlist, “overprotected” came on and Britney just said “I need time, I need space, I need me.” Yup. That was me today. Nice timing Britney. Thank you!
Mom insisted on finishing the bathroom cleanup so she could contribute to my departure from home. My mother is an adjective. It’s “Gayle McCooey” when everything is done with such devotion and care, such perfection and love.
One date I did keep was my sweet coffee date with Airlia. We played on the swings and she got me a lavender latte. We laid in the grass, at 18 degrees in Vancouver and agreed despite the temp, it was crisp out, that the summer warmth is now officially gone. We soaked up the healing power from the grass and I settled back in home, back to me. “I need me.” Yes, thank you Britney Spears. Me too.
I’ve definitely been needing more ME. This past year and a half as been a whirlwind and all of a sudden I have a husband and incredibly fulfilling exciting life filled with new adventures coming soon! The last few weeks of me being alone in our apartment has been so satisfying. I need me. I need nourishment. I need self-love. We all do! And I’ve been taking more time for it.
So this year’s birthday was ME time. I came back to the apartment, settled into my last few episodes of Season 1 : Quantico while packing and doing painting touch-ups and enjoyed being alone. Being with me, being with my thoughts, soaking up the love from my people. I tend to overbook myself in general and especially on my birthday. It was sweet to take the time to enjoy the outpouring of love and let it seep in. I also got to chat with Nick twice today! I persisted and he snuck in an extra call at his lunch hour (tomorrow, Bali time).
Besides, I had an early celebration yesterday celebrated with oysters, Bridget Jones’ Baby and some of my soul sisters. Including mom! I got my pre-celebration on, satisfied my need for connection and celebration and today I got to chill, reflect, enjoy, embrace and soak up all the love and attention I could FEEL from you all.
So, I’m grateful my neck and shoulder were throbbing today. My body forced me to settle in, rejuvenate, surrender and enjoy.
Happy Birthday To Me!!
I’ve been wanting to blog for a while. Big life changes recently pushed me to get onto this blogging business to provide a way for me to express myself and to provide family and friends and anyone else who can relate, to tune into the goings-ons in my journey.
This last year has been a big whirlwind for me.
In the area of love, April 1, 2015 I met my soon to-be husband. We were engaged three weeks later. He moved from Oz in November, 2015, we got married May 7 & 9, 2016 (yes two ceremonies!) and he just left on September 3, 2016 to become a teacher of Transcendental Meditation.
In the area of occupation, I’ve been managing the Vancouver Transcendental Meditation Centre for over three years and have just recently given my resignation. My next step is going abroad and teaching on a project somewhere in this big world!
In the area of extracurricular, I am currently in a theatre production called BADMATCH which my lovely friend Leanne Kuzminksi wrote and we produced together. It’s playing at the Vancouver Fringe Festival until September 18th, 2016 (and hopefully extended in the festival as #pickofthefringe. 1/2 our shows have sold out!) I forgot how much I loved to perform and this experience has re-ignited the passion for performing that was quietly waiting to be woken up again.
In the area of self-acceptance and self-love, I’ve finally let go of the impossible ideal of trying to fit into size 8 skinny jeans and embraced my size 10 or 12 hips (more on the size 12 side especially right now : more enjoying of life on the pasta and haagen-dazs side of things) I was sick of always cleansing and eating extreme to fit into my wedding dress, last year’s dress, those jeans I bought 5 years ago and “should” still fit into. Yup, threw those in the donation pile FINALLY! I am beautiful as I am. Thank you Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe. Voluptuous I am! It helps to have an ever supportive husband in this area too : “babe! your bum is amazing!” as I was continually trying to shrink it back down to fit into what the media show me is normal.
In the area of self-development, I have become clearer in the last year or so, about who I am and what I will or will not tolerate in my relationships. I’ve grown more independent and conscious of who I am. I’ve learned to set clear boundaries and have learned to be free in self-expression without fear of being abandoned or pushed away. My husband has been a huge part of that. Meeting him was so refreshing. What you see is what you get. There he is, standing next to me, as he is, filled with flaws and imperfections along with all of his perfections right out in the open. No shame. No qualms. He’s led me by example to be openly and vulnerably all that I am.
So here I am, an adventurous free spirit inspired to make the world brighter through teaching meditation and helping people see that we all have stress and insecurities, but with that, we’re all perfect souls that are looking for connection and freedom from these insecurities and stresses that bind and cloud our pereception of what we really are.
This an opportunity for me to share my personal journey and I hope that my observations and expressions here can move others to grow and love themselves more. This is the most important relationship we have in our lives – the relationship with our Self.