Thursday, April 26, 2012

Beauty Heals 2 : Jump

I suppose I should start with this: things are happening. Things I hadn't expected, hadn't dreamed of. The moment I decided to step out the door, my life began to change.

Now, this isn't to say that things are making any more sense. I still have no clue 'what happens next.' All I know is, in a week I fly to Amsterdam to teach circus arts. The next week I head to a holistic retreat up north to volunteer. And the first of June, I fly to Norway to volunteer/teach/train at a sort of circus gathering. After that? I have no clue. I might travel down through Europe, over to Nepal, then back to Wales/England. Iceland. Maybe not. All I know is, I'm bringing you with me.

The very thought fills me with butterflies. How do I plan for a trip that has no real shape?
So much of this trip (Scotland and the upcoming journey) has been about battling expectations. Giving up control.


like jumping in this bouncy replica of Stonehenge

I try to make decisions like this: what is the biggest risk?
Once I figure that out, I take the risk.

Obviously, in a (moderately) sane way. I don't go down the darkest alleys or drive blindfolded. Instead, I look at my options and decide which will take me furthest out of my comfort zone. What will shake up my life the most? And then--as much as that small, sane voice in me hates it--I take the option with the least security and the most potential.

It doesn't work for everyone, and it definitely doesn't work for every situation. But for all those times when everything seems monotonous and life is one big rut, it's the best way to shake things up. It's the most surefire way to learn more about your world and how you fit (or want to fit) into it.

So, what are the ways your life has grown stale? What are the ways you could shake it up and enter new, exciting territory?
Even taking a different street in your current locale can lead to new exciting things...

a fountain near Glasgow Green

according to legend, this birch tree was cursed--thus the odd shape.

one of many houses on the Pollok estate

giant. fuzzy. highland coos!

That said, there's one very important aspect of every outward journey:
coming back and reflecting.

And the best way to do that?


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Beauty Heals 1 : Expectations

Hello loves, welcome to the first true entry in the Beauty Heals project.
Let's begin with a metaphor.

Yesterday morning, a panel in my ceiling fell down.

It began with a drip, then a drizzle. Then a flood as a wave of dirty water splashed to the floor, bringing with it a chunk of paneling that resembled wet clay the moment it hit the ground.

The entire thing shook me, not because of the physical action of a falling ceiling, but for the meaning my brain was applying to it. It became a symbol. It gained power.

When I returned to Scotland last September, I came bearing hundreds of expectations.
Since that time, every single expectation has been shattered.

I'm not being melodramatic: nothing that I had hoped to happen has happened. I didn't fall in love. I didn't get published (yet). I didn't find a way to stay longer (and immediately after being attacked, my desire to stay faded). I didn't develop the amazing social/nightlife I'd envisioned. Instead, I worked. A lot. I wrote for hours every day, taught 6 days a week, and had mounds of homework. And for the amount I worked, I didn't seem to get much in return. I got by. Barely. I saw friends at work and a couple times during the week. I was busy in many ways, and in many ways I was happy. But so much of my life was sunk into trying to get ahead while trying to get by, I didn't have the ability to No matter what, something just wasn't syncing up. What I wanted was so close and yet so far from what I was able to achieve, and every day was another added drop I couldn't release.

Now, I don't want to burst like my ceiling. I don't want to hold on to all these expectations, all these inane things that make me feel less than human. My life is more than my work/writing/productivity/success/fame/WHATEVER. My world is bigger than the walls of this flat and the confines of this screen.

I am more than this.
You are more than this.

We all have expectations that we have not met and cannot let go of--and these are holding us back.

So today, on the first leg of this journey, I invite you to look at all your past and current 'failures,' the things that make you sad rather than give you strength to move forward and push through.

What are they? How can you begin letting them go?
In what way would you like to heal?

As you ponder, I'll leave you with a song from the artist I watched last night. He is amazing, and the lyrics are more than appropriate.


Beauty is everywhere.
Let's find it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The 'Beauty Heals' Project

Hello loves,

As I mentioned in my latest YA Rebels video, I have a new project.  If you haven't seen the vid, allow me to plug...

At the moment, there's not much more to report than what's in the vid.  I don't have any travel plans confirmed though there are multiple rods in the fire.  I don't know where I'll be or for how long or what I'll be doing.  All I know is, this summer I'm going on a journey.  And I'll be sharing every step I can--the good, the bad, and the beautiful--on here and through Youtube, twitter, tumblr, etc.

Because all good journeys are meant to be shared.
Stay tuned.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Seven Days of Summer

Hello loves,

It's been a month since I've last updated, so allow me a quick rap across the knuckles for that.

It's been a busy few weeks.  My second and final term of classes is officially over.  I've practiced and performed for a whirlwind gig up at a beautiful hotel.  I've finished the first draft (and am nearly done with the second draft) of Cirque des Immortels.

Better yet, the past week or so has been filled with sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures which, being in Scotland, I'm trying to view as a good thing rather than proof we're melting ourselves.

And since it's supposed to snow tomorrow, I figure I should share these days of sunshine before they're a memory:

In other news, my mom and family friend are visiting this week!  And two weeks after, my dad's going to be here.  Expect many more pictures then. :)

Also...something new and lifechanging is bubbling in the back of my mind.  It's still coalescing into something tangible, but expect a new project on the near horizon.  Something bigger than words and images combined, yet both of those at the same time.  The only spoiler I'm willing to give right now is....
Beauty Heals.