Knuckle tatts and being present...
Hello friends, hope you’re having an awesome day! Even if you’re not, now that I’ve got your attention, take a moment to relax, drop those shoulders, and find that part of you that knows everything is going to be okay no matter what. Take some deep breaths, and allow your body to breathe itself, knowing that no matter what you do, it will always be there for you and that you are safe just being in your body. Hear those panicked thoughts swimming around your head, and don’t try to stop them, just let them be and observe them like clouds floating by in a beautiful blue sky. Ahhhhhhh. That made me feel a ton better. I love doing that when I feel myself getting anxious and overwhelmed with all the things I need to do in a day. It clears the way for inspiration to come through and tell me what I need to do next.
People always ask me about my tattoos and the stories behind them. I looked at my knuckle tattoos today and they tied right in with what I’ve been feeling lately. Just live.
I got them back in 2010, feeling wild and free, when a certain fellow and I were just starting to date. We’d been best friends for nearly ten years, completely plutonic, so this was definitely unchartered territory. I’d just gotten out of a long tumultuous relationship and didn’t think I could ever trust again, but there he was. I remember my mind screaming at me with all it’s might, trying to get me to move to LA, warning me not to get too close, telling me that if the relationship didn’t work out (which it probably wouldn’t, because I wasn’t good with relationships anyway) I’d lose my best friend. Nothing made sense about it, I tried to do the calculations and spit out all this logic like I did with everything else, but my feelings just wouldn’t add up. I couldn’t stop loving him, I couldn’t stand to be away from him, and all I wanted to do was be with him, so I finally let my guard down and let my heart lead the way. I let go of fearing the future and did what I wanted in the moment because it made me feel good.
The day I got tattooed we probably rolled out of bed at 4 pm after pulling another all nighter. We used to rarely ever see the sunlight, we loved driving around and hanging out at night because we felt like we owned the streets. We made the trek downtown in his Saturn worrying about whether or not it was overheating as usual and me checking the colour of the smoke coming out of the exhaust at every stop light. We listened to loud music and laughed the whole way, his one hand on the steering wheel and the other on mine. We got to the tattoo parlour and I met the artist, Danny, who drew up the lettering making it “kinda girly” at my direction, lol. I remember feeling so nervous because I didn’t realize how big the tattoos were going to be compared to my tiny fingers. My life flashed before my eyes, and all the things people said to me about “hand tattoos being hard to find jobs with” and “what will people think of you?” flooded my brain. It felt great to silence that noise and realize that deep down I didn’t care about these things, it was only other people’s stories clouding my decision. Just live, I kept telling myself, JUST LIVE. When he dotted the “i” with a heart I was sold. I felt so much trust in life at that moment, getting those tattoos and looking over at my the person I’d just fallen head over heels for, who was there with me, there for me, loving me, and it felt so damn good. I also had a diamond tattooed under the “V” on my left hand from my previous relationship, and seeing it covered up now reminds me that nothing is permanent, I’m always growing, learning, changing, and that life keeps moving on.
Total trip down memory lane, wow. It’s amazing how anything I was stressed or worried about back then carries absolutely no weight now. This must mean that anything I’m stressed and worried about now totally isn’t worth it. There will always be something to worry about if you let it. Steve Jobs has a great quote that says, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – you gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” I used to read things like this and think “it’s so easy for him to say, he doesn’t know what it’s like being me”, and somehow feel like I was on the outside looking in. Now I believe that we all have this power, that we all can do what we want to do and feel the way we want to feel. I’ve been working on believing that life is rigged in my favour instead of the other way around (which leads to worrying all the time), and that life happens for me, not to me.
We can choose how we want to feel in each and every moment, and those moment-to-moment choices are what drive life. If I’d chosen to side with my panicked thoughts instead of my heart, I wouldn’t have a wonderful life (and three cats) with that person I fell in love with nearly five years ago. When I look back at other decisions I made from my heart, they have never let me down and have changed my life for the better. We must learn to trust that intuition in every moment, not only when we can look back at it and realize the life that we were so worried about back then was actually going perfectly. I realized lately that I was watching my life pass me by as if I wasn't even living it, so it's important for us to seek gratitude in each moment and just be present. Here’s an experiment – each day choose one “routine” thing that you do – brushing teeth, eating, turning on the car, walking to the bus stop, etc. and just make an effort to be present. Look around, take in the smells, the feelings, and try your best not to judge, just observe. I’ve been doing this the last week or so, and have been enjoying things I would have never enjoyed before. (The other day, I noticed how amazingly yellow my eggs at breakfast were.)
Stop going through the motions, there is so much life waiting for you to live, so just live.
Let me know what your experiences are with being present, and I’d love to know how your experiments are going. Leave me a comment with your thoughts or any questions you might have. I would love to hear from you and help in any way I can. You can also subscribe to my mailing list for more love from me straight to your inbox. :)
Here's to staying present y'all.