It's time to be honest. It comes and goes, still. It has not gone away. And still I descend into the Underworld to meet with and learn from Persephone, and still I am a puddle of goo in the midst of a chrysalis.  About a month ago, I sat in the dark of a canyon in the middle of the night with a handful of pills and a knife in my hand, and I thought, "This again?" And I knew I needed a change. Like, desperately. I knew in my soul that if I didn't take immediate action to change everything in my life that wasn't making me happy, I was going to die. 
And so I laid it all down- first the pills and the knife. And then my home and life as I knew it. And then my ideas about what my future would be like. And then my ideas of who I would be, and who I was, and what I meant. Until finally, I wasn't any of those things anymore. I wasn't anything, frankly, but a puddle of unformed goo, waiting to be remade into something new. Something entirely different than I could imagine. Something more free.
I left my car, and nearly all of my belongings. I only took those things I knew I'd need in the next few weeks- my costumes for a play I was in, good walking shoes, toothpaste and such. A few books I'd been making my way through, chakra bracelets I'd been making and selling, my knitting. And I went for an adventure- couch surfing for weeks (at times even staying with people I'd never met), getting rides to performances of the play I was in, walking for hours to apply for jobs, never knowing where I'd land next or if I'd be able to make it through another week, just... going. Never in my life have I felt more stress or anxiety, or felt less grounded or at home in my self. I just kept moving, keeping my eye only on the next step, and then the one after that. Thanks to the generosity and kindness of so many unexpected people, I managed to meet all of my obligations over those weeks- I never missed a performance (even got a couple nice reviews of my acting), I kept selling my bracelets, and I got to the end of that phase without being too scathed. 
Finally, I found a spot to settle for a bit, again, thanks to the generosity of some dear and kind friends. On the couch of my best friend, deep in the mountains, far away from all the things I was looking at, I found a tiny little corner to stay in. I even found a job within about a week, after months of looking in both Utah and Salt Lake Counties. And so I'm adjusting yet again to yet another new life, and a new idea of myself and who I want to be.
Somehow in the midst of all of this change, things so deep in my heart have naturally begun to fall away to make room for new things yet to come. This is exciting. I am creating space to make a life where I can fit more easily and more honestly. A life where I can be exactly who I am and feel good about that. And if there is not yet a corner of the world that I fit into, I will create that space within myself, so I can always be the wild and free and true me, even within my own mind, without always trying to adjust to fit my outside circumstances.
Last night, my best friend and I talked about what happiness meant to us. Even between two as close (and often as similar) as we, there are stark differences among the similarities. Happiness is such a personal matter, and I believe it's important to personalize and tailor your happiness to fit YOU. For me, happiness is a lot about being able to enjoy my own company and love my own self, regardless of what the world outside is trying to shake up in me. There's also a big component of wanting to help and inspire others to do the same- to recognize their own unique innate beauty and enjoy and love themselves. That's part of my recipe. I wonder- what's yours?
What does happiness mean to you? What lengths are you willing to go to to find, discover, or create that kind of happiness for yourself? I'd love to hear any insights you have in the comments below.
Wherever you are in you journey, please know that you are loved and appreciated for the unique YOU-ness that you contribute to this wild and lovely world. Thank you for being you. You are a gift. Please don't stop sharing your you!

With love,
Lindsay
 


Comments

Esta Browning
10/29/2012 5:48pm

After many years of seeking happiness, I stopped looking and let it find me. I believe that chasing happiness is basically like chasing your tail. Truly, I discovered that happiness was not about searching because, in doing so, your focus is on what you believe you lack. Happiness is about living in gratitude, in the moment and letting go of expectations. Expectations often set you up for disappointment. The only thing you can ever really count on is NOW and the only person is YOU. Regret leads to depression, so why dwell in the past? Worrying about the future robs the present of all of

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10/29/2012 6:05pm

Lindsay.. thank you so much for sharing this post with us. Your journey is one that I believe many face, and I honour your honesty and am grateful for your writing. You are truly beautiful and an inspiration. Thank you. Shine Goddess Shine!

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Esta Browning
10/29/2012 6:56pm

(Oops!) as I was saying....
Worrying about the future robs the present of all of its joy. It is a waste of your energy. If it sounds like I'm saying to "go with the flow", I'm not. But, ROW with it? Yes! You are always in control of your happiness. Every moment is an opportunity to choose. I am seen by many as almost irritatingly optimistic, Pollyannaish, etc. COOL! I've been sad and angry and scared and frustrated. I didn't like it. Happiness is better. One of the wonderful things about aging is that I care less and less what others think of me. What I have found is that choosing to be happy and then living in a state of gratitude means a life without sacrifice. I no longer think of things in terms of what I have to sacrifice or compromise in order to be happy. Choices are simpler. It is more complicated to explain my process when it come to making choices. I ask myself whether I am motivated by love or fear? I examine the situation to discover how to act from love. (Perhaps I can find some links to send you that describe this concept in more detail). Anyway...It sounds like you are at a place in your life where you might be really ready to explore and experience happiness. What you have done is a brave first step in that direction. If you think there is anything to my musings, I am more than happy to talk to you about it at any time. Choosing happiness through gratitude is not always easy, but it really is just that simple. Like anything else it requires practice, practice, practice. And it is sometimes full of false starts and backward moves, but it involves nothing but a willingness to try it, and every attempt brings you closer if you let it. You'll still have down times. (Pssst....you're human) Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. You, my dear, are amazing and you are gonna be better than fine <3 Now to quote a very wise woman - YOU "are loved and appreciated for the unique YOU-ness that you contribute to this wild and lovely world. Thank you for being you. You are a gift. Please don't stop sharing your you!"

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Sadie Z
10/29/2012 11:54pm

I always admire your ability to open your heart and share, even during the darkest of times. You are so beautiful, in so many ways. No matter the physical or even perhaps life stage (if that makes sense) distance between us, I want you to know I think of you, admire you, and miss you. As scary or unknown as your life may be right now, I am so happy that you are alive, and sharing yourself. I love you so much, Lindsay.

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10/30/2012 2:54am

Dearest Lindsay,
Thank you for being so courageous to share this journey, thank you for being brave enough to take the journey! I think you're an inspiration, thank you for sharing. I think we're all searching for happiness in our own way. My ex hubby says that happiness is just for children, but I think happiness lies in the small things. Appreciating everything, knowing the rain is still pouring down but there's a rainbow that outshines every dark cloud. I suffer repeated bouts of depression and I find it hard to see the good things when I'm in the middle of a dark place, but I know you just have to keep going. Thank you for the reminder about Persephone, I'm going to read more about her story. Bright blessings to you, sister xxx

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Chella
10/30/2012 8:13am

I'm proud of you for following your heart, I am full of good hopes for your new beginnings, and I am grateful that you are still here. Thank you for not leaving for good, Ellabella.

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10/30/2012 4:54pm

I honor your courage and recognize your journey. Its one I've taken with faith and intention that in every moment we are divinely guided and everything else is just stuff. At the core of our being is truth, beauty and grace. All which come to the surface when all the crap is released. Freedom is Happiness and Happiness is freedom to BE.

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Kylie
10/30/2012 10:02pm

This is beautiful.. your writing is a shining gift. Thank you so much xx

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10/31/2012 6:47am

Dear Lindsay,

Thank you so much for sharing these very open and honest words with us. By being courageous and showing us how you turn your life around you also show us that is is possible. You reminded me of how important it is to also share the difficult stuff with your readers. I'm not very good at that.

Love and Light, Karina

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10/31/2012 10:06am

To enjoy my own company and love my own self - that's a pretty fine definition of happiness. I've been working with knowing that home is wherever I am. Not quite there yet, but bit by bit!

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