15.04.2017, 20:59:39

some thoughts on reclaiming presence lately.

I’ve been trying to be more aware, more soft-hearted and more in awe of each moment that passes and every person that flickers in my line of vision. I’ve been trying. I’ve been trying … but I burnt out. the burn out became an anxious spirit, the spirit became a constant headache in the forefront of my mind, and the thoughts melted me down last week. I felt downright debilitating to my own self; it leaked into my perspective and steeped my relationships.

Thing is, what I’m learning about presence is it starts with me. my own self. my body, my mind, my soul. and when days go by, unchecked, the poison goes rampant. Mind you, I am reminded of grace, and the importance of giving myself this gift just as much as I give it others. I’m not so good at showering myself in love as I am with other hearts. Leo pointed it out: the way I light up around meaningful conversation with people at work; the way I greet shopkeepers with bubbly smiles in quiet flower stores; the way I choose to handle conflict by waiting for the right, peace-inducing words before speaking. Maybe you relate.

I’ve spent this week investing in reclaiming territory. Reclaiming presence. Reclaiming my own love. Reclaiming truth. Here are a list of things I’ve noticed that help, and I have already / want to incorporate them into my daily living:

1. Meditation
This is new for me. like, three days old. but I love it, why? because it stops the torrential flood of thoughts and trying to “fix” the feelings inside. meditating is stopping and being present with yourself, letting go and welcoming home. I feel so connected to my body- it’s a new way I’m experiencing freedom in all sorts of ways.

2. Exercise
Has been a downer … all year. I’ve realized how important exercise is for stress-relief and mental well-being. It’s been hard, considering a few factors that became roadblocks along the way- but with sunny weather and slower days finally here, I look forward to new beginnings, small beginnings- and endorphins.

3. Slow mornings and short to-do lists
If you know me and we’ve looked each other in the eyes, you might know I dropped to part-time in school. I painfully realized last year I function best at a slower pace, and that it’s okay. I’d rather breathe deep than take short, stifled breaths. I love creating a life where I am happy to wake up and not overload my day.

4. Meaningful conversation
Always, always, always. Yes, I’m an introvert, but conversation is a necessity for me, in big, deep doses. I come alive in discussion about love, friendships, hard times, the meaning of being worthy and how every little thing matters. Strike up a dialogue with me on this, I promise I love surprises, especially out of the blue.

5. Practicing grace and gratitude
I do this for myself, so I can give it to others from a place of fullness, not emptiness. Leo stole my all-time, go-to mantra and now uses it in his daily vernacular: “it’s all grace. all is grace.” This is a conscious posture. A muscle that needs to be frequently flexed. One needs to be fully present, looking for grace to give, looking for God-gifts in all little things.

6. Eat well, Sleep well
My New Year’s resolution was to meal prep every Sunday to learn new things, eat well and not have to make lunch at five in the morning. I did so well during the semester, but as school has ended, so have some of my healthy habits as well. Oops! Tackling food, self-love and my body requires my 100 per cent intention. I’m learning how to listen to my body in such a way that I steward this Holy Temple the best I can. the breakthroughs are wonderful stepping stones.

-cv.

12.04.2017, 09:57:21

18 things I would tell my 18-year-old self:

1. I love your heart– for people, for passion, for perspective
2. you’re not going to graduate “on time” in four years, but five – and that is more than okay. it doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it means you fight to live life slower, more present.
3. every day is an adventure into the unknown + what-could-be. keep an open mind, don’t plan it all in one night.
4. yeah, that boy that broke up with you on the first day of first year? don’t fret darling, there really are good men out there, and your time in relationships that didn’t work out wasn’t wasted.
5. the love-journey with God is the most exciting relationship ever, and haha, girl … you’re just getting started.
6. you are worthy of grace in the “my life has been flipped upside down” moments and the diagnoses and titles placed on your head.
7. love your body. love it. I still have to tell myself this: but you are enough.
8. friend groups change, seasons shift – and it’s all okay.
9. your story is being written by the Creator, not his creations (you will learn this the hard way, but it’s all grace – there’s purpose in the process)
10. drink your water, set boundaries, get enough sleep, eat healthy
11. you can’t be everything to everyone, and you’ll fail trying to do so
12. the dreams in your heart matter, and you should pursue them
13. your Facebook friends and Instagram followers count doesn’t matter, you love the people in front of you really well, focus on them
14. fight for presence, for authenticity. even when it seems you’re the only one
15. feeling the #feelz is your superpower, it’s not the enemy.
16. you shift the atmosphere in every room you walk in, royal one – you are significant and powerful
17. the struggle, the hustle, the pain — it’s all gonna be worth it.
18. life is so good babe. here, now. it’s beautiful, and it’s only getting more and more beautiful every day.

you are so dang loved,
-cv.

10.04.2017, 21:56:28

tell me all your secrets, and I’ll share some of mine.

maybe I’ll tell you how my cheeks feel raw on the inside, riddled with anxiety and nervous habit, or how sometimes I’m scared people will walk away when they realize my life isn’t as picturesque as the Instagram feed I prep. maybe I’d tell you about this bursting, bright yellow kind of love I’ve never felt before and just how happy and full everyone around me is, or how I’d never trade in my broken pieces for poker chips with the words like “should have” or “what if” scrawled in red.

tell me all your secrets, and I’ll gladly tell you all of mine.
-cv.

10.04.2017, 21:49:39

didn’t you know?
that you were always loved,
always worthy,
always purposed,
always enough?

didn’t you know?
that you were dreamed up before time began,
powerful beyond measure,
a place he named home from the start?

-cv.

07.04.2017, 12:55:57

darling, if no one else reads the words-
but we both know you need them most-
know this:
you are needed.
your words are needed.
now more than ever.
do away with being “fine”,
a “good” mood.
rip away the cellophane cover,
the sound-proof mask,
expose the cracks
that we hide behind-
that you hide behind.

it starts with you.
-cv.

07.04.2017, 12:51:51

here, I smell the coffee roast,burn.
the wind outside flutters against light blue-grey jackets,
and I’ll pretend I won’t feel it in a second.

I lifted the wooden shutters,
to create light to feel light.
to breathe a little easier.

the to-do list gets checked off,
emails get sent back and forth,
and I think about this moment.

How peaceful it seems.
Here we are, writing, typing,
with white headphones in our ears.

But what we all need is each other, not more busyness.
-cv.