There Is Nothing So Fickle As A Fish

"There is nothing more fickle than the fish...."

This is the start of a poem that I'll probably never come back to because that is me...it's my apology to those I have driven crazy with my indecisive and fickle ways. I'm not what you think I am, but I know how I come across. It surprises me when people think they know me or form an impression of me. I got told I seemed grounded again last weekend. This happens surprisingly frequently, and it just made me think, 'man, what kind of face am I putting forward today?' But the thing is, I'm not putting a face forward, really. Our perceptions and judgments of each other just are what they are. I'm always just being me, multifaceted.....and changing.

The Pisces full moon is on the 26th and it's hitting me hard already...this moon hits my Pisces 10th house sun, moon, mercury. For the non-astrology nerds, let me sum up: basically, what am I doing with my life?

Well, what AM I doing? Sometimes I really do not know. Mothering, I'm trying to, anyways.. Drawing. Painting. Praying. Shedding my armour. Doing my best. Trying to do what's right, even when that changes, even when it goes against the original plan. Things do change, like, all the time. Km not making that up, that's the thing. How can one just stay the course when everything changes? How can one even PICK a course? Pisces is the fish, the letter go, the follower of the flow. And that flow changes.

I'm waiting in this life too, waiting for something I'm not sure can be found on the earth plane. Pisces travels the other worlds as easily as this one. Easier, in fact, because in the other worlds, there is no time, body, or matter in the way. Creation is instantaneous there. Pisces knows none of this is real because we've seen the other side, so it is hard for me to stay driven in my life towards the more earthly matters. I really must force it if I'm to keep up with life, which of course, I must.

Pisces can create any illusion we want you to see; this is what makes me an artist. This is what makes me magical. This is what makes me flaky and grounded. My struggle comes from the fact that I know none of it goes with me in the end. It doesn't matter how much I paint or acquire or accomplish because it's not who I am. I simply... am. Same as you. Equal parts all things and no things. Equal parts good and evil, magic and melancholy, connector and disconnected, healer and unhealed.

I'm ready for this moon because our own moon always shines on us when we need it and moves our energy....i really need this to happen. This energy is heavy and intense. This summer has been hard. I'm thinking too much lately and unable to think....nothing gets done in this state and the moon is still several days away. 10 years ago, this mood would have sent me in a spiral for days until the energy passed. At 40 now, I am aware that my mood is fickle, and that's ok because now I understand that I am not my mood. I'm thankfully aware that like all other things in life, the current mood will pass too. In the meantime, the waves will continue to rise up from the depths and I will ride them; I'll practice the art of hanging on....while I letting go.

 

Namaste 💜🙏💜 

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Heartache, Heart Opening, and Heart Stirring: #EmpathLife

My heart chakra feels like a big deal right now, my friends. I had a moment today. Sometimes... the feelings are so intense that while I may appear normal, I am not fully functioning as a normal person, not until I have vomited these feelings up and out all over my journal. I can look at you, we can have a conversation, but there are days that I am not with you. I am deep inside my spirit, processing something I never seem to be able to name, and yet in my life, I seem constantly driven to try. Empath life hurts a lot. Empath life has extremely beautiful moments, too, and I know to some I will sound dramatic here, but I think the empaths, creatives, and highly sensitive humans reading this will understand. I don't say this as though anyone else's life doesn't hurt as much. I'm asking you to think about the people that come to your mind that maybe you would tell to 'toughen up a little' or 'quit being so dramatic.' Those people. You can recognize that they're different and you can't seem to normalize them. It's a thing.

For me, something has always stirred underneath and sometimes it just really hurts. It is an unnameable feeling, and at the same time there is a pull here and a compulsive urge to try. I'm not sure any of us ever can. This is why some of us sensitive or creative types turn to drugs or sex or codependency. The feeling is incessant. This is why many incredible artists die young, because nothing ever numbs it long enough. Sure, their pain is what makes their art poignant and relatable; this is how they touch your soul. This pain makes the joys of their lives so incredibly blissful, too, but to manage life with this unnameable feeling so deep inside all the time, yet having the other feelings and emotions always right at the surface, well, it's a task. 

Before I carry on, I'll add here that you don't need to worry about me. I'm expressing one aspect of my life, of which there are many, including great happiness and joy. Life is a spectrum of feelings and it is one of my passions to dispel this myth that we must always be ok or that when we are feeling something other than happiness, we must shut it down immediately. I would like people to feel that we are always 'ok' in whatever we are feeling because we are people and not machines. Our feelings are our guidance and mine are guiding me towards something right now. So no, I'm not a danger to myself or anything. I take no drugs and I don't even drink anymore because in my heart, I believe God made me this way to move me towards my purpose, usually creative expression, by using my feelings. When I drink, I just don't accomplish much. In fact, when I drink, that is when I actually feel really low and what I would consider depressed. 

I just wish I had a better grasp of what it is that is happening in my body right now, in my world; that maybe I could trace this feeling back to a memory, perhaps even another life, or that I could skip ahead 6 months and know what it is that is causing this new stir and that it's going to be ok. Because there are legit days when I do not know. Sometimes... writing it out is still not enough. Crying, journaling, talking, painting, purging in all the ways I know... nothing is enough, nothing eases or empties it out of me fully. Time helps, obviously, but I can't seem to speed that up. Nature helps, certainly, in fact lately, nature is my best medicine. Breath helps in a moment, but sometimes there are a hundred moments a minute.

I practice various forms of relaxation; yoga, mindfulness, meditation, etc. I believe wholeheartedly in these practices, too. I am deeply spiritual and connected to my higher source. What I know is that some things in life simply cannot be eased. Human life is complex and incredibly frail and can only really be minorly managed. During certain periods (most periods,) uncertainty is king and faith is all there is. I know anyone appearing to have life under control is either a great actor or in for a great surprise. I believe it is the Universe talking to us through the feelings our body feels, but we cannot always understand what they are saying. What is it my heart is trying to understand now?

From this window today, I saw a homeless man collapse on the street as I was journaling my heart away into the pages. It turns out, his medication had been stolen the night before, plus it's really super hot out and he was clearly extremely dehydrated. By the time I got to him, some good people had already called an ambulance, so I went back inside to get him a water. Before I could give it to him, the ambulance had arrived so I just kind of stood there unable to help him, yet unable to leave him. You see, my desire to help is bigger than me most of the time. That's an empath trait and it is hard to manage in circumstances such as these. This whole scene broke my heart open with both love and pain. I can't tell you how beautiful this man was in this moment, thin, sick, and lying on the hot cement. I felt love for him that I can't describe. A strange way to describe it maybe, but that's what I see. There was beauty in the concerned looks of the good people who called the ambulance and stayed with him til it got there. In truth, i would have given this man all I had in this moment. Yet I knew in this moment, nothing I had to give would really matter to him at this point.

When I knew he was in the care of the medics, I went to my car. I sat their crying for this man, wondering if he would even live, and if he did live, would he just be back on the street again? I wondered how he'd  gotten there and how close my life has come to being there many times. I cried because I wondered why he was there and I wasn't. And then I cried because even in feeling heartache for him I knew I was judging him and who am I to do that? I cried mostly for the vulnerability that is this human experience. I cried because i saw myself in him and in truth, his life is not what I am ready for. It seems the Universe is intent on teaching me lately that these painful moments in life are what make us able to recognize the beautiful moments as, well, beautiful.

We all live in this world of polarity and contradiction; i would say empaths live in a world of extreme polarity and contradiction. I don't know if I'm fortunate or if it tortures me to not understand what separates me from this man or anyone else, for that matter. Why was this happening to him and not me? Or you?

I'm a heavily Piscean and Neptunian human. For the non-astrology nerds, this means that boundaries do not exist on many levels for me. Separation is reeeally unnatural and detachment is just a completely foreign thing, though, I do attempt it to a certain degree. It's great energy for creative and healing work, but even that I cannot separate as something I do versus something I am. I use it to my advantage as best I can. My life is a piece of creative and healing work every day. That's how I see it. With my mind I can see that we are different people, but my heart cannot feel the separation of our spirits. I know we are the same in the cosmic scheme of things and that knowing stays at the surface for someone like me. I know this because I have seen it with my very awake eyes, the webbing that connects you to me and vice versa. I also KNOW life could flip in an instant. I live with this deep knowing in the corner of my mind every day because my life has flipped on me in an instant a million times. It's not fear, necessarily, because I count myself as pretty fearless. It's just the root of this "feeling" I have today that I'm calling a stir. I know how fortunate I am. Gratitude fills my heart to the point of exploding almost every single day. I'm not someone who is unable to recognize my gifts or recognize that it could all be gone in an instant. I think the stir comes from knowing there is still so much I need, not want, but need to do in life and I need the support of the Universe to do it.

It's been a very strange year for me so far. My psychic abilities have been very keen. Many affirmations and these affirmations have opened my heart in a number of ways. Lately, I feel like my heart literally arrives at its location long before my body or mind. Perhaps that was part of my feeling today. I think maybe some part of me knew I would cross paths with the man on the street and be faced with the frailty of my own existence once again in a short amount of time.

Empath life is a thing, and I think what I'm trying to figure out anymore is am I using it the best way I can? Because I could not help that man today, so then why the connection? Was this just another heart opener? And if I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, how can i be a little bit more at ease in it? Because its intense! How can I be a little more at ease in a world that is so close to me all the time? A world that is literally inside me causing feelings before my mind can become aware of it? A world that has been equally cruel to me as it has been amazing? How do you ease that? I don't know.

The irony here is that yes, I am a healer and through my creativity I help others along their spiritual journey, but I have no answers for myself much of the time. I don't really even know that I need answers because I love this about myself. I love being able to reach others and touch hearts. I don't want to close myself off or shut it down. However, I'm open to tips. I'd like to understand it better...

I don't know how to end this entry today. This has just been a moment of sharing a moment that touched me. Again, this is just my blog and I use it to express my truths along my journey. Some of this is incoherent, I'm sure, but I also hate editing. All I know right now is that my heart is majorly on my sleeve in this life and I just can't seem to move it...


Namaste 💜🙏💜

Stephanie  

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To The Single People.....Also Me

I know a lot of single people right now. These are interesting, smart, beautiful, nice, funny, real, not-super psychotic people, in their so-called prime, too. Single by choice. Single and not settling. Choosing sometimes sucky singlehood over unmagical coupledom. I'm lucky to know these people because they inspire me to stick to what I want and remind me that I am not crazy for believing in something special. This post is for them....... and also me. I count myself in that group.

95% of the time I am fine and dandy being single. I really am. Ok, but for real's sake, i was coupled for 13+ years so we'll say more like 91% of the time I'm fine and dandy. This kind of aloneness is new, sometimes pretty stark, but I do enjoy my time alone, mostly. I want to meet someone I click with, absolutely, but I make the most of my time alone because 1. I know it will not be forever, though there are days it feels like that. And 2. I actually love my "me" stuff when it's just me. I'm fun. Also, 3. I know that at this point, I'd rather be alone than with someone I do not vibe with. I am older now and to me, time is too precious. There is nothing worse than spending my time on nonsense-y, immature, or uninteresting people.

Every once in awhile, though, I am triggered by something in life and I start to feel this rejection, just a general feeling of rejection from the universe, as if something is wrong with me. Like, maybe I am just too strange and no one will ever match my strangeness.

On these days, every damn body is falling in love, I swear to you. I think, 'ok Universe that person has someone and I don't? Now you're just being an asshole, Universe." It hardly seems fair. That sounds judgey and I'm sorry.  I am a sensitive human, what can I say? Everyone deserves love, I believe that. I want to be happy for these falling-in-love people. I know I should be happy for them. And you know, I am happy for them, actually. But in truth, I feel both happiness and jealousy at the same time. It's ugly, but it's true. 

That's why I'm writing this today because I feel like I need a little pep talk. And I know enough about energy to know that when I need a pep talk, someone else in my world does too. My confident, peaceful self knows that, in fact, the Universe IS fair and loving and always brings us face to face with exactly what we need to grow and evolve. Sometimes that's another person and sometimes it's alone time. Sometimes it's tumultuous and sometimes it's harmonious, but it's always what we need to become the human we came here to be. I always trust in at least that. We may not like it or get it at the time, but it always makes sense in the end.

Every relationship I have ever had has shown up magically and in perfect timing, and was just right for me during that time of my life, so I do trust that it will happen again....and fingers crossed, before I am 120 and nothing but a raisin lying on my deathbed (I'm not going to live forever, Universe.) I also know that every time in my life that I have been single, I have taken leaps and bounds in the direction of my passions, dreams, and interests, my other non-romantic relationships, and my self knowledge, etc. These things are majorly important to me and I feel necessary to fulfill my believed life purpose. This time around there is the added bonus of knowing myself as a single mother, which by the way, is hard at times, absolutely, but also so awesome in a lot of ways. Awesome because I am absolutely in love with my kids and now, I am happy and free to love and nurture them the way they deserve, as a much happier, lighter person than I was when I was married. I feel more like the mother I envisioned myself to be as a young person, pre-children, instead of pretending to be that. I feel it and i know they feel it too. This is basically huge.

Some days it's hard to recognize things falling into place, but they are. Most days, something good happens in the direction of my dreams. I am reaffirmed that I am on my path, which eventually, does include love. I have to trust that love will come because the other stuff on my list is coming. I have to remember why I chose this path for myself and for some of you reading this, why this path chose you. We are meant for something else, something different, something super spectacular.

And I guess that's where I'm going with this. We have to get through the tough times. Do the work we need to do, evolve the way we obviously are supposed to be evolving, and be ready for something more, something great. Be ready for the things we have asked the universe for, in whatever package they come in. In the meantime, if you need a friend to talk you off the ledge of loneliness, call me. Or text and we'll make a coffee date because I hate talking on the phone.

Just don't give up. For God's sake don't settle for someone that is not up to your super spectacular and too-interesting-for-this-planet standards. Don't be a jerk either and not give people a chance, because you just never know, but just love yourself enough to put you first. You are amazing and you worth it.

I'm with you and sending much love your way <3

Stephanie

Open Wider: How To Really Change The World

Artists, poets, children, lovers and philosophers have been saying it since the beginning of time: Love is all there is. Peace starts WITHIN.

But we "creatives" are a subtle type. We don't care much about being "right" or "on top." We miss our own point when we go that way. We are the quiet observers, and so, no, we will never be in your face but the message is always the same. It is always there. When you look into the world and watch the news, you have a choice to let fear and outside influence make your decisions OR go within and let YOU/LOVE guide you.

I believe people are waking up to the ways of the world and wanting a meaningful change. But a meaningful change cannot be made using the old ways. It cannot be made by changing your FB profile picture for a few days until the next tragic news story hits. I'm not denying the pain people feel right now, not at all.  In fact, when I look at my social media and see all the French flags, I think it's a beautiful thing to know so many compassionate people. What I see is a lot of hope and potential!  

But Facebook is still kind of an imaginary land, you guys. And don't get me wrong, I love what social media can do.  As an introvert, I love that social media allows me to reach people I never would be able to reach with my artwork and blog.  But right now, I don't think it's the best way we can be channeling all this energy we have.  Yes, you feel this pain and it is very real. I would never deny this to anyone because I feel it in me, too. But let's take that pain and really examine it this time. What is it that hurts? Where in you do you hurt? I believe pain is always there to awaken us, no matter what kind of pain it is. It is all real.  It is ALL valid. Pain is the universe talking to us. Emotions are our ultimate compass.  Are we going to use this pain to grow or are going to let history repeat itself?  Because that's the thing about our world, we are damned to repeat until we do something different.

We are sensitive beings. We are born with empathy and so the pain we feel when tragedy strikes is incredibly real. Facing pain and turning in the direction of love during times like this takes bravery, but is all the more essential.  And it's time.  It's time to understand the pain we feel and use it to create something new. What is it you love? Share that with the world. The bravest thing you can do is be who you truly are, especially when the world expects something else out of you. 

To do that, though, one must go within. Turn everything off for a few minutes. Close your eyes, tune into your heart and you will see what you really are. You will see what you are capable of and here to do. Open your mind with silence. Open your heart with love.  And when you think you've got it, open just a little bit wider.

It's really that simple. 

Lots of Namaste,

Stephanie <3

"Open Wider" 9x12 acrylic on canvas Art by Stephanie Weiss

"Open Wider" 9x12 acrylic on canvas Art by Stephanie Weiss





Yoga: My Magical Antennae

 

So, I’m inspired to tell you why I practice yoga.  And oh man, there's so much. 

Like most people, I grew up with some instability and as you know, how we are raised leaves crazy little imprints on us the rest of our lives.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents so much and especially now that I am a parent, I understand the reason behind the things they did.  I understand that during certain times, you are just trying to keep everyone alive for another day. I get that.  But with that being said, instability in my early years has shaped me and left me with a number of fears and issues, such as loneliness and guilt.  I can’t deny that these issues have caused me to make choices that are out of alignment with my intuition.  I've always been the sensitive, middle child who feels the most happy when those around me are happy.  At least, that's what I think. That's what I grew up with, and that's what I know.  I don't want to exaggerate either, though, because I do also really enjoy being me and I know those same circumstances also shaped the things I love about myself, like my sense of humor and creativity. My imagination is out there and I can make up a pretty darn good time in my head. 

But, there’s a fine line for me when it comes to being creative and escaping.  My imagination IS my escape….and I escape a LOT.  If I’m really honest, I know it’s because I feel out of control of my life.  I'm extremely introverted and sensitive to energy.  Like I said, I think I feel happiest when I'm sure everyone else around me is happy.  When you are like this as a mother and wife, it's easy to become lost.  Parenthood is so hard.  Kids are actual people, you know, with minds, plans, and issues of their own!  Deep down, I know that no matter what I say or do, they’re going to do what they want!  It really scares the heck out of me because the mom is the one other people look to for the behavior of her children.  This stresses me out because the truth is, I have days when I really can’t handle my children.  I have no idea what to do.  They are beautiful and I love them to bits and pieces, but they do things I am unprepared for and it freaks me out. My marriage and adult relationships are hard for me, too. I’m extremely giving of my energy to the point of exhaustion one minute, but then I have to swing the other way and become extremely selfish, the next.  I’m also...... horribly disorganized and forgetful with matters of the “real world.” Technology hates me and I hate it back.  I’m super indecisive.  I’m really lazy.   I suck at being social.  I’m extremely insecure about my talents, my body, my hair, my ability to communicate, and the list goes on.  And to top it all off, I feel extremely guilty no matter what I do.

I’m not super excited to share these things.  I really do prefer to keep my nonsense on the down low.  But I’m telling you this because I know I am not alone in these matters.  And that brings me back to my point.  As a creative person/escape artist, I read a lot of and connect deeply with fairy tales.  I've always been fascinated by magic and mystical things and I won’t lie, I still, not so secretly, believe in magic.  I want magic to be real so badly and so I am always in search of proof.  For as long as I can remember, I've struggled with something about my life and looked for a magical fix.  I look at other people and it all seems so easy!  Not to me, though.  My life feels like swimming in chocolate pudding. Oh sure, I have moments where it feels super cool and fun, but then it gets kind of stupid.  It gets hard to do and I really want out.  I don’t see a way out though, the chocolate pudding never ends, and so I start escaping using the only way I know how, which is my imagination.  The truth is, I started reading about yoga as an escape!  I was hoping to find some magical life secret.  Yogis always seem to be so content, happy, and sincere and I really want that.  So off and on for a few years I tried, I practiced at home and in various studios, but honestly, I was really disappointed and kept giving up.  It just felt like exercise and it was hard and all I did was get sweaty, sore, yucky, and annoyed.  But I really loved reading about the history, the culture, and the mystical aspects of yoga and it's the lure of magic that kept me coming back.  I kept thinking, “maybe I just need to keep trying,” ….and so that’s what I did.  I just kept doing it. 

Then one day I had this moment in Savasana, the “corpse” pose taken at the end of practice (and almost everyone who loves yoga will tell you about "that one moment" when the magic hit for them.)  I just started to cry uncontrollably.  I was quiet about it. I didn’t want to disturb the class, but I could not stop crying.  It was like I wasn't there, but at the same time I was ALL there, no escaping.  It was so strange and such a relief.  I can only describe the feeling as that of a hug or a baby being swaddled up in a warm blanket.  I was just lying there alone on my mat, but for the first time in a LONG time, I did not FEEL alone.  I felt the presence of something and it was taking care of ME, the one struggling to take care of everyone else, at the time.  I didn't realize it until that moment, but I had been REALLY struggling.  I needed a hug so badly and yoga was giving me a hug!  I just let it all out and cried like a baby there on the floor because it felt so unbelievably nice to not have to be the mom who has no idea what to do, or the wife that doesn't fit the mold, or the lazy friend falling out of touch with everyone I know, or the whatever for that short time. I was just me and I was being hugged by something that understood MY needs as a human being. I felt seen, I felt heard, and I felt validated.  I often have moments like this in Savasana now.  Something takes over and I am on the receiving end of loving energy.  I don’t have to do anything but be me and it’s something indescribably beautiful.  I get a very similar feeling when I paint.  

Over the last year or so, I have had some kind of breakthrough in my yoga practice.  After all these years of practicing (that’s right, YEARS,) I feel like I’m actually starting to understand what it is I am doing.  Yoga is not about getting skinny, or being super twisty, or looking younger, or even magic (though, I still believe that yoga IS magical, just not the way I originally wished for it to be.)  It’s just acceptance of yourself.  It’s super simple sounding and yet, it can be the hardest thing in the world for someone like me.  No one achieves total acceptance forever, and if you did, you would miss the point of life.  But you can master small moments and increase those small moments each day.  You can’t control life circumstances, or children, or relationships, or friends, or anything.  But what you can control, or begin attempting to control, is your body and your breath.  And this can be a really overwhelming thing for some people, myself included; it can seem impossible when you have pain or sickness or anxiety, but I promise you that it is not.  Remember, yoga is acceptance, and when you accept yourself just as you are, that’s when you can begin to make the changes you wish to see in your life.  It is my passion as a teacher to share this notion with the world, to show that all the tools you need, you already possess.  I'm absolutely dying to bust some of the myths that keep people from doing yoga, but I'll go into that another time.  Yoga is simply a tool, a tool that taps you into your spirit by harmonizing your body and mind.  For me, it’s easy to picture my body and mind as antennae and the signal we are trying to receive is our soul, or God, or intuition, or the universe, whatever you need to call it.  I believe it is all One.  Yoga teaches me how to tap into that something bigger so that I can answer the ultimate life question: who/what am I?  That may make some people uncomfortable or sound a little out there, and that’s OK. But I believe there is more to my life than my body, my mind, or the things I "do." Yoga helps me recognize it.  When I see myself as more than a body or mind, this is what happens:  I am stress free, I love myself, I feel purpose, I accept my life as it is, and I see that everything is connected.  That doesn’t mean my life circumstances are suddenly perfect, or that I do not wish to change things, but it shows me that change can only come for me when I’m completely present in my life.  Does this knowledge last forever?  Oh no. I must continue to practice.  I must keep adjusting my antennae. 

More frequently, though, from continued practice, I become the mom I want to be because I accept parenting for what it is, and what it IS is extremely challenging, and for me, the ultimate learning experience I can have as a human.  From continued practice, though, I am able to put ego aside and see my children as unique spirits with their own lessons to learn in life and be better prepared to guide them.  From continued practice, I am able to forgive myself when I mess up (which happens quite a lot.)  From continued practice, I am able to step outside my adult relationships and marriage and see that by the traditional sense, I still may not be doing it “right,” however, I am succeeding because I am learning from my mistakes, becoming more forgiving of myself and others, and I am trying to move forward in as kind a way as possible. From continued practice, I am able to recognize my artistic work as something beautiful and purposeful, but also accept that there is always more to learn.  Finally, from continued practice, yes, my body gets healthier, more resilient, more flexible and strong, and I just feel better, physically, which makes me feel better mentally.   

The truth is, I’m not sure how to wrap this up because I really could go on for days discussing the many benefits of yoga.  There is so much more to it than I could ever really address, but I hope to touch base on as much as I can, eventually.  The point I wanted to make in this first post, though, is why I practice yoga.  I do it because yoga helps me understand that my life circumstances are never, ever, ever going to be perfect, but that I, my true self, or spirit, is always perfect just the way I am. My life is just as it should be, it is chocolate pudding.  I can struggle to get out for the rest of my life or adjust my magical antennae in order to flow with it. I just want to flow with the chocolate pudding.  This statement makes total sense to me.  

Thank you.