Day 365: A life of abundance and gratitude

IMG_5325Well, here I am.  The last day of my blog.  Talk about pressure to be prophetic…

I’ve had friends ask me what I was going to write about on the last day.  If I already had it written.  If I was going to reveal everyone’s real names…

Right or wrong, I’m approaching this last post just like I have all the others.  Sitting down at the computer…taking a deep breath…and letting whatever is in my heart spill out.  Sure sometimes something would settle in and I’d know today what I wanted to write about tomorrow.  I think on one or two occasions I was so moved by something that I sat down and wrote my blog the night before it was due.  But that was rare.

When I first started, I kept a page of ideas and notes out of fear the day would come when I wouldn’t have anything to write about.  When my heart wouldn’t have anything it wanted to share.  I’m happy to report that day never came.  Some days there was more to say than others, but each day there was something.

For 365 days I’ve shared my struggles…successes…fears…and dreams.  I’ve exposed some of my darkest secrets and shined a light on some of my biggest hopes.  When I started this journey, the goal was simple.  Write every day for a year.

I’d read someplace that to be a writer, you had to write everyday.  That it needed to be a part of who you are…a passion that drives you to do it, even when you might not want to.  I thought I wanted to be a writer so I set the goal.  And to make sure I didn’t shortcut myself, I decided to make it a public goal by posting each day to this blog.

Once I started, I realized I had a lot of shit I needed to say.  There was so much I’d been carrying around in my heart…and for so long.  Things I’d pushed down…or away…in an attempt to bury shame and turn a blind eye to the things I didn’t like about myself.

Those were some of the first things that bubbled to the surface.  The very things I didn’t want to share were the words I needed to release most.  And so I did.  What did I have to lose?  I honestly didn’t think people would spend much time reading what I wrote.  If they did, I thought it would be a novelty that would quickly wear off.  Why would anyone want to listen to what I had to say?

And then I realized, people were reading…a lot of people were reading…and they could relate.  So many messages from people – some I knew, some I didn’t – thanking me for sharing my soul.  For putting a voice to what they were feeling.  For letting them know they weren’t alone in their struggles.  All the sudden, my blog wasn’t just about me.  I was connecting to people.

Ahhhh, connection.  We all crave it in some form or fashion.  I know I craved it deeply, especially at first.  Despite all the friends and family that surrounded me, I quickly opened my eyes to the fact that I was living a very lonely life.  By my own doing, of course.  I only allowed my connections with folks to go so deep.  The few that I had let in deeply seemed to bring more pain than pleasure.

Gradually over time, though, I started to tear down those walls.  Much of the demolition coincided with the removal of my masks…of letting go of personas.  Stripping down to a much more authentic…raw…exposed…honest version of myself.  Ironically, the more I let go…the more naked I got…the more comfortable I became in my own skin.  The more confident I became in speaking my truth.  The less I fell prey to the social pressures of doing what others tried to impose as “right”.

I had found my path…I had stepped into my truth.

I’m not the same person that logged her first post on Day 0, March 26, 2014.  I thought about going back and reading all my old posts in preparation for this final one.  I mean, so much has happened that it’s hard to remember all the details.  But I don’t really know that person anymore.  I’m not connected to her.  I feel like it would almost be like reading someone else’s words.

Plus, I don’t want to look backward.  I spent a great deal of time purging when I started the blog…letting go of old shit…freeing myself of burdens that only weighed me down.  At some point, I felt the shift.  My perspective moved from one of past reflection to being present and sometimes pondering the future.

When I started this journey, my dream was to find a partner.  Someone that complimented me and challenged me.  Someone that loved and supported me but also pushed me to continue growing.  I wanted to find a man with some pretty specifics qualities….and I did.

I honestly thought that process would take the majority of the year.  That a good many of my posts would be about my dating follies.  But that wasn’t how it went down.  Within days of posting what I was looking for, I met Mr. Universe.  I guess I can say that the rest is history.  We’re happily married with two puppies and a motorcycle.  Living a life very much like what I dreamed…and wrote about.

IMG_1601And that might be one of the biggest lessons I learned this past year….the power of manifesting your dreams.  Thoughts…words…they mean something.  They are energy fueled with your emotions and intentions.  I used to discount the power of words.  And in doing so, I probably stunted my own growth for many years.

But once I started writing….I could look back and see how my words…how my emotions and intentions…began to become my reality.  How the act of writing focused my attention on what I wanted to accomplish…allowing me to move in the direction that I wanted my life to go.

Even when I was releasing all that shit…it was with the intention to fill myself back up with love…compassion…kindness…forgiveness.  It was with the momentum to move forward and not stay stuck in what was.

319477If I could offer one piece of advice, write.

Doesn’t have to be a public blog.  Start a journal.  Write down your heart’s desires…dreams…passions.  Release onto paper all the junk that you don’t want to carry around anymore.  Write your goodbyes…letters of forgiveness.  If you can’t quit that job, quit it on paper and write an acceptance letter for the job you want.  Write.  Write.  Write.  And then see what happens.

I truly believe the Universe wants to support us in achieving all that will make us happy.  But we have to remember that she hears everything.  All that we say…that we think…that we write.  With everything we do, we are sending her messages…making requests…asking for help.

So my second piece of advice, focus on the positive.  Dream of what you want, not of what you don’t want.  Talk in terms of affirmations and resist using negative connotations.

Simple put:  remember words matter.

It’s in that vein that I share what I’ve learned about myself since starting this journey…what I’ve learned my soul’s gifts are:  I’m a teacher.  I’m a healer.  I’m a coach.  I’m kind and compassionate and driven and organized.  I’m adept at building connections.  And I’m a writer.

I’m whatever speaks to my soul…moves me to take action…makes my heart smile.  I’m incredibly lucky to be living a life of abundance…of forging my way in a nontraditional fashion surrounded by people that support and love me.

I’m so incredibly grateful to so many…for so much love…and so many lessons.  (Roll the credits)

My Mom
Mr. Universe
Sheba & Solomon & Puzzle (RIP sweet cat)
Princess Grace
Kilo
Moon Pie
Yinny
Man of the Year
Chapper
Alaskan Root
Smiles
Redheaded Gypsy
Jedi
Amicus
Mama J
GG
Coach K
LL
Starbucks Steve
Rogue Robot
Eli’s Mom
Mr. & Mrs. Neighbor
terryshen
snakesinthegrass2014
IreneC
Big Daddy
BossMan
Thing 1
Thing 2
The Taste

I think Jackson Kiddard said it best when he wrote…
“Anything that annoys you is for teaching you patience.
Anyone who abandons you is for teaching you how to stand up on your own two feet.
Anything that angers you is for teaching you forgiveness and compassion.
Anything that has power over you is for teaching you how to take your power back.
Anything you hate is for teaching you unconditional love.
Anything you fear is for teaching you courage to overcome your fear.
Anything you can’t control is for teaching you how to let go and trust the Universe.”

For all that and so much more, thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Oh, and the biggest question that I know everyone wants to know the answer to…The Taste is….

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5 Responses to Day 365: A life of abundance and gratitude

  1. terryshen says:

    Congratulations Candy on accomplishing your dreams of freeing yourself, finding yourself and others along the way. You are right about words have meaning. They are symbols that can free our soul. Thank you for the credits, but it is you who really deserve what you have accomplished. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brook says:

    Kudos to you for finishing your project and accomplishing so much along the way! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog each and every day and I will really miss starting my mornings off without you. Everything you’ve written over the past year has really impacted me and made me think about my own life in a different way. So, thank you! And good luck in all of the exciting new things happening in your life.
    I realized that I am going to have to look for some new blogs to follow and wondered if you might have any recommendations? I’d like to read ones that are as real and positive as yours has been…ones that will inspire me to be a better me. Any suggestions you can share would be much appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

    • candyirven says:

      Thanks so much, Brook. It’s been quite a ride…and today I find myself a little out of sorts knowing there’s no blog to write. But that’s good. Maybe I’ll be back in the near future…just not daily. 😉

      My favorite blogs are Tiny Buddha and Zen Habit (especially if you have kids). I used to be a huge Mastin Kipp follower. I still love him and his message. I’ve just worked through a good deal of what he writes about now. Give those a try and see if anything resonates.

      I also love Elephant Journal and Yogi Times. I follow both of them on Facebook. Spirit Science is fun if you want to blow your mind on occasion (also on Facebook.)

      Take care…and enjoy the journey!

      Like

      • Brook says:

        Thanks!! I will definitely check those out. And, I’ll keep checking back here just in case you decide you have something to say 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats! I realized only a few minutes ago that I missed this last, important post of yours. Thanks for taking us all on your wonderful journey — it’s been a joy to watch your self-discovery and occasionally participate. Onward!

    Liked by 1 person

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