F#$* You 2016?

Oh dear, where to begin. I'm not gonna lie - this year was rough. I feel like I have been in transition for a bit over a year now. I made the move to Walla Walla at the end of last year and I'm going to include that in my 2016 wrap-up.

I have lived in 2 states. I have lived in 3 homes. I have now had 4 different places of employment since arriving in Walla Walla. I got used to not having my kitties and then drove 20 hours to bring them to their new home here with me. I have lost Grampa Johnson, Uncle Jim, and Gramma Rhodes, in that order. Shall I go on...

I won't even get started on politics or all of artists whom I adore who passed away this year. I won't go into detail of how the killings and refugee crisis and...and...and have disturbed my little heartmind. If you can identify with any of the heaviness I just wrote - you may want a humor break. I will take a moment now to introduce a video by John Oliver. If you are offended by swear words, at work, have children next to you - DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO. It uses the F bomb A LOT!!! That is my forewarning. But if like me you have had a bit of a rough year and have a slightly inappropriate sense of humor, I suggest you watch this video clip. It made me laugh and that is a beautiful thing these days!

Why does it make me laugh? Because I am not alone. Because the truth albeit hard, is sometimes funny. Because it helps me own the anger I have had throughout this year.

But I want to pause here, because as much as I want to wallow in self pity and "woe is me"  and be sooooo angry at so many things in my life - a lot of wonderful things have happened as well. There have also been joyful things about this year. I am blooming and growing in amazing ways. I said when I was 35 that it was "The Rebirth of Christel Joy". That is when I started to "find myself". I started to assert myself and my voice. I started to trust myself more. I was forming my own opinions and doing a lot of inner work. This work was taking a look at my foundation, finding the cracks, filling them in, and growing some deep roots.

If 35 was growing roots then 43 has been my blossoming. I have taken all the nutrients from the soil and my petals are opening up.  I can't even believe how much going through a divorce, 3 deaths, and so much transition has sped up my journey to being a more wholehearted person. 

I've learned how to integrate who I am on a much deeper level so that I am not fractured or detached. I'm not saying I have it all figured out. But I am so proud of my willingness to be vulnerable and truly take the time to experience all of what some would label "bad" things that have happened recently. They caused pain. They caused struggle. But without them, I don't think I would be as vulnerable (aka - strong) as I am at this moment.

Is that a duality or what?! So although the angry/hurt side of me wants to say "Fuck You 2016!" - I can't - well...not completely anyway. That part of me is valid. I honor it. But that would be to say that there haven't been other sides to me that can look back now with some hindsight and say "Thank You 2016!" Cheesy? Sure, have you forgotten I'm from Wisconsin!? This is my truth. The more I can find gratitude for the things that are challenging in my life - the more integrated I become. Right along side of that is the fact that the more I can own my anger at injustices and being hurt by others/myself - the more integrated I become. (Maybe I'll write another blog sometime about how much I struggle with owning anger. Until this year I don't think I ever owned any of it.)

As I am writing, I'm realizing that yet again it is coming back to having and keeping all of the dualities alive. Owning them all at the same time. I read Brene Brown's "Rising Strong" a few months ago and would highly recommend this book to anyone. In there is a sentence which strongly resonates with me right now.

"I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging."

The first time I read it, I teared up. It hit a truth in me. Even as I typed it in just now I teared up again. All of these things are true at one time. I can be angry and happy. I can be afraid and brave. Just because someone isn't willing or able to love me, doesn't mean that I'm not lovable.This is just the beginning of the next part of this journey called life. I now have this to explore, observe, and witness within myself.

I know I'm a little crazy. I can already hear your voices - "A little?". Okay, maybe I'm a lot crazy, but I am ready to delve into that on a deeper level. December 21-January 1 I will be at a 10 Day Vipassana Silent Meditation Retreat. No electronics, no books, no writing, no yoga. Those of you who know me (which is all of you) are probably doubting I can manage silence for that long. I even talk in my sleep for goodness sake, so this will definitely be a challenge! But I know I can rise up to it and will walk away even more wholehearted. 

Maybe if everybody worked towards becoming more wholehearted, the world would be a "better" place. But what do I know? I'm just a little old girl from Sconi! All I DO know is that it makes my world a "better" place :-)

Happy Holidays! May love surround you. As a matter of fact - I'm sending some your way. And here is my New Years kiss for you ~ Mwah!

christel joy

We craft love from heartbreak,
Compassion from shame,
Grace from disappointment,
Courage from failure.

Brené Brown

Silent Night(s)

Adventure Pants