The shitty work

 

941b7249415b98b2d750cb922aedd12b--work-hard-quotes-inspiration-quotes-hard-workHave you ever struggled in life?

Maybe you and your boyfriend broke up but you still feel a sting from the heartache and you find moving on difficult to do. How do you become whole and complete again? There’s a struggle between what is, what will be and what was.

Or maybe you’re totally over your ex but instead, are struggling in the dating world. You struggle to make promising and exciting connections. How do we make that happen?

How about if you’re a mama raising a family, busting your tired ass to get the kids to a million different places, every day of the week, while aching and longing for a sleep-in or romance? There is a struggle there that is deafening.

We struggle. We all struggle. You’re probably in it; I’m in it right now. The hot mess of it all.

Life.

Allow me to share. My struggles are currently and loudly with romantic relationships.

I’ve dated. And I’ve put in the work and time to really get over my ex. Really, I have. And in my own stance of pride, I’ve done pretty great for myself. I’ve come a long way. The person I am today didn’t breathe a chance six months ago. I could not let go.

Today, I’m doing okay. I still struggle on some things but I’ve got a pretty good track record now of surviving hard days.

But some things just aren’t quite healed. They haven’t quite disappeared from the front of my mind to a memory of the past. That’s where I find myself struggling. I want to be free of its constant grip.

One thing I’ve realized about struggle – no matter if it’s yours, mine or one we witness in friends and family – it is this: there is no quick fix. The pain brought on by struggle doesn’t willingly go away simply because you’ve done a little hard time hurting and put in a little work to get out of the black hole you are in.

No cookie cutter recipe. No quick fix.

Another thing I’ve realized, with any struggles in life, is that we have to do the shitty work. We have to. There is no easy work. There are no easy buttons to our lives. To really get what we want, totally and completely, we have to do the shitty work.

Here’s an interesting share: I thought I was doing the work. And you know what, in some ways, I did. But I also know I was trying to rush through the work. You know? Get my toes wet a little in the discomfort but not really all the way in, then rush to get on with it, to dry ‘em off and carry on to my happily ever after.

It doesn’t work like that. FAST isn’t an option with healing and struggle.

So what is it then? How is this shitty work supposed to… ahem, work? How do we know if we are doing it? How do we know if we are in the crap deep enough? How many steps forward do we have to take before we can glance backwards and see a few miles covered?

Well. That’s the thing with struggles and the work it requires of us to come through to the other side… one day you might only need to wade up to your knees in the mud and murk to make progress, and somedays you might have to completely submerge yourself underneath it all to just move forward a half of an inch.

So I got to reflecting. How the work works.

What I’ve seen in my own experience is this: even if we get a system or a rhythm going, this doesn’t mean it’s going to be fool proof and equal progress every single time. Maybe there is a few different ways to get answers and a few different ways move forward. Maybe one way will only work once and then never again.

As we change and grow, our strategies and approaches need to change and grow, too.

It could be like math. (I hate math). And it could be possible that I’m not getting the right answer or the answers I want because I’m just flat out not doing it right. Am I adding when I should be subtracting…? And am I only adding now because adding has worked before?

Or, maybe I’m multiplying when I should simply be putting down the pen and walking away all together, to make some progress and unstruggle myself.

Maybe I could just do the work differently now.

Maybe.

If one method doesn’t give you what you want or move you toward a better version of yourself, perhaps it’s time to change how you do the work. Try a different method.

Within your method right now, what have you been pretending not to know? Are you avoiding a method that, deep inside, you know you should try? And these paths and methods which you need to try – are you willing to do it?

Willingness is a big step in the right direction of a new equation for work. If we are willing, then our healing process can begin, right then, in that moment. Before we ever start the shitty work, we can start healing.

You can do it. I can do it. We are somehow incredibly capable and magically equipped to move through the crap and into a brighter, bolder spirit. A healed spirit. One that has done a lot of heavy lifting, but has the spiritual muscles to show for it.

Wishing you love, hugs, and the best butt slaps during your shitty work…

xoxo

McDooogs

 

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Piracanga… the change to my spiritual adventure.

 

It feels like I was just barely introducing yall to my little spiritual adventure of yoga, bugs, beaches and sunburns… and unfortunately I’ve got to say, it’s over.

“Whaaaa? What the deuce?”

Well yah, I know. Hear me out…

Some things in life are amazing. Beaches, sunrises and the ocean are definitely on the list of crazy beautiful things. Plus, if you experience those wonders with a big group of peace loving yogis… and then maybe add in a little vegetarian cuisine and the fact that there is no snow, no traffic and no worries…. Well, hot damn, that’s obviously an amazing way to live. High fives to spiritual journeys that have all those things.

But something else in life that is amazing? Friends. Best friends.

My best friend Deirdre has been fighting cancer for the past 11 months. While I trekked off to Brasil, she was at home in Canada battling the way she did everyday: with grace, courage, strength and beauty.

My friends Jess and Mira kept me up to speed thru emails with Deirdres progress. I could count on them daily. At one point, Deirdres health rapidly declined and Jess took her computer with her to the hospital, to set up a Skype date with Miss Dee for me. What a great friend, right? I love Jess… always loving to help.

The skype episode ended being a wee bit heartbreaking. The Internet connection was really weak, making it hard to actually hold a conversation with my loved ones back in Canada, but what made it really tough, was seeing my best friend “like that.” She was so fragile. For the first time in 11 months, she looked sick to me. I never saw her as a cancer patient, until that moment. It scared me. More than I care to admit.

Then, what seemed to me as coming from out of no where, I found out that the docs were giving her about a week or so to live…

From that moment on, everything was sort of a blur… emails to my travel agent to try and switch my flights home… feelings of being totally mentally flat… loss of clarity of time, not just the hours but the days, too.  It all blended together.

Some how, I landed in Vancouver. My final stop after more than 30 hours and 4 airports, I was on Canadian soil and with in driving distance to seeing my best friend.

“What the fuck! It’s cold here!” I complained to my girlfriend Mira as we walked out of the Vancouver airport. I was rocking (and by rocking I mean totally scrubbed out in) flip flops, tights, tank and bikini top… Mira, who is cute as a button, was decked out in a jacket, hat, scarf, boots and full leggings. I guess somewhere between departing Brasil and landing in Vancouver, I forgot what January in Canada was like. Awesome. SO, not only was I loosing track of time, I was loosing common knowledge of my homeland. Greeeeeat.

Mira drove me to straight to the hospital to be with Miss Dee. And again, that day, and the days that followed were sort of a blur.

That first day there, I was able to get some alone time with Deirdre at the hospital. At this point she was unable to really communicate, and was in a mid-coma. I sat next to her, in shock as to what was happening in. The last time I saw her, before I left for Brasil, we all talked, laughed, hugged, took pictures and were ‘us.’ To go from that to this… ugh… to seeing my bestie lay still in a hospital bed, with no sounds other than her breath, well… that was hard. I struggled. Where were my words? Where was my strength?

Even though I didn’t want to, I started to say my goodbyes. I didn’t know how many more days or even hours we would have left together. I was scared to say it all at first… it was like, as if saying goodbye suddenly would make it happen. Maybe if I don’t say anything, nothing they are saying is going to happen, will. Funny how you will start to negotiate and rationalize things when you feel desperate. Eventually, I put on my big girl panties and started talking out loud to Miss Dee…

I told her things that she had heard me say a million times… how much I loved her, how amazing I thought she was, how my life was more beautiful because she was in it… I told her how much I would miss her and all of our times together… I even threatened her a little: only a best friend can do that. 😉 “You better come visit me, whether it be in my dreams or when I’m awake. I mean it. Or I will kick your ass when I get there.”

Each day that she stayed with us, I told her the same loving (and threatening) things. And each day she stayed with us felt a little more frustrating than the last. You don’t know what feeling helpless feels like, until you experience something like this.

On February 2nd, Miss Dee felt like she was ready.. and shortly after 5pm, she was gone.

No matter how much you are expecting or preparing for death, it still hurts like a mother fucker when it happens. I’m a baby. I don’t have a lot of experience with loosing loved ones. And quite frankly, I suck at it. I look at her family and am like, “man… how do they do it?” They are deeply hurting, yet they still radiate strength and plenty of other inspirational, beautiful qualities. Amazing and unbelievable obviously runs in her genes.

Looking at it over the last few days, I realized that I didn’t leave my spiritual adventure in the jungle for reality at home. I really just changed directions on my spiritual journey. From an interesting tropical one to a greater more powerful one. Though my adventure in Piracanga didn’t end the way we thought it would  – on the beach, with a glorious tan and rocking flexi yogi body – it did end in a far more significant, intense way… one that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life…

Fun fact: Deirdre loved the heat. She loved tropical destinations. And geez, for a white Irish girl, she could sit in the sun for hours. I kinda hope my best friend has found a place similar to Piracanga for herself. I hope she found a beach, with beautiful sunsets and perfect white sand. And of course I hope she found a hottie exotic boy, with some sort of rocking accent, to serve her drinks and rub sunscreen on her back. She would like that. I would like that for her, too…

With love and gratitude for best friends,

McDooogs xoxo

In vegas, poolside. My girl makes friends with a group of rowdy boys. 🙂 Good times.