Love is…maintaining balance in the presence of pain & a ginormous dose of self love! (also, my apparent fixation on trees)

So, a rough week in bodily aches, stiffness, and pain has left me a little exhausted.

It’s so frustrating when I get these pain flare-ups (especially when it inhibits my desire to walk anywhere).

It’s frustrating to not know exactly the source of these sensations and exactly ‘why’ it is happening (it’s funny how we always need to truly know the reason for things in order to better accept them).

It’s frustrating when I get so angry that I lose my focus on the ‘how’ of my situation  (I’m still learning to continually remind my brain to be gentle with itself and the body it communicates to).


 (My internal dialogue urges: “Don’t berate yourself over it. Give yourself space to really FEEL it, and then let it go”)

When this occurs, I can then focus on the ‘how’. This means that I actively work towards making my body feel more comfortable – by moving and stretching it, by taking long, hot showers, by trying to be more mindful of what I eat, by resting when it tells me to), as well as making my mind feel more at ease – by meditating, by breathing, by laughing, by reading positive words, by focusing on the good stuff around me, by searching out fun, by accepting my (awesome) self, by not letting the negative/soul-draining shit get to me.

This is another reason to keep collecting and recording these lists. Sometimes, on a particularly bad day, it’s all about survival (of mind, emotions, spirit). On good days, that’s when you can really get the chance to soar (oops, I originally typed ‘sour’!)


(artwork credit: Katie Daisy at the Wheatfield) (part of my favourite poem by Mary Oliver)

Onward! Here is my list:

  • simple, yet inspiring digital artwork (she even has her own daydreaming love list) – she really inspired parts of my post today (displayed photos included!)
  • foggy mornings, where the landscape from the bus window looks shrouded in mystery – almost dreamlike, not quite real
  • the alpaca farm I pass on the way to the doctor’s office. It always makes me yell out “ALPACAS!!!!” in pure delight
  • my favourite tree. I always pass it on the bus ride home. It makes me feel peaceful and full of wonder. It stands alone in a field and always has a plastic patio chair sitting under it (I wonder who sits there?). It looks like something out of a story book. I remember I had a favourite tree when I was a kid as well. It was located along the waterfront in my old hometown. It was a very misshapen, gnarled (in a whimsical type way if that makes sense!) tree that I officially named “Mr Squiggles”. Seems like I’ve always been drawn to the strange and abnormal!
  • the way the trees cast shifting shadows in the street on a sunny day
  • cherry and apple blossoms
  • trees that create archways over the sidewalk
  • big, old houses in old neighbourhoods
  • the smell of Night Kitchen Pizza as I walk past (RIP Maurice Sendek – check out this really creepy film adaptation)
  • stopping by a coffee bar to do some quiet writing, and stumbling upon some really gorgeous live music (banjo included!). Four beautiful, kick-ass women with guitars and buttery smooth voices had come together to tour, share the stage, and promote each other. Seriously, check out them out if you want to swoon: Gabrielle Papillon, Brie Nelson, Corinna Rose, & Ambre McLean
  • the youth Graffiti Gala that we attended last weekend (big, bright, spray painted artwork with really vulnerable and honest explanations accompanying each piece)
  • Exit Through the Gift Shop (a really f’in’ awesome film exploring subversive street art culture, that’s also super funny)
  • The Self-Love Revolution (it’s FREE and I’m totally doing it! I’ll fill myself with so much positive goodness and love til I explode!)
(artwork credit: Katie Daisy)
  • I really want to participate in the World-Changing Writing Workshop that’s starting in June (birthday gift for me?) – It’s pretty outside of my mega-modest-budget, but I’ve been building so much motivation and passion about my writing practice again these days…worthy investment?)
  • 25 Ways to be a Badass (from one of the organizers of the Self-Love Fest)


(artwork credit: Katie Daisy)

How do you care for yourself when you’re feeling shitty? What makes you see beauty in things?


6 thoughts on “Love is…maintaining balance in the presence of pain & a ginormous dose of self love! (also, my apparent fixation on trees)

  1. kerri says:

    Picturing you clapping your hands together and gettin’ giddy over ALPACAS makes me smile! Thanks for the brightness!

    • allthesoftplaces says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your struggles (I suppose we’re all going through our own battles)…It seems to me like you’ve got a fierce heart, so I’m sure you’ll come out the other side just fine 🙂 Sending you good thoughts (glad I could help!)


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