This is a question I found myself contemplating. Now, the answer is an easy one for me but at the time I was conflicted. I felt as if I was at war with myself.

“If I get the surgery am I somehow neglecting an opportunity for growth?”

“No way, every part of life offers opportunities for growth…”

“If I don’t, how will I feel about it in another ten years?”

“It has been over a decade and I still feel the same about it”

The concept of letting go of self-attachment was one I was intimately familiar with, but I also knew that I was here for a human experience.

I have dreams, desires, goals, passions, dislikes, identifications, and preferences like every other human I have ever met. I mean really, the very practice of detachment/mindfulness is a natural human reaction reflecting the desire to alter ones current state of being.

While in the past, it may have been different for me, I had no intention of neglecting my human nature.

I want to stop right here for a moment. Before I continue, I wish to disclose that I am in no way suggesting that mindful practices are wrong or unhealthy, in fact, quite the opposite, and these practices are a big part of mine and my family’s life. I am, simply put, saying if one holds the belief, as I do, that changing ones mentality is important, and I would even say essential, for a healthier, happier and more fulfilling life, then I am of the opinion, that person cannot say changing the body isn’t, without contradicting themselves. Just consider how often we hear about the importance of eating healthy and exercising daily, or how depression can literally make you physically ill. Negative self-image is a prominent issue in our society which causes depression and unhealthy dietary and lifestyle choices. Thus creating imbalances.

When I chose to share my plastic surgery experience and my thoughts surrounding it, I came into it understanding and accepting that I may be met with judgmental opinions, scrutiny, or even cruelty, which took quite a bit of mental effort on my part to find balance. I know there are so many more loving, kind, and encouraging people in the world than there are the opposite, but it still took sometime to retrain my brain to detach from the agreements I had made about the world around me.

My purpose in sharing this is to offer encouragement and support everyone out there that may be wanting to make a change in their lives, regardless of the type of change (physical, spiritual, lifestyle…etc.). I know, we have all heard it said before “You just need to love and accept your body/self exactly the way you are without changing anything other than your mindset about it…” not realizing, that suggestion in itself is entirely contradictory. While I support, encourage, and have been practicing mindfulness for many years, I do not agree with the above statement. To me, acceptance, encompasses the DESIRE to change something about yourself as well. Finding balance with that is challenging I know, but I am confident if I had not stepped outside of the idea that I didn’t “need” to change anything other than my mindset, my inability to accept myself would have continued to haunt me and keep me in an incongruous state.

Of course, I knew my outward appearance didn’t define me, however, I also knew the way I felt internally did not match externally and that did not sit well within me.

Some things we do for vanity’s sake and some we do for peace of mind, it is our responsibility, to ourselves only, to place our intentions and create symmetry in our lives. I am a strong believer in doing whatever feels right for you (without harming others) and enables you to be your happiest self, no matter the motivation behind it.

Be Brave.

Until next time…

Live, Love, Learn, Grow.

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Dance!

We change.

We grow.

We absorb.

We change again….

We breath…..we create….we dance.

This snowflake expression of life floods us with a menagerie of conflicting experiences.

Shaking us to our core and expanding us beyond our imaginations.

We mold.

We make.

This life is our potters clay.

The artistry of our life will be interpreted by many but can only be defined by we who have created it.

When we look upon one another’s masterpieces, let us see the expression of soul and not succumb to the judgement of our minds.

Forevermore.

-E.A. Chaney

Our family has spent much of the last several years in a kind of solitude. This time away from socializing enabled us to reflect upon our emotional, mental, and spiritual states of being. We made some discoveries, corrected some harmful behaviors and established some healthy boundaries. Unfortunately, the impact of our withdraw has not all been positive. Some of our friends and family felt neglected by our lack of communication and effort. While we didn’t want to hurt anyone, we simply intended to strengthen our bond as a family, we did and we can own that. Finding a way to explain why we are no longer in contact with many of the people we once were close to has been challenging; we feel that Francis Mallman explains it best, “I seldom invite people to have lunch or dinner with me but when I do they’re really chosen because I can’t spend time with people I don’t enjoy. I can’t do it anymore its theater. I make choices and that’s a beautiful thing about growing up, learning to say no, in a nice way you say no. I have this friend of mine…and we, you know, we parted. We just went different ways in our lives. Once he came back to me, he says, Francis, you don’t like me anymore, and I said no, it’s not that I don’t like you, we’ve chosen different styles of life… I still have these beautiful souvenirs of all the things we did together and  how close we were and so on, but the truth is, it’s not that you bore me but I don’t enjoy talking to you anymore, I don’t want to fight with you but you know there is nothing in common between your life and mine nowadays…You know growing up has a bit to do with that, to be able to tell the truth, to show who you are, even if it hurts.”

Perhaps the space between us and those of our past relationships has grown too vast to bridge right now, which, is okay. However, we fully intend to take our time and patiently fill that space with a stronger foundation with those we desire to reconnect with, but if that is not possible we will allow that space to be filled with acceptance. We understand, sometimes, you may not fit into one each other’s lives. Growing apart and finding that you are completely different people is just a part of life. Maybe you find yourself in a similar position as we have or maybe you are the one wondering why someone has chosen to walk out of your life, either way, our hope is that this brings a different light to the situation and provides some peace.

Until next time…

Becoming…

   Her story is one of rising from the ashes, reborn and ready for greatness. 

Flowing like gentle waters, she confidently navigates this world with purpose, meeting obstacles with silent power and roaring presence.

 Allowing what comes naturally for her to be the mark of envy, knowing humility should never limit ability. Vanity holds no value for her, as she is keenly aware of its lies.

 Embracing her humanity she is open and balanced, understanding the answers all seek are nothing more than relative. Standing firm, she refuses to be bound by the pursuits of the weary.

 Intentionally, she opens her heart, wholly, as an offering of genuine energy, embracing all who choose to enter with reverence.  

For she has been the object of disdain and knows the power of its thralldom too well. Its unforgiving force has weighed upon her many times before yet is unable to conquer her still. 

When her time has come, graciously, she will leave this world behind like the light of the setting sun, allowing her brilliance to fade into the darkness and her legacy to be written in the stars. 

-E.A. Chaney

After a rather emotionally charged day, filled with plenty of internal struggle over making the “wrong” decisions, I found myself in a rather curious position. I had, of course,

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Dia Dhuit!

We did it, we finally did it! In March of 2016, Ty and I crossed the Atlantic ocean on an AirFrance Boeing 777 and began the anniversary trip of our dreams in Ireland!

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Inclined Acquiesce

By E.A. Chaney

I am convinced my heart is a rebel.

It does not listen to me; it wants unapologetically.

The never ceasing betrayer, my heart is as wild as the sea.

Why does it long so intensely for things that cannot be.

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The Unforeseeable

by E.A Chaney

How twisted is my soul that relish this sorrow?

How tainted that I cherish it?

The unrelenting force of it crushing my being into a million irrecoverable pieces,

yet here I lie soaking in the macabre thoughts that dance with delight in my mind.

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A young woman I have come to admire greatly for a few reasons shared a post recently on her social media page challenging her Facebook circle to say one thing they love about themselves. Since it had been an area of struggle for me for decades to inwardly or outwardly speak love to myself, I decided to participate. Which led to me reflecting on how common it is to neglect oneself of self love and appreciation and what it takes to change it. I realized for me it was a story of struggle like it is for many others.

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     I have always had an interest in philosophy, long conversations, gazing out upon the vast starlit night sky, regarding life and the meaning of it all has always been one of my favorite past times. Life is a multifaceted and awe-inspiring phenomenon. Throughout the centuries, many have attempted to honor and/or understand this phenomenon with spiritual pursuits and quests for knowledge;

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