Well, actually, it's in the name of love...but breasts + request rhyming = a wordsmithing opportunity that was simply too good to pass up.
I'm about to turn 31. About a year ago, I looked at the landmark transition from a 'twenty something' to 'thirty something' with a solid balance of anticipation, excitement, trepidation and, to be completely honest, a touch of 'HEYYO. I've got this life thing figured out. Look at all the puzzle pieces building this picture of what my soon to be forevermore life is going to look like.'
In shorter terms, there was a healthy dose of cockiness in my approach to what 'being 30' meant, and how my life was going to look from March 18, 2016 onward.
Now, for all I thought it was going to be (and subsequently wasn't), 30 can be summed up in one word: love.
It was the year I opened myself to loving big and putting my whole self forward. I let my heart get blown wide open in romantic love, filled to the top with nine of my dearests getting hitched, and saw my relationships with my family members deepen into the heart space.
It was a year of all the feels across the entire spectrum of depths, with the highlights being those juicy kindred spirit, yum-yum feelings I have the privilege to feel for the people in my day to day life - and my gene pool.
There was one individual in particular who made a mark on my life that I don't intend to forget. He taught me to love with my eyes, ears and heart wide open. He showed me what joy looked, sounded and felt like. And, absolutely most importantly, he taught me the deep, DEEP importance of self love; of peeling back our layers and learning all the intricacies of the Self within, and appreciating and expressing all those parts of us in their unique and sometimes beautifully/perfectly weird 'US-ness'.
He reminded me *often* that just when we think we know ourselves and have stuff figured out, there's more digging, more peeling to be done. AND, that it's THAT act—the deeper dive, the repeated peel back, the staring at the same part of our Self in the face over and over again that is the REAL act of establishing and living into self love.
Voldy—the man with the huge heart, creativity in his cells, some of the best high kicks when 'New York, New York' would just 'happen' to come on a playlist, and two stepping skills to rival Dancing With the Stars—passed away just a week into 2017. And he is, without a dang doubt, being remembered for the love he shared, the love he lived, and the love everyone who knew him couldn't help but feel when his massive smile would crack out from behind the mess of blonde whiskers that made up his (impressive, actually) burly beard.
SO my request is this:
For my upcoming turning of the clock into the next 365, and in lieu of gifts, I invite you to donate to the Breast Cancer Supportive Care Foundation of Calgary, AB; the foundation donors were asked to contribute to in his memory.
And my other invitation is this:
My greatest lesson about love and self love is bringing a voice and language to what's going on within me - below the surface. That when I am truly loving up on myself, in all the states I show up in, I share. I share how I feel, what I am thinking, what I know to be true from that guts-deep intuition place. I have the tough conversations when I know it's they're the RIGHT conversations to be in - for me.
Love looks like not leaving anything unsaid - and trusting myself to speak my truth, without expectation, without the need for anyone to act or 'do' anything.
My self expression is love.
So, if you feel something, say something (yes, I stole that from the Department of Homeland Security...kind of). But in 100% honesty, and to coin a term from my good friend Ally Maz (if I butcher this, forgive me, lady): from the guts to the lips.
When you know something to be true, share it. When red flags are being raised, expose them. When you don't feel yourself, kick isolation to the curb and allow others into your experience. ALL of this is the beginnings of one TIGHT connection with your Self and the embodied experience of living into self love.
When it comes down to it, we're all doing the very best we can with what we've got - and this weird and wild human experience is going to stretch us and grow us and make us uncomfortable for sommmmme time to come.
With a little more love in our back pockets, I have faith we can greet all life's 'WHOA' with a touch more grace.
So end rant. And happy birthday to me. And happy self love day to you today, and every day for forever, and forevermore.
With love, thanks, internet high fives and e-hugs,
Breast Cancer Supportive Care Foundation
Suite #414 Hillhurst Building, 301 - 14th Street NW
Calgary AB T2N 2A1
Tel: (403) 270-2158
If you feel so inclined, donations can be made in the memory of Voldy Dashko.