"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

***A Quote From The Velveteen Rabbit


Live Life With Childlike Abandon

Sooo, while on hiatus this past weekend, I stayed with a friend I've known for a few years. Despite the length of time we've known each other, we've never spent much one on one time together, at least not enough to get to know the little bits and pieces of one another that really make us the people we are, deep down. 

I'm talking about the habits and beliefs one only sees when they look closely, when they are afforded the time, interest and attention span necessary to truly witness someone else...In the raw. Over the weekend there was definitely plenty of time, and I'm fairly certain I was under the microscope. After all, I'm a rare and interesting specimen, unique indeed!  *wink wink*

Throughout the days, my friend repeatedly told me how much fun I am, and I often caught him watching me play and explore with a look of (what I interpreted to be) awe on his face. The kind of awe people get when they watch a child having fun playing with a string or a box, a sort of amusement at the simplicity of a child's pleasure, maybe even a bit of longing, a brief reminder of when life was so much easier. A wistfulness that things could be so simple for them again, perhaps. 

All weekend long I let it all go. For the most part. There was a brief moment as I was reading some email when I was temporarily pulled back into the stresses that create walls in our lives. And as I felt my body tense up, my face get squinchy and tears well up in my eyes, I immediately fell into Child's Pose, a yoga pose of pure surrender, and I allowed myself to be held by Mother (Earth) until I could remind myself, "I am taking a break to take in what is..And not worry about what will be." 

So I walked away from my email, separating myself from my electronic leashes. I'm learning how to be more present in my life. And with the exception of that situation, I spent the days and nights I was away listening to music constantly, dancing, singing, playing with my pups, photographing bugs, feeding and petting Horsey, admiring his strength and beauty, spoiling him with more carrots and oranges than I was suppose to give him. 

I noticed tiny flowers and spent time examining them closely, noting their smallest characteristics. I ate fresh oranges from the same tree I searched for spiders, hoping to examine their beautiful webs, all the while allowing my hands and face to get sticky as I relished the sweet, intense flavor, thankful for the cool, refreshing nourishment of the citrus fruit. I always ache to feel the earth beneath my feet, so I walked around the yard barefoot, carefully since there were lots of thistles, and enjoyed the feeling of a small splinter piercing the flesh of my right food, it was refreshing to be reminded just how alive I am. 

I played hide and seek with my friend, and tag..We had so much fun running away from each other, me yelling and screaming, both of us laughing, having tickle wars when we would catch one another. Of course the pups had to get involved, what fun would a game of tag be without even teams of 2 dogs and 2 humans? We boxed with Butchy and got besos from Bru and instigated leg biting between the two pups..To say the least, all 4 of us burned a lot of energy, and were in great spirits all weekend long.

On Saturday night, we returned to the city for a DubStep show at The Kava Lounge. This was (for the most part) the first time I have gone out to a club just to dance since being in recovery, actually, for well over a year. I have been so nervous that I would not connect to the music the same way, or enjoy it as much as I use to when I would go dancing high. On the way in, a guy my friend knew walked past and asked if we wanted to roll..Anything was possible, as it always is. 

However, I spent this night drug free, danced for 3 hours straight. You couldn't have lured me away from the dance floor no matter what. I was having so much fun that even when my friend would step outside for a cigarette nothing could distract me. Social anxiety smocial anxiety..In this moment it just didn't matter. What I noticed was this: When I dance and I'm really feeling it, my eyes are closed most of the time, I laugh a lot, and I get really excited when the music oscillates. 

Sunday upon returning to San Diego, my friend and I decided to get sushi for lunch. We went to Zensei, a sushi joint I really like, not far from my home in North Park. We had Miso Soup, a Spicy Tuna Roll and Caterpillar Roll, Seared Albacore Nigiri and something new to me....New Zealand Pearl White Tuna Nigiri. 

As I was chewing the first piece of this new to me treat, my eyes got big and I pointed at my mouth while I said 'MmmmmHmmmmmmm!!!! MMMMMM!!!" and smiled the best I could, full mouthed and closed lipped. My friend, smiling, said something about how cute and obvious it is when I really enjoy something, sort of like a little kid. 

When I swallowed my food, I said thank you..And briefly explained my thoughts on enjoying life to the fullest. Which went something (but not exactly) like this: 

I want to experience everything in life with childlike awe and wonder. I want to truly enjoy every second as though I haven't been conditioned by society, I want to be amazed by what I'm experiencing, full of love, happiness and appreciation. Why shouldn't I? Why shouldn't anyone? It may, indeed, be the fountain of youth. Because we are only as old as we make ourselves out to be..Age is a matter of perception. 

I don't care what the number game says, I want to live and love every second of life with childlike abandon. 


Skip M said...

"Child-like abandon" is the essence of our being. As we get older, we feel that we're too "cool" or "beyond that." That's when we lose the ability to be awed. By getting back that ability, and getting away from the inhibitions that took its place, we regain, or retain, the ability to create. Think of how creative children are. They can create entire worlds for themselves. Combine that child-like abandon fueled creativity with the abilities that maturity has given us, and nothing can stop us.

JmeLee said...'s my constant work to reclaim and honor this. and what a worthy task, incredibly rewarding, indeed.

brandy said...

oh. my. soul....

it saddens me how inspiration used to be so easy to come by. in my younger years i could simply read a book, see a movie or talk to a new person & instantaneously my whole perspective would shift for the better. so long as i welcomed it, positive mental changes just seemed to 'happen'. as i've grown older though (& more cynical/jaded), that positive shift has become increasingly evasive. i guess that's why i gotta tell you: your words touched a place in my heart that numbed over a long, long time ago. i was actually moved to tears while reading this blog. it felt weird because i'm not a big fan of crying (even when i need to i usually won't) but it felt different. the tears i shed weren't bitter, angry or even sad/guilt-ridden... they were tears of relief, release & hope.. and *whew* i needed that. thank you for being such a kind, generous soul in sharing your light ♥

JmeLee said...

...thank you so much for your comment, brandy! how kind of you to share your experience in reading this! this is one of the biggest reasons i write, if only i can relate to just 1 person with each thing i share, at least neither one of us will feel so alone anymore. please, keep coming back. it's such an honor to receive your feedback. have an amazing day!

jeremy christensen said...

this is directly connected to the blog that im writing, and the comment about age is a matter of perception is very true more than anyone knows only everything is a matter of perception, and unfotunately not always ours sometimes our perceptions are based off what others have told us is in front of us because they have been here before us and we believe them but what if we could just think for our selves the reason those feelings of stress return is because we know to much too many facts about how things should be and we are moving way to fast, remeber to stop and smell the roses not only for the smell but for the rest

JmeLee said...

it doesn't surprise me at all to read that my blog is exactly in line with your own, old friend. we are kindred spirits, indeed. the smell of a rose, to me, is not the most attractive thing about the flower, for sure...although it's beautiful none the less..btw, i look forward to reading your new blog, as always. xo

nick said...


Ali said...

I love this blog Jamie. After reading it, it reminded me of one of my favorite quotes when I was going to my meetings. (Which I should still be going to) I just wanted to share it with you, its called On Being in Touch with Our Inner Child.

"There is an innocence within me that already knows how to trust my higher power, to cherish life while holding it lightly, to live fully and simply in the present moment. I will allow that part of myself to come forward and nourish me as I continue on this journey."

(from Courage to Change: One Day at a Time in Al-Anon)

JmeLee said...

@ali - thank you for subscribing to my blog, i love YOU! you sure have left an impression on me, like a lil tiny handprint dent in my heart where only your palm fits, i'm sure gonna miss ya when you're gone, chickadee. but i know that you're never gonna be so far away that i won't be able to feel ya anymore, soul sisters never drift apart where it counts the most. <3

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