Sunday, 1 May 2016
"Dive Into the Deep"
I find inspiration in many places: it's in a fresh spring day, a conversation with a colleague or friend or in the lyrics to a song. One of my most tried and true sources of inspiration is through reading books. Female authors who tell their real-life tales of hardship, perseverance and growth are particular favourites of mine.
From an early age, when other little girls were being read fairly tales, I would beg my Grandma to tell me 'real-live' stories. The truth has always fascinated me far more than anything made up. She would tell me about the kittens born in the basement of my mother's childhood home in Calgary or some other little tale that would always keep me asking for more yet leave me satisfied and happy - content with the time sitting nestled with Grammy.
My Grandma persevered through difficult times with a challenging husband who spent most of his life living with an undiagnosed mood disorder. It wasn't until very late in life that he finally received a diagnosis and treatment. Grandma was delicate, sweet and incredibly loving. And she was also strong as steel. I know that she lived through emotional pain yet she never gave in to it. I learned a lot watching my Grandma navigate life.
I recently finished reading two wonderful books by female authors that deeply touched me. The first was Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol by Ann Dowsett-Johnson. I have written in a previous post about her story of her journey through alcohol addiction and mental illness; her commitment to walking an incredibly difficult path through darkness is amazing. The second book is I, Bificus by Canadian musician, actor, social advocate and super sweet human being, Bif Naked.
Bif Naked (Beth Torbert) has stripped herself and her life naked for this book. I am sure that I am not the first to draw that comparison between her book and her name. From multiple sexual assaults to the sexual harassment as a woman in a male-dominated music industry to a breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment, Bif does not shy away from her truth. I am not going to lie - I had to leave the book for a few days after reading some of its more difficult content. But I came back - I had to. It was just too compelling. Having had the pleasure of meeting Bif, the content was deeper and more personal to me. This happened to a human being that I have engulfed in a squishy hug before. This isn't just a story - this is real.
Here's what I love about Bif's book, her story and her life: the authenticity and the commitment to being true to herself. And, ultimately, her story is one of survival, purpose and resiliency. She gives me great hope, as do the other women and men who embrace who they are, the journeys that life takes them on and who aren't afraid to say "this is who I am world - this is me!"
Go ahead - indulge in fairy tales. But please don't stay in the shallow end of life's pool. Take a risk, be brave and embrace who you are. Create your own happy ending by owning your story and your glorious self.
P.S. Dedicated to Bif (unicorns unite!) and my Grammy. xo
P.P.S. Need a personal anthem for those hard days? Check out Bif's song I Love Myself Today
at May 01, 2016
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