this is something i say A LOT.
whether i’ve finally figured out a dye recipe for the new color i want to add to our bandana lineup or find a few Hershey’s kisses in the bottom of the snack bowl here at the ranch, i’m just generally excitable. Life is what you make it, it can be “ho hummm, go along about the things that must get done” OR it can be “oh shit, look at that!!”
That is the essence of “hell yeah”, our newest bandana offering. I tried to illustrate that moment when your eyes are wide open, you are seeing ALL the magic around you and you feel like you are in the right place at the right time.
This can be something you notice as it is happening and feel a surge of gratitude for, so you shout “hell yeah!” or it can be something you produce when you are feeling a little out of whack and feel a need to notice the magic.
Never done that?! Oh, ok… here’s how:
simply say, “hell yeah” out loud to yourself 3 to 7 times,
pause in between each time to glance around and notice.
maybe it’s seeing the first autumn leaves…
maybe the sun peeks out from the clouds and warms your skin…
maybe you see a “for lease” sign in a studio space you’ve had your eye and mind on…
Magic is around us all the time. It is up to us to notice.
My ability to see and connect with the ‘hell yeah’ moments is something that has come and gone in my life. I didn’t know it growing up, but i have a mild form of depression called dysthymia. It was always there, but i didn’t talk about it. I was the goofy, fun-loving sibling, so there was an unspoken expectation to stay cheerful. That expectation sunk into my bones and i let it define who i showed the world. Sometimes i would be truly happy and carefree, sometimes i would struggle to maintain that sunny exterior. Anyone who has ever painted a smile on their face knows, maintaining a disposition that isn’t authentic, it’s exhausting.
In my mid-thirties, with two small kiddos at home, i went through what doctors labeled a major depressive episode. It went from my normal kinda blue feeling, to being unable to maintain the facade. It felt as if i was sliding backwards into a big, deep glass bottle. The glass was cold and kept me from being able to feel the warmth from my family and friends. It was deep and thick. I felt incredibly isolated and disconnected. [A book i picked up many years later, called it the big motherfuckin’ sad.] This episode landed me in the hospital.
“You have to be stubborn when you are depressed. You have to be ‘no fuck you i’m going to stay alive’. Every day is an act of rebellion. It is an invisible fight. And when it is over you’re the person who defied a monster. You feel more alive. You can feel like anything is possible.”
– Matt Haig
During my time in the hospital and afterwards at my prescribed weekly therapy appointments, the assumed weakness that i felt by not being able to fake happiness anymore, was replaced by the grit of finding my way to something authentic and real. The magic i saw was small and quiet at first, but being able to see any magic at all was a damn revelation. I took my boys fishing, we made our own poles out of sticks and got grossed out together putting the worms on the hooks. I paid very close attention to when my spirit felt lifted and would do more of those things.
Eventually, i was able to wake up in the morning and not feel like the day was going be a constant inner pep-talk. I found a desire to live, to go out and see possibilities. A few more months and i was starting to say “hell yeah!” again.
The first “hell yeah!” after a time in deep darkness feels amazing.
That was eight years ago. Eight years of therapy, zoloft, regular exercise, and understanding my need to get enough rest and finding what authentically gets my engine humming. Some days i find it hard to wipe the smile off my face. I literally wake up saying “hell yeah” i get to live this life i’ve created and i’m the luckiest gal on earth.
Other days i struggle.
But I now know, it won’t be for long. I know that light comes after darkness. I’ve learned to rest and write when i’m feeling blue, and not to get anxious that it will lead to another big sad time.
I hope you are able to see the magic around you today. Use this bandana we’ve created to help remind you to take notice or to hold on to until you are able to show up for the magic again.
Pay close attention, the world is whispering its magic to you. I promise.
If you are having a hard time seeing through the frosty glass of sadness, be patient with yourself. There is a way back to the light. The best way out is through the darkness, minding most closely the sound of your own voice. Hell yeah.
We are right here rooting for you,