Here I Go…

I love this view. It reminds me to surrender to what is, to rise above ego or earthly needs. To just BE.

As human beings we are never immune to stress in life, especially when are in relationships or daily routines. I’ve been consistently working hard to deconstruct and reconstruct my inner world. It’s not easy to directly face my past, my fears, my inner critic and the not-good-enough’s. I’m not immune. Neither are you.

Many people didn’t know I smoked cigarettes. Well, the cat is outta the bag! I was ashamed and very good at justifying it to myself. I wasn’t an addict- like many other family members, so I’m ok – I thought. But I was an addict. I was a nicotine addict. Once I let it go I realized how much consistent, subtle anxiety I was able to tolerate and smoking had been covering up. Now I had to find new tools. On top of that, I was digging deeper into my soul than ever before, searching for answers, strength, courage and leadership. Every day I’ve hit a new edge. Every day I gained something new and let go of something old.

When you fly you have to trust the pilot and have faith that everything will go as planned, without being overly attached to the schedule. Flights change, there’s turbulence, delays, lost bags and rerouted tickets. Anything and everything is up for grabs. I love fly days because I give myself permission to go with whatever happens. I planned every detail up to this moment, now I just get to be in the moment- in all its beauty, humanity and imperfections. Ahead of time I plan in buffers and contingency plans, I play out worst case scenarios (briefly) to know what I would do and have all my documents and itineraries in case technology fails. I build in fail safes EVERYWHERE. And then I relax and just BE.

I don’t do emails when I fly. I don’t catch up on my to-do list. I don’t have any shoulds. I just enjoy the ride and go with the flow. This is all true, and also a metaphor. In life, I plan, I study, I research, I build in fail safes and contingencies for contingencies. I prepare, a lot. Then I go- I fly, I do, I be. I carry out the plan and allow it to take its own shape within the model and itinerary I’ve built ahead of time. I improvise when I need to, with enthusiasm and without reservations.

This picture, this flight to Santa Fe is symbolic. Here I go, here I come, here I am.

The Well Worn Path


I’ve been here before. Elena thought to herself.

She had planned for this one. She combed through all her previous miscalculations, judgements and choices – she knew where she had gone wrong. She devoured everything she could about the Carmengia Trail that led to the Truth Temple. From mentors to books, she voraciously took in everything she could. The Carmengia Trail was the fastest way to the top, but also the most dangerous. Much of it was uncharted and resembled the cliche of “the road less traveled”. Last time, she circled the bottom of the mountain for weeks, only following the well worn trail because she was alone and terrified to venture off course. The time before that she had a hiking partner but he decided to join another group part way up and she was unprepared to do it solo. Only a few dozen have reached the temple in the last century- which means the paths have become overgrown with dis-use. Last time, she literally couldn’t see the forest through the trees. A new path would have to be discovered as she went. Educated guesses would have to be made.

I know this feeling. I’ve felt it before.

Elena could feel here anxiety rising. It always starts as a tingle. Then a nudge. Then a low voice “this isn’t right and you know it“. Then a louder, slightly shrill voice, “stop! Listen to me!”, followed by an unexpected punch to the gut.

Is this fear or intuition?

Elena tries to calm the feeling by directly addressing it. Her thoughts seemed to oscillate between fear of the unknown, possible catastrophic events and a carnal urge to reach her destination. Fear then deep wisdom. Deep wisdom then fear.

” must keep moving. Just keep moving

The wise part of her tried to comfort the fear welling up inside her body. Gently she tries to work through the feeling, “I’m either running from a feeling or trying to lean into the unknown. Is this a sign that I’ve chosen the wrong path, an omen? Or is just that I have no guarantees? Is this a lack of control or a sixth sense to beware??”

Her steps become stronger, more deliberate, more determined, more focused. Her senses sharpen and everything starts to feel louder and brighter. Gratitude kicks in high gear as though a pharmacy in her brain needs to start dispensing high doses of seratonin, dopamine and oxytocin at an alarming rate. Her soul is preparing her for something. Something she’s missed and it wants her to see.

Fear slithers in the dark corners of her mind and hisses, “I think it’s a warning. BEWARE fool!”. Wisdom comes to the rescue, “A gift is coming. Magic and a blessing in the form of hesitation and trepidation for things unknown. Breathe my darling. Breathe, listen, walk. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.” Elena inhales and exhales almost mechanically trying not to think of the worst case scenario and uses every bit of emotional strength to beat back the tears and tough it out. She feels the solid ground under her feet, her legs felt week earlier but they are becoming stronger, more accustomed to the terrain. Two squirrels whiz around a tree nearby, seemingly playing with one another. She grins at the simplicity of nature. Just being in the moment, free from the past or future. No worries, except, you know, constant survival mode. “Maybe they were running from something trying to eat them? No, they were simply playing”. Elena chuckles at her own thought process, momentarily forgetting about her anxiety.

Johnny interrupts her thoughts, he wants to stop for lunch. They find a few logs and rest while eating granola bars and some jerky. He shares his excitement to visit an old hunting cabin he heard about along the Carmengia Trail, maybe settle in for a few weeks. The anxiety pounds back into Elena’s chest like a snare drum. What is this feeling? she thinks to herself. “Calm down baby, you aren’t in danger” the wisdom speaks to her.

She puts down her pack and reorganized everything in order to inventory her supplies, resources and tools. She felt a strong urge to make she knew precisely where everything was.

“Everything I need is here.” she thought, confused.  “Of course it’s all there, I packed it and repacked  it and triple checked my lists. Why the hell am I anxious?? Why can’t I find the source of my fear? I trained for this. I’m still training.” And she had trained. Like a young Padawan becoming a Jedi. She was learning to trust the force within her and recognizing the ego beating it back. “I know I can improvise if I need to. What is this feeling? Why am I uneasy?” I need to keep moving”. The alternating thoughts begin to exhaust Elena so she puts her pack back on and asks Johnny to quickly finish. Johnny seemed annoyed that she didn’t acknowledge him talking about the old hunting cabin. She was distant and distracted by her own thoughts. She heard him, but the pounding in her chest at the forming of his sentence seemed to be steering her. Beyond containing herself she had no ability s in conversation with him at the moment.

One foot in front of the other. Just take steps.

A wisper of hope. It’s akin to when you can see hundreds or thousands of stars in your periferary vision and yet when you try to pinpoint them they seem to disappear; you subsequently question your reality, your own vision seems unreliable. But you know they’re there.

“Is it Johnny?” Elena asks herself. ” Yesssss!” fear hisses, “of course it is! He wants to go to the cabin and you don’t. He never really wanted to climb the mountain, he just wanted someone to go with to get there. If you want to make it to the top, you will have to go alone, or stay with him as long as you want and never complete your journey.” Her thoughts now consumed with fear of being alone again made her pace slow to a crawl. Johnny was almost out of sight, they had an agreement to keep on schedule and allow each other to hike at their own pace so he kept moving while she fell behind. In full panic attack at this point, tears streaming down her face, she tried to catch up before he was completely out of sight.

The first time Elena and Johnny hiked together they didn’t have the right gear, they were wildly unprepared for the unkept, overgrown trails and thought they could get through with sheer grit and resilience. They dreamed up stories of the temple at the top and the feelings they would experience once they got there. They were trekking on pure hope, passion and desire.

Elena planned as much as she could. “Had Johnny?” she thought to herself.  He seemed like he was more prepared. His equipment was new, he even had hiking poles to help with endurance. “Why didn’t I bring hiking poles?” Elena chastised herself. “Oh yeah, I wanted to carry more water instead. The stretch before the snow pack is long and I didn’t want to get dehydrated, that can be deadly. How did I miss that? Was I really so impressed with his brand new gear and hiking poles that I didn’t notice how much he hadn’t studied the trail? What about when we hit the razors edge higher up? Then what? What if we encounter the bears that are coming out of hibernation. What if I have to share my water? I didn’t want to do this alone and no one else was as excited about the trail like he was. I didn’t want to overload him with my concerns about what could go wrong. Should I have??This could be dangerous. What else is he not aware of? What will I have to make up for? Can I support the both of us when he runs out of resources? Oh my god. I foolishly picked a hiking buddy that could put my own survival at risk. Stupid. I thought he knew the risks.”

Elena now felt completely out of her body with fear. Johnny didn’t know the trail like she did. He was unprepared. He wanted to settle at the cabin for a bit, she didn’t. She had goals. She didn’t want to get to comfortable and accomplish nothing. She had been very good at starting things her whole life and not finishing them because she got scared or comfortable, or both.

Elena was now hyperventilating. Her breath felt constricted and shallow. “He’s not prepared. He has different goals. I don’t want to be alone. I’m going to have to do this alone. I don’t want to be alone!”

Elena now had her head on the ground and realized it was mainly red clay. That was only at the higher elevations that she had never reached before. “Shit. I’ve never gone this far before.”

She stumbled upon a cluster of stars in her mind she didn’t see before. The internal hurricane began to pass and the tears dried up. The light inside of her soul was lifting her up like fellow runners bringing a marathoner over the finish line. She stood to her feet, wiped the tears from her swollen eyes and began to walk. She saw Johnny coming towards her in the distance.

“There you are! I though you were behind me but I turned around and have been walking back for the last 10 minutes trying to find you. I thought maybe you fell and got hurt!” Johnny yelled, unable to hold back his panic and concern. Elena felt it to be comforting. “Are you ok? Have you been crying?” he asked when he got close enough to see her red nose and moist eyes. “I’m ok” Elena replied, “I stubbed my toe back there and it really hurt like a bitch, so I had to sit down and cry it out. It’s all good now but it was NOT 10 min ago”. Elena let out a heartfelt laugh as she finished her comedic response. She was genuinely relieved to see him.

Her wisdom was now in the driver seat “This is about my fear. This is about leaning in to what terrifies me the most. No one can do this mountain alone. It’s simply too risky and a persons morale could plummet without the presence and emotional support of another human being. The cabin he is talking about is further than I’ve ever made it before. Let’s get there and see how it is.”

She felt peaceful and warm.

“C’mon, I found a lake ahead.” Johnny said, seemingly relieved that Elena was ok. They hiked in calm, quiet unison to the lake with just the sound of their footsteps and afternoon birds chirping throughout the trees. When they reached it, Johnny pulled out a filter straw and drank right from the lake. “Oh my god” Elena though to herself, “he IS prepared, just in different ways than I am. Wow. I’m glad we are doing this together, however long it takes.” She was reinvigorated, relieved and filled with love all at once. Love for the present moment, love for her breakdown, love for the trail. But most of all, love for the opportunity of the journey.

 

Memento Mori

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Vanitas Still Life, Pieter Claesz, 1630, Baroque period

Memento Mori is latin for “remember death”. Commonly used in art and literature during 17th century’s Dutch Golden Age ( Baroque period), it was to remind us that life is short and we all, eventually, die. Death is inevitable. It may sound a tad morbid, but I take it as a reminder to be present, because this moment is fleeting.

On this Memorial Day, I’m paying my respects to the parts of myself that have died the last couple years, the loss I’ve experienced and the grief I have survived. Divorce, death, ending friendships, family members addictions, infidelity. You name it. More often than not I am grateful for what I do have, but today, I’m pensive. Many, many things have changed and if I didn’t remind myself from time to time that life is short I may not appreciate things quite as much as I do. Most people are out celebrating an extended weekend enjoying a bit of a respite from the grind of work, kids, errands, life, etc. I’m at a friends, by the beach, acknowledging how far I’ve come, how I’ve changed and who I’ve become. The day is not about the sadness of death but moving, ever so slightly, from mourning to acceptance of times gone by.

A resolution to change…

I began this year wanting to challenge old stories and old belief systems that no longer served me. I wanted to surround myself with people who wanted to do the same. Subsequently, I was called to the mat. Every day I was challenged more and more to pick my battles, react to conflict with poise, fall on my face and rise back up. Sometimes I didn’t rise back up, sometimes I stayed on my knees. Sometimes I threw stones. Sometimes I begged someone to help me stand. Sometimes I convinced myself that being face down was fine and it just gave me a new perspective. Which is true, I have many new perspectives.

Shift is painful

Especially when your willing to let people walk out of your life in order to be true to yourself and your values. It requires new boundaries. It requires strength. It requires self love and shit ton of resilience. Some were unable to change with me. I had to choose them or my own transformation. It was me or them, and considering I spend more time with me than anyone else I’ve chosen me. In doing so, I’ve had to release alot of poison and toxicity, both in myself and in my relationships. Toxicity that was mostly present because boundaries were blurred, resentment set in and I felt taken advantage of. Only some were willing brave the journey with me.

Chocolate, carbs, hiking, the ocean, Jimmy Fallon lip-syncing battles, a giant trampoline, music, friends, consistently inappropriate humor, gratitude,  silky chickens and soooo much processing– these have been my coping mechanisms. It’s been fun. It’s been heartbreaking. It’s been hilarious. It’s been torrentially devastating. It’s been authentic.

When we live, always aware of our inevitable expiration, we look at life through a different lens. Death is loss. Loss is impermanence. Nothing is ever permanent. Therefore, live as though this is the only moment you have, because it is, and it is absolutely, positively, incredibly beautiful.

Memento Mori

 

 

The Metamorphosis of Bella and Kane

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Bella
Blue moth
Kane

“There’s no telling how it will affect you. Just know that it will.” ~unknown

An allegory about love, loss and transformation.

Bella

Bella was a beautiful young Kenna caterpillar . She was bright purple with teal spots, but beauty is subjective, and in the Kenna community, you were only beautiful if you were green. The brighter the green, the prettier. She was soft and kind, but not considered attractive.  She would see the beauty in everyone she met which made her vulnerable to hardship. She would be lied to, taken advantage of and remained naive to the games caterpillars played. Insecurities ran high with her. She wanted connection.

Kane

She found a dark, fuzzy Tomeo caterpillar that understood, for he was the same. Kane left the Tomeo’s because that’s what they all did, but he still yearned for connection. He was wiser to the world, being solitary he had to learn who to trust more carefully. A bird may try to lure you to its nest, a spider to its web, another caterpillar may be poisonous if you touch them. He knew the latter all too well because the tips of his hairs were poisonous to some species if he was startled. He became her best friend, her teacher, her mentor, her life partner. She didn’t know if she was immune to his poison but since Kane was always calm with her it didn’t seem to matter.

Their Shared Cocoon

They built a cocoon, ever so carefully. It took longer than others because they were building it for both of them. It was strong and flexible, safe and comforting. Through the building of both their cocoon and their friendship, she learned to be more careful, more selective. Both metaphorically with who she trusted and in the building materials, because it would need to hold both their weight. Kane’s coat was soft and he now had more control over the poison on it, being able to protect them both from predators. He learned to see more beauty and have more faith that good things could happen.

When it was finished, they crawled inside, excited to soon fly together. For the next two weeks, their bodies liquified in order to take on its new shape. They would still become what they were meant to be but they would take on parts of each other since they were transforming in the same cocoon. Typically, they would have done this independently, but Bella didn’t know how to build one and Kane was afraid of predators in order to gather supplies. They needed each other. They were connected.

The Transformation

They emerged a month later. It took longer since both of them transformed together. There was more for mother nature to sort through in order for everything to be as she planned. The correct wings had to be placed with Kane and correct coloring with Bella, for this, was pre-determined.

Bella became a beautiful magenta butterfly, built for basking on bright flowers in the sunshine. She felt confident in her new self and eagerly awaited Kane. Kane emerged dark and fuzzy with blue iridescence…but…he was moth, built to flutter through the darkness of nightfall. Their hearts sank. They knew it meant their lives were headed in different directions. They tried to learn to fly together anyway, but either way, one was left wanting. Kane began flying at night and Bella bathed in sunlight while mustering up the courage to practice more. She was afraid to practice without Kane. In the following days Kane found a female moth that could show him the ropes and Bella knew it was time to find other butterflies that could do the same for her. The sinking feeling was back and heavy like an anchor.

Mother Earth 

As Bella cried from the treetops for Kane she heard Mother Earth whisper gently from the willow tree “my sweet girl, all is right in your plan. I know you miss your friend, but you have different destinies. You will find another that enjoys the sun as much as you.”

For a moment, Bella felt the folds of Mother Earth’s great nurturing power soothe her pain. She breathed in the crisp mountain air. The relief was short lived.

“But Mother! Why couldn’t you make us the same! Since we took on parts of each other, why aren’t we both half moth and half butterfly??” she cried. “My dear, you were made as you were meant to be. Kane’s transformation gave you safety and healed your insecurities. Your transformation gave him optimism. Courage is now a part of your genetics. Only now can you truly fly.”

She cried instead. She didn’t want to fly without Kane. What if she fell and got hurt? What if no one accepted her, just like before? What if she was alone forever? The questions were endless. The tears were big. Then she slipped off a branch and had to flap her wings or come face to face with the forest floor.

So fly she did. On her own, because she had to. She felt the courage Mother Earth spoke of, traveling through her veins like the warmth of a mothers love. With the wind carrying her she began to enjoy the vantage points and everything she was able to see in the daylight. The more she flew, the less she thought of Kane and the more she was able to appreciate the lessons she had learned from him. Some days she missed his company more than other days. She missed him when she made a new friend or flew by a spot where they shared a good laugh. She knew he was always a part of her and she would always be a part of him, it was their genetics. She felt connection which gave her the confidence to be who she needed to be.

Sometimes connection to another person affects us in such a profound way that we are never the same again. There will be good and bad parts. Some stay and some are meant to move on. We experience it, we learn from it and we grow from it. When we allow our perception of the past to be balanced, accepting the good and bad memories, we give ourselves permission to move forward. It’s ok to be sad then happy, angry then sad, then happy again. When our connections to people shift it can be difficult to accept. Especially with love. It’s hard to let go of what was when everything seemed right. But things change. The world changes. People grow together and people grow apart. Connection is valuable. We learn many of life’s most important lessons through connection. Life is more emotionally charged because of it. Connection makes us feel alive. Connection makes us human.

Friendship, love and expectations 


Strangers

I’ve been trying to make the most of my common interactions with people. Whether it’s striking up a conversation with the rental car person that picked me up when my car was in the shop or just smiling at a cashier and making them laugh. I find those moments tend to have the least expectations attached. You get a snapshot of who that person is and a brief moment to bring joy into their life. Most of us don’t take the time to connect when we are running errands or getting things done.

But what if we did take the time? What if we saw every interaction as a valuable moment for connection? What if we looked at each other as unique creatures brimming with different strengths, different experiences and different lessons? The world we be a whole lot more interesting. 

Acquaintances and Casual Friends 

These are the friends you consistently share one (or several) common interest(s) with. Maybe you like to hike together. Maybe you’re both into a particular subject. Maybe you can always laugh with each other. They might be your neighbors or co-workers. You see each other enough to be more than strangers but not close enough to know each other’s whole story. Maybe you choose to keep it there and maybe they do. Either way, they add variety and richness to you life that you wouldn’t have without them.

Family & True friends

Family is is not always what we are born into. These are the people that know you. I mean, really know you. The ones that know your story, that honor who you are. The ones that raise the bar, that hold you accountable, love you unconditionally and you can call 6 months or a year later to simply pick up where you left off. These people are your tribe. Time stands still with them. You have things in common but more importantly you understand each other’s souls. You know what’s important and how to connect with one another. You can laugh or talk about your day, it doesn’t matter because there is an unspoken commitment that you are there, each of you, always, in the background. You’ve always been wholeheartedly connected. You’re not afraid of losing them because you know you have a bond. They’re family.

Love is in gratitude. Be grateful for your tribe. Be grateful for your acquaintances. Be grateful that you have connection. 💖

Dirty. Silky. Internet

 

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Meet Dick Tracy, our imaginative Ostridge , and future mascot. Maybe. One day.

I know you’re curious, right? Well, like most of our conversations, or workdays for that matter, it started with a perfectly normal mission of finding Silky Chickens. Err, maybe normal for us. We decided months ago we must have Silky Chickens or mini pigs or a mini cow, if those exist. Today, we began our research. NOTE: you must be careful the names of silky chickens you search for…

Co-worker: Now I know why that computer has viruses, because your searching “showgirl sizzle”.

Boss: It was a link on the page I was searching, it sounded real.

Co-worker: Right.

Boss: Do you think we could handle 5? What about an Ostridge?

Co-worker exits while shaking his head.

So there we were, deeply entrenched in our google search that nearly broke me. I lost it at petstouch.com, after everything I had exposed myself to in this mission to find our silky chickens, it was the name of that site. It just sounded … wrong. Like I would see a site filled with barn animals wearing silk stockings. It was not that. But I would continue to have my hysterical laughing fit for the next 30 minutes.

What I’ve learned:

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1.It’s hard to tell the sex of a chicken. Also expensive. Sexed chickens are $150 and up. Male chickens are free, as many as you want because their aggressive and loud, like an obnoxious drunk girl, no one wants them. So if you’re willing to make it a coin toss then it’s $5 each, with a 15 chick minimum. So many jokes. Fertilized hatching eggs around $30 for 6. This was quickly becoming a larger commitment and a breeding ground for inappropriate humor. So, naturally, we kept looking.

2. “Silkies” are one of the worlds cutest and most popular farm animal. Everywhere was sold out. So much for committing. That wasn’t the end of our search though, or our bad humor

3. Emu’s are cool and fertilized eggs are about $80- for a 3 pack…Hmm, moving on…

4. Fertilized Ostridge Eggs are $120…If we want 6…which we imagined through my boss’s circus mind would probably end badly. So I guess that’s out.

5. When crazily hunting for silky chickens page after page on google (because everyone is sold out) your searches can lead you very far from your original goal.

6. There is a whole chicken community, including chicken parties. We don’t know what that fully entails but when we found local small farms that sell silkies we noticed many conversations asking each other if they planned to go. I’m very curious but I think my imagination makes it sound more intriguing than it probably is. After all, these are serious chicken lovers.

I’m grateful for my job, my ridiculously hilarious boss and our ability to find ourself in countless awkward situations that had started with the best of intentions. It really is the little things.

Don’t judge 😉

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Resiliency Through Curiosity, Creativity & Gratitude

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I took this photo, for whatever reason, this perfect little heart rock wasn’t swept away even though the sea kept washing over it. It, unapologetically, held its love in place.

In an article, featuring an interview with Brene Brown:

“Emotion is in the driver seat, with cognition and behavior riding shotgun. So when something difficult happens — a colleague shoots you an awful look at a meeting, a partner breaks up with you, you fail on a project — there’s an emotional response. Before you can articulate why, you have the urge to punch somebody or devour a dozen donuts or hide in bed for a fortnight … you need to wade into the discomfort of that reaction. You have to get curious about it…What is going on? What am I feeling? What’s driving it? How am I responding to it?This doesn’t come naturally. Some brain hacks will help: write it on a Post It note, type it into your phone, send yourself an email with what happened. Then, over time, you can actually have enough notes on your own unhelpful behaviors so that you can spot the places where you participate in creating your own suffering before you act out those same destructive or avoidant behaviors for the zillionth time.Resilience is more available to people curious about their own line of thinking and behaving”

In my personal experience, I find there are 3 components to practicing resilience: Curiosity, Creativity, Gratitude. There is so much around this topic that there are many other angles but for simplicity sake, let’s just focus on these.  Try these steps for yourself:

Curiosity

When you dig deep and question your thoughts and beliefs (which fuel your reactions and behaviors) you can find some pretty enlightening answers. If you’re finding blame and finger pointing you can pretty much bet you haven’t found the root yet. For me, when I ask a question that brings me to tears I know I’ve found the question that led me to answer I’m either avoiding, don’t want to accept or feel released. My curiosity ALWAYS leads me to a physiological response when I have found my answer. It’s usually an overwhelming emotion. Next time you come across a road block — get curious.

Creativity

This is a great way to channel your curiosity and emotion. Whether it’s writing, singing, painting or making. Finding some creative way to express yourself will not only give you an outlet but a way to tangibly explore your own battleground. Maybe it’s a letter, a poem or a journal entry. Maybe you painted with color, wrote a song or started building your house. It can be anything, just don’t do it to escape, do it to loosen up and be more open to curiosity. When your give yourself the gift of joy and you feel safe, you’re much more likely to be open and honest with what is truly going on.

Gratitude

After I’ve over-analyzed curiously examined my own emotions, and subsequently my behavior, I tend to want a lot of comfort and nurturing. I used to look for that in a partner, and sometimes I still do, but mostly I’ve learned to create that warmth in myself through gratitude. By appreciating other people I feel appreciated. By giving to others I feel full. By loving others wholly and unconditionally, I feel loved wholly and unconditionally. I find I get more out of expressing gratitude towards and about others than I do material things. I strongly value connection and I’m so grateful for the connections I have and have had in my past. A funny and strange thing about gratitude … my circle changed. Not so much the core group but the judgmental, gossipy and blamey ones seemed to fight. Eventually they started to disappear and happier people, interested in curiosity have gathered around me.

 

 

 

 

 

Start a Revolution…In Yourself

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Personally I find self-discovery binges to be the most healthy, obsessive-compulsive binge we can embark on. Whether it’s meditation, western astrology, chinese astrology, any of the ologies, spirituality, faith, therapy, crystals, personal growth books/workshops/seminars, nature, or simply conversations with friends. You name it, there’s a way for you to connect with your inner spirit,your soul. Find it. Your quality of life depends on it. Other people’s lives depend on it. One of my favorite quotes is by Ghandi:

Be the change you want to see in the world

You can’t create change, a revolution or any major shifts in consciousness without first looking within. Your friends will benefit, your family will benefit and even strangers will benefit. When your operating at your full potential, you’re genuinely happy and authentically YOU. Others will be brave enough to do the same, even if it starts with just your intimate circle. It will spread, like magic.

Here are 5 tips to find your calling:

1. Seek a mentor or many mentors

When you find healthy people to align with, people that you aspire to be like, magic will happen. Having a guide, or guides, will provide you with a stable platform of non-judgement while you sift through limiting beliefs. They will challenge you and hold you accountable. They will teach you different methods that have worked for them. They will give you new tools. They will accept you when you fall on your face, and you will, because they’ve been there. They understand.

2. Find a way to quiet your mind

Whether it’s nature, mediation, yoga, instrumental music or solitude. Find a way to cut down the chatter, both around you and in yourself. At first, your internal dialogue will be quite chatty. Don’t judge it, just let it flow through you. You may need to journal at first, to know that you can have an outlet if you need to. Eventually, try to just listen, not holding on to anything but watching the thoughts flow by like subtitles on a foreign movie. They will calm and you will be able to slowly discern which thoughts and ideas need your attention and which are fear, anxiety and judgment. This is where you have the opportunity to fully love yourself, be your own best friend and your own therapist.

3. Follow you creativity

You know those ideas that set your neurons on fire? The ones that you have to jot down or begin creating because you can feel it to your core? Listen to those. Create them. Start them. Express them. Maybe it’s art, maybe it’s something mechanical. It may not lead anywhere but you will feel fulfilled and accomplished for having tried it out.

4. Create a basic routine

This one can be the hardest but you can’t start a revolution without passion and commitment. Not all of us are in a position where we can leave our lives and be in a Buddhist Monastery, or Indian Ashram for a lengthy amount of time. Many of us, especially the ones in urban areas, are tight on money and have to work. We have responsibilities, families and commitments where people depend on us. With that said, a routine, where you carve out time for projects, creativity, nature, friends, conversations and solitude is essential. Make time for the things that feed your soul, things that rejuvenate your spirit and connection with your inner light. Those things are different for all of us-some its time with friends, for others is silence and solitude. It does’t matter what it is. Just make time for it.

5. Understand your brain and body

When you understand your brain and body you will learn your limitations and in what ways you can push yourself. What type of learner are you? Do you see words in your mind or pictures? Are you better thinking on your feet or working with a specific plan? Is your work and life setup for you to succeed? For instance, if you are a business owner and find daily paperwork falling behind while you work with clients, then hiring a manager for office work would be essential for you. If you always get lost on your way somewhere, then you need a GPS. Maybe you used to do yoga and you keep telling yourself you are going to do it everyday. Then you don’t. Don’t judge yourself, just set realistic expectations. Start with doing it 1x/week at a studio, where you are more likely to be held accountable. Learn how you work without judgement and with full acceptance. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone but also be aware of your limits. We all work differently. Once you know how you learn and what your strengths and weaknesses are then you can set reasonable, achievable goals that fit YOU. Goals that fit YOUR brain and YOUR body. Not what society tells you they should be.

What does your revolution look like? What feeds your soul? How do connect with yourself? How are you affecting others? What do you WANT your revolution to look like?

Gratitude is the key to happiness

Gratitude is the key to happiness. Show gratitude everyday. Are you grateful for every warm, comforting breath you take in?Are you grateful for every cool breath you take out?This simple act of just breathing, we take for granted. Show  gratitude. Don’t take the breath for granted. Are you grateful for the warm house you live in? […]

https://diaryofameditator.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/gratitude-is-the-key-to-happiness/

Finding heart 

I’ve been searching for lately. Asking for strength, for signs that I’m on the right path. Yesterday, a friend pointed out the heart rocks on my stove. Then another friend  called me to tell me she understands and that love can be a roller coaster. Today I heard “heart of the matter” on the radio. My heart is in love. I’m having a love affair with myself. Taking care of myself as best as I can while still showing love, respect and consideration to others. I’m grateful that I have the ability to choose my life path and the ability to love with every part of my soul. I’m grateful for my blog, my friends and my unconditional support system. Are you having a love affair, with anyone or anything? What are you grateful for?