Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thankful Sunday



Things I'm grateful for tonight:

~Friends who make art. In many forms! Decor, merch, design, food, paintings, jewelry... There are some beautifully talented people in my world, and in the world at large!

~Learning new cooking techniques- and perfecting them on the first try! This week, I made a chocolate cake and icing from scratch (thanks, Deb!),  simple shrimp sautéed with garlic and lime juice, crepes (with Bisquick! and my mom's homemade choke cherry syrup), and I'm currently baking up my first ever batch of homemade croutons (thanks, Tracy!)

~Being married to the best man I've ever known (aside from my dad and brothers, of course). I really never stop being grateful for him. And I never want to! He's so forgiving of all of my annoying quirks and moods. And he's fun. And smart. And cute. I think I'll keep him.

~Putting off shopping for jeans for months, finally gritting my teeth and trekking to the store (in sleet-y, icy conditions! my commitment was real), immediately finding two pairs of my favorite brand, and having them fit perfectly. That was a victory. Under ten minutes, I tell ya! It was meant to be.

~That a book I sent to my dad inspired him to make some real changes in the way he runs his business. He's even making his employees read the same book! And he sent me a fantastic plan for what they are calling "the makeover." If you knew my pops and how he has been run over by his business in the past, rather than running it, you would agree that this is an amazing turn of events! I am so thrilled to be able to contribute from afar in any way I can.

~That all of my basic needs are consistently met. I have gone without basic things at various points in my past, and I can't and won't take them for granted. Things like a home of my own, bills being paid, being able to grocery shop when we need food rather than only on payday, warm showers, a steady job, a dependable car, a safe neighborhood...

~That I am re-learning the art of allowing. Getting out of my own way and allowing life to unfold. Remembering that life is the process. The in between. Reminding myself to choose to find ways to flow toward happiness as often as possible.

{image: that devilish cake I mentioned earlier.}

Monday, February 16, 2015

I Want/I Love 1.0




I don't recall if I've done many, if any, of these posts in the past (and to be honest I'm not inclined to go scrolling back through the archives right now). Regardless, I'd like them to be a regular feature here, since I make these lists in my notebooks regularly anyway. I'll call this the first one.

I may have told you that I have some words tattooed in calligraphy on the insides of my wrists. "I want.." on my left, and "I love.." on my right. (I know typically there are three periods in an ellipses, but I liked the look of just two for these tattoos. ;)

I got these tattoos when I was first learning of The Law of Attraction. I wanted a reminder of the simplest ways to get into alignment: focusing on the wanted (instead of the unwanted) and focusing on the positive (what I love/am grateful for).

It really works quite well for me. First I list everything that's on my mind that I want. Whether it's a fun daydream session, or there is a particular subject bothering me that I want to get clear about. Then, in order to activate those desires, and allow the universe to bring them into my experience, I have to let go. I have to bring my vibration into alignment. And a very good way of doing that is to then shift into focusing on everything that I love, and already have in my experience.

Here we go.

I Want...

To accept that I am right where I need to be right now.
To visit my bosom friend Natalia in New York this weekend.
To dive in and get an astonishing amount of progress made with work projects this week.
To continue practicing yoga on the days I don't go to barre class.
To start looking for things to love about DC.

I Love..
How much fun winter fashion is. So many layers- each piece goes so much further.
The cold weather in general. Sure, I love my 70 degrees and sunny days, too. But given the choice between cold and hot, cold is so much easier to handle.
Trader Joe's beef taquitos, baked crispy and slathered with green salsa.
My new habit of drinking hot water with lemon constantly. It keeps me warm and hydrated.
Going grocery shopping. Half of you will probably think I'm nuts, and the other half will enthusiastically cry "me, too!"

Friday, February 13, 2015

Be Happy Anyway




The two years before I met my husband were a period of intense growth for me.

I had finally broken it off with my fiancé of eight years (after four years of questioning the relationship). It took six months or so to get him moved out and detangled (for the most part) from my life. I took a promotion at work the week before the breakup, which was a huge blessing, because I was working more hours and handling more stresses than ever before, and it kept me very busy. I actually cried more leaving my "work husband" to take my own store than I did over the end of the relationship. I hope that does more to show that it was long overdue than to portray me as heartless.

I was on my own for the first time in my whole life. Supporting myself. Living alone in an absolutely charming little one room flat nestled in the side of a hill- the maid's quarters of a big historic house with grounds the sprawled over the hilltop and trees older than my grandparents. I had to learn how to take care of myself. How to be alone.

After living at home (as the eldest of eight kids) and with my fiancé for so long, it was both exhilarating and terrifying to be free, to stand on my own two feet, to learn to love the silence.

I went through periods of INTENSE loneliness. I had my friends and family and coworkers to interact with, of course. But I wasn't sharing my daily space with anyone- and it was new and weird.

I hooked up with a guy who was absolutely terrible for me- we worked together every day, he had a girlfriend and openly cheated on her, and was a total slimeball. I was craving close connection so badly, I tried to find it with him. That phase dragged out longer than I want to admit, with me begging him to leave his girlfriend to be with me, him playing us both, me deciding he could sod off and doing my best to ignore him. Finally I was transferred to another store and had a new set of challenges, a new boss (bosses are a whole other blog post for another time), and distance from the scumbag.

After about five months at my new work spot, I started feeling a shift. I had still been experiencing the debilitating loneliness and depression. And I was tired of it!

I started thinking to myself, "What if I never find love again? What if I never have the experience of finding 'the One'?" And I looked around at my life and started seeing love everywhere. Not in a jealous way, seeing all of the couples who had what I wanted. In a grateful way, noticing all of the different types of love in my own life. Different sorts of friends, dear family members, coworkers... I started realizing that my life was already overflowing with so many kinds of love, and so many opportunities for me to show love and care for others!

The answer to that question (which changed to "What if I am never in a long term, happy relationship?") became "I'll be happy anyway!"

That answer and that outlook changed my life! It all culminated about three weeks before I met the man I am now sharing my life with. It was Christmas, I couldn't afford to visit my family, and I was "alone." But I had a happy Christmas anyway! I found ways to enjoy myself, sink restfully into the solitude, and reach out to the people in my life I cared about. I breathed so many sighs of relief that week. I finally felt free. Free of wasting energy focusing on something that I wanted but thought I couldn't have. I let it go. I decided I was going to have a happy life, regardless of my romantic status.

And then, two weeks after that week of my major shift, I walked over to my favorite bar on my work break for dinner. I talked to the people around me, because why not? This dude walked in, took a seat catty corner to mine, and asked me "What's good here?" And the rest is our love story, which I'll save for another time.

I always tease my husband that I had finally found happiness and then he came along and "ruined everything." Two weeks seems a short time to bask in a life changing realization like I had. I suppose I had been asking for him for so long, I had so much momentum built up behind my desire for a partner, that the resistance I released by letting go of my unhappiness brought him right to me, no time to waste!

The point of this post is that my "I'll be happy anyway" epiphany applies to EVERY aspect of life. And I intend to learn to apply it.

{image: My Kablarge Twin, Jeff, goofing around while we attempted to jam out on the cello and piano during Christmas break. What is a Kablarge Twin, you might ask? That's a whole 'other post, my friends. Isn't he a charming bugger? And definitely one of the best examples I know of being happy no matter the circumstances.}

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Location, Location, Location



I don't know why it's been so hard for me to come back to this space. I used to happily use it to record my thoughts, remind me of my gratitudes, and share the little daily things I love about my life. It's rather depressing to me that I really don't enjoy my life very much as it is now. I'm just feeling blah and I think that it will come out in my posts, so I don't post.

Where I live has a HUGE impact on my happiness. I took my hometown for granted for 31 years. I blamed it for a lot of my problems. I couldn't wait to get out of there and see what else the world held. I absolutely do not like where I live now. Granted, I am biased because a) I grew up in paradise and b) I did not choose my new city. But I also spent a lot of years learning to trust my instincts. And they have all been screaming at me that this is not the environment I need in order to thrive.

This concerns me. I have signed up for a life in which I have no say over where we live, or for how long. I have heard over and over that the "bloom where you're planted" mindset is a necessary survival tool for people in this lifestyle. But I'm not willing (at least not yet) to compromise things that are really important to me in the name of finding happiness wherever I am. I know this is not very mature or evolved of me. But it's how I feel right now, and I have to accept and honor it.

I need nature. I need to be able to spend time outside every single day. I need places to go where I can look out over a valley or a desert or an ocean and feel the vastness. I need a relaxed lifestyle. The rat race is overrated. I need to be surrounded by people who value health, family, nature, spirit, and fun above politics, money, and work. I need social interaction. I need genuine, one on one connection. I know these are up to me, but being in a place where I feel alive, rather than stifled, is a huge boost.

Some great blog post, huh? But that's what is on my mind.

{image: iPhone (as usual, these days) snap of the sand at a beach in Del Mar, CA at sunset. Sigh. I miss those beaches.}

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New




Sometimes a new year coincides with new goals and new energy for me. Sometimes not. This happens to be one that does. Two years ago marked a time of renewal and a major attitude shift- I'll blog about that some other time. Last year, there was already enough change going on externally, and I wasn't feeling the need to stir up too much on the inside.

So, 2015. What do I want from you? And what do I intend to put into you in return?

I think of it in terms of three categories: goals for this year, things I have already been working on, and what I've already got that I want more of. We'll start with the first for this post, shall we?

1. Get my private pilot certificate by July. This is a big one. A lot of peeps take up to a year. My braniac overachieving hubby did it in three months. Six months is a HUGE undertaking for me personally. I'll have to actually (gulp) commit to it and actually (double gulp) put in TIME and EFFORT.
2. Fly around the country this summer with my husband for a month or two and visit as many loved ones and rad places as possible. And when I say fly, I mean fly ourselves. In a small plane. With me doing as much of the actual flying as Ben.
3. Learn how to keep a fitness routine going when traveling. My life is already much more full of travel than it was a couple of years ago (when I was setting intentions to travel more :) and it's about to kick into travel overdrive for the foreseeable future. I've finally figured out how to get into a fitness routine, but it really is time to figure out how to keep it from being derailed by time away from home.
4. Remember- and practice- the art of redirecting thought. I have known for a long time that thoughts are energy that lead to manifestations. I also know that, unchecked, I tend to spend an inordinate amount of energy fretting over things that I just don't need to be fretting over. Time to come back to gently redirecting. Nudging my mind into happier, more useful places.
5. Get through six months of my current job without wasting energy stressing out over it (or the shortcomings of my boss). See #4 for help with this. Also remember: it's only 12 paychecks. 12 paychecks can be spent awfully quickly. So can the time. Not to mention, those 12 paychecks will be very helpful to us financially (especially with me flying- flying ain't cheap).
6. Enroll in school in Bangkok ahead of time so that I can begin soon after we arrive and are settled (oh, I hadn't told you? We're moving to Thailand this fall. No big deal. ;)
7. Find and engage in things that spark my creativity. This is really important to me. It's something I have felt very disconnected from for a long time. Not sure how to find my way back, but I shall.
8. Learn to learn effectively- move through my blocks and learn to have discipline and stick it out. Let go of my habit of calling myself not smart enough as an excuse for not doing the work. This one could be a post and a half in and of itself.

We'll see how I do. :)

{image: A wintry view out my window, taken with my iPhone and edited with Instagram.}

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It has come to my attention



that I:

~ used to be very positive and not easily shaken
~ have slipped out of that way of being and into some very Negative Nancy habits
~ have a cycle of changing directions when I don't like how something is going
~ use the change of direction to avoid or cover the guilt of quitting or failing
~ lack self discipline
~ have trouble compartmentalizing outside circumstances and inside patterns

Gotta love a husband who acts as a true mirror, showing me parts of myself I either don't know are there, or like to ignore.

We had a fantastic heart to heart this morning, and I came out of it feeling refreshed and clear (thanks, Babe!)

There are lots of factors affecting the above behavioral patterns, and I don't feel like typing all of those out right meow.

The general takeaway (*salute* General Takeaway) is:

~ There is something in my life that is not a positive for me. It's an outside circumstance that no amount of attitude adjusting or hard work on my part is going to turn around. It's a perfectly acceptable solution to cut my losses and move on. (It's my job, just so I'm not being annoyingly cryptic here.)
~ I accept that what I am moving on to may not be the ideal, but if it is at least neutral, it will give me time, space, and energy to work on the internal patterns I need to change.
~ I acknowledge the parts of my frustration that are self-caused, and the parts that are not. I acknowledge that I can take action to improve both categories.
~ In order to be positive more of the time, I need to spend more time doing things that make me feel good about myself. Duh, right? And yet it's so easy to fall into habits of instant gratification and let the rest fall by the wayside.
~ In order to establish some self discipline, I need to start small. I need to set little, but concrete, goals for myself, and keep them at the top of my priority list.

Having blabbed all of that, here are my top five small and concrete goals.

1. Get and start a new job- in the next two weeks.
2. Try a Pure Barre class- this week.
3. Write and post in this space- three times a week.
4. Shift my focus to gratitude, set intentions, and let go- every day.
5. Read the book I just started- by the end of Christmas vacation.

I know this is not a light, fun to read blog post. But it's what's in my head, wanting to come out. And as my goal is to just get here and share myself without worrying about impressing anyone, having a theme, or being entertaining, it shall stay.

Thanks for listening. :)

{image: a smarmy iPhone selfie}

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again



Getting back on the blogging horse is, for me, very much like getting back on the exercise bandwagon. I keep thinking about doing it. I want to do it. I know it will be good for me. Then come the thoughts of "I don't really have the time" and "it's been so long, I really don't know where to start" and "I have SOOOOO much ground to make up, it's overwhelming."

But it really is time. I need this outlet in my life. I need a routine of typing out my thoughts. I need a reason to get a new camera and take it with me everywhere. I need a place for positive focus.

I have never really known what, exactly, I wanted this space to be about. Well, okay. That's not entirely true. I have never known what kind of theme I would have in order to make this blog attractive to readers. I have known that I wanted a digital cork board, a digital journal, and a digital photo album. I wanted to have a place to store inspiration- my own inspiration. Sometimes reading about others' amazing lives, talents, and musings is just not what I need. I need to remind myself of my OWN amazing life, talents, and musings.

Anywho. I really want to go back and edit through all of my existing posts. I want to write updates (for readers and for myself) on where I've been and what's been up in my life during this long blogging hiatus. I want to fix the tags- are there too many? Maybe. Will I use them all? Maybe. I want to streamline the look of the space and clean up the diction.

And I'm sure I'll get to all of that. But first, I needed to write. Just to put words in this empty white space. To let them be what they are, and to be unashamed.

{image: source unknown}