Thursday, February 4, 2016

Dependency




I never wanted to be the kind of person who was dependent on a substance in order to function. Other than, you know, air, food, and water, of course.

But here I am, taking a pill every day. A classic example of someone who starts to feel "normal" after taking meds for awhile, and then deludes themselves into thinking they might be "cured" and might not need the medication anymore, only to find themselves crashing and burning painfully after only a day without it.

There's a lot of guilt that comes with this dependency. I think a big part of it is that I prefer to take responsibility for my feelings and problems. I want to feel my emotions and work and grow through my problems. Popping a pill feels like a cop out.

There is shame involved in having an "invisible" disease. It's not obvious why I can't participate in life like others can. Attempting to explain it sounds like I'm making excuses, feeling sorry for myself, or like it's really just "all in my head."

And then there's the loss of control, the vulnerability. By succumbing to this medicated life, I am admitting that I cannot fix this on my own. And I am also opening myself up to the possibility of the side effects of going without, should I not be able to access the drug.

One of the deep and icky things I've been delving into is the need to forgive myself. Acceptance of myself is another theme. They intermingle. I have to accept that I did everything I could to "fix" myself before my diagnosis took that option from me. I'm not saying I'm a victim. If anything, the diagnosis should have removed a burden from my shoulders. So why do I feel like I have failed because I will never live normally without medication?

All that being said, I am grateful for my diagnosis and for my medication. I am able to function at a level I was never able to before. But this dependency takes power away from me. I didn't "earn" this improved functionality. It goes away within 24 hours of not taking a pill.

So how do I feel empowered? How do I make peace with this dependency? How do I let go of the guilt and fear and shame?

I'll keep pondering.


{image: roses at Bhubing Palace in Chiang Mai}


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Ego vs. Connection


I spend so much of my effort trying to affect my circumstances, and myself, to make my life (and the lives of those close to me) better.

Sometimes I lose sight of the point.

I feel disconnected.

The striving for improvement, no matter how spiritual or positive or healthy the improvement itself, is about my ego.

There is a difference between selfishness and self awareness.

It's been a long time since I've felt connected on a regular basis. And by this I mean connected to my highest self, to my Source, to the part of me that is larger and focusing through this limited physical perspective.

I've been pondering connection, circumstances, attitude, focus, happiness, contentment... themes I am by no means a stranger to.

I've figured out that a deeply held pattern of mine has been to focus on one area of my life and make it my resident problem. Be it a person, place, job, physical ailment, whatever, I fixate on it and declare it the reason for my unhappiness or my inability to grow, or even function.

I'm working on moving past this. So that covers circumstances. That covers the external. I am aware that it's a matter of focus to be content or discontent.

More recently, I've peeled back another layer. I know everyone says that wherever you go you take yourself with you. I'm realizing this for myself now.

Here's the thing: I'm full of conflict.

I don't really like or love myself.

Yet I revolve my life around pleasing myself- or at least, the ego level of myself.

I'm missing my soul connection. I'm missing my deep love and acceptance of myself. And I know this connection is achievable regardless of outside circumstances. I've been brainstorming- no, spiritstorming- trying to find a common thread. What was I feeling/thinking/doing/being at the times when I was most connected and treating myself most lovingly?

I find it difficult to accomplish anything without being either immersed in ego or fully connected. If I'm immersed in ego I can justify all of the things I must DO in order to have or be or feel what I'm after. If I'm connected I feel good, and I accept who I am, and action feels natural rather than forced.

The ego way just isn't sustainable. I burn out constantly.

I've had to re teach myself how to purposely connect on a regular basis quite a few times since I learned about the importance of this. I guarantee you I've blogged here about it more than once. It's that time again.

I'm grateful that I'm aware of all of this, but I'm also disappointed in my inability to continuously live the way I know I'm meant to. Why must I keep falling off of the wagon of bliss and then forgetting about it completely, choosing instead to trudge along in the mud?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What if I don't wanna?


Action indicates priority.

I know this to be true.

I've been fooling myself, thinking that my priorities should be these, and I should be proving that to myself by doing these things, and doing them regularly.

I've been getting down on myself SO much over this. I set sky high expectations of myself, because I know I'm capable of a lot. Or at least, of more.

But the matching of my actions to those expectations has not been working out so well. Okay, it has not been working out at all.

I know this lesson theme. Acceptance. Of self. Of where I am. Of what I have to work with. Of the now. Look for things to appreciate about this, here, now. Apparently, although I am familiar with it, I have yet to learn it, because it keeps showing up.

I realized this morning (not for the first time, I'm sure) that I'm afraid to accept "average." I'm afraid to be okay with not needing to be the best. I'm scared shitless of not making the most of my life, my resources, myself.

That's great, right? That's where some of the most creative, ambitious, admirable people in the world (in history!) start. With that fear of wasting their lives- that fear of "a life unlived."

Except it's not working for me. At least not in the way it seems like it should work.

In theory, I like it. I make lists of goals. Lists of things to do to accomplish those. Lists of how I want to live. I have enough fulfilling and productive activities to fill every single day. BUT I DON'T DO THEM.

In the past, I might have blamed this on depression. Thankfully, that's no longer a factor in my life. I might have blamed it on a circumstance, like long work hours. Nope- can't use that one, at least not currently.

And those things didn't stop me from doing the things that really mattered to me anyway. I still made bosom friends. Connected with my family. Practiced the hell out of introspection. Had fun. Advanced in my career. Fell in love. Learned to cook. Manifested everything I set my mind to.

I didn't purposely fill my time with the things that ended up mattering the most. They just happened.

While I absolutely recognize the need for the elements of healthy basic routines- exercise, alone time, connection time with loved ones- I'm having trouble finding any motivation whatsoever to establish anything else as part of my daily life.

But what if it's not trouble? What if I just don't wanna? And what if that's okay?

An example: I know I "should" do a little bit of homework/research/reading every day. But I do homework just fine a couple of hours before it's due- the quality doesn't usually suffer. I am a far better researcher when I really want the information- and I really want it when I have to produce something with it the next day! And I don't absorb anything when I force myself to read in regular intervals, at set times. Or when I sit down and take structured notes on my self-assigned ten pages a day. But I do fly through it when I'm in the mood to absorb something new.

The point is, I have been giving myself all of these assignments. These expectations. Very few of which I want to do, and fewer still I end up doing in the way or timeframe I say I should.

And I'm not getting more done. I'm not feeling more fulfilled or accomplished. In fact, I'm feeling like shit about myself because why can't I just work through these simple lists and keep busy all the time and live a full and productive life? BECAUSE I DON'T WANNA.

I want to float on alright. I want to do the bare minimum to get the grade, to keep the house up, to stay connected, to find my career path. Ugh! Even typing "find my career path" elicits a grimace and the mental image of a donkey digging its hooves in. Let's cross that one off.

If I don't accomplish much, I want to be okay with that. If I do the minimum sometimes, I want to be okay with that. If I have a lot of free time, I want to be okay with that. If I go weeks without making a phone call, I want to be okay with that. If I wait until the last minute to do things (as long as waiting doesn't negatively affect the outcome), I want to be okay with that. If I don't have a perfect house, I want to be okay with that. If I'm not constantly having adventures (and documenting them), I want to be okay with that. If my life is just not that interesting or exciting, oh wait- I AM okay with that, already!

I've always gravitated toward simplicity. People who live simply, off or on the grid, just doing their thing with intention and mindfulness, inspire me. I see them and I want what they're having!

People who live productive busy adventurous ambitious change-the-world pinterest-worthy lives impress me. I feel pressure to want to be like them. BUT... I DON'T ACTUALLY WANNA.

I want to take things slow. I've always been like this. I absorb new information slowly and thoughtfully- quite opposite of the way I eat, which has many times been likened to a shark feeding frenzy- but I digress.

I'm wondering if I'm onto something here. We all know there's a difference between inspiration and motivation. I'd like to minimize the pressure to be full of the latter in order to open up to more experiences of the former. I'll let you know how it goes. Or I won't, if I don't wanna.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Time Management


So in my Freshman Seminar course we are talking about time management.

Which is great, because I seem to be TERRIBLE at it!

Does anyone else manage your time largely based on what you feel like doing in any given moment?

I have difficulty at times balancing the externally motivated part of me with the internally motivated part. Does that make sense?

External motivation: things like work (hello, needing income), class (hello, being over 30 and just now starting on my B.S. {how cool is it that my degree matches my initials, by the way?}), an empty fridge (slash empty belly).

Internal motivation: reading (absorbing new worlds, information, ideas), writing (the never ending process of figuring myself out slash sharing myself with the world), exercise (these days I do it because I love it and it makes me feel good).

We did the pickle jar demo in class today. You know the one. It makes sense to schedule your time that way. So why is it such a struggle for me?

Sometimes all I care about is the big picture. Sometimes all I care about is floating along, being in the moment.

I never know which kind of day I'm going to have. My husband and I joke that he married me because he loves a challenge, and he hates being bored. Pretty much, Bub- you should see what it's like INSIDE my head!

Yeah, that's the end of this post. No final thought.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Brave Pasta


So here I am, in Thailand. (Oh, you hadn't heard? I live here now.) And what am I thinking about? Pasta.

Cause, you know, there aren't noodles in this part of the world.

"Wow, you're moving to another country? You're so brave," they said. "I'm so jealous, you're going to have so many adventures," they said.

Let me tell you a little secret: I don't see myself as brave, and I'm definitely not adventurous.

Sure, I signed up for this crazy life. I spent months organizing and packing and inventorying for the move. I got on the plane. I even got through the first major meltdown (which went something like "I can't even feed myself, how am I going to LIVE here?")

That was all part of the plan.

I love me a good plan. I crave a framework within which to mess around, mess up, rebel, and feel safe.

And that's all I've been thinking about since we arrived: how can I build a framework around myself, so I'm not just floating on the breeze here?

Such an adventurous, world travel-y thing to think, eh?

I'm thanking my lucky stars that I had the foresight (helped along by a nightmarish first move from my beautiful hometown into the "bowels of hell") to register for school before I got here. Orientation for university started the day after we arrived. I don't remember it, or much of my first week of classes, through the haze of my first ever major jet lag (Major Jet Lag *salute*).



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Activate and Align


Everything I want is already created. Here is what I want to activate and align with:

A healthy body. Healthy movement on a regular basis. Restful sleep. Strong, toned muscles. Energy throughout the days. A strong, radiant smile. Glowing, soft, clear skin. Fueling my life with wholesome, natural foods. Managing my hormones and brain chemistry holistically.

A happy, consistent vibrational practice. Looking for things that make me feel good. Reaching for thoughts that feel good. Looking at the circumstances of my life as a buffet and choosing what I like, leaving the rest. Noting positive aspects about people, places, things. Recognizing the good in me. Appreciating my connection to Source. Making my connection, my alignment, the top priority no matter what. Making it my mission to feel good. Controlling my experience through vibrational alignment. Practicing appreciation at every opportunity.

Fun. Enjoyment of new experiences. Enjoyment of reliable experiences. Laughter. Joking. Lightheartedness. Play. Imagination. Creativity just for fun. Being easy with people. Being easy with myself. Making life a fun game. Appreciating being joyful. Being contagiously happy.

Acceptance of where I am on my never-ending path. Knowing that I am right where I am supposed to be. Enjoying my alignment. Enjoying the process. Loving myself. Putting myself in situations conducive to learning and growing. Loving the contrast that is constantly flowing around and to me. Practicing directing my attention to what is wanted. Trusting that my life is on track.

Helping others to be the best versions of themselves they can be. Knowing that I cannot vibrate for them, but I can vibrate for me. Vibrating for myself and watching gleefully as others' lives are touched by mine in wonderful ways, just because of my commitment to my alignment.

The best relationship of my life. Continuous growth within it. Honesty. Trust. Love. Commitment. Appreciation. Inspiration. Contrast. Playfulness. Sex. Connection. Faith. Spirit. Alignment. For as long as it serves us both. A partner. Inside jokes. Support. Healing. Adventure. Exploration. Home. Co creating.

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.}