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.}

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.}