Monday, August 13, 2018

Inward Focus and Lessons


I recently re-read my new years post - The Year of Focus. I wanted to check in with myself to make sure I am on track. I am. YAY! When I wrote that post, I never knew the things that I'd be focusing on this year and I wasn't prepared for all that would happen in these last 8 months. But, Boy oh Boy, am I glad that I have lived through it all. 


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There is a uncertainty you feel when you decide to pull yourself from the familiar and dive into the unknown. For me, this has been that last 8 months. Cutting out nasty habits, shifting my focus inward, letting go of people/places/things that no longer brought me joy and comfort, and changing my outlook on not only myself but that current environment I was walking in daily. This environment, when I really sit back and think about it...It could be worse. Technicality speaking, my environment is great; but just like any, there is always room for improvement. Always. And so, without even realizing it, I set out to make those changes and fix any kinks I wasn't happy with. Last sunday, Speedracer and I were out on the front porch, I drinking my coffee and writing as the pups played in the grass and SR enjoying a nice cigar while looking up manly racecar things. And I had this thought:

 "I wonder what I look like from the outside perspective?" 

I wonder what these last 6-8 months have looked like from the eyes of those looking towards me. My Focus, My Position of Stepping back, My Position of Letting Go, and how I have become seemingly more introverted than I have ever been as if I ever thought that was possible. I probably look ridiculous and I probably look intensely selfish. And like usual with my life, it's probably hard for people to understand. This sudden shift in my focus. Well, don't feel discouraged or weirded out, because I too don't understand this sudden shift and all these changes. I just chalk it up to be: It's Life, and Life happens. 


At this point, I feel like a broken record sometimes. Constantly referring back to my grandmothers death, in April, and my parents selling my childhood home and moving out of state at the end of May.   My anxiety and depression were at the highest they had been in a while and I put on a mask just to save face and conversation. But here is the thing, sudden life changes can change a person. Sudden life changes force you out of your comfort zone until you are standing dead center in a crowded room and you're completely naked. And while in the middle of this room, exposed, someone comes and cuts you with a knife, right to the heart and than right in the back. I'm morbid, all the time. It's problem. But while you are exposed and now bleeding - you are frantically looking around for someone to help you. Your family, Your Best Friends, Anyone. But the room goes dark for a moment and when the lights come back on you realize you're standing there alone. Trying to pick up the pieces. Thankfully, that hasn't actually happened - but it feels like it has. And so - here is the lesson I have been learning...

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." 



I wrote all about this, perspective, and I have been trying my best to change my perspective about certain things and certain environments. I used to think, if I force myself to stick it out then it will eventually work out and I will be comfortable with the situation. Maybe that's true. But here is what I think: why do we continue to try to FORCE together pieces that just don't fit? Why do we continue putting ourselves in environments that make us feel uncomfortable or compromise our true feelings? It's draining. And so, I took that old proverb, "If you don't like where you are, get up and move - you are not a tree," and so now - 8 months later, I am still trying to relocate and it has been quite the lesson. Which has brought me back to "If you change the way you look at things...." because, I could get mad, I could get upset, confused, lonely, etc. But I CHOOSE to change the way I look at my environment and my circumstances. I didn't let myself fall victim to my circumstances like I have in the past - and now, the things I have been looking at have changed, immensely - and Grateful is a understatement. So what's the Focus? What is the overall FOCUS? Simple: Me. 

I got tired of trying to be the product of my environment, It was exhausting being stuck because of my circumstances, I was mentally, physically, and emotionally worn down from suppressing thoughts, feelings, and my being at the expensive of others feelings and opinions. The nauseous feeling I would get being in certain places, around certain people, and discussing certain things was like a hamster wheel I just couldn't get off. And so, I broke the wheel. Snapped it in half and threw it out. My Focus made the shift INWARD. For the first time in 28 years. I swore I had done this before, shifted inwards, and I had, but only for small periods at a time and made nothing permanent. I was co-dependant on my past and it me. But this time, I did shift inward and I have. It's a complete 180 turn around. and I can say truly for once in my life, I love the direction I am going in. I love my environment. I love my circumstances. I love Me and what I have going on around me and for me. There is often this train of thought that we can't pick nor control what happens in our lives or what is going on around us. But I say, Why Not? We, as individuals, have the power to make-it-happen. Over your environment? Pick up and move, Make changes, let go of things and of people. Allow the Release. Change the way you look at things and I PROMISE YOU, the things you look at will change. Shift that Focus INWARD and allow yourself to reveal your true self TO YOU and to the world. Break the wheel and go find a more suited path for yourself...all you gotta do is Focus. 



"Love without Expecting, Love without Fear...Love, Love, Love" 


Monday, July 30, 2018

Shifts


It's been a little over a month since I have opened my blog. I have recently gotten into the art and my love for handwriting, in a journal. And I have found it the highest for of therapy lately. I began writing in a notebook, again, on and off nearly a year ago. But I began writing every day around our anniversary in April. My grandmother passed away, my parents sold my childhood home, and then they moved to Northern Idaho which is where my big sister and her family also reside. There have been a few other shifts in my life between then and I've been trying my best to get through it

Shifts. 
No, not like at work. Like the wind. You know, that kind of wind shift that makes you go from feeling humid to a ripple of chills up your spine? That kind of wind shift. That kind of change. It's stomach turning, mind blowing, and a fast paced beating heart like you just got finished running a 5k. Blurred vision, muffled hearing, bones aching so much they feel as if your skeleton is going to rip right out of your skin and make a run for the hills. Graphic. I know. But this is the raw and real thoughts that plague the current course my life. I shouldn't say current, sorry, I am in a wonderful place in my life. Transcending really. But life can often feel like a shadow dragging behind you, waiting to jump out of the shadows when you least expect it. Eery. That's what it feels like. Eeryness. 


Shifts.
They aren't all bad. They aren't all blood curdling, lung frozen shifts. Some are magical. Like getting a new puppy right in the middle of a wave of anxiety. Like being fearless and flying on a plane by yourself for the first time. Like a dear friend bringing a child into this world. Like your body changing in positive direction after you've spent months dedicated to eating healthy and working out. Like going into business with your best friend. Like looking into the mirror and thinking "I am beautiful." Like finding out that you don't need a large quantity of people around you to feel like you are worth something. Like knowing you are worth something. Like becoming a powerful female who isn't afraid to stand alone but knows that she doesn't always have to. Like finding out who your true friends are and being okay with who wasn't. Like finding your way. Like finding who YOU are. Shifts aren't all bad. Can you feel it?


Taking a step back and learning to observe has really helped me learn, about myself and about others. I've also been learning more about perspective. It's an art; observation and perspective. In there own and collectively. I challenge everyone to learn these arts. It really becomes a companion as you try to navigate through this life. I've always had a compassionate heart, an understanding and a acceptance of people -- but stepping back and observing has really created a more compassionate and accepting person -- of others and what we are each going through in our lives. I have really come to understand that the black hole of social media will never show you the complete story. I have actually known this for about a decade, but I have been reacquainted with this knowledge. This black hole can suck you in and have a deep rooted death grip on you. This could be why I took a step back from my blog and got back into the secrecy of my journal. We share only what we want to and most of the time that is a facade. It's more popular to be hard on the inside as well as externally. No allowance of vulnerability and No allowance of transparency. But I say, Fuck it. Sorry if my language offends you..But it's true. Fuck it. My speedracer always says "It is what it is..." and it was always irritating to me....until I learned that what it really means is "Fuck it!" and so I switched it out for "...Well, What can you do?" (aka....)

I'm vulnerable. I get thrown down the rabbit hole of the internet. I fall down the well of the shit storm life throws at us. And sometimes I feel like I'm running a 5K....But....Fuck it. The last 6 months have reminded me that I am a strong ass female. I am the ONLY me and I am going along with every single Shift as it comes. Positivity. Gratitude. Openness. That is how I survive. So I guess I leave with this jumble of a post -- Just BE. Allow Shift. Allow release and Allow Stillness. Just BE. and Just Be You. This is your life...You only get one shot. What are you going to do with it?



Love without Fear, Love without Expecting...Love, Love, Love.



Thursday, June 21, 2018

28 Things in 28 Years.


28..
That's how old I turned this recent monday, June 18th. 
Since then I have been really slowing down the week and trying to make the most of this new-turned age. I am excited to see what lessons I learn in the next 365 days of my life and what adventures I'll go on..But before I do, I have written down 28 Lessons that I've learned in the last 28 years of my life. Of course I've learned oh so much more, but I figured these were twenty-eight things I wish I knew back then and are glad I know now..


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28. Have the Harry Potter Trilogy on DVD. When you're sick, on summer break, it's a rainy day, or when you need a nostalgic pick me up.

27. Drink More Water.  Water is hard to drink, I get it, But when I started drinking a gallon of water a day, I saw so many improvements  in my hair, skin, nails, bones, energy..Everything! and it flushes all the gunk out..what a win. 

26. Read More Books. I've always been a book lover, thanks grandma, and so I've tried to always keep a library of my favorite books. The more you read, the more you learn, the more you read the more self-care you contribute too. My Current Faves: "Own Your Glow" by Latham Thomas, This is Me by Chrissy Metz, and "Grace not Perfection" by Emily Ley

25.  Call Your Parents. I can't get through the day without talking to my parents, even if its for a few short minutes. And now that they moved out of state and 1500 miles away from me, I want to stay in touch with them even more so. Our phone calls are what I will always cherish. 

24. Dream Big and Go For it. It's easy to say you have a dream and then waiting on it. But go for it. There is no better time than now to shoot for your wildest dreams. Keep pushing on, switch up your form of attack, and make it happen. 

23. Study Hard. High School, College, etc. Open your textbook and read, even if you think you don't need to use the book for anything, the best thing you can do is expand your knowledge and study hard. 

22. Surround yourself with people who inspire you. There is absolutely no point to continue surrounding yourself with people who suck the energy and happiness out of you. Surround yourself with people that feel like a hot shower on a cold day, who inspire you to create and do, who make you feel like dancing in the rain. 

21. Accept your mental illness and ask for help. Anxiety, Depression, OCD, etc. They are so important and so relevant in our every day lives. It's okay to admit that you're struggling, we all are, but reaching out to a friend and a doctor was the best decision I ever made. You are not alone, You are loved, You are worthy, and are needed. 

20. Believe in yourself and your potential. I always tell people that I am my own hype-squad. and it's true, I had to learn to clap for myself and believe in all that I can do. The cliche is true: you can do anything you set your mind to.

19. Wake up Early and Enjoy the Morning Calm. I learned this at a young age from my dad, wake up with the sun, make a cup of coffee, and enjoy the calm and quiet before you begin your busy day. Me time is everything and allowing yourself to wake up and refresh before the day is so important. 

18. Always Keep Bagel Bites and Top Ramen in the House. Because sometimes all of your bills are due at the same time and you realize you forgot to go grocery shopping. Or sometimes you get home from work and you don't want to cook a big meal. 

17. Become Best Friends with your Siblings. The person/people who will always be there for you since day one are your siblings. Becoming friends with my big sister was such a great blessing because I know that she will always be there for me and always have a understanding for me without judgement. 

16. Find something you love. Find a passion, even if it's just a hobby. It is important to find something that we love to do so that we can have something to go to during hard times, or down time, and just to make our souls happy. Writing, Drawing, Dancing, Blogging, Exercise ..whatever. Just find something. 

15. Watch these classics: Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day off, Fast times at Ridgemont High, 16 Candles, Teen Witch, Footloose, A Walk to Remember, Drop Dead Fred, Harry and the Hendersons, Now and Then, The Craft, Fried  Green Tomatoes, Stand By Me, The Sandlot, American Graffiti, and Cry Baby. 

14. Love everyone and Be Kind to People. It's simple, it's what we learn as kids...Be Nice to People. It really isn't that hard to just be kind. and sometimes, yes, people are difficult but Love them anyways. It costs nothing and chances are, they need it more than you know. 

13. Play in the Sprinklers. The summer after SR and I got married we had sprinklers going in the front yard to water the grass on a hot humid day. I decided, lets go run through the sprinklers. It was the best decision. We remembered to be kids, have fun, and we were able to cool off in the hot summer. Enjoy the Little things. 

12. Turn off the Technology. Disconnect with the world for atleast an hour a day. TV's, Phones, Computers..etc, it takes up so much space in our lives and it makes the world a little more fuzzy. It's so beneficial to your health to disconnect and go outside, or work/meditate in silence. Be without technology and recharge your mind. 

11. Buy Yourself Flowers. I am obsessed with having flowers and greenery in the house. And I love buying flowers for myself because its just a little gift that brightens my soul and my house. 

10. Be okay with Setting Boundaries. Set boundaries for yourself and the people in your life. They are needed. Learn to Say No, Learn to walk away, and learn to be okay with it. Boundaries are crucial to our overall health and happiness. 

9. Accept that Nobody is Perfect. We all have flaws, and when we learn to accept that nobody is perfect, even if their Instagram says otherwise, we are able to find better understanding and love towards each other. I am not perfect, I will lay all my cards out on the table and accept all my imperfections. 

8. Pray Hard and Pray Often. I think a lot of people have forgotten the art of praying and what a good few minutes in prayer can do for our lives. So learn to pray, learn to have a relationship with God, and never stop.

7. Accept the Apology You never Received. This is by far one of my most favorite pieces of advice that I ever received.  Sad matter of the fact, most people will not admit when they were wrong and they won't apologize for what they've done. So don't hold on to that pain and that weight. Accept the apology you never received and make peace with it. 

6.  Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. The Goddess, Eleanor Roosevelt, said this and it has stuck with me since my teen years. People will treat you the way you let them treat you (boundaries), and their words and actions will only affect you if you let them. But guess what, their opinions have nothing to do with who you are, truly are, so don't give them the power to upset you.

5. Stop Apologizing and Explaining yourself. The moment I stopped apologizing for things, even when they weren't anything to be sorry for, I felt free. I constantly felt the need to explain to people why I do certain things, why I have certain feelings towards things, etc..But I learned that it's none of their concern, I live my life the way I do because it makes me feel happy and warm...So, stop explaining that and just do you, boo!

4. Step out of your comfort zone. Live fearlessly and do something you are unsure of. For example: Go into the ocean even though you are pretty sure you will (a) get attacked by a shark or (b) get sucked under by a wrecked ship. These are real fears of mine..

3. Learn the art of Balance. Lay on the couch and watch movies all day and then workout the next day. Eat your favorite hamburger or mexican food and then eat a salad. Drink a Beer, Drink a water. Party on Friday, Rest on Saturday. It's all about balance..and it works wonders. 

2. Don't feel like you need to keep drinking since everyone is. If you don't want to drink, Don't Drink. If you don't want to do another shot of crappy vodka because you feel like you've met your limit, Don't take the shot. You know your body, you know your limit (hopefully) and you don't need to always do what others are doing. 

1. Love Yourself. Above anything else, accept yourself, love yourself, trust yourself..Be Yourself. 




Here We Go 28, Let's Do This!

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Perspective.



"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." - Wayne Dyer

What if you've been looking at something from the wrong direction? What if you've been taking your situation for granted? And what if all you needed to do was take a step back to get a closer look? If you are nodding your head and thinking, "Girl, Yes" - Don't worry, I've been there and I've got you covered...

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Lately it seems like there have been things thrown in my path which have forced me to take a step back and take a closer look at the bigger picture; Look beyond myself to really see myself. My Grandma passing on mine and speedracers wedding anniversary, my childhood home being sold, my parents moving out of state, Learning to Let Go etc. All of these big changes that I've mentioned several times before but only referring to them as storms. And it's true - I've been drowning here - and this last weekend took a lot out of me. Mentally, Physically, and Emotionally. June has started off bumpy; and that's okay. 

Perspective. 

I really began focusing on seeing things from a different perspective after a service at Church a few weeks back. The service was about reading the bible from a different perspective and how to stop searching for things that will tell us about ourselves. There is a reason why so many find the bible confusing and hard to read, and that is because when we read it, we are reading it in hopes of finding something that helps us reveal what WE should DO. and in hopes of learning something NEW about OURSELVES. But we have it all wrong. We should read the bible from the perspective of God. And we should allow his words and his actions to reveal more of HIMSELF to US. Perspective. 


The last night we spent in my parents house, a week ago, we slept in my old bedroom on a air mattress. I told Speedracer, "This sucks. I'm sleeping on an air mattress in my own room. I don't want to go to sleep because I don't want it to be tomorrow. I don't want to say goodbye." -- and he reminded me of something that's important, really important, Gratitude. To have gratitude for the home we share together, and for the home my family spent 22 years in. He reminded me by saying, "We can still drive by this house and see it whenever we want. Think about the people who lost their homes in fires, hurricanes, and other disasters. All of their things are gone and they can't drive past their homes because they aren't there." -- Perspective. Sometimes I forget how smart of a man I married. and it truly had me thinking. Wow, I am being ungrateful right now. and wow, I can still drive past this home whenever I want; some people don't have that luxury. 

Four days later, we got back from sacramento after being at the airport since 4:30am where we headed straight to SR's baseball game in which took us forever to get into because of a marathon happening in downtown, and I was exhausted. We got home and I didn't want to do a dang thing. Monday morning I woke up excited that I could spend the whole day vegging on the couch watching netflix. and I did just that. I needed a full day to recharge and relax my body and my mind. I could have complained that I was exhausted from traveling, packing up my childhood home, driving 11 hours to Sacramento, getting no sleep, had 2 days worth of funeral services for my Grandma, and spent sunday morning traveling...But, I didn't. I just sat with being exhausted and I let myself just BE how I was at that moment in time. I was healthy, I got to spend the weekend with my family, I got to play card games and laugh with my cousins who I don't see very often, I got to laugh, cry, and talk with my mom for 11 hours on a car ride, I'm blessed to have a supportive husband, and I was reminded of where I came from. Perspective.

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So here is the truth: It's easy to complain, to blame, to be ungrateful. It's easy to fall into negative patterns when it seems like everything around you is on a time bomb blowing up in your face. And we can easily decide to blame all of our circumstances on others and bad luck. Or, we can take a step back and gain a little bit of perspective. Self-awareness is key when it comes to looking at something from a different perspective. When I find myself in the same patterns I have to ask myself: Why do I feel this way, What makes this so bad, How can I change my circumstance? What am I not seeing? -- We are conditioned to see things in one way, we believe that there is only one side to every story, one side to each problem, and it's one way or no way. This is where we are wrong and where I believe we fall into negative, repetitive patterns. 

Perspective. Is one of the biggest key players in my recent self-care, self-growth and reevaluation on my life. I'm allowed to reinvent myself; but in doing so I needed to take a step back and gain a new perspective. I looked at myself from all angles, and it's true, I may not understand some parts of me and I may be clueless when it comes to why people have certain feelings towards me. But opinions are just opinions, they aren't a definition of who I am. Perspective. My Grandma didn't pass, My Parents didn't move, all to spite me. It's life, and change is going to occur. Circumstances change, just as we do - and we can complain or we can fall in line and figure out how to continue on. There is growth in Perspective. There is gratitude in the perspective. Great things start to happen the moment you decide to change your perspective...If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change....Remember that!