The Journey Continues…

Where have I been? Oh…everywhere and nowhere.

I moved across the country and restarted my life. Of all of the crazy adventures that I have been on, this has certainly been the craziest. I chose a new career path and lived in a pop-up camper for five months. You know that quote, “If you don’t like where you are then move, you aren’t a tree.”? While I certainly felt like a tree, I was determined to pull my roots and move. It has been terrifying, as most rewarding things are.

I planned on working freelance and privatized my page just in case I double entered a piece. Screw that. I would rather type endlessly to you all about my journey than pursue a career in writing. Why? I could reach a lot more people if my writing was more recognized. The reason is that “one”. The one person who reads an article and finds the words that they needed on that day. The one person who feels a little less lonely in the world by finding common ground with a stranger’s ramblings. The one person who was afraid to take a leap, but decided if I could then they could. There are days when my page isn’t viewed at all and there are days when I have a few bites. I could care less about the numbers. It is all about one. I value every person as their own entity and reaching one person is just as valuable as being recognized by the collective.

So, here we go. New topics. New questions. A new journey.

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The Importance of Human Connection on the Spirit and How to Find This Connection Through Technology

There is a weakening of our spiritual selves when we are disconnected from others who share a similar journey or the paths that we are on. I learned this the difficult way. Seven years ago, I moved from a very diverse area to an area that is the exact opposite. It was like taking a free bird from the sky and caging her. Instead of growing and exploring, I retreated. My differences made me feel isolated, so I ignored them-pushing them far back into myself until they were barely detectable. Recently, I have become more open and honest about myself in hopes of growing in authenticity and spirit. It didn’t take long before I began to blossom. That is not to say that I have blossomed fully; I am somewhere in the middle. My current state is equal to a rose that has just began to bloom. You can see the color through the closed leaves, but the bud has not yet fully opened.

Instead of feeling isolated in my journey, I have found women online who share my interests and are on similar paths. Technology can bring so much negativity into our lives, especially social media. I made it my mission to fill my news feeds with positivity. For every negative article I encounter, I seek out a positive one. For every media page that I follow, I follow two pages that promote positivity and peace. Since doing this, I have restored balance and am able to stay current on events without losing myself to them. This is a practice that took months to adapt to.

A wise woman responded to me this morning with one of the most helpful things that I have heard lately. I introduced myself into a new group of Wild Women and stated that I currently don’t have a tribe, due to my area being very conservative and it being difficult to find like-minded people here to share my journey and experiences with. She said, “Welcome. The world is your tribe!” How beautiful and true. Instead of feeling isolated, she allowed me to feel open to the possibilities of connection beyond my physical existence. I realized how thankful I am for technology and the connection that it can provide, if we use it wisely.

I encourgae you to restore balance and peace within your life by incorporating more “good news” and positive influence into your screen time. Watch inspiring videos, listen to music that moves you, follow pages such as “Good News Network”, learn from people, and connect. Your body and mind will thank you.

Namaste.

Broken Record Player

     Imagine you are listening to your favorite album on a record player. The music is playing as you go about your business of tidying up the house and taking care of the kids (insert personal responsibilities). All of a sudden, the record skips JUST as the needle hits the few seconds of a song that you really dislike. You try to go about your business and wait for it to continue with the great song that was playing, but it just keeps repeating the same annoying line. Each time, the lyrics jab at you harder than during the previous loop. 

That is the baseline of an intrusive thought. 

     Some of us get them stronger than others, and they always vary in degree. Sometimes they are short and irritating, and sometimes they are persistent and brutal. It isn’t even confined to our own thoughts. We can have this recurring thought pattern in response to someone else’s feelings. It is very common for us to overreact to things. That is actually a simple thing to understand, we just usually don’t make the connection. By the time we lash out, we have been tortured by this thought so much, that we can’t take it anymore. We need it out and resolved. We just need it gone. The frustration bursts out of us and lands on pretty much anyone. Afterward, we get to be tortured by the thoughts resulting from our regret and self-loathing. It is a damaging cycle that is incredibly difficult to end and even harder to prevent.

     Conflicts that lasted for two minutes can torture the mind for hours or days. Insignificant moments to someone else, can feel significant to us because our brain locked on to it at some point and is having a difficult time letting it go. Trust me, this is far more annoying for us than those who have to witness or unwillingly participate. 

     Those of us who recognize that the record player is broken, work very hard to make it work. We get up over and over again to reset the needle. We try humming something upbeat to distract our minds. At our weakest moments, we swear off the whole record altogether because it would be easier to not listen to it at all, than for it to periodically or semi-constantly torture us. We survive those moments and hit play for another go ’round.

     In the end, we can do nothing about it. Our record player is broken and it is the only one that we have. I will continue to work hard toward my peace by resetting the needle, apologizing to unwilling guests as necessary, and learning about myself in order to improve. But I know that this is me, and in order to be truly happy and at peace, I have to love myself for who I am, exactly as I am. I have to recognize that everyone has flaws and mine are no worse than someone else’s. I have to forgive myself when I screw up. I have to fight my brain every single day to make sure I am in control and thinking on the wavelength that I want. I have to see my strength and perseverance. I have to love myself and all of these things about me. That is what I’m working on every single time the record starts playing. 

     Everyone has their issues to deal with. It is a much more enjoyable life if we learn to understand and appreciate others. It is even more wonderful if we learn to understand and appreciate ourselves. Love yourself. Be kind to one another.

Namaste. 

There’s a Song for That

     I am a firm believer that there is a song for every emotion and situation. I have been that way my entire life. Some of us feel music differently than others and have an intense connection to it. I love sharing music with others, especially if it helped me through a particular time that they may be facing. So, feel free to ask me for suggestions if you need some new inspiration, and feel free to drop a tune below to inspire me. Today, I’m going to share two songs: 

        Flowers in the Window by Travis: My favorite happy, dancing around the house with the kids song. 

        Aloha Ke Akua by Nahko and Medicine for the People: My go-to song for anxiety and depression. (Check out the music video for an added relaxation bonus) There is a reason why it is called medicine. 

     So, no matter what you’re going through or what kind of day you’re having, there’s a song for that. Turn it up and let it do its job, whether it be a musical bandaid or a hug. 

Namaste. 

Rolling With the Punches

Right when it was getting good…

I was just getting into a yoga groove and feeling like I was establishing a habit within the past week. That has come to a halt. Yesterday, I was playing football with my two older kids, when  I made a bad catch. I am 99% sure that my pinkie is broken. One thing is for sure, it is too painful to use it and I am unable to move it without screaming in pain. So much Zen…….not. 

     I will say that it has at least taught me a valuable lesson (aside from how not to catch a football). It has been a challenge in positivity. I may not be able to practice hatha yoga right now (for the most part), but that leaves room for more meditation. There is always a silver lining and a way to look at the bright side. We can always be thankful for something. In this case, meaning even if at the least, I am thankful that I didn’t break my arm and that I have health insurance to see a doctor. It is all about gratitude and perception. 

Namaste.

Eating Frogs

     Mark Twain may have revolutionized my days with that single quote. The idea is that if you do the worst thing that you have to do first thing in the morning, then your day can only improve.

     I am going to share my daily schedule ideas with you later, but I felt like I needed to explain this idea first. In the morning, I eat frogs. I make sure that I do whatever I am dreading first so that my day can only improve. So far, this is proven to be very helpful. I feel like the rest of my day is open to more things and I can actually look forward to my day rather than dreading it because of tasks that I’m not looking forward to. I procrastinate less and feel more productive. It also makes it easier to maintain a positive outlook because I can look forward to my day. 

So, go eat some frogs and enjoy the rest of your day.

Namaste.

Unplugged: A Day of Freedom From Our Attachment to Technology

     Yesterday, I began my day perfectly. I started my daily schedule that my husband and I made (more on that later) and was ready to take on the day. Everything seemed to be going smoothly…until I dropped my phone. It did a belly flop onto the hardwood floor. Mind you, this is the second time that I have broken the screen (on THIS phone). I immediately fell into a spiral of depression and anxiety, feeling like a screw up. More importantly, I felt isolated. We just moved to the country and I now had absolutely no way of contacting anyone all day. I couldn’t post in my online support group and I couldn’t text my husband. Every single avenue of support was gone. 

    What did I do? I stuck to my schedule. I ate breakfast, did yoga, meditated, and cleaned. I mean I really cleaned. For the past few months, my anxiety and brain lock (typically revolving around my phone) have resulted in our home being neglected, other than necessary cleaning. Yesterday, I had zero distractions and instead of dwelling on my anxiety, I stayed busy. The results were amazing. 

    I realized how much we rely on technology, specifically our phones. They are great tools and wonderful for momentary entertainment; however, they should not have as strong of a hold on us as they do. I found clarity and time that I otherwise didn’t have by not having a cell phone. For one day, I was unplugged and I really enjoyed it. 

    I encourage you to try it for a day. Turn off your phone and resist the urge to check it. Enjoy the outdoors, catch up on chores and tasks, if you have children, spend some extra precious moments with them. Free yourself from social media. One day is enough for a detox, and you will quickly realize how much you rely on your phone. Unplug yourself. 

Namaste. 

You want me to WHAT in bed?

I have seen so many articles that suggest doing yoga in bed as a great way to start the day. Let’s be honest-that sounded strange to me at first. I immediately imagined someone waking up and balancing atop their quivering mattress while they struggled to hold a mountain pose in their groggy state. 

Wrong. I woke up this morning and decided to give this bed yoga thing a try. I stretched my body within the comfort of my blankets and I am now a bed-yoga believer. Have you ever actually watched a cat stretch after waking up? That is exactly what I felt like. I felt like a cat. So much so, that I was distracted by this humorous thought (because I tend to have racing thoughts at the most inappropriate times-sometimes entertaining ones). 

It was even more helpful that I waited until my husband was out of bed so that I could utilize the entire space. I OWNED that bed. I didn’t have to share. I rolled around, twisted, and stretched until I felt like an energetic kitty ready to pounce on the day. It was truly refreshing, especially for someone like me who doesn’t sleep well at all. I usually wake up feeling very tired and with a general feeling of “ugh.” This technique was actually helpful. 

If you have morning grogginess and laziness, give it a go! The worst that could happen is you get tangled up in your blanket. 

Namaste.

New BeginningsĀ 

Have you ever “woken up” one day and realized that you have somehow lost yourself? Somewhere between the late night study sessions, running around with the kids, and daily responsibilities, your spirit drifted away. You can vaguely feel it there. It’s calling to you; desperate for you to rediscover it. You make several desperate attempts to find it through bar dates with friends or vacations, but you always return home feeling just as lost as you were when you hustled out of the door. Something is missing and you have absolutely no idea what it is, but you would do anything to reclaim it…but how? How do you find something that is lost when you aren’t sure what it is? You aren’t the same person you were ten years ago before starting a family and a career. You are a new development-designed and built from every decision that you have ever made. So who are you NOW?

That is how I felt. I can’t remember the exact day that it happened. For me, it was gradual at first before hitting me like a proverbial ton of bricks. I became filled with an overwhelming anxiety that grew in intensity the longer I ignored it. My husband noticed also, and we tried to think of ways for me to rediscover who I am outside of the many hats that I wear. We both knew it was time to do something, before I am lost forever.
This is my journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance. My new beginning. I am taking you with me so that you can see what works and what flops. Hopefully, you find something that inspires you to embark on your own journey.

Namaste.