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.
It is typical, during a time of great fear or tyranny, that the arts get neglected. Survival takes precedence and creativity is squandered. The arts provide an immeasurable amount of avenues for releasing negative feelings like fear, doubt, sadness, grief, and silence. It is something that we take for granted; those of us who feel free and safe enough to immerse ourselves in it.
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding politics today, and bringing up North Korea typically strikes a negative chord. It can illicit fear and anger almost immediately. While it is a serious situation, I want to shift the attention away from the leaders to the citizens. Think about their lifestyle and what fear they must experience every day. Now, think about their lack of artwork. Photos of North Korea highlight breathtaking views of beautiful scenery, but lack color within everyday life. There is no art. There is no expression. Anything that is created is done so for one purpose: to glorify their leader. That does not mean they do so willingly and that is their art. Their devotion is typically not by choice, and their art (or lack-thereof) illustrates that. There is no freedom to think critically or to express themselves.
What would it look like for children to fulfill their dreams of taking dance classes or learning to play instruments? Someone might paint a canvas of the sky above their new home or a mural of their indescribable journey. Feet that have never danced would carry someone away from their fears. Voices that were silent would suddenly be heard. Hands that served would finally create. Generations of emotion would come pouring from them as they describe their ordeal in a language that the entire world could understand: art.
It is easy for them to fade from our memory altogether as we go about our daily lives; standing next to art that we barely notice is hanging there anymore. Let us be compassionate and empathetic to the people there who are just like us, but who are yearning to be free. Let’s remember the spirit inside of them that they may have forgotten. One day, they will need us to watch and listen as they are liberated through creation. When that day comes, we will see some of the most powerful art that we have seen throughout history.
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.
I recommended someone earth today and said that I was going to as well. It is very cold and cloudy out today (even though it was around 80 yesterday?) but I decided to do it anyway. For those who aren’t familiar, “earthing” or “grounding” is when you receive the Earth’s minerals and energy through connecting with the dirt.
I have felt so drained lately. I am an empath and am greatly affected by others’ suffering. Current events had me feeling disheartened, my health has been poor for the past few days, and I have generally felt like the life has been sucked out of me. I forced myself to go outside and connect with nature. I sat on my son’s swing set and dug my feet into the Earth. At first, the soil was wet and cold. As I dug a little deeper, it started to feel warmer. I felt the energy, and right when I thought it couldn’t feel any better, the sun broke through the clouds and beamed some rays right on my shoulders. Aside from the minerals and natural energy of the Earth, there is something so magical about being in the dirt.
As I sip on my green tea and reflect on that moment, I am reminded of my childhood. I pretty much never wore shoes when I played outside as a child. My feet were constantly in contact with the Earth. We lose so much when we grow older and stop doing this. Our bodies crave the Earth’s energy. We need it to sustain us. Without it, we feel disconnected and drained. Earthing is one great way to reconnect, re-energize, and revitalize ourselves. Go outside, take off your shoes, and dig your toes into the soil. Reconnect. Breathe in the wind and soak in the sunlight. You can always wash your feet later.
I’ve always been interested in journaling, but not about the day’s events. That felt too mundane for me and I would almost immediately quit. As I grew older, I became very interested in positive reading and music. I wanted to compile my favorite inspirations somewhere other than my Facebook wall. I felt every bogged down by the world’s negative energy. I needed to recharge-to boost my happiness level and stay positive. The idea struck me to start a happiness journal and it actually stuck!
First, I purchased the handmade sari journal from a B&N in D.C. in 2014. I started collecting quotes and anything that inspired me. It is a very special journal that calms and grounds me. I can’t even explain my love for this one. I even keep a bucket list in the back (it is a work-in-progress).
The green notebook came next. I started coming up with five things that I’m grateful for every morning. This stemmed from my efforts to make my days more positive and productive. I needed something to write them in and grabbed a cheap journal (notebook) while I was in the store. Hey, at least it’s cute and fits me perfectly!
The yellow journal is one that I am very excited about. I am planning on visiting an ashram in about a month, and wanted something to take notes in. I started getting back into chanting and decided to also keep chants/verses and notes on yogic living in this journal also. This way, I always have them together and accessible.
I find this type of journaling relaxing and uplifting. Most people like to read inspirational or positive quotes. Why not compile your favorites? It has been a very positive change, and I can’t wait to see how it grows and helps me to spiritually evolve.
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.
My hand hurts. Duh, right? I broke it.
Well, when my hand is hurt, so is my heart and mind. I can’t do some of the things that I love to do each day that put me in a great mood: yoga, hooping, playing the ukulele, etc. I was seriously bummed about this for the last few days. Then, I had a very obvious realization: I still can. I can play songs with two or three chords, I can hoop on-body, and I can practice hatha yoga. Turning my can’ts into cans completely changed my mood.
My hand hurts and there are some things that I genuinely can’t do (such as hand-washing the dishes, I know, sad face), but turning my can’ts into cans reopened my day to happiness, peace, and joy; not just because of my ability to do those specific things, but because I had control over my day and my mood by not carrying around a defeated attitude.
Everything that is broken can be fixed, except for our day. Time is something that we can’t redo. Don’t waste it by listing the things you can’t do and start living it by experiencing the things that you can do.
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.