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 Art of Liberation

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.

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.

Earthing

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.

Namaste.

My Collection of Collections

I’m ridiculous. I bought another Journal. I really love journaling now that I have created my little system. Well, now that has been enhanced by (drumroll) bullet journaling. I jumped on that train last night and I can’t wait to post some progress photos once it has been used longer. So far, it is right up my alley. Cheers to the guy who created that system. More on that later. 

Namaste.

Against the Grain

      I am frustrated at being judged for not conforming to societal norms. We live in a world where children are told that they are one in a million, but then grow up and try so desperately to be like everyone else and accepted. Why is it considered taboo to be different? During the rare occasions in which it is celebrated, why is it considered trendy like we all fit into some hipster-hippie, rebellious, counter-culture stereotype? How come we can’t just celebrate the fact that we are all different, tolerate those differences, and love ourselves? I’m frustrated that I’m considered bitchy for not caring–for not being comfortable with conformity and for not caring about acceptance. 

     Here is where that third eye comes in: by writing this, I clearly care; otherwise, I would not feel frustrated. Every single person needs acceptance. It is human nature. I have found acceptance where it matters: in the few friends and family who accept me for who I am and who respect my journey. I guess I am more frustrated that this is something that affects so many people. We are in the midst of a social and spiritual revolution. People are changing. Those of us who are awakening are being criticized and judged. All we want is what everyone else wants: to be happy. Why is it wrong that we want to achieve that happiness through living as our truest form? 

     Food for thought. Questions without answers. The best that we can do is stay true, love, and keep evolving. 

Namaste. 

Sanskrit in the Mountains

   Last year, I was invited to a place called Yogaville. Hidden in the mountains of Virginia, this retreat proved to be just what I needed. Not only did it provide me with a relaxing weekend, it completely changed my life. I have craved that place since I left it. The spirit, positive energy, and genuine beauty of the people and the ashram were nothing short of inspirational.

    Before that visit, I had never experienced chanting. I remember walking into the room terrified, because I knew that my first guided meditation session would include chanting. I survived it with little embarrassment, and found it to be very relaxing. Fast-forward to the Saturday night ceremony and I was absolutely, 100% terrified. I went from being a stay at home mom and isolated student, to sitting in a room full of strangers chanting Sanskrit. I had a choice to make: I could allow my embarrassment to ruin the experience for me, or I could dive in and and learn as much as possible. I chose the latter. I thought about our human nature and how we are so easily embarrassed-an emotion that forces us to miss out on many of life’s greatest moments. So, I chose adventure. 

      I fumbled my way through the words and appreciated the music being played. I watched the other attendees swaying back and forth, eyes closed, lost in verse. I envied them. I wanted to feel free. 

      Something amazing happened and halfway through the ceremony, I felt it. I felt the energy rush over me like a wave of peace. I felt connected to the words that I previously feared, and I was completely devoted to the ceremony. When it was over, I felt relaxed, collected, energized, and awake to the world around me. I wanted to stay in that world forever. 

     Sanskrit is a beautiful language that is intimidating at first glance. Fortunately, there are many websites and videos that offer assistance with understanding and pronouncing the verses. There is something magical hidden within those words. Once you learn how and the words slide off of your tongue, you are hooked. It is also open to any religion, and is not limited to practicing Hindus. There are unrelated chants that can be used by anyone. Buddhists use chanting, and that is a philosophy that does not praise any god or idol. So, don’t feel like you are betraying your current belief system by practicing a chant.

       I am working on an at-home practice, and will be visiting another ashram within the next couple of months. I hope that this story brought hope to someone who has been afraid to try chanting, for fear of being embarrassed or doing it incorrectly. Free yourself. As long as you are practicing and are reciting them from a place of truth, you will feel the calming and restoring effects of the chant. 

Om Namah Shivaya.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.

                 (More on that later)
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.