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Reflect Out Loud

"The unexamined life is not worth living." – Socrates

I Wonder…

I wonder… are we addicted to feeling sad? scared? worried?
Because it feels too weird being happy.
It feels too weird to let our guard down.
Because letting our guard down, letting our system relax, means danger could be lurking at any corner.

We must be on hyper-vigilance. Looking out for any possible threat.
Interpreting every detail. Staying two-three steps ahead of the game just to be safe.

Can’t let anybody fool me.
Can’t let myself get hurt.
Can’t let them try to pull a fast one on me.
Can’t let myself stay behind on the race.

Are these the kind of thoughts that are keeping us stuck?
Because we are afraid to swim in peace because you never know when a shark is gonna come out from under and just rip your feet apart when you stop looking?

Am I just too scared to let go and truly be happy? Truly start seeing miracles literally unfold right before my eyes?

Is that too crazy?

Is there something actually really beautiful happening right now but I am just too scared, to “real,” too worried to see it?

What would have happened if I actually let go that night? If I actually allowed myself to truly love you? If I wasn’t scared to say yes. If I wasn’t trying to run away. Would I have turned around and seen the light? Because there would have been no better moment in my life.

What If I were to swim without fear. Walk without fear. Dance without fear. Laugh without fear. Speak without fear. Breathe without fear. Play without fear. Simply exist without fear.

What would that look like?
What would that be like?

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Believe In Yourself

Sometimes Pandora will shuffle and land on a song that reminds me of you. Of summer. Of New York City. All combined into a perfect little memory of moments where I felt so happy. So free. So fun.

But that’s not really what I want to talk about.

I want to talk about believing in yourself.
Standing on your own side no matter what.
Ignoring what anyone thinks of you and focusing on what you think of you, and making it be the best thoughts you can possibly think of.

Change the narrative.
Empower yourself.
Cheer yourself on.

Be like an obsessively loving parent who leaves sweet notes in your lunch box and cuts the crusts off your sandwiches in the shape of a heart.

If you feel like giving up but you know this path is what you really want then push yourself a little harder. A little further. A little longer.

Take breaks when needed. Come back to it when you’re rested.

Remember not to take life too seriously. Have more fun. Laugh more. Don’t rush. Breathe. Trust.

Be on your own side.

Be Kind To You

It’s easier to be kind to others than it is to be kind to ourselves.

We say to ourselves, “You’re fat. You’re ugly. You’re stupid.” Things we wouldn’t dare say to someone else. As if others are somehow more worthy.

The way we talk to ourselves is so important to our wellbeing. It ultimately determines how we feel. It becomes so heavy to walk around with an evil critic between our ears constantly tearing us down; reminding us that we’re not good enough and that’s why people walk away; that’s why we never get the promotion.

We learn to pick at ourselves from a very young age. Sometimes we learn it from our parents who scolds us saying “Why can’t you be more like your brother, he always gets A’s?” Or from teachers who call us out in front of the class shouting, “You gotta keep up with the class, Junior!”. Sometimes we learn it from bullies. From grandma who pokes fun of us at thanksgiving dinner with her unfiltered comments, “Mija, you should really hold off on that cake cuz you already got plenty of layers on you, don’t you think?”

We learn it from the media who tells us that beauty is a certain weight, height, shape, color, and lips that are about mango size. We learn it from our boss who overlooks our efforts but promotes lazy Betty who you know you do far more work than she does on any given day.

But where or when we learn to self-hate & self criticize matters much less than what we do about it. What REALLY matters is how we decide we’re going to treat ourselves once we awaken to the fact that we’ve adopted the habit of being our own worst enemy.

See, the world can say whatever bullshit they want – but as long as we don’t take it on board, as long as we don’t adopt the BS for ourselves then we’re Gucci.

What we say to ourselves and what we think about ourselves is the defining factor in how we’re going to feel.

We have to learn to be kind to ourselves. To forgive ourselves. To nurture ourselves. To support ourselves.

We can’t be bullying ourselves and expect to feel good.

We are in our bodies 24/7 for the rest of this life – wouldn’t it be better if we didn’t have to walk around with a critical enemy narrating attacks in our heads all day? Yes! It would be liberating.

Wouldn’t it be so much more fun if it felt like the voice in our head felt like a supportive friend, a loving parent, an encouraging coach, a forgiving partner? Ahhh yes! It would be amazing.

And this is possible.

We can learn to be kind to ourselves.

We can learn to be on our own side. To believe in ourselves. To feel enough. To feel good in our skin. To feel proud of ourselves.

The same way we learned to be an enemy to ourselves through past experiences we can learn to be our own friend.

Practice today. Practice loving kindness to yourself. Practice saying:

“I forgive you. I embrace you. I accept you. You’re not stupid. You’re valuable. You’re so worthy in every way.  There is nothing bad, ugly, or wrong with you. You’re so lovely. You’re so supported. I am here to cheer you. I am here to walk with you and be kind to you.”

Say good things to yourself.

Uninstal the old program that is clouded with bullshit from the past. Install the new version of you. The version that is kind, loving and accepting.

You’re worth it.

 

 

Ramblings…

Ooh, a text message.
Oh. Never mind. It’s just the lyft ride receipt.

Another day in radio silence.

Oh well. I guess I’ll just keep swiping left and right until maybe someone new comes along. Someone who turns you into just another blurry face in the crowd.

Sometimes I become so detached from my body. Suddenly voices sound like the teacher in Charlie Brown — wah wah wah. Objects are just shapes. Colors penetrate my eyes but I make nothing of them. For a moment I just exist. It’s like I’m a rag doll being tossed around but it doesn’t hurt because I’m disconnected to my body – I’m just watching myself being thrown around – being unraveled by time.

Sometimes I don’t care. About anything. Or anyone.
I see no purpose in life or in anything – especially if it’s true that after all this is just death – the end. No more.

Speaking of death… there’s SO MUCH I have to say on this topic. And a lot of it is contrary to popular opinion. But I don’t care. At one point being gay was contrary to popular opinion – and so were women’s rights – but look at us now.
I’m going to dare to be bold enough to speak up for those of us who just don’t care much for being here. But not right now. Right now I’m tired.
And I just want to write whatever comes to my mind without much effort or thought.
But I think this is where I’ll end it.
Because I’m super exhausted.

And I’ll tell you more about why in the moments to come.

Peace.
Love.

Gnight.

 

Re-route

Nothing is written in stone. And if it is, jackhammer the shit out of it, turn it into pixie dust and blow it into the wind.

Exploration. Do it. Lots of it. 

You don’t always know exactly what you want or exactly what you like until you explore, experiment, and test things out. 

You may start out super excited about a project, hopeful that it’s going to be a certain way but shortly come to realize “Oh, just kidding. This is totally not for me. This is not even close to what I thought it was going to be.” 

You might make a decision only to realize it wasn’t the best.

And that’s totally okay! Exploration is a huge part of our life experience.

And guess what? Discovering that something isn’t quite what you had hoped or imagined it to be doesn’t mean game over. It doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck. It doesn’t even have to be seen as a mistake, but rather an experience that allowed you to gather more information on what you want and don’t want – what you like and don’t like.

News: At any point in time you can always make a new, different choice.
It might involve going backwards.
Changing course completely.
Starting over.
Or rerouting.

Like a GPS that re-routes every time you take the wrong turn, you too, can recalculate your direction to find your way towards your destination.

Hate that job you said yes to? Fuck it, find a new one. 
Is that person you’ve been feening for showing no genuine interest? Adios mi amor. Moving on!
Is that environment not the best for you? Relocate.
Tired of that same old hair style? Change it up!

Looking to save 15% or more on car insurance? Switch to…. lol JK! Not promoting anything here – just being silly.

Anyway…

Point is, my amigos, that at any point in your life you can decide to re-route. You can say “This is no longer working for me and I am making a change.”

You don’t have to be stuck where you’re at -there is a way out.

Change is possible! Totally possible.
Don’t beat yourself up when you realize that the grass you went chasing after was not only not greener but it was actually that rough, fake, synthetic shit. Is that a double positive? fake, synthetic? (Whatever).

Just tell yourself that you’re an explorer. That you’re here to learn. That you can unsubscribe to what you’ve signed up for – and that’s totally okay!

You’re living and learning. You’re a beautiful exploring soul and at any point in time you have every right to just take a different turn, recalculate what’s no longer working, and move in a new direction.

You’re the driver of your life. It’s okay to make the wrong turn and it’s also okay to re-direct your path.

You are not stuck.

  

Release Control

There are things you can control and there are things you can’t.

You can do your part – whatever that is and then you can fold your arms, sit back and wait for the universe to respond. After you do your part, you gotta release control. It’s crazy making to do anything other than simply relax because there is literally nothing else you can do but wait for the response.

The response may not always be what you like it to be. Because in your small mind you think things need to work out a certain way, in a certain time frame.

The wild fact is we forget that we live in a massive reality with so many moving parts it’s actually mind blowing.

THINK ABOUT IT DUDE, we are in a huge planet spinning in a galaxy surrounded by other huge planets. But forget those other planets for now and let’s just zoom into our own. 

Think about everything that is happening right now simultaneously as you unfold. Think about the people in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, North America, Australia – and okay, I guess Antarctica. 

Think about all the animals, all the insects, all the plants, all the mystery underneath the ocean.

WHOA.

There is a massive amount of movement going on around us ALL THE TIME.

Within all this commotion we zoom to YOU. To your story. To your particular life within your particular family, friends, circumstances.

And then there is that thing you really want – the health, the relationships, the finances, the career, the house, the pumpkin spiced latte. 

And you want it now.

And guess what? Although there are no guarantees in life, because you can literally just die today and there goes everything — when you do your part, you will get yourself closer to everything you want.

It may not happen the way you want. It may not happen in your time frame. It may not look exactly as you pictured it – but it will happen if you keep doing your part and release control when your part is done.

And hey, sometimes things do happen exactly how you want them to. Sometimes you ask for a raise and you get it. Sometimes you apply for the job and you get it. Sometimes you ask out the cutie from the office on a date and she says “Yes.”

Hooray! Sometimes it works just as you want it, when you want it.

But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it takes time. Sometimes it’s 10x more challenging than you dared even imagined.

tenor

This is when you do what you gotta do and then you cross your arms and wait for the response. The more time unfolds before you, the more data you will receive to know how to proceed forward and adjust accordingly.

So release control.
Control what you can and what you can’t just breathe, chill, and enjoy the ride. 

Life doesn’t have to be some serious fucking project we have to make a huge deal out of. It can be easy. It can be fun. If you let it.

So let it and release control.

*image credit to tenor.com

Let Go of The Outcome

“The root of suffering is attachment.” – Buddha

I resonate with the above quote.
When I cling to people, places, material possessions, status, you name it, whenever the target of my clinging is threatened – I experience emotional pain – a.k.a “suffering.”

Sometimes that emotional pain is also linked to physical responses in my body. My heart beats fast, my stomach sinks, I feel nauseous, my temperature rises, I cry, I curl into a little ball in a stew of emotions.

I experience this roller coaster of symptoms when I lose.
When I lose that which I have become attached to.
Sometimes it even happens when I imagine loss. Or perceive loss.

The guy I have been dating is showing up online on a dating site.
So what does my heart do?
It tightens.
What does my mind do?
It races.

“Oh. I guess he’s still searching. I guess I haven’t made a big enough impression to get him to stop seeking. I guess he’s not that into me. I guess I’m not enough for him. Maybe he’ll meet someone else he’ll find more interesting and move on happily while I’ll be back to square one.”

Attachment. Fear based thoughts.

But what if I let go of the outcome? What if I pull back and re-frame my response?

Truth is – nothing belongs to me. Nothing is mine. I simply get to share temporary experiences in a fleeting, changing environment that I do not and cannot possess. Yet in an attempt to hold on, to keep for longer, to experience more of – I attach.

I say, “I want you.”
I say, “Be mine.”
I say, “Don’t leave.”
I say, “I don’t want to let go.”
I say “I don’t want to say good bye.”

And when I do this, I hurt. Because I am trying to hold onto what time is literally ripping out of my tiny little hands.

see-them-floundering

So then what is the way to relieve this?

Non-attachment. Letting go. Release the hold.

No attachment to the outcome.
No fear of letting go.
Pure surrender.

Does that mean that I don’t love? That I don’t care? That I don’t experience fully? No. Quite the opposite.

Every moment becomes extremely meaningful, because every moment is unique, special, fleeting, and forever elusive.

Through non-attachment every moment becomes lighter because it can pass through you without getting stuck. It can just come and go and there is no fighting to keep it, no fighting to get more of it, no fighting for its return. Everything can just be.

It can come and it can go.

And when it comes – what a joy to have it.
When it goes [breathes out]  what a joy to see it go.

This is true freedom.

*image credit to realbuddhaquotes.com

More Adjustment Logs

I thought it would be easy.
I’d get to California and I’d quickly find a good job. Thought I’d be done paying my debt.  That I would have my coaching business running successfully. Thought I’d be feeling in flow, connected, like everything was falling into place. 

RUDE AWAKENING. 

Finding a job here in Cali has been ridiculously difficult. I’m talking even finding a basic job as a waitress to get me some kind of income has been an ordeal. 

People have been giving me the run-around. I interview once, they say come back a second time. I interview a second time, they say come back a third time to meet some other manager who was on vacation and then wait for a call back to do a working interview for an hour so they can see if you’re a right fit. WHAT!?

I’ve interviewed for a position in social work. I’ve also got the run around here. 
“Oh we’ll send you your official offer via email.”
One week later. NOTHING.
Follow up. 3 days later finally get the paperwork.

Complete the paperwork. Go get finger prints. Go get drug tested. Go get TB test. 
One week later: “Have you received all the necessary information for a start date?”
– “Oh, I’m sorry for the delay. I’ll go check on that for you.”

Still waiting.
This has been almost a month long process with this company! 
ORDEAL, I tell ya.

So as I wait my bank account sits and stares at me like “Bitch, we’re getting slim here.”

Debt is increasing not decreasing as I impatiently wait for the universe’s moving parts to just MOVE so I can get a handle on my situation. 

Times like these, when life takes a total turn that is so different from what you had originally imagined, is when I begin to question faith.

“I thought I was called here. I truly felt that. But right now I just want to throw in the towel and give up. Should I go back to the east coast? I don’t want to. I don’t want to go back to the bitter cold. But I also don’t want to live here stressed begging for employment and accepting crumbs from jobs I don’t even want but am forced into because the doors I keep knocking on don’t open. How am I supposed to move forward and feel happy when I keep getting silence, rejections, closed doors? It’s like fighting a losing battle here.”

I keep telling myself this is only temporary. This is only a chapter and not the whole story. 

I keep telling myself to calm the fuck down. It’s only been a month and 2 weeks. 

What is the lesson here…

Not everything goes as planned. DEAL WITH IT. ADAPT.
Not every success happens over night. IT’S A PROCESS.

Is it annoying? YES.
Is it frustrating? YES.
Build frustration tolerance. Build patience.

Sometimes, like a slingshot, you gotta go backwards before moving forwards.

Maybe I was naive in my thinking when I thought everything would be as smooth as silk. 

I am constructing a new life, in a new city, in a new state. 
It’s a major project.
And projects take time.

I must direct my focus on what I do have. 
Support from my family. Support from my friends.
My health. A roof over my head. Food to eat. Clothes to wear. An internet connection to complain on. To process on. To create and share my story on.

I’m blessed when I really look at it. 

I have to let go of the stress and stop trying to rush my life. 
I am going to get over this hump, and I will find myself in better ground.
I just need to accept that the only way through is through this particular dark tunnel right now. Once I’m past it, the light will be waiting for me on the other side along with all the things I’ve journeyed so far to reach. 

Such is life.

*image credit to doghousediarias, found on pinterest

 

Just Venting… Out Loud

You ever just play old songs you’d listen to back in your teenage years and get bombarded by memories of your upbringing?

I’m reliving the past in the present through music.

My heart grows heavy. 

I remember being little always wanting to get away. Grow up. Be on my own.

Well, here I am…

I do love my freedom.

But what have I done with it?

I am building more clarity as each day unfolds. 
My biggest issue is around my angst to already be where I want to be.
Things are not happening fast enough. Not happening in my timing. 

It feels like I am sitting in dead stop traffic, occasionally being able to move forward at about 5 miles per hour. 

*Breathes*

I know I just have to be patient. 

It’s a time of learning to wait.

[crosses arms and throws tantrum]

Yes. I’m going to complain about it.
But only for a little bit. 

To get it out. 
Because I need to acknowledge my feelings.
I need to say “I feel FRUSTRATED…. and it’s okay.”
 

I also know that my feelings aren’t necessarily accurate. I just sometimes grow extreme and get in my head becoming blinded by emotions that block my better reason.  It FEELS like I am getting nowhere, but in reality I’ve accomplished so much. I’ve come so far. This is what I need to acknowledge so that I don’t dig myself into a hole that FEELS otherwise. Just because something feels a certain way doesn’t mean it’s true.  Feelings come and go. 

Right now I need more: Patience. Trust. Faith.

Trust is another big lesson for me. 

*Breathes*

Letting go of control.

*Breathes*

Doing what I can do. Letting go of the rest.

I know it’ll get better. 
I just wish better was today.

*BREATHES*
*SIGHS*

Okay. I’ve complained. I’ve pouted. I threw my little tantrum.

Now I’m gonna roll up my sleeves and get back to it.

[turns old sappy music off] 

*image credit to me.me

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