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Reflect Out Loud

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

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time

Moments

There are moments in life that are more favorable than others.

Moments where I slowly open my eyes and unravel to my own rhythm. No rush to be anywhere. Do anything in particular.

There are those moments where I’m laughing. I’m with you. Life feels expansive. Filled with possibilities. The sun hugs my skin. I’m warmed. I can stay here forever. Mesmerized by the wide spread view of the ocean. I stare at it; you stare at me.

There are those moments when I smell the bold morning coffee brewing from my tiny kitchen. My bed is perfectly made. Everything’s in order. The living room is pierced by natural day light casting shadows of the small plant that happily sits in the corner.

My breath is calm. My thoughts are clear. Gratitude pulsates through my body.

Time elapses.

I’m energized. I’m pumped. Dubstep is playing through my headphones. Feet are moving. Body sweating. I’m happy. Excited. Feeling unstoppable.

And then there are those moments.

Those fucking moments…

Waiting for ticket 876 at the DMV to be called when the last number was 531 while looking down at my phone anxiously longing for a text message that never appears.

Sigh.

And how lucky is it that this period of limbo also happens to coincide with forgetting my wallet in the lyft so when 837 is finally called I’m left scrambling through my purse for a phantom.

Heart sinks. Stomach churns. The room grows dim. Anger runs through my veins sending irrational signals to my body that it needs to destroy something.

My hippie, positive self-soothing talk chimes in reminding me to calm the fuck down and keep it together.

So I call the lyft driver for the damn wallet. “I’ll be there in 40 minutes.”
40 minutes turns into two hours and twenty three minutes.

I’m hungry. I’m pissed.

But I’ve got the wallet, the text, and number 1032.

 

 

 

 

 

*image credit to @Peaceful_barb as noted in image

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Be Present With Uneasiness

I notice how uneasy I feel.

How I’m trying to scramble for validation.

“Make me feel okay. Give me some sign that I am okay.”

I observe it.

I observe every time I’m scared. Every time I’m threatened. I observe the feelings of jealousy come up. I observe my insecurities flare up.

Then I want to zoom to the future. I want to rush to another moment where it feels okay.

So I actively breathe. I actively work to accept myself. Love myself. Honor myself.

I am present. I am sitting there with my anxiety. With my worry. With my fear. With my insecurity. With my awkwardness.

This is my experience.

A lot of my issues stem from attachment.

Where do I stand? For how long can I hold on?

Time is literally ripping everything from me. I am just passing by. And there are things, places, people, experiences, moments I would like to hold on to. I would like to keep. I would like to return to.

It’s a pity when you think you found something but it turns out it was a sham.

So you’re back to the drawing board.

I am breathing. I am accepting this moment. I am choosing to actively not resist. I am choosing to be okay with what is.

Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it storms.
Sometimes it shines. Sometimes it snows.
Sometimes it’s cloudy. Sometimes it’s blazing hot.

It comes and it goes.
It’s here and then it’s gone.

I’m breathing. I’m breathing.

I’m holding my heart.

I’m crying. I’m crying.

I’m holding my heart.

I’m scared. I’m scared.

I am holding my heart.

I’m breathing. And it’s okay.

Existential Crisis

So let me tell you about my existential crisis.

I’ve been tossing and turning the “Why am I here, what is the actual point of all this” question in my head for longer than I could remember. I’ve explored theories, entertained fantasies, looked to reason, theology, spiritual texts,  philosophy, science, but nothing really satisfied my query.

Existential bullshit aside, I’m also carrying around the weight of the reality I am currently in.

I am at a point where I am trying to figure out what truly matters to me.
Which is such an annoying task because I’m always changing! If I could only stick to one goddam idea and emotion, that’d be grand. But I’m constantly being pulled in different directions by my moods, desires, feelings, thoughts, and ideas.

One day I wake up feeling confident about a particular decision, set on doing particular things, while the next day I don’t want that same thing at all. My mood is completely different. My desires completely shift. 180.  Example: I am considering moving to Texas or Florida, even though I JUST moved to California (but more on that some other time).

I am currently giving myself a reality check.
Taking inventory.
Like: You’re 30 years old, you’re making this amount of money, you’re working this type of job, you’re waking up this time in the day, you’re eating these types of food, you’re talking to these types of people, you’re spending these many dollars, you’re doing x y z, a b c…. and if you keep going in this direction you’re likely going to be experiencing these particular results  in your future (whatever they may be).

I wish some genius could take stock of everything I’ve done and am doing, enter it into some kind of excel formula and come up with my future trajectory.

Which is what I’m trying to do now… with my average intelligence… and without an excel formula.

Other factors of reality that are hitting me in the face.
I’m aging.
It sucks.
My body isn’t as energized as it used to be.
I can tell my skin is different. My face is more mature. My hair texture is different.

I know on a fundamental level the best thing I can do is to accept myself as I age. The best thing I can do is be kind to myself. To be able to gracefully let go of what was and embrace what is. I know the best thing I can do is to make peace with the new identity I am growing into while having the maturity to release the attachment to the old image of me.

Yada. Yada. Yada.

I know. I get it. Anything outside of unconditional self-regard, self-love, self-acceptance is a recipe for suffering…

BUT – I’m still gonna complain about it. I’m still going to acknowledge how shitty it is. I’m still going to say I would rather not lose my health, beauty, strength, energy, memory, etc. A girl’s gotta vent, ya know?

Anyway…I don’t intend for this post to be about me complaining. You can hear me complain some other time…

My intention is more to share on my struggle towards understanding the real meaning and purpose of life. But given that I don’t have an actual answer yet, and maybe never will, I am trying to create purpose through living a life that feels meaningful to me. I’m trying to figure out right now, in this pivotal point in my life, what is actually going to fulfill me so that I wake up excited to be alive, rather than dreading what I do in the body that I do it in.

There are a lot of details that go into creating a meaningful, fulfilling life – and I am currently trying to figure out what those details exactly look like for me, while also accounting for the fact that I constantly change my mind/feelings/moods.

So in other words, how can I create a life that is fulfilling, meaningful and flexible.

Something like that….

Turns out I didn’t really talk too much about the existential crisis in itself… which often trumps all the day to day “What am I going to do with my life” type questions and goes deeper to ask “What even is life, and why was it given to me and what am I really supposed to be doing with it, if there is even such a thing as ‘supposed’ to, and if there’s not, how do I know that to be true — and who the hell am I anyway, and why does it matter or not matter?”

….

Sometimes I wish I could just be a normal person who didn’t even care or who didn’t even wonder.

 

 

Passenger

I am only a passenger in this ride called life.

I was sitting here thinking about where I see myself in 6 years.

I imagined the wear and tear of time painted across my face. The mature look in my eyes. The wrinkles on my forehead more pronounced.

As I conjured up an image of my future self in my mind’s eye I wondered — am I making a conscious effort to really enjoy my experience here in this life?

This means… not allowing stress to get the best of me. This means doing more of what truly makes me happy. Eating foods that I enjoy. Going on more walks. Engaging in local activities. Having intellectual conversations with people who “get” me. Traveling. Being truly myself without fear of rejection. Enjoying the feeling of being comfortable in my own skin.  Being comfortable with expressing my own opinions. Trusting my intuition. Telling more people I love them. Connecting with
positive people. Listening to more music. Going to more shows.  Taking care of my body.
Treating myself with kindness, love, and unconditional positive regard.

YAAAAS to all the above and more!

One of my biggest stressors right now is my job.  Boy does that place know how to run me thin. I can either change jobs or change how I approach my job (I’mma do both).

As I sit here thinking about it I realize that I can’t let myself get sucked into external pressure or self imposed pressure. This is my life. I have the power to dictate its flavor.

I no longer want to let small things bother me.
I no longer want to spend time judging myself negatively.

The decree is in… I’m fabulous. The end.

I want to take ownership of my experience.
Not let worry, fear, or stress consume me.

I want to trust that at every moment I’ll know exactly what to do.

Fuck the bullshit.

I want to enjoy the ride.

Because when the time comes when life flashes before my eyes I wanna see some awesome shit. I wanna see a film that is PACKED with laughter, fun, adventure, coffee, love, friendship, health, music, and all the great memories I’ve consciously created along this passage.

Ya with me?

Don’t Give Up

I wish you could see how strong you really are.
How capable.

How everything you’ve ever wanted is but a choice away.

That if you believed and saw the light within you’d be unstoppable.

I am learning that in order to make life happen you gotta really want it. You could have your dreams or you can have your excuses but you can’t have both.

It doesn’t even have to be difficult. There are ways to break down big goals into smaller bite size goals that can be easily accomplished. 

What do you want?
Really. 
What do you truly want?

Are you afraid to dream big?

Or are you able to dream but tell yourself it just isn’t possible?

Well. 
I’m here to tell you that you CAN dream big and you CAN make it happen.

The thing is, that BIG dreams require BIG action.

Are you up for the work?
Because nothing comes without energy. 
Energy will be needed to bring about that vision into reality.

It can be done in easy, small steps.

Are you willing to be patient?

Great accomplishments take time.

Are you willing to enjoy the process and be happy in the here and now as you move towards the climax of your life?

Are you willing to remain present? Remain joyful every step of the way?

Are you willing to stay committed? Encouraged even when there are unexpected setbacks?

Life is unpredictable. We gotta learn to adapt. Adjust. Be flexible.

Play. Dance. Move with the flow.

Know that you have everything it takes, keep at it, and don’t give up.

 

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

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

Patience

I keep getting pointed back to the same lesson: patience.

But when? When is it all going to come together?
It feels like I’ve been running but getting nowhere. On a treadmill.

This weekend I experienced a setback.
I also had a serious wake up call.

I’ve been in bed for the last two days. Letting my body recover.
It is frustrating when you want to be at step 6 or 7 but you’re at step 2.

I just gotta be patient. I just have to let things happen in its own timing.
I haven’t been crossing my arms though. I’ve been doing what I can to move myself forward.

Then I wonder, should I be doing more? Is what I’m doing not enough? Should I be hustling more? Striving more? Or is doing more not the answer?

The last two days I’ve taken a serious pause. Not so much because I wanted to, but because I had to. I’ll share the story in more detail when I’m ready.

Tomorrow I’m springing back into action.

There are currently so many unknowns.

All I can do is do what I can, and wait for what I cannot do to fall into place in its own timing.

Until then, I’m building some frustration tolerance while exercising my faith muscles.

::Breathes::

Patience.
Learning to wait.
Learning to accept that some things are beyond my control.
Learning to accept life’s timing.

It ain’t easy, folks.
But possible. Totally possible.

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