Category Archives: Healthy habits

Present Over Perfect

So I’m reading this amazing book “Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist and it’s really got me thinking. I was drawn to it because lately I’ve been trying to practice and be in the present. It’s always been difficult for me to live in ‘the now’. I tend to live in the future because I’ve always operated from a get shit done mentality. However, when I’m sad or lonely I revert to nostalgia and my past. 

I’m only a quarter through this book and holy shit I feel like a lot of it was written through me. Ok, maybe not the parts when she references being a mother and her kids and husband but damn. 

Here’s the thing… there was some divine intervention that happened in February. I lost my job and was forced to slow down. Slowing down made  sure the ice that we’ll call numbness melted. The ice was the shield of anything that got in the way of me operating at a gazillion miles an hour. With it melting it made me look at what was left underneath the water of the melted thick block of ice. It truly made me take inventory of where I was currently at. So where was I? Let me remind you. I was lost, scared, confused, lonely, sad, grateful, relieved, stressed. I was all those things and then some. My world felt pretty bleak and so so gray.

It’s now about to be September. I’ve felt even more emotions since then if you can believe it. But where I am now.. presently I’m in a place that feels new and true and challenging and beautiful and bright and authentic and right. This is where I need to be. I’m in a place of acceptance and love and openness and growth and curiosity. I’m digging in deep of the crevices of past hurt that I stifled for so long. I’m grieving. And in doing so I’m cultivating new ways of being. What used to serve me no longer serves me. 

I liken it to the metaphor of a snake shedding its skin. I want to rid myself of all this old skin, these parasites (ideas, behaviors, habits) that don’t serve me. It’s a rebirth of sorts. 

I’m really excited to get back to who I really am and who I want to be. I’m finally ready to start loving myself in all my perfect imperfections and I’m so grateful to be able to remake my life from the inside out and unfold all the goodness along the way. 

Advertisements

TRUST

I’ve had a pretty emotionally charged year and there is no sign of it ending anytime soon. I keep being reminded by all the powers that be (ie my coach, my therapist, my friends, the universe…) that I am exactly where I need to be.

Only in the last few weeks have I really felt the comfort in being present. Mind you, I’m still not completely 100% comfortable with ambiguity and not being “there” yet, wherever “there” is. However, I do feel like I am where I need to be. There are things I’m now consciously working on to alter my mindset and the toxic stories I’ve told myself over my lifetime that no longer serve me.

I am now an emotionally equipped adult with the aptitude, the insight, and the wherewithal to make sound moral and healthy choices. I have to tell myself that. I’m not dependent on these stories and beliefs that I learned to survive as a child. I want to be free of these harmful beliefs because I want to be the best version of me. I want more for myself. I know I can be better.

Wow.

This is huge guys. I’m in a place where I am consciously aware and practicing daily how to negate bad thoughts and bring in positive ones. I’m learning how to trust myself, the process, and the universe.

When I started this year I decided my work was TRUST.

It’s so fitting. I’ve made peace with saying goodbye to friendships that no longer serve me. I had to trust in the fact that I lost my job (for political reasons) so that I could make space for something better. That space has allowed me to really look inside myself and start the real work. I’ve been ‘working’ for years on myself. But this shit I’m currently working on is deep. It’s digging through my soul’s crevices and dark corners to bring shit to light I’ve tried so hard to suppress and ignore.

Looks like you can’t really get over anything until you really get into it and fucking feel it. Huh. Imagine that.

When I become present I see the magnificence in it all and I feel more connected. Not just internally. When I say connected I mean connected to the world. To life. To everything that’s bigger than me and us.

I am exactly where I need to be.

With all that I am learning I’m also trying to prioritize myself. That means listening to what I really need. I’ve historically been the doer and the over-extender. The one that made other people feel special to show them the magnitude of how much i really love them. A part of me feels that in doing all these things I will get love in return.

The fact is. People will love me if they want to and it’s completely out of my control.

It’s been exhausting. I kept waiting for my turn while still over extending. It doesn’t usually come and that’s ok. Because frankly, this was my shit. People love me in the way they know how. And if I’m going to be honest I have a lot of love in my life. I choose to act in ways I thought I had to for love.

Looks like I have other choices.

I’m going to put my Self  first. I want to give myself all the love I give out. I know that this will be uncomfortable for a lot of people. For example: when one decides that a friendship doesn’t serve them anymore people will have thoughts and feelings behind it. That’s ok. If these people with these sentiments love you they will respect your decision even if it changes dynamics and status quo.  Ask me if you need more examples. I have them.

It’s tough to feel like I’ve disappointed others. I’m working through this whole ‘prioritizing myself’ thing and all the super charged feelings and reactions I have to things.

Just know that by being a better me I will be a better friend, better sister, better partner, better worker. Trust.

 

Passing through the funk

The last couple months, give or take, I’ve not been myself. Or rather I’ve not operated the way in which I’ve operated let’s say the last 8 ish or so years. I lost a job that I wasn’t happy at and although I’ve been sending out requests to the Universe to help me break away from the organization I didn’t expect it to happen at the time it did and the way in which it did.

Funny how that works.

You put out your desires and it always comes back. The Universe may not answer your requests in the way that you predicted but it certainly responds.

To be fair it’s not to say I wasn’t grateful it happened.  To paint a picture I’ve got a metaphor. Those are always good to help visualize the situation.

Let’s say I was a pinata hanging off a tree in a pretty park. Getting fired was the last crack of the bat swung by the Universe that hit the pinata and now there lay all my life’s contents on the floor along with my cracked and broken pinata shell. What do I see you ask? Right here’s a reminder that I have a credit card bill coming up. Oh look, there’s a ‘go-get-’em-tiger’ well wishes card the Universe left me. Oh what’s that sharp ugly thing? Oh that’s my pride. And there, there are the dreams I have for my future career. And look, right here, I see my savings. Aww, there’s a picture of all the people that love me. Oh, here’s the shit I didn’t want to deal with but now how to face; fear. Somewhere in there is opportunity but it seems to be hidden underneath all these fun sized rainbow colored emotions.

Sensory overload and I didn’t know which to pick up and open first.

To further play on the metaphor I was being greedy and tried to open them all at once. As if one could stomach all that at once right?

So not right.

In turn what ended up happening was a magnificent sense of feeling overwhelmed and lost and frankly, sad.

I was navigating through the shock of being fired. The relief I no longer had to work for a boss I couldn’t respect and an organization I was checked out of. The gratitude directed to the Universe that it heard my plea. The confusion of not knowing what I wanted to do next but knowing I wanted to do it (whatever it was). The anxiety of no longer having that “stability” (i.e. healthcare benefits, monthly metro card, bi-weekly paycheck, unlimited PTO etc) and having to figure out logistics of living. The loneliness of not having my core supporters enveloping me in a big empathetic hug.

It’s been a tough couple of months. I spiraled. To be fair I also had bouts of good and motivation but it was really more of the I don’t need to shower it’s not like I have fun plans I am going to lay in bed and binge watch whatever I want while eating mass amount of Trader Joe’s chicken tacos with melted cheese on top and not think about how I have to let Huxley out to do his business at the minimum of 3x a day and run the risk of seeing my neighbors variety.

I tried to come out on top numerous times and to be honest I was getting pretty angry at myself. I was mad I felt some of these things when this was my clean break. Feeling lost and overwhelmed felt like I was lacking control. And that’s always been hard for me. The not having to control since most of my upbringing I was controled.

But I realize sometimes that simply a funk is a funk and a person may need to be funky.

It’s important to grieve. In this case I was grieving a job I took pride in and worked my ass off at. I was also grieving this career I made for myself over the course of 10 years. I was grieving a dream I envisioned and fulfilled in moving and living in New York. I was grieving for a part of me I was struggling to let go.

All the while procrastinating..

Procrastination is such a bitch. Seriously, it’s the worst.

Tell me why it’s so easy to procrastinate a dream, a goal, a desire? It shouldn’t be but alas here it was. Procrastination staring at me in the face and it was ugly and whispered very sinister things at me.

I had all these ideals that I couldn’t move forward unless I knew exactly what I was going to do career wise. I wanted to go from 0 to 60. It was just like me to turn my head to all the gray area.

I was feeling that if I wasn’t there (there being a insert job title here in this awesome new career at a fantastic non profit living a fulfilling meaningful life) immediately then I would be a failure.

Ok, unrealistic expectations much?

It’s a lot right? Yeah I put a lot of pressure on myself. And when I didn’t meet the pressures I was even harder on myself.

Cue back to I don’t need to shower it’s not like I have fun plans I am going to lay in bed and binge watch whatever I want while eating mass amount of Trader Joe’s chicken tacos with melted cheese on top and not think about how I have to let Huxley out to do his business at the minimum of 3x a day and run the risk of seeing my neighbors.

So.not.fair.

I feel like I’m at a turning point. Yay. I’m starting to feel more like myself. It’s a very welcomed feeling.

Here’s to uncovering the clues for beautiful opportunities!

 

 

 

Vulnerability

Think of this word for a minute.

Vulnerability…

This is a scary word for most people. For me, it’s quickly become a value I’ve learned to hold very dear to my being.

I used to live my life in false bravado. Meaning, I thought I had it. I had moments of vulnerability, moments of joy, of silliness, of contentment, of longing, of reflection, of love, of pure survival. I thought that was it.

This was my life. These moments. These feelings. They are familiar. They are consistent.

Then there was a shift that I experienced. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened. It was around 4 years ago. I decided what I had wasn’t enough. What I felt wasn’t all I could feel. Who I was wasn’t all I could be. I wanted to explore how I got to where I was; and really just more of who I was because of situation and circumstance that was beyond my control. I also wanted to open a door to who I had the potential of being.

I consciously took action and sought out therapy. I’ve always been interested in the psychology of the mind and how that plays out in behaviors. I’m a big believer in therapy and what that world can provide to people if they only opened themselves up to it.

I can’t say that I realized at the time what was happening to me. I can’t say there was a defining moment that was the catalyst of change either. I think honestly what happened was that I became bored of all I knew and I was cognizant that there was more to me. That how I showed up every day to the world wasn’t necessarily how I wanted to present myself. But to change how I presented myself I needed to understand myself. To do that is to be vulnerable and compassionate with yourself.

The shift happened subtly although the work and reflection was tough and is still an ongoing process. Trying to understand things that came about in my life while living in the bias that is myself and my life is really strange and so existential I kind of had to look at it from a new mindset. Like holy fuck, heavy stuff. What I’m grateful for is the ability to do so. All of a sudden things weren’t enough. All of a sudden my passions started to present themselves to me. All of a sudden I had a fire in me that burned through me waiting to erupt like a volcano and I wanted everyone to be on my level.

It had me vexed.

What happened next was enlightening; my ideas and my perceptions of myself expanded. I was trying to process so much of what I was learning from my past and what got my to where I was. Throughout that time of self awareness the relationship I was in no longer became the relationship that fulfilled me. I was made to be aware of things I wanted that my man was incapable of giving me; to no fault of his own. He saw that before I did. I saw potential. He saw truth. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and with that I felt my heart break in ways I never thought possible. I thought that because of the place I was in, my expectation was that everything would ‘work out’ because of timing or that I made myself vulnerable to him or whatever the fuck have you.  I had never been in love like that before. Shit, I had never truly been IN love before. He taught me that. My relationship with him taught me that. I think that because I was in such a place of transformation and self reflection already and I fell in love during that time everything was magnified with such propensity.

Through the time of feeling completely gutted, broken heart in a million bloody pieces laid out on the table in front of me; I shed my soul. Literally and figuratively. I reacted in ways I never would have been able to before. I shared with whoever would listen about my heartbreak. I talked and cried and wrote through it. I had to look at myself, really look at myself and what I had become. I continued to go to thearpy. I asked my friends and family for help. That one was tough for me. I could never ask for help before but I did it in all my broken glory. For the most part my request was received and people supported me and held me in such a loving supportive safe space. In a couple instances it wasn’t but there were lessons there that I also value and learned from.

Through my heart break I was still learning of who I was and who I wanted to be. I decided then to be vulnerable. Vulnerable in my pain and my heartache. The people that showed me love and time helped me understand what it meant to have a tribe. There were a few other times in my life I was tested. When that happens people step the fuck up and show you who they are and what you mean to them. It’s a beautiful thing. Through my brokenness I was able to recognize that. It helped me get through the pain. I will forever be grateful for those that showed me kindness, empathy and love. Compassion is huge. It comes from vulnerability. It should never be underestimated. That shit moves mountains.

I have such a hard on for learning and I am addicted to TED Talks. Do yourself a favor and watch the Ted Talk Brene Brown gave on vulnerability below. She is amazing. Then spend your day listening/watching other talks. Expand your mind and learn something. It’ll make you feel good. I promise

 

 

Absorption

I just struggled for a few minutes to come up with a word to define what the current stage is that I’m experiencing in my life.

I’m well into Phase 3 of my New York move. There’s a rhythm and a pace that I’ve fallen into. I’ve been at my job for a few months now. I’m deepening and building relationships with those I’m choosing are worthy of my love and energy. I’m dating (I’m defining ‘dating’ very loosely btw). I’ve decided my next career move happily and on my own and am taking steps to get to where I need to be. I’ve bought expensive clothes to help sustain me through the crazy impending winter and have already experience snow for the first time as a resident. I know how the subway system works and am no longer intimidated by it but now frustrated by certain aspects of it. I have opinions on where I want to get my bagel and how not all new york pizza is good pizza.

I have a life here.

Albeit, it’s a very different life from the one I had in the Bay. My days spent in the bay were one of complacency. I am realizing that now. I was living to live only because I was living. If that makes any sense to you. In my head it makes perfect sense. To help clarify, I mean that I was just living. I wasn’t living. I wasn’t challenging myself daily. I was yearning for something out there to help me feel more alive but I wasn’t going after it. The only times I felt alive was when I was planning for a trip or on a trip away from the Bay.

The last time I was in New York City as a visitor in May I decided that I was going to move here. In doing so, I 100% committed to a new life of discovery.

The meaning of Discovery: the act or process of sighting or learning the existence of something for the first time

Keep in mind that discovery is all encompassing. It entails analysis, changed perception, awareness, disclosure, creating, learning, sensing, revealing etc. There’s so much to ‘discovery’.

Yesterday it was my 5 monthversary (sidenote: Can people PLEASE stop saying anniversary when counting months?! Anni means year. It’s not an anniversary if it’s been a month. I’m sorry to be an asshole but I’m calling you out. Please stop or start calling it a monthversary. That is a more accurate term even though it’s a made up word. Feel free to use it. I like to share. I digress..) of me being a resident of this wonderful city. I have a life here that people back home can’t necessary relate to only because they have not seen me in it. Not that they don’t want to but that it’s far removed from their life and their every day.

The every day doesn’t just mean the happenings and the actions but I’m talking about also the observations. The thought process. My mentality has shifted here. I’m realizing now that it’s happening subtly.

Only now have I been pausing to absorb.

I am that person that gets completely thrown in a whirlwind of excitement and passion. I dive headfirst once I come to a decision. I don’t look back. Once I decided to move to New York I never once hesitated in doing so. I was completely over taken by the whole idea of it. I started to strategize on how I would do it. I talked to people. I set the tone. I sold all my shit. I bought a one way ticket for me and Huxley. I celebrated with friends. I never doubted my decision. It wasn’t hard for me. It truly wasn’t.

Sometimes I think that people have this unnecessary inner dialogue with themselves and it’s all fueled by fear. People told me later they didn’t believe I would do it. I don’t understand that. I told people my plan and they didn’t believe me. Again, that goes back to me feeling like I’m not heard and don’t have a voice. But I ignored those comments. That doubt had nothing to do with my own ability. I trust myself enough to make a decision and stick to it because only I know what I need.

I decided within the last couple of years I wasn’t going to have those conversations anymore and let this voice of fear run my life. So when I jump I jump in head and heart and with all of me. (You can use that literally and figuratively as I’ve jumped out of a plane, and off a cliff as well as into my new New York life).

This brings me back to my current state of mind. I’m now slowing down into my life. Not IN my life am I slowing down but INTO. I’m not racing to establish a home. I have an apt with a roommate I love. I’m not racing to find a job to pay my bills and afford me a fun lifestyle. I get a regular paycheck and have a job that is providing a means to a new end that’s in the works. I’m not trying to figure things out anymore. I’ve made choices and have plans and am talking all the right steps to a future I envision for myself.

I am on pause. I’m reflecting and absorbing all that I’ve done in such a short amount of time physically and emotionally. I honestly don’t know how just now I’m thinking that wow, I fucking live here in NYC. I have a life here. A legit life. I’ve been homesick only twice since I’ve moved. And I attribute that to lack of space in the city and pms. How is it that it’s been so easy for me to dive in and not look back? How is it that I don’t miss my old life like I feel I should? How is it that the only thing I am concerned about is how Huxley is going to do when the winter really hits???

All these questions I’m asking myself so that I can fully absorb all the wonderful things that have happened to me the last 5 months. I’m so grateful for my life and even more so grateful it’s a life I’ve chose for myself.

IMG_9159

Runners Club

I am not a runner. I never have been. I remember there was a period when I was able to run without stopping on the treadmill for 25 mins then after that show’s over. And that period didn’t last that long.  In high school I always walked the mile they make you do. I wasn’t about that life. I have always envied runners though. It seems so cathartic. They work shit out in their heads when they run. They get to catch up on their music or their radio talks. They can ensure they have pretty views depending where they choose to run. I always worked out my issues through drinking, I mean yoga. Caught up on my jams while stuck driving in traffic. And saw pretty views when I eventually got my lazy ass up to do so or had to take Hux on a walk. Running is the biz. At least, that’s what a lot of my friends seem to think. You know who you are. *cough cough* Jan-Mikey-Elizabeth *cough cough* Plus when the zombie apocalypse really happens then they have more of a chance of survival. Us walkers don’t stand a chance. Well, maybe be I do since I walk fast and have become an expert walker living in New York. But good luck to the rest of you.

Given the recent issue I had with the H&M’s jeans. And my need to make a lifestyle change. (Clearly, leaving my life behind and moving across country wasn’t enough) I decided that I needed to become a runner. Mind you, it will take a while for me to get there as I start off as more a  brisk jogger (read:fast walker) than runner but I’m hoping to eventually get there. Since I’ve moved to NYC I’ve walked through Central Park almost every day. I am constantly surrounded by runners taunting me with their running skills and catharsis of the mind. Yes, I see you with your lack of body fat in tight sythentic able to talk, breathe and run at the same time. I get it. I can’t handle that kind of multi-tasking. But just you wait. I will. 

I went to Jack Rabbit, a running store, off 72nd and Amsterdam to get fitted for shoes a couple days ago. They monitored how I run so that they could provide the shoes best fit for my running style. I assumed I ran like Phoebe in Friends from that one episode where she ran through Central Park all spastic and “free”. I happily found out I didn’t. I actually have a neutral gait. Booyakasha! I don’t know why that made me proud, since I have no control over that, but it did. Oh, little things.

I got a pair of sweet Saucony’s. Google that shit. Tell me if you were pronouncing it right this whole time. You were probably pronouncing it like I was. Straight up ignorance. I walked away spending $200. (Because I really needed another reason to spend money, especially when I’m lacking in funds. Cool). Had to feel fitted to get started. I mean, it’s not like Picasso dove into his masterpieces with no supplies and just his bare hands. 

IMG_6601

  IMG_6586

IMG_6585 

 IMG_6597 

Today has been day 2 of the run walks. I’m already feeling more accomplished and determined. I’m looking forward to the day when I feel I got mad endurance, or even just some endurance. Pretty soon I hope to be initiated into the runners club and when the zombies come to invade I can push you slow walking suckers away and run fast as fuck to freedom.