Monday, November 24, 2014

Give Those Thanks

One thing I have come to love and appreciate about life is how beautifully unexpected it can be.

I've been looking at my life and myself a lot differently lately.  There are a lot of big changes happening for me right now.  I've been desperately wanting to talk about it but I had no idea where to start.  I saw this article and it definitely pointed me in the right direction.  I instantly realized that the anxiety I was feeling and pressure I was putting on myself wasn't about the big events happening to me, it was about my attitude towards them.




Some people love change, they thrive on it.  Others hate it and avoid it at all cost.  I have always loved change and mixing things up just for the sake of it.  Any kind of change in my life used to fill me with this excitement and joy for the future.  It was my way to really dig into what makes me happy and know deep down I was getting closer and closer to it.  However, lately it is completely throwing me off my game.  I have been in the same place geographically, professionally and personally for longer than usual and I didn't realize how much I had settled into that rut in my life.  It was scary how comfortable I had gotten with just coasting along.  I have been ecstatic about the awesome things that have happened in my life the past couple months, but even though I am happy I still find myself being fearful  and restless about the future.  This is new for me because I used to face life challenges fearlessly; I guess the younger you are the more invincible you feel.  The truth is I think we view the world as younger people the way we are always meant to view the world - with confidence and an almost childlike innocence and optimism.  Over time negative life experiences start to tear away at our superhero capes and we find ourselves feeling the way I have felt these past couple months.

Until recently I thought my learned "realism" and cautiousness about the future was good because it was protecting me.  Now I realize how oppressive, hindering and negative it is.  From what did I think I was protecting myself ? New experiences, fun, awesome feelings, new opportunities and learning more about myself? Yea, that sounds pretty terrible! 

Thanksgiving is my absolute most favorite holiday.  With it almost here....change is what I am most thankful for.

Oh - and one last little nugget of advice and challenge for the holidays.  Every day until Christmas, get creative with what you are thankful for.  There are so many things beyond the obvious we forget.  Today I am thankful for stolen moments caused by my incredibly slow phone and computer--at least I have them.  In that time they are slow, it gives me a couple more minutes to be calm and reflect on the day.

I have one last thought that poked my heart today.  The lady who makes my sandwiches at the hospital I work for asked if I was ready for Thanksgiving.  I said, "Yes, as much as I will be."  I asked her if she was also and she said, "Yes, well my husband passed away 4 months ago so it will be the first holiday without him." Luckily she will be spending it with a close friend with whom she is now living.  It was unexpected for me to hear that and it quickly reminded me of all I really have and how none of it is guaranteed forever.  Please keep this quote close to you this holiday season:

                                                   

Give a stranger a smile, it might be the only sunshine he sees all day.

                                           

Friday, October 17, 2014

Elegance in Simplicity

Happy Friday! I have been on writing overload since I started school again.  Between mass emailing at work and writing 15 page papers my fingers sometimes do not want to type one more word.

However, we always seem to find room for the things we love.

                               

I had a conversation last night that really opened my eyes to something.  We were up late discussing work and I made the point that it seemed like the more money you made the easier your job was (most of the time, of course there are exceptions--doctors, attorney's and CEO's come to mind).  I was referring to the fact that as I move further along in my nursing education I will get to move to the more "cushy" side of the nursing world.  Yes, more responsibility can be stressful but you don't have to do all the grunt work.  I won't be physically running my butt off every day and having to deal with unpleasant smells, sites and situations.

I then began to reminisce about the days I waited tables, how I actually did enjoy it but felt a little sorry for the people I worked with who did that full time.  I guess I have a limited perspective.  It was quickly pointed out to me that a lot of the time those people are the best at what they do and actually love it.  In a second I realized how true that was, I have always said people should choose do what they love no matter the money they will make.  Half our lives are taken up by our jobs, life is to short to spend that time hating what you do.  It kills your soul a little.

I then began thinking about people in my family and how circumstances have happened to cause them to end up in a career they despise.  I think back on how much differently their life, mine and everyone around them would have been had they chosen a career that brought them happiness and meaning.  Happiness or negativity have such a profound effect on our health and emotional state, and in addition the health and emotional state of those around us.

                                                   


To me the idea of simplifying your life has such a broader context beyond career choice.  It applies to everything in our lives: our diets, our exercise routines, our relationships, and our lifestyles.  It was interesting to me too because just before I had this conversation I was thinking how complicated I had allowed my life to become by allowing certain people into it.  When I moved to Houston from Austin over three years ago I had to start over.  I am very accepting of people and did not discriminate at all with new friends.  It was okay for awhile but the end result was a lot of needless stress and drama that I could have avoided completely.  You know what they say about hindsight.  I am going to see how far I can take this simplicity thing, and what kind of effect it does have on my life.

So, I am taking an inventory now and am becoming more aware of the areas in my life that could use a simplicity overhaul.  I know for sure the steps I have made to this point have already made me feel significantly more clear and purposeful.  It's a nice feeling.

As my favorite author and poet once stated, "Our life is frittered away by detail.  Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!" -Henry David Thoreau

Healthy weekly recipe:

6 Decadent (But Healthy!) Chia Seed Dessert Recipes

Chia Pudding with Kiwi and Pomegranate Seeds
Place 3 tbsp of chia seeds in a mason jar and pour 12 oz of almond milk over them. Shake the jar until the chia seeds are fully immersed in the liquid. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Once seeds have swelled to a tapioca consistency, stir in 1 tsp of coconut sugar. Pour into a serving bowl and top with chopped kiwi fruit and pomegranate seeds.

Have a simply beautiful weekend!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Authenticity is Sexy

                                                          me makeover / sfgirlbybay


The definition of being authentic is synonymous with genuineness.  My question today is that in our society of social etiquette and political correctness do people even know how to be genuine anymore?

When I say being authentic I mean being true to yourself regardless of how others will perceive you.  I recently, by some fun luck, met someone who reminded me how great it is to just be who you are.  It reminded me of my younger and less jaded self when I didn't care how I was perceived.  I found out then that either people loved me or they didn't.  The people that did stuck around and are still in my life.  The people that didn't I was better off without.  The best thing about the old me is that is when I was the happiest.  I was being naively true to myself no matter what, and it was awesome.  That girl used to be a tomboy who wore shirts two sizes two small from Goodwill, torn jeans and converse.  I was quirky and happy and I didn't care who it annoyed.  I was eclectic and I loved living in a dumpie apartment and doing what I loved..waiting tables and nursing.  I loved dying my hair and getting my ears pierced and learning guitar.  That was me.  The truth is, it's not easy.  It's easy as a younger person when we are carefree.  It get's more difficult and vulnerable as we get older.  Experience is a double edged sword that way.  We have to keep trying though, we have to fight against the urge to conform to something or someone we aren't.  Settling for anything.  NEVER settle.  I became way too preoccupied with society and what society wanted from me.  That's when I lost myself.  Today I say screw it.  I miss that carefree happy girl.  Every challenge I have been through has taught me a lot.  Most of all it showed me I want to be that girl again.  I know that will never happen, when things happen in life it does change you.  You can never go back.  BUT you can a better, smarter and improved version of that person you remember.  That is your essence, it's there.  It was meant to be expanded upon.

I couldn't even be saying this if it wasn't for the amazing close people that haven't been afraid to be mirrors to me.  They were not afraid to be real with me.  It's rare to find people that call your stuff out.  So when you find them, keep them around.  They are priceless.  BE one of those people too.  The truth is love, love is God and God is truth.  Other real people will listen and respect it.  That is awesome.  I have less than a handful of them but thankful for each and every one.  You know who you are!

We are our most sexy, awesome and desirable selves when we are true to ourselves.  People dig that s***.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Love Notes




Looooove:
We all want it.  Few of us find it.  Even fewer hang onto it.

I want to talk about something interesting.  I didn't know what but once I started writing I knew my inspired fingers would crank something out.  Right now they just want to ask a lot of questions.

You have to ask the questions, then live the questions and sometimes the answers still don't come.  That's what life is about: questioning, experimenting, and learning.  Ultimately that leads to growth, at least I think that's the way it works.  Let's do this.

How do you know when you are in love? How do you know that person loves you? How do you know they are the person meant for you? Is there more than one person that can be meant for you?

Some people never find true romantic love but they find love in other places.  Or they do find it but lose it and hold that memory for the rest of their lives.  Maybe it was unrequited love (boy do I hate that term!).  People are so complicated and the feeling and expression of love is even more complicated if possible.  It's a human emotion but there is something somewhat mystical or spiritual about it too.  It's like humans want to feel in control when they feel it, even though it is something evasive that we feel has been granted to us.  From my experience feeling in love is when I feel the least in control.  I feel like it is happening to me and I am along for the ride.

I don't have the answers to my questions, I know what I know up to this point.  I know each time I have fallen in love it has been a uniquely different experience and I have learned a lot about myself.  I have my definite favorite memory of love, or maybe a favorite person that I shared it with (more accurate).  Do we ever really know how someone feels about us? I think we do.  But I think that is the true gift of hindsight.  I think in the moment it's harder to know.  I think there is more than one person we can be happy with.  But I do feel everyone has a "favorite," I like that word for love.  Favorite.

My last thought is if two people are lucky enough to find love, they should do everything they can to not fail it.  We all have faults and flaws and no one is perfect together all the time.  It's easy to walk away if love is not there.  If it you are lucky enough to share it with someone, make it work.  Don't fail love if it blesses you with it's presence.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Am I Jealous? No Dah-ling Just Territorial....

I happened across the following quote recently and it really got me thinking.

                                          

Beware of the gratuitous quotes in this entry.  I liked the color and they are just so well said, I couldn't help it!
                                   
This quote caused a lot of feelings for me.  I've had some recent relationships where if I were to ask a question about a female friend of my significant other or express a concern about certain boundaries being crossed, it is usually met with the accusation that I am overreacting and being jealous.  For the most part I have a good perspective and am emotionally stable, so I felt like this was unfair and inaccurate for my boyfriends to make me feel this way.  When I read this quote a wave of relief washed over me because it exactly put into words how I had been feeling for so long.  What is so wrong with protecting whats yours anyway? There are definitely women out there who get satisfaction and enjoyment from stealing other women's men.  They don't abide by girl code.  I have experienced it multiple times as I'm sure most women have.  We do have to stand up for ourselves and our relationships sometimes and protect them from people who want to interfere and break them up.  For one I always make a conscious effort to respect those relationships and boundaries.  This is probably why I have never had many male friends that were strictly just friends.  Can men and women ever just be friends? I will write more on that topic later.  Back to my point, it always flatters me when my boyfriends express slight jealousy for me.  This is why:

                                       

On that same note a little jealousy is healthy if the relationship is strong.  It is born from love and is a basic human emotion.  The problem arises and it gets out of control when the other person or your own irrational fear makes you feel like that person would be more fulfilled by someone else instead of you.  When the jealousy starts becoming unhealthy and causing damage to the relationship, then it's time to take another look at what's really going on and where the real problem lies.  Something is definitely broken at that point.  If you find it early it can still be fixed.  Just like intimacy I feel like the amount of jealousy happening in a relationship is a huge indicator for the relationship status.  I do feel it is a late sign though, once it gets out of control things can unravel quickly, very quickly.

Let me leave you with one last quote that pretty perfectly sums it all up for me:

                                                    

So don't be afraid of some salt in moderation.  Cheers my dears it's Friday!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Make Deep Roots

"When the root is deep there is no reason to fear the wind."



My yoga studio is so awesome.  Every day they post a quote with the schedule on Facebook, and every time it reminds me there are no excuses for not going to class as often as I want to.  I call it passive-aggressive guilt, very effective.  This is the quote for today, "when the root is deep there is no reason to fear the wind."  Deep I know, it sounds like something Yoda would say.  It spoke to me and I wanted to engage in a little one-sided conversation about it. 

This past year has been interesting to say the least.  Let's just say a lot of life has been happening. Since this time last year I have been through a second heartbreak, depression, applying to grad school, struggling with addictions (don't get all judgie-- we all have them.  It can be alcohol, food, exercise, tv, smoking.  Whatever it is you use as a crutch or safety net), losing friends, making new friends, discovering yoga, going back to church, becoming closer to my family and starting a new relationship.  Life is happening all the time to all of us.  When life swirls around you it is so easy to get caught up in the chaos of it all, become confused and lose focus.  If we are not deeply and strongly "rooted", then it is so easy to bend from outside forces and possibly break.

I have noticed recently that staying close to and in touch with those parts of my life and people that keep me grounded is the only way to deeply root myself into the life I want and the person I want to be.  I still find myself bending occasionally by losing focus or making mistakes, but because I am still grounded I bounce right back to where I need to be and more quickly.  I think you have to bend and lose your balance sometimes to grow stronger and grow deeper roots.  Not too long ago I was not rooted down at all.  I had no idea what direction I wanted to grow in, what kind of tree I was and my roots had absolutely nothing to hold onto. I felt like I was hanging on like a palm tree in a hurricane.  It was not a good feeling.  

Since then I have started to shift my focus from empty meaningless things to things with value, that my "roots" can grow into.  I am not quite to the point of growing new branches yet but I am well on the way.  

I particularly like this analogy because it doesn't come naturally for me to think of a root system when I think of strength.  Now that I look more closely I realize it makes the most sense.  

Root down to rise up! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Loyalty is Royalty

Happy Wednesday!



"Loyalty IS Royalty"

I came across this quote this morning.  At first I laughed, but then I thought about it for a second.  There is a lot of truth to this and not just for relationships but for every part of our lives.

We have all had issues with loyalty, or really the lack of loyalty.  I have definitely been guilty myself of cheating or betraying someone.  Usually it was not intentional, it came from my lack of sensitivity and selfishness.  It has a profound effect on the people we hurt.  It causes us to have trust issues from that point on. It becomes hard to believe that it won't keep happening over and over again.  Then we end up jaded with our walls up to prevent the disappointment of being let down again.  Being defensive or overly self-protective is the biggest hurdle to intimacy.  So, it's really a big snowball effect.  Ew.

If you think about it, royalty is the perfect way to describe someone who is loyal; at work, in their relationship, at home or with a friend.  It requires sensitivity and paying attention.  Sometimes sacrifice on our part.  It is priceless and these days very rare.  It's amazing how showing your loyalty to someone strengthens the relationship and builds trust.  There is one romantic relationship where I felt true loyalty from that person.  I never questioned him, never not trusted or even worried about anything really.  I felt so safe, comfortable and secure.  I knew nothing could come between us.  I have been on the other end also where I felt like the other person's loyalty was wavering and it filled me with fear, doubt and mistrust.  It ultimately caused me to distance myself, protect myself and was a big reason I ended up cheating on this person.  I guess  I felt like it was going to happen to me eventually, so why not be the first?

That being said, of course communication or leaving the relationship would have been the correct action.  I was confused and loved this person.  Looking back I learned a lot and hope to never make that same mistake again.  Ultimately it wasn't worth hurting the other person the way I did.  It is never worth losing someone completely when all that needs to happen is a conversation.

So I say let's try it! For real, commit to loyalty.  Think of three people in your life you can be more loyal too and make an effort to be the most loyal you can.  I am sure it will drastically change the dynamic of the relationship.

I love this quote, it is my new life mantra.