Trash TV

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Just a quick reminder on connection. So I have a confession: I watch some trash reality TV.  Not often, but I do watch it, especially when I’m sick.  It’s something to keep in the background and I don’t care if I fall asleep while watching it.  I woke up to a series I’ve never watched before, located in southern California and I left it on because I love SoCal.  It happened to be an episode where one of the women was talking about healing the things inside of her originating from childhood.  Yes, I know these women are on a different level financially than most of us, however, hearing her discuss the same things that I was going through when it comes to healing, I know we all go through the same thing. 

The important thing is to share those stories.  We all have these ideas and perceptions in our minds that our stories aren’t worthy or that they have to play out a certain way in order to be valid, but the truth is, the more we share our stories, the more we will see we have in common.  We can more easily help each other navigate through the experiences we all have.  No matter where we are in life, we’ve all got something we carry and we don’t always know what may relate to someone else.  We can’t let our idea of someone else shape our experience of them, just like we wouldn’t want to let someone’s idea of us shape who we are.  It doesn’t matter who we are or where we are from, we are all human and have the same experience. 

Sneaking a Peek at My Son

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The other day before life went a little sideways, I drove home and saw that the kids were outside of the school.  I knew it was my son’s class because they were right outside of his building so I had the thought to go through and see how he was doing.  I circled around the school and drove up by his classroom.  I saw him playing with another little boy, standing in a low tree.  His bright green shorts, his grey shirt, his hand on the tree.  I had a moment of feeling like my son is pure magic.  Honestly, all kids are. I felt complete love swell in my body seeing him.  I was so proud of him for stepping out of his comfort zone and witnessing the freedom on his face as he enjoyed being a little boy.  I had a moment of thinking maybe I didn’t pass on as much anxiety as I feared.

Regardless, I always take the lessons from my son to heart.  I asked Source how I can make the life I want happen because, also in that moment, there wasn’t a single doubt in my mind that I want the freedom to do exactly that.  To be with my child, to see my child, to experience his life with him, to be available to him first instead of my work.  It was so funny because “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks came on the radio and I naturally resonated with the dichotomy in my mind every day.  Being a good person but having boundaries, being clear and firm but kind.  Thinking being available for work all the time would get me somewhere but wanting to be home and working on my own projects.  The answers were already there.

This song also made me realize that there are reasons I behave how I do and there is more work to do.  I have to heal the fear and expectations the women of this family had before and up through me.  I do carry the expectation that things need to go perfectly in order to be “right” because that was an expectation of all the women in my family.  If it wasn’t perfect then it wasn’t worth it or it was ruined.  Expectations put too much pressure on people and set us up for failure, so I want to lessen my expectations of other people and increase them of myself in my personal life. 

I have to heal.  Healing means loving the person I am and accepting myself.  This isn’t a new message, we’ve talked about it a lot here.  I express it to others as often as I can.  But I think to elevate to the next level there are things I need to increase in my own life and this is a practice that has room to grow.  Healing and accepting the self isn’t easy.  Recognizing what doesn’t belong to you to heal is a bit harder because, even though it’s innate in you, it isn’t yours.  You’ve expressed it as if it’s yours for so long it feels like it belongs with you but it doesn’t.  Even this is a matter of accepting.  Accepting over and over again and releasing just as often. 

When we learn to differentiate what is ours and what isn’t, it’s easier to float.  It’s also easier to thrive because we release the baggage that was never intended to be ours in the first place.  The weight of experiences for things that happened and were valid at the time doesn’t apply any longer so we can let it go.  We learn this in owning what our story is and in sharing it.  The parts of us we hide for whatever reason. Our stories have a positive impact.  Healing involves sharing that and embracing who we are.  So if you aren’t sure, get honest with yourself first and be honest about what is yours and what isn’t and know you are worthy of releasing it all.  Children are wonderful reminders of this.  I thank my son for helping me when he didn’t even know it. 

Thoughts And Lessons

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My son fell asleep on my lap the other night.  He hasn’t done that in a while so it was a sweet moment, especially considering we are all sick and leaning on each other.  I felt his little body curled up against me and I thought to myself, “So much fear to lose, so much life to gain.”  The joy of children is contagious as is their bravery.  There isn’t one thing that holds my kid back.  He is fully transparent with himself at all times and he knows what he wants and he isn’t shy to admit it, either.  I had a series of thoughts I wanted to share as I sat with my kid.

  1. How is this my life?  I feel so lucky to be safe in this moment.  I feel so lucky that my son feels safe enough to sleep on me like I slept on my father as a kid. Even if we don’t feel well, this feels amazing.  It’s beautiful.
  2. I don’t deserve it and I’m going to fuck it up.  I am so afraid I’m going to do something wrong and break everything I’ve built and lose it all.  I’ve scarred my kid and he will totally resent me in the future.
  3. Everything is as it should be.  I can trust that all is well and we will continue to follow whatever plan is there for us.  We all face bumps in the road
  4. I will recover.  Having this illness terrifies me and makes me worry about the future.  I hope I didn’t do the wrong thing by myself or my kid because we are still sick in spite of it.  I have to believe that we will be ok.  This is honestly really mild and we will be fine.
  5. I will be ok.  These thoughts are just thoughts.  They come and go and they are welcome.  I don’t need to attach an outcome to any of them.  Just because I think them doesn’t make them real, it’s the emotion and intention behind them.  I am ok.  All is well.
  6. All of this is in my head.  I have the power to change the thoughts and either sit with them or let them go.  I do not need to attach the emotion to them.  I am in control of my brain.
  7. Breathe.
  8. I have to live.  There is no point in letting all this time pass by.  There is no point in trying to control everything that happens in life.  The best we can do is simply go for it and enjoy while we can.  We may not understand the why or the whole plan, but we can trust it’s for a reason.

So many thoughts come and go and they arrive at different times.  It doesn’t matter.  We have to select what we give meaning to.  We have to select what we believe in.  I am grateful for my son and the things he has no idea he is teaching me simply through being himself.    

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for development.  We recently took a business trip for a conference for the company we’ve become a part of.  I am so grateful for each and every learning experience we had while we were down there.  I’m grateful for the connection and assistance and camaraderie I witnessed.  I’m grateful for the support I witnessed.  I’m grateful to understand what has been gifted to me.  I’m grateful to my mentor for reaching out when she did.  Sometimes people see things in us we don’t see in ourselves.  Sometimes people believe in you before you believe in yourself. 

Today I am grateful for hunger.  Following up on my first point, I am grateful to have a new relationship with hunger.  I used to seek comfort at all costs but I recently heard that aging is the aggressive pursuit of comfort.  If we immediately satiate the desires we have, we lose the creativity to find a way out.  You see, hunger is only dangerous if you don’t guide it or understand what it’s driving you toward: your desire.  The body/mind function optimally when they are a bit stressed.  There is a sweet spot of creative/productive anxiety that leads to phenomenal results.  If we train ourselves that we are going to die if our needs aren’t immediately met, everything becomes a crisis.  We want to be driven enough and clear enough to be properly motivated.  So let yourself get a little uncomfortable.  A little hungry and see what you are really seeking.  Clarity comes from engagement of what we know is on the other side of our fear.  Go toward it.

Today I am grateful for honesty.  I’ve spent too many years lying to myself.  I thought it was the polite thing to not want too much.  I thought it was the right thing to do as I’ve been told.  I thought it was selfish to admit desires and that it was selfish to want more.  But when we admit what we want and who we are it unleashes a greater potential than we realized we had.  Getting honest about who we are leads us to what we’ve been searching for all along: ourselves.  Getting honest isn’t selfish, it is the greatest fulfillment of our purpose we can have.  The universe can’t answer our desires if we don’t share them.  I know what I want now and it doesn’t matter what someone else labels it (selfish, greedy, etc.).  What matters is that is the course I know I need to take.

Today I am grateful for movement.  Moving the body is something many of us take for granted—myself included. I’ve been ill and had a minor injury so I haven’t been moving as much as I would like as of late.  I allowed myself to fall back into some old habits because I didn’t feel like pushing beyond.  But let me tell you about the difference in my mind and soul and my body.  At first it felt good to “relax.”  But all too quickly it went from a “this is nice” feeling to an “everything is overwhelming” feeling.  Moving the body is so important and necessary.  We are designed to move.  We are designed to push.  I do not take that for granted and I am grateful to get back to healthy habits.

Today I am grateful for validation.  This one is sort of silly but I am grateful all the same.  I notoriously have issues with log ins and mobile apps.  Things literally stop working for no reason.  Today we had a hiccup with one of my work out programs where I couldn’t log in.  My husband watched as I tried and tried, he tried and tried, and over and over we saw the same message that I wasn’t recognized.  Normally it’s a little joke, but this is something that drives me nuts.  Technology isn’t perfect, but I believe if we invest in something, it should work.  Regardless, when my husband did the same things I was doing and still had no success, it finally dawned on him that I wasn’t making this up.  All of the issues I’ve had before literally came out of nowhere (I’ve been told “I’ve never seen that before” more times than I can count).  Again, it’s silly, but it’s nice for someone to know this is one area I’m not crazy 😊

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.    

Realizations Through Disney-Part Two

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Lesson two from Disney comes from one of my favorites: Wreck it Ralph.  This one is specifically from Ralph Breaks the Internet.  There’s a scene in the movie when all of the original Disney princesses are sitting around talking about how they had their revelations.  They’re telling Vanellope to find some water and she will start singing.  Sure enough, Vanellope has an epiphany about leaving her game and going into a different game but she has fears about leaving Ralph.  At the same time, Ralph is running around doing all of these things so they can return to their game.  Earlier in the movie Ralph and Vanellope talked about how he was happy doing the same thing every day because he finally had a friend, and Vanellope wanted to do something more.  Now we see that in their actions.

I had my own epiphany and I didn’t need a body of water to make it happen.  I’ve been like Ralph.  I want all of these other things in my life and I want to do things differently, yet, on a daily basis, I’m running around doing the same things over and over.  I was even still trying to work while sick just to prove that I’m a team player and that I don’t want to get behind because the job matters. In my soul, I know it doesn’t.  I know I want something more.  So why am I so afraid to let it all fall apart?  Because doing what I do now is known.  Yes, I know I want something else but I haven’t found the foot holds to go and do it so I repeat the patterns.  I think that’s something we all do.

The thing is, if we are doing what we’ve always done, we will certainly always get what we’ve always gotten.  Yes, we feel safe, (I feel safe) repeating the pattern but it isn’t getting me where I want to be.  If there is something on the other side of the fear that I want to do then I need to try and do something else to see where it gets me.  That is the only way we can move forward.  We have to try things even if they don’t’ make sense and even if they scare us.  We will only know what we are capable of if we push ourselves to do something different or try something new. 

Sometimes life nudges us and sometimes it pushes us off the ledge.  Sometimes it allows us the courtesy of having a realization while watching a Disney movie.  It’s what we do with those lessons that determines the results.  I’ve had a beautiful few days learning these lessons and becoming something new but what matters now is what I do with this information.  I’m so fortunate to have these lessons in my back pocket.  Now it’s a matter of what I do with it.  The action is what matters.  I know I do not want to continue stifling my life.  It’s time to allow and get honest and follow the new path.  As hard as it can be to leave things behind, it’s necessary to turn the page.  It is safe to close the chapter and move forward.  Not everything is meant to be safe and known.  Sometimes it is simply meant to be how it is.

Realizations Through Disney- Part One

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The universe is really on a role with me.  They say that the universe whispers the lesson and if you don’t get it, it smacks you with a two by four.  I’ve been sick and finishing up some internal work (which I know won’t actually be finished) and these beautiful messages keep coming my way.  So, since the whole family is down right now, we spent some time watching TV and we just happened to go through a Disney day.  Ironic considering I was already dealing with some misperceived lessons from Disney as I mentioned a few posts ago 😊.  The universe would call it synchronicity, but here we are. 

We finally watched Lightyear and let me tell you I went into a tailspin.  I hated the movie for most of it because I have such an engrained fear of time.  This movie specifically deals with losing time and spending so much time focusing on making things right and getting it perfect that quite literally life passes away in the blink of an eye.  What is four minutes to the character is really four years to everyone else and Buzz spends so much time trying to fix his errors, his partner eventually dies.  He couldn’t appreciate the life that he had right here and now because he was so fixated on his mission. He missed the point of the life he could have made.  There is a point when the character’s granddaughter (the one who passed) says her grandmother’s life did matter.  She raised two generations there regardless of the fact she wasn’t meant to be where they were.  Insert major life lesson.  Making a life instead of fighting for one.

I’ve spent so much time trying to course correct that I’ve missed out on a lot of present moments.  I’ve wished things were a certain way and I felt like a failure if they didn’t go as planned.  I’ve even wanted to go back in time and try again.  I know that isn’t possible, but that feeling lingers.  I’ve often lost sight of the life I have created, thinking that I could have done something better “if only.”  That is a waste of time.  When you start doing inner work and understanding what you are capable of in this moment, of appreciating the time you do have, of being grateful for the experiences you have now, that is when you align and a new path unfolds, or rather, the answers come. 

The point is to make a life here and now.  It doesn’t matter what it looks like because the point isn’t to get it perfect.  Trying to make it perfect is a waste of time.  We are trained that if it isn’t perfect, it doesn’t matter, but we learn that life matters simply because of the experience of it.  Don’t waste the precious gift we have.  Make the most of it.  Love every second you have and appreciate it because you never know how long you have.  You never know the fingerprints you leave behind and that isn’t always the point.  The impact we make doesn’t have to be great to be significant for one person.  Our lives can matter just in what we do on a daily basis.  Simply being who we are is enough.

Soul

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“The less aligned you are with your soul, the harder life becomes.  The more you align with your soul, the easier it gets.  The more you align with your soul, the more the path narrows.  All the options that do not excite you fall away and you will be presented with more options that support your highest joy.  You do not need to make things happen.  You just need to let go of your own resistance and get out of your own way,” Ashmi Path.  The universe loves to provide signs and this is a perfect follow up to yesterday’s post.  I ended with, “Just be who you are and that is enough” after discussing being extra or basic.  Ashmi puts it in a prettier context: aligning with who you are and your purpose makes life easier because everything that is not you falls away.  It doesn’t matter what anyone says as long as you are aligned with who you are.

The time we have on this Earth is precious and finite and we don’t know when it ends.  So every moment we have here is a gift.  There was a time when fitting in and following the path and being defined meant something because we are still connected to that primal creature inside of us fighting to survive.  We need to be able to quickly discern if something is dangerous so we still have the habit of putting everything in a box for ease of understanding.  As time has gone one, we no longer have a full understanding of everything that ended up in that box.  We are still operating under the premise that there are enough boxes for all we see when the reality is closer to the idea there is no box.  The irony is we spend more time caring about defining people than looking up from our phone crossing the street—which is really more dangerous?  I digress.

The point is to eliminate the influence from the outside as much as possible except for that which resonates with you.  Sometimes it can be a passing fad and others it may truly speak to you.  The point is to not limit the experience but learn to integrate it and follow what brings joy in the moment.  That joy is the key to who you are and your purpose.  We’ve been fed false information about what joy is and the purpose of joy in our lives and so many of us feel it is a selfish thing to feel joy or pleasure.  The irony of that situation is that we spend so much time looking for outside things to make us happy and we waste time and money on things that we think make us feel good rather than spending the time internalizing and learning who we are so we don’t have to search for outside gratification.  Take the time to align!

Jumping into the unknown is terrifying even if it’s something that excites you, I don’t pretend it isn’t.  Jumping into the unknown when it’s based off of a feeling of something you might have to or want to do can be totally paralyzing.   We aren’t trained to follow our instincts or trust what we KNOW because we are taught to follow what we are told.  We aren’t told that the secret is to learn to hear what we already know from ourselves.   The reason we aren’t given a guide to live is because we are born with it inside of us.  We just confuse easily because we fear not fitting in somehow.  When we go back to that inner knowing, the path we are meant to follow becomes more clear and that confusion goes away.  So all of this is to say let go of what the outside is telling you and find your way back to who you are.  Even if it takes starting over every day to do it, start over and learn to get comfortable with yourself.  That path is for you.  Now go walk it. 

Basic?

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“When people call you extra look them in the face and say, Am I extra or are you basic?”  I have no idea who originated this quote but I fell in love the moment I heard it.  I’ve been told since I was a child that I was too loud and too much and my ideas were too big (to the point of liability).  Hearing this quote completely shifted my perspective.  Everything is someone’s opinion.  What we do may be too much for some and it may not be enough for others, but in either case, we are too often looking at how others are impacted rather than on what it does for ourselves.  I spent many years learning to play small instead of learning to play the game of development.  Worse, I now see when and how I do that to my own child. 

I know what it feels like to try to break through those self-inflicted barriers we create to be liked as a child, as an adult. It sucks.  Everything feels unfamiliar, you still feel like you have the walls around you, you still seek the approval of others because you can’t gauge for yourself if you’re doing something correctly.  The definition of right and wrong go out the window because it’s all working from an unfamiliar framework.  It’s disorienting and I don’t want to put my kid through that.  It’s a pain to clean up after his messes, absolutely true.  But I don’t want to hinder his creativity and his joy simply because I have to wipe a few things down or pick everything up off the floor.  If I’m honest, I want to create a life for myself that allows me the time to do those things, to do the things I want to do on top of it.  I want to create a life that flows with the natural rhythm of who I really am rather than trying to fit the life I want in the in-between moments from work to waking again.  None of that is extra or asking too much.

The same thing doesn’t work for all people.  What excites and drives me isn’t the same thing for my neighbors or friends or even my family.  It certainly may not be the same thing for stranger on the street.  So the question becomes, “Why would I let any opinion from someone else stop me?”  They aren’t ME so it doesn’t matter if they label me extra or too much.  My life isn’t theirs.  They may not be able to handle the things I am able to do because they do not have my experience.  So why would I let their little label stop me from doing anything or why would I let it shift what I want to do?  My life isn’t about them.  It’s about creating an environment that I love and that supports me and my family.  No one else needs to understand—and no one needs to like it. 

Perhaps it isn’t a matter of being extra or basic, but rather finding that acceptance in ourselves to simply be who we are.  That is enough.  Just being who we are regardless of other’s opinions.  Going to the Mel Robbin’s quote from the other day: we will never regret doing the things we love.  Our purpose in life isn’t to be loved or accepted by all, but to be loved and accepted by ourselves and those who are meant for us.  So put your flavor on everything—not everyone will like the taste, but there will always be more than enough for those who do.  And more importantly, you will always be happy with what you make because it will genuinely be who you are.  Definitions and labels are arbitrary because the definition of the label will more than likely change in time anyway.  So it doesn’t matter if your extra is too basic for some or if you’re too much or not enough for any one person.  Just be who you are and that is enough.  Period.

25 Years

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Another short Mel Robbins story.  So after I read her post discussing the truths above, she shared another story (or rather continued the story) sharing that she and her husband are leaving the house that she and her family have lived in for 25 years.  Again, maybe I’m just extra sensitive and sentimental, but something about it struck me.  She spoke of the memories created over that time there, the love, the laughter, yes even some of the bad things and how those are the things that make life.  The accumulation of things doesn’t make it a life, but the experiences do.  Her point was that it doesn’t matter where they are or how attached they are to certain experiences, the house doesn’t make a home, it is the people in it.

In moving into the home we have now (just last year) we planned on having my parents live with us at some point.  That means giving up their home, my childhood home.  We struggled for a while deciding if we would buy that house from my parents to make it easier for them but we came to the conclusion it wouldn’t fit all of us and the life we have now.  I started thinking of all the memories I have in that house, the good and the bad, thinking about how safe I felt there, the firsts I had there.  It was quite literally the beginning of my life.  There was always a lot of life in that house, and as time moves on, my siblings and I left.  It’s much quieter now.

The point is, the lesson is the same.  It wasn’t the walls that created that life, it was us that brought that life to the house.  We are the family, it wasn’t the house that did it.  It was a wonderful privilege to have those experiences in a central location but life isn’t the structure.  And the natural ebb and flow of life is that: it gets loud and then quiet, chaotic then still, full then empty, moments together and moments apart.  It is all part of the experience and no one is unique in that.  We are doing the same thing in our new home with our son.  We are the core and that life comes from us.

This Moment

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Mel Robbins shared two truths about life. 1. You will never be as young as you are right now in this moment.  2. You will never regret spending your life doing what makes you happy.  Don’t waste another day of it spending time or doing things that don’t make you happy.  They say that we have to hear the same message seven ways from seven people before we get it…in my case it might be seven million ways from seven million people (including preaching it myself) when it comes to these truths.   I don’t know, perhaps being sick is making a few things more clear, but hearing this message this way on this day hit me a bit differently. 

The truth is I still spend a lot of my days in panic mode about time and how much of it I’ve wasted, especially when I have those moments of not seeing the progress I want in my life.  It has taken years to even get to the point where I felt safe admitting what I wanted in life and another chunk of years gathering the courage to do it.  I always thought it was a lightbulb type moment when you figured something out, suddenly the light shined on everything and all the answers and ways suddenly became clear.  No more bumps in the road.  Maybe it was too much time with Disney as a kid, thinking the path clears entirely once you have that happy ending.  They just never tell you what happens after the happy ending.  The reality is there is no ending—sometimes the ending is the beginning.  There are still trials and bumps, they are just different and we feel different about them.  There is no “resolution” when it comes to living because the only real end is death.  If we are alive, there is conflict of some sort whether it is enjoyable or not.

The point is, it is a time suck and I still miss the moment, often forgetting that I am capable and able here and now and that this is the opportunity to live and do the things I want to now.  40 doesn’t mean it’s over if we haven’t achieved what we want by then.  That’s also a symptom of thinking about the happy ending: achieving happiness by a certain age doesn’t mean that there won’t be a different goal in the future.  Accomplishing one thing doesn’t mean that will fulfill for the rest of the days we have and we never know what curiosity leads to down the path.  We become hunters of purpose and that is what fulfills our days.  It doesn’t matter if we are 25 or 55 or 85, if we find something we enjoy, then it is time to pursue it.  I was raised that there were limits on when things could be done in life and that you missed the boat if you didn’t do it by a certain time.  In reality, you can go for it at any time.

There are certain things we need to be reminded of, especially if the lessons are long engrained in our brains.  We have to be gentle with ourselves (I have to be gentle with myself) when it comes to how long it takes to understand certain lessons.  Even if we understand them intellectually, it is often challenging to bring them into practice.  No matter how long it takes, the fact that we continue to work on it is something.  The point is to learn it.  All is well in so many ways and, as short as this life is, we can learn to expand those moments out to infinity by simply being present in the long moment we have while we are here.  So take this moment and relish the youth you have, the experience you have, the chances you have.  Integrate and embrace it all and take those lessons and live.  That is the greatest thing you can do.  Simply live.