I have been struggling with body image issues since I was a little girl. I always remember my mom saying things like, “I am not skinny enough” and “This dress makes me look fat.” I grew up trying to make myself skinny enough and not […]
I continue in my attempts to grasp this mindfulness concept.
The notion started after I’d read the ever popular Secret by Rhonda Byrne several years back. I’d been struggling to integrate the concepts but failed to recognize some secret brain switch that flipped on the concept of your thoughts really manifesting your future. There was a piece missing to the puzzle for me. Like the on light wouldn’t flick up to light the “how to” part of controlling your emotions and taking back your life.
I’ve been listening to speakers like Tony Robbins, Eric Nightengale, and others found on various youtube channels. Brene Brown, Mel Robbins, Rachel Hollis, Gretchen Rubin and the like float into my ears through audio books when I remember to listen. I want to believe the motivational messages pulsing through my ear drums. I want my brain to be a sponge that can soak up the energy, the knowledge, and rewire my beliefs - the ones these individuals wished to instill. I want to change myself at my core, eradicating self doubt and negative self talk.
I’ve been depressed. More often than otherwise I still am. I’m battling a painful, chronic disease. I need an exit from a masterfully growing amount of debt. How do you make this Law of Attraction work? It should be simple right? The motivational speaker types make it sound simple yet somewhere in enacting the process I get jumbled. Change your thoughts, control your emotions, change your life. This law seems like the kind made for those with sheer will.
Mindfulness and manifestation are the up and coming modality for relieving mental stress. They are preached about in modern society as a ticket to happiness. Be in the present moment. Forget the past and let the future unfold before you. What most outlets don’t give readers or listeners is the instruction manual to turn these concepts on. You’re left figuring out on your own how to put these ideals into fruition in your own life.
I’m stuck in this “Head versus Heart” mentality.
There’s a rational side of me and an emotional side. They collide. They have contrasting expectations. They leave me rather confused in the middle. How can I ever believe my heart telling me I’ll be wonderful and successful when there’s still doubt lingering in the head version of myself.
What these motivational, mindfulness, manifestation experts failed to tell you is that there’s no controlling your emotions - there’s processing healthily. There’s not changing your thoughts; there’s conditioning to replace them with better ones. Transformation is a grueling, time consuming process.
There are outlets out there that can teach you different forms of meditation, some are focused on mindfulness, but meditation is and in depth process. There’s a variety of styles or ways to meditate. The idea at its basis is to destress from the constant bombarding existence we’re in and come in tune with your goals, yourself, you. I want to take it a step further to encourage you to manifest who you want to be and how you want to live.
An idea occurred to me as I listened to the inner monologue and the argument between my “head” and “heart.” I’m a writer. Why wouldn’t I just write my own present, my own future as I’d like to see it. I can narrate who I am along the way as well as who I want to be. Instead of berating myself when I make mistakes I can turn them into character quarks to make my leading lady more like-able and human. I can write each day in my head as it unfolds. I can write out who I want to be in the future. I have the power to choose. The light of understanding ignited like a match to gasoline.
You get to choose the role you play today or any day.
I challenge you to become your own narrator.
Write your own story!
Find what works for you. Do your own research. I know ugh, but only you can decide what helps you get your own head space right!
To further delve into what Mindfulness is all about I’d recommend looking up some resources. There’s loads of mindfulness, autogenic training and other types of meditation videos on youtube. Give yourself the gift of getting to know yourself, your needs, and your desires for this life. Don’t live with regret and it’s never too late to start. It’s never too late to change. It’s never too late.
Bayda, E. (2011). Beyond happiness: the Zen way to true contentment. Boston, MA: Shambhala.
Byrne, R. (2016). The secret. New York: Atria Books.
Harris, R. (2011). The confidence gap: a guide to overcoming fear and self-doubt. Boston:
Lamott, Anne. Small victories: spotting improbable moments of grace. Riverhead Books, a
member of Penguin Group (USA), 2014.
TEDTalks: Tony Robbins--Why We Do What We Do, and How We Can Do It Better[Video file].
If we listen to this old adage, it raises the question, So what are you? Tacos? Cheeseburgers? Veggies? Donuts? Self hate? Attempting perfectionism? On a cellular level you really are how you’re nourished. If you’re feeding your cells sugar, GMO, pesticides…you’re toxic, sluggish, and weighed […]
I spent my life believing death is around the corner.
When I started this website, I never anticipated wanting to talk about death or loss as part of it. I know in previous posts I’ve referenced how your circle of friends and supporters might change as you start to change your lifestyle, and I think that’s applicable to the topic of death and loss too, because for each person that exits your life - they leave a hole.
I spent my life believing death is around the corner.
Some of my very first memories are of my father’s parents’ funerals. Or maybe it’s because they’ve been talked about. Either way, I find at times I can linger or back track through every death of a friend or a relative I've lost...
I’ve always been acutely aware that there is another side to this veil. Some darkness lurking around the corner and an end to this life.
At times I’ve been in such despair I’ve questioned my own right to live. Another story entirely and not a place I'm at now.
I have already outlived family, friends, a parent and a sibling. In my short 30 years I can almost feel the next loss coming based on the lapsed time from the last, and I can count into the 50s how many funerals I’ve been to. It’s as though quarterly, or maybe even monthly, someone exits my life by theirs ending. If not death, then a change in life circumstances has one party peacing. Every loss or death breaks a fragment of my being. I have to fight the belief that I am totally alone because everyone will always leave me in this life.
Perhaps our social media explosion has allowed me to know to a further extent what happens with those you even loose daily touch with. I see old high the loss of acquaintances and people I used to know but still hold fond memories. These losses are still a reminder of the end game and mystery of what comes next.
I love so deeply when I love. When you make your way into my heart, you become carved into my rib cage. Then for whatever reason, I feel every bit of hope and despair all at once. I think it’s because I feel the weight of all your tragedies too. Too many lives matter too much to me, and too many of those same lives have been lost. At the same time I worked hard to love far and wide but never too closely for a long time because the closer I am, the more it hurts to lose you.
Don’t even get me started on the need to kill off parts of yourself to become who you really want to be. That one’s still fresh - as I feel as though I’ve recently cut ties with every cliche thing about myself I used to love. I've lost touch with those I know longer share similar interests with also. Maybe that’s what happens when you truly transition into adulthood. That doesn't mean I didn't love those parts of myself or those people.
Rebecca Soulnet basically says you’re a kid in your 20’s because all of your history and experiences are from growing up, but by about 30 childlike things have become distant as life can harden you in your 20s. The realism of things sets in as you grow and the curiosity and wonderlike stages of development fade.
I think I missed that stage of growing up or did it backwards because growing up for me happened fast. I felt and saw things as a child that I drank to numb as an adult. I have always felt heavy and weighed down by life’s deadline. I definitely attempted to numb it in my college youth. I realized it all the more existentially when I sobered up and grew up around 24-26.
I carry with me the memory of each loss. Each death. Each part of myself I said goodbye too. As a writer I carried a false belief - that I had to keep in my back pocket all my sadness. That great writing was born from great sorrow.
I see now that state of mind means I’ve lost most of my hope. I’d like to continue to change that. My ability to see glimmers and rays of gold in a mostly gray landscape is a thing I love about myself now. I believe I can seek contentment, or better yet happiness in enjoying however long my human experience is. Learning to grieve loss when it happens but be at peace with the inevitable.
There is so much beauty in writing about what’s beautiful.
I’ll meet death when I meet him. I’d like to not obsess. That doesn’t mean that I won’t still feel the anguish of longing. I’ll still wish for any of those that have left this earth before me to be back here on this planet alive and well today. Because I still, and I will always, miss them. Some things are just too heavy to ever set down. I will find lighter things to carry with me though, to balance the load. Sunshine, feels like it’s making me stronger already.
Apples, spread love now. Let’s not hold ourselves back. Speak our truth and do it often.
What could ultimately ruin any day, but especially a holiday, for someone who has food allergies and sensitivities?
“Just one little bite.”
This phrase is often forcefully injected into conversation when I politely decline trying someone’s carefully crafted kitchen creation. I promise it’s not your food, it’s my gut, but you don’t seem to be buying that as a legitimate reason to decline your invitation to taste what might poison my system.
You see, the ‘perk’ of my autoimmune diseases is that I likely react negatively to eating food - almost any food. I have a list of 25 foods I stick to and when I do, I feel my best. Veering from that can have consequences ranging from digestive discomfort to straight vomiting for 3 days. With too many leafy greens or the wrong fruit/vegetable, I’m blessed with a rash that feels like poison ivy on my insides, while reflected in hives and veiny lines wrapping my midsection in a fire ant hill of fun. When I eat chocolate I will puke for 3 days - while my insides are dissolving in acid. When I eat corn, every inch of me aches like the flu and this one always requires a detox which is equally flu like, but 2 weeks long. When I eat dairy or gluten, I feel as though my insides are scorching and hell fire is searing out of every orifice. Some things cause hives and others chills. Some headaches and body aches.
Each item I put into my mouth I’m hyper aware of. Each bite I’m not certain about riddles me with anxiety and fear. Food is necessary and you are what you eat. I refuse to be plagued with discomfort - which for my home and body means a strict diet and patience while I seek out it’s needs to heal.
I get that I can come across as a zoo animal and you’re either confused by a lifestyle you can’t relate too, you’re baffled with disbelief, or likely suffering yourself and too daft to admit it.
You don’t have to believe a thing and you’re entitled to live in whatever reality you’ve created and denial you hold close. What I know is what I feel, and when I eat something I shouldn’t, I feel like dying. That’s no way to live
I have Celiacs, so if you cooked that in your gluten filled kitchen I’ll say, “No thank you.”
I have Interstitial Cystitis, so I gave up alcohol. I’m still the same me, just sober; but don’t ask me to come out drinking. I don’t want to go.
I have IBS, so the wrong thing will leave me in your bathroom for hours, sometimes days, waiting for the devastated gut to get itself together and cut me some slack.
So, even if you can’t understand what “just one bite” might do, or why someone passes on an offering of snackage….give them space and be okay with a “No.” When you tell me just one little bite - and you’re adorable with your almost suffocating peer pressure - I break into a crumpled mess of shame and insecurity. When you ignore my requests for self care, for what I know works for me, I feel insane. That’s no way to live.
I spent a lifetime fighting for myself. I hate that someone’s pushy presence can make you feel so ostracized. I get it, I’m the freak with the food restrictions. However, I’m learning that kindness is always an easier route. Can you try a bite of that?
Surreal Seriously unreal This can’t possibly be really Happening. Your Interstitial Cystitis is likely Autoimmune. …..Nobody’s used that word before. How’s that? Gut, inflammation, gluten “intolerance” turned into a death sentence. Grandpa asked me if I started living in a homeless camp […]