Well, it’s been a while… almost a month since my last post. Where to start? It’s been almost two months since I started my new job, which has taken up a lot of my attention. I realize that when I start a new job I tend to dive right in. As I get deeper into a job, I realize what can be improved and what I can do to do the best I can do. I also start to realize who I am accountable to at a whim and the pressure sets in. The nature of my current job is very high profile so I’m constantly needing to be on my toes, at a minute’s notice providing statistics of how many referrals we’ve had, and how many intakes were scheduled. At first, this was a little overwhelming considering I haven’t had that type of pressure in a few years (group counseling had a different type of pressure) – last time I felt this type of pressure was when I worked in human resources and accounting. But, I am starting to understand what is expected of me and getting exciting about mastering the job.
I celebrated my 29th birthday. I originally was going to take my birthday off from work (of course) but since I was so new to this job, I decided to just go to work. Everyone at work made it a wonderful day, and when I came home my boyfriend had blown up hundreds of balloons and created an archway for me to drive under when I got home. It was so hilarious I couldn’t stop laughing… there was also a huge column of balloons at another part of the front lawn which made it even funnier. I think the whole town knew we were celebrating! A few days later I celebrated with my family and felt loved. It’s always hard to go through another birthday with my parents but everyone in my life really made it special.
Twenty-nine. 29. Almost thirty. 30. I don’t even know what to say about that. A few revelations have come to light recently as I reach three decades into my life. I realized for the first time that I am almost the age that my Dad was when he used to write me letters when he was traveling around the United States working. I’m two years older than my Mom was when she gave birth to me. I’m five years older than how old my parents were when they got married (which by the way was April 21st, 1984 as a family member told me recently when they were completing a family tree). It created a feeling of dread to think about these things, but also a feeling of connection to my parents. Growing up, I guess I looked at my parents as far away almost… like, super old. In their 40’s and 50’s. But of course I have memories of them when they were younger… when they were in their early thirties. Early thirties… at this point, Dad only had a decade left to live. And Mom only six years more than him. Mind blowing.
As I was in the hammock out back this afternoon, the sun burning my face and retinas, but me loving every minute of it, I watched a bird fly from one side of the yard to the other. As he, or she, flew over me they shot up with force and grace towards one of the towering pine trees. Their wings clinging tightly to their tiny body as they soared upwards. And a phrase my boyfriend once said to me came to me – “They’re completely free.” When I went on the retreat last year to New Mexico, we could name ourselves anything we wanted, and change our names at any time. I first named myself “Freedom.” I cycled through a few names, but ended up on “Freedom” again at the end of the week. I stated, “I wanted to be free from patterns that no longer serve me. I want to be free physically, mentally, psychologically, spiritually. I just want to feel free.” As I sat in the hammock marveling at this beautiful free bird, I realized “freedom is a construct of the mind.” I couldn’t be free before because I thought it was something outside of me. Of course, yes, there are people who are imprisoned that are not free. But free from psychological torment and anxiety and depression and PTSD and pain and suffering is up to me. It’s taking responsibility for myself, my reactions, my actions, my happiness, my life. Gratitude for the present moment and freeing myself within my mind to create freedom in the physical world… to create freedom from suffering and pain in this human life experience.
With all that said, I’m reaching a state of freedom that I’ve felt here and there in the past. I guess I didn’t realize it was a feeling of freedom, but oh, it was. Self-confidence, trust, and intuition to handle situations that I’m faced with. The strength to be still, reflect, and observe my emotions and reactions to life and others. There have been so many times I’ve felt like I was struggling myself, and panicking and fearing the unknown and the future, searching for “the” concept that will save me, help me surrender, and become awakened. But, becoming awakened has nothing to do with not feeling pain. There will be pain in many forms, but it doesn’t have to take over my life. I can be a patient, loving, accepting observer, and take conscious action to be the person I want to be and create the life I want.
At the start of this year, I had had enough of all the advice, concepts, possible paths, etc… sick of running and always trying to “fix” myself. I’m not happy enough, I’m not enlightened enough, I’m not calm enough, I’m not busy enough, I’m not interesting enough. And I decided at the start of the year to stop trying to “fix” everything. When I felt pain, sadness, confusion… I sat with that. I faced it. I don’t always like the honesty that comes from connecting with myself, but I’m transforming at a deeper level than I have so far. I’m realizing that I can read, go to workshops, learn, and seek all I want but if I don’t live what I am learning, I won’t find peace and happiness. If I don’t accept that I won’t always feel happy and at peace, I will continually be disappointed. I’m reaching the point where I can handle the bad days, the tough situations, the degrading people we all come across in our lives… and protect my energy. I can raise my vibration from a low level, to a higher one where I feel alive, hopeful, and confident in my ability to handle the life I’m given.
If karmic baggage and past lives are a thing, I think this time around I may be getting it. It’s interesting because before I thought this awakening and peaceful and happiness thing was a destination. And I’d remember that I’ve heard along the way that it’s about enjoying the process, and the journey. And that includes the difficult parts… but I couldn’t keep that idea present when things got difficult. I’m working to a way of seeing the beauty in all different types of situations and people, and not trying to control every little thing out of fear. Things won’t ever be perfect and neither will I, but that’s not the point. The point is to slow down, reflect, observe, and realize you are exactly where you should be. Things happen at the exact time they are supposed to.
Last weekend was a full yoga teacher training weekend, and I taught for the first time. Talk about nervous, which is silly because teaching yoga for the first time was brief compared to the days of assessment and massage in front of the directors of my massage school a few years ago haha! The weekend overall was emotional. I was on edge when I got there Saturday morning, and checking in with everyone was intense. Many of the people in my class are going through intense, challenging, and emotional times. I’m learning to hold the space for people, accept their own path of healing, and to keep things at a distance while still providing support. I was Reiki 1 attuned again, and set an intention to be “joyful and carefree.” Every morning I am remembering this is my intention for myself right now, but also open to any emotions that arise during the day. I’m meditating a lot and chanting… which I love. During our Sunday flow class I focused on my breath on a whole different level and it was the most transformative yoga hour of my life… it’s amazing what can happen when you focus on your breath and you combine that with movement.
There is hope in my heart again after a very difficult descent into the darkest parts of my soul over the past few months. When I get into that space, I feel like this cycle will always be that difficult… but if I hold on and make it through, I become a different person on the other side each time. It’s a fine balancing act of letting things play out and trusting myself and the Universe, and then taking responsibility and taking “control” over my life again to quit the cycle of suffering. Sometimes it’s like holding two opposing views at the same time, appreciating the wisdom of each.
A few good articles I’ve read recently that you all might be interested in are all from
OPENING YOUR HEART: 11 WAYS TO BREAK FREE OF MIND-ORIENTED SPIRITUALITY – Interesting article on opening your heart to move away from trying to “fix” ourselves and seeking spiritual enlightenment to the point of madness lol.
3 HEARTBREAKING CAUSES OF DRUG ABUSE (AND HOW TO FINALLY HEAL IT) – The ideas in this article could be used for any behavior that is no longer serving you, whether it is drug or alcohol related or not. A clear and concise list of ways to delve into self-discovery and examine your life and reasons behind your actions.
ARE YOU ADDICTED TO SPIRITUAL ESCAPISM? – Are you a runner? Are you restless and constantly seeking “something” or “someone” to fix you and make you happy? As you read above, I can relate. This article was helpful to clarify my thoughts about “just being and observing.”
Current reads… The Girl on the Train. Finally read it, and enjoyed it for the most part. Some of it became redundant and at times the book seemed to move slowly, but I enjoyed it overall. Watched the movie after, and actually wasn’t a bad book/movie combo… which hardly ever happens haha! And, I didn’t take a picture of it as I was reading it, which is the first time that has happened in years…. so no picture, folks.