Habits for Successful People

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I’ve never been able to see myself as a successful person. I’ve seen others potential and that turned into success, but not my own. And when I say success, I don’t mean that they’re making 500k a year or that they discovered the cure for cancer. While the latter of those would be great, what I really mean by successful is that these people went after what they wanted and achieved it. They set goals, they met those goals, they worked hard, and yes—some have had a great deal of privilege and that has absolutely played a role in what they’ve been able to accomplish—but they still saw a potential in themselves that I didn’t see in myself. At most, I saw myself a stay-at-mom, not living much past my kids getting out of school. And as with all those that had visions for themselves and made those things happen, I’d been doing the same. I was making my vision for myself come true.

When I began working on myself, this vision slowly changed. It’s taken years, though. And even now, I don’t always—or even often—see myself positively in some future sense of myself. It’s like a brick wall. I see nothing past this barrier.

I have goals, sure… I’m still happily running my small press and working toward shifting rape culture. I’m still in college, was accepted to the UW and into my competitive program, and I even got A’s (like all A’s!) this last year—and these were hard fucking classes! I have my writing, which I’m still seeing improvement with. I’m still working through PTSD triggers when they arise, and I work through them so much faster than my prior ‘shut down for months on end’ that I used to experience. My house is in good running order, my health is ever-improving, so why can’t I see myself beyond this brick wall?

One of the things I’ve read is that successful people can see themselves as successes in some future image of themselves. I hear it often. I do get concerned sometimes that my inability to see myself in such a sense means that I’ll never make it to where I want to be. If I can’t see it for myself, then how do I get there?

Maybe being unable to see beyond this wall in front of me isn’t bad. It’s possible that this is my safety to keep moving forward because if I can’t see the end results, then I can’t scare myself out of doing what I’m doing. True success—doing what I want, what I’m good at, and being able to take care of myself and loved ones with the financial stability that comes with this sort of success—has scared me in the past. I didn’t want to be too visible, make too much money, be too loud, essentially, because that attention felt dangerous. It made me feel like a target and feel like if something bad came my way, it was because I’d been too loud, made too much, or been too visible.

This, of course, is complete and utter bullshit and stems from victim blaming. But it’s still something I’ve battled and occasionally, still do. So maybe not seeing myself beyond this brick wall is keeping me from psyching myself out and running the other way. But it also serves as a limitation as I then don’t know what all I’m capable of and I hold back.

My natural instinct in life is to flee when things scare me. I don’t fight. I don’t usually freeze (though I have). And I do occasionally fawn when all other methods have failed. But my instinct is to flee. To run far away and never look back. This fleeing mentality means that I haven’t often looked at other options when hard situations arise. This fleeing mentality means I always have a plan B. And until a few days ago, I didn’t see how this was affecting me in a negative way. It just seemed smart. And it has been in the past in certain circumstances. But now it mostly serves as a hindrance. It keeps me from reaching where I want to be because the moment it gets too hard emotionally, I want to run. Or the moment it feels like I’m going to fail, I want to run. I would say it’s all about pride and not wanting to fail, but it doesn’t feel that way. It feels more like being terrified of repercussion because I’ve failed.

Failure happens. And I do have pride. There is no doubt there. When my pride gets in the way it’s problematic. I don’t particularly like failing, but I don’t know anyone that does. Even when it’s used as a learning step toward the next attempt. But this feeling is different and I can’t describe how. And this brick wall I see in my mind is related. It might be related in a good way, to keep me from pre-emptively running away from things, but I do worry that if I can’t see myself in this place of success, that I can’t achieve that success.

Of those that gain the sort of success I’m looking for, there is one common thread among them—the never, ever, make excuses for failure. Not achieving something means they look at what went wrong or sideways, then they take steps to prevent that from happening in the future. But I don’t see many people like this. Most make excuses, then never try again. Or they keep making excuses for every failure, never finding their way out of that failure loop.

Maybe this is the key… no excuses. Either do it or don’t, but don’t make excuses for not doing it.

I know this is somehow all related for me. I know this brick wall I see in my mind is there for a reason and I am ready to see beyond the wall. I’m ready to move forward. And I know there will be hurdles and things that I need to work around and on, and that’s okay. But those things aren’t an excuse for not completing my goals, and this is a new understanding for me.

Self-care means that sometimes I need to set things aside and work on me. Other times it means putting a family member or someone close to me a priority over my career goals. But these things should be brief. They should be temporary. They shouldn’t be a permanent block, which is what these things have been for me in the past. But people I see as successful take care of what needs taking care of, then they get right back to their career tasks. They don’t stop, make excuses, or use a circumstance as a reason to keep staying off task. These are the habits that I need…

Today I heard Brendon Burchard discuss three habits of ‘high performers’ (aka, successful people). They were 1. Seek clarity, ask what we want out of something we’re doing. 2. Generate energy, as in, take part in things that generate the happiness you want, the joy you want, rather than wait for those things to fall on you—because they won’t. And 3. Raise your performance necessity, ask yourself ‘why’ you need to succeed at something. Why is it so important that you do?

I don’t know what all this means for me yet or why I’m even writing about this right now, but it needed to come out. So here it is. I hope others can gain from this too.

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Summer Fair – Presale Now!

Announcing the cover release and presale of Summer Fair!

As many of you know, I’m passionate about mental health and shifting rape culture. For years, I’ve taken part in fundraising efforts that donate proceeds to charities supporting my passions. The latest collection–Summer Fair–is the third provided by the StoryPenners. Melt and Haunt were the first two collections with their proceeds going to the homeless in Chicago and to charities supporting mental health research and aide throughout the US.

This time, the StoryPenners decided to donate all their proceeds to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Since it was first created in 1994, the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) has helped more than 2 million people affected by sexual violence. ** This project is not being backed by RAINN, the StoryPenners are just using the proceeds to donate to their efforts.

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A bit about Summer Fair

Summer festivals bring the aroma of popcorn, the excitement of rides, and the promise of real-life enchantment. Seven authors bring you original love stories, each set at a different summer celebration. You’ll experience the thrill of the Chicago World’s fair through the eyes of a plucky girl reporter and the quiet desperation of a teen working a summer job at a traveling carnival. Get whisked away on romantic journeys around the world from a sweet Texas Dewberry Festival to a lantern-filled temple celebration to a surprisingly rowdy New England Founders Day. Whether it’s the magic of a Renaissance Fair, the excitement of a Theater Retreat, or the pulse of a Music Festival, you’re sure to get geared up for all things summer with this delightful new collection.

Including:
Riding the Wave by Annabeth Leong
Amaryllis and New Lace by Gregory L. Norris
Salty and Sweet by R.L. Merrill
Dewberry Kisses by CM Peters
All the World by Marie Piper
Carnie by Sienna Saint-Cyr
The Storyteller’s Side by Harley Easton
With Stars in His Eyes by Arden de Winter

Find on Amazon Presale available now!

Find on Goodreads

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Shame and Empathy

I wrote recently how a lot has changed for me, for the better, and those changes mean that I have a clearer path to achieve my goals. Some of those goals are lengthy. Like career goals and being physically healthy. But no matter what it is that I desire, I’m working toward it. What this means is that I have to let things go when they arise. I can’t hold onto things anymore. Whether that be fear, anger, sadness, shame… I need to let them surface and face things and work through them. I’ve been doing this but it was different before a month ago. It often took me many months, sometimes years, to work through bigger things. But that’s changed.

Now, when I become aware of something standing in my way, I deal that day. Period. I don’t have time to spend on spinning or holding onto things that keep me from the joy I experience so often now.

One area that I’m struggling to deal with right now is with shame. I didn’t realize how toxic it was. I knew some, as that’s a big reason why I’m getting into the field I am, but there’s so much I didn’t know until recently. Like how shame and guilt aren’t the same. How shame is responsible for feelings of worthlessness, depression, feeling powerless, unsafe, and people that are shamed are far more likely to develop PTSD.

When I was taking psych, I was so upset when we learned that the reason some folks develop PTSD is that they aren’t as resilient as others. At the time, I took offense to that. I felt I was very resilient, as well as a lot of others I knew with PTSD, but it was just an intro. We didn’t dive into the deeper aspects of this. Like when people are shamed, they become less resilient. It’s not that they aren’t resilient by nature, but instead, something that people break away. Some might do it with intent, others might not even realize what they’re doing. Shaming can come in small digs at others. Passive aggressive comments. Even looks of disgust. And these are at the lower levels. When children are shamed by their elders, it not only breaks away what little protective shield they’ve developed, but it prevents this shield from getting any stronger as they grow.

People aren’t less resilient by nature, they’re made to be less resilient through shaming.

When I began studying shame, I came across the differences between guilt and shame. Guilt, for example, isn’t bad at all. When we screw up, we feel guilty so we learn and don’t do that thing again. Guilt isn’t generally long-lasting. We feel it for a while, hopefully learn, and move on. Our actions might have cost us something or someone, and that still needs grieving, but shame is vastly different. Shame isn’t something we feel when we’ve messed up, it’s something others make us feel.

When I say ‘make us feel’, I know we are responsible for what we feel for the most part. One area I’ve never believed this applies is when it comes to abusers. It’s too easy for them to shirk responsibility by saying, “I didn’t make you feel that way” when their behavior was clearly the source. When we’re children and our parents shame us for something we do, that does damage. If teachers, neighbors, grandparents, whomever, say things like, “Toughen up, don’t cry,” “What are you thinking? You’re just too sensitive.” “Should you be eating that?” “Why can’t you be more like x sibling?” These things are all damaging and as humans, we have a surplus of these toxic statements. So when I say that being told these things by our elders creates this shame inside us, it’s because it does. And as we grow and learn this fact, that’s when it’s on us–as adults–to undo that damage and heal from that shame.

I’ve also learned that shame causes increased cortisol levels and proinflammatory cytokine. While I’ve discussed cortisol many times, I’ve not proinflammatory cytokine. Mostly because I didn’t know what that was until tonight. But shame causes increased levels and when that happens, our receptors can become damaged. This causes us inflammatory issues. Too many to name here. And it hangs out in adipose tissue. That’s right, fat cells. The fat cells constantly release proinflammatory cytokine and it causes inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Something I battle.

So getting rid of shame is pretty important.

While I was thinking of all of this, I was also thinking about how we lack empathy as a species. Sure there are those of us that understand and possess empathy, but so many do not. As an example, I watched a video that enraged me today. Several officers handcuffed a ten year old black boy playing in his grandmother’s yard over a case of mistaken identity. The little boy was so scared he peed his pants.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the video has gone viral. It’s all over the place. Guess whose face isn’t blurred out in the video? You’d think it’d be the cops, right? You know, those adults with all the power? But no, their faces were conveniently blurred out. But not the ten year old’s. He was left to be seen by everyone in his humiliation and terror as the cops questioned him. They tried to claim he ran away and that’s why they felt he was the person they were looking for, but really??? If these officers can’t tell the difference between a terrorized child and a criminal, they have no place in their positions. And every single place that played the video and blurred the officers’ faces and not the boys, fuck you.

What angered me most was that people were defending the cops being blurred and not the child, claiming that we couldn’t have empathy for the little boy if we weren’t able to see his face. You know what my thoughts are? If it takes you seeing a little boy’s eyes full of terror for you to see him as a human being, then you’re the problem. It should not take seeing his face for you to feel empathy for him.

This was one of many instances today that caused me this rage at our species. Why is it so hard for us to feel empathy for one another?

So I bounced back and forth on what to write tonight. About shame? Or empathy?

But as I was looking up shame and the toxic ways in which it slowly kills us, what I found was that people that are shamed tend to lack empathy. Not those of us working on and healing our shame, but those of us in denial about it. Those are the folks that can’t hold space for empathy because they’re so caught up in their own distress and need to live in denial all the time.

Now, this is not a catchall by any means. We are individuals and are capable of feeling shame and empathy. The thing is, when I really thought about all the people that I know personally that lack empathy, those are the same people that are drowning in shame. And most of them are completely unaware of just how much shame they possess. They’re people that think they’ve dealt with things when really all they’ve done was push it down and suppress the issues to the point that they are in complete denial. But that shame is still there, seeping out of their fat cells and wreaking havoc in their bodies and minds. It’s slowly killing them. Sucking their joy out of them. Creating zombies that can no longer feel because they’ve shut it all off and pushed it down.

For this reason, I’m going to share about the specific area of shame I’m still dealing with. I don’t know how to get past it either. Usually, D can help. But this isn’t really an area he can help with. This is on me to figure out. Becuase it’s about feeling dirty.

It’s no secret that victims of sexual abuse feel dirty. They feel deep shame around what happened to them even when they know it wasn’t their fault. And this is where I’m at. Even with my limited exposure, I still feel so dirty. I feel used. I’ve been working on the worthless part of that and I don’t feel worthless anymore, but this feeling of being dirty still lingers.

There are so many things that go into this feeling of dirtiness and shame around that. And others certainly don’t help. The moment someone looks at me differently, or is suddenly not interested in me anymore, that adds to this feeling. When those that claim to love me find out and rather than say, “I’m so sorry this happened, how can I support you in healing from this?” they say, “You have a sickness,” that adds to this feeling of shame. Of being marked, used, and dirty.

But I’m not dirty. I was used, yes, but I’m not now. And I can’t keep giving people that hurt me this power over me. I don’t want them having that power. If someone wants power over me, they’d better have earned that power.

Researching shame helped me to see that when people try to shame me, it’s their own shame they’re projecting onto me. It’s not mine. Nor do I want it. I’ve carried shame, yes, but it’s all things that others made me feel. When I was little and one of the men that violated me taught me what it meant to experience sexual pleasure, I thought it was the greatest thing ever. I wanted to experience orgasm all the time. I felt no shame in that. I felt no shame in him teaching me what my body could do. Was it still sexual abuse? Of course. But I wasn’t filled with shame about it.

When I felt shame was when I was taught that it was wrong to enjoy my body in such a way. The actual abuse was annoying. Painful physically at times. Scary at times. But it wasn’t shameful. I had no feelings about it. Those that weren’t the actual sexual abusers were the ones to inflict that shame upon me.

Understanding this has changed the way I see the shame I’ve carried. It was never my shame. And this goes for the feeling of being dirty too. I didn’t feel dirty on my own. Hurt yes, scared yes, but not dirty. That too came from people other than the ones doing the actual sexual abuse.

I don’t need to hold onto things that don’t belong to me. So now, I can let go of this shame and feeling of being dirty.

When we don’t face our shame and work to heal it, we pass it on to our kids, our friends, our coworkers, even complete strangers. But that shame we project is ours to deal with. Just as the shame I felt was projected onto me, I then projected onto others. And this is how this cycle continues. It’s the gift that keeps on giving that NO ONE actually wants. And it’s hard to see often times because while I was doing great in most areas, this is one area where I wasn’t. So it was easy to bypass it and not face these feelings.

But our shame, even if inflicted upon us by others, still is ours to heal and deal with.

The next time I feel ashamed, not guilty of wrongdoing, but shame, I’m going to ask myself why. I can’t think of a single time that I’ve felt ashamed because I–myself–thought something I was doing was shameful or wrong. It’s always others’ projections of shame, telling me I should be ashamed or something akin. And that means it’s not about me. I don’t need to do anything more with it aside from letting it roll right over my shoulder and plummet to the ground.

This has been a hard piece to write. It’s difficult to talk about these things. Just writing this will get me attacked by some, but that’s not going to stop me. Because this is an important topic. No matter who we are, at some point, we’ve carried shame. Even if it’s as simple as ‘I’m not good enough in bed’ or ‘why can’t I do that the way she does it?’. We all struggle with this subject in our own ways and this is a systemic issue. Finding ways to discuss shame without adding to it is something we can all benefit from.

Maybe the place to start is with empathy.

Posted in My Journey, PTSD | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Sweetest Space

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This day has been all over the place. It hasn’t gone to plan, that’s for sure. A lot hasn’t gone to plan lately and mostly, that’s great. It’s because I’ve crossed this barrier I didn’t know existed. Not until I was over it. Now that I am, everything is fresh and new and exciting in ways they haven’t been before. It’s quite beautiful really. This place I’m in is innocent and carries naivety. Something I’d have hated before, but love now.

When I crossed this barrier, it felt like starting over. Like I need to learn everything over again, but that’s not the case. It’s my responses that have shifted. I’m not responding from a place of trauma but instead, a place of innocent wonder. Things that didn’t hurt my feelings before, do now. And things that used to bother me, don’t. So I still know what I know but I’m not coming at things from a place of PTSD. Or brainwashing.

I use brainwashing because so often we soak in the negative things people say about us and believe that these things are true. More often than not, they’re lies. I’m not saying to ignore feedback from others but there’s a difference between feedback and attack on your character. Feedback has love and the desire to communicate at the root while the other is designed to evoke a negative emotion and has little to do with communication. In the past, I’ve allowed myself to listen to those that have hurt me over those that illustrate love for me.

I’d given in to bullying and bullshit from others far too often. People that had no place or right to tell me who I was or discuss my integrity when they refused to grow or acknowledge the harm they’d caused others. I’d allowed abusive peoples’ voices of hate to be louder than my own. And that’s been unfortunate. I thought I’d silenced these liars but I’d only muted them, until these last couple of weeks, that is. Now, they are silenced, and this silencing has led me to some powerful experiences and conversations.

Today, I met an amazing woman doing really good work. I’d seen her before but not spoken until today and I’m so impressed by her. We have a lot of overlap in what we’re doing with trauma work and PTSD and rape culture, and it was so beautiful to just sit and chat about giving people the tools and support and structure they need.

Then I met with a friend and we discussed similar things. Except with the friend, we discussed very personal and hard to deal with things. But we did it. We talked about hard things. Because like me, this friend wants to grow and heal and would rather face reality–even when hard as fuck–than live a lie or in denial. I love having these sorts of people in my life. People that don’t run from their trauma or suppress it, but instead, steer into it and open the door to healing. I’ve got several people close to me doing this right now and it’s so powerful. They are powerful because they can be vulnerable and honest and through that, heal. Some are just beginning their journey of healing and others are nearing the end, but all are amazing, wonderful people. I’m so grateful to have their support and to be able to support them as well.

Things have changed so much in these last two weeks. After working through my last bit of trauma, D rewarded me with something very special. I was so happy and giggly and dropped into the sweetest space, but that wasn’t what changed so much for me. The following day, as I was trying so hard to explain things to D, I couldn’t. I didn’t understand. The previous evening, I’d submitted to him in ways I’d not before. In ways that took years for me to build up to. And I’d honestly believed that when that occurred, it would free me of some deep misconception or self-judgment. But it didn’t.

As we were talking and he was making me come like a good little whore for him, I suddenly got it. Everything snapped into place and my eyes opened wide. I knew what was wrong.

The problem was that my body was on board with my deep submission to him–and therefore safety under him–but not my head. I still had a disconnect. The more I opened myself to what that disconnect was, it became clear. I’d wanted something very specific all my life and never gotten it. I wanted it so badly I even tried to fulfill these needs myself. But it was never enough. I needed someone else to do it. I needed D to do it.

So I told him.

I was panicking even as I said it. I both wanted it and didn’t. I knew the moment it happened, that everything would change. I also knew the change would be good, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to let go of my control. And that’s what it really was. It was about me keeping that illusion of control.

The moment I told him what I needed, his response was swift. In fact, I’m not even sure that what I asked for would have been so effective if he hadn’t responded so swiftly. But he did. And I instantly tried to think of ways to get out of it knowing full well he wouldn’t allow that without a safeword being called. But I didn’t call out a safeword. And the moment I was there, in the exact place and position I’d needed to be in so desperately, my entire world changed.

I’d needed this thing so fucking desperately, but no one had given it to me until that day. Not in the way D had. This lifelong need was suddenly met and without shaming or guilt or judgment. Just a need met. And that one seemingly small thing to many, changed everything for me because I’d never had it. The moment I did have it, my world became huge and small at the same time. I felt powerful and powerless at the same time. Both submissive and dominant. These things that had somehow separated into segments, part of me or aspects of a whole, were suddenly one.

Whole.

I was whole.

I cried so hard. It was so cathartic and healing and wonderful. I’d never felt so safe in my life, even with my world suddenly so much bigger. I even started seeing things I hadn’t before. Things in others but mostly in myself.

In these last two weeks, the PTSD responses I’d grown so used to, disappeared. Just gone. This doesn’t mean I don’t have stuff to work on. Because that’s still there. But I’m not looking through the PTSD glasses. It’s just stuff to work on. This has changed how I feel and manage stimulus.

I share all of this because it’s played into today. Into many wonderful things that have happened since D gave me the gift of meeting my deepest and most desired need. The woman I met today and had such an amazing conversation with, I’d met before. Only I’d not felt like I could approach her. I felt too small and judged to speak with her and I hadn’t even known her. And my friend, the person I’m suddenly looking forward to hearing from and seeing, I’m able to see in a different way. I’ve been attracted to her for a while, but PTSD was stopping me from really seeing her. But not anymore. So this new world has opened for me and I’m in love with life in a way I’ve never been before.

Is life perfect? No, of course not. Hell, my internet got shut off for three hours today because when I’d paid the bill last month, I’d forgotten to switch out the card. Three hours it took to solve this not so mysterious mystery, and I lost those hours of work time over a ridiculous mistake. But so what? I got a good conversation in while that was being sorted.

Then my office program decided to stop populating and saved weird bits of information in files that went out to people and I had to redo several of them. Why? NO clue. Just happened. So what?

These are the sorts of things that would have shut me down before. Or triggered me into high anxiety or a panic attack. The embarrassment and shame and guilt over screwing up a bill or messing up files somehow would have felt too overwhelming and I’d have turned it all off. But not now.

Life will always bring challenges. That’s not going to change while we’re alive because life, by nature, is about constant change. With change comes challenges. But I don’t have to look through PTSD goggles anymore. I can see with my own eyes. And life is so much more beautiful than I realized.

I know that D giving me what I needed was huge and kind and loving. I’m grateful he met this need and didn’t shame me for it. When he tells me he’s proud of me now, I feel it all the way through my body. It’s like a wave of peace and reassurance moving through me.

But I know that this is because of me too. Because I was finally able to ask for what I needed in order to let go. So often I give all the credit to others for my growth but I did this. I asked for what I needed. I was brave. Then I was open and received, and healed so much because of it. So I’m grateful that D gave me this but also grateful for myself. For being able to finally speak up and ask for what I needed most. I stopped standing in my own way and the moment I did, that emptiness in me left. I’d been the one keeping it empty and hollow and now, it’s full of love and life. Innocence and wonder. Beauty. Freedom. That’s what’s inside me.

In these last two weeks, I can count at least five things that occurred that would have triggered me or shut me down in the past. But none have. This is why it’s so important to be able to ask for what we need. Even if we get a ‘no’, at least we’ve tried. I’ve known for a long time what I’ve needed, just not why. I knew and refused to ask for it. I continued to suffer needlessly. Maybe now was just the right time, but I’ll never know. What I do know is that I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Because this is a happiness that isn’t tainted by someone else’s worldview, by trauma, by self-shaming or judgment… it’s just goodness. Pure bliss.

And it’s amazing.

Posted in Lifestyle, My Journey, PTSD | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Impervious: Chronicles of a (semi-)Retired Deviant – by Janet W. Hardy — SinCyr Publishing

We’re delighted to announce that SinCyr Publishing has picked up Janet W. Hardy’s Impervious: Chronicles of a (semi-)Retired Deviant. Publication is scheduled for Spring of 2019! About Janet ~ Janet W. Hardy is the author or coauthor of eleven groundbreaking books about relationships and sexuality, including The Ethical Slut (more than 160,000 copies sold to date, including […]

via Impervious: Chronicles of a (semi-)Retired Deviant – by Janet W. Hardy — SinCyr Publishing

Posted in My Journey

Things are Good

Things are good. They have been. Like REALLY good. Yet I’m feeling this strange bit of dread right now. Odd, I know. But I’m still feeling it. The reason it’s so odd is that things ‘have’ been good. If things are going wrong, it’s easy to understand these uneasy feelings.

It could be that when I posted the image below on social media today, someone responded with passive aggressive statements on their own feed and it made me realize that not all these types have been weeded out yet. But is that enough to make me fill with dread? Not so much. It’s annoying at best. And an indicator that I have more house cleaning to do.

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Maybe I feel uneasy because I’ve got such wonderful projects coming up that all mean so much to me and I’m in a bit of shock. Excited and terrified at the same time. All I can think is, “Pinch me already, because I’ve got to be dreaming!”

I’m not dreaming though. In fact, the only thing I did dream when I passed out on the couch earlier was how I was trying to toast bread in the fridge. Not because the fridge would toast it but because that’s where I kept the toaster. Naturally…

* shrugs *

Or maybe I’m feeling this way because it’s a good feeling inside me, just one I’m not used to so I’m confusing it with dread. I’m about to have something big happen in a personal way as well. Like, this weekend. Something I’ve wanted for a long time but wasn’t ready for. Nor did I fully understand my needs and wants because they were so wrapped up in shame. I’m once again reminded of Willy Wonka and the line about getting everything I ever wanted.

Of course, there’s always more to reach for and achieve because otherwise, what a waste of a life! But that doesn’t mean the things I’m getting right now don’t feel surreal. Because they do.

So I’m writing. It’s all I can do right now as everyone else is sleeping or um… occupied with nightly activities. And it’s sort of helping. I need to get to bed but I’m wide awake thinking about all the things. Feeling grateful as well and for so many reasons.

Now that I’ve gotten this out, I’ll sign off with this message below. ❤

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Posted in My Journey | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life Is Magical, When We Let It Be

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I’ve got so much to say right now. I’m not even sure where to start. For one, I’ve been so madly busy since Norwescon that I’ve hardly had time to breathe. My new classes started (and I love them so far), and that’s been an adjustment as now I’m driving to Gig Harbor for one of them. But it’s beautiful there and I’m enjoying it a great deal. I’ve also had some heavier work items going on, but that’s been enjoyable too. It’s just busyness. That’s it. And in this busyness, I’ve also implemented some pretty big changes.

While I’ve fought it for years, I am now keeping a tight schedule. I’ve got items on an excel sheet to be completed during certain hours of the day, and empty spots for leisure time or moving items if something can’t be completed when I’d planned. To my surprise, I’m not hating this process. I’m finding it helpful for getting more accomplished. The only downfall (which has been cleared up now) was that I was using the items I hadn’t completed to punish myself. And that’s not helpful. But as I said, that has been addressed in the hottest ways. *giggles* So now, I’m using my schedule to my advantage, and it’s wonderful.

The other thing I’ve changed is that I’ve gone back to the whole foods/plant based way of eating. No sugars or oils either. I’ve been vegan before, but I still had sugar and oils. Things my body doesn’t need. Since switching back to the whole foods plant method, I’m feeling so much better. So much more energy and less pain. While I love animals dearly and hate killing them for food, that isn’t the reason I’ve switched to plant based foods. My family still eats meat and if my husband makes his Korean BBQ, well, I’m having some! But I’m feeling so much better health wise that I really don’t want to stray from this.

Someone asked me a couple years back why I ate things that made me not feel good and I was irritated at the time. All I could think was, “Um…. hello… because they taste good!” I felt judged and angry over it. It’s taken me a long time to understand that my anger had nothing to do with the actual food. I was angry that this person had pointed out the obvious when I hadn’t thought about that myself. Why was I eating foods that made me sick? That left me in pain? The only answer that I’ve been able to come to is that I didn’t want to be pain free, which is a whole blog post in itself.

I’m also back to exercising again. While this isn’t a new thing, the pain I’ve been in has made working out hard. I’ve also allowed myself to become inactive and full of excuses after getting two cases of flu in a row. But enough is enough. I will admit, working out when I’m feeling lighter and in far less pain is so much easier too!

What all of these changes have meant is that I get to be happier and healthier. They’ve meant that I’m more open to goodness. I’m seeing people and situations so much clearer, and this is a great thing.

It’s also meant that I’m feeling things deeper. Like power dynamics. Everything has become so much more powerful and it was already powerful to begin with! Things I’ve only been able to fantasize are my reality now. Things so delicious that I’m considering starting another blog dedicated solely to these new aspects of my life.

Many things have changed in my life, and they are all wonderful. Life is magical when we let it be.

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