For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction. ~Cynthia Occeli
Most of us believe something negative about ourselves and we go about our days, unconsciously of course, looking for things that will reinforce this negative belief we have. Today make it your intention to pay close attention to your thoughts. Instead of seeking out things today that confirm a negative belief, seek out positive attributes about yourself. Become your biggest fan and don’t worry this is not arrogance. Arrogance is the absence of acknowledging your weaknesses and the commitment to work on them. This is about recognizing a self-defeating habit and working on changing it. For example, if you believe you are a kind person then practice being kind to yourself. The best way to bring out this positive emotion of kindness is to seek out opportunities to be kind to others. The action will create the emotion within you. Make sure to also remind yourself that any acts of kindness that are shown to you are not just happening by chance, luck, or coincidence but occurring because you are truly deserving of kindness and love.
Dearest of Dear Friends (pretty much anyone & everyone),
Lately I have found myself in a vicious circle of ill serving thoughts. Like: I suck. This sucks. Why does this suck? How can I make this not suck? “This” being basically everything and not anything. I know. Completely messed up. (Please don’t send me a cute meme that says how awesome I am. I know it would be meant in kindness but that meme really better serves those who already think they are kind of awesome & they need to read that meme to complete their awesomeness. “No awesome here to complete.” How about that for a meme? Or a better suited meme for me would be “Life is Hard and it just Wouldn’t Be Realistic to say otherwise”) Really though, I will spare you all the melodramatic details but the writing has been anything but sublime & definitely not worthy of human consumption, not even for the most wretched among us. I am currently reading Ann Patchet’s Truth & Beauty which explains the dramatic tone in which I am taking while writing this post. Click Here if you want to read more about this book. I am writing this at 8:30 a.m. but plan to post this evening…that is if I decide to let you see me at a low point. It feels incredibly vulnerable to share thoughts at such a discouraging moment but also very real. Real is what I strive for. Raw to the bone. Stripped of all pretenses. My complete inner world exposed. I know this moment too shall pass but how do I get back to my flow. Avoiding struggle is probably the worst thing I can do at this juncture. I can attest that enough time has already been spent doing that. The only way to get past the struggle is to first allow myself to go completely through it. It is an opportunity for growth. A simple reminder that growth & progress is what leads to fulfillment in one’s life. Why does the growth seem so slow right now & the progress so scarce? Is it just the daily grind? I imagine a bit of the depression is coloring everything I see. This is how I work my way through it. Expressing and sharing. Just be myself no matter how messy it looks. The risk of being defined by this one aspect of myself I realize is inevitable but I am okay with that. A small joy of getting older. The wisdom of time has taught me that this is just how I am. Peaks and valleys. I am reading back over this now & realizing how completely pitiful I sound. I will cushion the realness by going back through & peppering this post with some smart assisms (aka my humor). Sorry if I seem a little light on the pepper today. I do feel confident though that I will be back to a better self soon. And I promise I am not as bad as this all probably sounds. Just working through my thoughts. That is my process. By the way I am loving the Ampersand (&) sign right now. Can you tell? I replaced all my “ands” with it. That is my artistic touch I decided to add. So artistic I am. But really it does seem to be everywhere right now.
P.S. I have read that a writer should learn the economy of words. Say what you need to in the fewest amount of words as possible. As you can tell by this post I haven’t quite mastered that yet.
Our truth sometimes feels like our kryptonite. This thing that we feel that if we get to close to it will destroy us. We think our truth is our weakness. This dirty little secret about ourselves that we are afraid to share with others because we fear how they will define us by this one thing. Sometimes we carry this shame of our truth and work hard on finding ways to conceal it. Our personalities becomes an ally to the shame. It happens to all of us, though some more than others. We all work hard on concealing it. We oftentimes don’t see ourselves as we see ourselves or even how others see us. We see ourselves and define ourselves by how we “think” other people see us. The thing is our truth is not who we are but only a small part of us. We are allowed to hold several truths simultaneously. Here are some of my simultaneous truths:
I am weak but I am also strong. I can be vulnerable but also guarded. I can be accepting of others but I have also been guilty of judging. I can be socially shy and awkward but I can also be confident with who I am. I suffer from anxiety and depression but I also have days of pure bliss. I can be funny and light-hearted but I can also be totally lost in my head. I believe in God but I also have moments of doubt. I have days of feeling confused and unworthy of love and belonging but also days where I know exactly who I am and what I am here to do.
These are all my truths and I am not defined by just one.
The truth is actually what brings and allows us to have closer relationships with people. When we speak our truths the shame dissipates and our personalities begin to align with our souls.
I’m a list maker. An old fashion list maker. The feeling of the pen in my hand as it glides across the paper makes me feel peaceful and confident. The anticipation I get when thinking about my day is strangely exhilarating. The idea of seeing how much I can accomplish makes me feel powerful and in control. As I cross things off the list I am reminded that I am in charge. If I stay focused I can achieve great things. Big things. The list shows me what is possible.
This week I will rely heavily on my list. They will be crucial. It is going to be a busy week filled with lots of to-dos. My list will dictate whether or not my days flow with ease as I cross things off or if I will be in a mad last-minute scramble to get things done. Of course I would prefer the former. Recently I heard someone speak about our daily routines. My daily routine is often the creating of the List. They said to tackle the hardest thing on your list first. I couldn’t agree more with this statement. I always have that one thing on my list that I dread doing. However, if I set my mind to tackle the hardest thing first I believe I position myself to be in a place of power for the remainder of the day. Doing the hardest thing first builds my confidence. It gets the momentum going for my day.
The reality is that I haven’t always had this strategic mind-set but I am realizing its importance. The hardest thing on my list today is getting this post written. I imagine it will be my hardest thing for some time even though I hope that will change. I want to write but I procrastinate. My head gets filled with all sorts of mental clutter like the idea that I have nothing to say. But now I will tackle these thoughts that don’t serve me. I will face them down in the arena. Who will win in the arena today? I have a mind to use but I will not let it use me.
It has only been two days since I made my declaration of the goal to write a blog post everyday. I knew my excitement and my eagerness would wane. However, I know I must push through all my mental clutter so that I can access my truth. My mental furniture doesn’t quite have the feng shui flow that I would like this morning.
In my formative years I kept a journal in junior high and high school. It was filled with all the usual young girl stuff. What boys I liked. Fights with girlfriends. How I felt about my parents. It also revealed my experimenting with boys and drugs. My mother ended up reading my journal. It was quite devastating as you can imagine. At the time I didn’t feel like my life was out of control, only that I was a typical young girl trying to find her way. However, my mother’s reaction was that I was completely out of control. I was sent to live with my father. Like a location change was going to change who I was.
This morning I found myself reflecting on this and how I can relate it to parenting my boys especially my older one who will be 13 this year. Of course when I was younger I had all sorts of ideas on the type of mother I would be. I believed that some how I would be able to bestow my wisdom onto them and this would keep them from making some of life’s mistakes. Unfortunately I now know that it doesn’t entirely work that way. Did my parents try to share what wisdom they had with me? Yes. Did I listen? No. Instead I focused on all their weaknesses and in my mind these weaknesses discredited any wisdom that they might have had. I see my oldest doing this to me and I can’t help but think that I can change it.
A strange book, or at least that is how I perceived the cover, that I wasn’t sure I would like or even be able to relate to but the writing. Oh the writing. I am swooning. Her talent is not just limited to her writing but she is also an amazing artist with her drawings. This is a story about a girl and her sketchbook. Obviously I can relate to the girl part but the passion she has for drawing is not something I am familiar with. However I do understand the need to express yourself.
Like Mary Karr’s book “The Art of Memoir” that I read six months ago, I am finding that I have to reference the dictionary quite often. I am okay with this. Normally I would either be deterred from a book like this or I would just not take the time to look the words up. But lately I have had an insatiable need to understand and to learn from authors who display such talent. This has a lot to do with the fact that I am trying to improve upon my own writing.
In “Drawing Blood” Molly Crabtree eloquently invites me into her world and I find myself wondering if we could be friends. I have concluded that I don’t think I’m smart enough for her and she would probably find my jokes a tad immature so I guess I will just have to take my place as a mere fan. The thought makes me a little sad but with time I am confident I will grow to be okay with this. I should also add that I’m only on Chapter 4 of this book and there is still time for us to have a disagreement so maybe I will find that the friendship is not meant to be. However, I am in absolute awe of her bravery to travel the world at such a young age by herself. She is telling me of places, regions, and cultures that I normally would not go research on my own accord. I feel like she is making me smarter to the world and I catch myself wondering again about a friendship. Could I become smart enough to be her friend?
My morning routine starts with coffee. It is a vital ingredient to my morning and one I cannot imagine having. It is also my quiet time to read, write, and reflect. This week so far has been filled with some seriously inspiring people whose words have weighed heavy on my heart. This blog is something that I have dreamt about doing but once I got started I slowly found myself beginning to fizzle out. That was mostly because I felt like I lacked direction. The tone I wanted. The subject matter I wanted. And also the fear of not getting it right. Continue reading
Woman Crush Alert!! Before reading this book I thought she was an incredibly talented woman. Now I think I want to be her best friend! I will fight the urge to start writing her weekly letters to tell her how awesome I think she is and how we need to hang out soon. Seriously! You think I am kidding? Ok, I write which means I like to make stuff up…like Shonda😁 My new BFF!
Aside from all the silliness, this is truly an entertaining and thought provoking read that will have you laughing out loud and shaking your head thinking “Shonda, you crazy.” There are also great nuggets of wisdom sprinkled through out that will inspire you to think about how you can challenge yourself. I say “YES” to the “Year of Yes!”
Sam did this one. When I asked him what it meant to him he said “It means to try new things.” He has a lot of wisdom for a ten year old. His wisdom led me to think that we need to see something bigger for our lives than our current circumstances, which means you might need to try new things. Continue reading
Visually speaking this is not my favorite but I still love the words.
This is a Facebook post I wrote and thought I would share it on here as well. I decided to not customize it for my blog and just leave it as is. Hope you Enjoy!
I made this one a couple of months ago but decided to share now since there seems to be a lot of talk lately about embracing who you are. It was created during a time when I sensed matters of my life were a little messy and lets all be honest here, our lives do get messy. We stumble around (not physically because then people might think we’re drunk), we make mistakes, and we say stuff that we wish we hadn’t, or at least thought “I probably could have said that better.” Then we lay in bed at night replaying the events of our day, and even events from the past, and think we could have DONE better.