Comforts of Home

Although I am 910 miles from my hometown, I have been doing all of the things that make me feel joyful, safe and comforted.  Visiting the beach.  Spending my evenings reading a book.  Taking walks along storefronts and getting a coffee.  Drawing, coloring and painting.
Over the past year I’ve thought a lot about what makes me the happiest and at what points of my life I was truly content.  It was before social life, material things and what others thought of me mattered.  It was before I had to worry about money, what I would eat for dinner, or what the future would look like.

I was always happiest when I was mindful- when I enjoyed the moment and the simple things.

My mother is visiting in two weeks, and I am so excited.  Over the years she has visited me in different places I have lived, but this time feels different.  I feel like I can truly be myself and enjoy the time we have together.  While living in New York I was so eager to go, to do, and to show her everything- I’m not sure I really enjoyed the moment.  I always thought about what was next, whether work needed me, and hoped she was having fun.

I want to go back to that childlike place.  That place I get into when I visit her in Michigan, enjoying hot chocolate on a chilly evening, watching movies, sitting on the beach and having long talks.  

I want to be able to sit back, take it easy, enjoy what life brings me- not push to make life happen.  I need to remember this, on a daily basis, in everything I do.

Today I wake up little a little ping of anxiety, thinking about what I have to do all day.  I stopped myself and reframed those thoughts.  Instead of thinking, “I only have two weeks to accomplish A, B and C before she gets here,” I thought, “first, I’ll start with coffee.”

Yes, I have a lot to do and figure out before she arrives.  However, all I need to worry about is today- and even today, I will enjoy the moment, take on the tasks one at a time, and enjoy the simple things that make me remember the comforts of home.

Everything will work out how they are meant to. 

The Phoenix Rising

There is one difference between the Kristin today and the Kristin from the past: I can rise from unknown circumstances, discomfort, and pain in order to have faith that everything will fall into place.

I used to be scared to share my true feelings.  In order to get the job, keep the relationship or gain recognition, I put on a front of who I thought everyone wanted me to be.  I continued to fall, pick myself back up, put on a different face and then fall back down again.

Why did I keep falling?

Then, I realized: I hadn’t developed my own sturdy ground to stand on.

Until this past year, I was afraid to share my struggles.  The issues I had- whether it was within my own insecurities, my own fears, or my failures, could easily be covered up- but only temporarily.  Wherever you go, there you are.  My mask stopped working and my true self began coming through quicker and stronger every time.

A few months ago I met with a friend who knew much of my truth.  I had finally gotten the promotion I wanted, at a job I no longer am at.  It felt like a small victory.  She knew how I had been struggling a bit with my move to Boston and with my work, so she happily cheered me on.  “You’re the Phoenix, rising from the ashes!”

Although she meant it, I didn’t feel it at the time.  I still felt like I was hiding something underneath.  I didn’t feel like I had achieved anything of greatness- it was just a job.  There was more to life than a job.  I needed to fix something on the inside.

So what was missing?

Over the weekend I went to the library to send out emails and work on some writing. As I left the library, I saw a book on the shelf near the exit doors.  Love Warrior.  It sounded familiar, and then I remembered the talk I watched by Glennon Doyle about “hot loneliness.”  I had connected with her words and related greatly- the Universe always delivers exactly when you need it to, doesn’t it?

I picked up the book, checked it out, and continued on my path home.  I passed the Boston Marathon finish line and snapped a photo, thinking “love is a marathon, not a race.”  So is life.  It is okay to feel unsettled- it’s about sitting with that “hot loneliness” instead of covering it up.  It’s about embracing the present to grow for the future.

Through the years I continued to look for an outcome, so I ran in circles hoping to find it.  Until recently, I didn’t realize the joy was in the journey.

As I turned the pages over the weekend, I felt a great sense of comfort.  Glennon shared the same college experience as I did (I later found out she was also a Sigma Kappa), she had felt the same approval issues with men, she masked her feelings with alcohol, and had the same childhood angst, hiding in books and watching her peers from afar.

I read her story of pain and strength, both empathizing and feeling empowered at the same time.  It was a story I couldn’t put down; though I am not a mother have never been a wife, I completely related to her fear of love.

I feel a whole new sense of life after reading Love Warrior.  Glennon’s words have inspired me to continue to write and to share my truth, uncomfortable or not.  I am not the only one with uncertainty- I just have chosen to share it.

I know today that if I don’t continue to stay true to myself, be vulnerable and develop a sturdy foundation, I will never be able to rise- just like a Phoenix, just like a warrior.

Make Room For More

I’ve gone to the beach the past couple of days to clear my head in the midst of planning, emailing and writing.  My life hasn’t exactly been chaotic, but it hasn’t been anywhere near settled, either.

I have been searching to find my place here in Boston- workwise, homewise, relationshipwise.  It’s been an interesting eight months, though the only constant comfort I have found is the most important comfort of all: myself.

Perhaps that has been the problem: I have been searching.  I haven’t sat still.  I’ve run in circles time and time again, looking for solutions in all the wrong places.  What is it that I really want?  My day at the beach was meant to reflect, meditate, and manifest what it was that I truly desired.

Prior to leaving my apartment, I was alerted from the Boston Public Library that one of the books I reserved was ready for pickup.  I stopped by on the way to the shore to find the book: The Secret.

As I cleared my mind and breathed in the fresh ocean air, I turned the pages and received one amazing message after another.  

“It takes no time for the Universe to manifest what you want. Any time delay you experience is due to your delay in getting to a place of believing, knowing, and feeling that you already have it. It is you getting yourself on that frequency of what you want. When you are on that frequency, then what you want will appear.”

I opened the pages of my journal and began laying out exactly what I desire, how I envision my life and what my heart was telling me.  Over the years my dreams and goals have changed, yet have become much clear over the past few months.  

What I truly want is already planned out for me, and I have faith that everything will fall into place when it is time.  Until then, I just need to relax, do the work, enjoy the beauty around me and continue to make room for more.  There’s no need to fill my life with unecessary nonsense just to keep me occupied- it has been shown to me time and time again that the wrong jobs, cities, apartments and boyfriends just don’t work. 

I know what my heart tells me is right, so I just need to be patient, be clear when communicating to the universe, and keep the faith.

Your heart will always lead the path on the journey to your purpose.