Categories
mindfulness self care

Enjoying a Quiet Life

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As I sipped my morning coffee and watched the rain fall, an article from Elephant Journal appeared in my news feed:

It’s Okay to Want to Live a Slow & Quiet Life.

How often do you question if the life you are currently living is the life that feels most authentic to you?

One of the biggest questions I’ve mulled over the last eight months is, “What kind of life do I really want?”

As I pick through the versions of the lives I’ve lived over the last 15 years, what I keep coming back to is a life founded on simplicity. The life that resonates the most with me was a time I lived on a 50-acre vineyard and farm. My days felt like molasses—a slow, steady, and sweet flow.

It was a life of less in many ways but full of so much more richness because I was away from the busyness of life that is easy to get caught up in. I had time to experience the slow beauty of what was around me, the warm, summer breeze weaving between the apple trees, the distance cries from my flock of sheep, and green grass as it tickled my feet when I walked in it.

Amanda Whitworth

As I read the author’s experiences and journey to simplicity, I resonated with each word.  Being present is a beautiful thing, and could never be beat by bright lights or fast-paced glamour.

The reaction I usually get when people hear I moved back to Michigan is usually “wow, what a change” or “you must be bored.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Even in Boston I spent a lot of time to myself and in quiet reflection.  I enjoyed days in the park writing and walked thousands of miles, just snapping photos and listening to music.  My life didn’t have any of the luxuries I was taught would make me feel “complete.”

I embraced what was right in front of me.

Although I used to spend my time going out, dating, and finding chaos, I couldn’t imagine living my life that way anymore.  There’s nothing I enjoy more than going home to a quiet apartment, reading a good book, or finding solace in nature.

Simplicity has become a big part of my life, and taking on the “less is more” mentality has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

It doesn’t take much to be happy when you’re happy within.  That’s the best gift of all.

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Categories
mindfulness

Life Works On It’s Own Timeline

Being stuck on the train is always a good time to start a new post.

Appropriately, this made me start to think about patience.

2018 has been yet another year for self discovery, picking yourself back up, and learning to think differently in this crazy world we live in. In January I set out with big hopes and dreams, got discouraged when they didn’t work out fast enough, and lost hope- briefly.

Then, at the end of August, I realized an important lesson: life has other plans for me.

Instead of looking at the outside to determine my success and worth, I began to look even deeper within.

I found myself going back to teaching this past fall while I continue to write, work on myself, and help others learn to live their best life. I hadn’t expected to start teaching again, but the opportunity appeared right when I least expected it.

We try so hard to perfectly plan each move we make, only to find that life works on its own timeline. Each detour provides a lesson to react differently than we have in the past, whether it’s a stopped train in Cambridge or coping with a loss.

As I work with others in every area of my life, I’m grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned in 2018 and try to implement them on a daily basis. On some days I learn patience with students, and on others I learn to let unkind words roll off my back.

Life certainly does have its own timeline, and it’s my job to make the most of everything it brings my way.

Categories
mindfulness self discovery

True Freedom: Letting Go of Resentments

As I strolled through the Back Bay and down to the Esplanade yesterday, I felt a new sense of freedom. It was a beautiful fall day, and I had the chance to head to my favorite spot in Boston- the Charles River.

The freedom I felt was greater than just being able to take time out to enjoy nature, though- it was a sense of freedom within.

I went to a meeting where I saw some people from my past who I avoided due to resentments- and not only did I face those people for the first time in over a year, I raised my hand and spoke about it.

“Resentments kept me sick and my secrets held me hostage.”

For a long time, I only let half of my true self be known.

People in the group nodded and smiled. Over the years, I found every reason in the book to avoid groups, places, jobs, family, or friends- all due to uncomfortable feelings, resentments, or disagreements. Running was my favorite pastime- but not in the jogging sense of the word. I ran from discomfort.

“I’m no longer willing to water down my story or hide from the world,” I continued. In the past I was extremely fearful of judgment or rejection- but the only person that hurt was me. The more honest I am, the more I learn how accepting others are- but I also learn which people don’t matter.

I’ve been working on being my authentic self, loving my truth, and owning my story no matter what others have to say about it, and that is the greatest freedom of all:

Freedom within.

Categories
minimalism

Start by Simplifying: Align With Your True Self

Something has felt just a little “off” lately.  Apparently this has been obvious to the world around me, too.

For example, earlier today I walked up to a friend and stopped.  She must have noticed I was unlike my usually-energetic self, so she gave me a look of wonder.  Looking up, I said, “I haven’t been feeling myself for the past couple of weeks.”

She looked at me and nodded.  “You do seem a little bit off.”

I’ve been feeling this way for weeks now- but why?

There comes a point in everyone’s life when you recognize all you need to let go of in order to move on.  You may struggle to say goodbye to people, habits, behaviors, or doubts.  I know I have.

If I can talk the talk, why is it so hard to walk the walk?

I’ve thought I’ve let many things go, but apparently some of those things are still bubbling at the surface:  Insecurities.  Doubts.  Fear.  In turn, I also learned that my solar plexus chakra (also known as our “third chakra”) is extremely blocked and unbalanced.

I had never studied the importance of the solar plexus chakra before, but after doing so, it all made much more sense.  Although I have always felt I had a strong intuition, big heart, and solid communication skills, I never had a strong sense of self, identity, or confidence.  I moved city to city, and job to job, all to find a place where I fit, not knowing my true home was within.

After learning a little bit more, I learned that blockages in our third chakra can effect:

  • Will, personal power
  • Taking responsibility for one’s life, taking control
  • Mental abilities, the intellect
  • Forming personal opinions and beliefs
  • Making decisions, setting the direction
  • Clarity of judgments
  • Personal identity, personality
  • Self-assurance, confidence
  • Self-discipline
  • Independence

All of these attributes are obviously important to any human being, but I have found that these can also be challenges for many.  Without a strong sense of self, of course people flounder.  We change relationships, professions, neighborhoods, and even pick up bad habits, such as excessive shopping, addictions, or gambling.

Sometimes we just need to take it easy and give ourselves a hug… and a mental break.

After writing a blog post yesterday morning and relaxing in the park, I watched a June energy update in hope of finding some sort of help or answer to my “off-ness.”  One of the YouTubers I love watching is Lee Harris, who gave some helpful insights for the June energy, and the challenges we faced in May:

MAY WAS AN INTENSE MONTH.

It brought with it a lot of change, a SHIFT IN OUR IDENTITIES and also new levels of CLARITY around any aspects that had been unclear or muddy in your life. Your mind may suddenly have become clear about these areas and allowed you to make changes in patterns of behaviour, relationships or careers. The changes may have been obvious – things that weren’t working and for many, the element of surprise would have accompanied this. What this now ALLOWS you to do is make room on the inside to adjust and calibrate, before taking your next actions or welcoming the next level of energy into your life.

There are two ways we create change on the planet; we try something out externally and it changes who we are internally as a response; or equally, we can sit with ourselves and go within for a while and meditate on who we are and what we want from life. Then after this period of INNER SHIFT, different and new things start to manifest in our outer lives.

Confidence is the next big factor of my life I need to work on; being confident in doing my best.  Confident in my friendships.  Confident in my work.  Being confident in my identity.

I have spent so many years concerned about what my family, friends, or complete strangers have thought of me.  Maybe that is my next step: becoming truly happy no matter what is going on on the outside.  Don’t get me wrong; I’ve taken a lot of steps.  However, there is always work to be done.

So far, I’m off to a good start- over the past couple of days I’ve been busy at the gym, got a new haircut, and have learned to slow down… a little, anyway.  As we move through June, I am optimistic that each day I’ll become a little more grounded, a little more sure of myself, and a little more in-tune with my third chakra; because if I’ve learned one thing by now, it’s “wherever you go, there you are.”

If you still have questions about the June energy, you can check out the rest of Lee’s energy report here.

Categories
mindfulness

When the Fog Clears

I’ve had a vivid imagination for as long as I can remember.  From the detailed characters I created into illustrated story books at age 7 to the imaginary friends who were invited to my grandparent’s house for dinner, I’ve never had a lack of creativity in my life.

That’s even bled into my adulthood, too- I relentlessly see the good in people, create storylines for situations, predict how entire time period will turn out- from friendships to jobs- and sometimes even dream entire relationships in my head.

Well, that would only be if the other party hadn’t fooled me into believing those stories.

Nevertheless, it’s been interesting how the element of storytelling and fantasy has played a role in my adult life.  I’ve dramatized situations, looked fondly at people based on the hope I had for the person they were, and have created negative situations out of nowhere.  My intuition has always played a role in this storytelling, however, the people in my real-life have also become interesting characters.  There comes a day when you stop seeing life as purely a fairy tale, but one big series.  A whole collection of experiences, dramas, comedies, and tragedies.

Perhaps you can separate fantasy from real life.

Maybe it’s time to just start writing a new story.

🐱