Categories
conscious living

Easter Lily

Well, I’ve officially kept a plant alive for over a year now.

It’s pretty hard to believe.

I’ve fondly written about my peace lily, a little gem I picked up when I worked at One International.  I initially bought the lily for my desk, but since then, it’s seen three apartments, survived public transit on multiple occasions, and has been brought back to life several times.

She’s a little champ.

So, knowing that I can successfully care for a plant (first a plant, then a pet, they say…), I decided to get another one.  This actually wasn’t my idea- my mom mentioned it when I showed her a picture of a new trash can I bought to match my soap dispenser and comforter.  Of course, I need to find something cute to do with a trash can, right?

I entertained her by putting my peace lily in the trash can (that sounds terrible), but we agreed it needed something taller.  I continued to use the trash can as a, well, trash can, until last night- when I spotted a lonely lily at CVS.

Leave it to me to find the lone plant marked at 25% off.  Dry and looking sad, I picked up the lily without question and headed to check out, along with my red lipstick, face masks, and popcorn.  Hey, it was Friday night- and Friday nights are meant for vegging out.

Once I got home, I put everything away, gave my new lily some water, and set her in her new home.  It was perfect!  I read up on Easter Lilies and learned they’re known as joyful symbols of elegance, beauty, spirituality, hope, and life.  How appropriate.

Even if we’re lost and lonely somewhere, there’s a place we will fit- and I feel that way about Boston.  I’ve not only found myself, but I’ve started to be able to care for other things, too- and I have my two lilies to prove it.

Categories
self discovery

Nevertheless, She Persisted

On Saturday I took a journey via bus, train, and Uber to see Senator Elizabeth Warren in Weymouth.  This was Senator Warren’s 22nd town hall, addressing a variety of issues, from the proposed Weymouth compressor station to health care, education, and North Korea.  The energy in the room was amazing, and I even made some new friends in the crowd.

Although I knew her story and have been a big supporter of her for years, it was amazing to hear her share it in person.  She told the crowd how she came from a paycheck to paycheck family, received a college scholarship, dropped out of school, and got divorced- yet she persisted.  She went on to finish school thanks to an affordable community college where she paid $50 a semester, graduated law school, and eventually became a professor at Harvard.  For a girl who had out-of-reach dreams (or so she thought) of becoming a public school teacher, this is pretty amazing.

She made it clear that second- and even third and forth chances- are possible.

This made me stop and think about my own experiences.  Politics aside, we can all learn from Elizabeth’s message.  It’s easy to beat ourselves up over mistakes of the past, view our situation as hopeless, or think we’re not good enough, smart enough, or educated enough to reach great heights- but we must remember we can try again.

 

Our lives may not turn out the way we once envisioned- and that’s okay.  Life isn’t meant to.  Life is supposed to surprise, delight, and hurt- the good moments wouldn’t be as sweet if we didn’t experience the bad.

As I continue to walk along this road of life, it’s exciting to see why things fell apart as new pieces come together.  Two years ago, I never would have thought I would live in Massachusetts.  I thought New York was the only way; my only path.  Had it not crumbled, I wouldn’t have the foundation I have now.  Life is one big classroom, and whether you’re a high school student at Weymouth or a professor at Harvard, you’ll never stop learning.

Categories
conscious living empowerment

Real Queens Fix Each Other’s Crowns

“Crown and anchor me, or let me sail away.”

Over the years I used to try to be what others wanted me to be.  This left me irritable, lost and confused.  I’ve roamed from state to state, city to city, looking for who my true self is.

I used to compromise my values for friendship, approval and love.  I looked for my crown in all the wrong places.

One person who has always anchored me, reminding me who my true self is, is my best friend.  We have faced the same struggles and have the same nervous thoughts when our anxiety gets the best of us.  We laugh about the same quirky things and have the same pet peeves.  Whenever I’m feeling a little uneasy, I know she will understand.

Near or far, the best friendships are the ones that know no distance.  Although we have both ventured from the shores of Lake Michigan, we always pick up exactly where we left off.

She’s given me the strength to be myself and to sail away from negative situations, thoughts and people.  I have found a sense of purpose in my passions, and she has supported me through it all.  

I’ve learned to raise my standards and rely on the universe.  Our thoughts are powerful, and I realized recently that I’m still trying to repair old relationships and habits that no longer suit me.  If I accept the way I am treated, then the universe will give me the old junk that is unhealthy.  I don’t have to live like that anymore.

Thanks to female strength and the women who have helped fix my crown, I no longer have to accept the things I did in the past.  “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.”  Today I will settle for more, reach high and find those people who will fix my crown- not try and take it, move it or change it.

“If you cannot find a good companion to walk with, walk alone, like an elephant roaming the jungle. It is better to be alone than to be with those who will hinder your progress.” -Buddha


Categories
conscious living self discovery

Choosing Grace, Not Aggression

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“I want peace. I want to see if somewhere there isn’t something left in life of charm and grace.” -Margaret Mitchell

Life sure is funny.  Just when I was beginning to feel strong standing on my own two feet, the universe threw me a curve ball to test (and strengthen) my skills and strength.

This past weekend was challenging.  Despite the joy I was experiencing, the wonderful community I have found and my own practice of self care, outside forces triggered past pain and emotions- and this scared me.  Instead of self destructing as I have in the past, I took a deep breath, sat on a bench and called a friend.

Setting healthy boundaries has been a huge part of my own happiness and recovery, as I have experienced insecurities, pain and fear due to the messages I have received throughout my life.  This includes family members, teachers, peers, boyfriends and even public figures.  I have consistently questioned my worth, second guessed myself and backed down when I began to achieve some form of success.  I had no confidence- if what I was doing wasn’t “perfect” it wasn’t worth doing.  My self esteem and foundation were always a bit rocky, but old feelings of fear crept up on me when someone’s criticism and judgment set me off out of nowhere.

The defensive Kristin came back- and it was extremely uncomfortable.

I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder toward people who try to dominate me, thus acting out and being overly defensive and aggressive.  I have held on tightly to this defense mechanism through the years, only to realize how awful it made me feel.  I remembered traumatic experiences- bullying, sexist messages, abandonment and physical abuse.  I have kept all of this inside for years.  Had I been acting out for decades without realizing it?  Yes, I had.  It just took me thirty-some years to learn it.

After speaking with friends about traumas I suppressed (and failed to recognize as abuse- I thought it was all my fault), I am grateful for these triggers.  Old feelings of shame came to the forefront, and I was able to meditate on these uneasy feelings.  So, as always, I walked to the water for solace.

Water brings me such peace.  It is the closest way for me to connect with my higher power, so on Sunday I meditated on a rock and prayed for the courage and grace to get through the day.

I received just that- strength and hope.  I faced the day with grace, not aggression, and everything worked out just fine.  I tried not to let the negative messages affect my mood, so after leaving the pond I turned my negative energy into productivity.  Since art and writing has always brought me peace, I decided to stock up on art supplies to paint inspirational messages for my friends.  I’ve received endless love, compassion and hope from the friends I have made in Boston, so instead of living in my one-woman pity party, I decided to give the love back to those who have helped me.

As I go about my Monday, I will remember the feeling of peace and serenity I experienced by Spy Pond.  When I walk with grace, the world is a little lighter, a little freer.  If you’re also experiencing some aggravation, try a meditation to bring you back to center.  Remember, your true home is within you- everything outside of yourself is not in your control- but you can control how you react.  Once you’re able to manage outside factors with grace, not aggression, you will feel better- I promise.

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