Categories
empowerment

Being Your Own Partner

The other week at work I told a friend of mine that this would be the summer I would meet a guy with a sailboat.  She looked at me and replied, “you need to find a guy with a dog.”  I looked at her, gave a puzzled look, and said, “I’m more of a cat person.  I’ll go with the sailboat.”

Truth be told, I don’t want the guy.  I want to go sailing.

Society makes us think we need the guy- but guess what? We don’t.

This morning I was messaging with a friend who lives in NYC who mentioned there’s a sailing school on the Charles River, which I had looked into when I learned about the community sailing program.  Sounds like a happy medium to me- the perks of sailing without the baggage of the guy.

Funny enough, over two years ago I went on a date with this friend; yes, he has a sailboat, and no, I am not interested in him.  However, two years ago I would have hung out with him purely for the boat.

This Kristin would rather hang out alone.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about partnership.  How many people do you know who are in unsatisfying relationships?  I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of these people.  Sure, some people are scared of being alone.  Some people are extroverts.  Some people want to settle down.  Some people like the security of having a “plus one.”  However, I see absolutely no reason anyone should feel obligated to settle down with another person.

To me, a man would only hold me back- unless he was extremely strong.

The one and only time I am certain I was in love ended after this person told me he didn’t want a partner- ever.  This shook me to the core.  He was one of the only people in my life I could just sit in a room with, fall asleep next to, and sing old Chicago songs with.  He was only time I ever got “the fuzzies;”  I didn’t even know what “the fuzzies” were until I met him the very last night in June of 2014.

Nevertheless, it ended, and it has taken me four years to finally realize he wasn’t perfect, either.  He would sit on his phone all morning, go to Brooklyn and hang out with his old Harvard friends without me, and was the most self-deprecating person I had ever met.  Still, I loved him.  A lot.

But since he left me, I learned to love myself.  In fact, now I love myself enough to not let another person bring me down.  If a guy were to tell me my sunglasses were too big, my lips were too red, or my hair was too short, I would laugh at him.  If a guy suggested I wear shorter skirts, tighter tops, or send suggestive photos, I would run.  Fast. 

Sexism, misogyny, and objectification have no home here.

The old Kristin didn’t stand up for herself, so she fell for everything.  Yes, that is cliche.  However, what I didn’t realize was that I was attracting the wrong people because I was insecure.   I know this is partially because I grew up without a male role model; and the things I did hear about women were negative, judgmental, and, well, mean.  

They say women get their loving side from their mothers, and confidence from their fathers.  Not all of us have those blessings.  In a society where women are mean to each other, men treat women like playthings, and the media forces mixed messages down our throats, what are those girls supposed to do who have no role models at all?

This is why I write.  This is why I let my vulnerability out after years of holding back.  Maybe, just maybe, I can help one other woman realize she is worth so much more than her label, her view of herself, or what the world says about her.

So, I’ll leave you with this: my friend at work also told me there is a “lid to every kettle.”  She is probably right.  Whether or not I do meet my match one day, I will be fine- because I have the best partner of all- myself.

Categories
self discovery

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
self discovery

Those Spring Feelings- Starting Fresh

Although today’s temperature in Boston would suggest otherwise, it’s the first day of spring.  Emotionally, this year feels like it, too- although I’m still wearing a heavy coat and there’s a winter storm warning, it’s the start of a new, fresh season.  It’s a time to wake up from the winter months, reemerge, and blossom.

It’s time to shine!

This past weekend was the New Moon in Pisces– a dreamy, go-with-the-flow vibe.  Representing strong, feminine energy, Pisces floats in at a time where we can embrace the new season by owning our strengths, taking chances, and welcoming new opportunities.  Saying goodbye to this last chapter, the New Moon is a time to turn the page and start with a fresh, new piece of paper.

Speaking of new opportunities, I start comedy class tonight.  Laughter has always been one of my ways to cope with life, from telling stories to making not-so-funny situations into something humorous.  Although I’ve thought about comedy writing for over eight years, I kept talking myself out of it.  First, the classes at UCB were full.  Then, I didn’t have the money.  There was always an excuse!

There’s been no doubt in my mind that sketch comedy would be something I’d enjoy- and even be good at- but for some reason, a little voice kept causing me to procrastinate.

That negative self talk is what has kept me from doing a lot of things- but this past year of healing, writing, and getting to know myself has given me the strength to go forward and give it my all.  What do we have to lose, anyway?  I’ll tell you- opportunity.

You never know unless you try.  This goes for relationships, career, and life- you can’t judge the outcome of your future by the mistakes or events of your past.

It’s important to heal and let go of the blocks that have prevented you from taking risks- especially if your heart is telling you that the thing you’re afraid of is right.

Happy Spring, and I hope you’re able to take chances, have faith, and go with the flow- you never know what people or opportunities will float your way.

Categories
self discovery

One Step at a Time

Setting goals for ourselves is an important part of life.  There are so many things we dream of- from an early age our parents encourage us to study hard, succeed in a sport or hobby, and get into a good college.  None of those things happen magically, though; we must take steps.

Over the years I have gotten discouraged when I didn’t meet my goals fast enough or see results immediately.  I’ve compared myself to others around me, only to question how well I was doing: but comparison is the thief of joy.  We each have our own path, and everything happens for a reason.  Life will never pan out the way we think it will- the Universe likes to surprise us (and that’s the fun part!).

As I have gotten older I have started to enjoy the journey and stop focusing on the finish line- after all, isn’t life about the little moments?

I’m currently working on a book and hope to become a full-time writer by the end of the year.  Writing has been a shining light in my life, and connecting with others gives me great joy and a sense of purpose.  Last summer I started reaching out to publishing agents, editors, and other bloggers to connect with to share my work.  I made a few connections, but it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for.  That’s because it wasn’t time yet.

I have to remember to have faith and continue to take one step at a time.  I know the Universe and God have a plan for me- but they’re not ready to uncover it.  I still have pages to write and a journey to walk.

By writing a little each day, sending my work out to other websites, and engaging in personal development, I’m setting myself up for each next step.  It’s important to remember to celebrate each and every victory- no matter how big or small!  For example, it was exciting to hear from Thought Catalog last January after I wrote a post on minimalism– they emailed me out of nowhere and asked to use my work!  I’ve been writing for them ever since, and have recently starting contributing to Elephant Journal, too.

It’s easy to get impatient.  I’ve given up, backtracked, or gotten depressed when things didn’t go exactly as planned.  I’ve changed courses only to find myself going right back to what my heart was originally telling me.  Your heart will always guide you in the right direction.

Your goals, hopes, and dreams will happen when they’re supposed to happen; so don’t get discouraged.  Each day counts.  Make a list, chip away a little bit, and try your best.  Even when you’re feeling down (like I was), your faith will make you stronger- set your intention, believe, and keep going.

Even when the steps seem difficult to take, remember: they count.  Each and every step adds up to something bigger.

Keep climbing and believing in yourself; the world will believe in you too.

Categories
empowerment self discovery

Dream Big, Darling

As 2017 comes to a close, I’ve smudged away old regrets, lost dreams, and looked toward everything the future has to offer.  I’m ready to take on 2018… are you?

It’s easy to dwell on the past, old mistakes, or missed opportunities.  For years I didn’t even realize I was settling for less!  Instead of following my heart, I listened to the opinions of people who weren’t in alignment with me, questioned my abilities, or stayed quiet in fear of being misunderstood.  It took several years, a lot of lessons, and some encouragement to discover I didn’t need to believe in anything but myself. 

I hid my talents and creativity for years because I was afraid of being criticized.  It didn’t even occur to me that I may get positive feedback!  As a child, any recognition wasn’t worth the hurtful things I may have heard (keyword: may).  At seven years old I wrote and illustrated an entire collection of children’s stories called “Suey and Friends.”  Suey was a chipmunk who went on all sorts of adventures with her crew.  Each character had a unique personality, often based on dreams I had or friends of my own.  My mom still has those old pieces of paper somewhere back in Michigan… she believed in me and encouraged me to continue creating.  Although it was just a hobby to me, she always insisted we send them to agents or publishers.  Being the shy and insecure girl I was, I never agreed to it.

It’s been 25 years since my last Suey story, but if there’s one takeaway from this all, it’s that life is too short to hold back.

Today I would rather be criticized than miss an opportunity.

2018 is right around the corner, and I’m ready to take on the next steps of my life- whatever they may be.  2017 was an amazing year to focus on myself, develop a solid foundation, and decide what I truly wanted.  Big dreams no longer scare me, and hard work has become second nature.  The key to hard work is to follow your heart and do something you love.

Since moving on from Suey and friends, there’s a long list of things I have done as a middle finger to the people who hurt or second guessed me.  Although I didn’t do anything deliberately mean, I did my best to succeed, stand out, or surpass any doubts or negativity they threw my way.  I called off my engagement with a controlling engineer and moved to San Francisco, started a style blog in my hometown of people who bullied me, and pursued a marketing career in New York.  Things definitely didn’t go as planned, but that’s okay.  Although I am glad the anger and pain inspired my creativity, I learned one important lesson:

You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone but you.

When your intentions are pure, everything falls in place.  My life often fell apart because it wasn’t acting in alignment with my soul: I was simply doing things out of ego.  I no longer hold those old resentments or fear… and I can thank my spiritual practice and support system for giving me the strength to live my life with more love and compassion.

As you reflect on your goals for the future, remember to follow your heart; it will certainly take you a lot further than acting on ego or fear.  When you set your mind to it, you can have anything you want out of this crazy and beautiful life.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

Categories
self discovery

Goals… and What Universe Has in Store For You

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There’s a fine line between having goals and going with the flow of the universe.  I used to drive myself crazy worrying about the future, planning, and ultimately beating myself up if life didn’t go the way I “thought” it “should” go.

There was a long period of time where I ignored my intuition and stopped following my heart in order to fit in with the world around me.  That only got me right back where I started: at the drawing board.  Perhaps I am much more of a square peg in a round hole than I thought, because I can only fake who I am for a very short period of time before I find myself irritable and discontent.

Over the past year, I’ve taken baby steps to be honest with myself and others- even when it feels extremely uncomfortable.

It’s been ten years since I graduated from college, and over this past decade I’ve lived in a handful of cities and worked a variety of jobs.  However, my heart has always guided me back to writing, creative endeavors, and entrepreneurial ventures.  Of course, we all need to find ways to make money, but my calling was never to go to school to obtain a certain degree or license to perform specific job duties.  I’ve always been a free spirit.  My degree, entrepreneurship, has left my options extremely open, which has caused me to run in circles, wondering which option to choose.

All I truly want is help people, write, and bring good to the world.

Just the other day, someone asked me where I see myself in ten years.  I answered as honestly as possible: “I see myself as a published author with a little house on the beach.”

Do I see myself climbing the corporate ladder?  No, I never did.  Do I have still have aspirations of being a fashion marketer in New York City, an attorney, or an editor for someone else’s publication?  Not anymore.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that if you keep doing the same thing over and over, you’ll keep getting the same results.  It’s time for me to do something different.  I am just not sure where to begin: so I’ll leave it to the universe.  

I’m sure she has something even better in store for me than what I could ever imagine.

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