What Inspires Change?

Last night’s book club was a success!  Although I took the wrong bus to Arlington (silly me), I serendipitously got off at Spy Pond, a place I often frequented when I lived in the neighborhood.  It was a good omen to remember how far I’ve come this past year, and how much has changed- inside and out.  The sun shined on the bright blue water, and I legitimately enjoyed my mile-long walk in the freezing cold.  Ah, what a time to be alive.

Once I arrived, I was greeted by Clarissa the cat and a basket of slippers. “The Nest,” my first home in Boston, is lovingly referred to as “the house of healing hearts-” and it lives up to the name.  There’s no warmer, cozier house full of hospitality and love.  Brenda certainly makes anyone in her home feel like it’s their own, and I will forever be grateful for The Nest being one of my first Massachusetts experiences.

Brenda was cutting up veggies and cheese when I arrived, and soon after April strolled in.  An all-around inspiration, April is an emotional health consultant and author- and after reading her book last year, I became much more aware of my own shift in consciousness.  One of her Facebook posts even inspired me to write this piece last summer.

One by one, ladies showed up to discuss the very appropriate book of the night: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck.

Although we didn’t have many negative things to say, some of the ladies felt it was repetitive, a bit entitled, and wondered why someone our own age was at liberty to give us advice.  I played devil’s advocate, however, and chimed in:

“Isn’t it better to learn these things now than much later in life?  Think about how many people in this world who will never learn these simple concepts.  They carry on, miserably, forever giving far too many fucks.”

Most of the girls agreed with me.  Sure, much of the book was full of common sense, but as many of us know, common sense is not so common.

We discussed the ornery coupon queen to the narcissistic serial entrepreneur who never accomplishes anything.  We talked about how the smallest things, such as a 30 cent coupon, could ruin someone’s entire day- because the coupons are what has meaning to that particular person.

Then, we carried on to discuss what has enough meaning in our lives to make the suffering worthwhile.  That was a very interesting question- what is worth fighting for?  What isn’t worth giving a f about?  Why would make ourselves suffer due to things that don’t even have meaning in our lives- such as traffic, a coworker giving you a weird look, or what your third cousin thinks of your new boyfriend?  Why do we search for problems when everything is perfectly fine?

My favorite quote in the book was this:

“Suffering is nature’s agent for inspiring change.”

That’s a very interesting thought.

Two years ago, everything was seemingly fine in New York City.  However, shit hit the fan very quickly- I watched it all crumble within a couple of weeks that July.

If my life would had been as wonderful as I hoped for it to be prior to moving to Boston (I think I was in denial that it ever was wonderful in New York), I never would have ended up here.  Had I not struggled, I wouldn’t have had the courage to make that big life change.  Had I not failed at what I thought I wanted, I never would have been lead into a completely new direction- one that gives me purpose, inspires passion, and has meaning.

Finally.  Meaning.

Prior to moving, I didn’t just have discontentment with my outside situation- it was mostly within myself.  As soon as I began to take ownership of who I was- not who I was trying to be- things began to get better.  Sure, I suffered through the uncomfortable moments of being myself- which inevitably pushed people who weren’t in alignment with me away- yet once the suffering was over, my life began to clear, and I was able to begin building again.

Thinking about the first few months of writing this blog is truly mind-boggling to me.  I was feeding myself a plethora of information- from self-help books to endless YouTube videos, I wrote every single day during 2017, still trying to figure myself out.  I blogged, I journaled, I painted.  I created a couple of other websites and came up with new ideas.  I worked a few different jobs.  I spent the year re-learning who Kristin is.

Although the growing never ends, I’m glad my suffering has.  Sure, we’ll always face both minor and major struggles along the way, but the hard part- the caterpillar trying to break out of the cocoon- is over.  I’ve finally broke out of the trap I created for myself, saw the light, and found my wings.

Returning to The Nest brings back all kinds of old feelings- relief, a sense of acceptance, feeling loved, and most of all, starting to finally love and accept myself.  The “house of healing hearts” certainly helped me get back on my feet, and I wholeheartedly agree with Mark Manson- “suffering is nature’s agent for inspiring change.”

The “Worm Moon” and Spring Beginnings

Tonight is the first of two full moons for this new month of March- how exciting!  This year we’ve had not one, but two months with two sets of full moons– January and March- which won’t happen again until 2037.  This extremely rare occurrence is yet another sign of how powerful of a year 2018 is, full of magic and manifestation.

As the last full moon of the winter, it is referred to as the “worm moon.”  Why, you ask? Since spring is just a few weeks away, this moon symbolizes the rebirth of nature and the earth.  Just as the earthworms start to poke up from the ground, the leaves begin to grow, flowers bloom, and life begins again.  Spring is a fresh start for both the earth and the humans who walk it, so this is a special moon to say goodbye to winter and start a brand new season.  Our next full moon will happen on the very last day of the month- March 31- and will be known as the blue moon (more on that in weeks to come).

If you’ve had a rough winter, have faith that spring will bring forth the fruits of your labor.  It’s been a rocky road since the August eclipse, but thankfully February’s new moon solar eclipse has brought a more peaceful, flowing energy!

I’ve spoken to many friends about the same topic- feeling stuck in careers, relationships, or situations that are no longer working out for them.  They’ve all acknowledged they want something different, yet aren’t sure what to do.  I have reminded them that these are signs from the universe that their heart is guiding them on a new path- and I’ve begun to see their lives change.  New opportunities have arose and decisions have been made for them that are out of their control.  As the pieces start coming together, the struggle starts to make more sense; the struggle is the lesson.  Before we can move on to something better, we must first learn the lesson and pass the test.

When one door closes, another door opens.  Don’t try to push the old door back open or break the lock. Leave it shut.

🌕

There are many ways to embrace the power of the full moon.  I always set my cards and crystals out to recharge; it’s a great night to sage, take a salt bath, and set aside time for meditation.  Self-care is necessary for everyone’s well being on a daily basis, but is especially important during a full moon!  Take it easy on yourself, enjoy the evening, and remember to continue to look forward- not back.

As spring approaches, I’m excited for all of the new opportunities in my life.  I got a fresh haircut, new shades, and even started a new job!  It really does feel as if one cycle ended and an entirely new chapter began with the last new moon.

Feeling recharged after a great trip to Denver, I’m so grateful for wonderful friends, work I love, and being able to connect with so many mindful people.  We’ve got the moon on our side!

When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens: Embracing Endless Opportunity (Even When You’re In Limbo)

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It’s funny how having faith in the unknown can be one of the most comforting feelings.  Even though it’s hard to be in “limbo,” having endless possibilities is both exciting and encouraging.

“The benefit of having little clue as to what is happening in one’s life is the possibility that something amazing is right around the corner.”

My friend Ashley tweeted this quote a few years ago, which has become my go-to any time I feel discouraged.  In the five years I’ve known Ashley, we’ve both moved states multiple times, switched cities, changed boyfriends, left jobs, started websites, and one of us was even on a TLC dating show.

Needless to say, both of us have had little clue as to what was going on in our lives.

I’ve written for Ashley’s website Kinda Kind for two years now, and I’m ever-so-grateful to her for providing a platform for me to segway into writing about mindfulness and self improvement.  Two months before my first Kinda Kind post I accidentally deleted my fashion blog; even though I have no idea how it happened (not to mention my initial mini meltdown), it was a breath of fresh air.  I was ready to get rid of my fashionista identity and wanted to start a writing career with substance.

It was also around that time in 2016 when I started to purge my possessions, focus on quality over quantity, and made meditation and mindfulness a top priority in my life.  2016 was an extremely rough year, but thanks to the struggles, I gained a whole new strength.  I had no idea that my challenges would result in a life of mindfulness and minimalism, but I’m sure glad it did.

Back in 2016, Ashley left San Francisco to move back to Chicago, and I left New York City- the place I thought was my heart- that July.  The year ended on a positive note with my move to Boston and a newfound optimism, faith, and zest for life.  I just knew there was something wonderful out there for me- and even though I didn’t know what it was, I was confident I would find it.

I’ve had a lot of changes since moving to Boston.  Over holiday break I started to re-think teaching, concerned about going a week without pay.  Although I adored it (with the exception of the biting and hitting), it was barely enough to cover my rent.  It’s a hard pill to swallow when you made 4X the money a decade ago, straight out of college.  I considered a part time job, but I knew it would be too stressful for me to manage it all.  So, with no idea what I would do, I continued to write, put in the legwork, and reach out to my connections.

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I’m proud of myself for how I handled my “limbo” phase.  Sure, I went hermit for a while and was a bit depressed, but I pulled myself out of it and re-gained my energy.

Once my energy was back it was time to start pounding the pavement.  Last Monday I spotted a post on Facebook from one of my San Francisco friends, looking for someone to hire for a part-time role.  It seemed perfect- an Austin-based fashion brand had a huge need for someone to help with messaging and customer communication.   By Thursday, I had a company email address and got started on my first projects.

It gets better.  The following day I met with a criminal defense law firm about a marketing and assistant role.  Some of you may know this, but most of you probably don’t- prior to marketing, I worked at a San Francisco law firm and studied for the LSAT.  On a warm spring day back in 2009 I walked over to the University of San Francisco to take the test- with absolutely no desire to actually go to law school.  I’m not sure what happened in those six months, but I was certain law school wasn’t in the cards.

Although I decided I didn’t want to be an attorney, I’ve always loved law firms.  I don’t know why- I think it partially has to do with the fact my father was a lawyer (I used to “help out” when I was a little tike), but also due the interesting nature of the cases.

Fast-forward to a week later, I officially have two jobs doing things I love, I’ll be working with great people, and will still have the time to write.  I couldn’t have planned this out more perfectly on my own, which just goes to show that worrying is a waste of time and energy.

It’s amazing what the Universe delivers when you have faith.  Ashley and I chatted about this the other day- now living in Los Angeles, she’s also looking for that “next step.”  As she grows her brand I offered to help in whatever way I can.  That said, I’m excited to share that I’ll be a regular contributor to Kinda Kind, focusing on self-improvement and relationships!  I’ll be sure to share the launch of the new website sections when they’re live.

I’m grateful to have someone in my life like Ashley.  She totally gets it when I share my life challenges- no judgement, no eye-rolls.  Both Capricorns yet free spirits, we have a million ideas in our heads, but sometimes it’s difficult to prioritize.  This is exactly why you just need to go with the flow of the Universe- one door may close, but there’s a shiny door waiting for you just down the road.  Trust me.

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