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.”

Broken Wings Can Be Repaired

As you may have heard, the east coast was hit with quite the storm on Friday.  A “nor’easter” hit Boston, causing crazy winds, rain, high tides, and flooding.

That day I noticed a fairy on the front porch had fallen on the ground and broke its wings.  My landlord, a very mystical and kind soul, has symbolic decor sprinkled around the front yard, from balanced rocks to a fairy on a tree swing (which also fell from the wind).  I brought the little fairy inside and texted him, saying I found her on the steps with broken wings, but she’s safe on the front table so she can get her wings glued back on.

His response:

“As you know we will put her wings back on so she can feel like she can fly.  She may inspire others but most importantly, she takes care of herself before anything else.”

Somehow I had a feeling he wasn’t just referring to the fairy.

We all have our challenges, and the people closest to me- from people I work with to my neighbors and friends- know I’ve had my share of challenges.  They also know that I’ve brushed myself off and gotten back up.  No matter how dark some of my days have been, I’ve somehow been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel; a light that keeps me going, even when I don’t know what the outcome will be.

Having the faith to mend your wings and fly again takes courage, but it’s worth the uncertainty.  Sometimes we wonder, “can I still fly?”  The answer is- yes.  After falling, your wings are stronger than ever- but you need to take care of yourself first before you can help others fly.

Broken wings can be repaired, but remember to take it easy.  We can’t be hard on ourselves for our failures or mistakes.  The struggles will help bring gratitude for the surprises and gifts in your life- which is exactly how I have been feeling lately.  When I focus on how far I’ve come and how much I have to look forward to, my life continues to flow and abundance continues to pour in.

Once you invest in yourself, other people will invest in you, too- so put some extra glue on your wings, take a chance, and remember all the things you have to be thankful for.  There’s always a calm after the storm.

Struggle Brings Strength


Sometimes you need to step away from the life you’ve been living and reset yourself for the future.

It can be a lonely journey while you’re aligning with your true self.  Letting outside influence has blocked me from truly following my heart, finishing projects, and doing more meaningful work.  Doubts and fear have changed my path repeatedly over the past decade, but thanks the struggles, I now have strength to stand still.  Just like the moth, we have to struggle to escape the cocoon- our old self- to become what we are meant to be.

Over the past year I’ve been shedding my old beliefs, behaviors, relationships, and limitations.  It hasn’t been easy learning to act and view things differently than I have in the past.  I used to be defensive and took everything personally; now I’m trying to avoid attaching these negative “stories” to meaningless events.

We are all going through our own struggles, but one thing I have learned: happy people aren’t mean.  Love isn’t selfish.  When we align ourselves with our true beliefs, heart, and soul, compatible people and opportunities begin to appear.  I’ve experienced this many times throughout my life- the right people always come to me at the right time, the phone rings after I’ve been thinking about someone, or a job pops up out of the blue.

If you’ve been feeling confused about why you keep repeating the same patterns, it’s likely that you haven’t learned your lesson yet.  Despite moving to a new city last year, I still held on tightly to  resentiments and the people who hurt me in the past.  Unknowingly, I let my old mistakes and pain limit me from reaching my potential.

No matter how difficult your path seems now, try not to give up.  There have been many times this past year I have wanted to; I’m used to running away when life is hard.  Just three months ago I felt absolutely helpless- I learned I needed to find a new apartment with two weeks notice and didn’t have work lined up.  Figuring out how I could pull off finding and funding a new place to live seemed impossible.  Not knowing what else to do, I nervously sat in the park day after day drinking coffee, making phone calls, applying to jobs, and listening to positive messages from thought leaders like Wayne Dyer.  I can look back at those horribly uncomfortable days now and laugh, but back in August all I could manage to do in my spare time was pace the streets of Boston or sit by the ocean in between my legwork.

One day after writing and meditating at the beach, I was on my way to the library to do more work when the phone rang.  I never answer my phone while on the train, but for some reason I did.  It was a phone call about a work assignment for the following day.  Just when I had exhausted all of my worrying and felt like giving up, I saw a little bit of light.

Ever since that day, I have kept following the light.

Life may not unfold exactly how you expect, but that’s what is so exciting.  Living your authentic life for yourself- not for someone else- will lead you on the right path.  Keep shining… life will get brighter.  Enjoy the magic and surprises along the way!