Grateful Sundays

For some reason it feels like I haven’t typed up a blog post in a while. That could be the fact that I will often write these posts on my phone, but there is something more satisfying about typing it on my laptop, listening to Anderson .Paak Radio, while sipping on some iced coffee. This year when it starts to get warmer, I want to make time to go to different coffee shops or bookstores so I can have new places to write and maybe spark some more creativity. I absolutely love being home, but I want to make sure I don’t become a total homebody because I also love being outside and exploring new environments.

Yesterday I was thinking about what goals I am currently working on. I had listened to an episode from the Mel Robbins Podcast a few weeks back that talked about narrowing down your goals. She even has a free worksheet available on her site to use (I need to invest in a printer so I can start printing these resources out); although I haven’t even looked at this sheet yet, I did remember that she said to only have one to three goals at a time. The less goals, the more time and effort you have to actually spend on working toward that goal. Overall I have been on a healing journey and been focusing on that, but I wanted to actually list out three goals that I am currently working towards so that I can come back to them and re-focus when I inevitably fall out of it.

My first goal I am working on is being more present. I know I have mentioned this in previous posts, but within the last year it really hit me that I have spent most of my life on autopilot and in a hypervigilant state. According to WebMD, Hypervigilance is defined as: “the elevated state of constantly assessing potential threats around you,” and states that it is often the result of a trauma. Growing up in an unpredictable environment (for me, having alcoholic parents, one of which was an angry drunk), has left my nervous system in a continuous state of dysregulation. Since I spent most of my life planning ahead, coming up with worst-case scenarios so I could be prepared for whatever happened (which btw, is just a lie my anxiety told me), I never was actually in the present moment. I may have been physically there, but mentally I was always elsewhere. I can look back at photos and not even remember that day, which honestly broke my heart when I started realizing how few memories I had. Now I am making a more conscious effort to check in with myself throughout the day so that it becomes more second nature for me to do so. I also decided to start a 2023 memory jar, and whenever I have a fun experience or something brings me joy, I write it on a little piece of paper and fold it up and throw it in the jar! That way at the end of the year, I can remind myself how amazing the year was, and hopefully continue this tradition.

Another important goal of mine is to always find the joy in things, and actively do things that bring me happiness. Now this doesn’t need to be extravagant things like traveling to Caribbean or going on shopping sprees-although those things definitely do bring me joy, but I want to focus on the simple things in life. As I’ve stated multiple times throughout this blog, I absolutely love nature walks and being outside. In the winter I unfortunately let my hatred of the cold win most battles, but I am finding other things that bring me joy within my own home. I love writing, even though I may not always feel like writing, once I start I realize how much I needed it and how great I feel afterwards. I also enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, and of course singing and dancing along to some good jams. I also go in and out of phases of enjoying crafting, which I honestly haven’t done in a while, but I did think about starting to make some crafts again that have to do with mental health and healing! I also still want to start a podcast or at least start streaming again on Twitch, because I honestly love talking and can literally talk to myself for hours, so maybe others will want to listen. I have had multiple friends say we should start a podcast together, so I have thought of just starting one and bringing everyone one as guests. That will require more thought and planning, but either way I will be sure to find the joy in all of it!

The last, but certainly not least, goal of mine that I am focusing on my health, which includes my mental health. I want to consistently work on regulating my nervous system with exercise, meditation and journaling. I also want to be more mindful about my food choices and work on eating/drinking less sugar. I am not a person who does well with diets, as I get very obsessive with calorie/carb counting and it becomes unhealthy, so I am just focusing on being mindful in my day to day choices. I also feel that part of focusing on my health includes not holding onto anger or bitterness, so I am actively working on speaking up when things bother me, and also sharing my opinions even if they differ from others. Constantly muting myself in conversations is only depleting my self-worth and building up resentment; I know that everyone has differing opinions and sometimes I may come off offensive, but as long as my intentions are pure and all with love, then I will continue to be okay with myself and with the outcome. As I said before, I love talking…so I am done silencing myself.

As January comes to a slow close, I am looking forward to working towards my goals this year and continuing to check in with myself. I know that life with bring challenges and hiccups as it always does, but as I continue to regulate my nervous system and focus on my mental health, I will become more emotionally mature and more confident in myself along the way. I have made it through all of my worst days, and I am stronger because of it. I am excited to finally see myself in a different, more accepting light; I appreciate my resilience and the empathy I have for myself along the way. In my opinion, love is always going to be the answer; I am choosing to give my inner child the love she deserves, therefore giving my present self that same love.

Lunar Eclipse -Blood Moon

I woke up early this morning, hours before my alarm and felt the urge to look at my phone and it was 4:56am. Remembering that just yesterday I was telling my parents that there would be a lunal eclipse visible from about 4-6am CST, I decided to get up and go take a look outside.

In my tank top and shorts I walked out to the dining room area and took a gander off the balcony into the dark sky; I saw Orion’s belt immediately and all of the other stars were shining bright. Looking to the right I could see the sky almost looked a reddish-orange, so I decided to take a quick hop outside into the breezy 36 degrees and there to my right I could see the moon!

She was full, and appeared a bit smaller to me than I had seen her prior to sleeping, but still very powerful. I could see how she was like a dark-orange to light orange gradient as the eclipse was happening, and honestly I was so happy that my body decided to wake up and allowed me to witness it.

I didn’t take my phone and even if I did I know the picture wouldn’t have been very good, but I wanted to take a moment of gratitude for how amazing our planet is and how beautiful the world truly is. I am happy I was able to witness that eclipse this morning, and now after getting a couple more hours of sleep, I am off to my chiropractor appointment and then to work.

I hope everyone has a great day ahead! Per some astrological instagram posts, this is an “angry moon,” so just be mindful with your words and try not to take anything personal today.

Saturday, November 5th

Today is the day that my face will be up on a digital billboard in my town! I was lucky that the writing community I am in wanted to advertise in a major city near me, and they were generous enough to give me a billboard right in my town too so I didn’t have to go an hour and a half away to see it! It will be playing with other ads, and it is only for today! The billboard says: “What Makes You Strong? Enter our writing contest on TheUnsealed.com,” and then has my happy face on there! I am so happy that I joined this community and have been able to get some of my writing out into the public eye; this whole experience has been wild, as it has brought up things within me that I hadn’t truly realized before.

I always have had trouble celebrating myself, and I also hate being the center of attention (although apparently as a Leo I should love the spotlight), so being excited about something so public and personal felt weird to me. I know I am allowed to feel from this and I honestly do, but I realized that I have a habit of downplaying any exciting things or achievements in my life. When I graduated from community college, with a degree that I paid for with no loans or help from FAFSA, I remembered saying to my boyfriend: “Is it weird that I am not that excited? Like I don’t even want walk the stage.” He was encouraging and understood that school had been stressful and it was probably just a relief to be done, but also made sure I knew that he was super proud of me and I should be too. I did end up walking the stage, and both of our families were there to celebrate me which made me feel so loved.

While realizing that I have trouble celebrating myself, I also was connecting that to how I also have trouble truly looking at my life traumas as… well, traumas. I can honestly say that it was only within the last year or so that I truly felt validated in feeling traumatized, and it happened while listening to Gabrielle Bernstein on her “Dear Gabby” Podcast. She was talking about how everyone has trauma, and then talked about “Big T” traumas and “Little T” traumas. An example of a “Little T” trauma would be if you were standing in line to get food as a child and another classmate came over and called you fat. Even though this may not sound like a big deal, this thought can live in your brain and if you get stuck on that thought it can become all you think about and completely diminish any self-love or self-esteem that was there. But what struck me in this podcast was when she listed “having an alcoholic parent” as a “Big T” trauma… because I had two. Even though I had been going to therapy for years at this point, it still never hit me like it did in that moment. I had “Big T” trauma that I was dealing with, and I should be so proud of how far I’ve come. As I sit here and write this today, I am very proud of all of the work that I have done, and I look forward to seeing my continued progress.

I can say that as I am continuing this healing journey, I have moments of grieving where I feel so sad and distraught about the fact that I have been so distant from my own feelings and presence. But in those same moments, I am very present in those feelings, which makes me feel almost happy in a way, because that means I am here now. What I mean is that I am present with those hard emotions and I am feeling them all the way through, and that in and of itself is being present. I still struggle with celebrating myself, but I find when I am writing, it tends to come through me. There is that confident, higher self that is within me and she is working hard to break through. Together we are un-learning bad habits, re-wiring old thoughts, and immersing ourselves in podcasts and books about healing and mental health. I am the one who is writing my blog posts, I am the one who is going to therapy, I am the one who is doing all of this hard work, and I am doing it for me. I deserve to feel the love for myself that others can so effortlessly give to me, and I deserve all of the happy things that are in my life.

clouds ☁️

Present and Happy.

As I sit at my kitchen table with my chamomile tea, and I listen to Taylor Swift’s new album “Midnights” for the first time, I am feeling both nostalgic, yet very present in this moment. I can think back listening to her album “Speak Now” and how I felt when listening to certain songs. The crush when listening to “Enchanted,” the new crush fantasizing about acting out her song “Speak now,” but now looking at my life in this present moment and it being better than I could have dreamt.

I live with the love of my life in the beautiful townhome that we bought together, we both have jobs that allow us to pay our bills, save, and still enjoy our lives. I have been able to get the help I needed for my mental health, and I am enjoying the healing journey every day. Although I still have rough days (I did just recently), I am much more confident, and I see myself so differently than I did before. It honestly breaks my heart to look back and think about how much I hated myself and my brain. I would constantly fight back against the anxiety and take out my frustrations on the one I loved the most. I had so much anxiety around money and my control issues were overtaking me, and instead of letting that be my life, I recognized that I didn’t have to feel like that for the rest of my life.

I feel so blessed that I have the ability to afford going to therapy, and I am also glad I was able to try different medications that helped to calm down my brain enough to allow me to do the work. Now don’t get me wrong, I am still doing the work every single day. We are human beings with emotions and outside events that can impact our personal worlds, and it is completely normal to have bad days; what I find important is that we try to remember how we strong we truly are in those moments. We have gotten to this very moment, which means all of those times where we thought our world was ending, or we were never going to get through that rough time, we were wrong- we can truly make it through everything.

I still have times where I struggle with stressing over to-do lists, and I still get overwhelmed when I have more than one event/large task in a day. I still have to work on communicating my thoughts and accepting the fact that not everything I say will always be received well by everybody. I still have to constantly check-in with myself and see if I am in alignment with what I want to be, and if I am honest, I still do things that I know I don’t want to be doing! I still eat unhealthy food, and I don’t have a consistent writing or workout schedule, but I am still getting up every day and working toward a healthier future for myself, and I know that I will develop these habits with time. I am just proud that I have been able to learn how to give myself grace along the way, and I am slowly getting better at not beating myself up. I catch myself in negative self-talk, and I remind myself that I am human.

I am blessed to have a life partner who has been so patient and supportive along the way. I have a love I have always dreamed of, and I am so happy that our future children will grow up in a home where they can see true love and respect. Considering the home environment I grew up in, I feel even more lucky to have the relationship I have today. We have mutual respect for one another, we support one another’s goals and always try to see where the other person is coming from. I love how well we communicate, and how our love has only grown stronger over the last eleven years. We make sure that we are growing together and still focused on our future together, because we both want this forever.

I am grateful to have good friends in my life who are supportive and always cheering me on. I am very lucky to have a few close friends who I know will always listen to me and not judge me. I also am grateful for the fact that they all understand that I won’t always want to hang out, but that it is nothing personal, I just love my alone time and often feel like I need it. I feel like I have many good people in my life and I do my best to make sure they know I love them. Life is short, and it is important to tell the people you love that you love them.

Overall, I am thankful for the life that I have today at 27. I feel like I am finally living my life for myself, and not for those around me. I feel like I have broken away from my people-pleasing habit, although I know I still have to work on speaking my mind even if it may cause a disagreement, but I am accepting of the fact that my healing is life-long, and that I get to choose how I view my life. I can choose to see all of the negative and go back to self-destructive patterns, or I can continue to focus on my goals and give myself grace along the way to them. I am proud of the woman I am today, and I am happy to be here writing this tonight as I enjoy this new Taylor Swift album. I appreciate all who read this far, and I hope you too are giving yourself grace in your journey of life.

triple word score (in tea)

Sunday / Full Moon

Today is a gorgeous day; while I type this in my boyfriend’s office, I can hear the birds chirping outside as I feel the breeze come through the window. We went out for a nice breakfast this morning and have been relaxing at the house since we got back. A couple of our friends are coming over to hang out later and I just wanted to take a minute for myself to write here. I go back and forth between dabbling in astrology- not that I necessarily believe in all of the horoscopes or anything like that, but I do like the idea of checking in and journaling based on the phases of the moon. Today we celebrate a full moon, and based on what I have read this is a time to celebrate our progresses and acknowledge your blocks so that you can work to move past them.

I am extremely proud of the work I have been putting in on my mental health and my overall mindset. I have been getting better at looking at “bad” situations with gratitude and also I am better at letting go and going with the flow. I can feel myself releasing control and finally feeling more present. I cannot lie though, it has been making me sad realizing how little memories I have and how for so many years I was never living in the present moment. Sometimes my friends will be going though photos of us and say something like “aw I remember that day so well” and I will feel so guilty for not really remembering much. I feel like I was always thinking about what was on my to-do list or worrying about so many other aspects of life that were beyond my control. As upsetting as it is, it does make me want to be more intentional with my time and keep focused on being present in each moment.

I do truly enjoy connecting with other people and I enjoy finding similarities in people who live completely different lives than me. That is something I enjoy about my newfound love for podcasts; I have been listening to a lot of Jay Shetty’s podcast “On Purpose,” and it has benefited me in so many ways. Jay is a former monk who has taken his knowledge and works hard to spread the beneficial information to everyone around the glove. He does this in solo episodes, but he also interviews a wide range of people from athletes to doctors to TV celebrities, and he asks them questions that go beyond these people’s professions…he gets down to their souls! Listening to him and all of these famous people who I once judged and criticized has only made me realize that my judgement of others is limiting myself and my potential, and this is also the same when it comes to judging myself. I know that I am also an empathetic person who cares deeply about the people I love, and I also do want everyone to be their best selves, but I do have to acknowledge that judgmental side and work on leaning into compassion and understanding when I find myself being critical.

I have been working on my communication skills and making sure I am speaking my mind in a mindful, but honest way. As I have said before, I used to avoid voicing my opinions or thoughts to avoid confrontation, but also to avoid coming off as rude or judgmental, as that is something I feel shameful about. When I think about it, I think it is because I have always hated how rude and judgmental my father is and I never want to turn out like him. I have gone over this in therapy and the difference is that I do not intend to hurt people, nor do I say anything rude to people! I do listen to others and can empathize with their stories and situations, and I also very much believe that I do not know what is best for anyone else’s life, just as they do not know what is best for mine. Life is a lot easier when we mind our own business and give up the idea of trying to “fix” people, but I also feel that life is better when we can have open, honest conversations with the people we love, and really anyone we come across in life.

As I continue on this journey, I will continue to give myself grace for my faults. I will acknowledge the fact that I am just a human being, just as everyone around me. We all have emotions, we all experience pain and grief, we all have bad days, and we are all just doing our best with the resources we have. I feel very blessed to have access to therapy, but honestly I am also grateful for the books and podcasts that are available to so many people worldwide that can help expand our mindsets and perspectives, and open our eyes to a healthier way of living. Make sure to take some time to pat yourself on the back for the fact that you are here today, and you are continuing to move forward every day. Happy Sunday, and happy full moon!

Beauty in the Present

I filled up my weekend with seeing good friends after having a week of dealing with health stuff and I am feeling so good! I am happy to see it looks like my labs and other test results came back normal, and it has been a huge relief for me. My doctor will call me next week to confirm, but looking through the results that were uploaded to MyChart, everything looks good!

I am excited to continue on my wellness journey, and I am ready to focus on getting my body moving everyday. I deserve to feel good and healthy long term, and I am the one who is in charge of that. There’s no reason to get upset with my currents habits or weight, because all I can do is move forward and take the information I know now and apply it to myself in the best ways!

I am feeling a lot better now that I don’t feel like I am always rushing or racing against some imaginary clock. I feel like taking a slow approach, building small habits over time, is truly the way that I will get to my goals. Slowing down my nervous system and my thoughts makes me feel way more in control than my anxiety ever did. Focusing on one task at a time, rather than trying to “multi-task,” actually makes me feel so much more productive!

I am realizing that taking the time to focus on one thing at a time and being intentional about everything I do, makes me feel better about my life and choices. Making sure you’re present in your life choices is so important! Being aligned with your intuition and taking time to check in with how you’re feeling will help to realize what is truly important to you and what is worth your time. Make sure you’re living life for you, you absolutely deserve it.

Friday Gratitude Check

I am grateful for so many things in my life, and I do my best to remind myself of how blessed I am. One of the ways I do this is by thinking about ten things I am grateful for every morning, and think of why I am grateful for each of those things. Of course I don’t always remember to do it, and also sometimes I’ll do less than ten as I’m usually doing this out loud in my car and I often get distracted by music.

The important thing is that I always come back to this and I still make sure I am turning to gratitude during stressful times. This morning I’ll list a few blessings here, and then finish speaking them aloud on my way to work- I encourage anyone who reads to also take a moment to think of something you’re grateful for right now in your life! Life gets hard and it can be easy to forget how good we really have it, when we’re constantly focusing on the negative.

Blessing #1: My boyfriend. I am so blessed to have a life partner who loves me for me, who respects me, and who is always supportive of me. I am lucky to have someone with similar life goals and values, as we can both push each other to reach those goals. I am so thankful for this man every day, and make sure to appreciate him as well. Thank you.

Blessing #2: Therapy. I am so blessed to be able to afford therapy and to have found a good therapist. She has been able to help me work through so much of my childhood traumas to help me understand why I am the way I am, and has helped me to learn to love and understand myself. Thank you.

Blessing #3: My job. I am blessed to have a job in which I can pay my bills, have insurance, vacation time, and still have some fun money left over. I am grateful that I have a good schedule, I don’t work weekends, and I like the people I work with. I don’t dread going to work, and I love getting off early on Fridays! Thank you.

There are so many things in life that we overlook or take for granted, when really we should be focusing on the present blessings we have! I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead, and I hope you find time to look at how blessed you truly are. ✨

Self Care Sunday

Today felt like a very productive day, which always makes me feel very happy and accomplished. I love having days like this, and I know I only have many more to come if I keep working hard on focusing on the positives in every situation.

Grocery shopping is normally something I complain about, but I knew it was a task I had to complete today. I reminded myself that it is important to look at the situation with gratitude; I am thankful that I can afford to grocery shop for my home, and I am thankful that there are so many different food options to choose from! I felt a lot better getting ready to go to the grocery store than I normally would have, and I truly believe that is because I took that time to acknowledge the fact that grocery shopping is a blessing, and a privilege that I am lucky to have.

Something else that was a blessing today was I randomly got a notification on my phone that my aunt from out of town sent me money on venmo! The memo said: “Gas, groceries, meal out, whatever you want. :)” I was honestly taken aback, but immediately was so grateful and I sent her a message thanking her for this sweet gift. I put it right in our account to go towards groceries, and I’m currently making steaks in the air fryer for us! It’s truly incredible how it seems that when you pay attention to your blessings, that more seem to show up!

I may not have gone to the gym today or cleaned out my closet, but I did other productive things and I am happy for myself! I read some of my book (The Power is Within You- Louise Hay) out on my balcony, I listened to a Phil in the Blanks podcast, and I treated myself to an iced coffee! I keep reading posts and listening to podcasts about focusing on one thing at a time, and truly looking at life day by day instead of stressing about the “end goals,” and it’s truly has changed my perspective. For example, if I have the thought that I should go to the gym, but I truly don’t feel like going, I will at least take a few minutes to stretch or do a small workout with some dumbbells at home.

My past, perfectionist self wouldn’t have even done that because if I’m not going all in it’s not worth it, but that’s not true! If I would have done what I’m doing now each time that I didn’t go, I’d likely be a lot stronger/more toned now than I am! Instead of getting down on myself about that, I’m just making more conscious efforts and decisions moving forward; taking it day by day makes life feel a lot easier.

What did you do for yourself today? If nothing yet, please take some time for yourself! It doesn’t have to be something major, simply washing your face, reading a chapter of a book, or lighting your favorite candle can be an act of self care! You deserve time for yourself; remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup!