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I CAN Today

Because all we have is today

The Lies

LIESIt’s amazing the lies we tell ourselves and it’s even more amazing how without even knowing it, they randomly just pop into our heads.

I have so many lies I have told myself throughout the years and the struggle is working through them and trying to decide if they are real or not. Through this process, I realize how much I have spent much of my life looking at outside forces or instant gratification to learn ‘who am I’? This helps for a period of time, but it’s never long lasting. What I am realizing is that the fear is working at looking inward. I am scared of who I think I am or who I might become. It’s hard to work at being present and not worry about my future self. It’s scary telling myself ‘I am enough’ because if I am enough, then what? What do I do once I realize that? I always need to know what is next, what is around the corner, I need to plan and not being able to know, not being able to plan puts me in constant panic.

However, I was listening to Leanne Vogel’s podcast episode #125 about ‘Instagram Self-Care with Kristina Bruce and I felt such relief. I felt permission for where I am at in this stage of my life. That self care can mean sleeping in, binge watching TV, crying because I need to, cleaning and re-cleaning my house because I can. Self-care is what you, your mind, and your body need and not worrying about what you think it should look like or wondering what everyone else is doing.

This thing we call ‘self care’ is definitely a journey and it’s not always pretty and it’s messy. I pray each day for strength to be present and work on finding something to be grateful for each day. I fight daily with myself trying to remind myself that I can take care of me and be in a loving relationship. I have such a preconceived notion that I cannot have both, that I do not deserve both. I wasn’t expecting to meet my now husband and for five years we were good with not being married…then I went ahead and changed that. To say things have been easy would be an understatement. Ever since I proposed and since we have gotten married, panic runs through my body: “why did I do this, why did I change things, we were good and now I just messed it up”. Some of you reading this might think…”uh oh this is headed south”, and you know it might be…because I don’t  know where my future stands, but it also could turn into something event better than I imagined. I do know I plan on working on my relationship with myself and with him. If we make it, awesome, yay us, but if we don’t, I know we did the best we could and he will always be the love of my life.

That is where the fear lies. I am terrified that I will become someone I don’t recognize, but at the same time, I feel like I have held myself back for so many years. I know I have very extreme thinking and constantly think everyone else around me has it ‘better’ or more ‘figured out’. I know this to be false, but it hasn’t quite clicked in the mind yet. I acknowledge it, but it doesn’t stay put. My fears, doubts, and what ifs override my system.

I hate working on myself, I really do, but I know I need to. I have wasted enough time not doing so and allowing myself to be disappointed because I relied on someone else for my self worth. My husband encourages me to feel better, to do me, to find what makes me tick. What I know so far: walking my dog, sleeping in,  and writing when I feel like it, make me tick. What I need to constantly remind myself: I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING, none of us do and if someone says they do, they are lying haa haa, and what makes me tick might not be what makes you tick and that’s okay. Everyone is different and everyone has their thing. I can no longer be who I think I should have been growing up and I do not need people’s approval and I can let go of what I think my family thinks of me or what I think they are thinking. Because they are not. They love me the way I am. And who knows, who is not to say that my big, tough brother who I have compared myself to since I was kid, doesn’t look at my life and think “I sometimes wish I was her”.

T

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Stop staring at that Door

This will be short and sweet, but I wanted to put this out there. It’s no secret, I have been struggling a lot lately. I have my good days and bad, and I could cry daily, but I get through, I get by. I am doing the best I can with where I am at right now. (That last sentence has been a struggle to settle in on my mind, but I feel good saying it). Anyway, as I was driving home today from work, I decided to just have an outward talk with myself and God. I have been really discouraged that I cannot get back into my work out routines. I hit the snooze button (WHICH IS SOMETHING I NEVER DO). I look forward to when work is over, so I can go to bed…it’s just really not great. However, I realized today how much I stay feeling ‘trapped’ or my personal favorite, paralyzed. I am sick of feeling paralyzed. As I settled on this word and talked out loud some more, I realized that I keep staring at the same door. What I mean is, I stopped giving myself options to create a different routine.

Let me explain. Typically, I wake up at 5:30 to get my workout in, meditate and journal. Lately, I am lucky if I wake up, do a quick yoga stint and begrudgingly power through a meditation which actually only makes me really agitated for the rest of my day. I do not think that is the goal with meditation. However, when I started to think about my day and my evenings, I thought, hell, why not workout at night? EUREKA!!! I was so hell bent on ‘I MUST WORKOUT AT 5:30, that I wasn’t thinking to start a new routine, change it up a bit. God forbid I do that (again, I realize just how much I struggle with change). I kept focusing on this 5:30 window and every morning feeling like a complete failure because I didn’t do it, again.

Guess what, I came home this evening, worked out, made my lunch for tomorrow, purchased some things on Amazon and now I am writing this and I get to be in bed before 9pm. Not bad. Tomorrow, I will set my alarm for 6am instead, probably do some yoga and go from there. That is as far as I have gotten, but I am accepting of this new change.

Baby steps my friends. I still have anxiety with every morsel of my being when there is a thought I don’t like or fixating on a routine I cannot get down, but these are pressures I have put on myself, that I don’t need anymore. I am hopeful that with each struggle, I find a bit more relief. I just have to remind myself to find the window, stop staring at the same door. 800px_COLOURBOX3118120

T

What I am learning from Yoga

I recently completed Yoga with Adriene’s 30 day challenge called ‘Dedicate’ for the new year. This is the first time I actually committed to an exercise program and put it and me first. 30 days, no big, right? I got this and I can do this (insert struggle). To my surprise it was hard. Not hard physically (well sometimes), but really hard mentally and here is why.

I realized over these last 30 days, just how much I struggle taking care of myself. I have been trying to spend more time in the ‘self-care’ movement and have been feeling like a total failure, like what am I not getting? I stuck with it though. I showed up everyday, sometimes begrudgingly and completed the work.

I have this fear. A very deep rooted fear, that if I am not constantly thinking about others, doing for others, then I will get ‘left behind’. I will be forgotten or I don’t matter. Some of you might think that is crazy and I acknowledge how crazy and yet sad that sounds. If you were to ask any of my friends and family all they have ever wanted for me is to take care of me, to be happy. However, when I think about taking care of me, I have this image in my head that I will become too good for people, not need them. Very black and white thinking. However, what this 30 days has started too show me is that I can show up for myself. I can put my needs first and I won’t be ostracized by those that I love and hell, I feel a bit better about myself. Like I can do this.

Believe me it’s a lot of work. This is years of thinking I am just now slowly uncovering, bringing to the surface and making a conscious effort to work on. It’s exhausting. I love my sleep, but I love sleep even more because it’s so mentally draining. But, this is my story, this is my journey. I have to do what works for me. If I am in good mental health, then I can be better for all those around me. This is my long term goal. Thank you yoga and thank you Yoga with Adriene. Namaste!

 

Namaste-_art

T

 

All the Voices

When you awaken to your journey, when you are in deep, it is scary and it is hard to show up everyday, because everyday I think ‘when is it over, when will I know?’

Let me explain or back up a bit. I have spent most of my life trying to be like my brother, trying to be good enough for my father, trying to be anyone else but me because me just wasn’t good. I grew up with two incredibly driven men, a mother who has the heart of a saint, but as much as I love her, catered to the family instead of taking care of herself and her needs.

My extended family is loud as hell. There are not many women in my family and of the two women cousins I have, one had boyfriend after boyfriend, wanted nothing to do with me, and embarrassed me in front of her friends. My younger cousin, unfortunately, because they lived states away and our fathers don’t speak, I know little about her. Her life is incredibly different than mine. Please do not start thinking I am blaming anyone in my family for who I am or how I turned out. For the most part I really like who I am, but I learned early on that in order to get ‘approval’ I had to be quiet, do as I was told, don’t ask questions, play it safe, and this will make everyone around me happy…except it didn’t make me happy.

My brother was the athlete and he was and is fricking good. He is driven and his goal is to be the best of the best. My father is an intellect. He has no patience for games, sleeping in, binge watching ‘guilty pleasure’ shows. He is a fixer, things have to be perfect and he can’t sit still (For those of you that don’t know me, I am pretty much like my father). My mother is literally a God send. How she managed the three of us, I will never know. Her body ails her, but she never complains. She has put us first her entire life. Looking back at it, I can’t fault her for that even though I want to. If I could turn back the clock, I would have wanted my mom to be a little bit more badass, however how she grew up was painfully awful, so who am I to judge. They both did the best they could with what they knew.

I have never really felt like I fit in with my family and more often then not, I still feel that way…because of the voices or lies I have let lead my life. Why I share this? Because when you decide to start showing up for yourself, IT IS A FUCKING MESS. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I had no clue how much of my youth would come to the surface and how really hard it is to deal with the lies day in and day out, while trying to be a ‘normal’ productive human in society. There is no ‘pause’ button and I cannot freeze time. I have to make myself get up, get out of bed, tell myself I am not that girl anymore, even though that girl has really dictated so much of my life and I am terrified to let her go, because she has been a security blanket. But I need to let her go. She doesn’t serve a purpose anymore. She got me this far, but I know if I keep taking her along on this journey, I will only keep holding myself back or better yet, I will constantly keep having these major ‘what if’ panic attacks that have become a weekly thing.

Before I met my husband, I was living on my own…finally. I sometimes I wish I had lived on my own longer. He’s been on his own since he was 18. I was on my own from 27 to 30 yrs. of age. However, I know the time doesn’t matter. In that time, I felt like I was becoming a different person. I was on my own, slept in when I wanted, went out whenever I wanted, I had no rules and I felt like a boss. My husband doesn’t implement rules for me, he never has, but holy shit have I implemented rules for myself my entire life. He encourages me to find what makes me happy, to go out and find it, join it, start it, whatever. This is pretty awesome, right? Absolutely, but I would be lying if it didn’t scare the living shit out of me daily. I have it so built up in my head that I am going to find something that makes me happy or finally learn how to make myself happy that I am not going to want or need him in my life anymore, that I will not want or need our dog, or our friends. That I am going to say peace out everyone and go jet set. To me, things have to be in black and white. If I do A, that will make me selfish, so then selfishness turns to B where I think I am better than everyone or can do better than everyone, which turns to C, where I think I don’t need anyone in my life. HOLY EXTREME BATMAN! Welcome to my head. Can you guess who else in my family thinks this way? Yup, you guessed it, my dad. Ever since I can remember, all my dad ever has talked about it is, ‘well if I really did what I wanted I would have upset people and I would have hurt people’. How sad is that? He doesn’t trust enough that if he had chased a dream, we all wouldn’t have been on board with him? Everyday I am scared shitless because I think just like my dad and everyday I have to tell myself, ‘no, this is not my voice, this is not how things have to be’. I have an amazing man who wants me to chase those dreams, whatever they are. If things work out for us, yeah us, but if they don’t, they don’t. He tells me there is a 50-50 shot no matter what.

I guess if I can provide any advice or encouragement (and this is a reminder to myself as well), is to not stop. Don’t stop finding YOUR voice. None of us know what tomorrow brings or what the future holds. Know that you are loved and supported no matter what. This is a journey. You will not and I will not wake up tomorrow and have it all figured out. That’s impossible. We will be figuring it out till we are no longer on this earth. So in the meantime be present, be compassionate to yourself, know you are going to have good days and bad days, but when you hear those voices, ask yourself…is this your voice or someone else’s? If it’s not yours, then make it yours.

T

 

I just want to stop struggling

I have some major thoughts running through my head and I need to get it out. I need help. Yes, therapy helps, but today more than ever as I try to focus on my breath and stay present, my head is in constant fight mode and I just want to quit.

I am really trying to practice mindfulness and no one said it was going to be easy and maybe that is why I cry almost on a daily basis…because I am not throwing in the towel and I am dealing with myself or I am throwing in the towel and I am still getting upset with myself, but because I feel like I am giving up. Either way, I have always looked for ‘signs’ to help guide my way and today I have just about had it.

In therapy I am supposed to work on being present. The fears and the constant ‘what ifs’ are anxiety for the future, yet the tears and the sorrow are me not letting go of my past. Okay, makes sense. However, I go onto Instagram today and read a quote that says ‘you are one decision away from a totally different life’, Then I see a post for Rachel Hollis’ Rise Podcast and an excerpt with her saying’ if you have something you can’t stop thinking about that is the universe telling you what to chase’. WHICH IS IT!!! In her book, Girl, Wash your Face she talks about all the lies we feed ourselves, my personal favorite “I should be further along than I am”.  She made a point that hit home to me, “God has me where he wants me. I am exactly where I need to be’. THEN WHY DO I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE I AM STRUGGLING???

I don’t know how to be present yet strive for greatness. I don’t know how to be present and keep thinking I want or deserve more. I don’t know how to be present and think that everything I have done up until this point in my life might have been a mistake because I think I was doing it for other people. I don’t know how to be present and let go of my past, to finally grow up. I don’t know how to be present and constantly stop thinking I need to fly the coop and let my wings fly. I don’t know how to be present and stop thinking ‘what if’ or ‘if only’ or ‘what next’. I don’t know how to be present and not think, will I ever know how to trust myself or better yet who am I and what do I want? In some regard I believe this is where God wants me, but then why do I always think about other things or other places to be? A friend sent a message to me about this this morning and the message read that we ‘romanticize things that didn’t/haven’t happened’. My entire life, I have wanted one thing. I have that one thing and I should be happy. I am not. What is sad is that it’s not anyone’s fault but my own. I never took the time to make me happy, to do things for me, and the one time I did, my family freaked the F** out. Now, I do not even know how to begin to make myself happy, to care for me. Everyone else is taken care of and I feel so F** lost. I feel like if I start taking care of me then that is selfish because that is what I have been told to believe and usually selfish things lead you to hurting people and breaking people’s hearts and disappointing them, because you aren’t doing for them. (Disclaimer, just had an aha moment).

If I told anyone how I was feeling, they would either think I am crazy and I would make their heads spin, or they would tell me to go live my life, go and spread my wings (even if it hurts others). I guess my question out there who struggle with extreme anxiety is, how the hell do you ever make a decision and feel good about it or stop second guessing it? How do you not read into the what’s supposed to be ‘motivating messages’? Obviously, I have made decisions, but it’s sad that every decision I have made has not come easily. It has been through rigorous thinking, over analyzing, crying, sleepless nights, etc. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. I feel like I have been in a vicious cycle for 35 years and now is when I really want to be doing things with my life and be open to the possibility of a family whatever that might look like and all I think about is, ‘I need to run away, because I am never going to get better and I am just always going to compare my life to others and they will always just feel sad for me’.

T

Epiphany

We have all had those ‘AHA’ moments, but have you ever had a day where so many things start to unfold before your very eyes and you realize just how much your past and your fears have had their claws digging into you? That was my day today.

I can honestly say that for the last 8 months things have been really challenging. I have been in a dark season feeling like there is no way out. I have been seeing a therapist for the last 6 months, started weekly acupuncture about a month ago to help with my emotions and hormones, praying, praying, and more praying, taking supplements (because I am hell bent on working through this naturally), dedicating more time to yoga instead of lifting weights, trying to stick with my meditation, and journaling. That might seem like a lot, but I pretty much realized I needed to start fresh. I needed to try anything and everything and start really paying  attention to how I was feeling and how it all was making me feel.

I had my therapy session yesterday and I just laid it all out. I expressed through tears how frustrated I was that ‘I just wasn’t getting it’. I show up week after week and I feel great after therapy and then the days unfold and I hate life. I try to stay out of my head, but for the Love of God it’s f* hard. We talked a lot about it especially how my mind is a ping pong ball bouncing back and forth from past to future and never really ever being present. I took that analogy home with me, meditated more on it this morning and as my day took place, it was amazing to see the epiphanies unfold. ** (Disclaimer, this shit doesn’t happen overnight and I am not out of the woods, hell I might never be out of the woods. You have to show up everyday and put in the work. You can’t expect results without working at it).

There are thoughts and beliefs I told myself as a kid that have literally dictated so much of how I think and feel today. Learning that you are not your past, changing the things you think you are or were told to be, knowing you cannot control the future and just trying to be present because that is all we are given is and can be really difficult. Some people make it look easy, but if you have a head like mine, it takes a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a lot of uncomfortable feelings and thoughts. However, the only way to find any peace is to go through the uncomfortable and shitty time.

For anyone out there wondering ‘when is it my time, when is enough enough’? Don’t give up. You are too precious to give up on yourself. You might not notice the changes right away and you won’t because they are subtle. However, in time you will notice you breathe a little easier, your body is less tense, certain triggers don’t trigger you as much or at all, or my favorite…you respond in your old fashion and while doing so realize WTF am I doing, this is exactly what I don’t want to be doing, reframe your mind, tell yourself you’re kicking ass, find gratitude, wish that person well and go on your merry fucking way.

T

Good Morning 2019

Hello January 1, 2019. Welcome to the new year, a new beginning, and hopefully a fresh start. I would like to chat with you and discuss where I see this year going:

This will be the year of more forgiveness, more acceptance for myself and others, and more love for myself and others. We will be fearless, there will be more hope, and more praise. We will trust others and ourselves more. We will spend time in stillness and be mindful of our actions. We will spend more time taking care of ourselves so we can take care of others. We will judge less, compare less, and project less. We will speak our truth even if our voice shakes. We will grow. We will be present. We will ‘just be’. We will be happy today. We will have adventures and live a life on our terms. We will find our purpose. We will practice mental and physical health…however that looks for us. We will listen to our body more and feed it with the appropriate fuel. We will relax and say no when we mean no and yes when we mean yes. We will take risks.

I know I already said it 2019, but I want to repeat myself again…We will love! We will love and forgive not only those around us, but more importantly, we will really start showing ourselves the love and forgiveness we have so desperately been seeking. We are allowed that and we deserve that.

Cheers to you 2019. Here is to love, hope, family, friends, and life.

T

 

Goodbye 2018

2018 you were a challenge, however, there were some really great times and momentous occasions. Regardless, I think it is time we chat as I have some things I need to say goodbye to:

Goodbye to fear. Goodbye to projecting and self-limiting beliefs. Goodbye to comparing myself to others or what I see on social media. Goodbye to thinking I am not good enough or have to be something extraordinary. Goodbye to the constant pressure I put on myself. Goodbye to taking responsibility for other people, their emotions, and their behaviors. Goodbye to self-doubt. Goodbye to caring too much, typically about stuff that really holds no merritt. Goodbye to worry and caring about what other people think. Goodbye to caring about what other people are doing. Goodbye to my past and all the lies I have told myself. Goodbye to holding myself back. Goodbye to negativity. Goodbye 2018.

All of these things have not served me and unfortunately they will not serve me in the coming year or years. It is time we part ways. I wish you the best and I thank you for where you have gotten me so far, but there is more that I need to do and you are too much baggage to take any further.

T

Mindfulness to help with Depression

I have been working with a therapist for a couple of months now who specializes in mindfulness and meditation. I started my journey into the meditation world when my now brother-in-law talked about his experience with it. I had never tried it and thought it would be something that I could never learn, but little did I know how much it was going to help and how much it was something I needed on this journey.

I have always felt in my soul if you will, that the sadness, anxiety, and fears that spend their day festering in my head could be quieted if I worked hard enough at it; if I remained in as much control as possible. At times, I would take anti-depressants but the more I battled with myself, the more I wanted to fight it head on without ‘numbing’ out the pain with prescribed medicine. Enter meditation.

By no means is it easy, however, like a muscle gets stronger the more you lift, the brain too can change if you have the right tools to re-wire it. Along with meditation, I have been reading a book called ‘You are not your brain: the 4-step solution’ by Jeffery M. Schwartz, M.D. It discusses the deceptive brain messages that we subconsciously have on repeat and how to relabel, reframe, refocus, and revalue. It is helping me see the lies that I have told myself for years. It has given me hope, but I still have a very long road ahead of me. At times, it’s hard not to think how much of my life could have been easier if I had had these tools when I was younger; when I was in the molding stage of my life. As an adult, this path is substantially more difficult, but I figure I have two options: either start now and hope that only good things can come from this process no matter how scared I am, or keep repeating the same patterns and most likely getting the same results. I choose option 1.

T

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