Hey Anxiety, I’m Winning

I hope everybody out there is doing all right. I’m been busy moving and settling in. I think about this blog often and I hope it helps people even if there isn’t a post every day.

I’ve been working on an ebook, but got stalled when thinking about publishing it under my own name. Because I’m searching for a job and I know I’ll be Googled (bleh!)  I think I’m going to use a pen name. We’ll see if I get off my butt and do it.

Anyone got a great last name suggestion? Not joking.

Everything else is pretty good.

I always want to be honest here, but I’m not always sure the line where honestly is too personal and I should edit myself.

I’m not the greatest editor so SCREW SUGAR COATING AND NOT TELLING THE TRUTH. Let’s talk about what is working right now:

$4 of helpfulness

I made myself go back on an SSRI (antidepressant medication) and I swear I can tell the difference. It’s glorious because it’s one you can get from Walmart for $4. Seriously amazing for that price. You can get a 20mg prescription and cut the pills in half for a kiddie dose.

Or take the full 20mg on days you don’t feel right.

I feel like more of a functional human being with it.

One of my good friends (actually, I suspect like 75% of my friends) also takes something and swears by it.

Let’s Discuss the Safe Zone!

My friend and I were really funny together before I left San Diego.

We went to a film festival. A few other friends came and we went into a movie theatre and sat in a crowded middle row.

I started looking around and realized I felt  claustrophobic and panicy. Like we’re talking, “oh shit, do I really have to sit here for the next 90 minutes? This is going to be PAINFUL.”

I didn’t want to say anything, but then I just blurted it out. “Can we sit in another row?”

My friend who is just like me started nodding her head in agreement. Her and I leaped up and we ended up going to the balcony where hardly anyone was sitting and took end seats.

Then we started laughing uncontrollably. It’s such a beautiful thing to relate to someone that way. She was cracking up and telling me, “I didn’t think I could sit there a minute longer. I’m so glad you said something.”

Then we made a joke we were in the “Safe Zone.”

This made us laugh even harder. We both know it’s all in our heads, but that anxiety feels scary and paralyzing.

Her and I really bonded the last few weeks. Sharing all this stuff with her and having that understanding with no judgment I just wanted to say, “I love you” to her.

I never realized I could love a fellow introvert with a similar personality to me SO MUCH.

Breathing helps too, imagine that

Another friend helped me in a totally amazing way. This girl really has her shit together and she was telling me about a breathing exercise that helps when you’re anxious.

I’ve been doing it daily and IT HELPS.

I rarely have panic attacks, but my problem is an intense fear of them, so I’ve started paying attention to my breathing when I feel uncomfortable.

It’s so simple it’s silly!

So you do a 3,2,7 breathing thingy. Take this seriously…

You breathe in — focusing on breathing into your abdomen — for a count of 3. Literally count it in your head: 1…2…3.

Then hold the breath for two. 1…2.

Then breathe out for seven. 1….2…3…4…5…6…7

Repeat like 5x at least 3x a day, or whenever you want to relax.

I wasn’t expecting the advice. It’s amazing the gems people will give you if you’re open to them.

Hold on tight. Everything is going to be all right.

This is not my cat, but sleeping kitties are a reason to live. Yeah?!

Last thing:

Overheard conversation at coffeeshop:

Guy #1: “Hey! Anything going on today?”
Guy #2: “Minecraft got a big update.”

Let’s all try to contain our EXCITEMENT. omggggg. I obviously don’t  know what Minecraft is… But if I did… you’d have to restrain  me. I must stop talking about this now.

Be Nice to Yourself Today

Ugh. The last few days. So hard.

I think it’s something in the air. But seriously, I know things will get better and change. I’m eagerly waiting TO FEEL BETTER. But it hasn’t happened yet.

It seems like everyone I know is going through something. So I can at least say to the Internet world that we are all in this together.

It’s the TRUTH.

I’m packing up my house. Saying goodbye. It’s weird.

Most likely I’ll come back and live here, but for now I need a change. I’ll be able to save A LOT of money and get my head back in the right place. I am so fortunate to be able to have choices.

I think it’s a good decision to live someone cheaper for awhile. Live in a place where I can do things I love, like hiking just a few blocks from my backyard. Live in a place where getting around is easy.

I am on the slow train to adulthood and I feel like I’m just now learning who I am and what I want my future to be. I feel like a lot of it is not in my control.

What I really want is to live in both places.

But until that option presents itself…

The other reasons I am moving:

I have to get a real job. I don’t want to commute down the 805. I don’t want to go back to visiting my family a few times a year. I want to have dinner with them on Sunday nights. I want to help them out.

I can live more cheaply in Salt Lake City. I can literally pay of every dollar I owe in ONE YEAR if I have a home base there and just come to San Diego for visits. It would make me supremely happy to have money again! Then I can do what I want . ;) YES!

I am kinda depressed. OK, this is just something I go through sometimes and IT WILL PASS. But the last few months I basically lost all my income, did not find the work I wanted, and have lived off a credit card. This is not pretty. I know I am EXTREMELY FORTUNATE, but I NEED A BREAK.

I can’t deal with the amount of people and traffic in San Diego right now. I thought I could do it and I did for awhile, but they’re just everywhere. Without regular breaks and stability I go CRAZY. Everything is so heightened here — every sensory experience. You hear about a concert or a street festival and you know if you go you will be surrounded by hundreds of people. It’s tiring. I’d rather be able to see something fun to do and be able to go and do it, easily.

I’d love to live in San Diego from January to June.

And Utah from July to December. That would be awesome!

I’d love to have the best of BOTH WORLDS.

Mountains + ocean + fun + quiet & family.

A couple things I’ve been doing late at night (it has been hard to sleep lately):

  • Looking up funny videos of cats and dogs on YouTube
  • Pinning cat and dog pics on Pinterest
  • A friend was telling me about watching funny videos on Vine with the hashtag #screamcam when he can’t sleep (this is a little twisted, but funny)
  • Looking for anything I can that will change my mood, even just an inch

I want to say, as silly as it sounds, that I think Salt Lake City could be an up and coming place. At least I want to believe this. I know they need some help with their air quality, among other things, but I could see it being a fun place to live.

Just gotta give it time, give it space, be open.

Let things grow.

 

 

 

 

 

Finding the Stronger Place in Yourself

I’m getting ready to move out of San Diego and it’s really nerve wracking. There are so many unknowns and I pretty much feel like I’m going to die on a daily basis.

I know I’m not really going to die, but the amount of anxiety feels like my life and well-being are in danger. I think this is probably worse than actual death.

Because when you die in real life it only happens once, it’s probably pretty peaceful and fast.

Right now it feels like I’m anticipating dying and being obliterated against my will AT ANY MOMENT WITHOUT WARNING — and that I have no control. There is no enemy I’m running from, no one trying to get me and hurt me, yet it feels like I’m barely holding on and at any moment I might panic.

Phew… just writing this down is helping.

Today I ran an errand and found myself trying to figure out a way to comfort myself.

On the one hand I’ve got this huge bubble of anxiety and it feels like I’m trapped inside. I can focus on that bubble and make it more real, or I can step out of it.

I know there are different parts of me.

So I can stand in this bubble and reach for a part of myself that is stronger. I know it’s in there. It’s an older, wiser, all-knowing part.

I was doing this earlier — feeling the anxiety and then willing myself to connect to a different part of myself —so there is also voice of strength, even when I’m anxious.

It’s amazing, but there really is a part of me if I look hard enough that is strong and stable, like a rock, able, and willing to help.

I spend too much time (right now anyway) relating to that other part — the fearful one that make me feel like I’m going to die — and believing it is true.

It takes some willpower, but I think you can relate to two things at once. You can be fearful and comforting to yourself. You can be scared and loving.

It’s like a parent comforting a child. You’ve got a 4-year-old (your ego basically) and it’s freaking out. I know I’ve explained this before. I’m fully aware that it’s running my life right now.

Yet I can find the adult part and relate it to that scared part. So there is a little piece, or a voice, that interrupts the fear.

They can stand side by side.

It’s a kind, loving, compassionate voice. It feels dusty and out of practice, but that’s okay.

You know, I remember when I dealt with some bad depression and started to get out of it what happened.

I started treating myself differently when I was in the midst of it.

I started being nice to myself, in spite of the way I felt.

I was depressed, but also loving at the exact same time.

That was really the missing piece. I stopped berating myself. I stopped trying to push it away.

I let it be and opened a doorway. 

When I was depressed this usually meant gentle kindness through the dark feelings.

But with anxiety, the gentle stuff feels not powerful enough. It’s like I need to express more power. It feels so out of control and scary, unlike depression, which feels dark and desolate.

I know what I need to do!

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but someone told me about the idea of creating a Holy Membership Council to help you in times of need and give you a force for finding reasons to live.

You have to use your imagination, but you can call in anyone you want to come and they will help.

And instead of saying, “god, please help me” and pleading for help, god is already there like a voice in your head, telling you what you need to know.

Even though you’re anxious, you ask for help, knowing you will get it. Instead of relating to that awful feeling, you’re relating to something bigger and all-knowing.

So a council can consist of people you can call upon who you admire who’ve passed away and can assist you any time you’re in need.

You could have Jesus, Buddha, or any Eastern gurus, scientists, writers, inventors, family, or anyone you feel connected to.

You can imagine them all sitting at a table and there to assist you anytime you need it. Yes!

They can give you advice, virtual hugs, support, life…

This is really just a game to tap into a stronger place in yourself, but you have an access point you can get to quickly (and heck, maybe these entities really can step in and help. I don’t see why not).

So my council members are going to be:

      • Jesus
      • Steve Jobs
      • Paramahansa Yogananda, the author of Autobiography of a Yogi.
      • Lester Levenson, who created the Release Technique, which is so helpful for learning to tolerate and let go of a wide range of feelings. If you are interested in trying it, email me and I can tell you  more.
      • My grandma who passed away a few years ago, Marjorie.
      • Colonel Sanders, who invented Kentucky Fried Chicken because I think it’s incredible that he failed not only like 1,000 times, but didn’t hit his stride until age 65. 
      • Lady Godiva, who  is in my ancestry, who rode naked through the streets in protest in like the 13th century.
      • Robert the Bruce, who is the first kind of Scotland and another ancestor.

I’ll think of a few others. Then maybe I’ll print out their photos and make a collage as a reminder.

We are not alone. We have the support of centuries of human beings.

But I do think you have to ask. If you don’t ask AND expect an answer, nothing will change.

Wow. I feel a million times calmer just writing about this.

And it’s totally okay that I missed a meeting this morning and I’m a zombie from taking sleeping pills last night.

I can still love myself 100%. Every inch of me, including my entire brain and all it’s stories and all the fears.

I know, finally, that if I don’t do this, no one else is going to rescue me. There is no Price Charming. I’m finally willing to accept that. He or it doesn’t not exist.

There is no one that is going to show up on my doorstep and rescue me. I have to make the decision to help myself and then let things fall into place with grace.

I’m not a Christian, but I love some of the principles, like grace.

Grace = Kindness from God. There is nothing we have done, nor can ever do to earn this favor. It is a gift of divine assistance and strength.

Goals for End of Summer and Beyond

I know. We still have like seven weeks of summer left. But I’m looking forward to fall because it’s my favorite time of the year. It’s also going to bring a whole SLEW of changes.

So my goals for end of summer:

Be sparkly more often. Sparkly means being in a good place where you have this glow. This means do things that make you SHINE. This energy is magnetic and energizing and money-attracting.

How will I do this?

  • Acknowledging fear and resistance and letting them go.
  • Using the release technique.
  • Staying present.

I may be taking a detour (let’s just say I’m moving to a place that has four-seasons for a while) — but this doesn’t have to be the End of My Life. I hope it’s not. These are things I’d like to do!

  • Teach a class about book publishing.
  • Rejoin a toastmasters group and give a speech.
  • Look for what is working and good and focus on that.
  • Do a fun running race. Sign up for a 1/2 marathon.
  • Sign up for a yoga teacher training.
  • Get involved in shit.

I feel like there are a lot of cobwebs from my past still to clean up. I left my home town when I was 18 and have only returned in short bursts. What if I could be perfectly okay being there (or not being there)?

I hated everyone where I grew up. Haha.. there I said it. Like, really, really, really hated everyone. So it’s scary to go back.

When I was in the 4th grade I didn’t realize the word “bitch” was a swear word and I told one of the girls on the school bus that she “was a bitch.” That was pretty much how I felt about 95% of the people and I was only 10 years old!

Now I am going to run into them with their kids so you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to write their names down and release my feelings on each one and send them LOVE. What silly stuff to carry around. Because they certainly don’t care what I am doing. Never did. My reaction is all that matters.

I know some of my goals are not realistic. But it feels good to write it out. One of the things I loved most when I used to live in Utah was running and doing races. So I gotta sign up for a 10k this fall.

One thing I have learned from moving — you can’t recreate what you had “back then.” When I came back to San Diego I wanted to dance and get heavily involved in church and you know what? Neither of those things panned out.

My dance classes never quite felt right. I was usually in a class of 50+ year olds, or at a dance with younger people and kind of ignored by the good dancers. I never got my groove with it.

I had lofty goals for church too, but I didn’t connect with anyone the way I thought I would. Actually, I did meet a couple guys but it wasn’t how or in the way I expected.

I met my friend Dan at church, which led me to the release technique work, which I’m finding very powerful. I guess that’s god doing it’s thing. You can’t predict god or give it directions. It will always surprise you. This is a huge lesson.

Without sounding like a Jesus freak (of which I am not), sometimes god knows more than you. Let god be god. Get out of the way.

Liar. Pants on Fire.

Our periods of darkness are our greatest teachers…

Wouldn’t it be great if someone used the following words to describe you (no matter how ridiculous this sounds right now)?

Happy, centered, peaceful, joyful, smart, witty, creative, innovative, brave, strong, admirable, abundant, kind, giving, courageous, daring, funny, hopeful, present, radiant, caring, vibrant, loving.

Let’s be all these things right now and forever because they are the truth of who we are. Don’t believe the lie that you are anything less.

Things Are Looking Up

I know how hard it is to look at your life and wonder if it will ever change.

Will you ever be happy? Have what you want? Be living and breathing in a way that feels good and abundant?

Two things come to mind:

1. Being okay with how things are NOW.
Even if now is a gap point in time between here and there — between where you want to be and where you’ve been. Right now is a perfectly suitable time to be in the moment and flowing with life.

Even if you’re not jumping for joy you can be content for a few minutes, or the rest of your day. You can decide “I am okay and doing the best I can in this moment.” This is a beautiful thing.

2. Stop living in the past or future. Anytime you are in the past or future you are emotional and experiencing memories, expectations, regrets, pain, and feeling tortured inside.

The mind creates these “stories” about how things are or were and leads us to believe that they are true.

Then we talk about them and they get even truer.

We will never be able to love again or be as happy as we were then. Thinking the past will comfort us is a trick, because the past doesn’t exist — it’s just memories that change with time. Or we will never be happy until x,y,z happens, which could be anytime between now and the next 50 years. That’s a lot of time to wait and hold on to promise.

This is so hard to grasp, but the are STORIES in your mind. They are beliefs playing out in the playground of your thoughts. If you change a story (stop focusing on it and focus elsewhere), the story changes. It shrinks. It dissolves. You make different decisions and the world corresponds.

When I took my attention from what was wrong to reasons to live I felt lighter and more things felt more possible.

It felt like the world was opening up instead of closing.

This is because I was stepping into a new story, one that had hope and was right here, right now.

A friend was telling me about this older couple who move all the time. They always find something wrong with where they live. So they pack up and move, again and again.

Now they recently mentioned they have no friends (other than one person) and a bleak hope of ever having friends again. Is it really possible that you could be alive and have NO FRIENDS EVER AGAIN?

Even if you were in jail you could make a friend.

Any person you talk to can be your friend.

Most people are the market for new friends and there are many levels of friendship. Each one is valuable.

Even if you couldn’t talk, you could be your own friend.

This “not having friends (or it not being possible)” is a STORY. So when you believe you can’t have friends or anything else, you’ll do things that prove it is true.

So if you believe “I’ll never have friends” (or anything else) write it down and FACE IT. Put it on your wall (I’m serious). You can’t fix problems you aren’t willing to face.

Then write down all the things you do that PROVE IT. You can just take like 10 minutes or so, and it’s really eye opening.

It’s also painful, but the pain is temporary, I promise.

These might be:
Because I don’t believe I can’t have friends…

I move a lot so I never get close to anyone.
I stay in every night.
I talk about how I can’t make friends.
I don’t talk to anyone around me (such as being friendly with the grocery clerk or saying hello to someone on the street).
I never reach out to anyone.
I think about how useless I am.

Then after you face it, look at the possibility that this is all IN YOUR HEAD and what you might do differently (or someone in your shoes would do) if you believed you could ALWAYS have friends.

Such as:

I would smile and talk to strangers more.
I would email someone I haven’t talked to in awhile.
I would send a thank you card to someone.
I would believe the world is a friendly place.
I would see strangers as friends.
I would believe that life is supporting me.
I would look for things I like about people.
I would make plans to get out of the house xx times a month.
I would seek out a volunteer opportunity.
I would forgive myself when my social life is slow.
I would be open to friends coming in any direction or form.
I would be relaxed about friendships, not forcing anything, but allowing things to evolve.
I would believe my tribe is seeking me.

I really thing you can take any problem and do this with it.

The hardest part is FACING IT. Actually writing down what you do and how it has hurt you — it takes courage. The pain at looking in the mirror is temporary. It will fester if you don’t get it out, so you’re safe and it’s OK to look it in the eye.

I did this with a bunch of my stories at 4 am — upon waking up in the middle of the night and just not being afraid anymore of them. It was scary. But it didn’t last long.

You can see it like gathering evidence about a criminal case. You see the problem and want to know the who, what, when, where, and why. It’s not personal. It’s just the tape recorder of what is playing in the background of your mind.

More on this later. And a downloadable ebook coming soon!

I Admit I am 100% Clueless

I can’t fall asleep so I’m looking up inspirational quotes.

Because nothing else online really fulfills me. All the social media in the world and yet none of it fills up the emptiness. Not the way I want it to.

There isn’t really anyone to talk to right now. It’s late. So I guess I’m talking to myself. Trying to fill up the emptiness.

Shoot. I don’t feel like I have ANY answers to anything.

I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to focus on God. Focus on believing and having faith in something bigger than myself and my mind. Asking for help.

I’m hungry. I’m trying to ignore that too. I can feel it in my head, like all this thinking and trying to solve and figure out what to do is taking up swarms of energy.

I know what I’m supposed to do — surrender and give it up — but on a daily basis, I feel like I still should be doing something, right? I’m referring to having work or a job.

Like do I just surrender and stop the search?

Is God that powerful that I can stop looking and still have money or work land in my lap?

The more I look, the more I feel like shit. The more I look, the less worthy I feel. It feels like… I don’t know.

I guess I feel like I’m supposed to have it figured out by now. So let’s play a game called:

IT’S OKAY TO HAVE NOTHING FIGURED OUT!

It’s okay to be totally clueless.

At least I do know how to feel loving. I can love things.

If there was a job called “loving things,” I could do that.

I think that is what you’re supposed to do every day in your life, no matter what your circumstances.

Isn’t love supposed to be the solver? The force that overturns anything?

It’s so hard to love the things I hate. It’s hard to love the pain, but I guess that’s what it wants. If I have to come back to this and repeat this a million times I can love that, too.

What do I love?

I love the wind chimes on my neighbor’s front porch. I love hearing them in my window at night.

I love the luxury of having a quiet place to rest.

I love bread.

I love warm summer nights where the sky gets pink.

I love picturing the ocean crashing into the beach somewhere desolate.

I love being able to breathe.

I love that feeling when you know what you want and you go after it.

I guess I can love everything else too:

Heartbreak, confusion, restlessness, lost, empty,  insecure, turbulent, weak, humbled, kind, generous, sensual, alive.

The difficulties you meet will resolve themselves as you advance. Proceed, and light will dawn, and shine with increasing clearness on your path.

~Jim Rohn

The Miracle Morning — Book to Read

My friend and I are both reading “The Miracle Morning ,” which you can buy here on Amazon.

The guy who wrote it is pretty amazing. He was in a horrible car accident and died for six minutes and told he wouldn’t walk again; then a few years later he was $400,000 in debt with no way out.

Now he is a successful, young motivational speaker.

He uses all the positive personal development stuff you’ve probably read about in other books (if you read this kind of thing), but it’s a good refresher on how to wake up and do things that make the most of your day.

My friend has been doing this for the past few days and he is totally stoked.

A few gems he told me about, which caused me to buy the book:

When you wake up in the morning, create a routine of about 60 minutes that is empowering and sets the tone for your day.

Upon awakening, first thing go and brush your teeth. Then wash your face and put on some workout clothes or take a shower.

Then he recommends sitting and in 5-10-minute increments (or whatever you can do) working with affirmations, visualizing, reading, and journaling followed by 10 minutes of physical activity, like yoga, push ups, walking, or jumping jacks.

He also recommends reading 10 pages a day of an inspiring book. And I love this analogy: If you read 10 pages a day, you will have read 3,650 pages a year, which equals 18 personal development books.

That shit gets me excited.

I have been doing this kind of thing at night.

Most nights before bed I light a candle and write out my “gains” from the day, even if they are trivial. A gain is anything good that happened. I give myself a sticker (I love the stickers) if I don’t go on Facebook/Instagram or waste time on blogs that are stupid.

I write down if I took my vitamins or not, if I didn’t bite my nails (this has helped me to nearly stop biting my nails), and if I used the essential oils I bought.

I also write down if I meditated and sometimes I’ll sit and meditate if I’m not too tired. I definitely need a morning routine that is similar and doable.

Then I put the piece of paper with all this written onto a bulletin board, so I can see it and feel it. For me the action of touching something as an action is powerful (thus, getting a sticker and tacking a piece of paper to something).

I’m a zombie in the morning, so I’m willing to try something new. I’m you want to do this with me I’m starting it tomorrow.

Ideas and Cats from Hell

After feeling like I’m shooting myself in the foot looking for jobs and having the ENTIRE Internet be overwhelming, I’ve just hit what feels like the jackpot.

You know how you go on craigslist or Indeed.com or whatever to find a job, (or pitch yourself as a writer as I’m doing) and then two things happen:

1. You apply for a job with 15-100 other people. Awesome.

2. You pitch yourself to company that has plenty of writers already or who delete the email you spend 1.5 hours on.

So, after reading up on some stuff, I starting googling about this idea of targeting companies that are new, but have recent funding from angel investors (I know that this has nothing to do with reasons to live, but I haven’t actually been excited about this process, and now I AM EXCITED).

Because there are thousands of companies getting millions of dollars in seed money who need to hire people.

They have jobs that aren’t being advertised, or barely advertised.

So I subscribed to a venture capital newsfeed and found a website that shows companies that are going public and mostly looking for businessy people. So if I target those companies I might be the ONLY writer.

Yeehaw!

I also did this glorious exercise last night that I want to share.

1. Think of what you want or a goal –but  feel like you already have it 100% and rev up the feeling. You pretend that want you want has already happened, and is even months or years in the past! Focus on how this makes you feel.

2. When you’re feeling peaceful and in that “having what you want state” go to the dark place (I’m serious) in your mind. Imagine for a few moments the worst case scenario. Mine was that I am 65 years old and I am STILL LOOKING for a job. Which is hilarious because that means I just spent 30 years hunting without a catch!

3. Then let go of that worst case picture — be the boss of your mind and drop it. Go back to that peaceful place of RIGHT NOW having what you want no questions asked, 100%, it is real.

4. Now that you’re in a high place, go back and rev. up that same worst case scenario again — see it, feel it, experience the ickyness. Repeat this over and over about six times. Imagine your worst case scenario on a movie screen. Then go back to that peaceful feeling.

Then eventually your mind does this crazy thing. It FORGETS the worst case scenario when you try and find it. Or you notice it has less of an affect. You’ve let go of so much of the fear that you can’t remember what was bothering you.

This exercise brought me to tears and made me laugh.

And now I feel hopeful that someone might actually hire me even though I have no evidence for it right now…

Before when I was looking for jobs or whatever, my stomach would sink and I wouldn’t really look. Or I’d get really bothered when I’d see a job I applied for and am wholly qualified get reposted again. Serioulsy?!

Then I’d tell friends and family I’m looking, but really I’m on the couch watching Orange is the New Black and My Cat From Hell on Netflix.

Sort of. That was just one Friday afternoon.

I guess this just feels better than doing the same old thing and applying for stuff that everyone else is applying for…

 

Lately

Accomplishments lately:

  • Went to a really weird meeting.
  • Ran 5 miles pretty fast.
  • Ate an entire California burrito in under two minutes.
  • Cleaned house.
  • Turned in a few assignments for a client.
  • Thought about what I want to do for the rest of the year.
  • Realized I’ve talked way too much shit at my office and am stopping talking altogether.
  • Searched for how to move using a U-haul pod.
  • Thinking about moving back home and getting a place there (in Utah).
  • Really scared about moving, but I think it’s inevitable.
  • Volunteered at a farm using a hoe (really).
  • Watched a bunch of Breaking Bad.
  • Did yoga in the living room.
  • Realized my squash plants are lesbians. There are no male flowers to pollinate and create an actual squash.
  • Meditated in the bathtub (without water), sitting on a pillow, because it’s really quiet in the bathroom (no car noise).
  • Bought some really nice essential oil stuff called Balance from doTERRA. I heard if you combine Balance with a oil called Serenity isn’t known as liquid Xanax. You put the stuff on your wrists, behind your ears and on neck, and on your feet before bed.

Let's Be Badass Confident B*tches

Look at this pretty little affirmation:

Because this is the wave of my future, whether I’m here or there.

I used to hate the word “bitch” because it has a negative connotation, but I’m such a softy that it’s like a compliment.

Today some random guy gave me his card at the grocery store. He seemed really nice and I WAS APPROACHABLE enough that a stranger started a conversation with me about kale.

Then this company scared the shit out of me by asking me to come in Monday for a meeting to be their copywriter for a big website project (and that if I couldn’t come in Monday they’d reschedule the meeting FOR ME) and it is is so out of the blue that I really have to take it and swallow the anxiety.

And I just watched the episode of Breaking Bad where Walt blows  the drug lords windows out and walks away with like $50,000 (season 1, episode 6). YESSSSSS.

There really should be badass affirmation cards… Hmm….Oh my god I need to invent this idea.

Creating greater expectations

Reasons for this week:

I started meditating again, at least 20 minutes a day. I love it.

We’ve had cool nights where you can sleep under the covers and have the perfect temperature.

I made a whole chicken in the crockpot in a Martha Stewart moment.

I found out mercury really is in retrograde. Weird.

An Unpreceded Event or Three

At the library I came immediately upon the book I quoted the other day about surrender.  It found me. :) Picked that one and a fun summer fiction book. Got back to my parking meter with one minute to spare.

Then just as my luck was turning mercury must be in retrograde (that means bad news) because I got rejected by two jobs in 10 minutes. That’s a record, my friends!

So I guess this is a really fun test of just how much I can take. I really seriously don’ t know (again) how I’m going to pay for ___________  (fill in the blank) and this is really uncomfortable. It’s a storm brewing, but I haven’t cried.

My friend thinks it’s a sign. I don’t know what the fuck it is.

She thinks I should keep freelancing and look for content writing jobs, like blogging for other businesses, so if anyone know of any leads let me know.

I’m obviously great with mental health and have a sense of humor included for FREE. design-1

 

 

Weirdness in the Air

Things have been really weird lately.

We’ve got job opportunities that start with a bang and fizzle (multiple ones) and a general weirdness in the air. In the past when I’ve needed a job, it’s like I snap my fingers and get it.

But things are also good. I can’t forget that.

I’ve been going on a lot of runs and long walks. It’s not that hard to run/walk 5 miles. You can plug headphones in and listen to stuff while you walk. I feel sometimes like I could walk forever…

I’m a little bored. I’m serious. When was the last time you were bored? Like when you were 11? I’ll take some bored over too busy any day. Amen. I’m going to start sending myself emails so I feel more important. And I’m going to the library muther fuckers!

I wish I could marry someone rich. I’m 100% serious. I’d never actually date with this goal in mind, but I wish that could happen. And I’d only marry someone rich who didn’t seem rich. He wouldn’t drive a nice car, he wouldn’t own extravagant things, but he would have money for travel and food and fun and comforts.

I’d love to be the housewife of 5 cats, 2 dogs, a Chia pet, some sea monkeys, and a giant hungry garden. I’d love to live in a Craftsman style house (I can totally picture it) and make dinner with a hot pink BBQ grill. I’d love to be eccentric and fall in love a person and with life over mutual weirdness.

I wish I felt a little tiny bit more settled. I always want that freedom to come and go and do what I want, but a little stability (or I guess letting go of wanting control) would be super. Right now I’m going to focus on gravity. I’m thankful we have that and air too.

I know a change is coming… I’ve known this for MONTHS. Maybe that’s the weirdess. I’m OK if it’s a little change or a big one. I’m OK if it’s losing my place to live and going back to Utah. I’m OK if it’s a job. I’m OK if it’s not a job.

I’m OK if it’s meeting aliens. I’m OK if it’s learning I am an alien.

I NEED TO START A JOB NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Letting Go of Being a Victim

So the story goes that we all have these programs or stories that run our lives. These are the unconscious thoughts and feelings that drive us and make us do what we do.

For example, I have a program that says “I am a victim.” I don’t know where it comes from or why it’s there (that part doesn’t matter).

When the roots of my life (like the roots of the tree) are grown with a belief in victimhood, I don’t help myself. Or I help myself and blame other people or circumstances. I pity myself. Things go my way and I’m happy, but when they don’t….

I beat myself up. And think I can’t change and will never change.

Then I get sad and it never seems to stop.

This is because the thoughts of I am a victim that are rolling along under the surface sound like this:

  • I have to feel bad to get what I want.
  • I can’t do anything about it, so why bother?
  • I am powerless.
  • It is out of my control.
  • I feel sorry for myself.
  • I wish someone else would fix it for me.
  • I hate myself.
  • I hate my feelings.
  • Everyone else gets to have it, but I don’t.
  • My life is tragic.
  • I know it’s not going to work out.
  • I am not as good as everyone else.
  • Why should I bother?
  • Life is not fair.
  • I can’t handle any more failures.
  • I’m on my last rope.
  • I am not safe.
  • This is too much for me.
  • I have to feel sorry for myself.

Loop, loop, loop, loop….

In Release Technique (which I love) they talk about other programs people might have that run their lives under the surface. And that these usually are held on to due to a fear of death:

  • If I get what I want they’ll kill me.
  • If I express myself fully they’ll kill me.
  • If I don’t do it right they’ll kill me.

Under each of these is a stream of thoughts that support this belief.

What I love about releasing is that you take each thought, bring it to wanting approval, wanting control, or wanting safety — and then decide to let the want go.

The hardest part is…

DECIDING to let it go. Especially when your ego is screaming at you. It says: but you won’t be safe, you’ll die.

Having to decide over and over is the second hardest thing (it’s frustrating when you think you’ve already let it go — but letting things go is like taking tissues out of a box. You take another and another and another).

When you get all the tissues out of the box,  you find another box and another set of thing to let go. We store up lifetimes of emotional stuff and carry them with us. They are our desires, our sufferings, our pain.

When you start reading all the self-help books and examining all the great thought leaders they all start saying the SAME THING.

That changing your life and anything you don’t like — which includes the most awful emotional states you can imagine — is a DECISION.

Anything that says you can’t because…..a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m…….is a lie. Any thought that says “I can’t” or “I won’t” is your flawed, hungry-for-problems human mind, not your essence.

Your essence is love.

You are not your program, whatever it is.

What if you could be the hero of your life? Wouldn’t that be weird? And good. ;)

Hero’s don’t always succeed. They fail awesomely. But they try and try again. They don’t always look like heros or they might be in a losing battle, but it’s their attitude that makes them heroic above all else.

I admire people who are the hero’s of their lives. I want to be one of them.

 

Reasons and Focusing on Ways You’re Lucky

Reasons for today:

  1. The neighbor’s wind chimes are so beautiful sounding.
  2. I used this new conditioner and I have Victoria’s Secret hair (silky!).
  3. I don’t have to be anywhere today.
  4. I can work on a book today.
  5. I am warm and safe.
  6. My roommate is talking about making homemade chicken soup and shrimp linguini.
  7. There is food in the fridge and cupboards.
  8. The garden seeds have little sprouts.
  9. I live in such a beautiful place.
  10. I’ve been to a lot of beautiful places — Ireland, South America, Mexico, places all over the U.S. I don’t think about those memories very often.

In Ireland I lived in a hotel in Dublin, which I kind of hated, but it was a study abroad program (yeah we “studied” a lot in a hotel with a pub).

In South America I visited Colombia and sat on beaches near monkeys. And rode buses and walked city streets with my boyfriend.

In Mexico I went to both sides of the ocean. Snorkeling and surfing.

I am lucky to have been able to do those things. I am lucky to be able to know how to swim. Lucky to have the money to travel. Lucky to have the support of family and friends to experience different parts of the world.

You know it’s funny I haven’t dreamed in a while — by dreaming I mean dreaming up things I want to see and do. I haven’t added anything to my bucket list in awhile, but maybe it’s time to do that again.

 

Surrender Is the Only Way to Live

Maybe I’m just not meant to get a f/t job? I don’t know.

Seems like everything is taking forever. And now I’m getting freelance writing requests in the meantime.

Right now everything I know in life is about letting go of wanting control. Controlling situations, predicting outcomes, pushing for tomorrow to look a certain way.

There really is so little we can actually control. Instead, I’m working on choosing to let go of the wanting.

Wanting is the worst feeling. It is a tug at your soul. It’s the Ugh! When you want something you don’t have it’s torture. Plus until you let go of the icky wanting feeling, you won’t have it (what you want) or any peace.

Letting go of wanting control means you’re no longer fighting life. And fighting life is a TOTAL LOSING BATTLE.

Go ahead — fight with life, try to get everything your way, push, pull, smash, wrestle. Do it your way and you’ll get pushed and pushed to the ground until you have one choice left.

In the end it comes down to surrender.

The people who seem to do it best do it this way:

Imagine you’re in a summer lake floating on your back. The water is sparkling but cool, the sun is out, and you’re floating calmly.

Now relax… seriously… and know you won’t drown. Just surrender it ALL.

You might feel you’re going under, but you won’t and you can’t.

Because something else is holding you up. There is a hand under your back, guiding you forever.

SO LET IT HOLD YOU UP. Relax completely and let it do its job.

This hand is god. Or a force we can’t explain.

It is what is really in charge. It decides what happens to you and me. It decides when you live, it decides when you die. So LET IT.

You don’t know when you’re going to die and it’s not your decision — god or it decides. You are at it’s mercy.

It is loving and good. It holds you up in the lake and in life, if you let it.

Now imagine this floating surrender in daily life….

Go about your day. Get stuff done. Do what you need to do. But stop fighting yourself and life. Let go of that wrestle for wanting control and you’ll actually fee like YOU HAVE CONTROL.

Stop trying to make your life look a certain way when better things usually happen to us when we don’t expect it.

Instead, allow. Allow love, Allow surrender.

Each time you surrender you feel lighter, less encumbered.

You mind will try to get you to think that if you let go of controlling (well trying to control) there will be no hand and that you will drown and die. That’s just your mind and ego. Those things are not real.

You never had control in the first place.

Some of the best things come from the realization of losing complete control and the acceptance of it. Divorces. Deaths. A crisis.

When a whole lot of shit hits the fan, we finally stop wresting and let life do what it wishes. That is where magic can open up.

Surrender everything in your life right now.

This decision to stop grasping for control usually happens in moments of desperation, but imagine doing this all the time.

You sort of have to face the fear of death (wanting safety) when you let go trying to control everything. You have to admit you are at a complete loss. You had no control over being born; you have no control over when and how you die.

(Note: if you thinking killing yourself means having control that’s an illusion. Sure you have control for the seconds it takes to kill, but when you actually die — ZERO NO CONTROL. You’re at life’s mercy. Death is total, complete surrender).

We crave that ultimate purge of everything.

So I don’t know about you but I feel a whole lot better surrendering now while I’m alive. It’s taking breaths and letting go. It’s having no expectations for anything.

Everything feels lighter and airy. It is a surrender to the truth, I believe — that god or some other force is in control, and always has been.

That force holds you up from drowning. It’s always there. All you have to do is be willing to breathe and make a decision.

The more you can let go — of shit, of stories, of drama, of problems, of upset, and stop trying to figure out how to solve it all— the more life works and the more YOU SHINE.

Problems tend to fix themselves (or our attitude shifts) when we get out of the way and allow for this force to move in.

Then the frequency of happy and bliss is magnetic. Even just a piece of it draws better stuff to you. Because you’re no longer using your mind and trying to control your life, but now you’re working with a greater order.

That nagging feeling:. I should be doing something else. I should have figured it out by now. I am missing out on my purpose and reasons for living.

It’s gone in that moment of surrender.

Just Some Simple Reasons

10 great things:

  1. Singing along to country songs (I love country music)
  2. Bought these cool flowers called peonies from Trader Joes
  3. My roommate keeps making these glorious dinners and breakfasts
  4. The crickets are chirping
  5. I got a haircut from a guy with a mohawk
  6. I rode a scooter and was pretty good at it
  7. Been meditating
  8. I read 40 pages of a real book (with paper!) yesterday and IT FELT SO GOOD.
  9. I am lucky to live in a cute little cottage
  10. All the other stuff is just my ego

Finding Out it’s Going to Be OK After All

Let’s see…

Yesterday had feelings of extreme overwhelm. This led to lighting candles when it got dark and staring at walls (and wine drinking and pasta).

I don’t feel like myself when my mind is racing. When I’m not centered and somewhat focused, I start to lose it.

There was a job interview involved. I KNOW I can keep freelancing and do OK. But if I do get a job for awhile I can:

  • Keep freelancing, and be picky
  • Be super lazy in my offtime
  • Learn something new while getting paid that I likely currently wouldn’t be hired to do otherwise as a freelancer.
  • Pay every bit of my rent next month (and my taxes from last year, and my health insurance, and my credit card and SAVE UP MONEY)
  • Relax
  • Do work I might enjoy somewhat (NOT editing) or medical stuff
  • Write book of my own on the side!

I’ll be honest, I feel a little weird about it. But the place I’m considering is where my friend Dan used to work before his freelancing career took off. Now he gets these 6k+ copywriting jobs, so in a very non-linear way I’d be pointed in the same direction.

I guess the big thing in copywriting for online stuff is writing video sales letters and video scripts. So I’d get exposure to this type of writing and it is really lucrative.

I can do this or do whatever falls into my lap. I’m not going to die.

I just need a short commercial break.

Anxiety Is a Trip

A lot of things happening:

  • I’m doing a blogathon for June (supposed to blog every day for the month  – whoops on that), but it’s great because it’s with a network of awesome, supportive, successful freelance writers.
  • I don’t really like summer…. (I know I’m weird) because summer in San Diego means crowds and heat and people. So this summer I’ve decided it would be good to get back into writing books again. I joined a group where you check in every week and I think it is going to help. It feels good to be doing it.
  • I’ve done a lot of traveling recently, so it kind of feels like I’ve had a lonnnngg vacation. I went to Utah for a month. Visited family and friends. Went to a ball game, hiked mountains, helped my mom, cuddled with dogs, hung out with my great man friend.
  • My stepmom has been really sick and in the hospital. She is going to be OK but I hate knowing it’s been stressful for my dad and family. Relieved to hear she is better and better.
  • I need a job. So I’m moving in that direction and it’s OK. I’ve been fighting it. Sometimes you just have to do stuff.  Sometimes you have to let the universe know better than you.
  • I’ve had a roommate since March (long story), but he is moving out soon and it’s been great having him. Because my place is small he goes out to the garage man cave sometimes. Last night we were talking in there and a skunk came up and hissed at us.
  • I put $$ on a credit card to create a garden. Because I really want to garden! It seems like every year I want to garden, but I’m not set up at all. So this year I’m thinking, let’s do this.

It has been an anxious time….

Hopefully I’m coming out the other side and learning something.

When I am anxious I want to control stuff. I want to control the person or situation and by getting anxious, I think it’s actually my mind trying to exert control (which fails).

I’m having to learn right now that

I am not going to win if I am fighting for control. 

I can go after what I want and try, but in the end life is just a freaking roller coaster ride.

Any turn — any possibility — is ahead. Surrender control, hands in the air. You can’t see the tracks. This is reality.

You’re either going up — Whheee!

Or you’re going down — Whheee!

But the tracks — imagine this if you will — they are  invisible. You don’t see them until you cross them. It’s the ultimate ride. Terrifying. Exciting.

You’re on it. Hate or like it you’re on it and you can’t stop it.

It’s like magic mountain, total darkness until you pass the turn. We are all operating this way.

So is it helping to try to control the tracks? You’re not even the one laying them out. Life lays them out for you.

You do what you need to do, respond, but give up the fight for control. It feels infinitely better this way.

You’ve probably heard the saying, god is in control. I actually think that is close to accurate. Whatever god is or isn’t — you do what you need to do, and let god do the rest. You don’t lay down the tracks.

What if:

-God knows better than you what you need.

-You can’t change anything by pure exertion. If you’re trying to change something using your mind you’re going to be fighting YOU.

-You could spend a few minutes a day thinking something different. 90% of what we think IS THE SAME EVERY DAY.

-Openness to a few new thoughts/ideas, gets into that 10%, and puts you into a position of power. I’m more open to thinking differently just knowing that. Less resistance.

-You could just throw your arms up and say “whheeeeeee.”

-Anxiety is a response to the fight. Anxiety is trying to control what is uncontrollable. Give it up.

Let life be the ride.

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Also discovered an app called Word Swag. Woohoo.

 

How to Change Your Life Without Doing Anything Too Crazy

Most big things don’t happen over night. People will say that it happened over night, but what leads up to big things is a series of small things. The stories about small things usually aren’t told.

Every day is filled with small things and the maintenance of life. The most casual, small actions are where big things begin.

Since we are so used to seeing everything packaged up nicely (like a two-hour movie), it often appears that big things happen lightning fast and get tied in bows at the end.

Yes, big things do happen fast sometimes.

But most big things get made incrementally by small steps. This includes every single invention, new technology, and changes of the heart.

You don’t have to do that much to begin. You could do one simple step, nothing more, an act of courage. Two minutes of your life.

  • It could be creating a new savings account for a dream (action takes a minute or two).
  • Trying something new you’ve never tried before (the decision takes a second).
  • Deciding that something is no longer true in your life (the choice also takes a second)
  • Making the decision that failure is a mindset (half a second), and deciding that you are OK (instant).

The following people could have called themselves failures at any time: EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO HAS EVER EXISTED.

If every person thought they were a failure the human race would not go on. But we are not like that.

We are simply conditioned to repeat and repeat what we’ve been doing. It’s safe, comfortable…  and exhausting.

That’s why change is hard (and ridiculous that’s it’s hard at the same time). It looks  easy from the outside, but when it’s you reaching out for the new and different, your might fights.

Your mind fights and fights and fights to stay the same.

You have to stop fighting your mind.

Just to surrender to the fight. White flag. Give up the pride. Your mind can do what it wants — YOU are moving ahead.

Let it have it’s thoughts and ideas and fears. Acknowledge them, but don’t let them eat you alive. There are good days and bad days.

Let it fight in the background, but allow yourself to choose differently. The mind can do what it wants.

What you choose to do — in spite of what your mind is telling you — is a whole different ballgame with new possibilities.

Those possibilities are waiting for the taking. You get them overtime by taking small two-minute (or less) steps.

Taking small steps every day (even once a week or month) is doable for ANYTHING.

You don’t have to go all in full force, MMA style, putting your opponent in a headlock. You can also tiptoe quietly.

Either way, you take steps no matter what. It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant they are. You can end up in the same place with something possible that is big and great.

People think big ideas suddenly appear on their own, but they’re actually the product of many small, intersecting moments and realizations that move us toward a breakthrough.

~Adam Braun, The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change

How to Live Without the Ego

(This post was buried so I moved it on up and edited).

Everything is a decision. Your attitude, your choices about how you handle things. I’m starting to feel this.

The ego is all the chatter in your head — the thoughts, feelings,  sensations, pain, emotions, judgements.

Those things are all products of the ego (the mind). They don’t define you and you don’t have to define yourself by them.

You wake up in the morning. You remind yourself: This is My Mind and My Life. No one else is living it but me. So I decide how I treat myself. Even if things are hard, I still decide how I treat myself.

No one will know if I love myself today. Haha!

So you start your day and things are going well and then thoughts and feelings creep up: perhaps grief, anger, memories, pain in your body that you can explain (or cannot).

THAT IS YOUR EGO.

All those things — anything except love and peace — is your mind and ego.

You feel it — Oh, there’s that pain/bad stuff again, and then choose to give yourself approval and acceptance anyway.

Even if you did something really bad. Even if you robbed a bank or woke up at 2 pm. Give yourself approval and accept yourself anyway.

Accept your charming, ridiculous, thoughtful, creative mind for all the things it does.

You can’t get rid of your mind/ego. It’s there in the background, always doing it’s tricks.

But you can decide you are NOT going to listen. Any moment, any time, you can discern or recognize — My mind is making noise.  I don’t have to treat myself bad just because I feel bad.

You can let the feelings come up. Welcome them, like you’d welcome a dinner guest.

They are not here to hurt you. They just want to be released, not suppressed.

So you welcome them up, surrender to them without making them mean something is wrong  or bad. They can be there, but the real you can come more into the foreground, because these other things are products of the ego or mind.

Welcome them and own them. They’re just products of your mind, like a toy inside a cereal box. Look inside, check it out, be powerful.

Anything from the past, anything that feels bad (pretty much 100% of the thoughts you are having) are your ego. It’s not your friend.

The only time your ego shuts up is when you get quiet. When you’re in the moment on a roller coaster or noticing a pretty sunset. That is the real you. It’s being right here, right now without disapproving of yourself or what is around you, or inside you.

That’s why it is possible to be OK even if a bomb dropped. The world can do whatever it wants! You are OK. People can say what they want. You are OK.

It’s like you’re at Costco and you’re walking down the aisles and all the feelings, pain, and sensations are the endless products on the shelves. Every day you might notice different things, but you’re not so attached to them.

Frozen pizzas, muffins, chicken, sports wear, vacuums. Yuck!

These are like thoughts and pain. They’re just products of your imagination.

You say, “Yes, but this and this and this and this happened….,” but it’s still a story.

Another shopper at Costco could have identical events happen and create an entirely different story. You say, “Yes, but this and this and this and this happened…”

So I say:

Who does it help for you to feel bad?

Stop reading if you can’t answer this.

Really, give an answer: Who does it help?

Does it help YOU? NOOOOOOOOOO.

Does it help anyone else? NOOOOOOOO.

The more you hold on to the story and what it means about you, the more tortured you are.

Back to Costco — see all the frozen pizzas, muffins, chicken, sports wear, vacuums (it’s all just stuff in your mind). Stuff!

You walk away from those aisles and feel better. For awhile. But those aisles chase you down. You’re sad again.

This is where you make the decision:

  1. There’s that story.
  2. Hi, that’s nice.
  3. It might bother me all day.
  4. Eh, it’s just my mind. It can do what it wants.
  5. I decide how I treat myself.
  6. I’m going to let it come up and let it go.
  7. If it won’t go, I’m going to love it.
  8. If I can’t love it I’m going to practice loving it.
  9. Even if it hums in the background, I can do this.
  10. I’m not going to define myself by frozen pizzas, muffins, chicken, sports wear, vacuums.
  11. It’s OK if thoughts are there and come up (they will)
  12. I won’t push them down.
  13. I’m going to look past them, at the entire store (experience).
  14. I’m going to walk by them without being scared.
  15. Without defining myself by them.
  16. Things are what they are.
  17. It’s OK and I’m OK.
  18. Something happens again, something bothers me.
  19. I decide — I realize — I am in charge.
  20. I can make myself feel safer, more loved, just by deciding.

Suddenly you’re freeer. Anything can happen to you and around you. Terrible things. Great things. You’re insulated because those things don’t destroy you. They’re just products in the aisles.

You can walk right by. You can keep going.

Think how much freeer, and how many things you could try with this attitude. Anything! Now there is no failure because failure is just a story. It’s the pizza box. Other people can say “oh, you failed,” but that’s their story.

In that quiet place in your mind you can shrug it off.

Your mind and ego will never go away, but you can love these things too. Wow, what a great ego I have. It’s so creative.

It can do what it wants. I can decide to choose how I treat myself in spite of what it’s telling me. I can love myself anyway with all my heart and soul.

Accept your charming, ridiculous, thoughtful, creative mind for all the things it does.

The beautiful, sad, funny, crazy things that make up life…