When life gives you lemons
And that is Okay.
Sometimes there is a lesson,
and sometimes things just happen.
It doesn’t always have to make sense, love.
It’s okay not to search for the why.
And it’s okay to sit with the why me for a bit.
It is okay to be pissed off, and sad.
to Feel It.
I like my cocktails,
but when life gives me lemons I can’t turn to them much.
When life gives you lemons
You can toss them.
You don’t have to use them!
Maybe hold them for a moment; give them a feel.
They were given to you.
When life gives you lemons,
Eat your chips with chopsticks.
Are you in beautiful Bay Area? Interested in connecting with other women who believe in the power of self-care, and how to make the most (or nothing) out of life’s lemons?
Join us on Earth Day this year to give yourself some love and support!
There is a young child I am working with right now that perfectly portrayed one night, exactly how I had been handling recent stress at certain points throughout my daily life.
He had a meltdown I could relate to on an almost spiritual level.
You see, I am this kid’s pusher. I am the one who celebrates his abilities while pushing him outside of his comfort zone. I am the one who changes the schedule when he gets too comfortable with routine. I reward him for taking risks, and I keep him going when he melts down with perceived failures. I am the one who plays with him, but also has to tell him it’s time get back to work. I surround him with love. I piss him off.
I make sure he is learning, and growing.
I am to him, what life is to me.
The night this was made clear I had decided to reward him after completing a non-preferred task with using “okay Google” on my phone. He was thrilled! He got to ask one question. He got to see the answer. We got to talk about it.
And then I put the phone away.
With a red-face, and body contortions so extreme I thought we might have to call a priest, this kid proceeded to writhe all over the couch. I stood there calmly, taking loud enough breaths for him to hear. After what seemed like an eternity later he slithered onto the floor and started to breath with me. He wiped his tears, sharply stood up, and with raised up arms he said with a smile,
“OKAY I AM DONE!”
After a big hug were able to transition to the next activity. He was done, but he was not finished. Realistically, his meltdown did not take anything away but a few minutes of awkward observation on my end. It was more of a physical release than anything else.
For most of us, surrendering to an internal struggle is the best thing we can do to release it.
When you are brought down by life it is okay to meltdown for a bit with the intention of repairing so you can get back up stronger than before. Make friends with your breaking point, and even go a bit nuts. If you are thrower-lover find something appropriate to further release the tension, if you enjoy exercise do a bunch of frustrated push-ups, or sprint down the street. Do yoga. Call a trusted friend to word vomit to, or if you are a writer like myself, pick up a pen and without judgement jot down what you are really thinking.
Do something with your body to support your mind.
Because guess what?
We are not robots. Even the most ultra spiritual person can’t possibly have enough sage to smudge away certain stress. Who knows? You might find a vegetarian eating bacon on their worst day. Or the most poised person yelling into their pillow when it all feels like too much.
This is all okay.
We all feel, we process, we absorb, and we carry on.
This is what it means to be human.
“It is surprising how sane you will become when you allow yourself to go a bit nuts.”
Who you are and where you are are two different things.
What we believe about ourselves, and the core of who we are does not change just because our surroundings and life might. How comforting is that?
For me, it is very comforting.
The times I choose to remember that.
You see, it can become a mental habit to equate ourselves to where we are externally in life. If we have a job we don’t love or make less than we desire it is easy to think we might not be worth finding something better. If you are in your 30s+ and single, there are people who will always be confused as shit by this, or if you are in a relationship but choose not to get married there are people who will always be uncomfortable as shit by this. Married? Where is the kid? Kid? You just want one?
Here comes that shit again.
Embrace everything YOUR soul desires. It is not anyone else’s to do so!
And just as you are-you are simply you, and you are just fine.
The major parts of your heart, character, and natural gifts cannot be shaken when life moves you. In any direction, good or not so good. Even finding that exciting job that makes you happy to get up in the morning, and the compensation to match, or finding that person who gives you all the butterflies will not change that.
It adds to the you you already are, but it does not change it.
Finding your POP, your point of peace, is all about grounding into this part of yourself that cannot be shaken when life moves you.
Because here is what happens when you do not learn ways to come back to yourself.
You will generally witness yourself in the midst of two moods:
In an extremely positive mood, or in an extremely negative one.
This is not a healthy way to live, but many of us do it because we have not learned to gently hold and care for our core. We give it to our circumstances, mostly being other people, and allow it to be shaped.
So how do we exercise this form of self-preservation?
IT TAKES WORK.
You need to continuously work on accessing your POP!
Here are a few ways to get started:
1) Know Thyself-if you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses you can share your strengths with others while working on your challenges.
2) Compete with yourself-stop comparing yourself to other people in your life and set goals that reflect where you are and where you want to be. You are your own worst critic right? So why not be your own best cheerleader too?
3) Accept your feelings-what? I always accept my feelings! You might, but guess what else you do? You run with them, parade them around and magnify them! Stop taking one moment of frustration and turning it into a “bad day.” Accepting how you feel is actually a great first step to letting go of feelings and thoughts that are no longer serving you.
If you hold on to the core of who you are, and care for it, everything that stems from it will be authentic, organic, strong as hell, and true.
No matter where you are.
I find peace in the wind and a smile in the sun. I make conversation with the trees and giggle with the animals. A day of fulfillment does not begin with how the world greets me, but how I greet it. It becomes beautifully mutual that way.
The richest moments in my daily life might entail feeling the light from a chat with a cashier, or a brief moment when I sense my presence on this planet fully understood from someone I admire. They often understand it, more than I do right now.
For it is in the little things that create the knowing there is something out there, bigger than myself.
And that’s what makes me happy.
Happy New Year to everyone…happy looking forward, moving further forward, and being more forward in 2017. I won’t take any time to reflect on 2016, because here we are, right now, right in the middle of January, and this is where we will stay as you read! Thanks by the way, for reading. You are awesome. You could actually be amazing if you sign up to follow my blog. Go up. And right. There ya go.
I would like to share my experience connecting with nature on a daily basis and how it has helped me make wiser decisions in my life. Simple answer-nature makes me pause.
When I pause I take a mindful moment, and when I take a mindful moment I listen. I listen to my gut. For some their “gut” might be simple logic, others perhaps a god, or for some like myself, may find their gut to be a combination of inner knowing, and gentle outer guidance from various divine sources.
Here is my version of connecting the elements of nature with our senses, and how this combined with a little self-care can be applied into our every day lives.
Earth=See=Pull up pictures of family or friends. Take a moment to reflect on good memories and looking forward to the next time you will see them. Find a piece of jewelry, an valued object or go outside and pick a flower you like. Look at it and see what about it is enjoyable from your own personal view.
Air=Hear=Make a music playlist labeled “now.” Play it when you feel stressed or you need to take time out. Pick songs that make you happy. Go outside for a sec. Listen to the wind. Listen to the neighbor’s kids playing. Or even the sound of the brakes on the bus.
Fire=Smell=Sweetgrass is my favorite smell in the whole entire world. It is invigorating and brings back memories of rolling on lush hills at the park with my father. Find a smell that makes you feel invigorated, or/and brings back a fond memory. Have it handy in your home or even in a purse, or a work bag. Give it a whiff as needed, or desired.
Water=Taste=Buy a water drinking device that you are excited about. I am not kidding. Whether it’s a silly mug at home, a large cup, or one of those fancy BPA free non-GMO gluten-free bottles find one you think is awesome. How do you like your water? Figure it out. I personally love mine with lots of ice first thing in the morning. Drink more water. Drink more water.
Feel=to be all four: You are a part of this Earth, parts of you are made from it. How will you take care of yourself knowing that this will reflect on our planet? You are Air with every breath you take and every word that comes out of your mouth. How will you enrich your experiences with the air of your words? You are Fire every time you feel complete love, passion, or even upset with something. How will you use that fire to create change in your life, and the lives of others? You are Water when you go with the flow and find peace with the waves of change. How will you nourish yourself enough to hold on to that center that is the catalyst for maintaining a healthy flow, and peaceful feeling?
It is my strong belief that nature is a simple, and hola…generally FREE way to have a healthy mind and heart. We go out to work every day and don’t listen to the birds, but we for damn sure hear them chirping when it’s 6:30am on a Saturday and we want to sleep in, right? Try listening when you leave for work. Take…one, two, three seconds. Count to 3 and listen. See how you feel when you go from there.
Go ahead and try some of these things sometime. Any time.
P.s. Thanks Mother E for your collaboration!
For many of you reading, if not all, we do not know what it truly feels like to be starved. So before you read the following short story please understand, that I understand how this experience pales in comparison to real world issues of hunger.
With that disclaimer, please enjoy and possibly relate to my experience…
9:00am. No breakfast. No time to fully prep but I did make a small sandwich to take to work. 11:00am. Small lunch. Felt more like a snack. Maybe I can run out and grab something else. Nope. No time. I had to go to the store after work. No dinner. Not yet.
6:30pm. First thing I pass is the deli. Okay, let me get 5 pieces of the general chicken and I can eat it while shopping. Then I felt embarrassed. So I quickly walked around the store gathering what I needed while catching a whiff of the spicy sweet chicken teasing me with its smell in the cart. Get out of my way kid. Why is she blocking the exact area I need to get to?! Crap I forgot the apple juice and it’s on the other side of the store. SIGH. I’ll get it right before I check out. Who is calling me?? It’s getting busy. I need to get out of here. Then, excluding my oh so special self with this next thought…
Why does everyone have to shop after work?
7:30pm. As I stick my card in the chip reader (and wait. and wait) I feel someone close by. Okay man behind me in line. Why are you standing so close? SIGH. Just think about the yummy new chocolate cashew milk you bought, Maggie. In about 30 minutes you’ll be seated with a tall glass of it, and dinner.
I hurry my cart towards the store exit, and just as I was about the leave the same man whom I deemed as annoying for standing so close to me tapped my shoulder, and handed me a bag I had left.
It was the chocolate cashew milk.
Wow! I thanked him for essentially chasing me down, and felt a slight surge of excitement knowing my chocolate milk was not forgotten. I threw the groceries in the trunk except for the chicken. The chicken got the passenger’s seat.
Damnit, I still forgot the apple juice.
I rip open the container at a red light and shove a piece of chicken in my mouth. The song on my playlist switches over to a little jazz number, and I feel a wave of calm take over. I thought “This is a nice song, why don’t I listen to it more often?” I suddenly felt more relaxed, and enjoyed being a passive listener versus the usual which entails my belting out any of my songs with reckless abandon.
Having chowed down on my 5 pieces of foul by the time I pulled up to my house, I grabbed the rest of the groceries, sticky fingers and all. Greeted excitedly by my nephew, niece, and a hyper little terrier I felt a familiar shift in my mood….was it them? I feel…less annoyed.
The hanger is real.
Do you ever ask yourself this question? Maybe you’ve had to make a decision that would be great for you but might upset or shift a situation that you are either way too comfortable with, or someone else is?
I used to do this too much. It was like I was always second priority when it came to making choices. Even when the only person that would be affected was me-yes, I would put my “eh” self before my best one. And we know what this generally ties into right?
So, I try to ask myself these days:
“Who do I love more?”
Then I compare. For example, something I check in with frequently is the people I choose to keep close and support in my life. Boundaries can be a frequent issue for the givers. So, if I am “helping” someone by constantly giving them advice an ear and my time…but it is sucking up my mental energy, I would (and have) asked: “Who do love I more-that person, and their perhaps unrealized need to feed off my energy or me, and my need to preserve it?”
Does that make sense? Think about how effective this question can be if we really sit with it. It can even be for little things. Like, “Who do I love more-Jack and the Box jalapeño poppers or my body which has to deal with uncomfortably digesting it?”
So next time you are faced with a decision that you KNOW in your gut could have an excellent healthy solid answer if it not for some external factor or possible outcome that is maybe not so hot, again including your own not so hot feelings to stay comfortable or agreeable…ask yourself this question.
Who do I love more?
Because even when we have the best intentions and considerations for the things outside ourselves, that answer should pretty much always somehow,
Here’s to my people who enjoy doing nothing when you’re supposed to be doing something, or in this instance, end up doing some things that detour you from the everything else you were supposed to do…
I made plans to write my blog post this afternoon. The morning was super productive, sweet sleep in, awesome meditation session, and start of laundry. Before I started to write I decided to watch one quick show while I had some lunch. I sit on my bed, put my food aside and start the show search. This was one of those times where my food and TV time simply had to be paired. You know when your plate is ready, but you wait until that first intro note from a show to start eating…do you know? Is it just me?
I don’t have cable so it’s all about streaming.The show would not load from one site. The same show did not have any link sources on the next one. So I tried another, and another. And, another. There were other options, but that Taurus stubborn part of me decided THIS was the show that had to be watched with my lunch. I finally gave up and decided to watch Netflix. After all, I’d already wasted a few minutes and needed to get cracking on this blog post.
Then I looked at the clock.
I had spent almost 10 minutes looking at different stream sources, and waiting for them to load. I was so eerily focused I didn’t even realize how much time had passed.
Can you guess how much attention my writing received after that show? Maybe 10 minutes. Maybe. I had suddenly decided there were all these other things I needed to do before I went into writing mode. I changed the cover photo for my birthday brunch, watched a documentary, plucked my eyebrows…you know, all the important stuff.
Now here I am…almost 10 hours later writing about this to you. So yes, it IS getting done. Writing on my blog is honestly not the most important thing in the world to me, but it is important to me.
I find it funny, and interesting how often we invest in focusing on the doing these little unimportant things when we are in the midst of wanting to do what’s important. How often we direct our energy in thought and action on things that really don’t take us to the next level, or move us forward. They just sort of keep us occupied until we’re ready to do what matters.
And yet, all those little things we do to avoid what is needed to be done can be so fun right? I loved the documentary. It was fun to lay in bed creating a cool chicken and waffles-themed cover photo for the party. My eyebrows desperately needed some TLC and I saved a little money. If I hadn’t gone squirrel on myself today I would not have written such a truly inspired post…right?