Day 26: Alignment, Huh?

My 500 Words

Alignment. It has a word I have been hearing about a lot lately in my search for meaning…or rather my search to get more of what I “want” out of my life.

Dictionary.com defines it has “arrangement in a straight line, or in correct or appropriate relative positions” or “a position of agreement or alliance.”

In the world of manifestation and soul-stuff, alignment tends to mean the state in which we can better hear and respond to our inner voice or intuition. Is this what it means to you? I am just a learner here and figuring it all out as I go. As the story goes, everyone finds alignment differently. For some, it is through exercise or work, and for others, it might be through sipping a favorite tea and journaling. The point is that you are more receptive and aware while in this state of alignment. I am not sure when I am most aligned. I have felt great alignment, I think, after some yoga classes, meditation, writing, walking, or even running. I have felt it after listening to a great talk or reading a poem. I am not sure in this moment what that is. Maybe that is because, as Jess Lively said on her podcast that I listened to today, your optimum alignment is shifting and changing as you shift and change.
Our intuition leads us to the expression of ourselves that is optimized in our direction of growth, so our optimum state of alignment is constantly shifting as we grow. How beautiful but also how frustrating. Like exercise, like diet, and like relationships, there is no stagnancy in this life. We either keep growing or get lost.
While this resonates with what I know is true, my mind and maybe even deeper parts of me feel tired by this reality. I have found the optimum moment in relationships, and it feels like we are at the peak of this place we can stay forever. Then, something changes, whether quickly or slowly, and we are back at a brand new square one that we aren’t sure how to navigate from. Perhaps this is why there is divorce and breakups, and perhaps this is why it can be an almost natural progression for some people. They loved. They grew. They tried to make it work, but their growth didn’t align with the relationship. They moved on.
In this moment, I am not married or divorced, but I am committed to making many relationships in my life work. I guess this is why people say that shit takes work, even the relationship with yourself. I have found my, or what I thought was my, peak self many times over. Then, I change and have to relearn how to nourish myself optimally. In many ways, I am grateful for this surprise and the journeys it can lead to. I guess this is how the soul is exciting, not boring and content like the mind says it is.
Growth means new experiences, and that is never boring.

 

Day 25: Anotha Day Anotha Dollarr

My 500 Words

Yesterday, I was challenged regarding a few of my goals. It was 9:00 PM and I hadn’t done my blog post or my workout for the day. I have completed 6 weeks of my workout, without skipping, and have also completed 25 days (as of today) of blogging 500 words every day. I was not going to let one day of procrastination stop me. I could have let it slide. I could have not done either one. Instead, I did them both… not my best…but not my worst. AND, I did it. I didn’t abandon my goal because it became difficult. Proud! I am happy about it, and it made me feel better instantly.

I have been doing a lot of listening and thinking about accessing the inner voice. And, it has been an interesting exercise for me. It has, however, made writing harder. It has made it harder to find a blog topic on anything else because I am thinking so much about this. I think it is making me better, though, and more aware. I like that.

I asked my inner voice questions last night and had an interesting experience surrounding it. I found the mind resisting my accessing this part of me and the ensuing panic. After a moment of accepting the panic, I felt a deeper knowing in my soul..in my heart. I knew the answer to this particular question was a “no”. It is an answer that I already knew but I find my mind resisting, maybe to help protect me from the world’s possibilities. My mind wants to keep me on my toes to protect me, but it doesn’t need to. It is OK as it is. I am OK and can trust myself, despite the messages from the world. I can’t control this. I can only accept it inside and trust.

In addition to personal questions I had, I feel a greater peace surrounding my work and my career. I can do whatever I want, but I don’t need to do anything. I can seek out experiences in life, but I do not have to be so attached to outcomes. The ego wants success and accolades. The inner spirit wants acceptance, experience, and even fun. I plan to dive deeper into this voice and try to ignore my scared mind, trying so hard to protect me. The podcast I have been listening to refers to the mind as a protective parent of an adult child, well meaning but sometimes unnecessary. The mind can help with decisions and options, just like the protective parent, but the ultimate decision ought to lie with the adult child. Like the adult child, I have to find ways to navigate my life without yearning for the approval of others or the approval of society. I am successful in this moment because I am. Nothing else is needed. If I do something else because I want to, that is great, but it will not make me greater or less than I already am in this moment. And, that is a beautiful and wonderful reality to live in.

Tootles!

 

 

Day 24: Last Minute Posts

My 500 Words

Today I am posting at the very end of my day. I did not prioritize my 500 words, and I am regretting it so much! Ah, cest la vie. But, here I am…doing it at 9:15 PM after a long day (I am a grandmother). Last night, I had too much fun, which left me with a slight malaise today, which has lasted until recently.

My man-friend and I had a really great day futzing around our Colorado town. We met for coffee this morning, had lunch at a warm, fun spot, and walked to the movie theater, where we watched the new James Cameron flick. Then, I snuck in a quick workout and shower. Now, we are chilling out, netflix-ing, and planning our Sunday.

We are deciding between skiing, not skiing, or something else. Tough life, eh!

Alas, today I kept up with my life theme of presence. I spent the morning feeling present and thinking about presence. I thought a lot about my inner voice and wondered if I knew her at all. I wonder if I have heard from her at all. I have also thought a lot about my own anxiety issues and whether my inner voice could have or could in the future alleviate some of those troubles.

The mind loves a problem and will create them if not presented with one. I find this in my life a lot in that things will be just fine but I will stress that something greater is wrong or that I am making a big mistake. It can be exhausting.

I have to admit. I am just not in the zone tonight to write this. I just want to be done. Luckily, the content of this post doesn’t really matter. I just vowed to post something. I didn’t vow to post something good, interesting, or even coherent. 500 words at any cost. And, it is coming atcha.

For tomorrow, I think it would be cool to go to a hot spring and sit in the cold but stay hot. I am not sure where I can do that or whether there is one nearby. I suppose once I finish this I will look for some options. I am hoping to have a happy Sunday before starting another slog of a week.

It is crazy how the mind is like a monkey. It jumps from opposing thoughts and fears with ease, causing me to worry about one thing and then immediately an opposing idea within the same moment. How exhausting. Is there really a mind that is separate from the soul? From the self? Is this mind just there to protect us and keep us safe? It is an interesting idea and seems plausible in so many ways. However, the concept of past lives kind of freaks me out. Oh well… everything in its own time. You don’t have the understand everything right now. You just have to accept the moment and to make the most out of it. Alright, mates. That is it for me today.

Adios!

Day 23: Oprah Says Surrender

My 500 Words

My posts for the past few days have centered around surrender, particularly in regards to my professional path. Since having started to post about this, I am realizing (again) how important the concept and the action of surrender is.

In the past few months, I have started listening to Oprah’s podcasts. While I haven’t been an Oprah advocate in the past, I didn’t dislike her. I just didn’t think she was for me. I thought she was for older women with kids who needed company while they were home alone during the day. I wanted something uplifting to listen to during the day while walking to town, cleaning, etc. I instantly thought of Oprah, so that certainly says something about my impression of this wildly successful woman in our culture.

Oprah has been interviewing and speaking with Eckhart Tolle every week, along with other spiritual leaders, and it has been a welcome, necessary reminder of the need for presence and surrender. It has been freeing to remember that the suffering I can feel so acutely is actually often just the mind finding problems to solve, doing what it does best. It has also been empowering to remember that the mind is the servant or the assistant of the self. It is not the self. It is strange how such a small shift can make such a huge difference in contentment.

I explained in previous posts what I gained or lost, happily, by surrendering to the moment, to presence, or to the universe. I would like to make surrender a bigger part of my every day life and would like to challenge myself somehow to make this a habit, rather than an occasional happening. I am not certain how I will do this, but perhaps I can add 5 minutes of meditation, intention setting, and presence before or after something that I do everyday. I think I would function best if I can track success in some way, so maybe that will be blogging everyday still, even if I decrease the word count to 250? I am not sure what I will do. BUT, I have already added more presence to my days, but I can be more intentional, I think. I will have to bring it to the soul and see what she says 😜.

Sometimes I feel a heat or a panic when I act out of ego or from my mind. I want to feel peace even when the answers or steps are not clear. I want to have more fun, more joy, and even more laughter. I am very happy and everything I want could be mine if I gave in, surrendered. I do have blocks, though, and can feel a need for work in this area. Maybe, surrender is like a muscle and can be strengthened by using it. There is only one way to find out, I suppose. So, I will keep seeking out the message, through the teachers I have already found and potentially new ones. We will see what I find, and if this path feels good, maybe this will be my focus for the next 8 days of the #My500Words challenge. As a side note, I cannot believe I have almost completed this challenge. How epic!

Until next time, mates!

Day 22: Does surrender make a difference in your career?

My 500 Words, Professional

I wrote in my post yesterday about Eckhart Tolle’s perspective on presence in the your work or your career. And, most importantly, for those frenetic freaks out there like me, what surrender means for change!

I also mentioned yesterday  that I would let readers know some other ways that presence, mindfulness, and surrender has affected me in my professional search. First, surrender to the moment led to my dream (old dream :)) job working in Europe as a 22 year-old travel monster. Then, at age 24, I found myself traveling around Asia, MISERABLE, and paralyzed with fear and indecision regarding the future. I was really depressed, in hindsight to a worrisome level, and told G-O-D, in my saddest head voice, that I was done trying. I would allow whatever came next and I couldn’t fight life anymore. It was either that day or the next day, when I was pushed to go “tubing” so that another girl had someone to go with. We were in Vietnam on an island, and I fell off the tube into the water. When I emerged from the water, I could not walk on my right leg and had ripped the muscles in my leg. It was a miracle, in a bad way physically, but a necessary way mentally. I was on a plane home 1 week later…and on a healthier road to building a new life.

Approximately 1 year from that day, I found myself in another life predicament. I was really happy by this point and healthy. I had paid off debt and felt good about myself. I had interviewed for a flight attendant position with a major airline and was hired (at least to come to a 6 week training) for an Italian speaking role based out of the NY area likely. It was strange for me in a few ways. I was in some ways really excited. I would be traveling to Italy all of the time, which aligned with one part of me. I would also be paid like a big girl (kind of, but I would have benefits) and would finally get back out into the world. It felt like a positive step for me in the life development department, but it wasn’t what I wanted. But, I decided I had to do it.

As departure day approached, I packed my bags, said my goodbyes, and readied myself for a new adventure, even if it didn’t feel like my own. I got down on my hands and my knees and said to G-O-D that I had no clue if this was right for me. I wasn’t sure, but I was going to go. Then, I asked if the universe would intervene if this wasn’t my path. I said, “If this is my path, let’s do it. If it isn’t, I would be okay with that too…even if it means not knowing what is next.” And, I surrendered the outcome entirely. After this, I went about my business. Less than 48 hours before I was set to take off, I received a jumbled phone call from the airline. My offer was rescinded. They messed up and were sorry.

Surrendering took me from a path I didn’t really want but was certain to a path with a highway full of question marks leading in every direction. It was scary, but it was exciting. And, more importantly, I knew it was right.

Day 21: What is a Meaningful Career?

My 500 Words, Professional

I have become a pretty avid listener of Eckhart Tolle. He has some great advice that resonates with me, so perhaps it will resonate with you.

  1. Start with where you are. Accept the moment.
  2. Surrender. TRULY surrender to presence. Be present in every moment.
  3. Do one thing at a time at work, bringing in the possibility for space, whether it is a breath or meditation.
  4. Be grateful for the opportunity to be bored and the opportunity to practice presence.
  5. Do this and it might bring a greater sense of aliveness.
  6. Align yourself with the moment and power begins to flow through you.
  7. First the power flows into your routine activities, your relationships with colleagues, and often then change may come.

 

I love this! I have found this to always be true in my life, change has come after I have accepted exactly where I am, what I am doing, who I am loving, etc. Resistance feels like the winner’s decision, like you are telling the universe that you are better than the moment. In any case, you are making a value judgement on the moment, but the moment just is! You can’t argue with being! But, we try, and, heavens knows, I try, too!

I have done this with every job and have found that it stifles progress in my job, creativity, relationships, and just personal happiness, honestly. I cannot help but recall when I was 22 and working as a waitress. I was living with my parents after college, working at a bar/restaurant, and plotting for the future. My oh my, so much future plotting! After almost 9 months of obsessive planning and feeling trapped– the horror! Alas, I started to read more, to settle into my life, and to trust that it wasn’t forever but it was right now. I started to worry less, have more fun, build stronger relationships. I was lighter, albeit still dreaming and hoping but with excitement instead of panic.

Then, one day, right out of what seemed like the blue, a job I had applied to sent an email asking if anyone could be in Europe by Monday…as an intern had backed out of an amazing travel job opportunity. Without panic or worry, I responded that I could. The next day, we scheduled a job interview and I was on a plane the next morning. It was crazy and unexpected, but totally natural. I had aligned with my power and with the moment. Change flowed naturally through me and around me.

It was a life changing job for me, but it, too, had an expiration date. I have been trying to tap into this force of change since it happened, often without success. After the travel job, I was lost. I had lost my presence and my power. I had lost my way and found a lot of sadness had found its way into my heart and mind, originating both from the external and internal forces of life.

I will share more ways that I have found re-alignment with myself next time, but what I can share that is the theme is that the work is constant. Like losing weight, you don’t lose 30 pounds and then go back to your old ways without gaining the weight back. You don’t align yourself with presence and the power of the moment for one moment and then never again. It really is a constant practice, and practicing this more and solidifying better habits that root me to the now is my goal for 2019.

Day 20: The Mind Needs Problems

My 500 Words, Professional

I just went for a walk to break up the work day, lamenting all of the things that annoyed me about the day. I thought about Eckhart Tolle and the spiritual learnings I have been exposed to the past few weeks. I have been trying to tap into my “inner being” and separating my mind and its ramblings from my true self. I have found this to be a pretty useful exercise,

Conan O’Brien in a recent podcast he posted, mentioned that growing up, he believed that in order to be successful, you have to be miserable. This resonated with me. I grew up thinking that in order to be a good person, I had to suffer; I had to be broke and lose something in order to gain what I wanted. This is really not true. This is a limiting belief that can seep into so many areas of life. It can poison your mindset, your belief in what is possible for your life. The insidiousness of this thinking has been harmful to many of us. I have started just by writing affirmations of the beliefs that I want to have about myself and my life.

I have started to do this to shift my thoughts about work and my career path. As a side note, I write down my BIG goals all the time and revisit them. This is different and is in service of my bigger goals. I digress. So, I wrote down a few things that I thought would help me with work specifically.

Daily affirmations:
– I am so proud of my work.
– I am creative every day.
– I am doing meaningful work.
– I am present.

These daily affirmations were created to combat the negative thoughts that assault me in the midst of my work day. It seems that I am distracted and disempowered at times during my day. I created this “note” on January 18, 2019. I KID YOU NOT that this has helped me drastically. In less than a month, I have felt my job improve and rise to meet my expectations of purpose. This seems ridiculous, but it has been true so far, making me a believer. It might be my attitude, or it might be my reality has shifted. It might be some combination of both. In any case, I have had the best work month that I have had in a long time, maybe ever.

I feel more purposeful, challenged, and in alignment than ever. I have gone from menial and what I have found to be exhausting tasks to being asked to write, research, and learn within complex topics that help further the business and help better protect people. I don’t know what could be better. That is not the say that things have gotten easier. Work has actually become more challenging in the past month, but it has become increasingly worthwhile. I don’t know exactly what is going on, but I like it. I look forward to what is coming next, and I hope I remember to stay positive and to attract the job I desire, not that I think I deserve.

Day 19: Why are we so afraid to try new things?

My 500 Words

As I set out to write my day 19 post, I was wondering why so many of us are afraid of trying new things. So, to set things off, I just googled this very question to see what came up. Psychology Today claimed spot number 1 on google. According to this blog post, studies show that people fear outcomes that are uncertain more than they fear outcomes that they know will be bad. The unknown of a new situation is what we fear. Trying something new can cause us to grow and to change, and change is never easy. I wonder if what we feel when we try something new is the loss of an old self, the pain of transition, and the fear of an unknown, uncertain future. This doesn’t seem to go through our minds at the time, but I personally enjoy the poetic possibility.

Today, I decided to cook up some sweet potatoes on the stove along with cauliflower florets just to have some veggies at hand for meals this week. I was filled with SO many concerns and fears. I think about doing this sample kind of task all of the time, and I overthink it every time, usually abandoning the effort altogether. I have never been super comfortable in the kitchen. When I cook with someone else that fancies themselves a good cook, the experience elicits a lot of negative feelings. In my experience, someone sees how I am cutting a vegetable, holding my hand, or doing something else that a more experienced cook wouldn’t do, and I am shamed. I can honestly blame others for a lot of this. If I am going to burn something, let me burn it! Especially if you aren’t eating it and no one and no structure is going to get hurt in the process! More times than I like to admit, I have let situations that cause me to shrink away from a fuller, bigger, better life. I think many of us have.

Alas, in this case, I did decide to cook up the food I wanted to cook. I was alone, and it was really enjoyable. I loved it in all honesty. If I hadn’t been alone or if I thought someone else might eat it, I might not have done it. How sad is that! The food tasted really good to me, and I felt proud that I made enough food for the week and that it was food that I wanted to eat, regardless of whether someone else wanted to eat it. Sometimes I find it hard to focus on me, as I have mentioned in previous posts.

Lately, though, I have been working hard to prioritize myself and my wants. I don’t answer the phone if I am doing something I care about, and I don’t stop everything I am doing to nurture a relationship that might not do the same for me. I am also on week 6 of a workout program, and I haven’t missed a day! So, I am not perfect at this point, but I am getting better. And my sweet potato magic of this evening is just one more drop in the bucket!

Day 18: Pizza and Ponders

My 500 Words

Last night, I ate a lot of terrible pizza and cheesy bread. Pizza, even when bad, it’s good. This was kind of like that. My man and I came home from a fun, little evening out and decided we had just enough of the giggle juice to order some pizza from a place we didn’t know. The pizza was awful. It was a gigantic culinary defeat, even to two drunk people about to fall asleep. That being said, we still ate the entire thing, not a single crust left over. Needless to say, we woke up wondering whyyyyy. Alas, the past is in the past, and the only option is to move forward.

Despite my terrible late-night dinner, too many sugary drinks, and white, salty bread pulsing through my veins, I found a lot of joy in my Sunday. It was a day like any other, except I laughed more. So, that is good. We went to Ikea and bought some new furniture, which was exhausting, But, due to man friend’s hangry feels, we were able to go to a vegan restaurant in a cool Denver neighborhood that I like. We ate lots of vegan food that made me happy and him hungry an hour later.

I am only writing about this because I am feeling tapped on writing inspiration for the moment. I don’t really want to write. I want to post this, close my computer, grab a snack, and watch something funny. That is all. But, I made a commitment to write 500 words of anything at all…doesn’t have to be good or interesting. So, sometimes I must resort to writing about writing.

One fun thing that happened today also was that I had a dance party by myself and broke down into a laughing fit that turned to tears. If I had let myself, I would have just started balling sad tears…without having a true catalyst. I think my laughing was a release and things got so released that I was opening all emotional floodgates. I stopped it so as not to terrify my boyfriend, but it was odd nonetheless. I think I was just dancing and being so silly that I cracked myself up…literally…I might be insane. Oh well, I love a good laugh. I prefer to do it with friends, but if I must do it alone, so be it. And now, just less than 100 words until evening freedom!

I am trying to be more in the present, with the help of spiritual leaders like Eckhart Tolle. Maybe that is why I found such joy in goofy dancing. Maybe that is what the moment can feel like. Maybe I was dealing with the dizziness of joy. I am not sure, but I do know that in less than 40 words, I will be moving on and having completed this day. I love Eckhart’s focus on separating yourself from your mind. Really powerful stuff. You do feel more in control when a thought it a thought and a thought is not YOU!

I am done for the day! Yay! Peace out friends and take good care.

 

Day 17: Books, America, Yeah- Keep Reading!

Books, My 500 Words, reading challenge 2019

It is day 17 of #my500words, and I am in a slump. I have a lot happening in my brain these days, but my day to day feels uneventful. I worked from my apartment all day every day last week and found the experience to be restorative mostly. I welcomed the arrival of my boyfriend home as I am much more likely to get out of my head and into the world when he or other friends are near.

I am reading Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow still and enjoying it. But, WOW it is so detailed that my library rental might be due before I can finish. I am only 15% finished with a few days left. I like the book a lot but find the material to be so dense that I cannot gulp it in for a few hours at a time. I am disappointed by this. But, there is still time left, so perhaps I will mark my spot in it if I don’t finish and wait a few weeks until I open the book again. That really would not be the worst outcome.

What shall I read in the likely middle time? I would like something fiction maybe, something I can absorb myself in. I have started 2019 with political books mostly, maybe there is a good fiction book that keeps with the unintended theme! I shall commence some research. Ideally, I could read 2 or 3 books before returning to good old “Hammy”, as I affectionately call the book. I am absorbing so much of the book though, that if I were doing this for a history class, I would be crushing it. However, reading it for a reading challenge, I think the choice was not as brilliant!

Last year, I started reading The Handmaid’s Tale and thought it was great. I never got going on it however, so I could restart that! Dystopian novels might fit the bill if I want to stick with my political theme but try some fiction.

There are, surprisingly, a lot of articles about what political fiction one should read and why it is a worthy genre. All The King’s Men comes first in every list, so maybe I will see what this book entails. It does make a little nervous, however, that it will be very dense material. I could use a fun page turner, and political fiction might not exactly produce that. I COULD BE WRONG THOUGH! Alas, I have a few days left of scrolling through Alex Ham’s life, so it doesn’t matter just yet. My confidence might just be a bit down after 2 weeks and not as much progress as I would have hoped.

The bright side to all of this is that I am reading MUCH more intently, challenging myself with the material, and honestly learning a lot. And, as those were my goals surrounding this reading challenge to begin with, I would say that I am and will be a success whether I hit 50 or whether I merely desperately try to hit 50.