Day 40: Juuuuust Breatheeeeee

My 500 Words

Today I was introduced to the term “resonant breathing” because I joined a yoga challenge. The yoga challenge sent an email reminding us that it is the first day of the challenge and included an advertisement for a breathing app and a blurb about resonant breathing. It was cool to learn about resonant breathing, and give it a name. I have always just referred to it as “deep breathing,” but I like that it has a name and a clear definition.

Resonant breathing is the slowing of breath to 3-7 breaths per minute and effectively changing and regulating the autonomic nervous system, along with other systems of the body. People who do this regularly are opening themselves up to a host of potential benefits, from the brain to the heart to the lungs. As I read the article this morning, I took a few resonant breaths and felt really good afterwards. It was a brilliant start to the day and even helped me to move my tired tush out of bed.

Today, I completed by first day of a 21-day yoga challenge with Wanderlust. I found an issue cropping up that I noticed during a recent meditation. My jaw was just aching…so much so that I found much of the flow hard to follow. How could I focus on breathing while also tending to the crazy stiff and sore feeling in my jaw?!

Now, I am no stranger to jaw pain. I had TMJ as a child that was so bad I wouldn’t be able to open my mouth to chew or speak. I would slide crackers in at lunch in 8th grade and let them dissolve. It was bizarre. Then, I made the big girl move at 18 years young to bite the bullet and get jaw surgery… a surgery where they would break my jaw, re-align it, and then tack it back on with some hardware. The pain during that procedure, the procedure that included a cute little wiring up of my BRACES. That is right. I elected to get braces as an 18 year old to put my jaw issues behind me.

Naturally, when my jaw hurts, I get slightly panicked and worry that I am going to have to replay my old experiences or something somehow worse. The memories of slurping pediasure through a straw while crying are enough to last a lifetime. So, I took to the web and found what was clearly the culprit and thank god! I have been lifting weight regularly for the past 2 weeks and working out. This includes a lot of strain on my neck, something I internally complain about frequently throughout my workout. Bless. My neck is just tight. This is a big deal. Don’t get me wrong, but PHEW! I can stretch and love my neck back to health and (hopefully) eliminate my jaw pain. STAY TUNED for updates on this super sexy and super interesting part of my life. Perhaps this yoga challenge will help get me started on a more holistic stretching/yogic routine. Namaste.

Day 39: From Anxious to Aligned

My 500 Words

Today has been a strange day, but it isn’t one I can complain about. I woke up and had a slow morning, followed by a lot of thinking about the spiritual domain and trying to connect to it with meditation or alignment. To be honest, I find it exhausting listening to this stuff. I found myself feeling more anxious during and after listening to all of this chatter meant to elevate. I was tired.

I wonder if it is possible to overthink or overdue this stuff. I think I need to learn less and meditate/align more. I am overdosing on knowledge and perspective, but I am not in the practice. The overtly spiritual aspect is not so appealing to me. I like the idea of energy and vibration. That works for me, but I don’t care (right now) to get too deep in the weeds. I want to learn how to control my mind better and to manifest my desire, but I don’t want to get too stuck in the craziness. My obsessive mind can sometimes make the worst of those situations. I want to think less, not more.

This is something that can be accomplished. I just want to be present. When I am in the present moment, the benefits are palpable. All sensual aspects of my life are better when I am just there, not there thinking and analyzing. I am not sure why I think I am helping anything by analyzing it to death. Presence is key.

I did finally get my hands on a paperback copy of Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth.” I plan to keep it around to keep me present and wanted a paper copy so that I could highlight and note as I wanted. I think it will be a positive thing! I have been listening to Oprah and Eckhart talk about the book, so I look forward to the chance to read it for myself. Hopefully it doesn’t cause my nice man-friend to think me a crazy person…or at least a crazier person than he already thinks I am! Too bad!

But, one great thing that happened to me today was that I found a ski jacket for a great price online! I have been hemming and hawing about it for weeks, and I finally pulled the trigger! I am excited to get it and, assuming it works well, get a chance to ski in it… It will be fun to layer up without bringing along a puffy coat and a rain jacket combination. Great things happening over here!

In the week coming up, I will be saying ciao to my honey for the weekend and a different kind of ciao to my mother, who will be in town visiting me. That means lots of driving around, playing host, and getting to experience some new things myself! I would like to get down to see “Garden of the Gods” and Colorado Springs. So, hopefully my madre and myself can have a little fun and experience some new things together.

Until then, stay present and stay positive! XO

Day 38: Supersonic Man

My 500 Words

It is day 38! And, it 10:00 PM and I almost forgot to post today. What a tragedy that would have been. Luckily, I remembered with enough gas in the tank to post today.

My day was emotional and brilliant, ending with a very exhausted me. My man-friend and I awoke at approximately 5am and drove through crazy busy traffic to go skiing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Two hours into our drive, we had a bit of a row, despite listening to an audio book about transcending the issues of the mind and ego. Maybe it needs some time to set in? Either way, sleepiness and an understandable hatred of a traffic and poor driving conditions made for a stressful and long drive. But, once we were set and ready to get skiing, the problems of the morning quickly faded away.

We had a great day out on the slopes. As a beginner, I was pretty nervous to get started after a long break the past few months. Getting out there again was exhilarating. What I was doing was basic, but it felt good! I thought a lot about mindfulness today and enjoyed the opportunity to practice being fully in the moment…or to not practice and it just happen out of necessity. It does leave you feeling happier and more alive.

By the time we made it home, we were absolutely knackered. We slept, ran some errands, watched “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and now we are watching GBBS while I write this damn thing! Ah very hard to fit this task into a full day. It won’t be a good post or a post about anything other than the fact that I have to write this post. But I am doing it! And, I am well over half-way. Crushing it.

I noticed during my day skiing that I often talk to myself when alone and skiing…especially during difficult parts. I tell myself that I am “crushing it” or that I should “enjoy it” or that I am “brilliant.” Hilarious but helpful. I am just out there cheering myself on. How lovely. Much preferred to seeking perfection or acceptance from others. I am accepting myself as I am, where I am…and it is frick’n awesome. Good work, mate.

I have realized today that I can work better to accept my life as purposeful and passionate. People in my life might feel like they need to placate me with fun or activity in order to satisfy my lust for new experiences or time-fillers in the worst case. Perhaps I can be high maintenance to others, and I can take greater responsibility for my own happiness in this regard. Only I am responsible for my joy and how I find purpose in this life. I think that I can make this more obvious to those around me and even take greater hold of this aspect of my life.

I seek to live in a world where I have a purposeful daily life, brimming with joy, laughter, and activity. In truth, I already have this and can accept it as mine right now and every day. How lucky!

Day 37: Walking into Transcendence

My 500 Words

I am doing well today. I wasn’t always doing well, but I just got home from a great walk, a way that allowed me and my boyfriend to transcend. What is transcendence? Transcendence is, according to dictionary.com, existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level. So, how did my walk allow me to transcend. Great question.

My boyfriend was in an agitated state, and I wanted to take a walk (actually I always want to take a walk). So, we went together to work through his upset. It worked, but, as usual, not the way one might expect. As we walked and talked, he asked me an important question, “Am I always angry?”. Now, I am a smart lady. I wasn’t about to start an argument, so I told him that he is often affected in a way that is negative by life events that he cannot control or avoid. He thought for a while, and then we continued on talking and walking.

As we both talked about our blocks and better ways to manage anger, we found ourselves walking right into a higher state of consciousness. We started talking about how when we change our perspective, we can be separate from our angst about a situation and how changing our mindsets can actually change our life. I talked about my job and how I can often talk myself into being happy, and he noted the same. If we give up our attachment to life working out in the way we think it should, we can often gain a great deal and live happier lives. Not so easily done, but also not often said. So, that was really great.

We ended the walk with honest talks about how we want to approach our future. It was freeing in a lot of ways. I often feel like he is ready to put down roots while I am searching for a new pair of wings on the internet. We are alike in so many ways, but while he craves structure and finality, I like open-ended and undefined. Often, I am, by appearances, avoiding a topic of conversation, when in reality it is just totally not on my radar! I guess it is good to be opposites in some ways.

He keeps me grounded to the facts, and I push him to leave the door open for possibility. I don’t know if I actually do this, but it sounds so nice and dreamy! I wish all of life could be put into a little box, like a cute sentence, and it would describe its amazing complexity. Wait a second…no I don’t! Life is complex and sometimes overwhelming, but holy crap, it can be so amazing and exciting if we can stay open to its wonders.

Maybe I can’t sum up a relationship or the universe into a sweet tagline, but I don’t want to. Maybe I will keep trying or maybe I will give up. What I do know is that good things are on the horizon, and I can’t wait to see what they are!

Day 36: Why am I enjoying this process so much?

My 500 Words

I have to admit…I love writing my500words everyday…like LOVE. I look forward to it. Why is that? I don’t really have readers. I don’t really have a big, grand goal related to this. This functions as a personal journal, albeit impersonal in details, that I post for the world to see. What is it about this that I enjoy? I think it is the honesty that I approach each post with. I can be playful and fun in topics, but I can be honest. How beautiful and freeing to be honest. Also, how rare.

I don’t share this blog with any friends or family. Although, I don’t hide it either. My boyfriend knows that I blog everyday, but he hasn’t read the blog (as far as I know) and doesn’t ask for too particular of details. He seems to know it is kind of mine right now, in its infancy and unsure of what’s next. It is delicate, but I enjoy it. The delicacy doesn’t matter to me as much as the fact that I enjoy it. But, I wonder if my enjoyment is derived in part from the delicacy of the content, window into my thoughts, and the anonymity. I wonder where it will lead, if anywhere. It doesn’t have to lead anywhere.

This blog has helped me in the past 36 days a great deal. It has especially helped to anchor my day. My work day can feel chaotic and unstructured. But, each day, I know I have to write my blog…and it is both for me and not for me. There is growth, but there is also presence. It is a nice combination for me, and it makes me feel good.

I started a list recently of things that make me feel good, to better find alignment in my life- to align with what feels good. I figured I should make this easier on myself! This list includes a few things, which I am sure will grow. But, it includes writing on this blog. It is easier and faster for me to get my full thoughts out here and pressure to stand by what is posted to the internet. It is a strange thing, but it makes me feel good whenever I hit “publish”.

I digress! What makes you happy? How do you find alignment? There aren’t any of you reading or responding, but I still wonder. Do you make better decisions when you are in alignment? Or, are you more likely to come to the conclusion that it isn’t THAT important anyway? It feels like it might be the latter. When you are in alignment, you are happy and at peace, which makes the problems our minds make into mountains show themselves as they are, molehills!

My boyfriend and I were stressed when we first moved to Colorado. We needed a place to live and felt nervous about the future of us as an “us”. Not in a bad way, just in a “next step” way. We would always plan to go on a hike to talk. After 20 minutes of hiking, we would stop caring about our issue and feel great. Then, we would laugh about our plan and how by the end we had a “yeah that doesn’t even matter” attitude.

✨The magic of the moment ✨

Day 35: Why do I look outside?

My 500 Words

Why do I look outside when everything I need is within? Why do I want someone else to validate my idea before I commit? Why? Is this human? Is this normal? Is this madness?

Potentially yes to all of these questions.

An important lesson that I keep having to learn over and over again is that nothing is, or more importantly, has to be permanent. Life can be playful. Life can be fun! You can go in one direction because it feels good only to change your mind and turn around. There are no rules. There is just energy and love.

I am more playful and powerful than I can even imagine. My ability to play, explore, discover, and innovate is expansive and limitless. Like, holy guacamole…if I want to become a UX designer or a fashion designer or a frick’n rug maker, I can! AND, if I decide that at some point I want to stop…I can do that to. The limits of our lives are only limited by us.

On a different but similar note, however, maybe the point is that the more aligned we are with our true nature when we choose our path, the more spiritual success, fulfillment, and impact we can make. That…I believe to be the truth. How do we find our truest nature from which to make decisions?

We play! We try things on and out. Like children, we don’t yet know but it doesn’t matter. We are ourselves…the other stuff is a mask. We can try on any mask we want because who we are remains steadfast. If and when we find something that resonates in us, we can try that to. We can probably find our paths in a myriad of ways, but why not dance and play into it? If given the choice, I would almost always rather dance and play than obsess and suffer. And, just like that I found a new mantra.

Life Mantra:

I play into each day, finding what feels good and true and following it through.

I don’t know if I have had a mantra, per se, but I like having a saying that fits the moment of my life. For example, when I was leaving my job and totally unsure about what to do, I started to recite, “trust the process” to myself. It was meaningful and got me through some tougher days.

So today, I play every day…and I follow my interests…and I follow them through. This is the 30 year old me coming into action. I think getting older is going to be a great thing for me. As a younger Grace, I was filled with all of the same energy, hope, and dreams but didn’t have the follow through yet. I am getting stronger in this field every day, and, when I focus, I accomplish great feats. And, I will continue to. I can’t wait to see what I can do with my playful spirit as I grow in follow-through. Lookout world 🙂

Big waves 🌊

Day 34: Fresh & Alive

My 500 Words

Today is day 34. What a day it has been.  I have been listening to Eckhart Tolle and Oprah discuss presence and the importance of staying in the moment. And, I have been. It hasn’t taken my “bad” day away, but it has helped in ways I suppose. I am dog sitting and finding myself so frustrated with the dog. In any case, I realized that what I was feeling was just frustrated. And, the dog happened to be near me all day. I was projecting everything onto the poor, innocent albeit needy doggo. Luckily, I didn’t let this overtake TOO much of my day, but it got enough of it. I took the doggo on a walk, and it didn’t make everything better but it tired me out. Being tired is sometimes as good as it gets. And, that is pretty okay too!

Today I am going to examine what it is that I want in a career. Not in the way that I normally do. This time, I am going to examine how I want to feel in that career. I don’t know what I am doing honestly, but it might be fun to give this a little baby try.

I want to feel awake in my career. I wake up in the morning and know my soul is going to be aglow all day. I feel enraptured…like a pastry chef….like a surfer. I feel at ease but excited; I breathe. You could say that I am alert. I can go into a flow without being interrupted. I am myself.

Alas, this thought process led me into a nap, which was perhaps far more of what I needed at that moment than to figure out what I want to as a career for the rest of my life. It is crazy how we think we need to know everything. One thing my nap taught me is that my bad mood probably had a lot to do with the lack of sleep I received last night. It taught me that everything is perfect right now, and it taught me that naps are cool if you allow them. That is one thing I never dive into on the blog…allowing. Allowing is important. I wonder if I “allow” in my life. I sometimes have a hard time napping because my mind is racing, but when I relax and allow, I can nap with the best of them.

Allowing. It is a new concept in this new world of thinking that I have entered. It is one that I understand in some ways, and in others, I am totally confused. Sometimes, when I try to manifest certain things, I want to retain too much control, or the illusion of it. When I allow, I let things unfold in new and infinitely more interesting ways. Maybe allowing and letting go are similar. I am letting go of having a say in how something happens…I allow it to unfold in a way I never imagined possible.

Allow today, mates!

Day 33: Peace & Stillness> Desperation

My 500 Words

Each day that I write, I find myself negating something that I wrote the previous day. That isn’t that cool! But, I find myself here today. So, a few posts ago, I said I was going to manifest pink elephants or a yellow Volkswagen. I was trying to manipulate the universe into telling me a secret about myself…instead of asking and trusting myself. The truth is, I did see pink elephants today on a pair of pajama pants, but I don’t care. The truth is that I would like to have more creativity and explore more creative outlets. This doesn’t necessarily mean that my job has to be creative. When did I start equating my job with my sole source of happiness? Oh, right. When I was like 9 years old, haha. This has been a bit of a struggle for me for many years.

So, for now…I am going to stay in my job or at least make no active pursuits to change my job until I explore my creative side in my regular life for a while first. Or maybe not. That might be a promise I can’t make and that I don’t mean. Maybe what I will do is stop worrying about everything and putting a label or a name on it. Maybe…I will not even do that. Maybe, I will just be, as I am right now without trying. How tough is this presence stuff, huh?! I feel like I should always be striving, trying, and working towards something. But, that can just lead me around in circles. That is not the life I want.

The life I want is big, beautiful and inspired. I can go in one direction and change my mind. I can do multiple things at once and take big, fun risks and exjoy the peace and quite of certainty in the moment. I do not have to accept a future I do not want, but I do have the accept the moment, the only thing that matters…the present moment. Why is that so hard to do? The mind is wired to think about the future, based on the past. It is so good, but it can also be so bad. It can leave us spinning around in the what-ifs and the what-could-haves. I need to let those go. Or, rather, I need to get back to the moment, which lets those go naturally. All we have is now. The beautiful now.

I don’t want to wonder if things are where they should be. There is no should be. There is only now. Maybe at 29, I should be somewhere else according to the mind. But, according to the present, I am exactly where I was meant to be. All good things flow from this moment. In fact, everything flows from this moment, period. I don’t want to brand. I just want to be. I don’t want to market. I just want to flow. Flow. Flow. Flow. Like the river, sometimes fast and sometimes slow, occasionally high and occasionally low. Always in flow ❤ .

Day 32: A new day and a new challenge

My 500 Words, Professional

It is day 32, which means that I have accomplished my initial goal of writing 500 words a day for 31 days. I did it! It also means that I cultivated a habit during those 30 days and am now continuing to write. I have extended the goal from 31 days to 50 days. So, the journey continues. I have debated throughout this process whether I should try to focus my messaging to a certain idea or topic throughout, but I like this free form style due to the fact that I have to write every day. In order to stay engaged, I need freedom to switch it up and just write about what feels interesting or good. So, that is what I am going to continue to do.

This weekend has been tough on my body. I am not sure if I am drinking more than normal or just fighting off sickness, but I am so tired! I feel like I need some R&R for the next week or so, and I am so excited for it. The older I get, the less alcohol and me mix. We are slowly going our separate ways. Also, I am staying at someone else’s house with the dog in our bedroom. It is not sitting well with my soul.

In any case, tomorrow will be a new day, and I have high hopes to get back to my healthy, normal self after some sleep and better eating and drinking habits. Balance! Such a struggle to strike it!

On to more pressing matters, like my career. I have been thinking a lot about moving in a more creative direction and trying my hand in a new space. I am interested by light, color, and how it makes you feel or think about a thing. I am just in an exploratory mode when it comes to this, so we will see! But, I would love to have more creativity in my professional life and to work on projects that excite me a bit more than I am currently. But, I also love health and the promotion of wellness. If I could combine these, which I think I can, that would be a cool next step.

I wonder how I could manifest the next step in a way that was meaningful and cool. It isn’t a blue duck, so it is hard to say. I guess I would love to turn this blog into a health and design blog, just to promote those ideas and designs. This could mean anything. It wouldn’t be limited to design in spaces but open to clothing, accessories, art, digital arts, film and more. Am I making any sense?

Basically, I want to explore more about how design can make our lives better, like actually better. Also, maybe it doesn’t. It could be the exploration of this as well. Well, I am just kind of musing for now on what could be. Maybe my next blog will be about the interaction of these two things. Maybe it will not, and I will move on yet again!

Until tomorrow, we shall not know. Tootles amigos!

Day 31: How to know what you want

My 500 Words

This morning, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I ate a lot of crackers and snacks very late at night, felt dehydrated before sleeping, and woke up earlier than I would have preferred. I have felt kind of crabby ever since. Now, I have an offer to do something that I have been wanting to do for a while, and it just doesn’t feel like today is the right day. But, I don’t feel THAT confident. The part of me that doesn’t want to miss out, the FOMO part of me, is worried. Am I missing out on a cool experience? Will it make me happier? Should I spend time with people?

The reality is that I am tired and don’t feel like hanging out with anyone. In another sense, though, I do want to do something. So what do I do with myself? How do I know which voice I should listen to? Which voice is the right voice? Is there a right voice? I don’t know. Maybe some of the spiritual experts out there can lend me a helping hand.

Eckhart Tolle would say that it doesn’t matter what the decision is but how I decide it, whether I make the decision in a state of presence. I struggle with this because I want to believe that how I live my life each day does matter. And, maybe it still does in this line of thinking…just in a different way than I normally approach life. So today, I am restless.

I asked my boyfriend to help me with this and help me to re-frame the present moment. He suggested that I accepted that today is a lazy day and allow good things to flow from that. He suggested that we say this is a lazy day, not good or bad, but a reality. I should allow a myriad of events to flow from this moment. I am fighting against the moment and against reality. I need to accept the present moment as reality. I chose not to go and that wasn’t a good or bad thing. It was just a decision that made sense in the moment. The feeling of loss is created in the mind and is not a truth. The mind perceives a loss, but there is a chance that going would have exhausted me or been socially difficult. In any case, in the present moment, I made a decision based on the present moment, which was my only option. I made the best decision for me in that moment.

Now, we go onward. Tonight, we are going to make pizza or some other food and invite my friend over for dinner. Tomorrow, we are going to wake up early and take the dog we are watching on a big walk in the mountains. Then, we are going to make snacks and have folks over for the Oscars. I think it sounds like a nice plan and it feels good.

The goal for the rest of the day is to stay present. Bless up, folks and see you soon as I am extending this goal for a total of 50 days of #My500Words. Wooo! That’s a wrap day 31 and part 1 of my goal!