Shame on you, not-knower!

Professional

I have toiled with the idea of becoming a professional of just about every field I have been exposed to. I hear about something cool and spend way too much time writing my story in the future…as a preparation for future interviews or documentary films 😉 about my great success.

My boyfriend and I were discussing today how we can get these stories in our minds that frame our experience. We can be told once that we aren’t organized enough, and then live our entire lives thinking we are not as organized as we should be, regardless of our level of organization. I was told when I was young that I could never have a regular job. I was told I wouldn’t be able to deal with office cultures or climbing the ladder. I would take personality tests that told me I might never fit into the world professionally. I had been internally and externally reinforcing the idea that me and work did not mesh, and we never would. I never thought to question this either. In actuality, I can work in any setting if I decide to, and I am able to fit into the professional world as well as the next guy or gal. I haven’t always known that, but it is true. And, it is crazy how much of my life I spent thinking that I couldn’t. Perhaps, it would be better to re-frame CAN and say ENJOY or WANT or even BE SATISFIED. But, I digress.

Maybe I want to be a UX designer or a bank manager, or maybe I really really don’t. Maybe I want to learn French and become a French teacher or a cooking teacher or a professional financial LEACH! Maybe…but probably not.

The truth is I don’t know. I have been so ashamed to admit that I don’t know that I have created a million narratives and worked really hard to believe them. I have primarily done this out of shame. I either took on the shame myself or allowed someone else to shame me for not having it all figured out yet. Well, you know what? I have NO CLUE, but I don’t want to feel shame surrounding it. It just makes it worse.

 

 

 

This might be it.

Professional

At times, life feels devoid of purpose…a purpose-less life. I have heard people who recover from various life crisis, such as quitting a corporate job or selling a business, call it a purpose problem. A purpose problem seems to be there when you are crazy successful and you lose your way. Then, your story can turn into a tale of changing gears and being successful at something new. What about those of us that feel like we never have found purpose? What about people like me that usually feel like their days are boring and bland and that there isn’t much they can do about? Where are the podcasts and the inspirational books and seminars for those people? Have they not been made or created because no one who has “made it” can understand that line of thinking?

I have been studying and pursuing a more mindful and present approach to life. Perhaps I need to practice what I have been reading about in this regard. Perhaps I need to accept that I may not have a purpose on this earth. Perhaps, I am actually like floating accidental-like on a breeze. It is possible that I have no innate or unique talents in this life or on this plane. This might just be as good as it gets for me. Can I learn to be okay with that?

Now maybe this way of thinking will open up new avenues for me…avenues I hadn’t thought of or allowed myself to explore. But, maybe…just maybe… I am meant to do exactly what I am doing in this moment. And it doesn’t matter what I think about it or wish I had. This right here….this might be it. Perhaps I need to accept that this…is my fate.

Often times, when I have received a stroke a good luck, it is after I have given up its possibility or inevitability. Maybe this is what will happen. Or, maybe it won’t. I might have to be okay with that. I am not completely there yet. That is where I am at. And, that is okay. Everyday, I will try to remember that exactly where I am is perfect, regardless of whether this currently reality changes in any way. I am right where I am meant to be…even in my confusion. This is it. This is life. Accept it.

Day 50: That is a wrap?

My 500 Words

Wow! Day 50 of #my500words….here we are. I don’t know if I want this challenge to end. While I have found it exhausting on busy days, it has been so enriching! It has forced me to put my crazy thoughts onto a “page”. And, this alone has been therapeutic…even when I wasn’t saying all that much. What a great gift. I feel grateful that I have been able to take on this challenge with the first 31 days and then the additional 19 days, making it 50 days of 500 words…without missing a single day. Talk about starting a new habit!

As my previous post detailed, I still want to keep blogging. I just don’t know in what capacity. Maybe the primary purpose of this blog is that I write my thoughts down each day. Maybe that is the benefit of this, period. I am not sure, but a break will be nice. It is funny. I thought about starting a blog for so long, wanting a reason to write crap everyday, as though you need a reason! I think I put too much pressure on myself, too much pressure to be interesting or funny or to make money. Now that I have thrown all of those things out the window (and much more), I am able to just write and to start a habit. So that has been great. And, as we all know, blogs are still important for marketing purposes, but the market for “bloggers” is saturated and such. So, apparently, I need to know that things are “dead end” to motivate me to get involved hehehe.

This brings me to an interesting thought I have been having today…hobbies. My boyfriend is really great at getting involved in the community. He goes to meetups and talks and happy hours. Everything he does is related to his professional goals and network. I am just NOT like that. It is funny how different we are. I want to take classes and go to meetups that enrich me personally and bring fun into my life. I don’t want to go learn how to enter data into excel sheets. Maybe this means I am a loser, or maybe it means I haven’t found a career that lights me up. In any case, going to a happy hour to discuss my day job makes me ill to think about. I would rather walk around the library.

Speaking of the library, there are a lot of homeless people that hang at the libraries here. One such homeless lady complimented my boots today. “Hey, I like your boots, man!” What a compliment! I was so stoked….”THANKS!” I yelled back at her. Sometimes, it really just is the little things. How lucky am I?

Speaking of the little things, today I went for a walk (to work and then back home) and got my heart rate up. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was nice. I got sweaty and warm, and it was good for me. As Sophie Lennon says in her act on the Amazon Prime Series Mrs. Maisel, “PUT THAT ON YOUR PLATE!”

XOXO

Day 47: Control and Love

My 500 Words

Love and control…control and love. Two sides of the same coin? Or, are they just confused. Parents and children…children and parents. A confusing relationship that is so rich but is often fraught with frustration. Why is that? And, why do we try to control the lives of those we love the most. Is it fear? Is it like the mind? The mind is the watchful parent, and it can be so misguided and so gripped with fear that it can miss the point entirely. Maybe that is it.

I feel the struggle. I want my family to be healthy, to be thriving, and to take control of their lives. You can’t force someone to take control of their life. That would kind of defeat the purpose. If I force someone to take control of their life, they haven’t taken control at all. They will simply be doing it because they were forced. And, eventually, they will either resent me for telling them what to do or change their behavior anyway. It isn’t the path to positive. Why does it feel so damn tempting then? Why do I want to tell my loved ones to stop watching television or to take a walk instead of eating another cookie? I know me telling them isn’t going to change anything in 9/10 situations. Do I keep trying because of that 10% of possibility (made up statistic).

How can I work on letting go? I want to let go, but I am not there yet. I need to ask GOD for his help with this one because I am not letting it go on my own. I want to love my family whether they smoke crack in gutters with the scourge of society or are friends and colleagues of Bill and Melinda Gates. I want to love them unconditionally, and I don’t know if I am there yet. I want to be there, but I fall short. I will keep trying.

Today was a frustrating day for me. I had to acknowledge that I do fall short of unconditional acceptance, but perhaps not the love. I think I love. But, I do not always accept. I want to control some things and some people, to have a say over things I cannot have a say over. I want to resist the control of others that are struggling with the same needs. I am not there and have often fallen short, but I want to get better with this. I want to amaze people with my ability to be so secure in myself that they can be whoever they want. I do not want to amaze them for my ego or to build my name as better or holier than thou. I want to amaze them simply because I have gotten THAT comfortable being comfortable. Divine intervention, come at me bro.

Perhaps this is common, especially among families. I want everyone to love them as much as me, to see them as the funny and beautiful people that they are. But, by doubting them, I dim them. Rather, I should lift them up higher.

Day 43: A More Graceful Passion

My 500 Words

I am not feeling much inspiration to write today. I think when I get to the 50 day mark, I will change my schedule to 5 days/ week or perhaps just allow myself some time off. Maybe I need a goal with the writing. I enjoy it because it helps me think things through. I have always thought best through my fingers or a pen…it clarifies the chaos inside and puts it into a format that I can manage.

Spirituality has been a theme of my life lately, a mostly interesting and inspiring place to spend mental energy. But, I do find myself equally into the spirituality and skeptical of allowing it into my life. I am a spiritual person, and I want to be connected to both the earth and universal energy. However, I don’t want to go so deep that I can’t see the trees in the forest. I want to pray and meditate and practice presence, but I just want to be myself while I do that. Contemplating who I am and which voices are which in my head is EXHAUSTING! And, not all that important.

I think, for me, the most important thing is to know that I am part of the energy that is everyone and everything. I am part of the father, the son, and the holy spirit…the inner being, the source, and the mind. There are so many ways to describe the things we have always known in so many religions for so long. These spiritual beliefs can be beautiful, and they can also be corrupted. They can be radicalized, and they can be exploited.

My goal is to be a spiritual person in the most boring sense of the word. I just want to live, to experience the beautiful and magical world that we live in and to give thanks. My spiritual practice is to be grateful and to be present. I don’t want to overthink the magic. I want to accept it and trust in it, as I always have. But, mostly, I want to have fun and feel alive and safe. I want to have roots, wings, adventure, and safety. I want it all. I plan to live a life of delight and love and laughter. I want to experience the world in presence and joy and understanding. I want to show compassion and care, without sacrificing my joy or dreaming.

I am seeking a life of abundance, and I am finding it…But, I cannot think too deeply or too much anymore. It tires me. Instead, I am trusting, knowing, and living each day and each moment. Career-wise, I often feel like a square peg in a round hole and, at times, defensive about it. I am in changing my mindset to finding something that aligns with me, not with the world. I am finding my way into a passion that looks like Grace, a passion that looks like me, talks like me, and makes me feel more like me.

Day 42: Seeking Truth

My 500 Words

Today I was thinking about a conversation I had with a random date like 3 years ago. It was pretty clear that we weren’t going to be a thing, but we were friendly and enjoying each other’s company. We just weren’t a good match, and we knew it. But, we sat in a very swanky bar with great cocktails and jazz talking about ourselves and our past. It was freeing in the way that talking to strangers can be. I talked about myself and my passions and how I felt both lost and hopeful. He perked up and said, “you are on a quest, seeking something great for yourself!” I laughed, slightly embarrassed, and nodded. “Yeah. I guess I am. But, I might never get it and I know that. It might not exist. So, I am trying to try without being obsessed.” He laughed as though he understood. And, then the topic changed.

I believe that was the last we ever hung out, but I do still think of that conversation we had, hoping that it is true…that his vision of me as a noble seeker on a quest to find passion and purpose is real…that I may have something to bring to the world and to life. In reality, I think we all do. I like to think we all have something we can bring into this world…something that makes us and those around us better. At least, I would like to believe this. And, because I think it is mostly helpful and positive, I will likely continue to think this.

What does it mean to be a seeker? Does it mean that you are never satisfied? Does it mean that you are never arrived? Is it that every time you get to one trail’s end a new one that you didn’t even know existed stretches out before you? If this is true, it seems like perhaps we are all seekers, whether we want to be or not.

My boyfriend and I have been discussing the sad reality that money can’t actually buy happiness lately and how many of the people we looked up to were very unfulfilled and unhappy after achieving what they set out to do, their happiness plan. We lamented that happiness couldn’t be purchased, facetiously, and reminded ourselves that, cheese aside, it is really the journey and the enjoyment of the process that means everything, is everything. All we have is the present moment. Why is this so hard to remember?

We can get so caught up in seeking the next great thing or a gigantic vision of our lives that may or may not materialize, and we can so easily forget that all we have is now and the journey is more important than the destination. It almost angers me that I feel like a cheese curd when I reiterate these ideas because they are so important. It is truth, and as a seeker, that is what I am after. Why, then, is it so damn hard to accept?

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 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 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!