Day 61: Cultivating Focus

When the life you saw yourself leading is crumbling around you, you can either stick your head in the sand and hope to come out once the damage is done, or you can take in the glory of the destruction, put on your gloves and start pulling out the shrapnel as it comes.

The cool thing about destroying the life you created means that you get a completely fresh start. A new adventure.

The only thing to do when you are standing at the starting line is to quiet your mind, visualize the goal and then focus. Focus on the moment of the gunshot. Focus on the first step and the second and the next. Focus on your breathing, your stride.

Focus on you.

Quiet the mind and focus.

As my world continues to burn I am listening deeply to what I need. I am waking in the morning and stopping for a second to feel into my body, to listen to what it wants, to take a moment to set an intention for the day.

Last night and this morning was acceptance of what is, letting go of what was and instead of bracing myself for the ride, quietly welcoming whatever may come in this day.

I realized that I am feeling stretched really thin. My energy is very low. I am using dating apps to distract myself from doing some heavy emotional lifting and in the long run it will be a detriment and set me back from where I need to be. If I am going to date I want to be able to be present and I am nowhere near that capacity. So I messaged all of the guys I am talking to and told them where I was at. The ones who didn’t want to hear that, left. The ones that were okay with meeting casually as friends, I let stay in chat. Then I muted my profile.

It felt really good.

Then I made a life inventory. I looked at my finances and cut out anything that was superfluous spending, mostly subscriptions to things I didn’t even realize I was paying for.

I spent a few minutes thinking about future goals. They aren’t exceedingly specific but they give a general direction to move.

Then I started moving.

I took down the pictures of Mr. X and tucked them safely away. I picked up my house and did the dishes and laundry that had been piling up. I tidied up anything today that took focus off of what I wanted.

What do I want? A badass relationship with myself.

Strengthening me is the only way I will find the contentment and happiness and ultimately, the relationship that I want in my life.

This is me time. This is the reason I started this blog, to find some more self love. The situation with Mr. X has slowed me down. He gave me a lot of inspiration and reasons to love myself, but the vision of us was weighing me down and causing me to sacrifice myself. Until I am stronger in me, I cannot be in a relationship. Some people move past these situations with another person, not me. I want to be completely, solidly, in love with myself. Relying on someone else to “complete” me will never work.

So what do I do to cultivate focus?

  1. I visualize my goals, and try to feel into what that feels like.
  2. I then let that vision go and turn my attention to the steps that I need to take to get there.
  3. I start at step one and make it the best step one that I can. Then I move to step two.
  4. I cut out anything that is not supporting me, all of those little tendrils of energy that are reaching out to obscure situations. I close the loops.
  5. I stop listening to the voice in my head. I make myself get up and workout even though I don’t want to. I push myself to move.
  6. I turned off all of the notifications on my phone, all of the Facebook and email and text messaging, except for a few choice, very supportive friends.
  7. I deleted all of the conversations with Mr. X so I don’t get caught up in the past.
  8. Each time I got distracted today I GENTLY redirected myself.
  9. I celebrated all of the “little steps.”
  10. I meditated and took a nap when my brain had had enough.

Cultivating focus is critical to keep moving forward. I have never been great at specific goal setting, but once my focus has shifted to something and I go all in on it, the specifics fall into place. The key is to see it as an adventure. I am not there yet, but with each step I gain more momentum. I know the excitement will come, I know the motivation will grow as I start to see results. And really, what could be more exciting than getting to know and love yourself? I can’t think of a more rewarding relationship. ❤ ❤

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Day 59: A Prelude to Happiness

I think there is something that happens when you grow up in an environment where you are not loved in a way that you need to be loved. I think you don’t learn what love is supposed to be and when the only thing you know is fear and insecurity you adapt and figure out how to live there quite successfully. When you have adapted to any situation it starts to feel normal. Then, at some point in your 30s you realize you want to know what happiness feels like.

It seems like it should be an easy thing to do, find things that make you happy and then embrace it.

For me, that is not my experience. I could find things that made me happy for a split second, but it was as if there was something preventing that feeling from traveling to my heart. I knew I was happy in those moments but I didn’t FEEL happy.

Then I learned about love. I learned that love can be the most overwhelmingly beautiful experience and also one of the darkest parts of living. Love can heal and destroy. I thought true love would be this nirvana, and I still think it can be, but I think that real love comes in layers. Once there are enough layers of experience and disagreements and sticking around love settles in for the long haul. This to me is true love. Love that stays.

My love experience has been a rocky one the last few months. I have no clue where my future will end up, what man I will end up with, if I will even find a partner. But I do know that I am loved, very very deeply. When that love isn’t around I feel really sad.

I used to think that the depth of anguish I felt was in direct proportion to how much I loved someone. It turns out that depth of pain is really a reflection of how strong I am and how much I can handle. In an effort to feel something, sometimes I will amplify that pain to the point of near breaking. It expands that boundary of what I am capable of feeling. I am really well versed in expanding the pain and it is and has been, where I have lived for many many years.

This morning for a second I felt a glimmer of happiness in my heart and I immediately squashed it. Didn’t I remember I was supposed to be mourning the loss of Mr. X in my life (in the capacity I wanted him anyways)? The feeling came again for a second and again I thought, aren’t I supposed to be sad?

What is the prelude to happiness? For me, it was giving myself permission to feel happy.

I was driving down the road repeating to myself, “It’s okay to be happy. ” It is okay to be happy in the middle of sadness. That pain isn’t gone, it just released and moved around a little. It is okay to experience happiness even though your heart is breaking. It is okay to feel happiness during mourning.

After repeating these things a few times, the guilt started to dissipate. I remembered that another thing love is to me is wanting the person you love to be happy, whatever that looks like. In that moment I knew that Mr. X would be happy that I was happy. Happy that I was smiling in spite of the pain, happy that I was moving forward without him.

So I chose to smile, to sing a little in my car, to embrace the feeling and let it plant a seed in my heart. The next time it comes to bloom I will welcome it with arms open a little wider. ❤ ❤

Day 57: Keeping the Faith

I am not a religious person and I have traditionally associated faith with religion. Faith just means a strong trust or confidence in something.

Tonight I have to have faith that I will show up for myself. I have to have faith that I am strong enough. I have to have faith that everything will work out like it is meant to. I have to have faith that my journey so far is exactly where I need to be.

Keeping the faith isn’t for the weak of heart. It is a deep journey into oneself. It travels beyond fear and into another dimension of love and trust that is pure beyond the human experience.

Faith is love. Open your heart and realize you are more than enough. ❤ ❤

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

Day 54: Letting Go

Two simple words. Let. Go. Open your hands, your heart, your mind and let the energy flow. In and out, up and down. Letting go means not trying to dictate scenarios. It means trusting that things will work out. It means setting something down and walking away knowing that you gave it the right amount of soil and water and sun needed for growth.

Letting go can be really fucking hard. The more you want it, the more elusive it will be. The more you resist the pain and anger and energy, the more it will hold on. One has only to step back, create some space from the thoughts and emotions and let them be. Process them in the time that it takes, and only then will there be freedom.

Nature is amazing at letting go. A tree blooms in summer’s glory and as fall approaches and the leaves wither and die they are released easily into the wind. The tree goes dormant for the winter all the while preparing itself for the next cycle. We, as humans, struggle so much with the expiration, the detachment, the trusting that life will restore itself.

Letting go can be very, very scary. Especially when talking about a relationship or another person. It requires trusting that there is enough soil there for the flower to bloom again. It is trusting that that person loves you enough to come back, because words are just meaningless capsules filled in with context. Letting go requires walking into an abyss where steps are not lit and there’s no way to know what lies at your feet. Letting go means trusting that there is something worthwhile once you have traversed the darkness of the unknown.

It doesn’t seem like it should be hard to let go. Everything that has happened in my life, the things I have let go of, have all worked out. I haven’t regretted those decisions and the people that were meant to be in my life are in it. All of the lessons learned have brought me to the place I am today which is an elevation from where I started so there has been a continual upward trend. Letting go of the one person who opened your heart, who showed you it was okay to just be you, who loved you with all he was capable at the time, that… that is not easy.

But…. the situation is out of my control. Playing back all of the past conversations does me no good and only serves to confuse my heart and my mind even more. Letting go is releasing what you hoped so hard that the outcome would be. It is creating space for a new beginning.

Letting go can’t be rushed, and the words alone aren’t enough. One has to actually feel as though they have let go before the space can be created for something else.

Letting go means choosing perspectives that are beneficial to us. It means accepting that things won’t always work out as desired but knowing that they will work out. Letting go means processing energy and not letting it stagnate. It means ending the cycle of wishing and wanting and just learning to accept what is. Letting go is forgiving all parties, including yourself and wrapping yourself in so much love that there is no choice but to be okay and keep moving.

What does this all mean in practical steps?

Letting go is moving your body. It’s journaling or crying or boxing or running. It’s sitting with you and allowing your thoughts to come and correcting the ones that are trying to tell you your self worth is tied to that person or that situation. It means accepting that you alone are enough. It means taking care of yourself and gently ushering yourself through the stages of grief. It is remembering all of the good and putting that love in your heart for later use. Letting go means to keep moving, especially when all you want to do is curl up in the dirt and hibernate for the rest of eternity. Letting go is knowing that every storm runs out of rain. Letting go is focusing on the moment you are in, and then the next and then the next, even if it is just a second at a time. It is staying present when you want to run back to the past. It is being in your body and mind and loving all of you. It means knowing you showed up the best that you knew how and now that you know better you can show up differently.

Letting go means walking away and knowing the flower will bloom if it is meant to. ❤ ❤

Image by Wow Phochiangrak from Pixabay

Day 49: The Complexities of Relationships

Relationships are really fucking hard.

Especially when it feels like words and actions aren’t aligning. Even when the other person probably has a bigger picture view and you realize that. After all, everyone is compelled by their own wants and needs. They may love you, a lot. But at the end of the day they want what they want and I want what I want and those things do not always match up.

Relationships are a complicated dance. A dance of compromise, of love, of sacrifice sometimes.

Sometimes relationships need to be excised.

Sometimes they need the door to be closed for a while so they can be refreshed and renewed.

And sometimes they need to be fought for tooth and nail because that person is the best person that has ever come into your life.

Sometimes fighting for someone means shutting the door for a while so that both parties can have space for their hearts to heal. As much as a person can want to be in a different stage of a relationship, that shit takes time and can only bloom when both people are in the same heart space.

Every relationship brings ups and downs, reveals things about people that they would never otherwise see, and they all require growth of some sort. Relationships are humbling. Some days feel like an ecstatic triumph and others feel like one sucker punch after another. And sometimes you feel hit one too many times and it is revealed that what you have been fighting for so hard no longer exists. It’s heart breaking for the pieces of that person that you never want to let go of, but necessary sometimes to get back pieces of yourself.

Truly loving someone, opening your heart to them… for some people it is easy. For me… it is the hardest thing I have ever done. So tonight my heart is closing for a while, because it has been open and vulnerable and taken a few hits more than my delicate love can take. It will be repaired in that space, alone. It will come out stronger than before, smarter than before, with an unwillingness to compromise itself again at the hands of another person, no matter how amazing that person is.

Goodnight friends. May you close the doors that need to close, leave the ones cracked that bring you happiness and swing open those ones that fill your heart. The world needs more love in it, but tonight, it’s not getting one more speck from me. ❤ ❤

Image by SeaReeds from Pixabay

Day 42: A Small Reclamation of Power

I woke up this morning with the space I brought forth yesterday still present.

Before I did anything else, I reached over to check my phone. It has been days since me and Mr. X have talked. No word from him…. still… my heart sunk…. again. I had a really clear moment of seeing just how much power I give him.

As I wrote yesterday, I am trying not to duck and run when things get hard in my life. The situation with Mr. X has been one of the most challenging puzzles in my life with regard to keeping my heart open and working on our friendship. I have had a few close friends tell me I need to cut off all contact in order to heal. The truth is, I don’t want to. I rely on him, heavily, for support. His being in my life has changed and elevated it in so many ways and he is the only person who truly sees me. He has asked me to trust that this will work out like it’s supposed to, that our paths will cross again romantically if they are meant to, he has asked me to trust him. And I do, but fuck it hurts when we aren’t talking regularly. This is a feeling I don’t experience with my other friends, so clearly I have a lot of work to do still to get past the romantic bits.

I spend too much of my energy waiting for him. Hoping he will message me, hoping he will tell me he is ready to be together, hoping he will show up like I need him to. The truth is, our agendas are different. He is happy having me as a friend, and I am looking for a life partner. I realized this morning that the waiting around is killing me. He has never asked me to wait and I know he would tell me to go live my life. It is in these moments I see just how dysfunctional and co-dependent my idea of love really is.

So I muted my messenger.

The immediate relaxation I felt with the KNOWING that I 100% would not hear that glorious chime today was a breath of fresh air. I made that decision and it felt good and my heart lightened for a moment. I asked myself, okay what else do you want?

I made a list of the things that are stressing me out quite badly and I wrote down actionable steps that I could take to relieve some pressure and I did them.

One of my other big stressors, aside from my relationship at work, is my health. My body is exquisitely sensitive and all of this emotional turmoil is resulting in GI issues. I have always had some issues and they improve a little with each suggestion from a doctor, but the changes don’t last and I think that most of it is emotional stagnation and dysfunction. I have decided to really focus on my health for a bit. I am trying to put only good things into my body and really honor it as much as I can. I had some really bad stomach pain and nausea this week and I woke up one morning just thinking, I cannot take this anymore. There has to be change.

I happened to listen to this Wim Hof interview on Russell Brand’s podcast and the scientific evidence behind his breathing technique was pretty impressively presented. Given all of the information we are discovering about our bodies and the potential that we haven’t even tapped into, I am really confident that we can heal our own bodies. I don’t know how in the hell I am going to do this, but I am embarking on a quest to figure out how. I am sure there will be a lot of trial and error and I will welcome it because I cannot live like this anymore. I did the Wim Hof method twice today. Just like anything, especially when talking about chronic issues, there is never an instant change, but there is usually a heart reaction and today when I was doing the breathing I felt like it was right. My goal is to get my body working at its optimal capacity. I realize this will also mean healing the mental and emotional bodies.

What did I do for myself today? I rested and I took an inventory of what was working and what wasn’t in my life and how I could change it. I was able to listen to the space between my fear and my inner being and figure out what I wanted and connected with my heart enough to get some feedback on next steps. Up next, meditation. I have gotten away from consistent practice and in many ways have shunned a lot of these modalities even though I know they are really powerful. Once again, it comes back to do I really want to change? Some days I do and some days I don’t. Today is a day of change so I will harness all of the motivation that I can to keep moving forward, even if it feels like I’ve taken ten steps back. ❤ ❤

What are some self care routines that you guys have that keep you grounded?

Image by Martin Winkler from Pixabay

Day 29: The Cruciality Of Support

I’m feeling pretty defeated by the world this round. Like, knockout defeated.

We had a snow storm last night and got about 8 inches dumped on us in a region of the USA where there is typically not much snow fall which means there is not a good system in place to handle that. So my power has been out intermittently for the last 18 hours. 13 of which was a continuous blackout so… no heat. I woke up to quite the chill this morning.

A patient that I referred for surgery took a turn for the worse and died today. Another is likely headed for the same fate this week. The second one I have been working on for the last four weeks.

I was in the middle of making food and once again, no power. It’s 5 PM, pitch black and cold and here I sit. I’m writing to you on my phone, curled up in my blankets like a gnarly little gremlin.

To be honest I’m not even sure that cruciality is a word and I don’t want to waste precious cell phone battery to find out. That’s what we are working with here.

There are things in life that we require to survive, food, water and shelter. Once those base needs are met and satisfied a whole host of options opens up. Having the freedom from the stress of survival allows for breathing room and the focus can shift to creating a life worth living.

And creation is what it’s all about.

When I started out on my journey to self love I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it on my own. Even though the actual process of self growth is a solitary journey, having the right support can make or break your travel.

Support can come in so many forms. It can come in the form of a cheerleader, a mentor, someone delivering tough love or even the circumstances that crop up in life.

If you are able to look around and realize that even the tough times are supporting you somehow it can make dark times seem a little less heavy. The tricky part here is having to trust that they are delivering you somewhere that will be of benefit which is, admittedly, hard to do when you are caught in the thick of it.

For me tonight my support showed up in the form of a phone call from a friend. He reminded me that even though I had a rough day, I still showed up for myself. I didn’t let the trials stop me from doing the things that I know will benefit my future. I worked out. I took a call from a coaching program that I am looking to join. I was able to shower at the gym. My day has been a little tough but it’s been a good training ground for changing my mentality and luckily for me, barring any unforeseen catastrophies, I will have a chance to try again tomorrow.

I hope you are all warm and cozy out there. ❤️❤️

Photo by Sasint from Pixabay