15 minutes of gibberish.

15 minute free write. No edits. No looking back. Just me, the spare time, and the publish post button.

Some insight I learned about myself today:

-I still don’t take criticism and feedback nearly as well as I would like to. Even though I can be very harsh on myself, I don’t like when others point out my flaws (it’s like, I’d rather them be hidden than be transparent and exposed to everyone else!). I imagine this comes from a place of really, deeply wanting to be liked by others: when I receive criticism, I assume it’s because people dislike me (even when the criticism is constructive). I must be mindful that I am not Perfect. Perfect is a nonexistence.

-I cannot be present all the time, either. I’ve learned how to be in the here-and-now more than I have ever been before, and I am grateful that I can appreciate the beauty that is just LIVING. However, it’s unrealistic to expect myself to be in a meditative trance as I move through life. I cannot be 100% of anything. I am doing my best, and that’s all I need to ask of myself.

-I can actually get ready really quickly when I oversleep.

-Externalizing the negative self-talk is effective for so many people. I was talking about this with a client today. Give the distorted thoughts a NAME. Challenge them. Fight them. Do whatever you have to do to recognize that disorder’s voice is NOT yours. It may be a part of you, sure, but it isn’t you. You have the power to rationalize, reason, and get dirty with it. 

-I am more existential than most people- I think about issues and the universe in ways that others find obscure or even neurotic. I actually can really embrace this part of myself now. My boyfriend and I can shoot the shit on philosophy and existentialism and the intricacy of human conditions for hours on end. We teach other and learn through each other and spew ideas off each other. It makes me feel validated and grounded. The universe is vast. We are specs. Mere, fucking specs. Just floating around in this colossal space. 

-There is no real definition for failure. There is also no real definition for success. What may be a perceived failure for one person may be a success for another. You can only REALLY be a failure when YOU decide you are a failure. The same is true for being a success. My therapist once told me, maybe it’s not failure you fear. Maybe it’s success. This has long stuck with me. Failure is predictable and keeps us constricted, timid, and apprehensive. Failure, in a sense, keeps us safe and boxed. But success? Success means the sky is the limit. Success means breaking barriers we thought were unbreakable. Success opens the door for all kinds of impossible opportunities, for experience we never thought could be ours. That is much more wild. Failure is something we all know…most of us can pinpoint a self-defined failure. But success? Real success? The act of succeeding remains with us far less than the act of failing.

-I am running out of things to write. Has it been 15 minutes yet?

-J/K. Like I could EVER run out of things to write!

-How do people find this blog? Google? Other blogs? I haven’t even been reading other people’s blogs lately. I haven’t been subscribing to anything…but I’m so glad I still have my loyal fan base and following on here. You guys keep me inspired and lifted and positive and hopeful! I feel honored to be able to express myself to such a wide audience of anonymous, beautiful souls.

-This is turning into such a list….la dee dah. I’m tired. 12-hour days can be brutal. Ready for sleep! 

-How would I live without the construct of time? Seriously, WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT A CLOCK? How differently would I live? Would I be more in touch with my intuition? With the natural lightness and darkness of the day? With the motions of the weather? How would that look? It would be a great experiment. The only time I get close to that is when I am camping or out in nature…but even then, someone ALWAYS has the time, it seems. We need time for structure- we need time to feel safe.

-Speaking of time, I’m done writing this. Technically, I wanted to write for another two and a half minutes…but, my intuition is telling me this post is over. 

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lose yourself in the stars.

Dear Bee,

I write to you over coffee on a chilly and quiet Monday morning. We had a good weekend; you were around, but I didn’t engage. 

On Saturday, I was surrounded by family. Another relative I am close to is dying. She is old, and it is expected. That doesn’t make it easier to grieve; it just makes it easier to rationalize. I can embrace sadness now, but that doesn’t mean I like to feel sad. I just accept it for what it is. I was able to hold her hand, kiss her, tell her I love her. We don’t always get that chance in life; we don’t always get to say our goodbyes. I have gained more from her life than I will lose from her death. That is the most important thing.

Boyfriend and I went to the beach that night, lied on a blanket, and looked up at the stars, the sound of the sea calming my unnerving mind. We talked about life, as we usually do, and death, as we have lately started to do. Looking up at the stars has always been grounding for me. Even though I live under the smog-coated Southern California skies, it was a clear night. I felt small. In this world, nothing matters. I believe in dialectics, however. If nothing matters, then everything matters.

Yesterday, we hiked. We are going to start doing this more often. It’s probably my favorite hobby, and he’s gotten into it as well. We brought his dog, and enjoyed nature, laughter, and conversation. If life is a roller coaster, love sure makes the ride worthwhile.

I’m stressed about money. And school. And loved ones dying. Not particularly in that order. I’m grateful, though. Grateful that I get to savor this cup of coffee in solitude. Grateful for writing, because it always feels good. Grateful for the two clients I get to see today and the group I get to lead tonight. Grateful that I get to practice doing what I love every single day. Grateful for love- always grateful for love. I am grateful for recovery, even if it’s been shaky. 

In times of stress, recovery is the last thing I want to focus on. Instead, I’d rather lose myself in the predictable throes of a disorder- in the tiredness compulsion of exercise, in the mindless act of overeating, in the number-crunching act of calculating calories and frequent weigh-ins, in the obsession of the ingredients in my next meal and the one after that and the one after that. The disorder will always be the easy guilty pleasure and the tempting lover. The disorder will always be familiar, and, in a distorted sense, safe. I know I can return to it anytime, and so, I have to consciously choose not to. 

Told this to a client the other day: self-actualization may not be the correct term. It really should be called self-actualizing, because it’s a verb. It’s a constant action; it’s in movement. Self-actualizing is the consistent process of healing the present as a result of accepting the past and embracing the future. Can we look at it as a journey, rather than an endpoint? 

Ride & Die

Often, when we feel the most lost, we find the best path. It’s when we are sure we know we are headed, we tend to get sidetracked.

Dear Bee,

This is my quote, and I came up with it this afternoon after a slight revelation about our disillusion to control the most uncontrollable element of our life: time that is not ours. Aka: the future. It’s amazing how disillusioned we are when it comes to following some kind of “plan.” We set cookie-cutter timelines and deadlines and promise ourselves that in X amount of time, we will achieve Y, and then, we will do X.

When, in real life, does this actually happen? When I was ten, I was so sure I was going to meet the love of my life in junior high. That didn’t happen. When I was sixteen, I knew that I was going to be best friends with my former best friend ever. That didn’t happen. When I was twenty, I was sure I could marry the person I was dating. That didn’t happen.  

Being lost is a good thing. You remain curious. You take risks that you wouldn’t ordinarily take. There is a sense of chaotic spontaneity, a beautiful calamity in the unpredictable ebb and flow that is your life. 

Not all who wander are lost.

I spent my past year completely lost. I felt lost with recovery. It was new, and it was petrifying. I dove into whatever I could. I tried many things and fell many times. I have been in that place where NOTHING worked and EVERYTHING seemed hopeless. In fact, know that place very well. I visited there frequently. And now, not so much. I am now more aware of the path I am on. 

Being lost taught me how to trust myself and how to lean on people who had walked on similar paths before me. Being lost showed me to revitalize my intuition and faith. Being lost terrified me, but it offered a sense of bravery and resilience I never knew lied within me. Being lost meant believing that I could, somehow, through trial and error, find a direction that worked for me.

Being lost was worth it. In it, I found myself.

I found the girl I had suppressed: a joyous and exuberant girl eager to indulge in every morsel of this delicious life. I found freedom and relief. I found answers that had remained unanswerable for so long. I found love in places I never knew existed, most notably the love towards myself.

Do not worry about where you are headed. Trust the process. Trust recovery. Trust yourself. Life unfolds in magical ways, and I truly believe that. Every obstacle has had its reward; every demon has met its angel. I never want to know exactly where I am headed; life would be too monotonous and dull if I did. The unknown keeps it exciting and evolving. We always say road trips are about the journey and not the destination. Well, life is our journey and there is NO destination. So ride…until you die.

❤ 

Be nourished. Be loved. Be grateful.

Scribbles on a notepad. Pen to the paper. That is where the magic happens for me. This is my raw identity, the one that so often gets concealed beneath the facade of deceit and make-believe. My written word cannot lie. My written word stays free of ego, edits, and censorship–until, of course, I know my written word will be read.

Every once in awhile, we have those days where the meaning of life astounds us and the very miracle of our existence brings us down to grateful, humbled knees. I am in that experience right now- floating in this phase of utter awe. Embracing the delicious energy of life. Nourishing myself in love. Letting the harmony of the ordinary revitalize my spiritual virtues.

We spend most of our lives escaping- running away. We cope by destroying. We think we heal by avoiding. We fear pain to the core, and we do all we can to limit it from penetrating us. We hide from pain by expanding our wallets, by emptying our liquor, by tangling our bodies with strangers, by swallowing pills, by busying our schedules, by burying ourselves in technology. Rarely do we question our methods of escaping, but that is only because we refuse to accept what it is we are so desperately trying to escape from. Our perceived insecurities, our dissatisfaction, our aching and unfulfilled yearnings and desires. We look at our lives and think about what we want, what we lack, what we are aiming for. When do we ever just look at our life and feel absolute and total peace?

Hardly ever. And so, we reach outwards for solutions, believing answers lie in the hands of our society, believing solace can be found within the almighty dollar, believing happiness can be found within the realm of status, popularity, and power. We hate to believe all that we need lies within our souls. That is too simple and unappealing. Too “lazy.” For when we believe virtue is a result of what we already have, we have to realize we are accountable for our lives and for the paths we seek to travel on. We have to realize we are in charge of our own destinies. We have to realize that nobody owes us anything and that nothing is inherently ours and that nothing external can shield us from the corruption we cause to our internal selves–at least not for very long.

I have been thinking so much about death lately, and that may sound morbid, but it’s not. In fact, it’s incredibly therapeutic. Like most, I feared death. To the bitter, withered core. With fear comes the inability to accept. The inability to understand. The more I can accept and embrace my mortality, and I mean really let the fact that I will die and can die at any given time sink in, the more I can appreciate this awesome ride called life. The more I accept the finite, the more I want to live in the greatest capacity I possibly can. Every moment is a new experience at life, and whether I know the rules to this game or not, I get to enjoy playing it for as long as I am a player.

I do not regret anything I did or said or did not do or did not say in my past. I am me. I am whole. And I am always enough to be living and relishing in this world. Had I not been who I was, had I not gone through what I had or made the choices I made or learned the lessons I learned or met the people I met or took a leap of faith when the time called for it, I could not emerge into the person I am. And that’s a person I am proud to be.