Featured

I’m Feeling More Myself Than I Ever Have Before

I sing all the time. Everywhere. Anyplace.

Well, mostly. There are exceptions.

When I pull into work, I stop singing before I open the car door. When I got home at our old place, I didn’t sing once without the door shut tight.

I don’t sing while I’m pumping gas. I don’t sing while shopping.

If I do, it’s always under my breath.

But today I pulled into my driveway, in my usual way, singing and head-bopping, feeling the magic of the music in my mind. And when I opened the car door, without thinking, I didn’t even pause. I just kept going.

And I sang the whole way into the house (except when I had to focus on opening the door with a handful of groceries – even desperately holding the handle of a plastic bag between the grit of my teeth – I stopped then, but still bebopped and head bobbed as I reversed myself through the door and shut it behind me).

It wasn’t until I stopped singing that I realize I hadn’t yet.

From my lips, my heart drew a smile of closed eyes and deep breaths. I snorted as I laughed and then let out a loud “WOO-HOOOOOO!”, (in my usual way).

And I looked out the window and saw woods. Green and brown, pardoned only by sunlight shining through the holes nibbled in the Vermont canopy of leaves and pine.

What a beautiful place to be, and a peaceful time of year. Everything is getting ready to lay down and rest gently for the cold months.

How bittersweet the end of summer is… You can feel things fading before they start to wither. It’s amazing how beautiful the melancholy of that is.

Anyway, today (and for some time now), I’ve been really landing deep in my soul with the thoughts and vibrations I’ve had.

The most amazing moments are moments of deep realization of how free we truly are.

And now I will sing anyway. And the people will think I’m crazy. And I will let them.

What a gorgeous day to be a part of the human race, my friends. No day could beat this one.

 

Chlo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

 

I’m in a Relationship, but I’m not Taken.

I’m not taken. I’m in a relationship, but I’m not taken.

He doesn’t steal me away from any dreams. 

He doesn’t tell me who I can and can’t be friends with, or who I can and can’t cultivate myself to be.

He didn’t pry me out of my own life to be in a relationship with him, or force me to do anything, in any manner, at any point in time. He didn’t strip me of my roots and soil for his own benefit.

He doesn’t pressure me into anything. A n y t h i n g. (Maybe ice cream sometimes… But I’m cool with that).

He did not and does not “take” me, (except out to dinner, or mini golfing, or as a plus one to weddings). Cool with that too. 

Our relationship is not ownership. He has not stolen me away from things I love or enjoy, and I believe that one of the things he fears is suffocating my freedom. I fear that for him, too.

It’s only really a concern because when you’re with someone, it seems like there is suddenly a whole array of things you can’t experience anymore. 

However, if you’re with someone you’re truly compatible with, this will prove untrue.

You can still experience different things and different places, and if you want to do it alone, they’ll understand.

You can still pursue goals and dreams.

You can take time away from them, have space to yourself, spend time with your pals without them, go see a movie by yourself or with someone else if they’re not interested in it, the list goes on and on and on.

Fact is, if you are as compatible as you think you are, you must have similar values and see eye to eye on most things. The big things.

That’s the best way to have a relationship as opposed to ownership.

Relationships are divine when two people come together to love infinitely, without reason or expectation. To love fully, the way you love a welcome wind on a blistering sunny day. Or a shady tree. 

Perhaps we don’t know the reason, but we do know that love blossoms like the planet does. We don’t really know where it starts or stops, it’s just always there, waiting longingly for you to peer in and beckon it out. 

Open the box. Set it free.

It’s the force that pulls plants towards the sunshine, and people towards each other.

It’s the thing that allows water to nourish roots, the way love nourishes our soul.

We indulge in a mutually beneficial, loving relationship, blessed with bliss and sunshine and human-ness. 

He pushes me towards my dreams, and works towards his own.

I can go out with friends without him without any contempt or concern. 

I can spend time away if I need or want, not out of anger or because I’m sick of him in any way, but because we all need time to take care of our Selves. And guess what? No hard feelings, he gets it. And if he needs that, I get it too.

The time will come when things are not so easy, but the lengths to which love and respect can take two people are YUGE.

I said yuge, but I’m serious folks… Ladies, fierce femmes, guys and gals near and far, the one you seek is seeking you.

Once you’re in a relationship but not taken, then you will know harmony, and you will never go back to less than you deserve.

Just remember to love yourself first. That’s the best way to love someone else.

And remember to love others. That’s the best way to love yourself.

What comes around, goes around…

Xoxoxo.

4 Methods of Thinking That Are Holding You Back

Our lives are sort of like quilts. They start out small (as do we), and as we grow, our lives (er, quilts…) follow suit.

Initially, your Quilt will be comprised of the things you are born with. There will be pictures of your ancestors and snippets from the culture that raised generations before you – some of which you may hold dearly onto.

There will be the color of our skin, representations of poverty or wealth (depending on which we were born into), drawings of our eyes and beating hearts, and something that tells us to be afraid of loud noises and falling (since those are the only two fears we’re really born with).

Our quilts start off as bits and pieces of the people that made us – mom and dad, and all before them – and start to grow as we’re raised. After years of development and outsiders making adjustments without our permission or praise, we learn that we are free to change and mend our quilts.

I love this analogy because the quilts serve as a symbol of our lives – our Universe, our realities – and although it may take some deconstructing, time, and mending, we can create change in our Quilts. These changes can be additions (a new hobby?), replacements (out with the old, in the with the new!), or pieces we decide to toss out (values and ideals we never really agreed with but grew up learning).

These adjustments can be stitches wide or can replace entire sections – depending on how prominent you want the change to be.

When we change our Quilts of Life, the Universe will recognize it and follow our lead, reinforcing the threads we made and creating ones we might have missed along the way.

Sometimes, there may be trouble. Perhaps the Universe throws in uneven lines, or extra puffy sections. Perhaps the thread snaps.

Disgruntled, you’ll probably look at your quilt and let out a whole bunch of “Ahh, what the CUSS!”

But once you let that out, you’ll make the choice to either change it, or keep on quilting with what you got.

We have troubles, every aching one of us, and so many times we worry about leading the perfect life, or being the perfect person… When there’s just as much beauty (if not more) in the bumps and jagged edges.

If you want to make a perfect quilt, or lead a perfect life, that’s easy – make it perfect for YOU. Change what you might. Fix what you will. Update and sew and add and subtract… But don’t worry too much about the next guy or gal will think (their quilt won’t be perfect either).

Imperfection IS perfect! It’s what makes us all unique, adds variety into our lives, and keeps the world spinning in a nice, interesting fashion.

Our quilts can contain what we say and do, habits we create, people we influence (or who we allow to influence us), and every other thing that we go through. We are given materials and we do with them whatever we can (and choose).

Here are just a few pieces of fabric that can make your quilt less enjoyable to make. There are some phrases and habits holding you back from releasing your creativity, upgrading your Quilt of Life, and creating eternal bliss…

If your life is hard, watch out for these thoughts that may be making it more difficult than it has to be.

1. “I am so much better than that.”

Although this one might help people ignore juvenile dramas and hesitate to saying something rude back to a bully or hypocrite (hopefully this is the case!), it is bred of the same entities that thrive in misunderstanding and divide.

This way of thinking can potentially blind us of our ability to seek to understand another perspective, situation, or person. Since no real problems are solved by saying what you are, but are solved instead by seeking to understand how the other person feels, you are never “better. You are just different – but remember, not by much (we’re all guilty of being human – thanks for that one, Joe Rogan).

*insert photo of coop quote*

2. “I have the worst luck.”

Nobody else is going through what I am going through.”

It’s easy to feel that way, isn’t it? Lots of things go wrong. That’s what life does. It teaches you hard lessons, and it’ll test you on those lessons again and again to see if you’ve learned. Once you pass one, it’ll send you on to the next – a sort of “stack” of graduated classes – a never ending curve of learning and leveling up.

We are nothing but students, only in Earth’s classroom for a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of things, and our purpose, really, is to do whatever the hell we want to do to better love our lives.

Unfortunately, friend, the world doesn’t owe you anything. It has given you all the materials you need, and now it is up to you to decide what to do with them.

3. “I deserve special treatment because x, y, z.”

If you partake in entitled thoughts, it has the potential to rob you dry of all the things you love, including family, friends, jobs, and all around likability.

People who think the world owes them something often treat other people like garbage because they feel like they’ve earned that right… But that’s wrong. You have the right to behave in whatever way you please, but you can’t behave any way you please and be treated any better than that (not for long, anyway).

We earn the way people treat us by practicing the golden rule – treating others the way you want to be treated. This means humans, animals, and Earth. The Universe is a mirror – it is you, and you are it – and whatever you put out will be boomeranged back to you.

You earn your treatment – you don’t inherently receive kind treatment by being born. You earn it. YOU EARN IT.

4. “I can’t.”

If you can sit down, strap in, and ride the turbulence through your struggles, consequences, and problems (like any one of the rest of us), you can do whatever you want.

You have been given the materials. The world is at your fingertips. No matter your situation, you can turn it into something you love.

You can choose from all the fabric in the world. Create your own patterns. Stitch your own quilt.

We all can.

Don’t be afraid to be an individual – this life is yours. Create it. Live it. Love it.

Photo by Dinh Pham on Unsplash

It’s OK That You’re Not Living an Instagram Life

Hey folks. I’m not feeling so good about myself today. It’s something I know you’ve felt, too – a classic case of comparing myself to others based on the things that they choose to share with the world on social media. I want to talk about that a little bit with you, because no one is alone here.

I feel like my career hasn’t progressed in the manner I envisioned at this point in time. I haven’t paid off enough of my debt. I’m working too much with little time for play or leisure. I’m losing my grip on my health because I don’t have time to cook nice meals or exercise the way I’d like.

I see others whose careers have skyrocketed, gaining them money and a sense of purpose. Others who have perfect bodies, all the time to cook and improve their health and all that jazz. Others who spend their time off doing adventurous things that look like a LOT of fun. I want that.

Suddenly, a whirlwind of yearning for something external sweeps me out of the present moment and into a different, socially projected life.

📷

I look down and see shoes I don’t recognize. I can’t step any which way. I’m glued there, not rooted, glued… looking around at all the glory and joy and success. I can’t find a mirror, and even if I could, how would I get there?

I have removed myself from the present moment. I have drawn my Self out of my body and gaze out the window, day dreaming. I don’t see the trees swaying in crisp VT wind as Spring crests out of the ground in the form of water. I don’t see melted Earth intertwining its elements and breathing the energy the day has brought, drinking the drink.

📷

I lose all that, and imagine an entirely different life. An Instagram life.

Everything looks so good when you get to choose what people see, doesn’t it?

Instagram feeds are piled up and overflowing with idealistic, and/or perfectly timed, photo-shopped images that embody a false sense of the perfection of life and make us yearn for it.

Not that the perfection of life doesn’t exist, but it exists in a very different sense – one derived from a place of balance, of yin and yang, of problems and solutions.

Problems and solutions perform a balancing act that determines how “perfect” we might see our lives. This act differs vastly person to person. Problems and solutions share an intimate relationship in maintaining our lives’ perfection, and we share an intimate relationship with these problems and solutions that determines how we feel about our existence here.

For the sake of the conversation, let’s say that “problems” symbolize imperfections in our lives, and “solutions” symbolize little perfections. When you look at an Instagram feed, what do you see, mostly? Do you see problems? Or do you see solutions?

Likely, you see solutions. Hate your body? It’s okay, you can look like THIS! Hate where you live? That’s alright, if you do what I do, you can live HERE!

Really, we all want to look good to our fellow humans. We want to look like we’re doing well while doing good, so it’s pretty natural that we post the solutions in our life as opposed to the problems and make everything look picture perfect – it’s a part of our image, and we want to be looked up to, admired, appreciated.

Everyone wants to be noticed. It’s easy to be noticed when your life looks perfect because humans want to surround ourselves, naturally, with an aura of positivity and a group of inspiring people who can maybe show us the way.

But what if the collection of people and pages we follow, that is supposed to help guide us or lead the way, leaves a lot of stuff out?

Wait… This all makes perfect sense!

From the eye of the Poster:

“I want to be noticed” —> Posts only about life’s little perfections, leaves out the ugly —->

Gains lots of followers —-> Notices that the perfect things gain followers and attention —->

posts even more perfection, leaves out even MORE ugly

From the eye of the Postee (cute name for follower):

Desire to improve the life of oneself —> Follows people who lead a life of appeal in an effort to surround self with positivity and inspirations —> sees perfect pictures —> realizes oneself is not yet there —> feels bad about oneself —> depression, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy

So I’ll say it one more time… what if the collection of people and pages we follow, that is supposed to help guide us or lead the way, leaves a lot of stuff out?

What if they show us how life is brimming with solutions and perfections – beautiful gardens, (although perhaps attainable) unrealistic bodies, glimmering constellations, sparkling white sandy beaches, love in all forms; but leave out the fact that there are ALWAYS problems – guards before bridges, passwords we’ve forgotten or were never given, sore and aching souls and hearts, pain, loss, tears, fear, loneliness…?

That’s where this FALSE sense of life’s perfection is born. This false sense teaches us that life is perfect without problems, but leaves out the fact that problems are a part of the perfection.

Without problems for us to solve, it’s hard to derive purpose from anything. Solving problems makes us feel good, as though we’ve accomplished something, as though we’ve contributed, as though we belong… a SUPER innate need of human beings.

It’s easy to forget that the icons behind these feeds are human, too. They too have struggles., The things they show you – a good paying job, adventures in the sun or overseas, and money, (although they may help) – are solutions to problems they have had, but are not conducive to their happiness.

Remember, these feeds are not real lives. These feeds are snippets of moments that look good, and can easily turn into projections of false perfection. Although a lot of it may be real joy, real happiness, real “perfection,” it all comes and goes in waves. It waxes and wanes and maintains balance, across the board, in all lives.

📷

All of a sudden the realization of my stepping out of the present moments brings itself to me.

Flash forward, and here I am. Back in my own shoes, returned safely to the present moment. I step outside. Feel the breeze in my face. Clench my fists, stretch my fingers. Close my eyes. Feel the energy in the spaces between my toes. Go back in, snag a cup o’ Joe. Find my way home again, and slip into the bliss that is my life. All confusions, problems, everything aside… I feel adequate.

📷

No one has solutions only. It’s okay that you have problems and don’t live an Instagram life.

Those people whose lives look perfect on social media… well, they have a Real Life too. Just like you n’ me.

It's OK That You're Not Living an Instagram Life.

Hey folks. I’m not feeling so good about myself today. It’s something I know you’ve felt, too – a classic case of comparing myself to others based on the things that they choose to share with the world on social media. I want to talk about that a little bit with you, because no one is alone here.

I feel like my career hasn’t progressed in the manner I envisioned at this point in time. I haven’t paid off enough of my debt. I’m working too much with little time for play or leisure. I’m losing my grip on my health because I don’t have time to cook nice meals or exercise the way I’d like.

I see others whose careers have skyrocketed, gaining them money and a sense of purpose. Others who have perfect bodies, all the time to cook and improve their health and all that jazz. Others who spend their time off doing adventurous things that look like a LOT of fun. I want that.

Suddenly, a whirlwind of yearning for something external sweeps me out of the present moment and into a different, socially projected life.


I look down and see shoes I don’t recognize. I can’t step any which way. I’m glued there, not rooted, glued… looking around at all the glory and joy and success. I can’t find a mirror, and even if I could, how would I get there?

I have removed myself from the present moment. I have drawn my Self out of my body and gaze out the window, day dreaming. I don’t see the trees swaying in crisp VT wind as Spring crests out of the ground in the form of water. I don’t see melted Earth intertwining its elements and breathing the energy the day has brought, drinking the drink.


I lose all that, and imagine an entirely different life. An Instagram life.

Everything looks so good when you get to choose what people see, doesn’t it?

Instagram feeds are piled up and overflowing with idealistic, and/or perfectly timed, photo-shopped images that embody a false sense of the perfection of life and make us yearn for it.

Not that the perfection of life doesn’t exist, but it exists in a very different sense – one derived from a place of balance, of yin and yang, of problems and solutions.

Problems and solutions perform a balancing act that determines how “perfect” we might see our lives. This act differs vastly person to person. Problems and solutions share an intimate relationship in maintaining our lives’ perfection, and we share an intimate relationship with these problems and solutions that determines how we feel about our existence here.

For the sake of the conversation, let’s say that “problems” symbolize imperfections in our lives, and “solutions” symbolize little perfections. When you look at an Instagram feed, what do you see, mostly? Do you see problems? Or do you see solutions?

Likely, you see solutions. Hate your body? It’s okay, you can look like THIS! Hate where you live? That’s alright, if you do what I do, you can live HERE!

Really, we all want to look good to our fellow humans. We want to look like we’re doing well while doing good, so it’s pretty natural that we post the solutions in our life as opposed to the problems and make everything look picture perfect – it’s a part of our image, and we want to be looked up to, admired, appreciated.

Everyone wants to be noticed. It’s easy to be noticed when your life looks perfect because humans want to surround ourselves, naturally, with an aura of positivity and a group of inspiring people who can maybe show us the way.

But what if the collection of people and pages we follow, that is supposed to help guide us or lead the way, leaves a lot of stuff out?

Wait… This all makes perfect sense!

From the eye of the Poster:

“I want to be noticed” —> Posts only about life’s little perfections, leaves out the ugly —->

Gains lots of followers —-> Notices that the perfect things gain followers and attention —->

posts even more perfection, leaves out even MORE ugly

From the eye of the Postee (cute name for follower):

Desire to improve the life of oneself —>

Follows people who lead a life of appeal in an effort to surround self with positivity and inspirations —>

sees perfect pictures —> realizes oneself is not yet there —> feels bad about oneself —>

depression, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy

So I’ll say it one more time… what if the collection of people and pages we follow, that is supposed to help guide us or lead the way, leaves a lot of stuff out?

What if they show us how life is brimming with solutions and perfections – beautiful gardens, (although perhaps attainable) unrealistic bodies, glimmering constellations, sparkling white sandy beaches, love in all forms; but leave out the fact that there are ALWAYS problems – guards before bridges, passwords we’ve forgotten or were never given, sore and aching souls and hearts, pain, loss, tears, fear, loneliness…?

That’s where this FALSE sense of life’s perfection is born. This false sense teaches us that life is perfect without problems, but leaves out the fact that problems are a part of the perfection.

Without problems for us to solve, it’s hard to derive purpose from anything. Solving problems makes us feel good, as though we’ve accomplished something, as though we’ve contributed, as though we belong… a SUPER innate need of human beings.

It’s easy to forget that the icons behind these feeds are human, too. They too have struggles., The things they show you – a good paying job, adventures in the sun or overseas, and money, (although they may help) – are solutions to problems they have had, but are not conducive to their happiness.

Remember, these feeds are not real lives. These feeds are snippets of moments that look good, and can easily turn into projections of false perfection. Although a lot of it may be real joy, real happiness, real “perfection,” it all comes and goes in waves. It waxes and wanes and maintains balance, across the board, in all lives.


All of a sudden the realization of my stepping out of the present moments brings itself to me.

Flash forward, and here I am. Back in my own shoes, returned safely to the present moment. I step outside. Feel the breeze in my face. Clench my fists, stretch my fingers. Close my eyes. Feel the energy in the spaces between my toes. Go back in, snag a cup o’ Joe. Find my way home again, and slip into the bliss that is my life. All confusions, problems, everything aside… I feel adequate.


No one has solutions only. It’s okay that you have problems and don’t live an Instagram life.

Those people whose lives look perfect on social media… well, they have a Real Life too. Just like you n’ me.

4 Thoughts That Can Damage Your Bliss

Our lives are sort of like quilts. They start out small (as do we), and as we grow, our lives (er, quilts…) follow suit.

Initially, your Quilt will be comprised of the things you are born with. There will be pictures of your ancestors and snippets from the culture that raised generations before you – some of which you may hold dearly onto.

There will be the color of our skin, representations of poverty or wealth (depending on which we were born into), drawings of our eyes and beating hearts, and something that tells us to be afraid of loud noises and falling (since those are the only two fears we’re really born with).

Our quilts start off as bits and pieces of the people that made us – mom and dad, and all before them – and start to grow as we’re raised. After years of development and outsiders making adjustments without our permission or praise, we learn that we are free to change and mend our quilts.

I love this analogy because the quilts serve as a symbol of our lives – our Universe, our realities – and although it may take some deconstructing, time, and mending, we can create change in our Quilts. These changes can be additions (a new hobby?), replacements (out with the old, in the with the new!), or pieces we decide to toss out (values and ideals we never really agreed with but grew up learning).

These adjustments can be stitches wide or can replace entire sections – depending on how prominent you want the change to be.

When we change our Quilts of Life, the Universe will recognize it and follow our lead, reinforcing the threads we made and creating ones we might have missed along the way.

Sometimes, there may be trouble. Perhaps the Universe throws in uneven lines, or extra puffy sections. Perhaps the thread snaps.

Disgruntled, you’ll probably look at your quilt and let out a whole bunch of “Ahh, what the CUSS!”

But once you let that out, you’ll make the choice to either change it, or keep on quilting with what you got.

We have troubles, every aching one of us, and so many times we worry about leading the perfect life, or being the perfect person… When there’s just as much beauty (if not more) in the bumps and jagged edges.

If you want to make a perfect quilt, or lead a perfect life, that’s easy – make it perfect for YOU. Change what you might. Fix what you will. Update and sew and add and subtract… But don’t worry too much about the next guy or gal will think (their quilt won’t be perfect either).

Imperfection IS perfect! It’s what makes us all unique, adds variety into our lives, and keeps the world spinning in a nice, interesting fashion.

Our quilts can contain what we say and do, habits we create, people we influence (or who we allow to influence us), and every other thing that we go through. We are given materials and we do with them whatever we can (and choose).

Here are just a few pieces of fabric that can make your quilt less enjoyable to make. There are some phrases and habits holding you back from releasing your creativity, upgrading your Quilt of Life, and creating eternal bliss…

If your life is hard, watch out for these thoughts that may be making it more difficult than it has to be.

1. “I am so much better than that.”

Although this one might help people ignore juvenile dramas and hesitate to saying something rude back to a bully or hypocrite (hopefully this is the case!), it is bred of the same entities that thrive in misunderstanding and divide.

This way of thinking can potentially blind us of our ability to seek to understand another perspective, situation, or person. Since no real problems are solved by saying what you are, but are solved instead by seeking to understand how the other person feels, you are never “better. You are just different – but remember, not by much (we’re all guilty of being human – thanks for that one, Joe Rogan).

*insert photo of coop quote*

2. “I have the worst luck.”

Nobody else is going through what I am going through.”

It’s easy to feel that way, isn’t it? Lots of things go wrong. That’s what life does. It teaches you hard lessons, and it’ll test you on those lessons again and again to see if you’ve learned. Once you pass one, it’ll send you on to the next – a sort of “stack” of graduated classes – a never ending curve of learning and leveling up.

We are nothing but students, only in Earth’s classroom for a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of things, and our purpose, really, is to do whatever the hell we want to do to better love our lives.

Unfortunately, friend, the world doesn’t owe you anything. It has given you all the materials you need, and now it is up to you to decide what to do with them.

*insert spiral*

3. “I deserve special treatment because x, y, z.”

If you partake in entitled thoughts, it has the potential to rob you dry of all the things you love, including family, friends, jobs, and all around likability.

People who think the world owes them something often treat other people like garbage because they feel like they’ve earned that right… But that’s wrong. You have the right to behave in whatever way you please, but you can’t behave any way you please and be treated any better than that (not for long, anyway).

We earn the way people treat us by practicing the golden rule – treating others the way you want to be treated. This means humans, animals, and Earth. The Universe is a mirror – it is you, and you are it – and whatever you put out will be boomeranged back to you.

You earn your treatment – you don’t inherently receive kind treatment by being born. You earn it. YOU EARN IT.

4. “I can’t.”

If you can sit down, strap in, and ride the turbulence through your struggles, consequences, and problems (like any one of the rest of us), you can do whatever you want.

You have been given the materials. The world is at your fingertips. No matter your situation, you can turn it into something you love.

You can choose from all the fabric in the world. Create your own patterns. Stitch your own quilt.

We all can.

Don’t be afraid to be an individual – this life is yours. Create it. Live it. Love it.

Photo by Dinh Pham on Unsplash

Don't Let the World Turn You Bitter

Another year has passed, and I’ve been thinking a lot about how people say we start to feel bitter to the world as we grow older.

Life has a way of hustling, bustling, and throwing us to the ground… So after enough time passes, some of us put up a wall to try to hide and protect ourselves.

The world makes some of us bitter, or cold, or untrusting. Lots of people become weary and tired. Flinchy, perhaps.

I know this because I’ve seen it, and I get it. I know the world can be a lil’ harsh on us sometimes. That being said, I don’t think it’s a good reason to shut everything out or run away from what adds to our human-ness: emotions. And it’s definitely no reason to feel hatred towards the world.

I’ve met people who have grown to think the world deserves our unkindness.

I thought this for awhile too (we’re all human, I’m not perfect either!), but nothing deserves our unkindness, especially if we want to receive kindness, love, respect, valuable friendships, pleasant interactions, and all around bliss.

We lose our awe at sunsets. We aren’t amazed that we are here. We lose touch with our inner selves. We forget how good kindness does the world. And we pull ourselves back from the sweet-and-sometimes-sour, but-most-human-thing-ever, feeling… Simply because we’re afraid to put ourselves out there and get hurt again.

I can’t count the number of posts I’ve seen on Facebook that carry a derogatory tone towards feeling. Such as: “next time I try to catch feelings, just slap me instead” or “there’s a new STD called feelings – don’t catch that shit.”

These always make me roll my eyes and sigh the type of sigh that fills your cheeks and makes you close your eyes (you know which one I mean).

Feel whatever you may. Really. You don’t have to run and hide from things, you just have to choose to accept them or change them. Have faith that you will make it through. As cliche as it is, you really do have to believe in yourself and avoid resistance because you’re resistance to things (be they your situation or the way you are feeling about your situation) is a primary contributor to your misery (yes, RESIST RESISTING!)

Catch feelings. For everything or anything – whatever suits you – and let it happen. Watch it as it does. Take it all in. I’m not just talking about love, I’m talking pride, shame, pain, joy, fear, trust, betrayal, adrenaline, everything.

I find it unsettling to see others take cover behind “I’m okay’s” and forced smiles. If you fake your joy all the time, or put on a faux smile to please those around you, or run from other, more negatively associated feelings, you won’t feel pure joy. You need to feel pain to feel true joy. And that’s okay. It will pass, just as all things do.

From 20 to 21 I felt a wide variety of things, and a lot of them were exhausting, terrifying, and generally… horribly unpleasant. I had uplifting moments too, as we need a little bit of that to keep us going, but it really was not my year.

And at 21 I feel amazing. After all that struggle and trouble, I feel much better than I did at 20 or 19. That’s probably because I’ve grown, and being 21 actually does feel a little different than years past. I can’t feel a difference between June 8th and June 9th, but I can certainly see it looking back. It’s all very clear.

I feel much more free, not because I can buy alcohol or rent a car or whatever, but because the hardest years of my life have made me grateful and right now, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

Since I have stayed true to myself and my emotions this past year, although it damn near drained me, I have come back 10x the woman I was before.

I’ve fallen in love with strangers’ quirks, dimples of children, sketchy mountain ridges, pouring rain, thunderstorms (especially the kind that beckon you into the chaos).

I’ve felt lost and tragically imbalanced and self-detrimental. I’ve felt pain and loss. As my consciousness continues to shift, these feelings tend to fall away, as well… But when they come, I feel them, and feel them fully.

I’ve felt things I have tried (and always fail) to put into words. It’s sort of… Just the way it goes.

This is a human experience – and through acceptance and eagerness to feel it all, I’m just loving it.

So catch feelings – for anything you may.

The sun, the stars, earth, water, sons, daughters, pride, literature, architecture, nature. Tell your mom and dad you love them. Go visit your grandparents. Feel for your pets, light, darkness – feel things for whatever you choose. It is your right.

There’s no need to hate the world for what it gives us. You can always find the light in your feelings.

Cheers!

Enrich Your Life – Connect With Your Inner Child

On the hectic streets of NYC, crowds of people swirl and swarm in a smog ridden whirlwind, driven only by money and stress, and stress about money. Nobody there ever wants to go to Times’ Square for the lights.

In white suburbia, the mother in a nuclear family is pressing a cup of coffee to her lips, not even tasting or paying any mind to it. She’s busy thinking about her bills and her marital issues, yearning for her younger years.

In New England, some of the locals laugh at leaf-peepers who come from around the country to take pretty pictures of the foliage. “It’s like this every year,” those people will say.

All these people, at one point or another in their lifetimes, they will ask or be asked “what would you do if you could be *enter age here* but still know everything you know now?” Well, what if I told you you could, and it’s easy?

The previously menitoned types are the least happy in the world, and it’s because they have something in common – they’ve lost touch with their inner child. Here are some ways keeping contact with your youthful heart will enrich your life.

1. It will keep things in your life interesting.

Do you feel it? The nostalgia of being mesmerized by sunsets and falling leaves and birds chirping. You might have always opened the window in the morning, or smiled at the first snowfall of the season. I think we all collected rocks for the simple fact that they are pretty.

As we experience things, we become more conditioned and desensitized to the things we see, hear, and feel. The first time we see a sunset, we are captured by the moment; after the hundredth one, thousandth one, what-seems-like-millionth one, we stop caring or noticing or seeing the beauty of it. The same goes for music, heartbreak, kisses – we lose emotion to those things for the simple fact that we’ve seen/heard/felt it too much (whatever that is).

When you cut off or lose your young spirit, your life will become less and less interesting to you.

Your inner child wants to see the beauty in things, which in itself seems a good reason to seek him or her out once more.


2. You will learn how to be content and even happy where you are (but still grow).

Humans are in their most malleable state as children, which means that we are taking things in and learning at an exponential rate because we are interested in observing just about anything. This is a quality that we lose as we age due to the desensitization I mentioned before.

We are not concerned with much about the future as children, just focused on what’s happening here and now. As adults, we can use past and future as a tool to carve our lives, but if we tap into our inner child, we can see the beauty and wonder in the present moment (sans the crying fits if we don’t get to buy the candy we want).

People who want change but don’t really make a change in their life do so simply because they aren’t content with who they are at the moment, so they become discouraged about the future instead of hopeful. Your inner child is full of hope – so let him or her bloom, and you will watch your life change.


3. Growth in your life will naturally perpetuate itself.

As we grow older, we start to believe we know everything, so we stop growing. When you stop growing, you can feel stagnated, which can lead to depression or anxiety (or both).

With aging, we often take away certain bits of our mind to make room for others – we replace emotion with logic and curiosity with knowledge – and we forget that they complement one another in ways that create growth. When we choose logic over emotion or current knowledge over curiosity, we are truly limiting ourselves, and there’s no reason our minds can’t have both (with a little practice, anyway).

Personally, when I’m in touch with my inner child, I become much more prolific in my friendships and writing and happiness. People call that “glowing,” and you can do it too. You do sometimes, when your inner child sings. So let him/her belt it out!


4. You will unintentionally be more vulnerable, which many will argue is weak, but I beg to differ.

When you put yourself out there – your risk might be a little high, sure, but the human reward is too expansive to not take that risk.

You will be more open in friendships and relationships.

Love will be more rewarding and honest and genuine.

You will be honest and sincere, your friendships will grow, your heart will sing.

And then on the off days, your heart will ache and you will cry, just the way a human should. Your newfound (or, long-hidden) vulnerability will bless you with all the faults and follies and wonders of the Human Experience, and you will live a life rich with deep breaths and lost ones.


5. It truly is the best of both worlds.

When you stop moving is when you die.

The best way to feel alive is to move in every which way – by opening up to your inner child and letting him or her out to breathe, you will be flooded with new thoughts, emotions, growths, and changes.

You will move physically, and you will be moved mentally and emotionally.

Fear will dissipate. You will see beauty in things again.

But you will still know all the things you know now.

Check back for ways to connect with him/her – coming soon!

Cheers!

5 Random Things About Life I Noticed in 2018

I don’t know much about life. As a matter of fact, not a whole lot of us do. We just so happen to be wrong about things – a lot of the time. I’m not even sure if we’re ever 100% “right” about anything.

One thing I think I know is this: I have a LOT of questions, and oftentimes, my personal answers come out as word vomit onto a screen or paper when there’s a means of expressing myself through language.

One more thing I’m pretty sure of: I consider myself a strong, happy, gentle, vulnerable human being. I find genuine joy in the human experience, and have just recently realized that although I have many interests, I really want to share and express myself so others can maybe feel the way I do. This will be my outlet.

With that in mind, here’s a list of five things I want to tell the world about. Last year was a big learning curve for me, the same way every year is.

Here goes:


1. Leading a happy, fulfilling life is NOT problem-less.

Life isn’t a glittering, glamorous, joyful experience all the time – difficult things happen. Poor people have problems, wealthy people have problems. Healthy people have them, and so do unhealthy people. The problems are different, of course, for different types of people – but we all have problems. Life is one big story, and what would a story be without conflict?

There’s an upside to this, though. Without problems, there can be no growth. Sure, maybe growth isn’t a big deal to some people, and that’s fine (after all, we are free to choose our ideals and our purpose), but growth is a key factor in leading a happy life if you ask me. Being better than the person you were yesterday (smarter, kinder, more understanding, etc) is rewarding and fulfilling, and the only way to learn and grow and be better, is to be faced with problems and challenges. The key is to find some problems that you enjoy solving.


2. There is strength in vulnerability.

Generally, as a society, we tend to associate strength with one’s ability to shove things under the carpet and pretend they never happened, only crying behind closed doors and smiling and saying “Great!” when people ask how they’re doing. The real strength lies in the moments you let yourself settle into a mourning without letting it consume you, or in little moments of trust, when you tell someone a thing you’ve never told anyone. Strength is facing how you feel or what you think, and not being afraid to express it or have it challenged (or changed, if a differing perspective insists upon you).


3. Society’s perception of success is warped.

I was raised in a poor family. Not “we-don’t-have-a-roof-over-our-heads” poor, but poor enough that there were many weeks we went to the soup kitchen for the week’s groceries.

When I was young, my dad and I spent many nights watching the spiders make their webs in doorways of closed businesses, and I don’t believe he felt less than successful. Of course, he didn’t feel rich. Neither did I. We weren’t out on the town at the movie theater or in a hotel by a beach… But there was laughter and joy, and those were the things he impressed upon me. Not wealth, but health. Not money, but fun. Not things, but experiences.

I’m happier than most of the people I know who are chasing money – and at this point in my life, I do feel as though I’ve succeeded so far – despite my (current) financial situation. So don’t let society’s money-hungry tendencies get you down… That’s really not what it’s all about.


4. Happiness is nebulous and extremely difficult to compare person to person.

The key to building great friendships and relationships is discovering how others define it. Before you judge a person’s state of well-being or joy, seek out what it is that makes them happy.

Some people are “happy” being miserable (one of life’s great paradoxes).

Some people are happy beings liars and cheats and thieves, or criminals, or abusers.

Some are happy just being their darling selves, walking barefoot, listening to tunes with people they love.

Since happiness comes to people in many different forms and definitions, it’s hard to say “man, I’m WAY happier than he/she is.” There’s no universal happiness spectrum that we all fall on, because it’s a truly difficult thing to measure.

What we CAN do is ask where people derive happiness from – which can help us forge friendships with people who share similar values, or differing ones that we admire, etc. This creates a greater understanding between two people with opposing views and builds bonds and connections between sharers of the same views – not to mention, it might help you understand others a lil’ bit better.


5. Life is a great big paradox and that, in itself, is worth exploring.

You can be gentle but strong. You can be honest but kind. You can find humor in things that aren’t funny. You can be happy while being miserable. Everything you learn is probably wrong. Your perspective may be right to you but not to others. Your perspective could one day even become wrong to you.

So explore, and think, and wander, and live and let be. Life is short, and while we’re here, we should explore.

Let’s s’plore it s’more this year!

Cheers!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Don’t Get Stuck in the Workplace Matrix

Work is really important for a few reasons. Firstly, it takes care of our money, which covers our basic human needs (such as food, water, and shelter). Without work, how would we pay for these things?

Secondly, your work life can either help (or impede upon) certain areas of self-development. Primarily, it can give you insight into what makes you happy (or what doesn’t), and can even help you find a sense of “purpose” for your day to day activities.

When you work a 9 to 5, or even a full time 24/7 business owner’s hustle, that takes up a LOT of time over the years (90,000 hours, on average – or 33% of your time).

That means that it’s really important to make what you’re doing meaningful to you – otherwise you may just get trapped in a job you loathe because you become overly comfortable with it.

I worked in the banking industry for a little while at a Credit Union. I love the Credit Union Co-op model – it really is the next-generation of business models and I’m excited to see how many businesses take the co-op route. If you don’t know much about Co-ops, I suggest you check out this site (insert link). It’s the model of the future.

Despite this, I was still unhappy in my work place.

I was surrounded by people who (although wonderful) became glued to their office chairs. Their original plan may have initially been a year in banking. Then it became two, then there may have been a promotion which seemed great at the time, and then three years… Then 10, 12, and upwards.

The downside to this is that there’s only so much you can do in the banking world, only so far you can advance when working up the ranks, before it ends. Of course, the cycle of senior lenders and management and CEOs and CFOs is an ever-spinning wheel (even though it may sometimes be slow), but odds are, people are in that more for the money than the personal experience or bliss it brings them. Maybe it is ideal for some people, and that’s okay.

To others, though, it’s just another societal matrix that we are apt to get caught up in because the “successful” rewards that we gain (raises, promotions, fancier offices, higher level of job security, etc) seem to be what’s important at the time of their offering.

However, I saw people who did not love their jobs. They spent the days wishing for Friday or their next day off, what have you. I think this is normal to a degree, we all like to have time to ourselves, free of pressure, free of responsibility, nothing else needed but relaxation and perhaps some fun… but if you are hating what you do SO much that you wait to be released from it, maybe you are spending 33% of your life without a bigger picture. Maybe you’re too tired or stressed to give affection or attention to your loved ones when you go home. That’s no bueno.

The issue becomes, we forget to have fun if we work in an environment that is draining. We get so caught up in our day to day job tasks that we become a cog in the machine of life – going to work, staying there 9 to 5, making the commute home, cooking dinner, watching tv, cleaning up, going to sleep… And the cycle repeats and repeats and repeats (and then we wonder why we are in such a collective state of angst).

There are lots of perks for staying in the same job for an extended period of time – it proves you to be reliable, a “face” for the place where you work (which customers love), and someone your employer can count on for years. But it can be easy to become “stuck” in that job you hate so much.

I was really afraid of that.

So i ejected myself from the self-destructing passenger’s seat of the banking world and crash landed into the drivers seat of my life. I left that job which seemed to be so dead end (even amidst all the “opportunity” that awaited me) and took on two part time jobs instead of that one full time teller position.

I started working at a food co-op and an Inn & Tavern. I’m surrounded by interesting people all day – people who want to revolutionize the world and who can help me do it too (and I can help them, too, once I get a lil more knowledgable about the matters that need repairing).

I’m frequently delighted by foreign and out of state visitors: people traveling here to ski, or to visit Vermont’s history, or pay homage to their hometown or their families. I’ve heard many stories; stories of covens, suicide, biker gangs, shop-owners and entrepreneurs, tales of Scotland, ancient cannibalism (and why you can’t eat human brains), and the list continues… all in the past two months of my life. Topics which had never been touched on before were suddenly unearthing themselves. I’ve felt that I’ve been growing and changing, and oh-so-happy to be.

I’ve seen tinges of melancholy and relief in aged eyes, been hugged and pondered by curious children, spent dinners with strangers, went for long walks in small cemeteries, opened up to people I hardly know, put myself out there, been vulnerable, been surprised, and have done it all very happily.

I’ve been working 20-30 more hours per week, and have even still been exceptionally happier.

This is because I feel like I’m a part of something greater than myself – not so much a cog in a machine. I’m not a gear turning and spinning and moving and working for something else entirely. I’m in the same place I’ve always been for the time being, but somehow don’t feel stagnated anymore. I can feel growth. It’s warming.

I almost stayed at the Credit Union for much, much longer. It was secure. It was safe.

But I’m really glad I left.

 

There is always another way. You don’t have to be stuck doing something you can’t stand to wake up and go to every morning… And you shouldn’t.

 

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

“Spiritual Awakening” – My Experience

There are many things that have contributed to my soul “arriving.”

By arriving, I don’t mean it appeared out of nowhere. It’s been there all along. It just finally showed its glowing face.

Firstly, and what I want to talk about the most, observation without judgement has been exceptionally powerful in bringing my spirit to the surface.

In 2015 and lots of 2016, I spent most of my mind-time releasing myself from “negative” and “positive” associations to my emotions and reactions. This means that when I felt sad, I trained myself to understand that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just is.

This allowed me to fully open up to them and feel them as they are, raw, without judgement or pushing them away. It was time consuming, difficult, and I often fell back and leaped forward and fell back again into a pattern of negativity, judgement, and contempt.

Back then, I was really good at avoiding the NOW. So I had my eyes forward to a time when my melancholy would dissipate, or when my anger would settle, or my jealousy would creep its way back into nonchalance.

When I made the decision to look at how I felt, and what I did and said without judgement (although that part is still taking some time), I could see my emotions for what they really were – not good, not bad, simply a reflection of how I felt physically and mentally (not to be confused with how I felt soulfully – more on that in a minute).

By seeing my emotions and accepting them as is, I felt the stress of resistance easing off of me, passing by gently, and I discovered a way to be happy amidst all the hustle and bustle of my mind.

Whether it be money, power, fame, love… We are taught how much greener the grass is on the other side by the palm of social media, our parents saying “I wish I could” (all in good heart), and the innate human response to want things – more! More! More!

This type of want, although it is a tool to use for growth and manifesting the life we feel should be ours, is often excessive. Mine was.

I was never happy with where I was. On the map, for example. After a year of college and dropping out after realizing I couldn’t afford it, I moved back to Vermont and jumped into work.

Overwork, sleep deprivation, stress, and depression ensued. It was like my mind wouldn’t shut up.

“There are so many more opportunities elsewhere.”

“I can’t believe you left school.”

“You still don’t have abs, what’s up with that?”

“You don’t have a future here. You’re going to grow old and never make anything of yourself.”

The words of my own self-critic were crippling. I felt entirely useless, and as that progressed, I worked harder to be better. this didn’t work, of course, because the stress and overwork consumed me so much that I had no time to be still or rest. 

This sent my mind on hyperdrive, which sent me into a whirlwind of overwork, which sent my mind on hyperdrive… It really was a vicious cycle of resisting what is.

And then I would settle down and procrastinate, taking too much time to rest, never accomplish anything. I judged myself super hard for this, every time. And so my mind went back on hyperdrive…

This went on for months as I was reeling from low self esteem after leaving college. It seemed I had forgotten everything I taught myself about feelings, and listening to my body, and quieting my mind to simply observe.

In my soul (my heart of hearts, if you will), I always carried poise and gentleness towards myself. My judgements of myself (such as those quoted above) is what clouded that poise and kindness. It never really disappeared, it was blanketed by low self esteem, judgement, and resistance to the now.

The first step to my 2018 Spiritual Awakening was realizing that I was so dreadfully unhappy that it was ruining my relationships, my work, and my rest. My life looked dull, and everything in it. This is something I had never felt before.

The relationship with my boyfriend was falling apart. I would cry in the work bathroom, miserable. I blamed everyone and everything except myself.

I realized it was in my hands, and my hands only, to change my life and turn it around. Instead of sulking on how much time I’d wasted, I made small life changes at first and tapped into my emotions, seeing them without judgement as I had before.

I turned back to meditating, dove into daily yoga, and practiced self care by brushing my teeth again every night (no matter what), drinking herbal teas, brewing kombucha, and giving my time and attention to others while making space for myself. There are many other things I do now to help myself, but I won’t list them all here.

I know there are many people out there who think they should be farther than they are right now. Or elsewhere, or in different company.

I know there are many in the world suffering from depression, anxiety, general sadness and self judgment, and maybe even perhaps dread of life.

Perhaps one of those people is you.

I’m here to tell you with no fear that everything is going to be okay. Maybe meditation and yoga and tea and kombucha won’t fix things for you like it did for me, but everyone has something that helps them, and…

It will never hurt you to give it the benefit of the doubt and give it a whirl… So let your mind be silent.

Start with 3 minutes a day in a quiet place. Then 5. Then 10. The goal is not to rid yourself of thoughts, the goal is to understand that you are not your thoughts. To understand that you can watch them from the sidelines.

Mindfulness can be practiced all throughout the day, by feeling the ridges on the outside of your favorite warm mug, or by making eye contact with your pet and kissing them on the nose, feeling the cold wetness of it.

Perhaps you can feel the soles of your feet on the ground as you walk, or the way the breeze caresses you while you do. Feel the weight of your self on the ground, or maybe the hair on your head.

This will thrust you almost immediately into the present moment, allowing you to clear your mind and also be freed of the pain of resisting.

If I can help the life, or even the day, of one person… This post has done me well.

And if not, I have helped myself, which helps the world.

What we need to learn is that when we help others, we help ourselves, and when we help ourselves, we help others.

Together we can change the world.

 

x

 

 

Photo by David Calderón on Unsplash

 

 

Photo by David Calderón on Unsplash