Everyday, minimalism

Purr-fect Minimalists

So, I was sitting up at 2am today, thinking (because that’s the hour of the day that my creative juices start to flow apparently).  Before I had gone to bed last night, I was listening to a podcast by The Minimalists and they were taking about dealing with “Unpleasant” things.

I guess I should back up the boat a little and explain just who/what The Minimalists are.  Basically there were these two 20-something year old guys, that one day just had enough of their six figure, corporate job, rat race lives.  One of them, Joshua Millburn, had been faced with some of life’s more horrible un-pleasantries, by loosing his mother to cancer and his wife to divorce, all in one week.  So after life had given him the big F-you he decided to change how he lived his life by learning about Minimalism.  He soon realized that there was no amount of “stuff” that could ever make him (or really anyone) happy.  So it didn’t matter how much money he made, if all he was going to do with it was buy more stuff and in his case, get further into debt for that stuff (go figure right?  Making 6 figures and still in debt).  After downsizing literally everything in his life, including his job, home, wardrobe, use of technology, and then some, he truly realized that he could be happy with less.  His friend and former co-worker, Ryan Nicodemus, noticed in no time that Joshua just seemed happier.  He asked Joshua what his secret was and after explaining Minimalism to Ryan, he too started to downsize his life.  Unlike Joshua, Ryan’s universe already forced him out of his job when he was downsized from the same job that Joshua willing left months prior.  So with life’s little push; so forms the Minimalists.  Now over the past 6 years they have created a website, gone on tour, wrote books and done podcasts all about Minimalism and the joy of living with less.

Now back to what I was doing/thinking at 2am this morning.  I was actually petting my 13-year-old cat, Sammi, that for sometime now insist on sleeping right next to my pillow and purr-furs to have some part of her body pressed up against mine.  She was pretty happy to be getting some loving from me when she very well knew I should be fast asleep.  I got to thinking about her life  (a well taken care of house cat) and Minimalism.

My cat Sam, and her kitty sister Rasberry live the most purr-fect example of Minimalism that I can think of.  I mean honestly, they don’t really have any possession; except for the collar around their neck’s, a litter box that their human-slave (myself) keeps clean for them (most of the time), a heated bed (that Sam tends to hog all for herself), along with a couple of catnip toys.  That’s it.  No mortgage.  No car payments.  No bills to pay or job to go to (although sometimes I don’t think they keep up with their end of the kitty-rent-free deal when they leave me moist, hairy, surprises to step in with bare feet, just saying).  And I can tell you this, they are two of the most happy kitties.  They really have no worries and live a very pam-purred life.  They seem 100% happy in their carefree, minimalist style lives.  They don’t require “things” to make them happy.  They just love living life from day-to-day, soaking up an occasional sun beam or taking in the smells from our raised patio and of course the head scratches from mom and dad.  They don’t need to watch tv or get online to enjoy their lives.  They don’t have iPhones or Amazon accounts.  They live in the moment and flourish off of our love for them.

What a novel way to live.

Once all our basic needs are met (food, water, shelter and in my opinion love) what more do we really need?  I am just starting to learn how to live with less stuff and instead push to live through my experiences and passions.  It’s a hard process.  I’m not going to lie.

Unlike my furry friends, I was not raised to not want things.  Ever since childhood we are consciously and subconsciously, raised to want more.  To want better.  To keep up with the Jones’s in away.  Advertisements are everywhere for the newest, latest, and greatest, must have, things.  Peer pressure is real among children and adults to provide and have nothing but the best for ourselves and our families.  But what does it leave us with?  Latch key kids, whose parents have to work over 60 hours a week to be able to afford the house that is too big, with too much stuff, and too green a lawn to take care of.  Then those kids look for love in the things that their parents can afford to buy for them.  New phones, video games, clothes, cars and so on.  And the cycle starts over.  Maybe this time, the 60 hour work weeks drive these new parents to divorce.  Families are spilt apart rather than growing together.  And all for what????  Stuff.  Stuff, stuff, stuff and more stuff.  Instead of raising our children to feel entitled and devalued, why not raise them to understand that they can never get back time that is lost with their families when they are a slave to their things?  Take them to the park, go on road trips, read together, just spend time together!  Teach them compassion and empathy and above all love.  Self love and a kindness.  Teach them about things that cannot be bought.

Looking back on my own childhood, I do remember having some great Christmas’s and birthday’s.  My parents were not rich by any means but I never went without anything that I can remember and I’m sure I got a lot of great things for these occasions.  But what I remember most is the time that I spend with family and friends during those occasions.  I remember taking walks with my grandmother.  Going swimming at my aunt and uncles house and hanging out with my cousins.  I remember going to the flea market every Saturday morning with my dad or coming home everyday to my mom after school.  During the summer it was fun to hang out at my friend’s house or go swimming.  I always felt loved.  And I always felt like I belonged.  But I honestly could not tell you much about the gifts I received.  Sure I remember a couple of the bigger items (getting a brand new Nintendo back in the 80’s was crazy amazing) but most I don’t even own any longer.  They severed their purpose at that time in my life and now they are gone.  But the things that I wish I could get back are not things at all.  It has taken me a long time to realize this.  And now I hope to move forward in my life knowing this and embracing the time that I have with all the important people in my life.

I mean going back to my cat analogy.  I could leave my two babies alone for a whole day with tons of toys and treats and stuff to keep them occupied, but I can guarantee you that the second they hear me coming to the door they will be on the steps waiting for me to come in and love them.  They will have forgotten about whatever toys are scattered around the floor and just want to have an open lap to lay in.  (I slow blink you too Sammi and Rasberry.)

What it all boils down to is stuff is stuff.  Stuff does not equal love.  Stuff does not fill the holes in our hearts or our souls.  It just gets in the way of what is truly important.  Your passions, beliefs, families, friends, furry babies, goals, adventures, and time that you can never get back.

One of the questions that was asked of the Minimalists during last nights podcast, was, “Is there anything you removed from your life that you now regret that you removed?”  Both Joshua and Ryan’s answers were No.  Actually Joshua’s regret was that when he found out that his mother was deathly ill, he regretted that he had let so much time pass without any contact with her prior.  Granted they had a very rough mother to son relationship (she was an alcoholic and he a latch key kid, both with no money) but at the end of her life he wanted nothing more than more time with her.  I am not sure where I have heard this before, but I believe a lot of nurses and care givers who work at hospice organizations or homes for the elderly all hear the same thing when people are in their finally days.  Everyone just wishes they had more time.  Time.  Time with their family and friends.  Time to go on that trip that they never got around to.  Time to just sit back and enjoy the wonderful life that they had.  Time for more sunsets.  Time for more visits with their children.  So, even though it sounds so cliché, “you can’t take it with you in the end”, couldn’t be truer of a statement.

Another point that was brought up about “regretting something that you removed” was that if you were that attached to a material object that you actually felt it pain when it was gone, then you were probably putting too much energy and life force into that object in the first place.   A set of fine china from your grandparents house, is not your grandparents.  It’s just stuff.  You may remember the times that you ate off of it, maybe at the holidays, but those memories are far more important to have then the box of plates and tea cups that you have stored away in your garage.  Write down those memories.  Blog or journal about those times in your life.  Share the stories with younger family members that may have been too young to appreciate them in the same way.  But let that box of unused stuff go.

Sure, I do understand that everyone has their own personal vise.  Maybe pick out one tea-cup to have just for yourself and then let the rest go.  I know my vise is greeting cards.  Even though I made a promise to myself about a year ago, that I would stop sending/buying greeting cards (because what a big waste when you really think about it, but mom if you are reading this, which I know you are, I will always continue to send  you cards because I know how much you love them) I have kept every single card my mother has sent me since I moved out-of-state over 13 years ago.  I have no idea why, and they just sit in a box in a closet in my condo.  The only time they get touched is when I add another one to the box.  But now when I come to think about the why even more, I realize that this was a learned behavior because I can go to my parents right now and my mom would have a huge pill of cards from my dad and I probably from longer then I have been alive.  I don’t even know if I have ever really asked her why she has kept them all?  Not that there is anything wrong with it, but it may not be the best use of space.  I’m sure when the horrible day comes that my parents are no longer with me, I will find solace with them, but I do try to remind myself that they are just cards; not actually physical extensions of my parents themselves.  I think that is the hardest thing to deal with when deciding what to keep and what to get rid of.  We personify inanimate objects.  We feel like we will be “hurting the feelings” of the object we are trying to part with, because someone we love dearly, gave it to us.  That’s where the real issue lies; in separation of feelings vs what actually is.  That’s what makes it Unpleasant.

Well I have rambled on a lot longer then my original thoughts from my 2am cuddle feast with my cat.  I know it has been quit sometime since my last entry (almost 4 moths, yikes!) but I do hope to be writing more and more as I allow less and less stuff to enter into my life.  I hope you will continue to follow me as I go down the rabbit hole of Minimalism and learn how to find joy in my life from more experiences and less clutter!

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Books, Everyday

The Little Paris Bookshop

The Little Paris Bookshop by:  Nina George

  • Fiction
  • © 2015
  • 392 pages with Readers Guide and other extras
  • Personal rating 3.5/5 stars

Jean Perdu owns a floating bookstore called the “Literary Apothecary” where he “prescribes” people the books he thinks they need instead of the fly by night “smut” that they want to read.  His great advice on life is always found in-between the pages of the books he sells and stands by.

Despite the great advice  Jean offers to other, he comes faced to face with his own demons when a women moves into his build across the hall from him.  She discovers a letter that Jean had not known about for 20 years and soon Jean finds himself faced with the woman from his past and possibly the woman of his future.  Too confused and consumed by the emotional tug of war going on in his brain, he makes a bold move and lifts anchor to sets out on a journey that will force him to face all of his emotions.  He will be joined by an aspiring young author, two cats, and some other new friends they pick up along the way.

This book tells the story of one man’s passage through the stages of grief and loss of love.  Jean comes full circle in a twenty year time span, as he tells the story of a love that he thought he could never feel again.  Even though at times the book seems a little drawn out, I really enjoyed reading it.  There were lots of references to other great literary pieces of work (some of which I purchased and will be reading next) and it paints a beautiful picture of all the little places down stream of Paris as they float along.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“When the stars imploded billions of years ago, iron and silver, gold and carbon came raining down.  And the iron from that stardust is in us today — in our mitochondria.  Mothers pass on the stars and their iron to their children.  Who knows, Jean, you and I might be made of the dust from one and the same star, and maybe we recognized each other by its light.  We were searching for each other. We are star seekers.”  – Manon to Jean Perdu, page 136

“Women tell you about the world.  Men only tell you about themselves.”  Cuneo page 193

“To carry them within us – that is our task.  We carry them all inside us, all our dead and shattered loves.  Only they make us whole.  If we begin to forget or cast aside those we’ve lost then… then we are no longer present either.”…….”All the love, all the dead, all the people we’ve known.  They are the rivers that feed our sea of souls.  If we refuse to remember them, that sea will dry up too.”  thoughts of Cuneo and Jean, page 226-227

“Do we only decide in retrospect that we’ve been happy?  Don’t we notice when we’re happy, or do we realize only much later that we were?”  Jean to Samy, page 252

“Perdu chuckled.  It’ amazing how close you are to your essential self as a kid, he thought and how far from it you drift the more you strive to be loved.”  Jean pondering something Samy had shared with him, page 254

 

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Everyday

Turn turn turn

Fall, the autumn equinox.  The changing of the seasons.  I’ve had some major changes occur as I have watched a year of seasons go by. Sometimes change can be difficult to deal with.  Sometimes it can be a time to rejoice, but it is inevitable and no matter what we have to remember to keep moving forward.

Last winter marked a time of loss and of letting go for me.  I lost, what I thought was, my “dream job” and it was very devastating.  It made winter feel very sad, quiet, and depressing at times.  I mean what was I going to do now?  I had planned on making some changes in my life at the beginning of the year, but that was all under my own control.  With this happening the way it did, I felt a complete lack of control which became very hard to deal with.  This change, this ending of a season of my life, filled me with feelings of uncertainty, anger, fear, grief, and sadness.  It was hard for me to see any of the good that would come from it.

For the first time in my marriage I really had to let my husband take the wheel and be our sole provider.  We were not destitute by any means but I felt a little less value in myself because I was not giving back to our family.  He reassured me over and over that it would be fine and that all he wanted from me was to take some much-needed time off and to do the things that I loved.  That was hard at first.  I mean the things that I loved were not going to pay our bills or put food in our mouths.  I was very out of my comfort zone.  Plus there were days that I had a very hard time getting over the anger and sadness inside of me.

Winter changed to spring and spring brought a glimmer of new beginnings as I started to rediscover myself.  I have always enjoyed writing and recently had discovered a pull towards photography as well.  I have had this blog on and off for years but never really had the time to commit myself to it.  So I dove into writing almost immediately. I made sure to write almost every day.  I joined a “No Spend” challenge and had shared my progress, which helped to hold me accountable for writing something everyday.  I also found myself writing about my feelings and my running and my choice to be vegan.

When I opened myself up to the universe in this way, the universe gave back.  I had followers!  Actual people who wanted to read my blog.  I was putting something out there that in whatever way, shape, or form someone else found a use for.  That was very awesome feeling.  I also had all the time that I needed to sign up for and take 4 different photography sessions.  I learned the basics, the not so basics and about Abode Photoshop and Lightroom.  I love learning and I loved being creative.  I also loved connecting to a hobby that my father had the same interest in.  It felt like it was natural for me to have a connection to a camera because its presence was always there as I was growing up. Creativity was always a part of my life when I was younger as well.  Over the years I had forgotten that.  Life always had away of showing up and pushing creativity farther and farther away.  And when you start to disconnect from something like that, I think  you start to disconnect from your true self.

Summer came in shortly after and everything was just starting to get heated up.  I was starting to realize that what happened in the past was just that; the past.  I had started to learn to let go and really take in everything that I loved.  I went to the gym more.  I read more books then I had read in a long time.  I had forgotten the joy in that.  I had even found myself the perfect part time job within walking distance of my house.  I made greater connections with my friends and family.  And I shared a lot of it right here on my blog.  I really started to understand the force in allowing yourself to be yourself and not worry about what anyone else thought of you or your life style.  I am blessed to have a wonderful home, a husband and parents who love me for me, two fur babies that have been through everything the last 13 years has thrown at me, great friends, good health, a great new job and so much more to look forward to.

Winter changed to spring, spring into summer and now here I am, almost a full year later; entering into my favorite season of them all.  Fall.  For me fall is my time of rebirth.  I know that seems backwards but I have always lived in a hot climate so when the cooler nights and milder days start to roll in I feel sheer bliss.  It means the start of running season.  Pumpkins and fall festivals.  Hoodies and hot tea.  Everything that makes me feel warm and toasty and loved.

It also means that I have come full circle from last winter.  It’s amazing how true the statement “a year from now, this will seem like nothing” is.  When you are suffering within a hard time, it can feel like you are drowning.  Like nothing will ever be the same and the sadness will consume you.  But time literally does heal all wounds.  From time to time I still find myself annoyed with the past but not like I used to be.  I literally used to have bad dreams and ill thoughts that could spin me into a sad, dark, place.  I would let my anger consume me to the point of exhausting tears.  But I have come to terms with those circumstances.  The door that slammed shut allowed me to see down the hallway of new possibilities.  I no longer focus my energy on that closed door.  Instead I walk from (new open) door to door and allow myself to feel free.

 

 

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Books, Everyday

29 Gifts

29 Gifts:  How a Month of Giving can Change your Life by Cami Walker

  • Self help/Memoir
  • © 2009
  • 226 pages
  • Personal rating 4/5 stars
  • Website for 29 gifts challenge

Cami Walker’s book will make you want to get up and find someone to share a gift with.  This was the feeling I got when I was only on day 4 of the 29 days of giving.  I literally had tears in my eyes and my heart opened up to the idea of joining this wonderful challenge myself.

Cami starts off the book in a rather desperate state of mind.  Only in her mid-30s, she has been battling with MS for some time now and it has taken a turn for the worst.  She is in pain all the time.  She depends on her newly married husband for almost everything and is depressed that she doesn’t feel like a part of society any longer because she doesn’t have the strength to work like she used to.  But all that starts to change when she has a meeting with her spiritual guide Mbali Creazzo.  Mbali is originally from South Africa, moved to England when she was a child and now resides in Oakland, CA and works as a spiritual healer.  She was Cami’s next-door neighbor and wound up being her lifesaver.  When Mbali prescribed the 29 Gifts challenge (an African ritual) to Cami a whole new way of life opened up before her.

The 29 Gifts challenge was simply giving a gift, selflessly and effortlessly, for a 29 day span.  If you forgot a day or if you had to put too much thought into what to give or to whom, you had to start over at day 1.  The gifts did not have to be physical objects but did have to come from a place of love and kindness.  Also in order to deepen the connection, the giver is to journal about each day’s gifts and experiences.

Each chapter in the book covers a new day.  As more days of giving go by, Cami starts to understand why such a challenge was presented to her.  Things begin to change in her life.  Her health, her relationship with others and just her overall wellbeing begins to transform.

I really enjoyed this book and immediately wanted to learn more about the challenge through Cami’s website.  It’s contents make you look at life and the people you share everyday with (strangers or loved ones) in a different light.  And it goes a little deeper into the idea that the universe with provide for you if you open up to it and embrace it selflessly.  I highly recommend it to everyone and anyone.  Of course a person facing a difficult time in their life would seem like the ideal reader but honestly we all could learn something from simple, random acts of kindness.

 

 

 

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Books, Everyday

You are a Badass

You are a Badass:  How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life by Jen Sincero

  • Self help
  • © 2013
  • 254 pages
  • Personal rating 3.5/5 stars

To be honest I can’t remember where or how I found this book.  It might have been suggested to me based off of other books I had purchased or it may have been cited in another book I read.  I have read a lot of self-help books over the years.  Not because I am a hot mess, but let’s face it, we could all use a little help when it comes to growing into the best known version of ourselves.  Many of us walk around with fear and self-doubt, day in and day out.  Plus I have always been fascinated with the mind and psychology in general.

I think the thing that did grab me most about the book was the title itself.  It made me think, “well this Jen Sincero person talks like someone I could relate to”.  And Jen does a great job of being just that all throughout the book.  She takes the psychology out of self-help and talks to the reader at a level that they will respect, understand and sometimes laugh out loud at.  She refers to the Ego as the “Big Snooze or BS” and spirituality as the “Source Energy”.  Jen does refer to the “Universe” in away that reminds me of the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne but in a rough around the edges sort of way.

Basically we are all in control of our own lives and our own destinies but it is also up to us to get off our asses and get ahold of our subconscious mind because it’s what truly runs the show called our life.  She reminds the reader that we are all human and that as humans we all want to strive to be the best we can be and that what we have learned in our childhoods may not be who we really want to be.  Not that your parents and peers meant you any harm, but that they too were raised and experienced life with unrealistic thoughts full of fear, self-centeredness, and BS.

Jen has the book broken down into 5 parts and each one goes over very important roles and steps that need to take place in order to reach our full, badass, potential.  She explains how we became the way we currently are and how to deal with and defeat fear and self loathing thoughts and actions.  At the beginning of each chapter she has a line or two from a famous person, leader, or guru and she lists what they are known for and how she, herself, perceives them.

Jen provides steps and exercises to learn and practice in everyday life.  She also highlights some of the key ideas to grasp from each chapter.  Here is an example of one of the exercises I found assuming and very easy to grasp:

“Right now, look around wherever you are and count the number of things you see that are red.  Take about a minute and count them all.  Now stop, look back at this page without taking your eyes off of it, and try to think of everything around you that’s yellow.  There’s probably a ton of yellow, but you didn’t see it because you were looking for red.” page 136-137

Jen also reminds the reader, that above anything else that you could read or learn from her book is, to always love yourself.  She closes almost every chapter with that reminder and a little passage that relates back to the chapter you just finished.

I gave the book 3.5 stars because it was one of the better self-help books I have read, but it did go over a lot of the things that I have already read.  I would recommend it to a first time, self-help reader as oppose to someone who has taken any classes, been to any seminars or read a good deal about it before.  It would also be a good read for someone looking for guidance but not in a “fluffy bunny, it’s going to be a bright sunny day” way.

 

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Books, Everyday

My grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry

My grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry By Fredrik Blackman

  • Fiction
  • © 2015
  • 372 pages
  • Includes reader club questions at the end (Would be a great selection for a book club.)
  • Personal rating 3.5/5

This is the second book from the author who wrote A Man Called Ove and Blackman doesn’t disappoint here either!  I absolutely love his writing style and really hope that he continues to produce such wonderful fiction!

Basically the book is about the relationship that a 7-year-old (almost 8) little girl named Elsa, has with her crazy Grandmother that everyone refers to as “Granny”.  They share a very special bond and even have their own special world called “The Land of All Most Awake” with its own secret language and everything.  This is where Elsa and Granny go when things in life just don’t seem fair.

Elsa is an extremely intelligent and perceptive little girl, which makes her “different” among her peers and we all know how mean kids can be when you are “different”.  But her Granny always reminds her (in her own crazy way) to embrace who she is and to always stay unique!  Throughout the book Elsa is faced with some pretty grown up scenarios but she gets through them all with a little help from the charters in the Land of All Most Awake.

The more you read about the characters, the more you will discover about the people who Elsa shares her life with.   When I very first starting reading the book I had a hard time keeping everything straight in Granny’s and Elsa’s secret world.  The stories that Granny would tell her reminded me of something from the Never-ending Story and sometimes it was hard to remember who everyone was.  As I kept reading, somethings stuck and made sense and somethings didn’t.  I would urge any other reader that may face these same struggles to keep reading because it will all start to make sense in the end.  And when it does, you will realize what a wonderful Grandmother Elsa actually has and how many people she has touched throughout her life.

The only reason this book did not get a 4/5 is because it was hard for me to follow at times. I’m sure there are other readers out there that will have no problems at all with it and if that is you, then it defiantly deserves that extra half point!  Blackman has one more book published called:  “Britt-Marie Was Here“.  Britt-Marie was a character in “My Grandmother asked….” and I am assuming this book will be a spin-off about her life.  I am defiantly looking forward to reading it as well!

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Everyday, Fitness, Running

Yoga, sweat, and tears

I went to the 5:30am yoga class this morning because I love the woman who teaches it.  But fate had another plan for me and instead of our usual instructor, the woman who instructs on Tuesday morning’s was filling in.  I have done her class quite a few times, but her style wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, so it had been awhile since I had seen her.  Don’t get me wrong, she is a great instructor, I just have a different idea of what yoga is supposed to look like for me.

She began the class (actually before the class even officially started) with a mediation.  Normally during meditation you are supposed to try to completely clear your mind.  If a thought comes into your head, you can acknowledge it and then let it pass.  This morning was a little different and instead of clearing your mind she wanted you to picture yourself where you would like to be 6 months down the road and put yourself into that space.  If you pictured yourself on a beach vacation, then you should be thinking about what the sand between your toes feels like.  It wasn’t about picturing yourself getting there, it was about already being there and what it felt like.  Like a child that is using it’s imagination.  Children don’t think about what it will be like in 6 months when they go to the beach, they try to act out what it is like at the beach right now.

I was having a hard time putting myself in a place that I wanted to be.  That made me a little sad because it made me realize that maybe I don’t really know where I want to be?  Moving on from that meditation, our instructor began to talk about acknowledging our feelings and owning up to them.  Like if you are happy, then you would say “I am _____, and I accept that I am happy”.  Too many times we do not realize how we are feeling and we definitely don’t embrace all of our feelings equally.  It’s great to feel happy, excited, in love, proud and so on; but what happens when we are sad, scared, depressed, or lonely?  We tend to turn our heads, and most importantly, our hearts the other way and don’t allow ourselves to own those feelings.  And when we don’t own those feelings, they tend to manifest themselves into other, negative, non-productive thoughts in our lives.  We take things out on the wrong people or at the wrong times.  We get so angry or desperate and we point the finger in the wrong direction.  Owning these feelings makes us point the finger back right at ourselves and that can be uncomfortable.

Later on in our class our yogi began to talk to us about our parents and how as adults sometimes we want to try to change them.  And when we can’t change them, we get upset and we may distance ourselves from them because we are mad.  But as she stated earlier, we tend to not want to own up to our angry feelings.  Why are we really mad?  Then she started to talk about how our mother’s provided us with everything we needed for the first 9 months of our lives.  Not only did she keep us safe and nourished but she provided us with all the feelings she was feeling.  And she loved us and accepted us for who we were and would be from the very beginning.  She never wanted to change us, only ever wanted what was best for us.  Only offered love for us and did it completely selflessly.

Ok so by now I was in tears.  I was so glad that for some reason today the room was a little less crowded and a little darker than usual because I hadn’t, until that very moment, accepted that “I am Ashley, and I accept that I am sad and/or a little depressed”.  I truly already knew this in my heart.  I knew it when I talked about it in therapy with my husband just two days prior.  I’ve known it for maybe a couple of weeks now.  I just haven’t been feeling like myself and I have been in a funk that has been draining at times and sometimes just sad.  But once I accepted this, just this morning, I already started to feel just a little better.  I realized that it was ok to feel this way.  That these feelings do not define me as a person, but are just a season in my life.  And seasons always change.

I miss my mother (sorry mom and please don’t cry).  I hate the years that go by that I don’t get to be with my parents as often as I would like.  I think about it how it will be when they are gone, and all this time will seemed to be wasted.  Time that I could have spent with them.  Sometimes I hate, that I really love, where I currently live.  I wish that I hated it here so that I would want to move back home.  But I know that I wouldn’t be as happy if I did.

Right now I hate the summer.  I feel like I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) but in reverse.  I long for the fall and winter months.  I hate being outside when it’s hot and sticky.  I miss running.  I want to go and run in the cool, crisp air.  Sometimes I even think I miss the routine that came with working 40 hours a week.  I miss my husband at times, even when he is right next to me.  And I get sad when he worries about me being sad and he feels helpless and doesn’t know what to do.  I worry about losing everyone that is important to me and in-turn being alone.  I am scared that I feel this way.  But I am willing to accept these feelings and work through them.  I want to be able to picture myself as happy, but I don’t really know exactly what that looks like right now.  But I know that doesn’t mean anything is wrong with me.

So I left my yoga class feeling a little lighter.  Realizing that it is ok to feel the way I do and that I shouldn’t let it worry me or bring me down.  Even though the morning didn’t start as planned it ended with meaning.  After that I went and ran with my best running buddy.  It was warm and sticky and hard, but I was glad I did it.  We both were.  I am looking forward to tomorrow because we are going out shopping and to lunch for her birthday.  I like spending time with her and that makes me happy.  After I left her house a really great song came on the radio; John Lennon’s My Sweet Lord.  I was just about to turn right and head back home but instead I got on the toll road, and with the windows down and the radio up, I just drove.  That felt good.  That made me happy.  I continued to scroll through more great songs that I loved.  I broke the speed limit a couple of times I’m sure, but I felt at peace in my car, behind the wheel.  I wanted to drive for a lot longer.  I wanted to go until I just didn’t want to any longer.  But life has away of bringing us back to reality so I eventually turned around and headed back home.

And now I’m here, sharing all my thoughts with the world.  And that too makes me happy.  I’m sorry if this post kind of jumped from thought to thought, but sometimes you just have to get it all out, even if it isn’t as pretty as you would like.  I’m sure there are those of you out there that know exactly how I feel.  And some of you may think I am just a crazy rambling fool this morning.  Or maybe one of you is feeling scared to accept your feelings and I can only hope I helped you to realize it’s not that scary once you get going.  In the end we are all alright.

3.1 miles 77 degrees at 8am

  • Overall time 30:42
  • Average pace 9:53
  • Splits 10:14, 10:05, 9:27
  • Average candence 174

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