Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: recap

Flow: Month Five

 

Like I wrote here about my jury duty experience, May was a befitting challenge to my OWL ~flow~ because I spent two weeks in a situation I did not want to be in.

It was all about giving in to reality, like how H told me to float on my back that time we were caught in a rip current, but I didn’t know it, and the waves kept crashing over my head, and my body went into full panic.

Give in to the fact that the house feels like a disaster between moving everything around for the new floors, not being home and not cleaning. It will all eventually get done.

Give in to the fact that some nights it felt too hot to sleep, that the heat wave made us all cranky, that even after jury duty, I had stressful dreams for a while. Turn on the a/c even if it makes us feel like bad people, and get some rest.

Give in to the fact that I couldn’t go see my therapist. Up the self-care & be my own supportive voice.

Give in to the fact that I couldn’t get work done, or didn’t have the energy, or things were taking forever. If it absolutely needs to get done, it’ll get done. If it doesn’t, it won’t.

Give in to the fact that I had to tell people “no” and deal with their reactions. Can’t please them all.

Give in to the fact that I had a ton of energy and wasn’t sure where to put it. Go out for more runs.

And while it seemed the month went by in a blink, I did get two long posts out – one, a blog hop Jill invited me to, and another about climbing outdoors (for the first time). I ran more miles in May than any other month so far this year (and for the past 12 months, only rivaling November 2013. Both months ran for a total of over 40miles). I printed pictures and bought an Instax camera and drank a lot of coffee (which made me happy).

We are deep into binge-watching Game of Thrones (which started me on a Kit Harington/Jon Snow bender) and finally visited with some friends who had a baby. We celebrated H’s 30th birthday. We went to an observatory and I looked into the night sky through a big-deal telescope, and then looked for the light. And I finally got to Joshua Tree, to the desert.

Even when life is stressful, we find our days resemble some sense of vacation because we have the luxury of living in SoCal. Just the other day, as I biked home from a coffee date with a friend, I felt pretty lucky to be where I’m at, jury duty, work, messy house and all. To remind myself, I checked in and refocused.

All of that pent up frustration of having to sit still in a spot I didn’t want to be, seemed to create enough pressure to spring me into an idea-creating frenzy. I am excited to follow that thread. It’s scary how fast May flew by, but lately June is my favorite, so I’m pretty happy to be right here again. Flowing through 2014.

How’s your one little word for the year going?

You can see all of my OLW ~flow~ posts here.

p.s. Mercury, the messenger of the Gods, goes retrograde tomorrow. If there was ever a good time to back-up your files, double-check your work, go with the flow and enjoy the journey, now until July 1st would be a good time.

Advertisements

Flow: Month Four

April was a lot like March, if March was on speed.

The craziness that was the second half of March took over ALL of April.

Traveled to Boston, where I spent a night with my parents, went climbing outdoors for the first time, worked three 12-hour days, had an all-night happier with friends, took the 7am EST flight back (at this point, I was on no time zone what-so-ever), returned to LA to find the entire downstairs of the apartment in upheaval, as H decided he was going to finally change out the floors, with his entire family landing at LAX the next afternoon. Then on to them visiting us for 12 days – including going to Six Flags, Universal Studios, and doing a crazy hike in hot weather – and then packing up and going to Stagecoach country music festival for 4 days.

Whew.

In each circumstance, with each day, came a new reason to go with the flow.

Traveling for work is nothing if it’s not just showing up and doing my best.

Coming home with the expectation that H and I would relax before his family arrived, only to have the apartment in upheaval for the next two weeks, gave me the opportunity to repeat “it’ll get done…and we’ll finally have new floors”.

Staring at a massive pile of stuff in our office while said floors were replaced let me cut myself a break and know that, when I had the energy, I would put it all back together again.

Being whipped around time zones, with no routine, lots of restaurant food and family in town made me listen to my body more. Was I thirsty? Grab a glass of water. Was I tired? Let’s take a nap. Did I need to burn off some energy? How about a run.

Attending a music festival with 60k people and camping off-site meant the control-freak in me could only do so much. I really just had to see what came up next and go with it. With sixty-thousand other people. Haha.

Getting not one, but TWO, flat tires on the drive to the festival gave me the chance to ask for help, hang with my sister (where she took the awesome picture  of me above) and really trust that things would work out.

And y’know what? They did. They do. Over and over again. Things work out, timing makes sense, people stop by, strangers speak up and things I thought were imperative end up being kind of… whatever.

I already wrote this here, but my therapist said it best “Justine. You’re doing really well. You’re just rolling with the punches”.

Crazy thing is, I don’t feel like I’m rolling with the punches – I hardly feel like I’m being punched anymore. Nothing seems that dire right now (and of course, I’m lucky/grateful that’s the case). But it used to be that my car stereo not working could send me into a tailspin, and somehow having two flat tires was, like, nothing. We were safe, we had food and water, we called for help and we figured it out. A total pain, but relatively easy in the grand scheme of my life.

So despite how chaotic my schedule is lately, I am feeling pretty awesome. I know it won’t always be like this, and I def have days where I cry or just want to watch TV and zone out, but I am proud of myself, again, for cultivating a sense of well-being, of confidence that I can figure it out, of trust that things will work out…

For trusting and honoring flow.


Read about how my OLW ~flow~ worked for me in January, February and March. xo

Flow: Month Three

We can sum up March as I’ve finally gotten my energy back and it’s a good thing because I am committed to a shit-ton of stuff.

I know I hardly blogged in March, but that’s OK because 3 months into 2014 and I’ve:

  • Cut back on my drinking
  • Grabbed coffee with a woman I met at the retreat 6 months ago
  • Continued running 2-5x per week, usually 2m at a time with the dog (slooooooow)
  • Started (and become obsessed) with rock climbing at an indoor gym
  • Spoke an an important meeting
  • Traveled to San Diego and Big Bear
  • Hosted 10 events for work, one of which was the most well-attended event for our office ever
  • Attended a conference and a training
  • Took care of our homelife while H took his Comps test and ran the talent show
  • Biked 10m on a hot day to see a best friend as she ran the LA marathon (go Steph!)
  • Wished my mom a happy birthday (with my siblings and the gift of an expensive purse hah)
  • Hung out with another best friend while she visited LA (hi Liz!)
  • Read two magnificent books
  • Had Conan O’Brien talk to me (thanks to a friend I made at the conference, who needed a tour around Abbott Kinney and conveniently wanted to order a hot chocolate from the Toms Shoe store right as Conan also  came in to order a coffee)

So, I’m still going with the flow. Even when I forget that flow is my word for the year – I’m working on a new level of acceptance: This is how things are – an acknowledgement of how something really is and not the half-imagined version my brain would like it to be.

Interestingly, I have no real routine – every week is different – and this will continue for April as I travel and we have family visit. Yet, I’m still functioning fine. Things are getting done, cycles are aligning with the moon, emails get answered…eventually.

I have noticed a bit of multi-tasking manic-ness creeping in. When I read Sas Petherick’s “Calling Bullshit On Multitasking” I laughed out loud. She writes: “When I feel organised, I feel more confident, more in control.”

I get that, and I agree, but I’m also aware this week how much this seems to be my season of high energy, pulling a lot of information in and (possibly soon) creating a lot of product to ship out. My energy is great, my brain feels clearer and my confidence is up. If I was swimming through rapids in January and February, March felt like I finally caught a wave.

Looking forward to riding it for the rest of April.

Flow: Month Two

I think the most important thing about February was that I gave in and, schedule-wise, went with the flow. There was no week that went the same way, Mercury was retrograde, I was hibernating and exhausted, the weather was hot or rainy. We were busy.

It was an odd month for sure and I’m glad it was short.

There were two highlights of the month: learning to rock climb and my 30th birthday.

Rock climbing  is now something H and I do together, at least once a week. We’re still learning, trying different indoor gyms and have yet to climb outside. I’m addicted. H even bought me a harness for my birthday!

My birthday was also wonderful. We went out of town for a ski trip and the next weekend celebrated with a dinner. It was awesome to get some much love the day of and also to feel the fog was lifted and I was back to my self, even if that self was now a year older.

I slept in some, acknowledging that the lack of sunlight in the mornings makes it harder to rise. (Just noticed how bright it was when this morning’s alarm went off – and also realizing Daylight Savings time starts this weekend so it’ll be back to dark in the morning).

We’ve been (binge) watching House of Cards, The Walking Dead and seen a few 3+ hour movies. We saw the Flyers play the Kings at Staples Center. We were both sick for over two weeks with some weird cold that wouldn’t leave. I read The Goldfinch. I cut way back on my alcohol consumption. Not sure I see a difference yet, but I certainly don’t feel worse.

I had more meetings than I possibly could’ve ever wanted, a some frustrations with work, but they all just led me back to the same idea again and again: I have to put my own creativity, my own work, first.

While I forgot about flow a bunch over the weeks, I also noticed it pop up in moments. Like in the pure thrill of a cancelled meeting or the perfect timing of thinking I’m late but it all working out. It seems that life does have an order to it, and if I’m not too busy trying to drive my own order with how things should be, then life shows up and gives me a much grander adventure.

This month was about resting, tucking in and refilling the reserves. I think I accomplished that. And in the past week I’ve found my energy coming back, my drive revving up, ideas flowing again. Ready to move and live this new (astrological) year.

Flow: Month One

Looking back over January, I have one word for myself: proud.

I’m proud that I managed my anxiety with four major events in 21 days, kept up my workload, gave myself space when I needed it and listened to my intuition.

There was the upswing of anxiety with events – planning, preparing, all hurry-up-and-wait.

There was plunging exhaustion with so much adrenaline coursing through me I only slept 8 hours in 2 days.

There was the serendipity of being asked, “What are you proud of?” the day after the last event played off.

That night, getting coconut milk ice cream with these ladies, I experienced a deja vu, only to have the store clerk say “That means you’re on the right path.”

There was Heidi’s advice via Instagram: “lots of deep breathing to help slow your body down. Generous amounts of kindness and compassion for yourself especially in recounting the event and your delivery of it. Listen to your body and do your best to give yourself permission to give it what it needs most. Hang in, Justine. You have a great sense of awareness around your HSP so I trust you will know what you need. 🙂 …the tears are a great sign that you are releasing. The more you can give into them, allow for them, and not judge them, the more peace you will find. Be gentle with your process.”

I gave into the tears, so hot and heaving one morning, I thought they wouldn’t end. And I was gentle.

I shared on Facebook:
This weekend I was the gal in the arena “who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if (s)he fails, at least fails while daring greatly”

I had almost 500 people show up to one event. We had 3 events total. I leaned heavily on my coworkers & husband. I didn’t sleep. I took good care of myself. I laughed with people and almost cried under pressure. Then actually cried in the shower. I chose green juice and then downed margaritas. I answered email from bed, walked the beach and checked Instagram too many times. I was focused, scattered, grateful, pissed and everything in between.

Risk requires vulnerability and vulnerability requires trust & love & really good people in the arena with you. The critics don’t count b/c their not even in the game. Remember that. xo

And then I posted this: Brene Brown – Listening To Shame

I drank too much (again) and took naps at 5pm in the afternoon. I did a ton of work and then soaked in a hot tub. Twice. H and I went to San Diego for a night. I hiked during the day and checked email late at night. I swam in the ocean. I went out on runs with Carter and then took over a week off from exercise because of a terrible cold. And stress.

I started pulling tarot cards – tuning into whatever magic the Universe whispers through signs. I pulled the Eight of Pentacles (focusing on the task) and The World (fulfillment of a grand project) multiple times. It’s become a morning ritual.

Somehow, it is what we’d call a “net win” – coming out at the end of January feeling confident in myself, trusting and moving along with whatever reality brought me.

It truly felt like a month of ebb and flow, week to week, day to day, even hour to hour.

And I was determined to not put my living on hold while I was awash in the anxieties of these work pressures, and I succeeded. I asked for help and received it. I was open to whatever came my way. I risked and was rewarded.

I think I grew more this past month than in other month’s combine. And I’m proud. I went with the flow. I was the girl in the arena. And I dared greatly.

Monthly Nutshell: July 2013

 

Oh July, you were just what I hoped you’d be… my favorite month again. I’m finally feeling better – woooooo-hooooo! I’m thinking the July 4th weekend, and some major quality time with the hubs, are the main reasons.

Especially enjoyed our one year of marriage on 7/7/13. Celebrating it. Reflecting on it.

Sinking into my love of SoCal. Being obsessed with a few things (including the entire Battlestar Galactica series #cantstopwontstop). Seeing the Great Gatsby, changing my routine up to be out the door with Carter early, and taking on a yoga challenge that proved gooooooood for my soul.

Eating s’mores and home-grown basil and tomato.

Carter was a tad upset about the new furniture, but we’re loving it. Spent Sundays in such a good way – at the beach, at the marina.

I made my first scrapbook layout EVER and thought about what I want out of this hobby. And I had a major break-through in my own peace of mind.

We closed out the month with our annual river trip with friends.

Thank you July for all of your magic xo

Monthly Nutshell: June 2013

Boy ‘o boy, do I feel like this past month beat me into submission. Hence not many posts. But then there were lots of posts, thanks to the idea of an editorial calendar (found via Ann-Marie‘s blog, which I am so digging). Like, duh, why didn’t I think of this sooner?! But now that I have, any idea posts go straight into Google calendar and when I have the urge to write, the ideas are all there – both guiding and motivating me, FTW!

So, yeah, June you weren’t the easiest month, but I guess that’s just how these things go.

I remember welcoming you in – and even that day felt a little blah.

We set up the patio garden, finally. And saw a few tiny tomatoes coming in.

There was routine and welcoming summer early.

My parents visited LA – their first trip with all three of us kids living here in SoCal now.

H and I bought new furniture after a raucous day out with friends drinking mimosas. Much to Carter’s dismay, the old furniture was put out on the curb for free.

I tagged along with H to work a few times, up super early to be in Malibu by 8am. This changed up my routine and gave me some much needed ocean communing time (see photo above).

Posted an update about my hair cut, which I am still on the fence about.

Bowled the high score of my life, which included a turkey!

Thought about and posted a Summer Manifesto. Plan to update that as the weeks go on.

And I participated in Day In The Life, which helped me reconcile a few things again. Emotions always churning, life always moving along…

How was your month?? xo

Monthly Nutshell – May 2013

 

This month was kind of a bitch – naht gonna lie. Surprised I even got 14 posts up. There was pretty cool stuff too, so I guess it wasn’t that bad. Could be worse… could always be worse 🙂

But the month did start really shitty. And it’s really all we can ask of ourselves.

Then I felt better. I thought about kindness, especially self-kindness.  And I cleaned the house. We received tickets to a concert (thanks to my sister again!) And snails started appearing, telling me to go slowly. I can’t believe I only posted one snail photo, because I definitely took more than 10.

We put offers in on two houses. I didn’t blog about this. The signs were there though. You can’t beat a black and white photo of Carter Cash.

And then it was Mother’s Day. I wrote my mom this post, even though no one in my family reads my blog (yet – hoping to change that soon). And after more stress of house hunting, H and I hit the beach, as you do.

For some reason, I cleaned more, and then chained myself to my desk for end-of-the-fiscal-year data entry. Carter was not pleased with how boring our days were.

We spent a full day in the sun for the Doheny Blues Festival.

And then, I cut my hair off!

Monthly Nutshell – January 2013

Well, January was quite the introduction to 2013, no?
Here’s my month is a nutshell in case you missed anything.

…said Thank you to 2012 and Welcome to 2013

…wrote nothing is wrong with you, which was more about me telling myself, nothing is wrong with me.

… hiked with my sister (back from her road trip) and we got some epic (puppy) photos.

…(we) celebrated 6 months of marriage. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

Ease found me.

…tried an e-course that isn’t working for me, but I’m saving the emails b/c I think it will soon.

Carter found himself some freedom, accidentally and on purpose.

…read almost three books, experienced a terrible hangover and made pancakes here.

…started my Project Life pages.

…felt impermanence and rituals and time.

…spent time with friends. We experienced a killer of a Monday holiday, up at 5am.

…ran 5 events in 4 days. Then it was done. I practiced self-care. Cafe Gratitude came into my life. I rested some more. There is always an ebb and flow.

…participated in the cultivating courage e-course by Andrea Scher.

Blogiversary ~ 1 Year!

It’s been one year – one crazy year full of life. MY LIFE. The life that I was missing until I started paying attention.

Tonight will be my 86th post…

11 posts in one month is my top. This post will make May 2011 the most productive with 13 posts. I’ve hit 1476 views with 53 views being my busiest day. I have no idea why. Still have yet to really share this with one – you’d think after writing for a year I’d be game to “go public” but I’ve been pretty content to leave it floating in the ether of the interweb.

No full year recap here – what do you think, I’m some professional blogger? No, I’m just too tired. And I want to share my artist date today.

After a dentist appointment, I took myself out for breakfast. Luxury was had with a salmon, cream cheese, onion stuffed croissant and a small latte. I read and wrote, checked email and social media… and basically let myself relax.

Artist Dates always make me feel panic, that I’m doing something wrong and going to get caught. Kind of insane to think I’m almost 30 and still worried about getting in trouble. I’m working on that.

Then that make me feel euphoric – as if the whole of my life is one beautiful line I’m so happy to be strung along.

Breakfast was a celebration – of me, how far I’ve come, how I feel much more content with my life than I used to. My life is full and despite stupid dramas and problems, BIG PICTURE – I’m getting along just fine, thank you.

Ok – a small recap:

May 2010 – started the blog, adopted Carter (April), and started therapy (March)

June 2010 – photography, intentions and DreamLab – trip to Vegas with ring debacle

July 2010 – loneliness, reading “Cleaved” – Grand Canyon river rafting trip

August 2010 – perfectionism, co-dependency, How To Be Alone and producing – trip to MA Convention

(September 2010 – no blog posts, but I did get engaged!)

October 2010 – dream board, Byron Katie, “success” – sister visits

November 2010 – hiking Angels Landing, symbolic spider dream – trip to Utah

December 2010 – #reverb10, work as worth, Emergence / Presence – trip home for holidays

January 2011 – Brene Brown, photography – new job possibilities

February 2011 – uncertainty, anxiety, chicken scratching – happy birthday!

March 2011 – Artist Way – back-to-back family visits, felt really ill / depressed (?), therapy hiatus

April 2011 – finding a rhythm (instead of balance), Hand Wash Cold – official job promotion

May 2011 – bike, intuition, feelings, dreamboard – more artist dates, waiting out job change