Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: self-care

#30daysofdresses – day 8

The heatwave continues to it’s uncomfortable rule over the city. Luckily, this dress is made for hot, hot heat.

I originally bought this dress for my engagement dinner July 2010 (same trip as this story) and I’ve worn it a ton since then. Again, no bra required, loose and cool to wear, and super flattering.

Plus, the pattern is my favorite thing ever.

I wore this on Monday, and while it was a very successful day of work, I still can’t shake this feeling of major blahs. Or frustration. Or upset-ness.

Whatever you want to call it – it feels unshakable – waking up rested and then the anxiety seeping in as I realize I have to get out of bed and go about my day. Feeling happy and then not. Worrying that I’m not fun, I’m not easy-going, I’m too emotional.

Mercury retrograde, heat wave, full moon, hormones, anxiety, big work event, feeling responsibly for everything, f-ing fleas on the dog, carrying around ridiculous expectations of people who probably don’t even think about me, and certainly not with the knife-cutting precision that I dissect each action I take.

It’s a lot.

I can say that the dress helped. It makes me feel comfortable in my skin. It feels powerful and sexy and comfortable all at the same time. It’s a good friend to have on days like these.

Because I can’t seem to process this enough to articulate it right now, I’ll leave you with Jill’s words from What I Don’t Want To Talk About:

My life rehab started with the simple wish to “be a better friend to myself.” Not to be a better person, not to become successful or accomplish things and make stuff, but to practice maitri — loving compassion towards the self. I have a strong sense that right now that means two things: to accept help, to seek out connection and community, and to be gentle with myself.

Today I rollerbladed 3m alone. I went to the library and carried home an armful of books. I’m writing this blog post. I exercised, got dressed and made the calls I needed to for work. I wrote morning pages and wiped the kitchen counters clean. And during all of that, I felt happy.

And then there’s the overwhelm of emails, the aggravation of the flea problem, the pressure of work events, the feeling like I’m completely alone in all of it. And that I’m being unreasonable (where did I even pick that up?).

I know I’m a better friend to myself than I used to be, but the relationship still hits major bumps in the road. And all I can keep returning to is truly and absolutely doing what I want to do, emotions, feelings, thoughts and all. Loving compassion for myself. Accepting help and seeking connection.

Being gentle with myself.

Dress and flip-flops are both Kohl’s from ~4 years ago.

Advertisements

Doing What I Want To Do

Blissed out after rock climbing at the ocean

Last week, I felt like crap. I was feeling awesome for over a week (energy was way up) and then, major blahs.

Anxiety, crying, low energy.

After all of these years, I can’t seem to find exactly what causes these downshifts. For someone so type-A, driven and focused, feeling like crap for multiple days in a row is a huge blow to my confidence.

On the surface it feels like something simple – putting too much pressure on myself with work, not getting enough rest, H not helping around the house, people driving like morons, hormones – you name it, it feels like the general cause of my stress. I assume I can ride it out for a few days, but when it takes over more than a week, it starts to feel insurmountable.

I’m learning that it’s complicated. And I’m learning if it’s normal for me, than it’s normal.

It’s about my innate power – my own abilities and the energy they require. How I can be so tuned into other people and yet get lost in the static of overwhelm. It’s about being highly sensitive. It’s about the ebb and flow of energy.

While there doesn’t seem to be an exact cause, there are a few things that seem to help pull me back to the filled up, happy person I always want to be. Listing them here in case they help you, and as a marker for myself the next time I’m way down in the muck.

Sleep
Overwhelm, exhaustion, an empty tank – whatever you want to call it – getting more sleep seems to brighten my moods. More than a usual 7-8hrs. We’re talking 10hrs over night or a solid 3hr nap. I know this may not sound “reasonable”, but I’m learning I need to trust myself in what I need, and if that’s 8hrs of sleep and then a 2hr nap later that morning, so be it.

Diet
Eating healthy helps, obviously, but lately a few things really throw me off. I’ve lost any interest in alcohol, (which is better than the opposite) and when I do have a drink, I feel miserable. It wrecks my sleep and ruins my mood the next day. Coffee, even decaf lattes, seem to both up my anxiety and make me incredibly sleepy. So I’ve been sticking to tea and chai lattes for my hot drink fix.

Work
Clearly I’m one of those people that care just a bit too much about work, my bar for excellence far exceeding other people’s. So last week, I took a day off. An entire day where I left my phone at home and did something fun. Another afternoon, I spent sitting with a friend at her pool, relaxing in quiet before I hosted a work event (where I was “on” for 5hrs straight). Making sure my reserves were refueled or even topped-off before I needed to pull from them is definitely something to schedule in in the future.

Input
When I’m feeling anxious, I tend to check social media a lot, mindlessly taking in information via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and websites. It feeds the feeling that I’m doing something productive with my energy, but I’m not. At all. So, I stop. I ignore texts, drive without music, go for runs without podcasts, turn off the lights in my apartment, turn off the TV, stop checking email often and choose carefully who I spend my time with. It may seem extreme to people who don’t feel the way I feel, but it really does help me bounce back.

Change Of Pace
Getting out of my normal morning > work > homelife routine also helps. Clearly, the euphoria of travel is partially being away from my responsibilities – all of those shoulds (true and made up) I let run rampant in my head. Last week, H and I went climbing at Point Dume again. This gave me quality time with him, a challenge to rise to (I climbed really, really well) and an evening at the beach. All of these things shift my perspective away from work / pressure / unhappiness back to loving my life and feeling like a badass.

Creating
There seems to be this correlation between not creating and feeling like shit. I was able to get some creative time on Friday night and Saturday – writing a blog post, shooting some photos, and playing with paper. I also made time to write morning pages, which have fallen out of my routine. Another way to refuel and top-off the energy reserves.

Self-care
All of the above falls into self-care, but the mental shift that seemed to take place last week was one of going from feeling trapped / exhausted / anxious to feeling OK with how I was feeling – allowing myself to feel it, talk about it, accept it and do what I not only needed to do to help myself, but actually what I WANTED to do.

And isn’t that the crux of it all – doing what I want to do? Why is that so difficult? And yet, it is. It’s the one thing that makes me the happiest, and it’s the thing I struggle with the most.

I mean, I started this blog and called it Allowing Myself because that is the skill I need to keep learning over and over. To allow myself. Last week was just another version of it. And each time, I get a little better at it – I move through it with more confidence and grace – even if it seems like there won’t be a light at the end of the tunnel, there is. Every time.

So maybe this week we could all practice a little bit. Tune into that little voice that suggests something that would boost our energy or even make us downright blissed-out, and choose that thing. Allow yourself any of those things you think aren’t reasonable to want, the thing that feels like “oh, that must be nice” but isn’t in your reach – and do that thing.

Let yourself do what you want. And I’ll be doing my best to do the same.

xo

Not Responsible For Other People’s Success

We know that I care a lot about self-care. That self-care seems to be the best way for me to make myself happy, to have enough energy to deal, to feel my feelings and to be present in my days. I think a lot about how, when my reserves are low, I feel like a screaming 4 year old. And if my reserves are high, I feel like Superwoman.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been dealing with anxiety. It’s coming from feeling really out of control with my salaried job and from not having enough down time, even with vacation.

I’ve spent the past 6+ months feeling like “life is steam-rolling me and going with the flow is gonna get me sucked out to sea.” And I wrote about wanting to make a change. To create boundaries and understand what my priorities are, instead of just going with the next thing…and the next thing… and the next thing.

It seems that, to dig out from the back log, to create space, to feel in control, I needed a new tool.

So, I’ve started saying No.

It began with the hand-to-heart practice that Heidi taught me. That little action began to give me pause.

Then, I decided to clear my meetings for the next few weeks. Meetings take up tons of energy for this introvert, they suck up time and create even more work. I needed a buffer. I needed to go through the back-log from months of chaos. I needed to feel relieved and focused when I woke up, not dread.

Then, I listened to Tiffany Han on Elise’s podcast (episode 17) where she speaks about taking a social media break, being bored, and saying no.

“You are not responsible for the success of anyone else’s business endeavor…people need to be strict preserves of their sanity, because no one else is going to look out for you. Cuz no one else cares that much, honestly. We’re all trying to do our own thing.”

What?!

I am not responsible for other people’s success?

Of course I’ve heard this before, but for some reason, Tiffany’s no bullshit attitude coming through my headphones was like a sermon. I felt the grace of good advice run through me.

Because that’s how I feel. Often. That I am responsible for everything. And to start saying no, to separate myself from other people’s needs, to create some space to think about how I feel and what I want – this has felt like a game changer.

So, I said no.
No, I don’t want to go to Six Flags.
I don’t want to leave my apartment.
I don’t want to cook tonight.
I don’t want to host that event that maybe only 10 people will show up to.
I don’t want to stay up late.
I don’t want a glass of wine.
I don’t want to travel for work right now.
I don’t want to meet up on a Saturday.
I don’t want to go on a 10m hike.

These things are all awesome in the general context of life. I am not turning down bad things, if anything, I am saying no to things that seam unreasonable to say no to. But, it has to be done.

Because each time I said no to one of these items, I created space for downtime, for refueling, for quiet.

(We know, I need so much downtime to function.)

But also, each time I said no, I was able to say yes to something awesome too. Going to the beach for lunch, going for a run alone, meeting a friend for coffee, spending time with H, working on a cool project, blogging, reading. Or doing nothing. Things that refuel my reserves. Things that I deem worthy of my time. Things that matter to me.

So – as the deep summer is upon us – I encourage you to say “no” to something this week. Open up some space in your life. Maybe it’s something you hate, or something you said yes to once before and now feel obligated to keep it up. Maybe it’s something where the other person will be disappointed or you’ll feel guilty. Go listen to that podcast and try out that two-letter word. No.

Because you are not responsible for the success of anyone else.

You can be selfish, in the very best way. You can say No.

Hand To Heart

“Knowing we can create a safe space for ourselves, no matter where we are or how we feel, is a gift that will last the rest of your life.”
~Susannah Conway

It started with a simple suggestion from Heidi Taylor. That I could put my hand on my heart*, breathe in an observation (usually an unhappy, panicked one of overhwhelm) like “I don’t know how to deal with these emails” and then breathe out a response (usually a productive, supportive and self-loving suggestion) “sort them by sender, set a timer and take them one at a time”.

This practice of breathing with my hand to my heart started to create space around my responses to things. It gave me a way to acknowledge what I’m feeling and to self-soothe. Game changer.

I’ve also started meditating – short little guided meditations from Susannah Conway’s The Sacred Alone. I signed up for the class months ago, but never participated in real time. I try to do them when I wake up, between drinking some water and writing my morning pages.

These practices spilled over into my free time. I chose to go without any music or podcasts during a few of my commutes and a few 2m runs. One night, I laid down on the floor in our office, in the dark, and just watched the sky. A few days I didn’t check Twitter at all. I started reading a new book. I took my lunch break at the beach & stared at the waves.

With my anxiety up a lot the past few weeks, it’s been really amazing to have these physical practices of both self-soothing with my hand to my heart and sitting still for a few minutes while meditating. Both get me more into my body and out of my head, where the anxieties tend to grab their fuel. Making the conscious decision to limit the input/output of my days only creates more space.

It seems that what I’ve been craving is space. Safe, open, calm space. And space + noticing seems to equal presence. Because I don’t want to miss my one precious life. I want to live it.

*Heidi will tell you she found this practice via Kristin Neff.

**I highly recommend this hand-to-heart practice. Go on. Give it a try xo

 

 

Jury Duty, Obstacles and Light

May wasn’t what I thought it would be and by that, I mean, completely steam-rolled by jury duty.

I’d just spent 6 weeks traveling for work and fun, having H’s family in town, and a major DIY of changing the floors in our apartment. I was looking forward to May being a full month at home where I could catch up on both work and personal things.

I knew I had jury duty scheduled the first full week of May, so I cleared my schedule prepared to be there all week.

First of all, listening to people say shit to get out of jury duty is its own kind of hell. They are difficult and say weird things, completely frustrated with each other and “the system”. Each time someone extra defensive was dismissed, I assured myself that at least I wouldn’t have to sit through deliberation with them.

My friend Steve texted me and said that this was an opportune chance to practice all of the self-care practices I’d developed in the past few years. He was right, of course, but that doesn’t mean I liked it. It took every self-care practice I could remember – making sure I got enough sleep, drinking enough water, taking every break the bailiff offered us, not putting sugar in my tea, not indulging in crappy food (like when the only woman preventing us from a unanimous decision brought in Randy’s Donuts. apsht.).

I even wore a temporary tattoo by Kal Barteski to have a constant reminder – this was temporary, we did not have to agree, it wasn’t my responsibility to make everyone get along, and I was OK. (Things I repeated to myself over and over again.)

The first few days of jury selection, I kept to myself, read a book during the breaks, and saw it as a socially acceptable excuse to skip out on real work. An excused absence. I would catch up on email when I returned. It was only a week.

By the third day of jury selection, I took to staring at the pattern of my dress and zoning out.

Then, out of nowhere it seemed, I was assigned to the jury panel, and sworn in so quickly I didn’t realize what had happened. That was it? I was done and now committed to the jury?? WTF.

The actual trial was interesting and boring. Yes, both. I resigned myself to the process – I had no idea how long anything would take or what the schedule was like – just that I had to show up at 11am each day and was allowed to leave at 4:30pm each afternoon. Again, an excellent break from work – I was trying to enjoy this weird doldrum development of my weeks, since I didn’t have a choice. Like Byron Katie says – if I was supposed to be somewhere else, I would’ve been somewhere else.

We were told it would be an 8-day trial but as time went on, different random things happened that pushed it later and later. We started late two different days b/c a juror had a doctor’s appt and then misunderstood what time we were called to show up. We ended slightly early a few days b/c of a lawyer wanting time to share whatever argument they planned.

On and on it went, for 8 days, and on the eighth day we just begun deliberation. My spirit was sinking.

Thankfully we had an amazing forewoman who was able to organize all the info, take charge calmly and quietly, and lead us as a group.

Unfortunately, we had one woman who would never budge on certain issues AND we needed a unanimous decision.

Turns out, I am not cut out for sitting in a room with 11 other people while they argue.

But that wasn’t the hardest part. It was the not knowing how long I would need to be in that room with those people that was the real struggle.

This was the first time I had to show up somewhere, on someone else’s schedule, and do things I didn’t want to do – in a very, very long time.

This was not a relaxing experience.

This was not a positive experience.

But it was an experience.

After the first full day of deliberation –  6+ hrs of sitting in a room and hearing people argue – I came home completely wiped out. Any HSP will tell you this is the sort of day that will break you. My adrenaline ran high, I felt so goddamn frustrated with people in general, and I couldn’t fathom having to do this for more days without an end in sight.

That night H made frozen pizza and we watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  And I slept like a rock.

An LA heat wave struck that week – which made it difficult to be outside on our breaks and seemed to fry everyone’s nerves even more. Burnt. Frayed. Frazzled.

I started jury duty calmly accepting my sentence. I would suffer quietly and productively b/c this is a requirement of being a citizen and I had a duty to perform.

And then as it became more and more obvious this was not the place or the people for me, this was not what I would choose given the option, I started to panic…

I wish I’d found this poem during those two weeks b/c it would’ve helped so much. But instead, I found it the weekend after I was free from my civic duty, shared by Jill.

Because Even the Word Obstacle is an Obstacle
Try to love everything that gets in your way:
the Chinese women in flowered bathing caps
murmuring together in Mandarin, doing leg exercises in your lane
while you execute thirty-six furious laps,
one for every item on your to-do list.
The heavy-bellied man who goes thrashing through the water
like a horse with a harpoon stuck in its side,
whose breathless tsunamis rock you from your course.
Teachers all. Learn to be small
and swim through obstacles like a minnow
without grudges or memory. Dart 
toward your goal, sperm to egg. Thinking Obstacle
is another obstacle. Try to love the teenage girl
idly lounging against the ladder, showing off her new tattoo:
Cette vie est la mienne, This life is mine,
in thick blue-black letters on her ivory instep.
Be glad shell have that to look at all her life,
and keep going, keep going. Swim by an uncle
in the lane next to yours who is teaching his nephew
how to hold his breath underwater,
even though kids aren’t allowed at this hour. Someday,
years from now, this boy
who is kicking and flailing in the exact place
you want to touch and turn
will be a young man, at a wedding on a boat
raising his champagne glass in a toast
when a huge wave hits, washing everyone overboard.
He’ll come up coughing and spitting like he is now,
but he’ll come up like a cork,
alive. So your moment
of impatience must bow in service to a larger story,
because if something is in your way it is
going your way, the way
of all beings; towards darkness, towards light.
Alison Luterman

So, I hope that when the next thing blows me off course, I am able to adapt and understand and feel it and move through it anyways. That I am able to bow in service to the larger story, even if I don’t know what that is.

So many positive things came out of those two weeks:
– Absence from work, which gave me courage to revamp how I work
– Ideas about how to change my work
– Great conversation with another juror who told me to be a life coach (basically out of nowhere)
– Another juror who likes to hike and invites me to things now (tho I haven’t been able to attend)
– A good story to tell friends
– A nice little test of the work I’ve done for me the past few years
– Hearing some very cool family stories of another juror
– A drive to create more since I have such limited time
– A drive to create another stream of income b/c clearly I am not cut out for working on someone else’s schedule on projects I do not like.

Sometimes life is hard and sometimes it sucks and sometimes sitting in a jury box feels like the worse thing in the world. And sometimes the frustrations of not having things our way helps us reframe how we’d like things to be. Because if it’s in my way, if it’s in your way, it’s going our way… the way of all things… towards darkness, towards light.

xo

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

Re-entry

I could go into all of the craziness that has been 6+ weeks of my life, but right now I’m throwing down the marker that I am back, here, home, loving my life. It’s such a relief, really, to be back in it after leaving it for some many days.

With that said, re-entry is hard. Finally slowing down involves a lot of metal-on-metal from the brakes, waiting for my energy to steady, feeling my mind smooth over like ripples on water.

I’ve napped almost every day this week, guzzling glasses of water, falling asleep as early as 8:30pm and not waking up until 7am. Some mornings, the catch-up for work feels impossible, like I’ll be forever back-logged, and then other days I power through 40 emails. I have energy for meetings but find afterwards my voice is hoarse and I need to lay down.

My life is so full, and I am so grateful for all of the experiences of the past 6 weeks – but it’s time now for me to slip back into the soft comfort of my life, of my living – to find my own routine again and just be.

A Quiet Moment

While I have 3 events in the next 7 days, I also plan to: clean my apt (relaxing for me), hike, run, see the ocean, get a mani/pedi, have dinner with awesome friends, get a massage, sleep in, cuddle Carter, drink delish coffee, kiss H and run all over LA with my awesome colleagues. Work stress or not, I only get to live these days once.
~Posted on Facebook, January 22 2014

I did indeed clean the entire apartment. I needed something productive to do with my energy. Since I worked on our MLK Monday holiday, and did a bunch of work last week, I’m caught up with the events. I just need to confirm everything one last time and pay the vendors.

To add to the “hurry up and wait”, we had another snow day at work. Since the college I work for is on the East Coast, snow days are basically a free day for me. While I check email and do work that needs attention, I know that everyone else is probably not working either.

And so, I went with the flow of it all. Saw my therapist, took myself out for a latte and some INFJ business class work, visited spent way too much at Michael’s, grocery-shopped, watched some hockey with H, cooked dinner, did some Project Life and now I’m here – writing to you.

By the time this posts, I’ll be off and running on 4 days of event-planner busyness, but right now, sitting here in the quiet, I know I did good.

I’ve learned to live my life whether or not external events are stressful or calm. I’ve learned to do what needs doing, and then to take care of myself. Or maybe it’s the opposite. To take care of myself, and then do what needs doing.

It’s so much easier this way.

I wish we could all live like this, but I know jobs and families are demanding. Not everyone has the luxuries that I have. But I wonder if, inside your busy days, you can find a quiet moment to sip a latte, to stare at the birds in the yard, to snap of photo of yourself, to jot down a few thoughts, to lay in the blue light of morning.

To create a quiet moment, to take care of yourself, and then do what needs doing. xo

 

An $8 juice, and being walked home

January is never fun for me. No matter if the holidays are crazy or restful, I feel launched, unprepared, back into a month where work is demanding and stressful. This year, this month, it’s 5 events in 19 days, four of which come in a row at the end of the month.

Tuesday night was the first event of the month, and technically also the easiest, but I spent the day ragged with anxiety. I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins, this cold and tight feeling in my chest, and my heart racing like it was experiencing a caffeine overload. For the life of me, I could not shake it.

I tried rationalizing: Nothing is wrong. I am fine. I am not in danger.  I tried deep breathing, closing my eyes and waiting, a 3m run with the dog, a hot shower and even a fancy, delicious and pricey juice.

Nothing worked.

And while that feeling didn’t leave my body until I slept it off… I wanted to leave a marker here for myself for three reasons:

1. I trusted that this was some combo of panic and pms, and that I could lay low, do what work needed to be done, and know that I would mostly likely feel better after a night of sleep (which I did).

2. That there was no rationalizing or doing to be done. No fixing. I just had to go through my self-care practices and wait it out.

3. That connection is what actually helped.

It’s the third point that makes this so awesome for me now, a few days later. I shared my anxiety on Facebook and a friend commented “Look at the sky and remember you’re a blonde monkey floating in space and none of this stuff actually matters. Works for me every time.” A phone call with a former colleague & current friend let me vent. She said, “You’re a rockstar. Your event will be amazing. The end.” Lindsey sent me a lovely comment about my one little word post on Twitter and Jamie said that my word (~flow~) sounded like the perfect approach to the day we were both having. A friend was photographing the event, and she is such a quiet presence, it’s nice to have her there when I’m talking my head off to 100+ people I don’t know. And lastly, the woman who managed the bar is snazzy, sends plates of food over to my check-in table, hands me giant bottles of water and says things like, “don’t worry mama, we got this”.

As the day went on, I could feel the love I was being sent, and I did my best to soak it in, and say yes to each offering… because striving the way we do sometimes, sets us up to feel intense panic about if we’re doing the right things and if we’re working hard enough.

This day reminded me that not only was I for sure going to rock my job, but that people like working with me. I am loved regardless if the event is a success or not.

And it reminded me of this quote… which I’m pretty sure is becoming a guiding principle for how I live my life: “We’re all just walking each other home.” ~Ram Dass.

On this day, I had a lot of people walking with me, and for that, I am grateful.

 

 

Year of Ocean

The ocean is sacred to me.

Since growing up on Long Island, I feel it when I’m far from the water. The semester I lived in Nashville, I knew I was land-locked. My love of Los Angeles increased the closer we moved to the Pacific. Spending even a half-hour staring at the waves brightens my spirits and calms my mind.

This idea came to me before I chose my One Little Word for the year, so it seems only appropriate I chose flow. (more on this soon…)

I wanted another year long project (like Project Life). I wanted something that would be a challenge, but nourishing for my soul. Something I “had to do” that was good for me. Something that would inspire me and make me take advantage of how close we live to the beach. If / when we buy a house, this will cease to be our norm. I may never live this close to the ocean again (though, secretly, I doubt that, you never know).

And so here is my project: a year of ocean. 52 weekly posts of pictures and words about a trip to water. The weather, the company, and certainly whatever comes up. I think it’ll keep my one little word at the forefront of my mind and allow me clear space, which is something that’s come up since the retreat in October.

And speaking of that retreat – I read this post On Patience by Laurie the other day and she spoke right to me (also my experience of her in person). As I’m moving into this new year, I have my hopes but I’m feeling a bit whiplashed.

She mentions two things that give me permission: a practice of not doing anything (what I’ve been craving) and a friend who rests in his self-care habits (what I’ve been practicing).

Space and self-care… flow. Year of Ocean seems like a perfect way to declare, track, and record my experience of both of those things.

**I’ll be using a tag Year of Ocean here and on Instagram if you wanted to follow along. Better yet, start your own thing and let me know so I can follow you.