Spirituality

Let love shine

During these uncertain and rapidly changing times, it’s important to allow our feelings to flow as they will. It’s normal to feel the fear and panic that is swirling through the planetary energy because of the affects from the Coronavirus. However, it’s just as important to not get stuck in a negative downward spiral of anxiety and worry.

I speak from experience my dear readers because for the majority of my life I was frozen by fear, paralyzed by it actually. I found myself in these terribly painful dissociative episodes and debilitating panic attacks not to mention the routines I created to soothe my OCD. There was a period of time when my oldest son Ty was a baby that I didn’t even leave my house. My anxiety and overthinking ruled my days as I found myself repetitively washing not only my hands but my home and beyond. Those were dark days my friends and I’m grateful to be past them now!

Yesterday I woke up with a vision for a new painting. I have always enjoyed using paints but have mostly used oils. This past holiday season while scrolling mindlessly on Amazon, I discovered these fantastic watercolor pens. They are refillable too and make using this medium so easy with virtually no mess! Not that making a mess bothers me these days however clean up is a breeze with these pens. My creative juices flow quite quickly and at times my time management is lacking in between my daily chores, practices and work schedule. Sometimes I feel the urge to paint when time doesn’t always allow for it. Lately I feel there are just not enough hours in my day, I bet many of you can relate to that!

Love vibration in full color

My dear friends and the owners of the boutique I manage decided to close down for at least this week and had me shut down a lot earlier this past Saturday night. It’s out of our control my dear readers and we all must abide by what our governments are advising for our own safety and health. I am choosing to look on the bright side of this unexpected time off. I have many creative projects to explore and execute this week. My mother found very reasonable airfare to South Florida from Texas and I will be leaving for there tomorrow morning until Friday night.

I am really looking forward to spending quality time with both my parents because they are elderly and time is so precious. Our weather here is calling for rain all week and being out in the sunshine of Florida feels much more positive for my spirits! My parents live on a glorious lake with a wonderful nature path nearby within walking distance and I’m really looking forward to spending time in nature too. Getting to float in the ocean and in the pool is also top on my list. Creating these serene moments of calm and serenity allow me to take mental photographs in which I can then utilize for meditative imagery when I feel stress mounting. Being able to visualize an oasis in my mind has helped me tremendously during my healing journey and one of the best practices I was taught ten years ago when I began down the path to self.

I want to remind you my dear readers that our minds can create the best and worst scenarios for our reality. It is a choice which way one wants to travel through thought and feelings. By practicing yoga and meditation I have allowed for space to be able to observe these choices so that I can best choose how my day will unfold. I chose to follow my heart and listen closely to my intuition. Deciphering between ego stories and my soul’s voice is a gift I have worked really hard at obtaining and one that I don’t take for granted by impulsive actions. I enjoy where I am in life today, the inner peace I feel and the love I feel radiating from the inside out. I have served my time feeling depressed and anxious. Those dark days and years have led me here to become the master of my own emotions and realize how much I actually do control my own reality. I’m no longer a victim but the hero of my own life’s story. This is the epitome of my motto for living, “Triumphing over Trauma”. Walking out of the shadows and into the bright lightūüƆ

Allowing love & light to shine from within

When we chose to radiate love towards ourselves, even through times of conflict, we provide healing for our soul. When we are¬†radiating love¬†towards others, we reciprocate the¬†love and kindness that they give us in such an abundance that it helps in their own healing creating joy for both the other person and for ourselves. It’s a transmuting force of energy and my wish for our world right now. Sending you all love, light & peace ‚̧ūüƆ‚úĆ

Mental health

Little Ms. Perfect

What is perfect? There are two separate definitions. Using it as an adjective means this, “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be“. When used as a verb, perfect means “make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible”. Either way it’s used I have suffered from perfectionism my entire life. In psychology, perfectionism is described as a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting high performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.

My Mom has told me that when I was younger she used to find me obsessively organizing my room. I loved to neatly arrange my books, toys and knick knacks. Cleaning and straightening a room, tidying up things brings me a peacefulness and calm that’s hard to match by other activities. It’s also something that has made me feel strange and weird.

There was a period in my life when I literally couldn’t sit still or overlook a piece of lint on the carpet without having to immediately stop whatever I was doing to pick it up. After the birth of my first son, I found myself in a perpetual state of motion, always wiping a countertop or vacuuming a room that was already spic and span to everybody else’s eyes. I got caught up in routines that kept my in a “loop” for hours. So many routines and rituals had to be achieved compulsively and repetitively. Some days I got so stuck I didn’t even leave my house. Looking back those were dark days.

I’m a shift supervisor at a Starbucks and at 41 this is the first time I accepted a management position. In the past, I had been offered/recommended this role but I always turned it down due to my overwhelming fear of failure. Truth be told my perfectionist ways have plagued me throughout my life. Recently at work my manager challenged me to stop working like a superwoman. She asked me to examine my leadership skills by holding others on my team accountable for certain tasks. At first it felt awkward delegating the things I have been doing alone without help. Lately however I can feel an important shift taking place.

A favorite quote of mine by Maya Angelou is,”Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. Boy does this sentiment ring true in this regard!

I’ve always been an analytical thinker, wondering why things are the way they are and trying desperately to make sense of the world around me. I had this book as a kid called, “The book of why” and I loved it. I’ve especially been intrigued by my own emotions and the emotions of others. That intense curiosity has sometimes kept me up at night.

A former therapist once told me to disengage myself from the outcome of a certain problem I was having a difficult time finding a reasonable solution for. My perfectionist ways and drive to control a situation can leave me breathlessly spinning my wheels. Despite my efforts I end up feeling exhausted mentally with no end in sight.

When I start to feel my old ways creeping back into my daily choices, I try and recall his words. Letting go of the outcome and maintaining an open mind sounds logical enough but my heart stands stubbornly doubtful.

Establishing a connection within myself has been key to easing off my perfectionist attitude. Grounding myself really quiets my mind and eases my fears. Whether these fears are real or hypercritically blown out of proportion, I can often find myself overwhelmed and grasping for my idea of perfection. I’ve learned I’m only hurting myself when I put this kind of pressure on myself.

For there is no such thing as perfect my dear reader but perfect imperfections throughout life. Try shifting your perspective taking a closer look at yourself. Deepening your own connection within your soul. Becoming your own best friend, saving yourself from yourself. Like Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true”.

Mental health, Spirituality

That monkey on my back

Every once in awhile, here it goes again. Wide awake in the wee hours of the morning knowing that I have a big day ahead of me. Not sure if it’s hormonal or subconscious anxiety but I’m not a fan my friends of this latest development.

I have been working a lot at the coffee shop and feeling pulled in all directions as a supervisor. In fact I had to have a few difficult conversations this week with my partners. I’m not one for confrontation and I’m definitely in flight mode rather than fight. Yet they say change and growth can be painful. I guess that’s what’s up right now. Just those growing pains of evolvement.

I am a classically trained dancer in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and contemporary dance styles. I started when I was just two years old. My biggest dream was to dance on Broadway. My sister and I were on a competitive dance team that traveled and took classes in New York City. I pursued this up until I was sixteen years old. That was when some harsh realities became too much to bear and I quit dance all together. I did rediscover my passion for it after my oldest son was born and I started attending adult classes. What’s the point of me writing about this you may ask? Here’s some truth to that question.

Since growing up and striving to be some part of the very competitive dance world, I definitely developed this perfectionist side to my personality. Everything had to be just right. My parents tell me they would catch me organizing my room by stacking up my books just so. Arranging my Smurfs figurines in a particular order. Everything had to be straight and neat. I even carried this over into people pleasing and being quite passive in my intimate relationships.

Fast forward to present day and I can feel when this shift tries to take the wheel again. This time in a more destructive way. I start becoming very strict with myself. I get overly angry with myself when I make even a small mistake. I start reverting back to old habits that I know aren’t healthy for my positive outlook. The tiny voices in my head that whisper, you’re not good enough start to get louder as if someone turned up the volume on that old tape. I thought I threw that one out years ago in the midst of my healing from the traumas. Here it is again playing louder than ever, boombox style.

One of my downfalls is that I have always been my own worst enemy. More than most other people are I think. The original diagnosis from my psychiatrist on my first visit was that I have OCD with PAD (panic anxiety disorder). I had decided I’d had enough of the unexplained anger and anxiety surrounding the way my environment appeared to me after my oldest was born. I was constantly cleaning and was absolutely consumed by this drive to have everything look perfect. I found myself stuck in these crazy routines of cleaning things over and over again to the point where I wasn’t leaving my house. I developed these phobias surrounding having to clean incessantly or else. What you may ask…….even today I’m unsure. I had a dark burgundy formica countertop in the kitchen at my first house. I used to wipe it so much that it changed colors in some spots. Definitely a bit too obsessive.

So, when I feel that itch coming back again this is what I do. I restart the positive self talk in my bathroom mirror. I allow myself to feel the uncomfortable feeling of understanding that I am imperfect. I give myself permission to feel uneasy. That sounds like a simple enough statement. Boy, is that a hard pill to swallow during these spells. That’s what I like to refer to it as, a spell. Like some greater force has taken over my mind, body and spirit.

Quieting that harsh inner negative dialogue can be tricky once mixed with a heavy dose of anxiety. The “not good enough” imaginary police are breathing down my neck. You are nothing, you will never be anything, you are a loser…. their sirens wail loudly in my head. I steady myself as I ride this wave of uncomforbility. Assess what I actually can control, what to attempt to let go of and what next behavior will serve me the most. Some days are of course better than others. Add in our recent moon cycle and there you have it…….that nagging need to be perfect.

At the end of the day, I accept it will always be that invisible monkey on my back. It’s always there, lying right beneath the surface. Some days it’s quieter than others. Like everything in life I know it’s temporary. This too shall pass.