Mental health, Spirituality

Happy 1 year anniversary to me

Just one year ago, I started this blog called “Emotional Musings”. I have been journaling, writing poems and short stories my entire life but always kept them private. Sometimes, I have written poems as gifts for my loved ones. This blog has started a new adventure for me. I have been able to connect with almost 1,400 readers from 30 different countries around the world.

I really didn’t know how writing these posts would affect me. Basically, I use the poems I write as my muse for what each post is centered around. My poems come to me as visions and take little effort to write. Each of the blog posts on my page discuss in depth, the meaning behind each poem. It’s a very introspective thing on my part to delve into what I was thinking and feeling each time a new poem comes to mind. I believe this process to be very cathartic and quite helpful to my overall healing from Complex PTSD.

In total I have written 62 posts on this blog. Most of them are centered around my experience as an empath in this fast paced and often confusing world that we live in today. Our culture focuses mostly on the analytical mind paying little attention to our emotional health and wellbeing. A few of my posts can be considered social commentary on how I view our culture, humanity as a whole and how spirituality plays a role in our society.

This blog has also been a vehicle for me to even consider myself a writer. Earlier this year I self published my very own book of poetry which is available on Amazon in both paperback and digital form. It means a lot to me to have all of my work titled “Emotional Musings ” because that’s the truth, each word is a reflection of my emotional state. I have been gathering my latest poems for the second book, “Emotional Musings2” which I plan to release before the end of this year. Stay tuned!

A huge thank you to my current 24 followers. I didn’t expect anybody to actually read this and I’m so grateful these posts resonate with others. It’s a real labor of love for me to write these posts as I view each one as an opportunity to not only reveal more about my personal journey but to allow others the space to consider theirs.

My mission here is to provide a space where others can relate to and find connection with their own emotional journey. It has been almost 10 years since I set out to discover just who I really am, what my purpose is and to heal from the traumatic events of my past. November will mark eight years since I first attempted suicide. That act of desperation as led me on a beautiful, painful yet ultimately rewarding expedition that has allowed me to constantly peel back the layers of my life’s onion. Uncovering and understanding my authentic self as a result of writing is absolutely priceless. I highly recommend this process to anyone who is searching for their own truth.

My wish for this next year to is be able to interact more with you readers. Please share my blog with others whom you believe it will resonate with, comment below and tell me more about yourselves. I hope to make this a more interactive space where I can lead open discussions on both whole body health and wellness along with spirituality. Mostly, I want each person who takes the time to read this blog to feel less alone in their emotions.

For so many years, I felt like I couldn’t discuss what was going on inside of me. Why did I know what others were going to say before they said it, why did I feel their feelings without first being told and where were these phantom pains coming from? Aside from my empath experiences, I know many of my experiences aren’t unique either. There are many of us out there who have spent time in psychiatric hospitals, inpatient and outpatient programs and weekly sessions of psychotherapy yet still feel lost even discouraged about their mental health.

This is Mental Health Awareness week in the United States. I hope my blog can serve as a safe space for others to not only recognize their own struggles but to gather information regarding the important role our emotions play and what our body’s are trying to tell us. I feel there needs to be more public education about how important it is to recognize one’s feelings and the sensations in the body. It’s essential for whole body health to be able to do a body scan and recognize where we hold emotion in our bodies. This is especially true for those of us healing from trauma. It’s true, the body holds onto trauma and we will continue to hurt until the root of the pain can be discovered and released. I highly recommend reading, “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Van der Kolk M.D., Bessel.

On Monday I woke to a much less humid day here in Dallas, TX. I decided to spend the afternoon running along the path at my favorite park. The path stretches around a huge lake for approximately ten miles. I took in scenic views of sailboats, canoes, fishermen and wildlife. Mostly I rejoiced in feeling the wind on my face. It was a beautiful day that produced the poem below, “Wind”. Autumn is my favorite season. Hopefully, I will get many more days just like this one.

Spirituality

Making peace with my past and moving forward

I have really been going through quite a transformation as of late. The universe is always there to provide what I need when I need it. A return to caring for my emotional health, really a blessing in disguise. A sort of tap on the shoulder to remind me to always make my mental health a priority. Another opportunity for growth, understanding and healing. As an emotional, intuitive and physical empath and a woman who has Complex PTSD, I must work extra hard sometimes at maintaining my whole body health. This summer has been both tremendously painful and incredibly enlightening. I have learned to accept my shadow self in order to reap the benefits of a deeper understanding of myself and my personal truths.

I have uncovered more of what makes me ME, my authentic self. Disconnecting from the daily grind and using this leave of absence I am on to truly heal is a gift. I am eternally grateful to those who have crossed my path and helped me along the way. We are all connected and we need each other to survive. Speaking one’s truth can be scary sometimes but ultimately so liberating!

I had the pleasure of visiting with my oldest son, my parents and other family members in celebration of my Mom’s 75th birthday. What a milestone to ring in and what a month August has been for me. In order to think on a more complex level we must feel more and in order to do that, I have realigned myself by living in the moment.

Last week ushered in an abundance of gifts. Reconnecting with my oldest brother, having the opportunity to be there for somebody who needed support and spending more one on one time with my boy er man (he’s 18 now) lifted my spirits like a homeopathic medicine!

On my last day with my family, my Mom and I spent time at our favorite beach. The beach in general has always been my safe space, my happy place and where I feel most alive. This day was made extra special because I helped my Mom overcome her fears of living in an aging and sometimes failing body by getting into the ocean. It was so serene and refreshing, becoming one with the waves as I float on top of the water allowing the sheer power in it’s current to rejuvenate my soul. It’s the best cure for whatever is ailing me. Nothing brings a more peaceful vibe to me than floating in the ocean!

Once we were in the water and working to stabilize ourselves, we noticed this man. I instinctively could tell he was summoning the ocean’s great power for something. Turns out he is an energy healer and claircognizant. After a brief conversation he invited us into his energy grid of crystals. The intense warmth I felt while standing inside of it was so welcoming and soothing to all of my senses. He then proceeded to transmute the negative energy we each carry due to trauma into positive life affirming source energy. When I glanced over at my Mom, she was glowing! Absolutely beautiful and engulfed in this bright white light, it was amazing to witness! I’ve long suspected my mother too shares some metapyschical gifts and that experience proved it to me. He also successfully healed the trauma cord between us.

I also shared some very special time with my son. He admitted to me that he too has intuitive instincts, knowing things before they actually happen and feeling on a deeper level. I’m so happy he has me to talk to about his extra sensory perceptions because I didn’t have anybody to share my own experiences with at his age. I didn’t even start talking out loud to anyone about what has always been a huge part of my life until five years ago. Sharing these gifts with him is so deeply ingrained in who I am and I feel has brought us much closer.

The universe is taking care of me by providing all the answers to my many questions and fulfilling my desires. I’m vibrating on such a higher plane now. It feels amazing that I can clearly manifest my intentions. The love I have inside for myself and humanity is overflowing. I know how loved I am in return. My spirit is so bright and this human vessel I am in finally matches my insides! I feel completely whole. I possess an inner knowing, so much more makes sense to me.

Everyday I make it my 1st priority to meditate and align myself. It’s as important to me as breathing. Keeping myself balanced not only facilitates my own ongoing healing but is vital towards assisting others in theirs. I’m right where I’m supposed to be. My feet are planted firmly in today. Being present in this moment allows my free spirit to soar to new heights!

Mental health

Reclaiming my authentic self

Understanding who I am and making sense of the world around me has always been something I have focused on. From an early age, especially because of my intuitive gifts, I have been on a quest for “why”. I’ve had major breakthroughs and then some serious setbacks. What I’m understanding now is that life has a purposeful way of unfolding so that we can uncover our own truths.

I have regained focus on my journey to self discovery and made a renewed commitment to my own spirituality. Keeping my energy clear from toxic people and their emotional turmoil is a boundary I will not have crossed. It has become crucially vital that I must continue to cleanse, ground and balance myself in order to not only heal myself but to be present for those around me that I love and cherish.

On a larger scale, my goal and purpose in life is to help heal others by sharing my experiences. I must continue to heal my inner child, reframe my thoughts and challenge conditioned beliefs that no longer serve me in order to find meaning in my life.

Life has an uncanny way of unfolding just as it’s meant to be. I do the work, put in the blood, sweat and tears. Sometimes metaphorically and at times physically. I allow myself to feel the emotions I tried to cut off because they were unacceptable. Showing up for me and rescuing myself from drowning on a daily sometimes hourly basis from the emotional world I live in energetically can be daunting. It’s painful, not sexy and down right annoying at times. It’s also absolutely worth it.

Once again in my life I am reinforcing the desire of choosing me and I have no guilt about that choice. As an empath, I can easily get lost in other people’s stories and emotional lives while fighting the urge to “fix” and rescue those around me from themselves. As a woman and mother in our Western society, I believe we are falsely conditioned to deny ourselves our inner desires. We are taught to be people pleasers, to play nice and that leads to putting others needs before our own. Fear of being judged and cast off as “that girl” or being called a “bitch” because I said no to someone’s demands played an unhealthy role in my life.

Today I say, no more. I have drawn my invisible line in the sand. I have rediscovered inner peace and I’m not willing to let it go again for anybody or anything. My two greatest challenges in life are boundaries and balance. Recently so much has “clicked” and I finally can see that my emotional boundaries with others are vital to my sanity and survival. Maintaining them is crucially important to my wellbeing and are a non negotiable part of whom I choose to be in my life these days.

A supreme awareness and understanding of how as children we are all conditioned and taught to give up our authentic selves to appease others, fit into other’s perceptions of how things should be and conform is now so abundantly clear to me. Few humans become self actualized. Therefore we continue wounded cycles into adulthood because certain necessary needs were not met.

I’ve written before about my love for Maya Angelou’s quote, “do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. It has always spoken to me because it allows for self acceptance, growth and the belief that change is possible. Now that I am consciously aware I can change. I have all the power. It is a choice that is within me. I’m continuing to awaken, become enlightened and evolve. I have reclaimed my power.

It takes practice and humility. Denying my ego to completely take over so that self may emerge unfiltered. I was emotionally stunted because I allowed my conditioning and the confusion of feeling other’s emotions so intensely that it derailed me and my ability to be successful in other areas of life. I became paralyzed by over analysis of myself. I can honestly say that I am proud of myself that I can recognize my progress. As with everything it is a work in process as I choose how much or how little to show up for myself by making myself a priority.

My fellow INFJ’s and empaths understand what I’m saying here I’m sure of it. I’ve not chosen a major career and financial security has always eluded me up to this point. Those two things used to make me feel less than because I was comparing myself to others. That tactic has proven self defeating because what I have chosen to chase down in this life is a deeper understanding of me and who I really am.

It’s the path less traveled by most. The majority of us go through life with blinders on, half dead to who we really are on the inside and just going through the motions. I tried that throughout my 20s and even into my early 30s. Now I’m 41 and I’m finally seeing clearly for the first time. My behaviors and maladaptive coping mechanisms no longer make sense. I want to live my life more inline with my spirit. Shedding the past and embracing the now.

It’s taken a village! Over the years establishing a support system, putting some tools into daily practice and discovering what works and what doesn’t for me. Taking time for me and making myself a priority sounds simple but I did anything I could to not focus on me. Me was too fucked up and uncomfortable. I used to sometimes say that it felt like my brain was at war with itself. It left me in a cycle of pain dissociated from myself and the world around me ultimately feeling so lost.

Lately I feel so alive, renewed, refreshed and reborn. I have read about my astrological trajectory often through the years and it always stated I would be a late bloomer and come into my own later in life. Boy is that ever the damn truth. I have regained trust in myself, belief in myself and most importantly I have maintained my hope and faith. Now I am free to set my intentions and manifest my own dreams into becoming a reality and that not only feels possible but truly amazing🙏

Mental health

Emotional breakdown to spiritual awakening

Since my last post two weeks ago, I have been in the thick of what was first believed to be an emotional breakdown. Now I’m coming to understand that I’ve been experiencing a spiritual shift, an awakening and a rebirth of my spirit. The reiki sessions I had coupled with some introspective meditation has led me to this place of knowing that what has taken place has elevated me to a higher understanding and evolvement.

As an extra sensory person, an intuitive, emotional and physical empath I vibrate on a higher frequency which lends me to experience all these beautiful gifts our creator has bestowed upon me. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and more like a curse or burden but lately due to the emotional flashbacks from trauma, moon phases, eclipses and shifting planets my world felt extra heavy. That’s when my shadow self appeared.

Over the years on my spiritual journey into healing and understanding of myself, I have learned that we possess both light and shadow selves. One cannot exist without the other. We tend to praise our light beings and have a more positive attitude and relationship with that part of ourselves. Meanwhile our dark or shadow self is cast aside, unaccepted and deemed wrong. It’s not ok to be depressed or sad. We deny it, resist it and try to abolish it altogether.

Lately I’ve been delving into research in holistic psychology and reading about this dark side that we may consciously or unconsciously be aware of within all of our egos. I’ve come to see the beauty and necessity of both sides. Again, one cannot exist without the other.

I have spent two weeks in a thick heavy mud feeling stuck. A roller coaster of emotions from sadness to anger and rage. All these feelings I stuffed, deemed as unacceptable or wrong even “bad” have come bursting out of me. My psyche has been attempting to block these uncomfortable feelings tied to my traumatic events for so many years.

Now I have this awesome opportunity to fully heal BOTH sides of myself. I sat in the mud, I told myself it’s ok to not be ok. I stopped resisting my depression and moved through it. Three nights ago I actually had a spiritual awakening. It was so powerful and left me with this overall feeling of peace and calm.

This is the best way I can describe it. It felt like an outer body expierience. All sounds became muffled and I felt outside of myself just observing the moment. Then there was a shifting feeling, like something propelling me forward. I was walking through the fog into a bright light. I immediately felt lighter, and I could breathe again! I haven’t been able to take deep relaxing breaths lately but now I could breathe a sigh of relief, finally! This sensation lasted for maybe thirty seconds.

Now I can get to work on the next step of my healing process. Eradicating the block I’m having while accessing those uncomfortable feelings during EMDR sessions. My traumatic event and the feelings that are tied to it must be properly reprocessed. I’ve done the soul searching and introspective work by accepting it now I can’t allow it to harm my emotions in a destructive way any longer.

It’s a balancing act really. Acknowledging both sides of myself and accepting both of them as they are. Appreciating the role both play in my personality and how I interact within my relationships with others. I’m moving forward and I’m on my way to feeling whole again.

Mental health

This is my watershed moment

I have spent the past month in the grips of an extremely disruptive and emotionally charged reckoning with severe trauma from my childhood. A flood of feelings and upsetting memories I thought stuffed down so long ago have come floating actually erupting to the surface of reality. I’m riding an emotional roller coaster from moments of sadness to rage and confusion. I also at times don’t feel anything but complete numbness. I haven’t felt like doing anything at all, this past week I have been especially depressed.

My mind is constantly vacillating from what I can control and that which I can not. In my past I would’ve made a rash, spontaneous and emotional decision to do something that was not in my best interest in the long term but that would’ve allowed me to escape my uncomfortable emotional state. This time however I can recognize and give myself some credit in choosing to ride out this emotional turmoil. Sitting in it, enduring every moment. Recognizing I only have control over my response to these uncomfortable feelings.

I was reminded recently about the concept of a watershed moment. Google’s definition is the following:
A watershed moment is a turning point, the exact moment that changes the direction of an activity or situation. A watershed moment is a dividing point, from which things will never be the same. It is considered momentous, though a watershed moment is often recognized in hindsight.

My life right now is in the midst of this exact shifting. In the first two weeks of attempting to get a handle on my intense emotions and memories I kept thinking about how content and perfect seeming my life was. Why did I need to remember and acknowledge this life changing traumatic event from my childhood now? My therapists reminded me again of the onion. Life unfolds in ways that allow us to learn even when we think we have dealt with all of our “issues”.

It’s within these times, moments of crisis and inner turmoil that we are presented with an opportunity to dive deeper, evolve more and yes learn some major life lessons. In this case, I am learning more about myself and why I have made the decisions I have throughout my life.

A few sentiments I have reflected on and which truly define my actions are as follows….

Courage is not the absence of fear-Courage is being afraid and anxious and showing up anyway.

80% of life is just showing up.

Don’t wait until you are perfectly recovered to be happy and enjoy life. It’s OK to be happily imperfect.

Finally this statement really rings true for me and something I have unfortunately let drive my decision making throughout my entire life….. When we make decisions out of fear-they are usually not in our own best interest.

I have attachment issues stemming from my upbringing. Attachment to anything positive or negative creates suffering. I am also someone who wants to run away from my emotional problems. Whether I self medicate, cover up or actually run away from my problems all of these choices have resulted in some very undesirable consequences for me and the ones I love.

Wallowing in my perfectionism, I have two modes. Trying to keep the outside looking pretty and good while on the inside I am shaking with fear and grappling with the rage aimed towards myself for the missteps I have made. Both are counterproductive and aren’t beneficial to my life in the long run.

I had another energy clearing session too. I was advised to manifest grounding by visualizing myself as a tree. Immediately my favorite tree and the one we had on the corner of my childhood home sprung to mind. I adore weeping willow trees. After my session I painted a picture of one I call, “Enchanted Willow” and I wrote this poem.

For now, I will do my best to stay grounded by actively working on recreating some inner peace so that I can let go and move on. Baby steps 👣

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”.

Spirituality

For love of water

I was born on the East coast and have lived all my life near water. When I was younger it took an hour or so to drive down the New Jersey shore, depending on traffic. Then in my early 20s I met and got married to a man from Rhode Island. I lived in a few different cities there but my favorite house was a cottage I rented right on a private beach. In all of my adult life I have only felt at home in that cottage, it was my safe and happy space. One entire side of that cottage was windows looking out over Narragansett Bay. The smell of salt water and the sound of seagulls greeted me at my door every day. It was peaceful, serene and beautiful. I’m reminded of how much I cried the day I moved out. Thankfully I took pictures that I look at from time to time and reminisce.

I moved into that house with my family but moved out a divorced single mother. It was there that I found my independence and a renewed sense of self. In the 2 years I lived there, I discovered the confidence I needed to change my unhappy life. Everything about my life from move in to move out was drastically different. If those walls of that beach cottage could talk. Ultimately it’s those circumstances that helped propel me into more healing once I moved to Florida.

It’s been a little over six years since I moved away from the only real home I felt I had. Now I live in the land locked state of Texas. This area has a beauty all it’s own with some wonderful lakes and parks. Lately I have this longing for back home. The people, the food and most of all the ocean!!

I have caught myself feeling nostalgic and even melancholy about the place I call home. There is just something about sitting out on that sand, tasting the sea on your tongue and gazing at the waves. There are two places that give me the ultimate feeling of zen. One place is in the shower, the scent of clean body wash as the water cascades off my shoulders bringing me a sense of calm. The other is the beach.

I read an article recently that discussed one’s attraction and claim to a body of water calling it, my water. It’s that place where you feel most connected and alive gladly naming it as your own. I’m not sure if I have just one of “my water” spots yet more realistically I can claim a few. Nevertheless I feel them calling to me. I need a visit back home. I need to be refreshed and renewed by the ocean’s powerful force.

As an empath who is constantly being twirled around by other’s emotions and energies, the ocean is a place where my own energy can be restored. The ocean provides such a force, an immense energy that is so freeing for me.

I feel stuck in a rut lately. Not creative, bored and unamused. Two days ago I wrote this poem about my favorite thing to do in the ocean. Floating takes me outside and away from myself. It allows me to really clear my mind, release and let go. I feel amazing afterwards.

I set a goal for myself that this summer I must go for a visit back home, up North. To take in the ocean mind, body and spirit. I will leave all that weighs me down on its shore. I will be reborn.