self-care, self-compassion

Reading and Writing for Wellness

This past weekend was hella tough. For a variety of reasons. But the most strikingly painful part was realizing that I exist in a world where the people who were my unconditional people are no longer here.

In looking for ways to love myself through it, I found a fabulous book called Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig.

In my own anxiety and depression, I sometimes have felt that I’m alone and isolated and that no one understands where I am emotionally and that seems to make that proverbial “black hole” of sadness and loss of hope grow.

Writing has been therapeutic for me and reading about other people’s journeys is also hugely helpful. While everyone’s journey and circumstances vary wildly, we all have the human condition of suffering. But, we also can learn and grow and heal and help each other learn new ways to give oxygen to whatever it is that ails us so that we can recover together.

I hope you know you aren’t alone.

I hope you know you matter.

I hope you know you’re loved and I hope you remember to love yourself when things get hard.

And in the moments that you need reminders and you need support to realize and understand that you really aren’t all alone in the world, find someone that you can relate to — either in person, over the phone, virtually or even like I sometimes do: with a wonderful book.

Much love.

Always,

xoxo

self-compassion

Oops! I did it again.

I seem to have fallen back into the bad habits that I promised to quit over the last few weeks.

The “trying to prove I’m worthy of love” thing. The “look at me! Here I am. Act like you love me” thing.

It’s not a good look, y’all.

It’s also not a good feeling when you’re texting and messaging and hoping for some vague acknowledgment of your existence on the planet as a human being of value and worth.

Here’s what I know for sure (and that I need to remind myself of again):

– Love is free.

– Love is perfect.

– Love doesn’t demand a single thing from me. It simply IS.

I’m ever grateful for the beautiful souls that I walk this world with that accept me for me and love me; even on the hard days.

The people in your life that matter should never make you believe that you’re hard to love. Because you’re not. Not for the hearts who are truly meant to love you.

Always,

xoxo

self-care, self-compassion

My Best Advice for Bad Days

Sometimes, I need to take it back to the very basics. I mean super basics. Because I tend to get lost in the shuffle and lose my way. And those are the days that I need to keep it simple.

My keeping it simple looks like this:

Set an alarm and get the hell up and out of bed. On the really bad days, I’m always surprised at how hard a task this simple can actually be.

Once you’re up and moving about, take a long shower. Wash away those negative thoughts and feelings with a fresh smelling soap and shampoo. Rinse and repeat and you’ll be surprised at how much better you can feel emotionally once you’re physically well cared for.

Take time to find clothes that are soft and soothing. Now is not the time to go all out with heels and bobbles. Keep it soft and cozy and wrap yourself in things that bring you comfort while you’re bouncing back to the you that you know and love.

Listen to uplifting and encouraging music or a podcast. Keep it positive and light, bright and happy.

Eat the cake. Or the carbs. Whatever works. Nourish and indulge and embrace the comfort food as you care for you.

Take time to breathe. Really breathe and be in the moment. We can’t change the past or the future and worry does no one any good at all.

What are your self-care tips for the really bad days? What works for you and helps you love yourself through it? I’d love to hear your ideas.

In the mean time, take care of you.

Always,

self-compassion

Writing to My (Younger) Self

This is me 40-ish years ago.

I love this picture. My aunt recently moved and my cousin found it and sent it to me and I’ve been so thoughtful since seeing this photograph of this sweet little girl.

That smile and that light in her eyes are pure magic to me and remind me that I came into this world unbroken and full of hope and happiness and the possibilities were absolutely endless.

I wish I could hug her. I wish I could tell her that it will be hard as hell and she will often want to give up. I would tell her that she is resilient beyond measure and she will make ginormous mistakes but she will always get back up.

She will bend but not break.

She will love with every ounce of her being and she will cry until she feels like all of her breath has left her.

She will recover and move forward and climb mountains and learn to love after losses.

Again and again.

So many times she will feel that her world has shattered and just as many times she will feel like the whole universe is hers to learn and love all over again.

The highs can be unimaginably high and the lows just as devastating and still, she will continue.

It’s been a wild and crazy ride and as I’m about to celebrate my 42nd birthday, I can’t say I’d change a thing. Every moment has lead me to another lesson or a new victory and has made me the woman I am proud to be today: perfectly imperfect—- but still full of light, love, hope and magic.

Always. xoxo

self-care, self-compassion

Un-Stick Yourself!

Some of the harder life lessons that I’ve carried with me for 42 years, I’ve recently had to unlearn and un-teach myself. They were lies. The big, fat ugly ones. The heavy ones that weigh you down and cause you to be small and feel like you can’t stand up tall and be who you’re made to be.

It’s not really clear to me where I picked up these untruths. I can’t say if anyone in particular said them to me with their outside voice or I was simply led to believe them by the actions of others. But they stuck.

And, the un-sticking has been hard. But it’s also been worth it.

Here are some of my favorite big-fat-ugly lies that I am unlearning: I am inherently hard to love. I am too much. I am not enough. I’m unworthy of kindness. Who I am is wrong.

And here are the universal truths that I am reteaching myself —- on a daily basis: Love is easy. Love doesn’t judge. Love doesn’t keep a tally of wrongs. Love doesn’t require me to do anything. Love lets me be me and doesn’t ask a single thing of me. Love doesn’t find my faults. Love doesn’t shame me. Love doesn’t make me feel anxious or less than. Love doesn’t think I’m too much. Love doesn’t think I’m not enough.

Also: Love is perfect. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love doesn’t judge. Love doesn’t require me to earn it. Love simply is.

I hope that you haven’t learned the wrong lessons in your life, but if you have, I want you to know that those big-fat-ugly lies are not who YOU are. Who YOU are is magic. Who YOU are is light. And, most importantly: who YOU are is love. And it takes no effort to love. It simply is.

Get unstuck. Don’t let their voice or their actions and inability to love turn into your inner voice that you carry with you. Unstick yourself. Use some emotional goo-gone and stop that roller coaster of self-doubt and self loathing.

Stay clear of those people who make you doubt your value in this world. Because YOU are absolutely-fucking-amazing, friend. When you find yourself doubting that, read this. YOU are filling the YOU shaped hole in this universe. And no one else could ever do that.

#keepshining

Always. xoxo

self-compassion

Writing my Way Forward

Writing has become my own personal therapy. My new best friend. My person who will listen without judgement. My true ride or die. I’ve learned that I have to be all of these things for myself because others who promised they’d never leave and would be with me “all the days no matter what” have gone.

I write to feel heard. I write to make sense of the chaos and to understand and to be understood.

I write and I share and I try make sense of the things that I struggle with and I hope that my story resonates with others who have similar struggles.

I hope you know you’re not alone and I hope you know that there are people in the same boat — just different bodies of water; in different places with different destinations.

Keep rowing your boat. Rest when you need to but keep going.

All the love. All the days.

xoxo

Uncategorized

Tips to Manage Anxiety

I know when we’re in our heads and it feels like we’re stuck that it’s hard to focus and hit the “reset button”. Here’s a few tips I’ve found that have been helpful for me and I hope they will be for you too.

– First things first: breathe. I mean it. Sit down and take 10 minutes and truly focus on your breath and slow it down. Breathe in for a 7 second count and out for a 10 second count and slow your mind and take back your control. Sometimes this little exercise alone helps me the most.

– Stop and take a few minutes to really BE exactly where you are. And I mean that literally. Take time to ground yourself; become aware of your surroundings. What do you see, feel and hear? Are your feet touching the floor & are your hands in a relaxed position versus being tense. Rest your head and neck and BREATHE. Close your eyes and concentrate on just BEING.

– Aromatherapy is a huge help. And there’s so many options now from so many essential oils companies & people. They even have concoctions that are specifically designed for calming anxiety and helping to de-stress. And, they make them in little travel sized roll on bottles and you can take them anywhere. But again, with the aromatherapy: you’re breathing. One of my favorites is Serenity Now by Frankie & Myrrh. https://frankiewholesale.com/best-sellers/

What works for you and your anxiety or stress-y moments? I’d love to hear your go-to coping strategies so please share.

Much love, friends!

#keepshining