I don’t fish. I don’t even eat fish. Of any kind. If it lives in the water, it’s not for me. I think that’s why this works.
My feelings are like fish. Some are prettier to look at and experience than others. For the sake of this metaphor, I’m going to specifically focus on my “bad” feelings: shame, anxiety, fear, apathy, depression, anger, sadness, grief, guilt, despair, jealousy, rage, frustration, resentment, bitterness, irritation, pride, selfishness, hopelessness, misery…did I miss anything?
I imagine I’m floating in a cute little boat in my cute little bikini, on a calm, placid lake. My line is in the water because I’m fishing for treasure. Really- people lose jewelry and shit all the time. RIP to my Burberry sunglasses! I know that because I have a line in the water, I’ll inevitably hook something. And lo and behold, there’s a fish on the line. FUCK. Now there’s tension! I’m stressed because now I have to do something, or that fish is gonna run my line out until there’s nothing left, and I’m totally depleted. I guess I could cut the line, but that’s really just creating another problem because now I’ve got a fucked up line, and I have to make a new one from scratch or I won’t be able to catch any treasure.
I have to reel in the fish and unhook it. It’s hard. And it’s scary because I hate fish! I don’t want to look at it or touch it, but I have to! It’s the only way to unhook it. So I just breathe and keep reeling until I’m holding that squirming, slimy, nasty fish in my hand. And it’s terrible, and it sucks. It’s cold and yucky, and I wish I never decided to reel it in, but now it’s here, and I just have to unhook it. So I hold on hard to that fucking fish. It feels like forever, but it’s really only 30-60 seconds before all the horribleness pays off because now I have the hook out and we can both get on with our lives.
And that’s what it means to catch and release emotions. When I refuse to deal with the feelings on my line, they stay in my body and cause me thoughts I don’t want which turn into habits and behaviors. They cause fatigue and chronic exhaustion. They never let me live because they’re just swimming around inside me hogging all the space where the butterflies are supposed to live. So now, I reel them in, and I hold them for as long as it takes to unhook them. Scientifically speaking, if we practice letting go of emotions as they arrive, they really only come in waves of about 30-90 seconds at a time.
I do this all day every day. I do it while I’m working and working out. I do it while I’m at dinner and as I’m falling asleep. I do it mid-meditation and mid-downward dog. I do it at the grocery store and in traffic. I just let the damn fish off the hook. I don’t judge it for being an angry bass or a sad trout. I don’t really care if it’s a jealous carp or an apathetic minnow! I just hold onto the fish until it stops squirming enough for me to unhook it from my line and let it go. These fish and I have never felt so free to coexist knowing we are just going to have a brief encounter and move on. The best part is I’m getting pretty good at fishing.
So, if you see me with my eyes shut or staring into space for approximately 30-90 seconds, just know I’ve gone fishin’ and I’ll be back soon.
P.S. This is October’s theme, and I’m proud to say I’m 10 months in to my New Year’s Resolution!! Yeehaw!
Have you ever hit a rock bottom? You know, your world is yanked out from under you when you least expected it, or when you were expecting it and doing everything in your power not let that happen? It’s happened to me a few times. And every time I rebuilt, my life became better than what I had been holding on to- afraid of the unknown and yet to be seen.
In the past, my rock bottoms have lasted so long they’ve turned into ruts, which are basically rock bottoms that lose their edge and hang out for months. One in particular lasted for three years! That time was necessary because I learned a lot of the tools I have now for coping with major life changes. Younger Liz loved to get super manic, cut bangs, change her name to Lola, and party hardy until she forgot her problems one weekend at a time. Current Liz is still a little manic- I was meaning to get that tattoo for a while anyway!- but way more secure because I deeply and truly believe that the universe forces rock bottoms when we aren’t listening to our inner voices.
I am not suggesting we are being punished by the universe. I’m suggesting that when we are out of alignment with our true selves and desires, the universe will shove us off the cliff in order to shake us out of our comfort zone and into the next level of our lives. What I’ve learned is this hurts. A lot. Fear, heartache and pain are real. But if you’re willing to sit in it and while you’re down there, continue shedding everything that doesn’t align with who you truly are and what you truly want, you can make room for your truest desires to manifest.
Please don’t confuse this with “look at the bright side!” or “think positive!” You don’t have to do that. You can be miserable. But you can be miserable AND take a hard look at what you want and what needs to happen in order to have it.
In some of the self-development work I’ve been doing, there’s an exercise in which you’re asked to create your authentic code. Through a series of prompts and questions, you’re led to define roughly four elements that feel like your truest nature. Mine took a couple of tries to get down, but once I figured them out, they feel like me, and everything in my life needs to align with it as best it can, or I’m “out of my element.” I’ll share! I know you’re just dying to know!
First, my authentic code turned out to be security, ease, creativity and luxury, and I had my own definitions of what these mean to me. For example: luxury to me means quality, beauty, long-lasting and classic. It might mean something different to you- what’s important is the meaning and energy you give the word, not the word itself. So anyway, after sitting with these for a couple weeks, I couldn’t really see how I could align with these things. They felt aspirational, but not true to me. In a meditation followed by a journaling session, my truer code emerged! I expect this to change over time as I change, but for now, I’ve landed on Freedom, Beauty, Ease and Self-Care.
Now, the idea is to the best of your ability, eliminate everything that doesn’t align with your code. This doesn’t mean you throw out everything and everyone in your life though! It might just mean setting a new boundary, changing up a routine or getting rid of some things that just don’t feel like you! And if you’re wondering how you know what doesn’t feel true to you… bitch, you’ll know. If you get deep enough, your body will viscerally tell you through pings and pits. Or you’ll get shoved off a metaphorical cliff.
Freedom: To me this means choice and security. I want to be financially free to make choices in my day to day- money allows for this. I want freedom to to make decisions on my timeline, freedom in my work schedule and balance (my current job and side biz really check this for me!), freedom of expression through communication and art, freedom to change my mind, freedom to just exist and feel safe and be happy. In a partnership, it means freedom to grow and evolve and communicate for the greater good of the union, but also freedom to operate independently of a partner and come together for a shared experience. To the best of my ability, I am honoring myself in these ways. It doesn’t mean that I need to throw people away, but I might need to respectfully claim a boundary or have hard conversations to find mutual compromise. This also means freedom to make mistakes, learn and do better without fear of losing the relationship. I need freedom to feel inner peace. Social media sucks a lot of my freedom and peace so I’m cutting wayyy back- BLOCK, MUTE, DELETE, GOODBYE.
Beauty: I’ll say it, I’m vain. I like shit to be pretty. I like pretty clothes, pretty hair and makeup, pretty pictures. I like my home to express creativity and style beautifully. I like beautiful places in nature, I like pretty attitudes and lust for life. I like pretty drinks and moods and vibes and environments. My first tattoo says, “La Bella Vita,” which means The Beautiful Life in Italian. I got it when I was 19 after my Italian grandfather passed, and someone at his funeral told me what a beautiful life he had created. It stuck. I want to cultivate a beautiful life inside and out. To the best of my ability, I’m creating beauty. I’m making art, being kind to myself and others (most of the time), getting rid of clothes that don’t fit or make me feel frumpy, taking a little extra care on my skin, hair and makeup. (If you see me out looking dumpy, though, don’t @ me. This is progress, not perfection. Covid has made me really lazy.)
Ease: if it’s hard, I don’t want it. I’m lazy- energetically and physically. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can go to work, bitch. And I will- but I will only go to aligned work. I don’t do things or fuck with people that don’t speak to my soul. I don’t force anymore. I will give and give and work and work as long as it calls my heart and soul and I’m taking action aligned in my spirit. How many people have told me to get a TIKTOK? I have one, but it does nothing for me because it’s not something I’m called to! So you won’t catch me energetically forcing. I flow now. What is aligned with me is fun and easy action and work. To the best of my ability, I’m doing away with things that aren’t easy. No more forcing things I don’t like or want to do. I’m keeping a routine, but eliminating a rigid one. If I want to lift weights one day, I will. If I want to do yoga, sure thing. What feels easy today? Something not working? I can drop it and let the kinks resolve themselves. If it’s meant for me, it will untangle and come back, and in my clear, easy flowing state, I’ll know what actions I need to take to move forward.
Self-Care: not just bubblebaths, no, no. I ask myself about every hour these days, what do I need and/or want? Especially now since I’m in a hard place, when I think about the future, I want to curl up and die. But if I think about the next 15 minutes? What do I need? To cry? To go for a walk? To call someone? To just sit and stare at the wall? Okay, I’ll do that for myself. Whatever I need, I got me. Every time. It’s 100 degrees outside and I’m curled up under covers with a heating pad and hot computer because my ovaries hurt! Don’t care. It’s what I want and need right now. I cannot be anything for anyone if I don’t have myself taken care of. I cannot expect anyone else to do this for me. I can ask for and accept help, and part of self care is having the awareness to do so. To the best of my ability, I’m listening deeply and honoring my own needs, whether it’s a bubble bath or getting drunk alone and dancing in the kitchen for an hour straight- which I did a little too recently.
Creating an “authentic code” was abstract for me and kind of tricky, but now that I’m leaning into this concept, it’s getting easier to clean up my life and do away with or minimize things that aren’t important or aligned with me. I’m not abandoning my life and responsibilities by any stretch, because let’s face it, cleaning a litter box and doing dishes doesn’t fit in my code, lol. Hiring a housekeeper sure as shit does, but I’m not quite there yet! Having a code gives me direction and focus to keep coming back to when everything feels unsafe, uncertain and honestly so fucked up. If I really stay true to myself, the things that are meant for me can find their way in when the time is right. At least that’s the pattern I’ve lived my whole life and am just now consciously aware of it.
Just in case you’re in a rock bottom or you’re being triggered in some way, and everything I shared makes you want to punch me in the face, I have something else that might work. If you haven’t heard of Byron Katie’s Four Questions, it’s a rock bottom game changer. These are questions to ask yourself over and over when those horrible, scary depressing thoughts keep kicking you in the balls. When the thought hurts or scares you, ask:
Is it true?
Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
How do you react when you believe that thought?
Who would you be without that thought?
I needed to get all this out for me. Writing is a way that I can release a little bit of my fear and anxiety and spew unsolicited advice to anyone who wants to take it. I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t up to this point. But I do wish sometimes that my brain didn’t work like it does, and that I’d never started on a path of self-growth and discovery. It would be a lot easier to dissociate from my feelings, check out and abandon myself for the next year than it is to face the fact that I’m really sad and scared.
“I once had dreams of becoming a beautiful poet
But upon a series of unfortunate events saw those dreams dashed and divided like a million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again, sparkling and broken
But I didn’t really mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what true freedom is”
-Lana del rey
But rock bottoms are a gift. Rock bottoms are a forced opportunity to strip our unneeded layers, stories and patterns, be sad, be angry, be devastated and then rebuild, truer than ever before. If you’re in a rock bottom, who are you and what do you want, really? Just start there. Then become it.
This is August’s theme. This one is scary. I’ve been doing a ton, and I mean a TON of inner work to dig up the roots of my insecurities and release them. Tonight’s was a big one. And it’s seemingly vain and shallow, but it’s important to get it out of me because I’m so tired of carrying it.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a slave to skinny culture. I think my first real memories of feeling too fat wrong about my body were when I would see my step mom at the time obsess about her weight and talk openly about it in front of us kids. She. Was. TINY. I can’t remember how old I was, but I really looked up to her, and that’s when I decided I needed to be skinny too. My childhood best friend’s parents were also very controlling of her weight, and I picked up a lot of their rhetoric through osmosis.
Most of my life, I’ve been relatively thin but convinced I’m fat. Like, I look at pictures and I’m rail thin, but I KNOW I thought I was fat. I have one photo with a friend of mine who was teeny tiny, and I felt so fat around her… but in the photo, I WAS WEARING HER DRESS. We swapped clothes all the time. We were the same size. But I thought I was this fat weird alien or something. I’ve always been very obsessed with how I look and what size I am, but I never really had to do much to maintain it. I’ve always been able to eat what I want and rarely exercise and remained pretty much the same size. Disclaimer: as I get older, I like eating things besides buffalo chicken dip and margaritas four nights a week, and I really do like exercising, so my habits have matured along with me.
It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I actually started to put on weight in a way that felt foreign to me. I had absentmindedly gained weight at one point and saw of photo of myself and was like, ‘OH FUCK.’ So I did what anyone in 2015 would do and jumped on the HCG diet. It worked like a charm! I lost 30 lbs in month! And it pretty well stayed off, but what took it’s place was a new fear of eating that I didn’t have before. The HCG diet is insane for anyone who hasn’t heard of it. You take these hormones and eat 500 calories a day. Your body basically thinks you’re pregnant, so you lose all this weight as if you’re sustaining a baby. But you’re not. And you’re only eating 500 calories so they just BURN. Frankly it’s amazing, but I’m no doctor so I don’t recommend this.
Clearly, this diet is not sustainable. It did it’s job for me once, but then I didn’t know what to do after that. If I put back on too much weight, I’d try to do it again, and each time it got harder and less effective, and I got more and more scared of eating. Fast forward to like what, 2018, maybe? Keto. Paleo. Low Carb. No meat. Vegan. Intermittent Fasting. Carb cycling. WHAT THE FUCK. I think I tried and failed at them all. Add this to the fact that I’d practiced plenty of diets like South Beach and general food restriction on and off since high school. I laugh now, but in college, I even did the baby food diet to crash before Spring Break one year. I was just so scared of that photo I had seen of myself, out of control of my body and fat, and I was going to do ANYTHING to make sure that never happened again. Well, what you resist persists, I’ve learned.
Over the last couple years, the fear, shame and confusion I feel around food has finally pushed me to a breaking point. I had a breakdown and sobbed in the mirror admitting to myself that I’m afraid of eating. I’m currently in a body I don’t feel connected to and every time I’m about to eat, I disassociate, try to convince myself that it doesn’t matter what I eat (if it’s something “unhealthy”) or I’m doing a good job (if it’s something “healthy”). It starts first thing in the morning with my coffee, which I shouldn’t drink because caffeine is bad, and then I add my creamer, which I shouldn’t have because dairy and sugar are bad. It ends with dinner. I had vegetables and rice tonight and felt really guilty because I ate too much of it and cooked it too long so there was probably no nutritional value and I just wasted all those calories. The weekends? Junk food? Forget about it. I absolutely binge junk food because I know I’m going to deprive myself of it until the next time I’m in a social setting. So then after the binge is over, I feel viscerally larger and more disconnected to my body. Then Monday rolls around and I get to start over.
I don’t know what the answer to this is. But today, after following a guided hypnosis and connecting the pit in my stomach I feel when I think about food to literal fear, shame and guilt, I’ve realized that if I can shine a light down the tunnel, maybe I can find my way out of it. What I know for sure is that the key to my health and my body lies inside of me and nowhere externally. I will not be googling diets or superfoods. I will not be asking friends. I will not be reading what this or that celebrity does to lose weight. I’ll be taking really good care of myself and listening to what my pits and pings are telling me.
For now, I’m trying on my own, but this is nearly 20 years of disordered behavior and thought patterning now magnified, so I may need to seek therapy. I’ll do what’s right for me if that time comes and I’ll ask for help. For now, I’m just going to be honest with myself and own that I have a real fear of food and my body doesn’t trust me right now.
That’s all. No answers. Just outing what needs to get out.
Look, I know the word *manifest* is a real trigger for a lot of people. It is for me too. However, I’ve recently stumbled upon some ground breaking information that I feel compelled to share. COMPELLED.
As an AVID practitioner of the “think positive, good vibes, no bad thoughts may enter” model of law of attraction, I’ve always believed (at least for the last decade or so) just what I stated. If I stay positive, focus on what I want and not what I don’t want, then those things will eventually come. Well, no. I looked back over the course of my life, and the things I’ve “manifested” haven’t always arrived when I was flying high on good vibes. Some came in when I was really depressed! How can that be??
First, let me talk about how I define a manifestation: I see a manifestation as something you want or have been wanting in your life that arrives effortlessly, in perfect timing- serendipitously, if you will. The money is right, or it’s totally free. The moment is perfect and everything was just lined up and that thing just fell into your lap. Manifestations aren’t forced or hard to achieve. If they are, they often don’t stay. At least, that’s my patterning. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I’ll tell you about what I recently learned.
“Manifesting” what you want has nothing to do with positivity, and everything to do with your self worth, and your self worth varies among every aspect in your life. Have you ever noticed the people who literally eat trash nonstop and have amazing bodies? Or the people who just make money super easily and they’re not even that smart and/or hardworking? Do you have a really lucky friend who just kind of happens their way into good fortune all the time? Well, by this model of thinking, those people would have high self worth in those categories. Take the example of a really wealthy person with garbage relationships- their self-worth around money might be super high, meaning they believe they deserve money and have no doubt about it, but their self-worth in love and partnership might not be. Does that make sense?
It super clicked for me yesterday as I was riding my horse- the one that was gifted to me after I declined an offer to buy multiple times. The super expensive Arabian horse that fell into my lap when I had the lowest vibration of all time because I was living through a depression after escaping a cult-like business venture. If manifestations depend on good vibes and positive thoughts- riddle me that one!
So let me give you some insight into my extremely high self worth in the equestrian realm. As a preschooler, I was OBSESSED with My Little Pony. Like all I wanted was to be the first kid released at play time so I could run to the ponies before anybody else. I always asked for horse toys for my Barbies and wanted all the accessories to boot. My parents, observant as they were, asked if I wanted to take horseback riding lessons. I was a shy child (no, seriously so shy) around new people and environments, but obviously I said yes because here we are now.
At five years old and at $25 a lesson (people think riding horses is a rich person’s sport, and it CAN be, but it can also not be, trust), my mom signed me up for weekly riding lessons. Right away I was a natural and from what I recall, pretty fearless. I just LOVED how big they were, and how if they trust you, they’ll do anything for you. I do owe this fearlessness in large part to my trainer, Holly, because she sent 5 year old Liz into a field of horses with a bucket of grain I could hardly carry and told me to figure out how to catch my horse. I’m sure my mom damn near died. She also made me stand on my horse bareback and pick her apples out of a tree. And the first time I was bucked off? Forget about it! She laughed so hard and yelled, “You’re a real cowgirl now!” My ass might have been bruised, but my ego wasn’t! I was so proud!
Whether by nature or nurture, I am my most secure, confident and worthy self around horses. I know what I’m doing. I know my limits, and I know the horses’ limits. I set firm boundaries with humans and horses in those environments and I do not accept poor behavior or violations of those boundaries. I deeply trust my intuition, and I know what’s about to happen before it happens. That’s the difference between a fun ride and a broken back or worse at times. I ask for help when I need it, and I put my safety first. I completely own my space, and not many people see that side of me. Once, a friend went riding with me and told me she felt like I was a totally different person in the barn, and I am. We all play hide and seek with our self worth in our day to day lives. At least, I do. But when I’m in the equestrian environment, my sense of self and my identity are so completely intact that literally nothing matters except existing with these animals. Riding centers, balances and grounds me. When I skip more than a couple weeks in a row, my mental health takes a noticeable turn for the worst, rapidly.
So, how did I *manifest* a free, well-bred Arabian horse? I’ll tell you.
My first job at 14 was shoveling horse shit. I’m not kidding. At 15, I got my first horse (bless up, mom, fr fr, thank you). I needed a way to take responsibility for this horse- his name was Lightning Jazz- so I cleaned stalls in exchange for his board. Fast forward to college, and I sold Jazz. It was SO hard. I was away at school, and the poor baby was just sitting in the barn for months! He was salty every time I came home, and it just wasn’t fair to him. He needed to be ridden and appreciated!
So following the sale of Jazz, there was a horse named Tahoe who was boarded in the same barn. Tahoe, as I’ve mentioned, is an Arabian. All you need to know is that means he’s clinically insane. His owner bought him having never ridden horses before and in her forties, and she just wanted a pretty one. She fell off one time and never got on him again. So, like Jazz, he was in the barn just hanging out a lot. I would ride him when I was in town to get him some exercise and socialization. I’m just going to be real, I’m an excellent rider, and he had me trippin. That horse was nuts. But can you blame him? He’s got a high spirit and needed regular attention! I digress.
So anyway, fast forward again, and after a series of unfortunate events, I found myself living in my mom’s house at 27, paying off a ton of debt and attempting to save enough to get back out on my own. Since I was back in St. Louis after living in Chicago, I of course began riding Tahoe again and much more frequently. I mean, free rides? Yes! His owner loved it because she was only willing and able to visit him and pet him given her skill level. Very shortly after, she tragically fell very ill and let me know she needed to sell Tahoe. I was devastated, but was in no position to make an offer. At the time, I even assumed I’d leave St. Louis again once I got back on my feet. So she made me an offer!
And I said no. I couldn’t. I was so broke. And then became more depressed because the one thing making me happy was so close, yet I couldn’t grasp it. A couple weeks later, she offered a lower price and said she really wanted me to have him because she didn’t want him to leave his friends (the other barn horses), and I really understood him. Again, I said no. My mom and the woman who boards him even started pressuring me! I was like, YOU ALL ARE INSANE DO YOU SEE ME WITH AN EXTRA SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS? GO AWAY. And I’ll never forget Dee Ann (she boards Tahoe in her barn), said, “Liz. He’s your horse.” SHEESH. I mean, I knew that, but I couldn’t see how I could make it work in my current situation.
So another couple weeks go by, I’m depressed as shit- again, I was recovering from serious trauma, this was just icing on the cake. Lower than low vibes. I mean, we are into mood territory (ifykyk), and Dee Ann calls and says, “[his owner] can’t stand the thought of Tahoe living somewhere where they don’t understand him and being away from his friends. She would like to gift him to you.” And I said no. SERIOUSLY. What. The. Fuck. I still couldn’t afford to pay monthly board! I was so broke, it’s not even funny. Technically, I could afford it, but at the cost of keeping me in my mom’s house and taking longer to pay off debt. But Dee Ann said, “You can afford it. I will make it so you can afford it.” And she threw a number at me that had me calling my mom crying because it was so low, and I still couldn’t bring myself to do it. So my mom, the saint that she is, said, “You need this, and it is clear this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’ll help you with board until you get on your feet.” (Privilege has entered the chat.) Seriously, although this piece is part of the story, it would have been much harder if not impossible had my mom not been able to bridge the gap I needed closed at this time in order to accept this gift. No question- this is privilege. Thank you, Mom.
Six months later, I received a raise at work and was able to take over the board. And right up until Lola + Rose *manifested,* I went back to shoveling horse shit on weekends just to lower the cost for myself.
I tell this story to solidify my new way of thinking when it comes to calling in and receiving the things I want in life. When I look at the times things just “worked out” or came to me easily by just landing in my lap, they were NEVER forced, and I also had no doubts about whether I deserved them or not. I mean, I literally pushed Tahoe away multiple times, but it was never because I thought I was unworthy of owning a horse. I belong with horses and they belong with me- that’s part of who I am. That was going to happen whether I consciously believed it or not. I was so broke, so depressed and so NOT positive, that if the “think positive” model of manifestation were true, I wouldn’t have that horse. And honestly, I’d have had much bigger problems if negative thoughts came true just because we believed them.
On the other hand, I think about things that I forced- the things that gave me a pit. Those that even though I wanted them SO bad and would hype myself up and convince myself I deserved them never lasted. They were always the things I thought I needed to impress someone or to symbolize some status or boost my ego in some way. Think about the things in your life that ALWAYS just work out for you. Not everyone has that gift you’re thinking of. Think of the things you thought you really wanted and forced, and how they didn’t end up being as great as you though they would be or how they disappeared as fast as they came in.
All this isn’t about some esoteric woo woo magic manifestation bs some guru is touting all over social media. It’s truly about looking at where in our lives feel most worthy and authentic, and where in our lives we don’t. Can we focus on the things in our lives that ALIGN with who we really are and toss out the rest?
I’ve been working a lot on releasing things that don’t work for me anymore. Letting go of old thoughts, habits, things and even people can be painful, but when we strip all that away, I think we can find out where we are thriving already and where we need some extra love and care. Personally, I can pick apart what I’ve been doing or chasing for the sake of what I think other people expect vs what I really want and need in life to be happy. I saw a quote the other day that said, “How do you know you’re doing the most aligned thing for you? It’s the way you’d do it if you were in secret.” And that resonated with me so much, because my horse and my experience with horses isn’t for anyone but me, and that’s how I know I’m deeply in my worth.
I have a LONG list of things on my manifestation list, so I’m applying the Tahoe theory and working to build up my sense of worth and deservingness around those things. I’ll let you know when I get the G-Wagen.
WOW. Cancer Season, you’re kicking my ass, sweetheart. This water world of emotion has almost been too much for me. I’m ready for fiery Leo to make his entrance and bring us all some fun energy. ANYWAY.
I’m just going to shoot you straight. Two months ago or so, I joined a year long membership program called To Be Magnetic, which is essentially an entire library of guided workshops including hypnotic meditations, journal prompts and MUCH more. It’s design is set up to help people unblock engrained subconscious beliefs we picked up in childhood, and utilize neural plasticity to help overwrite neural pathways and instill new beliefs. A wildly simple example could be: as a kid, your mom was extremely protective and constantly warned you about not talking to strangers, so now, you have a constant anxiety or fear about meeting new people. You may pull up that memory and gently re-parent yourself with something like, “My mom loves me so much, she was doing what she thought was right to protect me. I have picked up her fear, and it doesn’t belong to me. It is safe to meet new people, and I like new people. I trust myself to decide if strangers are safe for me.” Again, wildly simple, but you get the idea. All this happens in a hypnotic state, preceded or followed by journal prompts to help reinforce these new thoughts into your conscious mind, so you can establish new behaviors.
This is highly sensitive, and I recommend doing it alongside therapy or a strong emotional and mental support system. If you have experienced serious trauma, this is especially important. The first few sessions I did were extremely emotional and intense, and ultimately I gave myself space to work through it, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself, and know what tools you need to accomplish your goals.
I’ve been rigorous in this work, and subsequently, live healing manifestations have occurred that have changed my life. I started this because I’ve always been a good manifest-er in many ways, but it seems the things I want most in life have just had a block around them, so I was looking for something to tell me why all the “positive vibes” in the world haven’t been bringing in what I want!
What I’ve learned is that manifestations have nothing to do with good/positive vibes, and everything to do with your self worth. You can only manifest what you TRULY feel worthy of with your entire being. I saw this first hand, because the things that have always shown up easily for me have been things I had no doubt about. I just knew they were coming and they did. The things I doubt my worth around the most often come in slowly, in spurts or don’t last. My mind was blown when I actually made a list of all the manifestations that just landed in my lap, and how easily it happened, and what my beliefs were. I compared it to my beliefs around the manifestations I haven’t yet received, and it is abundantly clear that I don’t feel one hundred percent in my worth around those things.
The BONKERS part, is the material things are mattering less and less the further in this work I go, because the DEEP sense of security, love and peace I feel in myself is a high that no G-Wagen can bring- although I will have one someday.
Let me give you an example- and I have discussed this with my mom, so I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing. In a hypnosis, I was called to a time when I was about 9 or 10. I remembered having friends over at our house, and my mom not really engaging with my friends. She seemed like there were about a billion places she’d rather be than in a house full of screaming girls (which, I get it). In that childhood hypnosis, I felt myself wanting my mom to be the mom that was all “hip” and in with the kids, and hanging out with us. So in the meditation, I was guided to ask for what I needed, and so I did. I said, “Mom, I really want you to hang out with me and my friends. I want you to want to be here and engage and have fun with us!” And she said she’d love to and joined in with our sleepover.
Cut to the following weekend, my boyfriend and I were going to my mom’s house for Memorial Day. We planned a little BBQ. When I arrived, completely without prompting, my mom said, “I bought some extra food and I thought you could invite [your friend] over. My jaw hit the M’F-in FLOOR. I hadn’t told anyone about the meditation I had, and here my mom was, INVITING MY FRIENDS OVER. Two of them came over with us and we had the best time all talking together and just enjoying the day.
It took me a couple weeks to really wrap my mind around this, and it wasn’t even the first real-life healing that had happened. These were happening left and right and I was just stunned. I finally brought it up to my mom (because, let’s face it- these concepts aren’t really mainstream, and she’s a trained therapist of 30+ years), and I told her about my meditation, feelings around her and my friends, and the Memorial Day manifestation. She shared that I was right in my meditation, and that she grew up in an environment that kept adults and children very separate. The kids lived in their own world, and they were not to cross into the adult’s lives and vice versa. She said raising us, she still believed that there was no reason for parents to be all up in kids’ business- let them be kids! To be clear, my mother was NEVER cold or detached. She’s very loving. She just expressed in her upbringing, adults have their roles and kids have their’s.
Not only had this very specific asking been healed, but now I had a whole new perspective with which to see my upbringing. I’ve gone in and done meditations around my dad as well and have had real-time feedback. I’ve done them with exes and have had real-time manifestations arise in my current relationship. I’ve gone back and done these around my brother- mostly me apologizing for being such a dick of a big sister. This shit is HARD. And at times, ugly. Especially when it’s one-sided. I don’t expect anyone to do this along with me, but I know that means that I may change and certain things may not change with me, and that’s ok. I’ve also learned that I’m much more flexible and open to change than I thought I was. A lot of my rigid behavior or thoughts are just fear-based patterning and engrained to protect me from not living some of the mistakes I’ve made again.
This process is breaking loose things my subconscious that I haven’t wanted to deal with or didn’t even know existed. I’ve seen memories of being bullied, memories of needing to stand up for myself and I didn’t, and memories of picking up someone else’s beliefs and allowing them to become mine. Undoing the limitations I have on myself has superseded any physical or material manifestation I’ve been chasing, and I’m so deeply invested in working on myself FOR myself, that I don’t really care how long it takes to get the G-Wagen in the garage anymore. And by the way, yes, I want a G-Wagen more than anything, and ANYTHING you want is valid. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for wanting what you want- that’s a them problem!
Through this, I’ve discovered Human Design, which is a whole other self-discovery path, and I’m so enjoying the process of opening my mind and heart to new ideas and new perspectives. Sometimes getting a new angle on an old problem is all you need to solve it and release it. Actually, I’d say that’s the way all the time, just based on what I’ve experienced. When I was 14, my therapist said, “Well- here’s the obstacle- you can go through it, under it, over it or around it, but one way or another, you will overcome it if you set out to.” That’s taken on a whole new meaning for me.
So there you have it. I didn’t write for June because I was so deep in this that I couldn’t express myself. Oh, and by the way, PLENTY of physical manifestations have occurred in this too- but now they’re just icing on the cake and make life that much sweeter. I actually started a private instagram account where I photo-document these every day magics, just so I don’t forget how lovely they are! Highly recommend.
I am so looking forward to the rest of the year and what’s to come of this work.
***Please note- there’s no “code” or anything I get from sharing To Be Magnetic or Human Design- they’re just really working for me so instead of being vague, I wanted to be specific. Please follow your own path when deciding if a program is right for you.
I have been committed to choosing a theme every month this year, and it has worked so well for me. June’s theme is Heal. This has become hugely moving and highly personal, and I don’t think I want to share it with the world.
I’m still here, still on theme and growing tremendously.
May! What happened? I didn’t forget about you, but this year has flown by at max speed and here I am, honoring the intersection of what I set out to do and what I’m motivated and/or inspired to do. I set out to choose a theme each month of this year instead of having one over-arching New Year’s resolution, and I have to say, it’s gone swimmingly. When I swing back into my old, anxious, controlling, lethargic or confused patterns, I bring myself back to my monthly theme and do my best to practice it. So far, each month has led me smoothly to my next theme. It’s almost like my instincts are telling me the next area I could investigate and see what’s there. I often arrive at my next month’s theme before the current month is even over! This month was different though! This month has sort of told me what I need.
I’m throwing that photo above up there simply because I feel like it, and because it sort of captures all three themes I considered for the month of May. The first was “love,” but let’s be real, that was just because I was in a really good mood when I thought of it, and I didn’t expect that to last. The second word was “fun.” I landed on fun for a while because I barely truly laugh anymore (sad, but it’s true), I try to control everything, and even when I’m out having “fun,” I’m always anxious about the future. This presents in the form of me trying to control everything. For example: on the trip this photo is from, I obsessed over how much water and sleep I was getting and what foods I was eating because I HATE being hungover and not feeling well, especially when I’m away from home. I hope one day I can get a little of my wild, free spirit back and down tequila at the beach all day without sheer panic and fear of a hangover impeding my good time, but I’m not there yet. I mean, come on. Pandemic. You can’t blame me for developing health and social anxiety.
So ANYWAY, the theme I’ve settled on is “Honor.” What honor means to me is truly just go with the flow and respect how I’m feeling when I’m feeling it and dropping the anxiety. Am I feeling lovey? Go with it. Am I having fun? Go with it. Honor it and don’t ruin it! Or at least try not to. By the same token, I tend to do things like post thotty pics on Instagram and then later regret it, and then later regret regretting it. Instead, why can’t I honor the fact that I felt like posting a thotty pic, and that’s fine. And next week I might want to post an art pic or a “I’m totally in control and a respectable 31 year old” pic? Why can’t I honor my own life, feelings and wishes over what I think others expect of me? Weird man.
I was having a very poignant conversation with a friend about this recently. She was advising someone else in her life on the fact that other people really don’t care about you, respectfully. They just don’t. If they do, that’s kind of a them problem. If someone has as much of an issue with my thotty picture as I think they do, and they choose not to message me directly and ask me why I’m being a thot on Instagram, well, that’s not really my problem. So how can I make my choices with conviction and then honor them? How can I change my mind, even when I said I was going to start or stop doing something, honor that choice and the fact that I’ve changed my mind, without needing to explain myself? I don’t know. That’s why I picked this theme. I’m trying it out.
I’ve had a pretty big project I envisioned about 6 months ago, but have yet to execute. It’s been eating me up, but I can’t find it in me to get started…yet. I hope I do soon, but I think I should honor that my best work and creations will present when the time is right. And this isn’t a motivation issue. I have plenty of motivation- I’m just waiting to download the inspiration that will lead me to the right action. It’s in there. I trust myself.
Meanwhile, I have purchased and have been playing Roller Coaster Tycoon every night before bed. I’m not even kidding. It’s so much fun. And I don’t feel the slightest bit of guilt for playing computer games for hours this week. It’s FUN, and I’m honoring whatever the F I feel like, because I trust that I can balance goofing off for a while and still doing things like housework (I legit love cleaning- it’s annoying), resin art or working out that make me feel balanced and productive.
Alright, well I’m done journaling, I guess. It’s so odd that I put this shit on the internet and really don’t care if anyone reads it. I love this blog, but I still don’t know what I’m doing with it or what it’s for other than sufficing as my public diary.
It’s April! What happened? As usual, the urge to write here is few and far between the weeks, so I have to pounce when inspiration strikes. Throughout March, I focused on acceptance. Acceptance of myself, my situation, my body, my life. I focused on leaning into what is, instead of pushing so hard for what I think I’m supposed to be. That’s not to say I’m deciding to settle, but it is to say that I can’t put happiness on some shelf I’ll never reach; I have to pull it off the shelf now. I mean, I’ve lived this in the smallest of ways! I’m someone who will save certain face masks or outfits for “special occasions,” but now I’m trying to remember that every day is a special occasion! Wear the outfit! Use the fancy face mask on a Wednesday! What are you waiting for?
Anyway, here I am now, thinking about how much more at peace I feel. I’m increasingly more comfortable setting boundaries and saying no, truly honoring what’s best for me, and being respectful of others’ needs and boundaries. I feel just okay with my life now! In a GOOD WAY. I feel like everything is supposed to happen for me, and I just want to enjoy the ride, following the next inspiration and acting when the moment feels right. In doing so, I had this weird epiphany in the shower. Brace yourselves.
Now, I’m someone who has been tortured by extreme insecurity and hatred for my body for as long as I can remember; 3rd grade if you wanted to get specific. Since middle school, I’ve dieted, judged, scrutinized, hated, berated and waged all out war on my body for not being what I think it’s supposed to be. Every time I withheld certain food or worked out, it was a punishment. It was a punishment on my body and my own willpower for not being able to force my figure into what it’s supposed to be: A size four or less, zero blemishes, zero cellulite, no lumps, no bumps, no extra hair, but wait, more hair on my head, perfect nails, always shaved and moisturized…god I could go on but I don’t want to. Anyway, leaning into acceptance, I was in the shower just a few nights ago and suddenly had this weird urge to cry! All of the sudden I was filled with so much sorrow and sadness for how I’ve treated my body. THIS BODY THAT HAS DONE NOTHING BUT LET ME LIVE. It’s not only put up with everything I’ve put it through, but usually accepted it. It tells me what it needs, but I don’t always listen. It’s put up with my abuse for 31 years now, and I am so sorry. And I forgive myself, all at the same time.
Suddenly this new wave of acceptance hit me all at once, which is unusual for me, as I usually have to work through many stages of change. But all in the same moment, I was so deeply sorry for how I’ve treated my body, and simultaneously filled with love and forgiveness for myself. Since that moment, I no longer feel any food guilt whatsoever. Any and all food is fine. If I want vegetables, I eat vegetables. If I want wine, I drink wine. I’m absolutely done battling every bite of food I eat, and I forgive myself for doing it for years. I can’t get back that mental energy I spent at war with myself, but I can forgive myself now and do better.
My workouts have changed drastically. Now, I push myself to grow my muscles, increase my endurance, and strengthen my body for longevity, not to punish myself and get skinny. When I get dressed, if I feel uncomfortable or don’t love how something looks, I just change clothes! I ask if this clothing is something that supports me and how I want to feel? Or do I just feel a little off and need something more comfortable today? I don’t stare at my stomach and punish it for not being slimmer. I don’t stay in those clothes suffering and feeling uncomfortable for the sake of proving I can.
I’m carrying this forgiveness into my whole life. In regards to my finances, business, my house, my relationships, I forgive myself for not listening to what I want. I forgive myself for drowning in the noise of society and comparing myself to the perfectly curated highlights I see online and shaming myself for not being able to achieve what others’ seem to have achieved. I forgive myself for thinking I was wrong to follow a different career trajectory. I forgive myself for blowing money for YEARS trying to fill voids that material things can’t fill. I forgive myself for being so mean to myself for not being perfect.
As I work to continue to clear the clutter of my life, I will continue to forgive myself for old unnecessary patterns of behavior and release them. This month, I am continuing to let go of material accumulation, and now I’m adding the mental clutter of social media to that list. One day per week, I’m going social media dark! Whoa. I did it yesterday, and no lie, I had to stay REALLY busy to avoid reaching for my phone. I failed twice, but that’s ok. By the time I woke up today, I felt significantly lighter, and in just one day, the habitual compulsion to reach for my phone was diminished! I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think I could do it, but it was so freeing, I actually feel like I’ll be able to stay off social media a lot more as I continue to practice this once a week detox. I forgive myself for being a social media addict, and I’m pre-forgiving myself for the inevitable ups and downs that are sure to follow in this new behavior pattern.
Anyway, I’m feeling great about practicing forgiveness, and I’m excited to see where it takes me.
I’m done with Money Monday already. But it’s not because it’s not awesome. It’s because it was so helpful for me, that I have to follow this new path of uncovering my my bad habits and how to fix them. I’ll definitely still do Money Mondays here and there, but I don’t want to lose focus on a path that’s been illuminated through this!
For the cap to this first exploration of money behaviors, I need to talk about my worst demon: compulsive spending. As long as I’ve had a credit card (which was way too young to have a credit card), I’ve spent money mostly based on emotion. Did the emotion of stress ever stop me from spending money? HA! Usually not! I hated being sad that I was walking away from something I wanted more than I hated the stress of spending money I otherwise needed. Once the high of a new purchase was over, I would kind of forget about a lot of the stuff I had because I was bored with it. I would never get rid of anything, though, even when I didn’t like it or use it because I felt guilt about spending money on it. Then to add the final layer to this shame cake, I beat myself up for not having more money, and I would sincerely wonder where my money had gone. I’d berate myself for not being more in control. I’d hunker down and stop spending for all of a week, and then reward myself with a new purchase. I’d justify everything I bought with ‘I need it,’ ‘I love it,’ ‘I deserve it.’ And maybe one or all of those were true, but that didn’t mean I ad to buy it. I did it anyway.
It. Was. Vicious.
I have definitely gotten this under control. It only maxing out multiple cards and having to take out loans to pay them off…. twice…. to get me to stop using credit cards for shoes and clothes and overpriced brunches. It might have also taken a very embarrassing talking-to from my dad at 28 years old. It’s been up and down though. I like things. I’m a Libra, you guys. I like pretty things. I like expensive things. I like everything over the top and the best of the best. BUT WHY? I can only blame astral/planetary alignments so much.
I look around at all my stuff and feel unsettled still. Still lacking. Still missing “something.” Subconsciously, I’ve known for a while that things aren’t what will fill that hole. I’ve also shared in the past that freedom is my ultimate motivator, even more than things, which is why I want to get my finances working for me, instead of working for my finances. For me, money means freedom and choice. Being able to choose what I want to do when I want to do it makes me feel so good and so light and happy. It’s almost like all the things I buy are just anchors. And every time I buy something I don’t love or need to temporarily make me happy, it only drags me further from the freedom I so badly want!
So even though buying things impulsively or compulsively feels good in the moment, ultimately, I’m left feeling worse off. This took me so long to wake up to, and it’s highly personal. I’m sure not everyone will relate to this.
Through doing Money Monday, I’ve been led back around to minimalism. First and foremost, it looks different for everyone, and that’s why it didn’t work for me in the past. I thought I had to empty out everything from every room and leave only a table and chairs and one single vase with one single stem surrounded by white walls and cement floors. WRONG. Minimalism is about finding out who you are at your core, and what makes you the the happiest, most loving, freest version of yourself, and eliminating everything else.
What I’ve realized is that I’ve always used money and acquiring “things” as a way to express myself, make myself happy in the moment, and make up for parts of my life that I feel like I’m missing. Some of that is okay, but it’s time that I take a very hard look at myself and figure out exactly what that looks like for me.
To give you an example: I have two closets full of clothes, but I always wear the same 10 or so items. I like the other things in theory. I feel guilty getting rid of some of it because I’ve never worn it but should, or maybe someone gifted it to me. I’m confused about some of the items. I think I like them, but why do I never wear them? I would love to open my closet and be PUMPED about every item staring back at me, so why isn’t this the case? And this applies to every single thing I’ve acquired in my home. I want to be able to definitively say that I either use it or I love it, and truly either use it or love it. By becoming this intentional with every single item I own, I know it will get easier and easier to “curate” a life that feels free of anchors and confusion.
Wow. That was a lot of rambling. I HIGHLY recommend following The LA Minimalist on Instagram if you’re interested in figuring out what clarity around your things looks like for you. The easiest exercise for me so far has been this:
If I have 5 shirts, but only wear 3, so I donate 2, how many options did I lose? ZERO. The shirts I didn’t wear were not options. I filled a trash bag to donate within 30 minutes of learning this minimalist math. It help cut through the what ifs and guilt of getting rid of things. The other words that stuck with me in regards to feeling wasteful were, “The money was wasted the moment you swiped your card. It’s gone. The only way you’re wasting now is by holding on to something that someone else could be using.” So powerful.
In conclusion, I’m focusing on eliminating everything in my life that doesn’t serve me, and what that means is everything I don’t love or don’t use. I’d like to see where this goes, and if clearing my physical space (this includes digital space: ie: phone and computers) will help me start putting my money to work for me in better ways than the revolving cycle it’s been in my whole life.
If you liked bits and pieces of Money Monday, I would just encourage you to stay curious in exploring your financial life. Don’t judge yourself. Just be open to new ideas and be willing to try and fail.
Two posts in two days, dangggg y’all are lucky! Or unfortunate. You pick. I’ve said this before, but I treat this blog more as my diary than anything, and if even one other person cares to read it, that’s pretty cool! That said, I’m making the effort to continue to share my monthly themes. In January, my theme was presence. February was focus. March is acceptance.
To me, acceptance doesn’t mean giving up or settling. It doesn’t mean that I’m not going to continue to work on myself or the things I want to accomplish. It just means that I can surrender to each moment and really live in it. I can be ok with exactly where I am, knowing that I am absolutely doing enough. Personally, this attitude (which I started practicing about a week ago) really soothes me. It cuts the gnawing feeling that I should be more productive, or should be restricting food, or should be whatever. It lets me feel as though in this very moment, it’s all good.
My mom is a therapist, and I hijacked a book from her called “One Day at a Time in Al-Anon.” It’s a resource book/journal of a woman who spends a year in Al-Anon learning to cope with her life and pick up all the pieces she’s shattered in attempts to deal with her alcoholic husband. I have no direct connection to alcohol or drug abuse, but this book is profoundly applicable to life regardless of your situation. Every day, she refocuses on her own mindset, what she can control, and letting herself surrender to what is in order to keep a clear head about her to handle her situation. One quote that has been resonating with me is “Go slow. Let go. Keep it simple.” If you know me at all, you know I live my life in “Hurry up. Wrestle it to the ground. Overthink it.” I like the former.
This month is all about just being GOOD with whatever happens, knowing it’s not permanent and I can always make a different choice. I will still be working on my business, learning my new job, focusing on being healthier and attempting to minimize my home, but I can do it from a place of being good rather than a place of needing to do these things in order to be good.