Deep Breathing Challenge – Day #30

I didn’t give an update for my last two weeks, because I didn’t really have one. I have noticed a lot in my first two weeks of this challenge and there are also some realizations I have accepted through the process. It’s been a deep growth period for me and one I have truly enjoyed to the fullest.

I no longer get lightheaded,

when I deep breathe for yoga or meditation. Now that my body is used to spending, roughly half, of the time deep breathing naturally, it is better able to accommodate those activities where deep breathing is involved.


 

I can run farther, faster.

My strides are long as if I’m seven inches taller. My body takes off and flies through the scenery. Coming from a hometown in high altitude and thin air, it was already one thing to experience such thickness in the air here; being so close to sea level. Deep breathing has given me back my power to match my breathing to the environment. I used to compensate my breathing when I ran here, unsure of how exactly to measure my breaths. Sometimes I would breathe a lot of faster and sometimes just a little too shallow. I now understand the rhythm and flow to serve my body the best functioning for runs, jogs, and now… hikes!


I’ve stopped craving junk food as often.  

It was cookies every single night, chocolate of some sort every day, skipping meals and craving chocolate of any kind. Milk, carbs for all three meals, late night snacks, decrease in activity. The sluggish feeling became overwhelming. The clear thinking I have had from deeply breathing has not only filtered out unnecessary thoughts and slowed down my pace of speech, but it has given me clear and concise communication with the part of my brain that tells me when I am hungry and/or thirsty and what nutrients I actually need to fuel my body. I am listening intently as I gather what I need. The bag of Cadbury eggs in my fridge are not being touched [as often] as I thought they would be. They may just last until Winter…. don’t worry about the amount I bought. That’s not of importance. Fruits and veggies and water are once again, the biggest part of my diet. I crave cherries like I craved cookies. My breaths allow me to really feel my lungs expand and my heart beat at an appropriate rate. I feel the beating getting stronger everyday. My own heart is regaining it’s strength due to my breaths lengthening, inhibiting my mind to decide accurately what it is I need to put in my body to make this function last.


 

I have learned and accepted, that I can’t breathe deeply every single breath of every single moment of every day, but I can come back to deep breathing when I have stopped doing whatever it is that takes the focus of mind.

Such as conversations, being in the moment with friends, laughing, watching suspenseful movies, and even sleeping. Educating clients, reading a book. There are some things I do, where I just don’t think about my breathing. Although my breathing is no longer shallow like it used to naturally be, it is not as naturally deep as I had hoped. Although, can every breath be naturally so deep, comparable to meditation? Would we then be focused so hard on breathing that we actually get pulled away from being in the moment? That aspect was never my goal. Although, because I have spent every possible moment in these last thirty days, giving attention to my breath, I have learned that I am now spending half my time awake giving an in depth rise and fall of my rib cage, full expansion to my diaphragm, and a piece of mind to my body. I am less toxic on a cellular level, which in turn frees my mind, endocrine system, and skin of toxicity.

When I am engaged in something active, whether it be a soccer game, conversing with workmates and friends, indulged in books and movies, or exercising, although my breath is not actively opening up as when I am focused, it is opening much, much more, than it used to. My natural breath is now three times deeper than it used to be. I am calmer as a person in all aspects of my life. I am more confident without having nonsensical anxiety and worrisome thoughts. I take the time in all I do. I no longer rush my days. I no longer stir my brew of self-sabotage mixed with ingredients of time, fear, attention, and perfection.

 

This challenge has been one to remember forever. It has undoubtedly, answered the questions I could never have answered for me. It has forced me to look within not with shame, but acceptance and patience. It has allowed me to conquer aspects of myself I feared I would never be able to do. It has taught me that nothing about ourselves is permanent and we can improve our spirits in anyway we seem fit; all we have to do is commit.

I am twenty four mortal years old and am learning things I have not learned in all the others years my soul has walked this Earth. It’s humbling, it’s enlightening, and it’s moving. Thank you for allowing me to share this 30 day challenge experience with you. As always, I encourage you to venture on a 30 day challenge of your own! Big or small, physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental – challenging ourselves and pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone is one of the best experiences we can give ourselves. We thrive, we grow, and even surprise ourselves along the way.

We are all strong and wonderful.
Challenge yourself, today.

Lent It Out.

 

 


 

For those of you who don’t know what Ash Wednesday is. It’s the first day of Lent. Lent is known in the Western Christianity communities as a ritual of fasting for 46 days. That is forty days of fasting, if the 6 Sundays (which are not days of fast) are excluded.
Traditionally, it’s a fasting of meat.
As culture has expanded and grown it’s become an acceptable place in Lent to confess the weakness of temptations you’ve been having regarding a certain habit, weakness, or judgement you’ve held on to and can’t seem to get control over.
It’s a time of acknowledgement and spiritual growth, as well as a compromise to the power and control you’ve been lacking to this “thing”

Some people give up fast food for Lent, some give up alcohol, some give up junk food, some give up soda, some make Lent a time for developing a new habit like: instead of feeling bored and sitting and doing nothing, I am going to spend 30 minutes each day walking through the neighborhood and getting fresh air, 

or, instead of doing busy work I am going to spend 15 minutes a day on that project I have been putting off.

Which is also a great time to start, if throughout the rest of the year you don’t do things like self evaluations or 30 day challenges.

This year for Lent, I decided to spend money only on the things I absolutely need.

Sthat hair trim and extra bottle of Green Tea from the store? Nope.
That frosting & baked delicious looking dog treat from the store for my dog? Ney.
That rug online that is 80% off and would be perfect in the living room? No way.
Those Sorels winter boots with the fur and tread on the bottom? Ohhhh no.

So far, if I would have bought the things I would normally carelessly spend money on, thinking that money grows on the tree outside of my building, I would have spent $472, and Lent only started on February 18th.
And because I am only buying things I absolutely need, I have enough food to make healthy meals every morning, every lunch, and everynight. I have paid off $205 so far of debt and will have enough to cover my bills and gas from driving, and suddenly…..
I am noticing how much pickier I am becoming with my spending.

“Is that really worth $80 or can I probably find that somewhere else for a lot cheaper?”
“Spring is almost here…. do I really need a new coat this year or have the ones I’ve been wearing work just fine?”

Granted, the living room is unfurnished. But Danny’s been in pre-seaon traveling since the middle of January and I’ve been working almost everyday since I moved here. So, neither of us have really been home long enough to decide how to decorate or what we need first. Yes, we need a couch. Yes, we will need some lamps, due to the electric in the living room light that doesn’t work. And yes, we will need a bookshelf to get all of our books off the floor. But those will come.

For those of you who have any debts or bad spending habits in general, ask yourself, do you really WANT that item or do you really NEED that item?
Close your eyes and imagine that item in your life right now and imagine your bank account. Can you honestly make that purchase without risking not having enough for another financial obligation? WHY do you want or need this item? HOW is this going to impact your life?

Another thing you can do, is try putting the money you would have normally spent on that “wanted item” into your savings account or a savings envelope. Title it “money spent” and commit to only ADDING money to it. At the end of the month (or Lent in my case), take a look at the envelope or savings account and see how much money you have that otherwise, you would not if you gave in and spent spent spent on things you want want want.

Our mind too easily confuses our wants and needs. And because we are a nation with a focus on unfortunate and unnecessary consumerism and capitalism, we begin to believe that we really do NEED the superficial and materialistic items in our lives in order to stay alive and stay noticed. Or you emotionally shop and it turns you into a shopaholic.

I fall into that last category. And that’s why I am taking the Lent now.

Like alcoholics and AA. I was an awfully scary shopaholic for years. Spending a disgusting amount of money everyday on everything I wanted, just because I had the money and I could. All Cash. When you run on nothing but Cash, it goes fast. I got myself into a shopping rehab. SA I call it – Shopaholics Anonymous. I needed a support system. I needed coping skills. When I got a trigger of any emotion that caused me to spend money, I needed somewhere or someone I could get in touch with immediately. I didn’t walk into a mall for one year. I learned about thrift shops and second hand stores (which turns out, I now love more than paying $300 for a table that looks exactly the same). It was hard. I had to treat it like an addiction to take it seriously, and in many ways it was.

I still shop when I absolutely can and even then, if I allow myself a “shopping spree” it now comes once or twice a year, instead of everyday. If I need furniture, I look at as many different resources as I can before I make a healthy decision on where I purchase it from and why I need it and I know that when I spend the money on it, my bank account will not be hindered. Because I prepare now.
I have traded furniture with friends, clothing swapped with friends and family, and have inherited many cool pieces of furniture given away by strangers and neighbors and friends alike and have been able to give away cool pieces of furniture myself.

Lent is allowing me to regroup and give myself a little slapping reminder to “keep it together woman!”


 

With this fist, I raise it in the air and regain my personal power!

AND SO CAN YOU!

Lent or no lent.
Christian or Atheist,

YOU TOO, Hold the Power Within to take back the control over your personal weaknesses and desires. The things you want to do or be better at, but for one reason or another, give into doing the complete opposite.

Remember, that everything great comes in moderation and even too much of a good thing is unhealthy.

And for whatever your weakness or habit you want to change, all it takes is acknowledgement, a series of rhetorical questions to how it became created, a support group of accountibilibuddies, and of course, a written down plan of action.

No flower blooms at the same pace. But they do bloom.

What It Means to Love Thy Body.

I moved to New York February 3rd. My plane landed in the afternoon and my sweet sweet boyfriend, Danny, had me picked up by a driver and I met him at his work by the time he was off. I hadn’t seen him since January 2nd and I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest at the first sight of him. Could it be?! Danny in person! Not Face-time, not Skype. Person. Real life. When you date long distance, the feeling you get of seeing your significant other in real life is so surreal, you have to literally question yourself if you are dreaming or not. My World was spinning in all the best ways that day.

We hugged for what seemed like, ever. We kissed passionately. And we drove home and talked and he let me gawk at the views out the windows. To him, it was already “the norm” and to me, it was no Wasatch Mountain Range of Utah, but nonetheless, trees EVERYWHERE from the location the highways running through the woods. Snow capped land with enough snow to pack inside the Big Cottonwood Canyon and shred down fresh powder for weeks.

It never occurred to me then that my insides were in the middle of turmoil.

We stopped at Trader Joe’s on our way home and loaded up on groceries. That cutie pie had stocked our pantry previously with all the foods I loved so much to my surprise. He would be leaving in two days and seeing as how I wasn’t yet employed, the only money I had was what was already in my account and he didn’t want me to worry about not having money to buy food while he was in Manchester, UK for work for the ten day pre-season trip.

We went home by the evening and unpacked my luggage and he was giving me a tour of the apartment. Our cute one bedroom, hardwood floor apartment with checkered bathroom and a bedroom with broken ventilation. To me, I thought “this is romance.” The story of lovebirds living in New York in a shitty first apartment with a living room that has no electricity and no heat in the bedroom. The lights and heat worked everywhere else and I imagined us going through this year lease together learning how to fix up the apartment ourselves. New York is expensive to rent in and for the price you pay, it’s surprising how much you get. Like the small shelled bugs that periodically are caught roaming in our house. But it’s our home and that’s what makes it special. It’s our first place together and it’s the place that will upset us and let us down when something breaks and it will be up to us to not let it get the best of us because it’s our first place together and it will be the place that tests our teamwork. Because we are a team. Working hand in hand.

I love the apartment no matter what it’s like. I love the person I see standing across from me in the kitchen dipping his Chewy Chips Ahoy into a glass of Organic Whole Milk. I love that the next evening I get to drive to JFK airport and pick up my most beloved dog and together we will be the Campbell-Laroche household. I love the bitter cold weather of the snow and the way it freezes my fingertips and toes and makes me feel as if my nose will be frost bitten with each deep inhale. I love our tiny town that is one mile long and supplied with just about everything I need a town to have. I love the accent of our Albanian neighbors and the smell of Mary’s Greek food that she cooks everyday. I love that we are the only two apartments in this building above shops and I absolutely love the narrow winding roads that go in and out of the woods along the Connecticut/New York State Lines.

Love, love, love, is what I’m getting at here.
I am telling you everything I love about everything but the most important thing connected to me. And me being my soul. Because I am a soul. My body is my vessel. My body is not me. It is my armor. I never mentioned anything about loving it.

Danny and I finish dinner. We go and lay down in the bed and he puts on a movie. I am curled up awkwardly and thirty minutes go by and suddenly…. I can’t breathe.
With every fiber of my being I CANNOT BREATHE. I began to panic and Danny’s eyes open up wide in terror as he begs me, “Ash what’s wrong??? What’s happening??” I’m gripping my lower abdomen and crying my eyes out telling him I have no idea what’s going on. I can’t stand up straight. It feels like knives and needles are stabbing me and gutting open my insides. Talons are wrenching open every muscle fiber and every connective tissue that is supposed to protect my insides. My uterus is cramping so hard; I have never felt this pain before. I am inexperienced with menstrual cramps because I can count on less than one full hand the amount of times I have had menstrual cramps. And when I have experienced menstrual cramps, all it took was a banana and a 30 minute nap on my stomach to relieve the irritation of the unnecessary process of my monthly due. This was an omen. This was something so foreign and unnatural, I felt like I was releasing something evil through the work of Exorcism that Jayme and I had preformed on people. Their violent screams and gritting teeth. I was feeling this pain.

Danny told me he was taking me to the hospital and I immediately objected. I figured, “Whatever this is, I will sleep this off. Please just get me a hot towel and help me lie down on my back.” He got me what I asked for and told me that I can’t use a home remedy for something that I have never experienced before. Given, that I beg to differ, as I study natural medicine and home remedies for everything, I knew he was right. I had NO idea what was happening and my body was sweating profusely, my adrenaline was pumping. I couldn’t be still long enough to listen to my body. Danny set the timer on his phone for five minutes and I compromised with him that at the end of five minutes, if my pain wasn’t lessened, he was taking me to the Emergency Room.

All I could think about was trying to get my breath slower so I wouldn’t have to go to the hospital on my first night moving to New York. I didn’t know what to think. I knew I would refuse medicine if they tried to give it to me. I didn’t want any drugs in my body and I certainly didn’t want to spend the night in the hospital. And my mom. Last thing I needed was to have my mom stressing out that her youngest daughter, who is prone to developing the most odd of injuries always coming out of thin air that are rare and damaging, be in a hospital in New York her first night moving to New York.

Five minutes was up.

I tried my best to smile and tell Danny my pain was better. He told me to get off the bed. I rolled my eyes and reluctantly started to move. It didn’t take but a couple of seconds before I was clenching my jaw so tight to keep from screaming in pain. Emergency Room is was. I gave in the towel and grabbed my insurance card and he hauled me to the car and we drove to the Northern Westchester Hospital Emergency Room.

A nurse awakened me in the waiting room and walked me back to the room. It was no dream….. I was really there. Danny looked sad from not being able to know what to do to help my pain. I looked at him with sad eyes, feeling like a burden because of my pain. I was wheeled off to another wing of the hospital to get scanned; finding out the omen was a ruptured cyst.

A ruptured cyst.

I couldn’t believe my ears. Or my eyes, when I looked at the ultrasound images in the small dark room, with a very comforting and friendly nurse who I could tell was probably a phenomenal and adorable grandmother to some kids out there in the World. She explained to me that the black blob was free floating fluid outside of my uterus. It would take a few days, maybe a week, for it to exit my body entirely. She was unable to give me a gauge of what my pain would be like, if any.

I just sat..stunned. Flashbacks of horrific memories began flooding my mind and in my heart of hearts, I knew how I had developed this cyst. Given the duration of time, it only makes sense that it would have to burst at some point in time. It made sense to me how it developed. And I couldn’t help but shake my head in deep, deep sorrow as I cursed myself for not realizing what the pain all those months and almost a year before was. For never getting it checked out. I assumed it was one thing entirely natural and instead, it was indeed, the cyst itself, forming and gathering particles until it ceased to grow anymore until there was no other way out other than explosion.

I accepted the news.
They discharged me and told me I could buy Motrin for pain if I felt like I needed it. Otherwise, I should take it easy and avoid vigorous workouts.

When Danny left for Manchester the morning of the 5th, I cried and cried and cried.
I went to the bathroom and held my stomach and looked in the mirror.

And that’s when I realized…..

I had forgotten to truly love my body.

I had spent so much time, for YEARS, including that day, gawking at everyone and everything around me and above me. I expressed love for people, places, and things. I expressed love to myself but never, not once, did I take the consideration to express love; real love; to my vessel. My mortal packaging of bones, tissues, veins, muscles, and organs. My beating heart that worked hard day in and day out to provide the clean blood to pump through my body and feed every square millimeter of my body.

I held my abdomen as I looked into my eyes in the mirror and cried and told my body “I am so sorry for the pain I have caused you over the years. For the impurities I have allowed to soak you down in and the beatings I allowed you to take. Please forgive me for the times I have starved you from real nutrients and water, drying you out. Of course you would begin to give up on me! I don’t blame you. My sweet body…. I love you so much. My beautiful vessel that carries me with these mortal feet, wherever I want to go; every single day of my life. My hands that write and type until my beautiful eyes beg me to shut. They never fight me. You allow me to overwork you and underfeed you and push you to your limits everyday without the amount of rest you deserve. You have sacrificed so much of your energy for me so I can selfishly live how I want to live and I think because you are my body and my mind tells me it’s okay that it is okay. I am so sorry vessel. I am so sorry for the torturous things I have put you through and I beg of your forgiveness. I express all my gratitude to you now and forever. I express my love to you endlessly, for without you, I would not be this being.” I began to specifically touch each individual organ and tell it how much I love it and thanked it specifically for the unique work it does for my body to retain power and strength, giving me another moment inside my own handpicked body. I began to revel in my love for my body and began to have conversations with my body I had never thought to have before. My body began to tell me things it has held onto for so many years. We talked, we laughed, we cried together; my body and I.

And together, we let go.

I promised to myself and my body from that moment forward, I would always remember to give my love and gratitude back to it. I promised to always take care of it. I promised to always listen deeply to it and never take for granted what it has to tell me. I promised to trust my body with its communication.

Just like our friendships, work relationships, romantic partnerships, and family ties that require love and attention and effort. Our body and our souls are tied together in their very own relationship. One that we too often take for granted.

We are not our bodies.

And when we die, our bodies are not ours to keep. Our bodies do not follow us wherever we go because our soul is timeless. Our soul is not kept inside our body because our body is a costume that merely contains our soul which is in fact our life form. Our body is there for us immortal souls to operate and function in a mortal World.

Among every relationship you have in your life; don’t forget the relationship you have with your body. Take the time to touch it, talk to it, listen to it. It is what carries you. It is what saves you. It is your protection. Your very resource for movement alone. And without it, you are imprisoned in a case that will only release you when it finally gives up. So, I say again with as much encouragement as I can muster………..

Love the World around you. Love the ups and downs that come your way. Love the people, places, and things that come in and out of your life. Share your stories and memories and make things happen.

And most importantly, LOVE THY BODY.
The very unique, exquisite, and beautiful threshold that you reside in.
Your ultimate home.

Love it with your full soul and heart and it will love you back. And together, may you both live in this Mortal life, happy, healthy, and prosperous.

 
Amen.

Deep Into the Evolutionary Bind.

Earth was Never meant to be populated by people. It’s as if we came from mermaids and other fish from the ocean. I believe Earth was once a closed space and one day, just started protruding out and blossomed like a flower. That’s why people look like fish and other animals. Rabbits got taller and lengthier. Everything was once under water. For millions of years. Were we meant to be here to tear it down this early?

We aren’t that old of a species. And we certainly haven’t lived to the end. We have a long ways to go until we die out but we are on the fast track of doing it.
People are still living in the past and people are trying to beat the future.
And getting scrutinized for the simplistic lives they live. They are still basking in the Earth. It is still so young.

America was beautiful before the ignorant and greedy British rebels killed themselves to take over. Just as nasty as we do now. Kill everybody for the wrong reasons. Slay humanity. Slay dignity. We weren’t meant to be this developed in life. We have grown on an ignorant idea of power since day one in this dark side of America’s birth. We have become powerful for the all wrong reasons. For all the wrong motivations and notions and endorsements.

Our society has the utmost potential to be fruitful and gracious and beautiful. When we come together, we are unstoppable. We forget we are humans with emotions and a bond of flesh and energy. We are a community of evolved animals of different species, of which our birth mother, the Eel, has shown us an unbelievable amount of rising stardom.

In the beginning of time, the Eel….the first vertebrae-holding species to make its way from water to land. Our ancestor. As time lapsed, so it evolved with its surrounding, bringing on millions of different species and animals, both cold and warm blooded, scales and fur, claws, talons, and hooves. My, my, how we have grown up. To Apes and Humans with opposable thumbs, to skyscrapers and highways and motorized car in a modern society obsessed with consuming superficial products and technology that updates before we get the chance to pay it off. My, my, how we have grown.

This Earth. This sweet ball of liquids and gases and solids. To produce so much awe and beauty is unfathomable. We got lucky.

To treat it as we do…… with pollution and smoke stacks and industrial sites and digging up oil and dumping garbage in the ocean and dolphins dying because of our plastic soda-pop can holders that we carelessly DO NOT EVEN CUT UP that get stuck on their poor bottle noses and they can no longer eat or call out for help and the ruthless way we plow through forests of trees to make way for more shopping malls and fast food chain restaurants and obliterate the entire population by forcing the Chinese to abort or discard of anymore than one child and kids having kids and the poor using their children as nothing more than state funding to survive as an excuse of proper influential raising of the small developing brain and more MORE MORE MORE! we need MORE! WE MUST HAVE MORE! WE CRAVE MORE, WE DROOL FOR MORE, MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE AND NOTHING IS GOOD UNTIL OUR DAMAGE HAS GOTTEN SO FUCKING HIGH THAT IT PENETRATES THE OUTER LAYER OF OUR VERY OWN ATMOSPHERE AND EVERYTHING IS GROWING OUT OF CONTROL AND WE CAN’T EVEN KEEP UP WITH OUR OWN PRODUCTION LINES IN THE FACTORIES OF THESE ELDERLY WOMEN AND MEN AND TINY TINY CHILDREN WHO MAKE OUR TOYS AND CLOTHES, but yet can’t even spell their own name or read the alphabet…….

We just keep going until eventually….

The Earth can’t handle it anymore. And our shattering end becomes a glowing ember of sequence shower and stardust, falling through the universe, landing on new planets, where our Earthly soil will soak in and once again……evolve accordingly to the new surroundings.

Tonight, the Universe means business.

I’m having revelation after revelation it seems since starting my last term at school in August. The middle three and fourth terms you really do get burned out. At least for our criteria. We are the graduating class EM1012. We are the fearless class who spoke up and spoke loud and have made an impact that will forever last on the school. We push the limits and we don’t rest until our questions are answered in full satisfaction. With study groups and encouragement, we come together as a funny lookin family and we make sure to succeed as a union. We are fighters and comrades, forever raising our hand to join in the discussion of health, anatomy, and all things moving energy.

SER: Somato-Emotional Release: A therapeutic process that helps rid the mind and body of residual effects of past trauma associated with negative experiences.

 

I think my problem is that I have just taken a fake affect on everything in life. For some reason, the visual aspect of my life is bursting through the 3 Dimensional seams and I can’t help but notice the intentions set inside everybody I come in contact with. The past comes back. Our pasts. Am I crazy for voicing this? Maybe to some. This is bigger than I am and more than what I am ready to learn. There is a power burrowing inside of me, waiting to come out and shout “I SEE YOU!” to the World, drawing the bold line between looking and seeing. This however is just a sliver. This is the opportune moment between me and the Divine that says “I will give you the information you need to succeed, but first, you must confront and make amends with your demons. Because no Angel flies when bounded by darkness.”

I have started the releasing process fully in August, and although I graduate from school in October, I suspect I won’t be done for a long time until I get to where I need to be to continue my spiritual journey. I have cried more in the last few weeks than I have I think in my entire life. I have never felt more at growing peace with myself and never felt lighter within my own spirit.

I have successfully been coming face to face with the skeletons of my closet that I didn’t even know were in there. You hear all the time that nobody has fears. “Oh, I’ve seen everything!” they shout, “I have no fears! ! There is nothing to fear in this World because man can do everything. We are forces able to connect with any flowing thing..”, and though that may be true, we can’t do everything all of the time and take on a Superwoman act without rest, without time alone. Burnt out and stressed out. Overloaded and unhappy. Rage and Creepy auras. Vasodialated and heated up with blood flowing. Exchanging energy to sustain the goal in mind. Which is to write! Write however it comes out, because sometimes this feels so much better then crying. Sometimes I just don’t have it in me. I feel horrible because Todd always thinks it’s just about him and like he is the only thing. But he really doesn’t know about any other of my other stresses. I mainly don’t tell him my stresses or bad news. I don’t want him to stress out about me. I stress him out enough, he says. I feel like an ugly person. Inside and out, ironically! Hahahaha!  I have always wondered if that happens commonly or not. Well, I do.

I am sitting in the bedroom while he is out on the couch. I feel like he thinks these are moments where he can’t do anything. And it sucks, because I don’t know how to show him that I don’t care what he does in his personal life without him thinking that I’m being cynical or careless. Because, I have a sick tendancy to be careless when it comes to him. But why should I care and continue to exert energy for someone who repeatedly disregards my own being?  I say all sorts of things with my imaginative mind. I just let it flow out, as if I’m opening my sub-concious, Of course, I strive to open to my Pituitary Gland. I have been realizing what parts of me I have been neglecting, and the Pituitary Gland is the all mighty. The connection to Third Eye.

I feel like I can’t even control the eyes I have now. I have a problem looking in the center of everything. As I’m typing, I am actually focusing directly in front of me. I’m losing a bit of my sense of time although I still know what’s going on in my home. The computer with the music playing is slowing making its way towards me and the harmonies bear in the meditation.

Bathroom Break.

 

 

The Game Plan

the Pink Queen’s Chair

Day #1 of waking up at 7am everyday:

Of course the night before my first day of my challenge, I wasn’t able to sleep. I can usually sleep like a champion regardless of what the next day brings. Nowadays anyway. I remember the night before the first day of school, I was never able to fall asleep as a child. Christmas Eve, the night before my birthday…… it was all a loss and waste of time for me to lie in bed.

So I read instead. My grandparent’s bought me a book Passage On the Titanic for my birthday this year while I was in the hospital. At first I thought, “Jesus, another book with LDS religion innuendos. Just what I need.” Because usually I am against that. It just gets entirely suffocating to my being to be continuously pressured and urged to “find the right path of Jesus and friends” because I think the path I’m on is pretty awesome and if God and I drank a cup of tea looking through the photo album of my life, he would agree, I have fully taken in the lessons and opportunities he’s made available to the human population.

But that’s getting off topic.

This book is impressively thrilling. I find myself getting all sorts of emotional and I feel a connection with Ella Brown, one of the main characters. She has the worst habit of self doubt, because growing up a rich and spoiled girl, she saw her parents lose it all and she ended up on the streets and got pressured into prostituting herself and giving birth to an illegitimate baby that dies at the scene and becoming friends with her Mormon nurse who helps her get back on her feet.

I know what you’re thinking – whoa whoa whoa!!!!!! Too much turbo!

No, I didn’t go through the same life experiences, but through the experiences I have been through, I have felt many of the same things. Through all the tough mental moments Ella Brown has with herself, she fights every petty comment with an action of perseverence. She is unknowingly courageous to herself, but believes she must be because everybody else tells her so. She is wonderfully smart and talented, and holds a beautiful heart inside her glorious chest cavity. She survived the sinking of the Titanic and continues on her journey to America with the worry of not being able to successfully start a new life for herself there in New York City.
-if you want to know more, I highly suggest to read the book. If you’re not into reading, it’s cool, there’s a dvd.
Just like Ella Brown, I have been having tough mental moments, going through the motions of unemployment. And can I just point out really quick how nasty of a connotation the word “unemployment” has? You say the word in society and you instantly lose face. I don’t like that, because nobody knows why you’re unemployed. People hear unemployment and think “loser” which gives the person of unemployment absolutely EVERYTHING OPPOSITE of what they are seeking.
A fighting fucking chance.

Yes, it’s an inconvenience to the people who feel the obligation to help them out financially until they get back on their feet; it’s rare you find someone who wants to help out just because they want to see you okay and gratitude and motivation is all they ask from you. But, this is America, and everything comes with a debt.
It’s not ever all lost though, there’s always moments of clarity and opportunities just waiting outside your door.

If you are unemployed and there has yet to be a job offered to you, instead of hitting your head into a wall unsuccessfully everyday, why don’t you use the free time you have to not only persevere in the job seeking, but also, cross some “to-do” items off your list?
After all, you have all that free time that would otherwise be spent working. I guess now there is no more excuse to avoid the other life demanding chores, tasks, and goals.

That brings me to my next half of the topic.

CHALLENGE STRATEGY!

Every great challenge has a game plan. Nobody chooses to challenge themselves for thirty days and then wakes up to conquer it with a shot in the dark. You think Genghis Khan developed one of the largest empires in history by just “going for it”? No! He had a game plan! He refined his skills! He practiced his strategy time and time again and put his knowledge and strength to good use to make something of his ruling! He divided and conquered time and time again because he mapped out what he was going to do and he did it. And nothing in the World stopped him until he was satisfied.

It’s important to develop a game plan, because it’s the reminding to keep you on track when you’re feeling like quitting. It keeps you at ease, knowing that there is time to be waited and accomplishments to be made. Change doesn’t come in a day, but we grow impatient anyway. Deep breathing is a concept I will forever be practicing.

my challenge game plan:

  • What sort of awakening routine will I develop to ensure I get out of bed everyday at 7am? Upon awakening, I will let my dog outside for her morning bathroom break. While she is outside, I will go to my bed to clear it and make it before I can think too long about getting back inside of it. I will make my dog and I some breakfast, do the dishes if needs be, and spend thirty minutes stretching the muscles in my body giving me a slow but sure way of waking up.
  • How will I utilize this time to progress in life? By having all this free time that I would otherwise be spending at a job, until I get offered a job, I am going to have the means: 1) To go to my school and make up the classes I have missed. I will regain my 100% attendance and set the example, as an ambassador, that school is a top priority. 2) Everyday turning in resumes in person and over the internet, calling companies, getting updates for interviews, dressing for success, & on the lookout for any application or hiring signs. 3) Making my list of tasks, chores, and goals into a broken down list of what takes the bigger priority and how the time can be managed gracefully with each project regardless of the size. 4) Reading my book collection. I used to read an average of three books a week. And I find with all the time I have now, I can definitely meet that mental craving. 5) Now that my blood clots are stable and dissolving, I can successfully get back to working out without the fear of having a pulmonary embolism explode into the right chambers of my heart.
  • What do I hope to learn/gain from this challenge? From this challenge, I am mostly eager to see what I am capable of. I hope to learn the driving characteristics to my spirit and gain a new sense of confidence. I expect to learn that words won’t get me anywhere, and it’s action that brings the goal to accomplishment. I will gain respect and consideration for myself and the people around me and in turn, receiving respect and consideration. I expect to gain a new outlook in life, I expect some of my beliefs about things will change as my mind widens and allows for more diversity of possibilities to reach my core. I seek to learn what is holding me back, how to fix it, and progress forward – leaving the thing that is holding me back in the past. I crave to fix my procrastination and the laziness I have developed in the past couple months. I pray to gain more humility, more strength, and more patience.

    I will reach each and every one of these desired outcomes by giving my best and absolute sincere effort and not taking a moment to stop under the temptations of the weaknesses. By recognizing my weaknesses, I can further dominate my challenge.

  • What am I willing to sacrifice for this challenge? I am willing to sacrifice my “fun spending” money and exclude shopping from my calendar events until all the priorities get paid first. I am willing to give up my chances of sleeping in, forcing myself to make a productive day out of anything. Naps. Staying up late at night.
  • How will this challenge help me grow as a person? I believe this challenge has come to me at the right time in my life. Although it seems incredibly easy to just wake up at the same time everyday, when you are unemployed, there is a criminalistic sense of freedom you get from allowing yourself to get comfortable. All the way until obligations have to be met. And then the panic sets in and pray for something to come our way. It’s the same concept of asking for forgiveness after you’ve already been caught. You’re either sorry or you’re not, and pretending doesn’t give your morality anymore points than blatantly not caring does. In fact, honest emotions will give your morality more points than anything, because at least your whole heart is in it. At the end of this 30 day challenge, I will become a more patient person and hold a tighter grasp onto my time management throughout the days. I will hold more realistic expectations of my goals and when I can and will accomplish them. I will see free time as a chance to explore an interest or further blossom a hobby or passion, instead of sitting and staring into the blue skies of daylight space. I will become stronger, smarter, and hold my being with a bold confidence. I will refine my problem-solving skills and open my communication to widen my crowd versitility. This challenge will be the barrier that breaks the transitional wall from girl to womanhood.

Hi again,

It’s one of those nights. Those nights to let it all go.
After a long day of thinking about my actions and life choices and seeing how they have come to effect my life now, I’m wiped out. Everyday, you do something, anything, and it moves you one step closer or one step further away from where you want to be.

Our problem is that we rarely stop to assess. Some of us have more awareness. Some of us truly believe we are aware people, and sometimes come to surprise even our self in the observations we have.

Let’s begin:

I haven’t been onto my website in a long, long time.
The worst part is, I have had so many great ideas on what to write about.
I used to just stop and write it out on my WordPress app on my phone, but now I am finding that I’m becoming more and more lazy about it. I am thinking about the idea of writing out a giant, long, detailed blog for so long that I actually end up getting overwhelmed and deciding to leave it alone completely, claiming that “I will just remember this topic and write it down when I get home.”
Really?
Who am I kidding?
I won’t remember. And even if I did, I wouldn’t do it.I’ve been exhausted for months.I have been living with two female roommates since the end of January, in downtown Salt Lake. It was fun for the most part. 

  • I got a dog at eight weeks old and have been juggling being with her, training her, playing with her – all things Zai.
  • I have been working a job that became more and more dissatisfying every day I went in for another shift.
  • I am going to a school where, besides my dog, is the only thing that keeps me sane all the time.
  • I have been in a six month relationship and have gone through the ups & down, in the end, enjoying every minute of it. I’m in love. I love another person’s soul. And I have loved his soul longer than I have loved him.

After all, isn’t that how I should feel about my other half? We connected on ways we’ve never connected with other people before.

And with Zai… I have never communicated with any animal the way I communicate with her. I think people forget to realize, more or less of the time, how much animals can understand. If you give them a chance, they will understand you. It’s a wonderful thing, mammal communication.

I quit my job yesterday. All the time we hear or read, on blog and motivational pieces, encouraging you to quit your job and take the risk of doing what makes you happy. And it really is great advice, except for the fact that sometimes, certain people are just sillier than others and quit without a) having a concrete backup and b) stacking those racks and really preparing for the time spent off track.
Oops! But what can you do? You can use that unpreparedness to your advantage and boost your motivation to fulfill a position that fits your current lifestyle exactly how you see fit.

I’ve taken my hiatus from blogging and reading, unexpectedly. It’s driven me nuts, and all along I have recognized the feeling of unbalanced energy in my life. I have to hit my forehead, bringing me back to reality, quite frequently, saying to myself, “Of course this is what’s missing! Why am I holding back? Why am I not writing? Why am I not engaging in the passion that drives my soul?”

 

Excuses.

It doesn’t make me a phony in how I carry myself, in any sense, however I have come to the comfortable realization that sometimes when you grow and progress so quickly in so many different ways, you forget about your foundation.
“forgetting where you came from phase.

It doesn’t make your person any better or worse, it just leads your core in a tornado across your entire thought process. It can be overwhelming or stressful and not only until you bring yourself back to center and remember where you are, how you got there, and where you want to be; will you make the necessary changes to pick up, regroup, and move forward in the best sane matter you know possible.

It’s not about doing it like anybody else, it’s about doing it the best way you know possible for the moment until you find the next big thing that will encourage, drive, and push you into the limits you never knew were available at hand.

That’s when the universe answers your call and decides you’re ready for the next big thing.

 

 

 

Dear Universe,
I don’t know if you know me as well as I know you. But I get you.
And I’m ready for you.

Yours Truly,
Z.

 

I pay my respects out of respect.

Skeletons In the Closet.

I’ve been having this intense feeling lately that for every big change you make in life, you won’t complete the process of change without confronting one forgotten situation of the past.

Secrets come out.
Skeletons are dug deep out of the closet.

And in a completely twisted way, we wouldn’t have been able to make the change, without confronting our hidden past.

Why do people have experiences others don’t? Is any experience truly random? Or is it a mix between our current thoughts and past secrets – coming out to form a new age enlightenment?
Hoping that maybe this time, we’ll get it.

I’m a strong believer in the Law of Attraction. I’m a strong believer in communicating with the Universe and using my faith to protect me and others.

But nothing protects you from bringing those things to life. Nothing ever stops surprising you when you must practice your faith out of fear, disappointment, or danger.

I recently took a weekend trip to LA. I had trusted someone who made himself out to be a bigger deal than he was. I was under the impression we would be talking business, fundraisers, and hip hop.
I was also hoping to see one of my best friend’s who now lives there.

So, on Saturday I got ready, packed my bag, and flew out of the Salt Lake valley to the Golden State of the West Coast.

I didn’t think anything of it when Mr. Ivvs picked me up and his cousin was driving. Rick was acting questionably towards me.
As if I was random – which I suppose I am.
As if I was there for illegal business – which I was not.
As if I was there to do dirty work – which, the only kind of dirty work I planned to do was wash the sweat off my body from the plane ride.

 

I’m lucky.

I’m lucky to have recognized all the warning signs that came after. (although I really should have been more aware to realize them before any trip was planned).
I’m lucky  to have had the strength to stand up to him.
I’m lucky I got out.

 

I couldn’t help but stop myself and hit my head. Because of the small choices I make and the life I lead, followed by the persistent thoughts of my wrecked past, I have literally created this moment all by myself. I have made this moment re-livable only so I could demonstrate the strength I wish I had years ago.

I have been thinking a lot about the lie I told, about strength, about courage, honesty, and bravery. I have been thinking about change and growth and life choices and how to make them healthier.

So, it’s only natural that my thoughts and actions have manifested into a life experience my gut has been urging me to conquer. Not only did I stick up for myself, to my predator, but I stuck up to every damageable choice I have made – every sick fear I’ve been holding onto – every unwanted, anticipated thought up occurrence.

 

 

Veni Vidi Vici

Seven Days To Go

I have never believed that people can fully change in a span of five months. However, I do believe that with the right experiences and opportunities, one can greatly improve the path he/she is on to be the best person they know they can be.
I am definitely still on the road to becoming exactly who I want to be. I know there are some views that I have changed, some I gained, and some that I will always stick by. Living in China has opened my mind up greater than I have expected and has shown me a new life I thought I’d never live.

My first seven days I remember thinking, “What in the hell am I doing here? I can’t teach. I can’t feel my toes, and I keep forgetting to not flush the damn toilet paper in the toilet.” I was pretty nervous to talk to anyone. I didn’t care to get ready or look nice because I felt too cold to do anything. I slept at any given moment because I was even too cold to be active. I had a [short-lived] fear that I would be a rucluse while teaching.

And then within my first two weeks, I met Ya Wei. We instantly became close and exchanged many emails all day long. We enjoyed talking whenever we could, sharing our different cultures, telling stories, and swapping pictures. I never would have thought I liked all the things about him that I do. That is someone who has completely taken me by surprise.

Wang Meng and Dong Mei. They are probably the absolute closest friends to me. I have never met two more honest people in my life and I am forever grateful to call them a friend. I never would have thought the majority of my time would be spent on campus with them, laughing, learning, and talking about life. While Dong Mei have each other to watch basketball games, Wang Meng gives me lady lessons, which I will definitely continue to use while back in America. I have no insecurities around them, no second thoughts, and absolutely no doubts. I believe that is when you know you have a true friend.

I have been at Mayflora long enough to get to know many people on my school’s campus. We joke together, we play sports together, and cheer each other on during sporting events. We help each other out, feed each other, and do favors for the other; not because we feel obligated, but because that’s just what friends do, and we’re happy to do it. And in fact, it’s never made me feel happier.

I now love practicing my Chinese on any given stranger in the city or on campus. I love flirting in Chinese and bargaining while shopping. I love the street food. I have really come to ignore all the staring, and now, find some fun in playing around with it. The field at night has become my unannounced territory as I put my ear buds in for a couple hours of dancing. My students are my everything. My memory has gotten better (thank you healthy food!) and I feel the culture has significantly helped me to “be what the moment requires” – a quote from Robert Greene in his book The 48 Laws of Power.
I never fully understood what it meant, until today.

Being what the moment requires is more than just forcing emotion and nodding your head in agreeance. It’s truly deciding to make the conscious effort to be what is necessary in any givent moment. You would never jump and run in a skirt and heels. You would never use profanities in front of anyone that doesn’t actually know you on “that kind of level.” And I certainly hope that you would not ever be the loudest one, unless given a valid reason to do so. That last one I am still working on.
Because of Wang Meng, we agreed I could be 70% lady like and the rest, I can get sweaty, play sports, have a beer with the guys, practice kung fu, be loud, be crazy, be wild – but not when I should be a lady. And it really shows me just how inappropriate and unattractive it can be if I am not in “the place” where it is permitted. It’s a conscious choice on my part to put his advice in action. I don’t need to be all those things or show I am all of those things all the time. Only when required.

I have learned more things than I thought possible. I have learned to love kids more than lot of other things. I have become more of a woman. I have bathed in sophistication. Fought with a Kung Fu Master. I became tolerant of using my right hand. I can be completely confident in my words and actions and refuse to apologize for any of my honesties. I played with little kids. I’ve played in soccer games, got more into NBA, and learned exactly how to throw a punch. My flexibility has significantly increase. I have seen glamoous sights right down to the fece-infested streets. I’ve given and taken meaningful gifts. I’ve made solid bonds. I’ve been inspired and inspired in return.

So for these last seven days, now that I know this city so well and truly love these people I surround myself with on a daily basis, it becomes harder to pack my luggage. To go back to America and literally count down the days until I step foot in Bengbu again. And not just Bengbu, for that matter, but all over China. All over the world.
With seven days to go, I remain grateful. I remain honored. I remain in love with the city that opened its arms to seven strange, ignorant Americans.
It’s something that can never be topped.