Monday, April 14, 2014

Thirty Three


I'm 33 now and time feels strange. There are so many "shoulds" at this age. Have a partner? Then you should be engaged. Engaged? Then you should be married. Married? Then you should have kiddos.

It's just not unfolding this way. And the more I embrace this natural flow, the better I feel. If I do these things for you or her or him or them...then how do I know if I'm going to be happy?

Lives appear so different on the surface. And there are so many surfaces. So much reliance on them to be shiny and tidy and progressive.

There's so much focus on money and wealth and showing it off - through bits and bobbles, houses and cars. If you have this and you have that, then you've made it. If your income level reaches a certain number, then you've made it. Most of that crap I don't care about. (I do enjoy my bits and bobbles, though.)

The friends I choose are free flowing and wise. The kind of wise where they know their own boundaries and still trip over them. They let you in on the nitty gritty. They aren't afraid of space.

I've learned perfectionism has to be tamed or else it can turn you into the lion's roar. Beautiful from a distance.

And what if the anxiety isn't really anxiety but rather my body's signal to me that I've taken in too much?

There are so many contemplations these days.

I want to:

- go on a meditation retreat
- volunteer with a farm sanctuary
- do reiki on animals
- find a spiritual mentor
- teach art journalling

Can I do it all?

My cat was sick last week. Technically, she still is. I've got three weeks worth of meds to sneak into her food. When I looked up her issue (UTI) in my Louise Hay book, You Can Heal Your Life, she said this is due to deep anger - usually towards a male. Oh my. I know this transition with our male cat has been tough, but I think it has been the toughest on her. Poor girl.

I'm off work this week and I can hardly motivate myself outside of my apartment. There's something in the air, the stars, the cosmos. Slowing me down. Shutting me down.

It's all good. 

I'm embracing the present now. Accepting what is. Finding happiness in every day. Staying humble and grateful. 



How is Spring treating you?


 


Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Seeds

There's something to be said for remaining hopeful and assured - even if there isn't an answer.

I seem to always be searching for the answers.

And yet, there often isn't an immediate answer. If there is, a new question conveniently pops up.

My mind loves to focus on the questions.

Even when things seem certain, are they really?

Some change is slow, progressing in baby steps at a turtle's stride.

Some change slaps me in the face with vigour and fight. I'm here. Right now. Without notice.

My horoscope this week could have brought me to my knees. The signs are all around me. Reinforced, reinforced, again and again.

ARIES: "When you plant seeds in the garden, you don’t dig them up every day to see if they have sprouted yet," says Buddhist nun Thubten Chodron. "You simply water them and clear away the weeds; you know that the seeds will grow in time." That's sound advice for you, Aries. You are almost ready to plant the metaphorical seeds that you will be cultivating in the coming months. Having faith should be a key element in your plans for them. You've got to find a way to shut down any tendencies you might have to be an impatient control freak. Your job is simply to give your seeds a good start and provide them with the persistent follow-up care they will need.

Patience. It's not my virtue.

Go-go-go. Fire. Bold. Decisive.

The signs say slow down.

Sit in silence.

Meditate.

Sweat it out.

Write.

Stretch.

Connect.

I'm trying to slow down a racing train. Those emergency brakes take a while to kick in.

The seeds / will grow / in time.

This is my mantra.

In time / the seeds / will grow.

Be patient. Have faith. There's growth I can't see or know or feel.

The seeds / in time / will grow.

Spring is my season. I was born in it. I was also born on a new moon. Creation, growth, change -  it's in my blood.

This is my time.

And I'm getting tired of worrying about the what-ifs and the unknowns.

I'm going to focus my energy on those seeds.

 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

6 Weeks Of Greens n' Water n' Protein


I saw my naturopath last week and instead of being given my usual bag of supplements, we decided to focus again on nutrition. 

There are a variety of reason I am working with my naturopath and they're all connected. The connections do not surprise me, given that I am a believer in holistic models that look at how all parts of us are interconnected. 

 
My family is know for having "bad" stomachs. We are all very sensitive inside. As I get older, I realize how important it is to take good care of this body of mine. If I know something I put in my mouth is going to hurt me, I usually don't want it. Gummy worms, cream sauces and deep fried fish give me a stomach ache just by looking at them. 

My body knows best. 

There are foods I eat even though I know they are in the medium territory - sometimes they hurt, sometimes they don't. This would include things like chips, products made with wheat and dairy. When there is a build up of foods that my body doesn't like, it screams at me to stop through all kinds of awful physical reactions. 



For the next 6 weeks, my focus is on GREENS! On WATER! On PROTEIN!

What does it look like?

*2L of water daily, which is about 66 ounces and about 8 glasses. I find drinking half a L to one L immediately when I wake up makes a huge difference in how much I can manage to drink in the day and also in how hydrated I feel. When I drink water in the morning I feel like it is feeding all of my cells and waking them up.

*Dark leafy greens with every meal including smoothies and juices. Kale is my friend. Spinach is my other friend. I also have green supplements I am using for convenience. They include fancier greens, which is kind of fun. 

*Being vegetarian, I struggle getting enough protein. I am also pretty lazy about it, meaning I do not think much at all about it. I just eat a variety of plant based foods. I have protein powders (Vega and Sunwarrior) that I am using once a day, usually for breakfast. 

 
I like a challenge and I also like structure, so these types of experiences are fun for me. 

I'm pretty sure every one of us could use more greens, more water, and for the veggie people, more protein.  

What could you increase in your healthy foods and liquids for spring?

Be well, 


Amy

 

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Out Of Habit: An Update

I'm certainly most comfortable being a creature of habit. It's a struggle for me to incorporate new and different routines and I thrive in structure. Not having internet at home has changed how I interact with it. Yes, I use internet on my phone, mostly consisting of reading emails and blogs, posting on Instagram and searching on Etsy. The part I've lost is blogging. Sadly, it's something I really enjoy. I pop in from time to time and hope a post will unfold out of me. It usually doesn't work this way, though. I really need my laptop,  a cup of tea and an afternoon in order to get the writing done that feels "publish-able" to me.

So what's new?

Professional development. Classes. Readings and homework. Job searching. Mentally preparing myself for future interviews and positions. Resume editing. Researching various workshops, talks and courses.

Making stuff. Bracelets. Salves. Bath salts. GF banana bread. Researching how to make mustard. Looking forward to the food swap in April. Painting again. Cleaning up the art room. Making many lists.

Healing from whiplash. Graduating from physio. Back to yoga and feeling strong. Having my liver peeled off of my kidney by my Osteopath. Castor oil packs. Anger. Frustration. Sadness. Did you know your liver holds all that? Also, spring is the time for liver detox, I'm told, so I suppose it's timely.

Meditation practice. Staying in the present. Mindfulness. Gratitude.

If you live with anxiety, you should read Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to my Life by Priscilla Warner. I loved it.

Seeing a medium. Speaking with spirit. Messages. Clarity. Sadness. Happiness. Prediction. A medicine pouch for protection.

In one month I am turning 33. There's got to be some luck in that number. I'm not sure why I thought my 30's would be any easier than my 20's...

I'm still tempted to cut all my hair off for a fresh start.

This week my Rob Brezsney horoscope was bang on:

ARIES:  Are you between jobs? Between romantic partners? Between secure foundations and clear mandates and reasons to get up each morning? Probably at least one of the above. Foggy whirlwinds may be your intimate companions. Being up-in-the-air could be your customary vantage point. During your stay in this weird vacationland, please abstain from making conclusions about its implications for your value as a human being. Remember these words from author Terry Braverman: "It is important to detach our sense of self-worth from transitional circumstances, and maintain perspective on who we are by enhancing our sense of 'self-mirth.'" Whimsy and levity can be your salvation, Aries. Lucky flux should be your mantra.

This in-between stuff has been persistent! Can I just get to the next thing/stage/level? Any other ARIES people out there feeling stagnant, yet dizzy?

And then, there's this:


My Buddy Covered in Catnip


And this:


Shadows on the Creek




I'm patiently waiting for Spring.

There's this struggle between logic and intuition happening inside of me. My intuition has so much faith. My logic is cut throat.

As you can see there's a lot going on in my head and heart.

I miss this blog. I also miss green grass and birkenstocks. I also miss my parents. Hi Ma.

I keep telling myself, if I can get through February, I can get through March. I hope I'm right.

How are you?



Amy

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

More Or Less: A Money Talk




There are several things I'm working through these days. Now that I've graduated from Physio and I'm back to yoga, rebuilding my strength and stamina physically, I feel ready to tackle other concerns I have about the way I live.

There's a theme showing up for me: more? or less?

By nature (and nurture) I am a collector. I enjoy thrift shopping and get a thrill when I find a name brand coat for $10. Just a couple weeks ago I found a brand new purple Roxy coat in my size - cute as anything. I bought it, but it also stressed me out! The problem with thrift shopping is that I could do it every day.

Accumulate, accumulate, accumulate. 

If I spend every day, then I am taking money away from other important places. If I bring home items daily, I am cluttering my space and my sense of peace.

I also love grocery shopping. I'm not particularly thrifty when it comes to the food I eat, but I do try to limit myself and be as practical as I can be. I buy mostly organic and try to eat fresh foods from the earth. This is not the most cost effective food option, but it is very important to me and I think it is worth the cost. I use coupons, buy items on sale and search through the discounted produce to see what I can salvage.

The problem occurs when I am pulling from my savings account, dipping into my rent money, using my credit card or "borrowing" from my next pay cheque ahead of time. I don't feel good when I do these things, but sometimes they happen in order to pay the bill. My issue is that paying these particular retail bills are not necessary! 

I'm working on being more mindful about my spending.

This is my plan:

*I am avoiding retail shopping. This means no Anthropologie. The more I buy at that store, the more I convince myself the prices are reasonable for me. They aren't. The only section for me is marked SALE. I will only purchase if something is super discounted and I am in love with it. (I feel that if I completely cut myself off I might just want to shop more, so this allows for some flexibility.)

*I am trying to stay off all tempting online shopping sites. If I don't see it, I don't want it.

*I have challenged myself to see how much of my spending money is left after 2 weeks. What remains (whether it is $100 or $10) will go into my savings or on my credit card. It gives me the motivation to not spend, so I can feel good about making a transfer or payment.

*I'm allowed to go out for tea dates, lunch dates, buy little things here and there, and also get the things I need. Needs are: toothpaste, face lotion, a couple tiny crystals for my medicine pouch, a box of tea for work or one small item from the thrift store. Anything within reason that I wouldn't hesitate to fess up to.

*In order to be accountable, I am sharing my plan with others.

I'm nearing the end of my first two week block and I have $42 left. It doesn't seem like much, but imagine all those $42's over the period of a year?! My savings will grow and my credit card debt will be reduced.

It feels good to have more control over my finances.
    
LESS: careless spending, thinking it'll make me happy, buying into brands and what seems hip. These things deplete me.

MORE: yoga, time with nature, meditation, friend hangouts, art and writing. These things fill me up.

Amazingly, this restriction with money feels good to me. It's stable, controlled and predictable.


What are your tricks or suggestions when it comes to finances? I would love to swap ideas!


Be well,

Amy

 
 
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