Can we just move past the fact that I haven't written on this blog for over a year? Yes, let's do that...we can come back to what I've been up to after I get some of these thoughts down on the page, as fast as I can possibly type. Forgive any typos/misspellings/terrible grammar mistakes...I'll probably fix them later anyway.
First off, this week I've been on vacation. After a very stressful, difficult year yours truly has been heading down the path of total annihilation. A bit extreme term I know. I've needed to make some changes in my life. Perhaps what I mean to write is that I've been breaking myself down into smaller manageable parts because the chaos of both the outer world and my interior world have been breaking me wide open. I will not go into a rant on the socio/political/economic turmoil happening out in the world right now. I sincerely can't handle it right now. My physical body wants to shut down and play dead if I delve into it too deeply tonight.
Instead, I will tell you about the three books that I am currently working through this week. I am reading a chapter every day and trying to process out what the work brings up through journaling. Three titles:
1. Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection - I started reading this book half-heartedly in the Summer but found myself turning away because it was too difficult to deal with what it was bringing up for me. I came back to it at the end of last month and something clicked. I am further along now and trying to face some of my demons along the way. As always, easier said than done but I'm flexing my courage muscle to see if I can find a new way of approaching my life and those tender, vulnerable places that need some serious healing love.
2. Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily and Amelia Nagoski - Okay, this book is changing my life right now. I didn't realize how much stuck stress (and stress stew) I was sitting on, and what kind of physical damage it was causing my body. Honestly, the chronic migraines should have been my tip-off. This book was recommended by my therapist in the Spring but I was too busy and too stressed out to even read it back then. Yes, I see the irony in that last statement. But now that I know and I can't un-know the information that it's given me.
3. Emotional Agility by Susan David - This is my most recent addition and I'm trying to find some emotional balance in the face of so much uncertainty, stress and life challenges. When I know more I will write more.
Writing - In the past month, I've gone back to writing creatively. Working on a new writing project after all this time. It feels good to spend some time creating again. Gosh, I should have known I would spiral out without having some ties to my writing life. The new work-in-progress is called Valentina, this is not the final title. Hopefully, I'll have a first draft done by the end of the year.
Yoga - I'm back to a daily practice of yoga. I started off as a need to stretch after sitting in front of a computer all day/all year. And now it's a good release to work through some of the stress in my life.
Meditation - Yep, that's right, I'm meditating twice a day for at least 15 minutes. Once in the morning before I get my day going. I quiet my mind and breathe deeply. Most days, it's trying to shut down the task master and the endless to-do list. Also taking a formal meditation class once a week. It helps to be in community with others who are meditating. It makes me feel a little less alone in the world.
And meditate as the last thing i do before I got to bed. Helps slow down my over active brain. The last two weeks before vacation I was sleeping less than 4 hours a night because my brain would not turn off. I was barely functioning. The meditation has helped a great deal. I think I would have been worse off if I hadn't been meditating. Oh, a big shout-out to Dan Harris' book 10% Happier. It's part of the reason why I went down this self-empowering rabbit hole. Thanks Dan!!
Painting - I actually mean painting my apartment. I love listening to musicals while brightening up my home space. This week, I finally sealed my window ledge and painted it to a lovely light green color. I've been meaning to do this for the past year. It's finally done. Yay! Super pleased that I finally got it done. It's definitely not perfect because I'm not a professional contractor. But I still get real pleasure for getting things accomplished. When I got this apartment, I made a long list of all the things I needed to fix/improve/work on. I've managed to get quite a bit done so Yay!
Music- there are two songs that I can't stop playing over and over again. Justin Bieber's Ghost. Now don't hate. This tune made me stop in my tracks. The other song is The Other Side with Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman (from the Greatest Showman soundtrack). I seriously can't stop myself from jumping around my apartment when this story comes on. It actually brings me joy. On that note, I'll leave it there for now.
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