Anxiety

Anxiety

Even though it’s been a relatively good week for me, I am feeling extremely anxious today. Sometimes we just can’t control the chemical balance in our brains and anxiety creeps up despite your best intentions.

I went for a run earlier this week and didn’t have any music along. Instead, I kept talking to myself, reminding myself that I can do anything.

“I am strong. I am motivated. I am smart. I am intelligent. I am wise. I am patient. I am flexible. I am creative. I am innovative.”

Every different word I used would inspire a new word. Sometimes, the words didn’t feel quite true, but if I changed my inflection (in my head), it could feel different. For example, “I am patient,” doesn’t feel true very often, but I know, and I need to tell myself, that I can be patient. I don’t have to be all of these words of strength all the time, and by the same token I can be all of them at the same time. There is a duality. Eventually, I changed the phrase from “I am,” to “I can be,” or other phrases.

“I am up for the challenge. I can do hard things. Every time I try, it will get easier. This hill used to feel hard, now it feels flat. I can get better. I improve every day. Today is a new day. I can change directions if today isn’t going how I want it to be – I can choose how today goes. I can be steadfast, and I can change my mind.”

Some phrases I would repeat over and over, either in a row or between thoughts. There were certain characteristics that I want to work on, that aren’t habitual yet, that I am improving on, and those would repeat throughout my “meditation.” Some didn’t resonate, and I didn’t need to repeat them more than once.

I highly advise this kind of self-talk. Don’t listen to yourself, talk to yourself. I’ve found that it gives me more power over negative thoughts.

I am feeling a ton of anxiety today, but I have the power to change how my day is going. I don’t have to succumb to my brain chemistry today.

Negative emotions can be caused by an imbalanced second chakra. Relaxing near open water can help open and balance this chakra.

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

From Invictus by William E. Henley

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Trust

Trust

noun: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something

Started my day with a ton of anxiety. If you have anxiety, does it physically manifest in your body? How? For me, my brain feels like it’s full of static. I want to say that it feels hot, but that’s not quite right, it’s more that there’s a lot of friction from all the thoughts and non-thoughts moving around up there. I’m going on vacation for the weekend tomorrow, and there are things that I absolutely HAVE to get done today. Things that should have been done a month ago. Things that I can’t let myself put off anymore, even though I don’t feel like I have everything I need to complete them. The problem is that part of my brain is saying “fuck it” because I’ve already waited this long, so why not wait til Monday?

Nope.

Don’t play me, brain.

So, I pulled out my meditation app and went outside for a few minutes when I got to work, because today just has to work. The shortest free meditation was about Trust, so walked outside to reset for 10 minutes. I needed the word “trust” to sit in my head, pushing out the static and grounding me. I still feel anxious, but every time it starts to rise up to the top of my mind instead of my work, I let “trust” to float back in and replace it. I am learning to trust myself, my instincts, my personality, so that I can let my true self flourish.

“Trust, that you’re going to shift gears from forcing a situation to happen to trusting that the highest and the best will happen, whatever that may be.”

Motivational sticky notes and gold stars – keys to success.

Magic

Magic

Noun: a quality that makes something seem removed from everyday life, especially in a way that gives delight.

My word of the day is magic. I don’t usually reflect on it, but I think that my general outlook when I’m not wallowing in depression and anxiety is that my life is magic. I am practicing being more mindful every day, and that has helped me appreciate the smallest things. The things that happen every day.

The practice of making coffee for two every morning, and enjoying it on an early morning walk around the garden to see what is blooming. The way the cat looks at me and calls for belly rubs as soon as I wake up. The bees going in and out of their hives, busy making entrancing honey as soon as the sun comes up. A 60 degree morning in late July. Running four loads of laundry and folding them right away. Feeling like your life is under control when you stay on top of household chores for a month, tasks that used to pile up for months and months, the pride that comes with taking care of your family’s comfort. Taking pride in mundane tasks like putting the leftovers away promptly instead of forgetting them in the oven overnight. Looking at these accomplishments as success stories instead of what normal functioning adults should do naturally.

So many of us have the same routine every day and not enough time on our days off. I wake up before my husband, make us coffee, go to work, forget to eat lunch, stay too late, take my computer home thinking I’ll get something done, realize I’ll only be awake for 3 more hours by the time I get home so I shouldn’t ever bother, go to bed, do it again, sleep in too late on the weekend, feel depressed from too much sleep, lay around sweating from the heat, don’t accomplish anything, wake up and it’s Monday. Sometimes there’s not time for the things that make us feel like ourselves, sometimes we just don’t take the time. Taking the time to feel appreciative of the gifts, opportunities, and successes I have through my every day routine is important. My life is magic, and I’m the one waving the wand.

This blurry photo is magical. The cuteness – I DIE!

 

What is blogging about, anyway?

What is blogging about, anyway?

The first time I had a blog, I think it was a livejournal. It was so long ago I can’t remember. If there was something before that, it didn’t last long. Regardless, with my livejournal and subsequent xanga blogs, they were daily journals of my life. Places for catharsis. Can blogging still be primarily be for catharsis? Is there any point to having my journal publicly available online if it isn’t going to be read by hundreds of subscribers? Am I just wasting server space if it’s mostly for me? I prefer typing over handwriting, and I need a place to record some of my thoughts, milestones, and goals to sort out this adventure that is my daily dull life. I have barely posted here, but I didn’t hate the last few posts… I was glad they were here, and am mildly proud of their content. Should I pick it up again?

Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar

World, I got married this month. Four weeks of wedded bliss. This crazy summer is finally winding down, and this week the changes were marked by cool, autumn-like weather that brought back memories of one year ago when I moved to Valparaiso to start a new job and was still crossing my fingers that it would mean the end of long distance soon. It has been an amazing year.

I’ve been struggling against myself a bit this summer. Seventy percent of the year I’m outside everyday on field trips, but summertime is when I’m stuck in the office all day everyday pushin’ papers. I liked this part of my job a lot more when I needed a break from the hooligans I saw every day. It has been an adjustment, and I don’t really feel that I’ve adjusted terribly well. I also moved in June, and was trying to care about the final wedding planning. Now that Steven has moved in and we’re nearing the end of that process of organizing, I have a little more time and brain space to get back to normal. A new normal.

With that new normal, I need to get back to waking up early. This spring I was getting up at sunrise and I let myself get lazy this summer even though I felt more sluggish when I slept in. I saw a post (this one) on Monday, and decided to start doing sun salutations every morning. I started on Tuesday with 3 (half) salutations, and to be perfectly honest, it was harder than I wanted it to be. I haven’t been running in a couple of months and our bed is too soft, so I have been really stiff. I have felt the improvement in my body as well as my mind in just four days of this, and plan to make this a part of my day, every day.

My morning routine used to be to dance to some fun tunes while I got ready, but with another person in the house I had to stop. I think this yoga routine will be less disruptive, and will help me improve my strength, flexibility, and mindfulness.

Three weeks

Three weeks

In three weeks, I will be home in Muncie, preparing the last details for our wedding.

Our wedding.

Mine and Steven’s.

Wait, how old am I? I still feel like a baby. Sure, I may have jetted off by myself to live a new life a few times. I may be pioneering a brand new position at my job. (I may be a badass) but I still feel like my parent’s youngest child a lot of the time, and not that getting married will change any of that, but it still makes me feel old. It means we have to sweep up all those remaining pieces of our lives that we haven’t taken full responsibility for yet.

It also means that Steven is FINALLY going to move in with me! I don’t have any dishes besides one funny shaped plate/bowl I acquired in college, my bowl from freshman year in the dorm, and a round metal cake pan, so I broke into some of the china we inherited in honor of our wedding. Every time I’ve used it, it has evoked an emotional response. Why am I getting so excited about dinnerware?

Because 1. it’s really pretty

2. it’s bridal white (I think deep down I must be really stoked to be a bride)

3. we got it for our WEDDING and

4. Steven gets to use it with me so soon! and forever after that!

I’m guessing that all couples have an adjustment period after they get married, and I know that ours is going to be a big one. We haven’t lived in the same city for 7 years, except for last winter when I was home for three months. Getting to see each other every day is going to be great, but that also means that we’ve been used to almost 100% of our free time being “me” time. Balancing wanting to be together/helping each other live and also maintaining some of that independence is going to be a challenge.

Are we prepared to throw a party for 100+ people? I don’t feel like it, but my mom has all the essentials under control. Thanks mom. Without you, I guarantee we would have eloped.

crazydayz.

crazydayz.

Cleanse update: it didn’t go well the next week I tried, but the week after I spontaneously succeeded at both goals of no naps and no alcohol. Now I’m doing pretty well with both. Yay!

Life update:
Oh my gosh, everything is crazy right now!

On the wedding planning front, we’re at 96 days til the wedding so that means it’s crunch time! I’ve made lots of progress (in my opinion) in the last couple of days, so hopefully that momentum continues. Steven’s shirt, tie, and vest are ordered, so he just needs pants and shoes. My shoes, necklace, and earrings are in hand, and in two weeks I have my final fitting for my dress. It will be the first time I see what it will actually looks like. Yesterday I had a fitting of the muslin bodice to perfect the pattern, and the skirt from my mom’s wedding dress will be added to it. I’m so excited! I was really nervous before I saw it with the new bodice shape, but now I think it’s going to be perfect.

On the move-Steven-to-Valparaiso front, we have a house! Steven started a business! Things are happening! We need to get our ducks in a row to close on the house, but I basically have no doubts except for how long it will take. We thought we would end up in a major fixer-upper, but this house is actually move-in ready. We’re going to make a few changes and upgrades, and already have new paint colors picked out. We are so lucky and grateful for the opportunities we’ve been given that have led to this amazing steal of a house. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that everything continues the way we think it will. Quickly.

On the job and life in general front, holy moly this year is so busy. Even without the wedding and house prep and new business and moving factors, I would be crazy busy with work. Add all that on and I literally don’t have a single weekend without something going on, and usually more than one thing. It’s exciting and I’m glad to be busy, but I’m also looking forward to checking as much off my list as possible so I can still have some free time and perhaps even some flexibility in my weekends. Things will get much easier when Steven moves up here for real and the wedding/summer is over, but I also need to get used to the fact that this is my life now.

The marathon I’m running is in 4 weeks and I didn’t run a single time this past week. I really hope I’ll be ready. Gotta get back on that and stop making excuses.