2016: I survived with minor bruises

What a fucking year. I am lucky to say that I survived because so many people did not. We lost a lot of animal friends, people friends, and a lot of family this year. There were hundred of meltdowns. Tons of disappointments. Many moments of sheer “FUCK YOU WORLD”.

Why are some years so full of shit and burden and death? I will tell you why. You may not want to hear this though because when I am drowning in self pity I don’t want to hear this. But here it comes:

Everything happens for a reason, man.

 That’s it. Plain and simple. If you are looking around at other people’s lives on facebook and Instagram wondering why you aren’t married, having kids, looking fresh to death, eating kale and selling FitTea, here is the simple explanation: It’s just not your time. It is not in your cards. Let me give you a prime example:

My mom is trying to make the move west to live in the same town as me. She put her house up for sale with the most incompetent realtor on the planet. As a result, she had shitty people coming to see her house who lead her to believe she had sold her place, but it never happened. She was devastated. All she wanted was to move this year. So she got another realtor. Yes her house sat on the market all summer with no activity, but it was for the best because her new realtor has found some pretty promising leads and circumstances have changed. Mom now wants a bigger house than the one she previously had her eye on in my town. So if her place had sold with the shitty realtor, yes she would be here by now, but would still be faced with selling a home she didn’t want to be in. So in my eyes, it was just about timing. She wasn’t meant to sell the house until just the right time. She was also meant to stay in her house because her mother died this year and until that happened, I don’t truly think she was ready to leave.

It’s all about timing. Everyone is freaking saying how this was the worst year but I am choosing to go the higher road. I am choosing to believe that these life lessons, although seemingly harsh, were meant to make us stronger. More capable of taking control of our lives and figuring out what is important. Now I am a very emotional person. I wear my heart not on my sleeve but literally on the end of my nose. Everyone can see my emotions. So in the moment of something shitty happening, yes I lose my fucking cool. But always make sure you sit back, maybe a few days later, and reflect upon what happened. Try to figure out why this happened and what you can learn from it. Your attitude can literally change your environment.

Try and treat people you meet with love and dignity. Try not to be judgmental because you never know their story. If you have a rude cashier or server or bus driver, just remember that everyone has shit. MY first instinct is to think :”Wow what a fucking hag”. But perhaps as a New Years resolution, try to change your perspective and send them kind thoughts and energy. Even just smile at them and tell them to have a good day. I could change their whole day.

One of Karlin’s sisters best friends was killed suddenly on her birthday here in town 2 weeks ago and it was such a tragic loss. To say that it was meant to be is extremely hurtful for a grieving family. So what can we try and take away from this? I decided that the only lesson I could learn from this was to live each day like it was your last. Cut out the small shit that you obsess over. Make a list of things that are important to you and really spend some time prioritizing that list. 

Mine would look something like this:

 

  1. Ok the obvious :food, shelter, water, etc.
  2. Family/ Friends
  3. Biggie smalls
  4. My happiness
  5. Kraft dinner/pizza/tacos
  6. My health
  7. Wealth
  8. Nice leggings
  9. Cute nailpolish
  10. Number of likes on Instagram

Ok the end is largely a joke but you get the point. Make sure the top of your list is satisfied before you start to worry about the bottom of the list. Life is just too fucking short. Put your time and energy into doing things that make your heart sing. Yes, you have to work to make money to survive. But try to find happiness in the work you do. If you aren’t happy, do something about it.

We all have the ability to reciprocate and spread love so let’s add that to our list of New Years Resolutions. This world is becoming so fucked up (may I remind you of the 2016 clown invasion? And no I’m not taking about Clinton and Trump). We can heal at least our immediate environment by consciously choosing to be kind rather than right.  

Now, my previous post was about the Wild Rose herbal cleanse so I will follow up with this: I lost 5 pounds, felt really good, but as soon as those 12 days were over it was back to eating whatever I wanted. So zero lessons learned. Mind you it was the holidays so perhaps I will try again.

2016 taught me how to start my own business, build a yoga studio without beheading my husband, raise a beautiful little human (ok dog but he’s more human than anything), and how to be prepared for emergencies. 

So let’s all just take a deep fucking breath… and hold it for 4 more days until it’s 2017! All the best in the New Year kiddies 😘


 

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The Art of Meditation

A year ago today if you had asked me my thoughts on meditation I probably would have had zero thoughts. I have never considered meditation as a form of therapy or wellbeing. It was something that hippies and monks did, right? 

So wrong. I have been learning more and more about meditation through my yoga practice but also aside. The benefits are HUGE. Some claim it can even cure illnesses. It decreases stress, relieves anxiety, and promotes mindfulness which our society generally lacks. 

But how does one meditate? What is the goal? What is the technique? That’s the beautiful thing about meditation. It depends on the individual. So I wanted to talk about what meditation is to me and how I meditate. 

First of all, I don’t sit crossed legged with my spine straight and my eyes closed. I can.. But after about 5 minutes I get achey and uncomfortable and can’t focus on anything but my legs falling asleep or my bag starting to sag. So I lie down. It’s my jam. I get a little blanket too. I pretty much prepare for a nap. 

Then I just close my eyes and listen. I listen to all the external noise around me. Biggie eating my couch, dogs barking, birds and wind and everything that’s going on outside me. I take note of all these sounds and make a mental list, then I literally visualize me taking this list and putting it off to the side of my head. Then I start to tune into the internal blabber of my own voice. 

This is where I find meditation challenging. The art of listening to your own internal dialogue as a bystander. Letting yourself think of whatever you’re thinking, acknowledging the thought, and letting it move on. Sometimes my inner voice is so loud and so busy it’s draining. Other days it’s like a calm Sunday in Fruitvale. There’s an occasional thought, then just the awareness of my breath. 

Which leads to the best part. Focusing on your breath. Listening to your inhale and taking note how it makes your belly and your chest rise, then observing how your body falls when you exhale. I listen and note the quality of my breath and see if there’s a way to take bigger breaths. Sometimes this is my meditation and after 10 minutes of that, I’m zen as fuck. 

Other days, when my thoughts are running fucking rampant, I focus on my breath, get distracted by thought, and as soon as I let that thought go I focus on the “space” that follows that thought’s exit. That nothingness. The key is to not judge your thoughts. For example, if I am distracted by what I’m going to eat for dinner, I simply say “this can wait, later thought” and as soon as it leaves, I’m left with this blank space. But I can’t think “oh here’s a blank space” because then it’s another thought and I’m back to saying “ok good job but let’s not think about the blank space”. So it’s that fine balance of just being present and knowing there’s space without saying it or thinking it. Just knowing. From like a deep part in your mind and body. The space doesn’t have to be long or stretched out. That doesn’t give it quality. The more I practice the longer I can make these blank spaces go for longer though and THAT is what I’m working on. 

So after I meditate, I feel present. I don’t worry about the rest of my day or what happened previously in the day or week or in my life. I just get this chill “AH-HA” moment where everything just seems perfect how it is. I become mesmerized by simple things and I just feel so fucking happy it would make a goth kid puke. 

So that’s how I meditate. That’s why I meditate. I don’t know if I’m doing it right or wrong and I don’t give a shit. If I could live in that present state for the rest of my life I think my world would change so that’s what I’m working for! 

How do other people meditate? Let me know! I want to eat up all the information I can. 

BAIIII ✌🏻️