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Welcoming Winter

Happy December!

This time of year can be hard for some people, especially for people who find themselves experiencing SADD. Seasonal Affective Depression Disorder affects a lot of people! Essentially, it is when people experience depression during the winter months. Part of this is caused by the decreased Vitamin D accompanying the lack of sunlight, and sometimes also the holidays are hard for people.

2020 has already been an intense year, to say the least. And if you are finding yourself feeling depressed (or more depressed than your usual amount) during this, you’re not alone.

So what can you do about it? Especially during this time of stay-at-home orders?

Give yourself a fucking break.

Seriously. Put off for tomorrow what does not need to get done today. Let yourself have an extra 30 minutes of laying in bed. Eat what you feel like having. We are literally living through a pandemic, y’all. Our normalcy is being rearranged – and depression (seasonal or not) has a metaphysical reason for demanding rest.

Something I’ve read about briefly is ayurvedic medicine. Within this medicine is the idea of your body being closely aligned with the sun, that our bodies naturally need less sleep in the summer and more in the winter. Our eating habits change seasonally as well.

This is not me saying “depression during the winter is natural, just deal with it”. BUT I am saying that one of the healthiest things we can do is listen to our body. Give yourself the grace and give yourself the space to do your best every day, no matter what that looks like.

Sometimes my best is waking up early and doing yoga and exercising before the sun rises. Other times it’s waking up at 9:30am and eating cookies for breakfast. Life is all about balance, and it’s important that we hold space for ourselves.

So what are some winter activities to do during this time?

❄ Drive around and look at Christmas lights

❄ Make hot chocolate at home and have a game night

❄ Sit in front of a fireplace (in real life or on YouTube) and cozy up under a bunch of blankets

❄ Watch Christmas movies

❄ See if there’s any local Christmas light “events” (In New Jersey, the PNC Bank Arts Center has a drive-thru Christmas light show and they charge a small entry fee per car)

❄ Read one of your favorite chapter books from when you were a kid. (The Inkheart trilogy is my go-to)

❄ Have a movie night (Harry Potter is my go-to!)

❄ Do your favorite winter activities safely!

Remember, you are entitled to your feelings. Right now does suck. But this stork will pass. It might pass like a fucking kidney stone, but this too shall pass.

Categories
mental health spirituality writing

Coming Back Home to Myself

So, things have changed since I last wrote here. My funk has transformed into inspiration, but not after me going through a low.

Whether you want to call it depression, or part of the spiritual awakening, or an existential crisis – for what felt like an eternity, I was feeling like my life wasn’t my own. Not in a dissociation sense, because I know what that feels like and this wasn’t it. But I felt like my life didn’t feel like my life. That if I were given the ability to choose the aspects of my life, the life I am living would not match that. Does that make sense? I was feeling unsatisfied, overwhelmed, lost, and hopeless. This was beyond me feeling like I was in a rut – I truly felt like I didn’t fit in to my own life.

Last Saturday, I decided to do some autumn-cleaning. I wasn’t feeling relaxed in my bedroom, and this is the only space we have in our current living situation that’s ours, which makes it of more importance to me for it to feel like home.
Spiritually, I felt like I had too many crystals out. I had the intuitive thought that all of the energies of the 40+ crystals I had throughout our room was getting to be overwhelming, and as I am a spiritual person I’m more in tune to these energies. I made sure my Google Slides presentation was up to date (this is how I keep track of the names of all of my crystals), and I put the crystals I wasn’t feeling drawn to in a box. I cleansed that box with Palo Santo incense, and put the box in the attic. I then went through my books that I have in the room, and decided to only keep the books in the room that I actually intend on reading in the next few months. The rest of the books – most of my books – are in the attic and are easily accessible should I need them. I then reorganized my other things – my pictures, elephant figurines, dresser, etc.- and anything that didn’t feel necessary, I put in a box. I went through my clothes and organized them too, and anything that I haven’t worn in a long time I put in a garbage bag. I put the box and the bag in the attic. Essentially, I redecorated the room and did a variation of Marie Kondo’s cleaning. Instead of asking myself if each item brings me joy, I asked myself if it resonated with me. They say (I can’t remember who “they” is) that your home is an extension of your mind, so if you’re feeling cluttered/scatter-brained, it may help to clean your room, etc. This did help me feel better, to have my bedroom feel like a reflection of myself.

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I went for a long walk the next day. As I was walking, I whispered out loud all the things that were bothering me and told the trees the things on my mind and on my heart. I had the intuitive thought that the reason my life doesn’t feel like mine is because I am not holding space for myself. I am dimming myself down to be the version of me that I used to be, the version of me I think others are expecting me to be. So if I don’t feel comfortable within myself, how the hell am I going to feel comfortable with anything in my external world?

So I talked to the trees. I said that if a friend was telling me everything that I just said, I need to do for myself what I would advise my friend. Below are a few bullet-points of that conversation.

Me: I don’t feel satisfied with my job. It doesn’t feel like something I want to do, and it doesn’t make me happy.
What I would tell my friend: Your job does not define you. It is a way for you to make money, but if it doesn’t resonate with you it does not have to be apart of your identity. Write out a list of pros/cons of working there, and see how you feel after seeing it all on paper.
Also: My job does not make me happy in the sense of me feeling excited to start the day, but I don’t dread logging in. Apathy isn’t the goal emotion for your career, but sometimes a job is just a job. It’s not forever and it doesn’t have to be my passion, especially if I remind myself that this is a stepping stone.

Me: I don’t know where I want to move to after our current living situation, but I know that I don’t want to stay here forever and I’d like to get our own place soon. I don’t know what to do.
What I would tell my friend: The good thing about where you are living now is also that it’s a stepping stone. You’re not stuck there. But it is where you are now, so I think it’d be beneficial to make the most of it while you’re there. The time is going to go by either way, so if you can help it, don’t be miserable.
Also: If we’re not moving for, at the very least, 15 months, why should I worry about it now? Why should I spend so much energy planning for something that’s so far away and has so many variables? I can think about it, and plan the best I can, but realistically – there is not much I can or should do until it gets closer. So just check ✅ it off the mental list and move on.

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Also, after this conversation, I felt HUGELY inspired with regards to my writing. If I want to be this successful writer and reach the goals that I dream about, then I need to put in the work. I need to do the best I can now, because putting it off until later isn’t going to help me. Would I rather watch seven hours of Parks & Rec or work on writing blog posts and Instagram captions? Some days I’d rather just relax and watch Netflix, and there is nothing wrong with that. But if I ask myself that question every time I go to the app, chances are I’ll be binge-watching shows a lot less.

I’m a spiritual person. Most likely, if you’ve read anything else I’ve written on here you are already know that. A lesson I’ve been struggling to learn lately is finding a balance between surrendering my earthly need for control to the universe but also taking control of my life. While this has been a dilemma and something that’s weighed me down for awhile, today I’m starting to understand it a little better.

I surrender my need for my life to look a certain way, while understanding that I have the power to change my life. I surrender the idea that I need to achieve xyz by the age of 30, but I claim the power to create my own reality and achieve my goals.

For example – I want to be earn a living by being a writer. I say affirmations every morning after my yoga, and I see visions of my future working from home in my gorgeous home office, but I won’t get to that point without doing work. I release the need for the path to getting there to happen a certain way, but I know that I need to actually put in the work to get there.

And so…an announcement. 🥁 Last Sunday, Sept. 27th, I printed the very first draft of my first book. It’s 16,000 words and needs a lot of editing, and I know that it’s nowhere near done, but it’s still an awesome feeling to be holding my words. I sat down to write today and I started to repeat myself from what I’ve said already, so I decided it was time to edit what I have so far, and organize it into chapters so it’s also easier for me to navigate. In one month of writing for one hour every week, I have 16,000 words. It feels uncomfortable to say because of my low self-esteem that I’m working on but – I am proud of myself and of this accomplishment. I hold space for this achievement, and I am passionate about the work that needs to happen to get this book anywhere close to being ready for publishers.

I also am inspired for this blog and my social media presence. I can’t have the audience of my dreams and reach people without consistent content. I can’t schedule inspiration, but I can take advantage of inspiration when it happens and put a plan in motion to be worked on afterwards.

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It’s okay to not feel inspired all the time. It’s okay to feel lost, and it’s okay to feel shitty. There is strength in feeling your emotions, and there is strength in taking back your power.

Categories
General mental health

This Morning’s Musings

I’ve been in a funk, lately. I feel like I’m always saying that, which makes me feel worse.

Now I don’t know if I’ve been feeling more depressed, or if the depression is part of the spiritual awakening I may or not may not going through, I don’t know.

I just finished a book, “Gus” by Kim Holden. I’ve read the first book in the series a couple of times, “Bright Side”, and I finally managed to finish this one too. And dude, I fucking love the feeling after finishing a good book. The excitement and elation of the inspiration of finishing a story – especially a story like this. Overcoming grief and loss, finding yourself, and pursuing the hell out of your passions. I needed that.

Lately I’ve been feeling called for us to plan to get our own place, and move into an apartment. I miss having my own space away from the world. I miss being able to cook in the kitchen whenever I want, having only myself and my fiancé to worry about. I miss not having to share a bathroom with anyone else. And honestly? I miss the independence of being away from everyone else. I miss being able to be alone, truly alone. No other people in my space, not having to worry about who is doing what and where. I miss having a space that is my oasis from the world.

But, to play my own Devil’s Advocate, maybe my lower feelings currently are causing me to feel more antisocial so I feel more called to be away from everyone and everything.
Also, apartment living requires you to share walls with neighbors who could be loud or just generally annoying. And most units don’t have a washer/dryer in-unit. And carrying groceries up the stairs if you live on the second floor sucks. And we wouldn’t have the yard we have now and the garage…but I personally would be fine with that. I am willing to sacrifice the comfort of laundry and groceries for the general feeling of being at peace and being at home somewhere.

My fiancé is not on board, I don’t think. He’s not the most open with his emotions and his feelings, and he’s also stressed because he starts class in less than a week.

So I’m at a loss for what to do. Because I’m not happy with our current living situation…but I’m also not unhappy to the point of dreading being home. I feel indifferent/apathetic about living here. I also don’t feel the happiest inside about myself, which could be affecting my mindset too.

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After our talk this morning that was mostly me building the case for why I want us to move into our own apartment in 6 months and him listening but not engaging and also not 100% agreeing – I decided to finish reading “Gus”. Because I wanted to escape. When I’m not on the phone for work, I was escaping into another world. And it was this excerpt that made me almost cry:

When I got to this point, I gasped out loud and read it again. And then I sent a picture of this to my fiancé and shared to my personal stories on social media. It felt like these words were written just for me to read.
How, specifically, this works into my life I’m not 100% sure yet. I immediately thought of my writing career, and the fact is that I can’t earn a living from writing if I don’t actually do the writing.

I also know that happiness comes from within, so if I’m not happy within myself I’ll never be happy no matter where I live. But I also think it’s a valid argument that staying somewhere out of convenience and ease is a shit choice. If I want to choose happy and live intentionally, and not just let myself fall into a routine of mediocrity, then I need to be intentional with my life. Which leads me back to wanting to move into our own place.

But, I can’t force someone into wanting something that they don’t. Just like I can’t force myself to be happy with something that I’m not. So I’m going to throw myself into work and read the next book in the series (“Franco”, Kim Holden) and see what happens. I’m going to trust in the universe and surrender to the fact that I know this living situation no longer serves me, and that I am ready for our next chapter. I’m going to get out of my head a little and try to give my mind a break from thinking, and just focus on being. ✌

Categories
Current Events mental health spirituality

New Moon Post: Planetary Happenings, Stepping into Myself, Doing the Hard Things (oh my!)

Happy Tuesday! Happy New Moon in Leo! This is also the second full day into Uranus Retrograde, so let me know if this is hitting y’all as hard as it’s hitting me 😅

In case you’re not into astrology stuff (moon energy, planetary alignments, etc.), I’ll briefly discuss what both of these things mean and link articles to read that explain it more eloquently. Also, just follow @truly.intuitive on Instagram! She’s the best.

New Moons are the beginning of the moon’s energy cycle. It’s typically when witches do their work for manifestation, among other things. New Moons signify beginnings, and there have also been studies to show that a majority of women menstruate around the new moon and ovulate around the full moon. So, new moons are pretty powerful. If you do any sort of Law of Attraction practice (writing letters, vision boards, etc.), I recommend paying attention to when the next New Moon is to help boost the manifesting.

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Most of us are aware of our sun signs. This is the answer we would give if anybody were to actually use the “So what’s your sign?” pick-up line on us. This is the “most popular” knowledge people have of their birth chart, but y’all there is actually so much more to know. It’s on my mental list of things to do to study astrology and eventually be able to read birth charts, but for now I’m still in the “collecting general knowledge” phase. We all have the planet Uranus in our chart, and typically, this planet is a symbol of progress, science, and disruption of the status quo. It’s the planet that is linked to surprises, innovation, revolution, and liberation. Uranus is demonstrative of all that is unique, wild, unpredictable, and unusual in our lives.

So what does this mean for this planet going in retrograde? It means our comfort zone will be tested. We are given a choice: change or die. (Die in the figurative sense). Without the influence of Uranus, many of us would nestle deep in our most familiar ruts and never look back. Uranus pushes us past the edge of our comfort.

Y’all, I am feeling all of this energy.

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Recently (like, Sunday night recently), I initiated a difficult conversation that I’ve been avoiding having with someone. And while we actually made progress, kinda, I was in my feels yesterday (as the kids say). I was feeling down, almost depressed. Very sad, insecure.

(Context: This wasn’t a bad conversation! No break-ups or any life changes, just a sensitive topic that is something not openly discussed. A lot of emotions were had).

And the reason I think that all of these feelings have to do with my spiritual awakening, is because I know that I need to go through this. So after yesterday morning of feeling super low, I was sitting outside cuddling with our pupper and had the thought that growth comes after change, and this season is all about shaking things up and teaches us what is really important.

It’s hard to determine if what I’m feeling is a “normal” part of growing, spiritually. It’s hard to tell if I cried for an hour that night because I was depressed af or if I’m understanding that everything in this world is grey – there is no black or white answer. I am right in my mind and you are right in your mind, so how can we say either of us is wrong? If my upset was because of the realization that I need to learn how prioritize my own needs while simultaneously prioritizing the needs of others. That’s a difficult balance, but it’s so important to have. If my upset was just overwhelm. Or if it was something else entirely, or a combination of all of the above.

And don’t get me wrong, crying is necessary. And I’m not ashamed of the fact that I cry easily. I have grown a lot and am proud of being able to feel my feelings. Holding space for my emotions is hard, honestly. It’s easier to numb or ignore, but at the end of the day, it is so beneficial to feel them and release them so you have more room for happiness.

However, I am ashamed of the fact that I feel shame surrounding my interests and the things that mean a lot to me. A good friend started following me on Instagram (@thatwriterjenna) and dude, I almost dry-heaved. My stomach dropped to my knees and I was about to stop doing this. And she’s a great friend, so it’s not like I don’t want her to see anything. I post this and am working on baring my soul to the interwebs because I want my words to be seen. But the more people in my life who comes across my writing, the more real it becomes. “It” being stepping up to the plate and actually pursuing my dream of being a writer. So yeah, I’m not ashamed that I love to write. I’m not ashamed of my spirituality. I know that writing and spirituality is not for everyone, and that while these things are a part of me, they do not define me. But I feel shame around the guilt I feel for being so…me. And if I’m honest, I guess part of me is a little (or a lot) ashamed of who/what “me” is.

Y’all how the fuck am I supposed to live my damn life and choose happiness if I’m ashamed of myself? How am I supposed to become the person I am in my dreams, my dream version of me, by playing small?

I’ve read in so many memoirs that once they fully stepped into themselves, they felt so much better and accomplished so much more than they ever thought possible. That’s a bit daunting to me, because I’m manifesting a pretty successful writing career. And like, I want that. But all of this work before hand – the unlearning and the healing and the shadow work and all that, is daunting. And it’d be easier to not deal with it.

But I’m already here! I’m already shedding the layers of the past versions of me. I feel like these layers are like a onesie pajama set and I’m standing here with the pajamas to my hips. I can’t just live life halfway out, and I can’t put myself back in. So, the only way out is through.

I need to push through the discomfort and grow into myself anyway. Do the thing even if I’m scared…if not because I’m scared. I am living this life once, so I need to stop waiting for xyz and just jump into the deep end.

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So how does the New Moon and Uranus Retrograde and hard talks and embracing being myself all tie together? Because it’s my life! It’s exactly what I’m going through right now. And being open about what’s going on as it’s going on, before I have any hindsight, is on the edge of my comfort zone. That’s what Uranus Retrograde is all about.
And I’ve had this feeling that’s been persistent for a few days now: that with the platform I’ll eventually build, I am meant to open the door for other people to have difficult conversations. Authenticity is one of the most important things to me, and I think part of my purpose is to show people how to find their truth.

But I have a lot of living and learning to do before I can get there. I can’t pour from an empty cup, and the teeny tiny drop I sometimes have in my cup I gotta save for myself. And all of these realizations are a part of the process.

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We are living through a pandemic. This isn’t exactly the part of the “Roaring 20’s” we wanted, but it’s the part that we got. Some days are going to feel great, and some days will not. It’s not about comparison of pain or comparison of success, of what Jane Doe is doing today and how Joe Shmo can get all that work done. Your best today will look different than your best tomorrow, and that’s okay.

Take some extra time to take care of yourself, there’s a lot going on energetically right now. I wish you peace and happiness. ✨