It's My Party, I'll Reflect If I Want To
I have become a huge believer in "trusting the process". To me, this means having comfort with the ups and downs of getting to where in...
It's My Party, I'll Reflect If I Want To
Curated Playlist: Fall 🍁
Just Say Om
I have become a huge believer in "trusting the process". To me, this means having comfort with the ups and downs of getting to where in life you want to go remembering you will get there. There are so many places in my life where doing just that ultimately led me to the right place. That is, until Diddy (disappointment) and Chloe (confusion) kick the door in and say, "Hey honey, we're home!".
This very moment was the first time that I actually named those two states like I've heard recommended so many times before. The burst of laughter when I landed on those names showed me that I made the right decision. I also think it's worth noting that disappointment is an emotion while confusion is not. In English, emotions and mental states seem to get conflated all too often. But I digress.
When Diddy and Chloe show up, it's similar to pulling back the plunger on a pinball machine during a multi ball: anything can happen. It's in this uncertainty that my mind pulls and sways making Diddy and Chloe bigger. My thoughts move away from sentiments like, "It didn't work that time because it's not right, but the right time will come so keep moving forward" and closer to, "Why am I even doing this? I'm never going to find what I'm looking for." The latter bit I'd call despair. A place I'm all too familiar with. The discord of an optimistic mind double talking from a place of hopelessness discord intensifies into an emotional weight.
It just occurred to me how discovering my inner workings is like physical exercise. I've regularly practiced picking up the very emotional weight I'm speaking of and putting it down internationally over the past few years. Sometimes I pick it up and feel the need to hold it up for days to weeks, but once I put it down the relief is what I remember. My old pattern was to dwell on the fact that I'm even having a problem deepening the despair. Slowly over time, the length that I hold on to it lessens. Then, in moments like these, my inner voice taps me on the shoulder and says, "There's another option. You don't have to wallow in this. Get it out of your body and feel the release."
Which led me here.
I'm in awe when I step back and consider that I'm even writing these entries on a blog. For the longest time, I didn't want to share my deeper thoughts with anyone. I now realize that holding it all in interfered with me sharing the very gifts that would connect me to others. Sharing it is hard and vulnerable which was not taught socially in my mind were parts of life that I wanted to be anywhere near. It saddens me to think of where I was and from that comes a deep compassion for what I was going through life the only way I knew how.
You know how I realized the connection I was seeking so desperately was being blocked? By beginning with the disconnection I had imbued in myself. I felt and heard how running not away from but towards the sharp painful areas hurt but had release in the knowing. The release changed the messages I heard inside to compassionate talk.
That talk became so kind and supportive that I did the next hard thing and started speaking those same thoughts out loud. The safety of my therapist listening to them without history or judgement showed me how it felt to be heard...deeply heard. Then, I started telling it publicly like I'm doing here craving that connection and audience.
The fact that I come here, letting the words flow, in moments that are usually the most turbulent is proof to me of growth. One of the things I think is hardest for many people, myself included, is being visible when I'm not on top. The perfect example of _____. I feel these moments are when we really connect to others because they realize it's not just them feeling that way and the speaker feels the same being heard.
This is one of many stories, from my lived experience, I could tell about the exercise of mental wellbeing. This feeling and more is waiting for each and every one of us no matter where we start. And, you know what? You'll find that even when Diddy and Chloe show up kicking over tables and chairs it'll hit different. It may wash over you, but it will recede like a wave...and you'll continue walking down the beach of your life eyes to the horizon.
Leaves are changing. The PSL is on the Starbucks menu. Without a doubt, fall has begun.
The beginning of September is also kicks off my seasonal curated playlist for Fall: a collection of the music that I love during the season. Some may make me think of fall, while others are simply the vibes I'm picking up.
Songs for this playlist are curated throughout the season settling on a final list at the end of November so I would love for you to listen along with me on Apple Music or Spotify, and let me know if you're enjoying the vibes!
For all my curated playlists, check out the related posts for Apple Music and Spotify posts containing the full list.
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
When I started meditation five years ago, I had trouble even sitting still for more than a minute without opening my eyes. I would wonder who was looking at me doing something so weird (I decided to cultivate this habit in public, but we'll get to that later) and if my body would make me a weirdo the moment I stopped monitoring it. I can hear the theme of control running through my journey of mediation. I find it really surprising that I would decide to meditate in the gaze of others, considering I was very controlling of how I thought others were perceiving me.
I had moved to a new city with very few friends to rely on thrusting me back into childhood feelings when we would move to new areas with regularity. I hit the tarmac in SF ready to make things happen and the unfortunate side effect was my internal voice became a harsh taskmaster. A new high stress job where I constantly felt like an imposter for one of the first times in my professional career added a nice little cherry on top for a stressed to the max spirit. Looking back, I had very few tools to manage it so I accepted this is what life is supposed to feel like.
Then, I started listening to podcasts to ease the toil of an hour plus long commute daily to work. The shuttle bus the company provided bus was as wonderful as it could be. Cushy seats, a quiet and climate controlled environment, plus consistent wifi reduced as much of the anxiety about the ride as possible. I would still felt my heart race from the moment I would step on the bus to start my commute. My mind would play through all the scenarios that would be coming up when I got off that comfy bus, and my body was freaking the fuck out the whole ride. The podcasts became my escape, and I heard about mediation over and over again from the high achiever podcasts I was into at the time like The Tim Ferris Show (still a favorite of mine).
Between ads and guest spots, I ended up on the 7 week trial of Headspace back in 2017. I loved the graphics of the app and the sound of Andy, one of the co-founders, voice as he narrated the guided meditations. I held strong through the trial, and though this could be for me but quickly found that I wasn't ready to hold the practice regularly. I struggled to maintain my idea of what it was to be a new meditator, basically having an immediate daily habit, and quit the practice all together multiple times over the next year.
I don't know what the moment was when it all locked into place. I am starting to find that the moment doesn't matter as much because all the ones preceding it were the base for that instant. I started with my meditation as a way to "cure" the ails I had: stress, anxiety, low self-esteem. I needed to start there. While meditation has not cured any of those, I deeply believe that mediation was another gateway I walked through that allowed me to relax the internal control I was holding over myself up until I really started feeling the words of the practice. That release finally allowed my inner voice to turn from critic to trusted friend. My view of my actions and what I could do slowly started to transform as well allowing me to try harder and harder things. I see it reflected in the hard things I do now that I would have never imagined possible back in 2018.
Ultimately, my journey so far has instilled this deep sense of allowing things to come to their own resolution without always having to push and coerce. Henry of just four years ago wouldn't understand how great things and people can come without "doing" something. It breaks my brain still sometimes how it works when I sit back and marvel at the development of life when you're living it and not always looking to pull strings for the narrow view of results we can imagine for ourselves. My whole ass life as it is now I couldn't have dreamed up and I also wouldn't have known how much I would love it.