The Journey WIthin

Last night I was typing up what I thought to be a really great post for all of you. Unfortunately, I pressed the shift key to capitalize my next sentence and the entire post deleted right before my eyes. I was devastated to say the least. After proofing this one, I’m confident that I have delivered to all of you something even better than that last post and I’m so happy to share this with you all.

So without further a due, here it is: The Journey Within.

I wanted to take this time to share a few things with all of you. Yesterday at work I had one hell of a day. I could feel myself in my desk chair ready to snap like a rubber band that has been stretched passed its capacity. To keep it simple, my job has really been taking a toll on me.

During my lunch yesterday I decided to read some of my 40 Days to Personal Revolution book to clam my mind. What I found was not only profound, but completely astounding to me. The “ah-ha” moment happened for sure.

I’d like to share with you now two of the passages that really hit me where I needed to feel it.

“It is simply the willingness to see in full truthfulness what we need to face within ourselves and our lives so that we may get into right alignment.” – Baron Baptiste, 40 Days to Personal Revolution

This hit me harder than when Triple H hit Shawn Michaels in the back with a sledgehammer at the 2002 Summer Slam street-fight match.

Years prior to today, I would try to mask the truth from myself. I couldn’t make a decision about my life to save it. Was the relationship I was in at the time toxic? (Yes!) Was it good for me? (Hell no!) Should I pursue my BA Degree in Journalism? (Yes). Should I go to nursing school even though I hated my career as a Certified Nurses Aid? (Why would you if you already know you don’t like it?) Should I just stay out of school all together? (That’s what your relationship at the time drilled into your head.)

All of these things and much more would fill my brain as I’d lay awake at night restless and miserable. What I am seeing now is that my head was so clouded with so many things that I couldn’t see my path. I wasn’t ready to accept the truth and see situations for what they were. That was partly because of having so many things jumbled in my brain, but also because I felt the need to make everyone else happy. That was not leading me down a clear path.

The path I was on was covered in shrubs, dead trees, and darkness. I felt I had no light to lead me, nor any clarity on any one thing. It took a long series of events for me to see I was doing it all wrong and now I’m proud to say I am out of that toxic relationship and in a new awesome relationship where my opinions are valued and I am loved. I am pursing my BA Degree in Journalism at a State University and have left the nursing profession all together.

In the last year my life has taken a turn for the better and I couldn’t be more grateful. Now I feel I am on a clear path. The best part of this is, the path is clear only to what is in front of my at the moment. The rest of the path is unknown and I’m more than okay with that. I’m not saying it will always be this way, but for this moment, I’m so happy to have this realization and it brings me even more joy to share it with all of you. I love you all for your endless support and encouragement.

The second and final thing I wanted to share with you is this other quote from Baron’s book, 40 Days to Personal Revolution. It reads: “control freaks are usually insomniacs – they can’t let go.”

Coming from one fellow control freak, that statement is right on the money. My need to constantly try to figure out the next steps and keep everything “the way it should be” was making me lose touch with the present moment. I was forgetting how to be happy with what was. I was losing myself. I feel I’ve come a long way from a year ago, but these are things I still struggle with.

Like I said before, I’m happy on my path right now only seeing what’s in front of me. However, sometimes I do get curious and try to see what’s over the hill and far, far away. Nonetheless, thank the powers that be for this amazing transformation thus far.

What I’m working on now within myself is really learning to let go. I don’t want to be burdened by the past, nor hindered by the future or what I try to predict the future to be. The bottom line is right now is all that matters. It’s all we have. The present moment is the only thing that is true even though it is fleeting.

Like Mike Ness from Social Distortion sings in Reach for the Sky:

“So if you please take this moment,Try if you can make it last
Don’t think about no future and just forget about the past..”

I hope this was as exciting for you all to read as it was for me to write (even the second time around). May the world bring you joy and everything that is good.

Namaste.

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An Attitude of Gratitude

I was reading this post by Jess J today http://jessj.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/2015-love/ about her version of a “new years resolution”. What she does is she has a word of the year, or as she calls it she’ll, “set an intention” (which I love, by the way). We are taught in yoga to set an intention at the beginning of each practice and I love that she worded it that way in her blog. Anyway, she goes on to talk about her intention for 2015. I’m not going to explain all of it because I think you should all give it a read – wonderful post – so you can check that out.

What I decided was to take a similar approach with my 2015 “resolution”. My initial resolution is to blog every day on wordpress. If it’s something I don’t feel comfortable sharing, then I decided I would write it in my journal. So there’s that.

However, here is what I’m going to be focusing on in 2015: GRATITUDE.

Now it took me a little while to decide on gratitude. At first I was thinking love like Jess J. But I then I realized I complain way too much. I really do complain a lot. Sometimes it’s about work, home, money, ect… and I think right now is the time to stop.

What intention can I set to minimize my complaining? Appreciation came to my mind. I decided I should probably look it up because “gratitude” was also rolling around in my thoughts.

I opened my dictionary.com app and typed in appreciation. Here’s what I found:

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Now it looks good at first. Then I read #2. “the act of estimating the qualities of things and giving them their proper value.”

I give things value (or lack there of), however, giving things their “proper” value is something I am not good for obviously because of my complaining (and other reasons). For example, I can see myself and see no value, whereas someone else can find value in me. Another example that came to me as I looked this up and mulled it over in my mind was living with my parents. I DO NOT find much value living at home as a 24 year old adult. However, one might suggest having a roof over their head is something of great value and something to appreciate. So that’s when I decided appreciation was the wrong word for me to focus on in 2015.

When I came to that realization, I decided to look up gratitude. This is what it said:

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This is exactly what I want to focus on. I need to start having gratitude and being thankful for the things I have in life rather than COMPLAIN about them and wish they were different. Yoga is helping teach me to be happy in the present and also helping me be grateful. An attitude of gratitude is definitely what I need to focus on in 2015.

What is your new year’s resolution or something your going to work on for 2015?

 

I’d Love To Be The Protagonist, But I Get Much More Enjoyment From Antagonizing You

**Note** Due to certain circumstances, I can’t go into as much detail as I would like. I hope you can all still understand what I’m getting at with this post!


“I would love to be the protagonist, but I get much more enjoyment from antagonizing you.”

I thought of this line a few minutes ago in my kitchen while making some ginger tea to help sooth my sore throat. When I thought of this, I instantly smirked to myself and chuckled at the brilliance of it. The line just popped into my head, but after a while when I really started applying it to life, it became very comical to me. Here is why.

When I’m at work I try to do my job the best I can. I take much pride in not so much what I do, but more so how I do it. Things that really get under my skin are things like 1)office politics 2)the people on opposite shifts who do not pull their weight of the work 3)letting those things ruin my day.

How I like to deal with these situations is nonchalantly adding fuel to the fire. I’m really not one for drama; but don’t get me wrong, just like most women, I love soap operas! What I find myself doing is observing behaviors of co-workers, analyzing how they speak about each other and how they speak to each other. By doing this I see how two-faced the great majority of them are. I also then know how to ignite certain situations based off of their emotions towards those situations and the people involved. You might think this is crappy, but I think of it as entertainment value that I get paid to watch.

Another things I applied this to is when I see that I’m the only one doing certain things I take a step back and focus my energy and time on other things that will benefit my shift and my team and leave things that both shifts do for the other shift just to see how they feel about it. (Like I said, they’re all two-faced, so I find out everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything.) I find it’s an equalizer when fairness is not present through management.

When things do upset my day I tend to really overachieve. This is when I will pay attention to every little detail and criticize everything done wrong and sloppy. Then I usually find myself bitching and complaining about the unfairness that takes place and secretly hate that I’m never recognized for how above and beyond I go.

The really funny thing that has came out for me while writing this, is that just as I like being the “antagonist” at work so to speak, I can also be the protagonist if you look at why I like taking on the antagonist role. It’s a bit ironic and just perpetuates the paradoxical effect of pretty much everything in life.

So as some co-workers intentionally make my days hard and filled with challenges, I in turn, purposefully try to do the same for them just to return the favor. I know, I’m a real sweetheart ;p

It’s Those Unspoken Moments

We’ve all had them. Those moments where everything is crystal clear without having to say anything. For some, they may happen more often than for others, nonetheless, you have the idea of what I mean.
What’s promoting me to write this is a special event that took place last night in my brother’s room. He shared with me some music he’s been writing and let me tell you, it was amazing. Now I’m not just saying that because he’s my brother – I genuinely see his gift and talent and I just want him to be able to share it with the world so everyone can appreciate his art.
“You really need to find a band that will let you showcase your talents,” I said. “You shouldn’t be playing this here in your room just for me – you should be playing it in an arena for the world to hear.”
The look on his face was priceless. The sheer smile he was trying to hide. The glittering his eyes were illuminating. In that moment I could see I touched his heart more than he wanted to say. Lucky for me, his face said it all (and I think he knew that).
“Thanks,” he replied while taking in my words.
In those moments, I saw the love my brother and I have for each other and I realized no matter where life takes us or how far apart we may seem, we will always have that love. Like it or not, we’re bound for life by a brother/sister bond, and I could not have picked a better soul to be my brother.

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Have you had moments like this? Share down below! Thanks and have a great day!! 🙂

The Value of College Education

 

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The value of a college education seems to have depleted dramatically over the last few years, leaving many college graduates disgruntled without a job and in debt with no money to offer to their student loans. I, myself, believe I am wasting my money every day I go to class. Let me explain why.

Maybe your college experience was/is different. For me, I find myself sitting in classes wondering what the point of higher education is. Maybe it’s because I’m at a community college rather than a university, but I can sure tell you the quality of  my education has gone down hill.

I graduated from my local community college in 2012 with an Associates of Applied Science in Journalism and Media Writing. When I was taking classes for that degree in 2008-2010, I really saw the value in the education I was receiving for my core classes. Maybe it’s because I really cared about what I was doing. However, that all changed in 2011 when I went back part time to finish my degree’s general education courses.

Teachers were dry, lackluster, and didn’t show interest in helping a student struggling. I had an economics class that I struggled in very much. The problem was, when I approached my teacher with any problem or confusion, he didn’t care to help me. That’s the problem with two of  my teachers this semester (I am now a general studies with a concentration in nursing student). I’m not saying they won’t help you. I’m saying that they make you feel like it’s a burden for them when you don’t understand something the first time around.

Now, before people who are teachers and what not start getting all defensive, not all teachers are this way. I have two teachers this semester who are very wonderful when it comes to helping students with questions. My other two teachers however, are not so helpful. I have an online chemistry class this semester which is difficult enough in itself. I had a question on our first assignment so I emailed my professor. I have yet to get a reply. I sent that email in the beginning of September and it is now the middle of October.

My other teacher seems like a very nice person, but she’s just way too busy to be a teacher. Clearly she has too much on her plate. Every class she is between 10-20 minutes late. Also, every class she spends some unreasonable amount of time on her phone whether it be texting or an actual phone call. For example, last night during our test review, she took a 15  minute phone call after coming to class 20 minutes late and taking an additional 10 minutes to settle in and start class.  Not to mention, she has a really unconventional way of teaching. She uses examples to try to make learning concepts easier, but it usually is just more confusing. And she seems very “I’m just here to supplement my income”, which is why I think she has such a poor teaching style. Did I mention she’s very young, as well?

All of this makes me wonder why I took out a loan for school and why I have developed a bad attitude towards my classes. Why am I paying for this?  What kills me is that I want to learn. I could see if I was just filling a seat, but I truly love learning and want to learn. The problem is that I don’t feel I’m given the opportunity to in some classes. I feel like I’m only responsible for getting a grade rather than learning the information presented. Perhaps, that’s just my school, although, I didn’t have this type of problem in my journalism classes.

I think that the teachers see me as one of those kids who doesn’t about education. They have me all wrong. When they show me they don’t care, that’s when I see red and decide not caring is better for me. Caring when they don’t results in me being even more frustrated and unhappy. So what do I do? Just pretend I understand concepts and try to skate through the tests the best I can.

In my opinion, that’s very sad. I’m a student who wants to learn. Instead, I’m left disgusted by this and disappointed my decision to re-enroll at my local community college. For next semester, I’m looking into transferring to a state university to finish my degree in journalism rather than continue what I’m doing at the community college. Maybe I’ll have a different experience with a new school.

In retrospect, I see that I am very upset about the price I pay vs the actual education I’m receiving. Have any of you felt like this or similar? Or maybe you have had the complete opposite experience I have had. Either way, I’d love to hear your story and your perspective on this topic!

 

Photo by Angel Walck

 

 

Brand Name Vs. Generic

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When it comes down to it, do you really think it matters if you buy the brand name of something or the generic?
Now I know that some things are just better to pay the extra money for, like Cheez-it crackers. The generic just taste bad. But what about when it comes to things like shoes, handbags, perfume, makeup, ext. Why do we let “status” and “brand names” control our lives?
A person I know will not buy generic sneakers. They have to be brand name Nike and Jordan’s. I personally don’t even know the difference between the two. The thing I do know is that they’re VERY expensive. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m lucky if I have $30 to spend on a pair of shoes let alone hundreds.
My next question is, does it really matter if people perceive you as “well off” by flaunting designer and name brands? I have wanted a Coach purse for a really long time. However, they’re more money than I make in a week so why would I put myself in debt for a bag? So what did I do? I bought a fake knock off from China. So what it looks a little fake, but who cares? I’d rather spend $40 over $1,200 any day.

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I guess we spend a lot of energy trying to get people to perceive us in a certain way. At one time I thought that same way. I wanted people to think I was well off and “successful” and that I could afford name brand things. Truth is, I’m just like any ordinary citizen just trying to get by and pay my bills every month.
My new thought process is why worry about trying to impress people I don’t even like anyway.
So rather than fret about being on the up and up with all of the latest crazes, take a look at your life and ask yourself if all material possessions ceased to exist, would you be happy with your life? Would you be happy with the people and relationships you have in your life? Would material possessions matter to you if you knew it was your last day on this earth? My guess is not.
So before you pull out that AMX card to make a brand name purchase, just ask yourself why you want whatever it is you want in the first place. Distinguish between wants for yourself, needs for yourself, and mindless spending.