Tag Archives: journal

Write Like it’s Yours Already

It happens a lot… friends or celebs or ads tell you about something that will change your life for the better.  I’m almost okay with getting smacked across the face with celebs and ads because it’s expected.  BUT… when a friend tells me about something that worked for them to change their life for the better, I always approach it with doubt.  (Seriously, who would ever want to be my friend?)  Too many people have suggested books, movies, and music that I absolutely hate and couldn’t connect to on a personal level that I have a hard time trusting someone’s recommendation.  I’m sure you’ve heard someone tell you, “You’ll love this movie!”  Right?  Then you probe a bit deeper to figure out the basis of this recommendation only to learn that their only reason for suggesting this movie is that they liked it.  Ummmm… unacceptable.

I know.  I sound like a heartless bitch right now.  Hopefully I’ll redeem myself by the end of this entry.  If I don’t… maybe I’ll make it up to you (and me) in my next entry???

Okay, so it’s hard for me to take suggestions from people.  It’s almost like if it’s not my idea, it’s not valid.  I can’t be the only one who feels this way.  I felt this same way when I was trying to name my son too.  People kept spewing suggestions and there was no way I’d take any of them.  It was going to be the name I came up with. I am not impenetrable, however, and the one time someone got through to me really changed my life.  I do have a handful of people I’ll allow to make suggestions.  They have proven themselves and I trust that they know me enough to weigh in and actually get it right.

I struggle with goals.  I struggle believing that I’m worth my dreams.  I struggle with visualizing my future.  I struggle believing that I can influence outcomes.  I always have.  I can point fingers and such but I’m 35 and I’m the only person who can set myself up for success (or failure) and I own that.  A friend once suggested to me that I write about the future I want.  Duh!  I’ve done that for years–since 3rd grade.  It didn’t help.  But he suggested I write about my future in the present tense.  He wanted me to write about things as though they were true today.  I wasn’t just supposed to list out my wants in the present tense, but I was supposed to explore how these things made me feel, provide specific details, and really dive into these things and ideas.

I was already on board with my gratitude journal so this was easy to incorporate.  Once I had made my gratitude entry I would flip to the back of my journal and bang out a page of actualizing my future in the present tense.  I did a lot of work on my job and money.  I wanted to take the next step in my career and I wanted to earn more money.  I began writing about being a property manager.  I got pretty granular with it.  I also got super specific about what kind of salary I wanted.  I wrote daily about it.  I really went in and kept at it.  Within 2 months I was offered a promotion and given raise that put me at a salary that was really close to my goal.  It was almost unbelievable.  I was given everything I wrote about in a pretty effortless way.

When you throw stuff out to the universe, it starts finding ways to make it happen.  When you vibrate at a certain frequency, it sets things in motion in ways that seem impossible to see.  But it has worked for me.  So, take my suggestion and start throwing your hopes and dreams out into the universe in super specific ways and watch your life change.

With all that being said, I need to take my own advice.  I haven’t kept this practice up much.  Why?  Did my own success scare me as it often does?  That’s just my head getting the best of me (as it often does).  That ends today… I will pick this practice back up because it’s the only way for me to train myself to welcome my dreams.  It seems silly but I assure you, this is the ONLY way for me to think about my wants and get them.

Stay tuned…

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Being a mom (since it’s Mom’s Day)

The year I graduated college (2002–shhhhhh!) I kept probably my best journal to date.  It was this small, red, hard back journal with pretty kick ass quotes in it about love and passion and that stuff.  I really challenged myself in those pages more so than I have in any journals since.  I’ll chalk it up to my life being much more simplistic then but it’s definitely a vibration I want to climb back to again.

I digress…

I never remember writing about being a mom.  It wasn’t until after I had C (Christian–my amazing 10 year old young man) that I realized I gave voice to my desire to be a mom in that small red journal.  I wrote about knowing that I would be a mom one day.  I was excited to take care of a life and give back to the world.  I was very clear about my drive to be a mom.  I was almost shocked when I read the entry.  I didn’t remember writing it.  But it was right, I always felt like this was my path.  I was meant to be a mom.

There have been a few times over the years who have asked me where I see myself in 5, 10, 15 years… I always hate that question (way more than I should because it’s an important exercise).  But I was asked this question a lot in high school and college by teachers and administrators.  Oddly enough, I always saw myself as a single mom.  Is it because I was raised by a single mom?  Is it because I knew early on that how I’m programmed doesn’t make for a good wife?  Who knows… but I always pictured myself as a single mom when people who pose the question.  I was okay with it.

I now have been a mom for 10 years and time keeps slipping away from me.  There was a moment where I never thought I’d have a 2 year old because the parenting thing is so demanding at first.  But now the time flies by and I constantly struggle with forcing myself to truly sit back and be in the moment.  I struggle with remembering what really matters. I struggle with reminding myself that I said yes to motherhood to give back to the world and that takes raising a caring, loving, and creative boy.  I’m sure I’m not alone here.  I think once kids are born, moms inherit this 500lb slab of guilt because nothing will ever be good enough again.  But I’m not going to use this as an excuse.  It’s important to rip myself away from the homework, chores, and the day-to-day activities to really take stock of my bond with C.  I owe it to him to be present, calm, encouraging, nurturing, and curious.

Having a kid doesn’t unleash motherly instincts (unless it did for you and that’s awesome on your part).  It merely highlights who you are as a person.  I’ve grown just as much as C has in the past 10 years and I’m extremely grateful for those opportunities.  He inspires me to get it right.  Growing up there was an obscene emphasis placed on my mom giving up everything to raise my sister and I.  We were constantly reminded of that.  But, at the end of the day, kids never asked to be born and they certainly never asked to metaphorically take anyone’s life from them.  I didn’t give up anything for C.  He’s a huge part of my life but he’s not my whole life.  I don’t think he wants to be my whole life.  I love my relationship with him.  I feel like he knows me.  I feel like I know him.  It’s an awesome dynamic and I love seeing it develop as he gets older.

I’m not perfect but I’m getting closer each and every day.  I’m so fortunate to have a super awesome son by my side as we explore life.  I love being a mom and just like every other job I’ve ever been assigned to do, I’ll keep honing my craft and sharpening my skills.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there in amongst the internets.

Breathe and Stay in Gratitude

Sometimes my life knows what I need before I do.  Does anyone else experience this?

The idea of breathing (ha, that just sounds funny because everyone breathes all the time) came to me when I started yoga.  I decided to take a stab at getting healthy and being more active.  That led to me trying yoga.  I was going to be that hot chick… that trendy hot chick with a rocking body.  No idea what really prompted me to try it but it completely saved me.  So like I started this weekly yoga thing and the first class kicked my ass.  I sucked at yoga.  I was incredibly uncomfortable and a few times I had to excuse myself from the torture and take a break.  I’m surprised an ambulance wasn’t put on stand-by that night.  I was a complete liability to myself, those around me and the studio.  Okay, okay… I’m exaggerating. It was ugly though and harder than I ever could have imagined.

But I did it.  I totally got through the class.  Being on a health kick and trying to push myself, I kept at it.  I went back every Monday night.  I still go every Monday night and I’m looking to potentially add a second night of torture to my week now.  But yoga became more to me as I began to face some challenges.  I went through some relationship issues with an on-again-off-again guy that shook me to the core.  It forced me to sit with years of lies, self-doubt, negative self-talk, and all that good stuff.  There were lots of tears and I immediately shoved myself back into therapy with the best therapist on the planet (I truly believe this).

My Monday nights at yoga left me feeling accomplished.  I continued to improve and really dug deep to push myself.  At the end of yoga, there’s always this quiet time to lay and reflect-there is a technical term for this but I have no idea what it’s called.  During this time I would give myself the best pep talks.  Like, “Look at you, Britta.  You’re doing it.” It felt so good!  It felt so right!  This helped me gain confidence and a new perspective.  Instead of chasing after feelings and trying to make something work, I began building what I wanted.  I began constructing the Britta I knew was always there.  I dusted her off and proved that her spirit and drive are constants (and very much alive).

What does breathing and gratitude have to do with all of this?  Yoga forces you to really focus on the breath.  If you can control your breath, you can control anything.  Remarkable!  This isn’t exactly new to me but it hit me in a new way.  As I find myself being overwhelmed and anxious, I turn to my breath and really stay in the moment.  As I hold a particularly hard pose in yoga, I turn to my breath and push through.  Nothing is constant.  There’s nothing that I can’t move through with a clear and focused mind.  Just breathe.  Also, my yoga instructor always reminds the class that the poses don’t start until you’re uncomfortable.  Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.  Remarkable!  It’s what was going on with me and it was a road map to pull my butt out of where it was.  I began to live again.

I threw in gratitude because I’m still keeping my gratitude journal.  Despite what I’m going through or how busy I am, I still dedicate a portion of my day to express gratitude.  It helps keep things in perspective.  I’ve built a few amazing practices into my life because they make me better.  Stress and anxiety aren’t necessities.  They don’t prepare me or force me to get more done.  Taking focused steps will and that takes breathing and appreciating everything around me.

 

I am not perfect.

It doesn’t happen often but I guess it happens often enough for me to keep doing it.  My journal reads just like my 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th (you get the point) grade journals.  The same themes and issues pop up and really it’s where my thoughts on boys and the daily grind of life go to die.  But I keep at it, trudge through, because every now and then I have wonderful insights… this happened just this past Saturday night.

I was enjoying a fabulous single-mom night in and I took to the page and scribbled a ton of ink down. I was borderline manic.  I penned the line, “I am not perfect,” and was like an epiphany.  Simple, right?  I don’t think anyone believes they are perfect.  I certainly don’t.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still judge and hold myself to the standards of perfection.  I think that’s part of the guilt I wrote about recently and the standards we hold ourselves to as humans.  I don’t spend a lot of time admitting to my downfalls though and it’s not the most comfortable thing to lay down on paper–I can assure you that.

But that one line hit me like a ton of bricks.  I am not perfect.  In that one line I found myself holding myself in a place of tenderness.  I don’t do that very often.  I saw myself as a work in progress.  From there I could forgive and move past a few things.  I didn’t have all the answers and it was okay because I’m not perfect.  I wanted to run to the mirror and tell the girl in it that she was more than okay, that she was good.  I chickened out of the mirror part but I need to do that.  Saying things to yourself in the mirror is frightening but so f’n worth it.

That one sentence saved me in ways.  I combed through the past year.  It was a really tough year.  I walked away from a relationship that hurt me.  Sure, I told myself not to blame myself but I held some blame.  I was lied to, betrayed to in major ways, and found myself living a life of pure worry and anxiety.  I’m not perfect though and either is my journey.  It’s been that way for a long time but I’m okay.  So the revised sentence because, I’m not perfect and that’s okay.  My journey will never be perfect.  I was able to then look back at my life and celebrate my successes.  And giving myself some breathing room will allow me the space to cultivate more successes.  I can taste it.

I can’t control everything.  Now that I don’t have the worry of my past relationship I need a new way of building.  That got me thinking.  I’ve spent  a few years reacting and making decisions because I needed to make them.  I lost focus while on the defense.  That’s not what life should feel like, right?  So, it’s time to climb back into my imperfect skin and get down to Britta Business!  Let’s look at life through the Britta lens and make decisions from there.  I won’t be perfect.  Life will send me obstacles.  I will be hurt again.  I might fail.  But if I’m always perfectly Britta, I’ll be a better person because of those trials.

With fall comes Homecoming, right?  Fitting.

My Audience

Like every blogger (maybe?) I often catch myself telling friends that I need to blog more. It’s not like I’ve had some lengthy career to  warrant the comment.  Quite the opposite really.  But why do I say it?  And why DON’T I blog more?  I liken it to my cohabitation days.  Whenever I live with someone, my journal drastically changes tone because I feel like I’m writing for an audience.  I write with the idea in mind that whoever I’m living with is going to read my journal.  So, I have a certain audience in mind.  I can’t freely express my thoughts.  Perhaps this has a lot to say about the untrustworthy people I’ve lived with in the past and my horrible decisions.  That’s another topic for a rainy day–a REALLY rainy day or maybe even a huge snow storm that renders me stuck inside for weeks!

Is blogging the same for me?  Am I avoiding blogging for the simple truth that I just don’t want to either be transparent OR I don’t want to write with a specific audience in mind (all the people who may read  this now or will read this in the future)?

I feel like I’m good at a lot of things… but living, breathing, and being in the moment is not one of them.  My middle name should be anxiety.  Deep down I feel like this is the only barrier I have to successfully blogging… And, ummm, maybe living a full life (the latter being a bit more important–but just slightly, right?).  My comfort zone is small, warm, known, and something I’ve grown to love because I know exactly what to expect.  But I know there’s more outside the proverbial cave.  Dare I find out what the shadows represent?

I’m going to do my best to throw caution to the wind, forget my real audience, my fake audience, my future audience, and all agendas and I’m just going to write.

Wish me luck… and stay tuned!

Back to “START” but behind a few thousand people already in line…

So here I go again on my own.  Whitesnake wasn’t lying.  At least I’m taking steps to look like that hot chick on the front of those cars in that famous video.  I don’t think I’ll ever be that limber but after a few glasses of wine, I’m 1/2 way there.  That counts, right?  I just got out of a pretty lengthy on-again-off-again relationship.  Wah wah wah… right?  I know.  I wouldn’t read a blog that started off with this shit.  Hopefully you’ll hang in there with me (I’m talking to my non-existent audience now).  Maybe I’m like every other 34 year old.  But I know that’s not true.  I have LOTS of friends who are married, in seemingly awesome relationships, and all that stuff.  Not me.  I chased it for years–hell, most of my life–and it keeps slipping right through my fingers.  Maybe I’m not setting the right intentions.  Maybe I’m the one who is truly unavailable.  Maybe I’m the one who is throwing up the roadblocks.

If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I’ll never let myself down off the cross (or off the hook) without a thorough investigation.  More times than not I’ll drive a few more nails in… and I wonder why I’m still single with no end in sight.

So I’m on this journey, right?  The same journey as everyone else.  Not sure I have the needed tools.  I know I have the strength.  And I like to think I’m fairly intelligent.  What I’m lacking in everywhere else, I make up in heart and passion.

I’m gonna pull another WAH right now… I also need to lose some weight.  I don’t think I need to lose it for anyone.  I just want to so I have more energy and buy cheap clothes.  LOL!  It’s true though, skinny people spend a lot less on their wardrobe and they just look better in clothes.  I’ll be honest too, I need a personal victory to own and feel good about right about now.  There’s a lot I can’t control right now but I know this is something I can and will control.  I’ve done it before.  I was a size 4 at one time.  At 5’8″, not sure a 4 is perfect for me.  I’d settle for an 8 or 10 even.  Mentally I must shift gears.  I’m tired of seeing myself in the mirror.  I feel skinnier than I am.  It’s always a shock when I see myself in pictures.  Like every other mom, I want to scream, “who’s that hot chick” when I see myself in the mirror and in pics.  I’d love to be proud of more than just headshots.

I know one thing: you can’t keep writing about the same thing and not find a resolution and progress.  I learned that from doing Morning Pages years ago (when I first dropped a lot of weight and took a new career path).  I picked it up from “The Artist’s Way” and it did wonders for me.  Look it up.  Get that guidebook.  It’s worth it! And if there’s one thing I can count on it’s this: change will always happen.  #changeorbechanged