Posted in Uncategorized

Harvest

I have renewed many new hobbies and started a few new one. The new one that I find most pleasurable is gardening. I have a ton of houseplants, but I wanted to try my hand at growing actual food.

I haven’t committed to a full-fledged garden, but I convinced my husband to build me a small raised-bed container garden. In it, I planted tomatoes, cucumbers, banana pepper, and jalapeños. I was so surprised that I was able to grow so much. I was so proud of myself. I had more than I could eat. I guess my next hobby will be canning.

Along with being absolutely overjoyed to actually producing food, I was also able to draw a connection to my life journey. I am beginning to reap the benefits of what I have sown.

Years ago, I made the tough decision to go back to college almost immediately after losing my grandmother, miscarrying for the second time, and coming to terms with the fact that my marriage was over. Going back to school was something that I always wanted to do, and at that time I felt I owed it to myself to continue my education. I didn’t want to pursue the path I had previously chosen. I wanted to pursue something that interested me, and I did. I had no career plans in mind for my chosen field of study, I chose with my heart and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

As a result of that decision I was able to gain a position at my university, and that position has evolved into something I really love. With a job, I was able to support myself and my son. I was able to move out and live on my own. This was my first time doing so. Surprisingly, it was very exciting and not scary at all. I had never lived on my own, but I was never afraid of it.

I loved my new independence. My son and I loved our quiet home in the country. I loved my job and everything was great.

Shortly after divorce papers were filed and I was beginning to think about what my life would be like as a single mother. I had two and a half years of practice as that was how long it took my divorce to be final, yet I was technically still married until the divorce papers were signed (thanks to the laws in my state).

During this time I was able to really see what kind of person I could be on my own. I was trying new things, enjoying impromptu ice cream runs in the middle of the night, and for the first time in a very long time, I was no longer worrying about what may happen next. I was living in the moment. I still had responsibilities, but I was teaching myself to take one day at a time. I was appreciating every small good thing that happened in my life and I devoted my energy and focus on that.

The shift in my life was extraordinary! All of the things you hear from the abundance and manifestation gurus were happening to me. Synchronicities, miracles, pleasant surprises, all became, and still are a part of my everyday life. Unexpected sums of money, gifts, and all types of wonderful things have become common in my life.

I had to change my mindset from the constant fear of the unknown to the appreciation of the present and the hope of the future. Now I am enjoying the fruits of my harvest.

Posted in Think About it Thursday

Renewal

 

Soon it will be spring and with it comes thoughts of things starting anew.  Along with the blooms and pastels there will be new beginnings.  Some mark this change of season with cleaning house from top to bottom.  I usually don’t follow such customs, but this spring I am committed to a renewal.

Are there things that you need to renew?  Are there any slates that should be wiped clean and a new story written in its stead?  Let’s use this upcoming spring to start something afresh.

 

Posted in Introvert Lounge

Introvert Cloak

It seems that everywhere I turn there is mention of introversion.  As an introvert I don’t throw the term around loosely and I don’t like when other do.  In particular, I don’t like it when being antisocial, boring, or nastily sarcastic is associated with introversion.  I love people and am a generally pleasant person.  I love being around people too, but I get my fill of socializing quicker than others.  I will admit I won’t seek out heavily populated social events.  I much rather attend a symphony, recital, or a play.  I tend to choose events I don’t have to play an active roll in.  That’s it.  If i spend too much time socializing, I’m worn out.  My social butterfly wings will quit mid-flight leaving me searching for a quiet, solitary place to land.  Before that energy wears out, you would never guess that I am an introvert, but I am and that’s okay.

What is not okay is behaving poorly and then throwing on the introvert cloak. Below is a list of qualities often associated with introverts that drive me crazy.

 

 

Introverts don’t like people

Yes we do. I hate this association the most because I love people.  I think this has been associated with introvert because we tend to “give out” and retreat a social functions.  I understand it can be confusing to see a person jolly and having a wonderful time then turn into someone who can’t get out of the room fast enough.  That is because we have used up our energy.  We all can turn on the charm and enthusiasm, but it has a limited shelf life. That does not mean we don’t enjoy spending time with people.  It just means that time does indeed get spent.

 

Introverts are snarky

Okay…I can be snarky, but it is not a part of my personality.  One thing I can say about most introverts I know is that we are quite witty.  If the situation calls for snark, it is best served by us.  I think our ability to think through things before opening our mouths give is that extra biting edge when  the need for a snarky remark presents itself.

Introverts like to hide in the shadows

This is only partially true.  We will go hide in the shadows when our energy reserves wear out, but we do not live there.  We enjoy the light as much as anyone else.

 

Introverts are not great public speakers

I have to speak in public all the time and it does not bother me at all.  I actually prefer speaking in front of a large group as opposed to mingling within a large group.  Introversion is not a lack of ability to function.  We just do things differently.

 

Introverts do not want friends

We do want friends, just not too many.  We usually have a small circle of close friends.  I am always looking to make new connections, but constant hanging out and doing lots of things together very often does not appeal to me.  My close circle of friends understand that or they are introverts as well.  It takes someone who really understands an introvert to be friends with one.  I often want to be in the company of my friends without necessarily interacting with them.  This is one of the things some of my extroverted friends do not understand.  I often hear “Why did you suggest I come over if we weren’t going to do anything?”  My response to that is “I just wanted to spend some time with you” , and I do. It doesn’t necessarily mean we have to do something.  Introverts are fine with just being.

 

What are some other misconceptions about introverts that drive you mad?

 

Posted in Think About it Thursday

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

We all let things slide, put things off, procrastinate.  There are some things that we really need to take care of before it’s too late.  This post was inspired by the “I don’t know who this is for” memes I see in many social media posts. I thought it would be a good idea to turn this post into a friendly reminder for all of us to take care of those things that we tend to put off.

iBourgie’s List of Things That May Need Your Attention

  1. Get a new toothbrush
  2. Change your air filters
  3. How old is your makeup? (Seriously, I don’t wear makeup often and I am certain I have had the same foundation for over a year.)
  4. Dust (I can’t remember the last time I did this)
  5. Cancel that free trial!
  6. Do you have any useless subscriptions? Cancel them!
  7. That ugly sweater that Aunt So and So gave you five years ago, donate it! She’s never seen you in it anyway.
  8. Throw all the stuff your ex gave you away.
  9. If you have a hope chest, start using that stuff now.
  10. Clean your belly button.  It’s a lint trap
Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Uncategorized

Attraction in Action

It is great to form good habits.  It is also important to have habits that serve a purpose.

I believe in the law of attraction, particularly in your thoughts.  There is biblical scripture about it as well.  There are some things that I do to enforce that.  I have a few tips that I feel keep my thoughts positive.

Life is unpredictable and there will be days that will challenge you.   Everyday won’t be perfect, but it is important to not allow your thoughts to linger in a dark place.  Often I use a few little reminders to keep my thoughts positive.

Persuasive Passwords

I like to make my passwords means something to me as a little reminder of something I want to accomplish or a goal I have set for myself.  It could also be the name of a country you have always wanted to visit as a reminder to yourself to plan for your dream vacation.  As you will be logging in many different devices and/or programs, this is a perfect opportunity to repetitively introduce positive language into your mind.

Gratitude Journal

I love journaling.  It is a way to organize your thoughts, brainstorm ideas, or just doodle and have fun.  I have a daily gratitude journal and I write down the things I am thankful for in it.  It is small enough to carry with me, so when something happens that I am particularly thankful for, I write it down.

Public Displays of Intention

I love inspirational quotes.  I display them in my office and in my home, but I don’t like for them to be completely obvious to everyone else.  Sometime I display them in different languages or in some code that only I can understand, but they serve a purpose for me.  They remind me to keep my goals in mind throughout the day and to stay positive.

 

The most important thing is to have periodic reminders to ourselves to not only look for the positive in all things, but to not lose sight of our goal and to to be in a constant state of gratitude and growth.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Think About it Thursday

Put it On to Pull it Off

I have never in my life been very traditional, but a few years ago you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at me.  I have always loved all things bold and danced to the beat of my own drum, but I was afraid to express it.  I was, for all outward appearances, average.  I believe what the popular term nowadays is basic.  I was that basic chic who kind of looked like all the other women my age, or what society said women of my age, ethnic background, stature, sexual orientation, etc. should look.  I spent countless hours and several hundred dollars a year getting my hair professionally straightened, I never wore anything overly masculine or feminine, I always chose either contacts or a light brown pair of wire-framed glasses that said “I’m near-sighted, but professional”.  I was never to bold in my speech or my demeanor.  I was not too plan, but not too flashy.   Generally, I was nothing out of the ordinary.  I hated it.

 

 

I envied the beautiful women with big voluminous curls, and huge halos of cottony hair framing there faces.  I envied these women even though I had the same voluminous, cottony hair, but mine was chemically stripped of all its glory in order to fall in line with what I thought I was supposed to represent.  I envied the women with beautiful cat-eye glasses or horned-rimmed frames in bold colors. I envied their courage to step out of the ordinary and to be bold.  I wanted to be the kind of person who could pull that off.

As the years went on and I got older, I began to want to truly live my best life to the fullest.  That meant I had to be authentic and true to myself.  It started 11 years ago with my decision to stop straightening my hair.  As my hair was chemically straightened, I decided to cut the chemically processed hair off.  It was a big step as I my hair was rather long, but I was ready.  I really did not miss my hair.  I thought I would panic because I could never remember a time in my life when my hair was ever short.  I loved it!  I kept running my hands over my half inch curls and feeling their pebbly texture.  What I loved most about my new do was the ability to walk out in any kind of weather without a worrying about my hair being wrecked.

 

I got so many comments about my lopped-off locks.  People started rumors that I has some type of psychotic breakdown.  Some asked if I had been ill.  I also got comments from people who loved it, but my biggest critic was my mom.  She had jokes every time she saw me.  She bought me large earring and told me to always wear lipstick so I wouldn’t “look like a man”.  My favorite comment was ” You are the kind of person who can pull that look off.”  What??  Me?? I was one of those women??  Mission accomplished!!!

 

I was on from that point.  I got every pair of unconventional glasses I could find.  I have round Iris Apfel ones, cat-eye Shirley Chisholm ones, and big square Victoria Beckham ones too!  I also started to dress the way I always wanted to dress with no regard to what was expected.  Only what I loved and made me happy.

 

Just last week a coworker told me that there was a certain style that she wished she could pull off.  My advise to her was to just put it on.  Once you put it on, you are pulling it off.

I would like to challenge all of us to step out of our comfort zones and put it on!

Posted in Think About it Thursday

People Pleasing

 

As a recovering people pleaser, I have done tons of self-reflection on why I do what I do.  The jury is still out on that, but I’m no longer as concerned about why.  I just want to stop.  I do okay for a while and then I relapse.  I have noticed that it is easier to stop with certain people and not so easy with others.  I am constantly saying that you teach people how to treat you.  I realized that my people pleasing tendencies have taught people how to treat me.  More importantly I have taught them that they are able to use my urge to please to their advantage.

I have made a list of the things that go through my mind in the middle of my people pleasing thoughts.  I have found that my thoughts are really based on nothing.  As mentioned previously, this people pleasing behavior only comes into play with only one or two people.  Actually most who know me would be shocked that I struggle with this.  I generally give little thought about what others think, but my desire to please or not make a certain few uncomfortable has honestly stunted my personal growth.

I think all people pleasers need to examine their reasons.  Here the list of questions I asked myself:

 

Question:  What is my true motivation?

Answer:  Duh, to please another person.  This led me to ask myself another question.  Why?  I realized that I didn’t want any conflict with that person.  The person I didn’t want any conflict with is a huge part of my life.  I interact with this person on an almost daily basis and I love this person.  There is a certain degree of “I want to please this person because I fear not doing so would cause that person to think less of me.”  After thinking about this for a while I realized that although I may disappoint that person, that person will not stop loving me.  That person has been disappointed or upset with me before.  So what if it happens again.  Is it really as big of a deal as I have worked it up to be in my head?  I began to realize the root of my people pleasing is fear.  That fear is often based on what I think may happen.  I need to learn to deal with others disappointment rather than avoiding it.  So my motivation to please is based on what I fear may happen.

 

Question:  Why am I worried about what they are going to say?

Answer:  First of all, who is “they” (also known as “people)?  “People” and “they” are our own reservations and insecurities.  We are just putting a name of group of nameless people to an issue we are not willing to address ourselves. Are they even important enough to really be concerned about?  So what if they do talk.  They will talk anyway.  This is something I have gotten over, but I feel people pleasers generally stress over the ubiquitous “they.”  What I have learned is that if I am concerned about the “they/people”, that is a personal concern of mine. This thing may be something I am not quite comfortable with.  It may be something that requires a bit of a risk, so I want to be let off the hook.  What lets me off the hook is blaming my dependence on the “they”.  This finding led me to my next question.

 

Question:  Am I making excuses?

Answer:  Sometimes.  I will admit it has been easy to say that I don’t want to do something because I don’t want to rock a boat, but in actuality I’m just scared.  I have noticed this when I verbalize my decision to do or not to do something to another person who I am certain to share my view.  Once I get that confirmation, I feel that have been let off the hook.  I use people pleasing as an excuse because, unfortunately many people can relate to it and often find it acceptable.

 

What I have learned is my people pleasing has been rooted in fear.  As I have started to break a lot of my people pleasing habits I have realized that when I fight against the urge to please, the results and reactions are not as drastic as a I thought they would be.  Of course certain people did not like certain decisions, but that’s life.  No disavowals, or broken relationships.  Life simply goes on as usual.  Once I began to hold fast to my own decisions, I got little to no interference, not two cents were thrown into the mix.  It was just accepted.

I would like to continue to challenge all of us to examine hour people pleasing tendencies.  Let’s get to the root of it and grow beyond it.

Posted in Write On Wednesday

Write On Wednesday #57

 

 

Today’s Writing Prompt: What are you thankful for?

 

Today’s writing prompt is a little different.  I would like for us to write a list of all the things we are thankful for.

This year I have started a daily gratitude journal.  Each day write 10 things I am grateful for.  I have asked some of my friends and family to start the practice well.  Sometimes they tell me it is hard to come up with 10 things each day.  Oftentimes we take many of the small things for granted, but we should take time to acknowledge their importance and express gratitude for them.  For instance, my love of reading and writing began at a very early age.  Way back in the 1900s, when I wanted a book, I either had to order it from a catalog and wait for it in the mail, get it from a library (if they had it, or if it wasn’t checked out by someone else), or buy it in a store.  Now, as soon as a book is released, I can download it and begin reading it instantly!  Isn’t that something to be thankful for?  When you think about it, it is truly amazing.

Also, I started this blog just as a kind of online journal of my thoughts.  I didn’t expect to have any followers.  As of today, I have over 1500!  That may not be a lot to some, but it is to me. For that I am grateful.

Thank you to all my followers and those of you who stop to read my posts.

Posted in Good Stuff

Your Crown

 

by Achille DevÈria, printed by FranÁois Le Villain, published by Edward Bull, published by Edward Churton, after Unknown artist, hand-coloured lithograph, 1830s

 

No matter how one feels about monarchy, one must admit there continues to be a fascination with royalty.  We use it in our everyday speech as a compliment.  I often hear “Good morning, Queen!” from a nice young man when I am dressed fashionably or a “I hear you, Queen!” when I say something intelligent or witty.  Last week, my cousin used “Queen” to describe me.  I then told him my crown was bought and paid for.  I just had to start wearing it.  In my reply, I realized that although I was in possession of a crown, I had not been wearing it.  This caused me to examine why.

It has been always been my belief that we all have crowns. I think deep down most people feel this is the case, but do we walk around on a daily basis like royalty?  I didn’t.  People were seeing it in me, I feel it is there, but I was not wearing my crown.  When I was younger, I was known as the smart kid, teachers pet, and all those things that go along with being a bright student.  Although it was a good thing, this caused me to be teased by other students.  Being the smart kid wasn’t the popular thing to be.  So I took off my crown.  It started with self-deprecating humor and dumbing myself down to be what I thought to be more acceptable.  As I got older, being smart was cool again.  I reached for my crown and starting wearing it proudly.  Then there were other times I felt undeserving of the crown upon my head.  I would respond to a compliment not by simply saying “Thank you”, but by pointing out a flaw in myself.  I wanted to let people know that although my royal blood is evident to others, I doubted it.   I am ready to start wearing my crown at all times, at all functions, and in front of all people.  Are you?

Some of us are afraid to touch it, some of us are intimidated power and responsibility that comes along with it, and some of us don’t feel worthy of wearing it.  We all own one.  Start wearing it!

 

Posted in Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Change

Change-Sign

Change happens.  There is nothing we can do to stop it.  We can prolong it but, it is  inevitable.  We don’t have to like it but, we must learn to accept it.  It makes some people uncomfortable. Oh well.

I have always been the type of person who accepted change.  I am not normally a combative person.  I do like to challenge things and  I am assertive.  I also know when to pick my battles.  Sometimes it is not worth it to put up a fight just to kick the can down the road.  I like peace and peace comes with acceptance.

In the past year, my life has changed drastically.  For the most part it is good but, there are some things that weren’t so great. Fortunately for me, those bad things were temporary.  Nonetheless, there was nothing I could do to stop it.  I had to work with what I had.  I had to make adjustments and, more importantly, I had to get on with my life.  I had to surrender, embrace the changes, and work through them.  Had I fought it, I would have prolonged the discomfort.  Now it is just a distant memory.  I even laugh about it now.

Life is good and I will continue to give little time to the things I cannot change.