Written on Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Experienced on Sunday, May 7, 2017
I have started this blog post countless times. I have multiple versions that were started but never finished. Drafts. Random sentences, thoughts, memories. Even my journal never has beheld this entire story. It’s only lived in my mind, in my words, and my heart. Today, I finish the written story. For my heart and I.
I’ve stared at the damn blinking cursor on my screen more hours than I could count. The title to this has ranged from “The Day I Don’t Want To Write About” to “I Give Up On Backcountry Skiing.” It’s seemed useless to sit and dig up this rollercoaster of emotions. Who could possibly benefit from reading this story? Is it good for my heart and soul to dig up these emotions? Spoiler alert: This is a necessary release.
The crazy thing is, I wrote all of this in the last few days. A full
365 730 days later. When I close my eyes, I can feel every emotion, visualize every moment in disgustingly crispy details. I’ve battled with how I could even label this day. Was it the worst day ever? Perhaps. But especially looking at the last 730 days, I feel like it’s been more than just a “bad day,” because there’s something about my faith that’s still trying to shine through. My friends and I went through the largest roller coaster of emotions on May 7 and the days that followed. Somehow, we’ve all come out stronger, and though I don’t feel the events of May 7th 2017 can ever be explained or completely understood, something in my heart tells me I’ve grown from these experiences.
So, this is May 7, 2017. The day I really didn’t want to write about, but simply can’t tolerate another moment with all this weighing on my memory without release…More
During Christmas this year, I set intentions for 2019 using my own version of the “12 Days of Christmas.” I’ve been reflecting on these intentions I set since the beginning of the year, but now that we are one-fourth of the way through 2019 (woah!), I’d like to revisit them. Perhaps you’ll find some value and meaning in these words of intention. Perhaps this will speak to you, and inspire you to also look at how you’re living your values in 2019.
For those of you who follow me on Instagram, this will be a bit of a repeat. Yet, sometimes it’s nice to clump things all in one place for a cohesive thought process. I tend to initiate my years with reflection and intention, such as these entries in 2017 & 2016,so this year was no different!
I put a lot of energy into defining what my values are, and how I could intentionally speak these into my daily life. With the lessons I learned in 2018 and vision for the year ahead, I came up with 12 different ways to embrace who I am, and how I want to interact & connect with the beautiful world around & within me.More
| February 26, 2019 |
Nah, this isn’t going to be a post about Ziggy Marley, but I bet this song will be stuck in your head while you read this post! (It’s certainly making my toes tap right now, hehe.)
I sat beside teachers and students at Step by Step Learning Centre, spreading margarine on my sliced bread and passing bananas around the table, all whilst sharing ideas with my kaka and dada (brothers and sisters). Despite our different cultural backgrounds, we found soulful connection around the table. I engaged in side conversation with one of the teachers, who began by sharing how grateful she is for Americans who visit Tanzania: how giving we are with our time and money, and how our riches are vastly needed in Africa. She expressed appreciation for the knowledge we had been sharing during physical therapy lessons. Yet, in spite of the poverty of economy she and the other teachers/students face daily, this teacher saw the holes in my heart, and the weaknesses of our western culture. She saw through our economic strength, expressing that Americans are lacking faith and a relationship with God. Looking in her eyes, I knew exactly what she meant: We are losing our spirituality and are in a state of spiritual poverty and crisis.
Every morning at SSLC in Tanzania, I sat in the morning circle with children whose families may still make $1/day. Every child and teacher sang praise to Lord Jesus and thanked God for his gifts & prosperity. Seeing the light in the eyes of these children as they sang their thanks was humbling and grounding (to say the least). I felt consumed with love and union – the richest I have ever felt. It has since been my mission to find God within me, to better define my religious intents, and break through my own spiritual practice. I wanted to carry the love, community, and faith from the morning circle into my EVERY day here in the United States.
And so, this brings me to love: the love that I know lives within me and around me. Though I don’t feel I can entirely define this love and energy, perhaps this love IS God, and love IS my religion.More
| February 14, 2019 |
I am blessed. Really and truly.
I have been regarded highly for my optimism and effective communication by those close to me. It’s been reassuring to have these qualities both felt within me and interpreted outwardly. I hold myself responsible for maintaining optimism and effective communication, but also give myself permission to mess up every so often. Mistakes = self-reflection = growth.
What happens when communication breaks down? What happens when people misunderstand? Is it my fault for not speaking my truth clearly? Is it their fault for holding biases and making assumptions?
What happens when my optimism runs dry? Do I allow myself to be fearful and uncertain? Do I stop the tears from coming, heartache from consuming? At times, I believe it is necessary to be void of “good vibes” and optimism. To live in delirious optimism can be unhealthy. It means looking at a negative situation and making it positive, which feels like denial, repression, and avoidance of truth.
If I am to be authentic, there are going to be moments where communication and optimism are not my strongest points. There are going to be moments of misunderstanding and conflict. There are going to be times where I feel lonely, afraid, hurt, angry, lost, vulnerable, wordless, and insecure. But this makes me human. And it makes you human, too.
So, why am I blessed? Because through some of my missteps, I have learned. I have leaned into the discomfort of taking responsibility for my life situations. It’s always easier to blame others, but how can we grow without carrying our own loads? Together, we are responsible to each other for helping carry the burdens of life, but we must carry our own load and “burden of daily toil.” I must deal with my own “feeling, attitudes, and behaviors,”1 and carrying them makes me a stronger climber through this epic mountain of life.
The product is a more colorful life, and one filled with magic I created.
I am deeply, soulfully grateful for 2018. Read on to see the third and final installment of 2018 reflections. We are going to stick to “Cherished Moments” only on this one, because there were too many photos and moments to need adjunct! Suffice it to say, my heart was healing and revitalizing itself in many artful and colorful ways!More
| February 8, 2019 |
I feel there is immense power in reflection. I have been told I can be insightful, and I certainly benefit from looking at the inner workings of my heart & mind. I’ve needed to do this 2018 reflection process, and chunking my memories into three different sections per month (Treasured Moments, Professional Growth, Heartfelt Memoirs) is giving my brain a workout. This is my therapy, and I hope it’s somewhat enjoyable for you to be a part of the process.
It’s said that chunking helps our brain better to remember information, and it’s certainly making it easier and more feasible to process my year. I can see more clearly how much light was shining through my cracks in 2018.
The second half of 2018 was full of transitions. Life is constant transitions, of course, but June and beyond really forced me to take action in relationships, jobs, and living situations. Simply letting life happen was not an option. I had to weather relentless storms. I put my figurative poncho on time and time again, letting the negativity hit me but not penetrate into my mind. I realized how much I had been enduring. So, I picked up what was left of my self-worth, confidence, and courage, and made
a change changes.
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