Staying Present in a Constantly Moving World

“Life is a mystery. You cannot understand it unless you surrender, for your intellect cannot grasp its expansive and infinite nature, its real meaning and fullness. Bow down low and be humble; then you will know life’s meaning.” ~ Amma

Meditation

Oh boy, if I could figure out the way to do that on a more consistent basis, life would be so much easier. But, that’s the point isn’t it? If life was easy, how would we grow and learn and evolve if there were no road blocks to cause us to think about solving the problem of getting around it. Most days, I’m able to keep my truths alive, bright and present. I know that being in the present is where I belong. Not stressing about the future or harping over the past. I’ve lived that way for far too long and now that I have had the experience of living present and in the moment, I like who I am way better. My kids like me better.

Today is a day though that the state of our current life situation is muddled with mistakes of the past jeopardizing our future. In such a case I am finding great difficulty maintaining the present mindset. I feel that weight slowly creeping back into its cozy place on my shoulders. My body tense and anxious; my mind unsettled and unfocused. The amount of responsibilities and obligations I have set for myself currently seem like an insurmountable force, and I doubt in my ability to get it all done while still maintaining a peaceful, clear, focused state of mind.

Breathe.

Breath is a great tool. You think you’re doing it but really, your’re not. It’s an automatic action for your body to perform. When I feel the spiral downward igniting. I stop. Breathe. I let my physical self regulate the breath in and out, it calms the mind and allows me to focus on what’s important. I remember that it was my past actions that put me where I sit now, in the throws of anxiety and frustration. I imagine my ultimate goal in the future, free of these burdens. I see myself in the happiest place I can imagine, doing something I’ve waited for, for a very long time. I come back to the present and decide what it is that will get me from here to there.

Breathe.

Focus. Determination. Balance. Patience. These are the skills I personally need to hone to get to that peaceful place. Focus on the day’s tasks and responsibilities. Be determined to work with the tools I have presently and not be resentful of the tools that I do not possess. Balance my wants and desires with what is necessary to get through the day. Take small moments for myself to stay present and mindful of what is going on around me. Patience to keep traveling my path and that it takes me where I want it to.

Breathe. Believe.

To Live Life...

Take time to remember yourself. A moment here, or there. Don’t be hard on yourself, even when the evil little voice tells you to. I have this mantra I repeat when that weight begins to take its toll, and somehow it works (most of the time). I am not a slave to the past, but an advocate for a better future.

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Lightening of the Load

“Hold the light. Keep it all inside. Keep up the fight. Now that there is an end in sight. Treading water. Can’t hold on much longer till my hand goes under.”

 
Keeping the Buddha Path
 
Today was an up and down kinda day. Details aren’t important, just know it was a good news/bad news kinda day. So, as I sit here with my tired eyes starring at a blank screen, my head spinning in a mountain of decisions, and my 17 year old Beagle barking his sharp bark, I ask for some guidance. I look into that part of myself that believes in the faith of what is meant to be will be. I use my thoughts and my energy to ask for patience to get through the situation, and strength to carry the weight of its outcome. As I quiet my mind, and press play on the new Newton Faulkner album I’ve been dying to listen too, the words above are the first I hear.
 
I’ve always had this thing with music. When I feel I need guidance, direction… just some help, it is a place that I derive that from. All my inspiration comes from music. Every story I write starts with a particular album or playlist. Every time I have felt my faith weaken, lyrics pop up when I least expect it to help guide me back to the path. Even now, when I feel low, afraid and uncertain, I can find comfort and faith in the music.
 
There is one artist in particular that I made a connection with. I believe, wholeheartedly, that finding him and diving into his music saved my sanity at a time when I questioned it the most. Yeah, I’m gettin’ real now folks. There was a very crappy time, and this guy… well, saved me. Ok, so not in the literal sense, but I would most definitely feel a huge hole in my life without his music.
 

 
Granted, this is just a taste of Matthew Good. This one, Born Losers, is far and away my favorite, but a lot of his songs go deeper. On my worst days, I play a few selections from his catalog and something about it just helps me reset and move on. I don’t know… maybe it is just the fact that knowing someone else out there thinks/feels/experiences the same things I do allows me to feel a little less alone in those moments.
 
What music is it that gets you, affects you, moves you, motivates you, inspires you?

Finding The Right Tools

I am quickly finding out that starting your own business is going to be hard. Like, really hard. I live in a house where chaos reigns supreme, noise is the constant and downtime is nearly unobtainable. But I refuse to let that stop me. I know that in order to be successful, I need to insert the passion I have for this idea into reality. I know that it won’t be an overnight success and I also know that I know NOTHING about what the hell I am doing. So, I am going back to school first. Well, online school, but its still learning, right? Courses come complete with a certificate (woot woot!) and hopefully the knowledge or at least the basics of what I will need to trudge forward with this crazy idea that I could be my own boss.

In the meantime, I do need to generate some income. So, as much as I expect my dream job of writing for TV and movies to fall into my lap (ha ha) I am going to start at the bottom and try some freelance writing. In my never ending search for sustainable income, that’s right ladies and gents, I am going to try and get paid doing the most unreliable thing in the world! FREELANCING! Am I qualified to be a freelance writer? Meh, probably not. But there’s a whole lot of people in this world who do things that they aren’t qualified to do, so why should it stop me?

While all this craziness is going on, we are in the process of selling our home and attempting to relocate to a different state. Why? Well because New Jersey has become a place for the likes of the one percenters and not really a place for me and my family to prosper as a mid-low income family. However, finding a job in the area we picked is proving to be much more difficult that I first thought. Hence, the attempt at freelancing.

I want to make this whole dream happen. I need to make it happen. This picture of my family’s future that is painted in my head is far to amazing to not come to fruition. Trust me, it’s not much. I don’t want a home that Robin Leech would feature (wow! really dated myself with THAT reference). I don’t want a garage full of cars or a marina full of yachts. I don’t even care if our vacations are far and few between. I am striving for a home large enough to house the five of us, and a few pets with room for the kids’ friends to hang. I am hoping for that home to be in a decent neighborhood, where if I forget to lock my car one night, my iPod won’t take a walk (true story, by the way). I’d love for my husband to look forward to the job he attends and not feel like he’s physically spent at age 35. But mostly, I want this business to work so it gives me the freedom to be there when my kids need me, and not have to worry about once again being let go because I put my family first. I don’t think all that is too much to want, right?

I am sitting here now and watching the kids run around and play, and I can’t help but get a little misty-eyed. They are difficult, fresh, mischievous, head-ache inducing buckets of snot and some unknown substance created from syrup and yogurt. They frustrate me, make me cry and lash out at me when they decide they don’t want… whatever it is I am trying to give them. Three kids under the age of three is THE hardest thing I have or will ever do. But, I love it. I love them. Their hugs and kisses are the best cure for just about anything. Their creativity in art and play, amazes me. They have a wonderful curiosity for music and books, and I love being the one that opens them to it on a daily basis.

Now, can you see why I need to make this all happen? I need to do this for them.

For Bailey.

For Caitie.

For Liam.

Starting Over

There is nothing worse then being let go from a job that you love. Well, I know there are worse things, but you know what I mean. 

I loved my job. Maybe not the people I worked with, but I loved what I did. I miss doing it. At first I was really, really angry that they let me go after being there for so long.  But it’s been five months since I was laid off of my job of over thirteen years, and I’m ready to start over. To start something new. 

I have to be honest, I have absolutely NO IDEA what I am doing. Completely flying by the seat of my pants. I think I am doing it right, but I guess that is yet to be determined. It took a while for me to figure out what it is that I want from the career side of my life, but now that I have my destination in my sights, there is no way I can back down now. 

I am an artist. Not in the traditional Picasso-type way, but I love to create… well, everything. As far back as I can remember, I loved it. When I was a little girl, my grandfather used to take me to the newspaper he worked for. I would sit in the art department and watch them layout the articles and design the advertising, mesmerized. There was something about the flow of what they were doing that caught my attention. I loved the buzz of the office too, people scurrying about carrying important news from one place to another. I think it was there that the initial spark was lit. By the time I was a senior in high school, more than half of my classes were taking place in the art rooms and my first two years of college were chock full of clay, paint and pencils. 

Of course, life doesn’t always play out the way you think. I went off course for a while, but eventually I ended up sitting behind a desk at a small family run print shop doing exactly what I had watched those women do at the Woodbridge News Tribune some fifteen years earlier. Freaky, right?

I spent thirteen years at that desk. There were so many late nights getting the papers together that it felt like an extension of myself. Leaving it, was one of the hardest things I have done. Like I said before, it took a while, but I am ready to leave that desk behind and start anew, on my own terms. 

I’m starting my own design firm. That’s the destination. The end game. Something sustainable so that I can work from home and be here to take care of our three beautiful kids. So, if you want to bare witness to the fun, follow along on my journey. I can’t guarantee that I will always stay on topic, or that I will be successful. It is going to be interesting, I can guarantee you that.