When Mantras and Bible Verses Fail

Some days the reminder that I am a single parent comes rushing through my spirit like a gust of Chicago wind. It rustles my emotions and whirlwinds my plans. While “single mother” is not synonymous with “fatherless,” most days there is an imbalance of active parent participation. A mismatched level of accountability that hovers over our co-parenting routines. I feel heavy today. Skylar needs to learn to potty. Imani needs to be pushed to balance school and to practice her basketball skills. Josiah needs to exercise more and to be told what he is doing right more times than what he is doing wrong. I just launched an online retail store that needs marketing. I have 4 dependents. None of them will be successful without me. To hold so many futures in my hands at once is exhausting. Especially on days when my super powers are running low. In the hours where my own thoughts are kryptonite. These are the moments when mantras and Bible verses fail. When my throat hurts from trying to hold back tears. When my belly jerks a little because short breaths are the cure for anxiety. Trying to think a positive thought seems like too much thought.

Feels Overwhelmed

I need a crying room right now. A place to just scream, cry an ugly cry, toss the wind back out to the world, and to have the biggest temper tantrum an adult can have. Sometimes I need space to be unreasonably emotional. I don’t have a crying room so my room will have to do. My pillow will have to muffle the yelling and the wind will have to exit quietly under the bedroom door. The soaking power of pillows beats Brawny paper towels any day! I take this moment to ALLOW MYSELF TO LOSE IT!

IT = MY COOL. MY TOGETHER’D SELF. MY CALM. MY MANTRA. MY FAITH. MY BIBLE VERSE. MY HOPE. MY OPTIMISM. MY FORWARD THINKING. MY “IT WILL BE ALRIGHT.” MY VIEW OF PERFECTION.

When I start feeling like loss is all I have I tend to lose IT. Well, I don’t really lose IT, I just throw IT down then stomp on IT until I’m ready to pick it up, dust it off, and hold on to IT again. Much like a toddler, when tantrum is over I will just have to get up and fall in agreement with the things expected of me. On the other side of this cry the situation doesn’t change. Skylar will still be pottying on Imani’s floor, Imani will still need to be yelled at to condition for basketball, Josiah will still need me as a drill sergeant if he’s ever going to exercise, and my company will still need me to network to push it forward. The before-the-breakdown me is different from the after-the-breakdown me. Releasing tears is an essential part of a spiritual detox. Though I did not consciously choose this detox my body knew it was time to rid myself of some emotions. I will probably cry on and off through the night. A good detox could take some time. I had an epiphany last week that the eyes are funnels to the brain. Everything I’m viewing is being screened through previous experiences and being sifted into my psyche as being one thing or the other. However, this is not 2002, I am not a college kid with two kids and a part-time job. I am not fighting the same battles. I am not a teen mom trying to prove to everyone that I can succeed. I am successful. I will continue to succeed.

AND just like that my mantras float back…..”Success is easy for me” “No matter what success continues for me” “I am moving forward into opportunity” “This moment in life is new and I will live it as such!”

Line up the responsibilities. Let’s rumble!

How to Reinvent the Wheel in Four Steps

iStock_000000093770XSmall reinventing the wheelReinventing the wheel is not advice given by many. However, the “wheel” is usually referred to as a material item or a task where previously created versions allow you a shortcut to arriving at a final destination. When the wheel is you and the ability to roll on or over certain things is fading, a little reinventing could be in order.

 

Screenshot_2014-07-03-07-26-29-1

How am I a wheel?

We are not circles, but cylinders. We have three axles that we revolve on…intellectual, spiritual, and emotional. Your intellectual axle is the way you naturally process things. Some people are quick thinkers while others need a moment to muddle over things before making decisions. Your spiritual axle is the natural intuitive ability given to every human being. It’s that push to grab and umbrella even though you can’t see rain in your immediate vision. You decide against this axle all the time. You will often get a few miles down the road and find yourself in the middle of a downpour. Your emotional axle is the natural draw toward feelings. This draw happens all day long whether you want it to or not. You are constantly in some state of feeling even when you don’t feel like you’re feeling anything. The common thread among the three axles is the word “natural.” Just as the wheel on a car, the construction is there. The axles are in place. In order to flow without interruption there has to be a periodic alignment.

How to reinvent yourself in four steps:

1. Study your past self to create your future self. Reinventing a thing is not related to deconstructing a thing. It is related to starting anew with a process that someone has already come up with.  Do not spend time ripping your past apart. Make observations, note your past, then begin drawing conclusions for the prototype of your new self. Break down each axle into daily functions and create goals for how they should operate.

2. Sit with your prototype for a day or so. There are not many inventors who settle on their inventions upon developing the very first draft. Allow yourself to erase and narrow down what your future self should be doing. Check off each axle as you address it. It is quite possible that your prototype will never be finished, however, it will be operable. Being operable is much better than sitting in a garage.

3. Test the prototype. Inventions go through several testing steps before being considered invented. Test yourself a bit. Play with the prototype you have created. Listen to feedback from people you interact with. If your prototype has several layers, take your time and try one layer at a time. Test each axle one at a time. Take notice of the response from each as you are being tested by your environment. Use your notes to orchestrate your own tests.

4. Be the invention. After the studying, drafting, and testing you are ready to rock and roll! All axles are aligned and in “go” mode. Your days will flow smoothly. Do not be afraid to realign your new wheel as often as necessary by revisiting your draft. After a few months you may notice a few upgrades to add. Add them!

Finding Your Flow: 21 Day Meditation with Deepak and Oprah

OWN_OMag_Comp_2014_2Feb_Deepak.R6_JustPhoto

I was recently discharged from an abusive employer (happy about that), I am about four months pregnant with my third child at 33 years old, my children are happy, I am in a very loving relationship with the man of my dreams, I have progressed as an artists/writer, and life seems to be flowing perfectly. However, I am in a very transitional space. I still have no clue what I want to do with my life. I want to be a life coach, I want to travel, I want to be a stay at home mom, I want to write books, I want to turn my books into plays, I want to start social media management again, and I want to start a movement! I decided to partake in Oprah and Deepak’s newest 21 day meditation “Finding Your Flow.”

This is 21 Days of guided meditation geared toward shaping life energies toward a free-flowing space of productivity and peace. I plan to document the experience by engaging in the meditation each morning then blogging my vibe/reflections after the meditation. Each blog post will be labeled with the title of overall meditation, the day and title of the meditation focus for that day. I don’t want to go on this journey expecting an answer or trying to shape the end result. I am going to relax, stay open, and submit to the meditation practice.

What better place to blog this journey than REGRET NOTHING WRITE EVERYTHING!

Here we go! Let the journey begin!

 

Morning page

The morning page = writing an entire page of whatever comes to mind upon waking up. Putting the pen to page or fingers to keyboard and writing non-stop until you’ve reached a page. The writer does not go back and edit the “morning page” all spelling and grammatical errors are forgiven because this is a total freedom of expression.

Today’s morning page…

I read somewhere that as a healthy psychological practice you should wake up every morning and write a full page of whatever is on your mind before speaking. This actually works especially for a person like me who is always thinking even in my sleep. I am going to try to do this every day for at least a month. I am in a place of soul-searching. In order to soul search I actually have to start sifting through my soul a little. These morning writing exercises will help me do that. I have already failed at the task of not speaking before writing because I speak about 3 times when I wake up. I yell to my kids “good morning little children.” I speak to the scale “hmm so this great/bad, welp.” Then I speak to myself in the mirror most really quickly while washing my hands “these locs are so frizzy! I do/don’t feel slim today.”

When I yell to the kids they yell back “good morning mom!.” The scale just usually blinks blank after showing me I am obese and the mirror…well the mirror…hmm..Mirrors are an interesting concept. They reflect but they don’t echo. They just give me image and not sound. At least I don’t think so. I need to research this. Imagine that everything you say to your mirror is not only reflected in an image but in a sound. This would mean that you would actually be talking to your image or your image would be talking to you. Like me looking in the mirror saying “these locs are frizzy” and my reflection would still be saying “frizzy frizzy frizzy” two seconds after I’ve finished talking! That sounds like some weird sci-fi movie. BUT maybe this would help build self-confidence or at least identify where we are tearing ourselves down. If a woman said to this mirror “i am fat” the mirror would say “I I am am fat fat fat…” and she would be right there listening to her own voice. Maybe then she (I) would become more conscious of what she’s doing to herself. hmmm….that’s interesting. Maybe I should invent something like that.

I am always looking to invent something even if it’s reinventing myself. Well as this morning page comes to a close I plan to workout today, eat at least 1490 calories, read a book, write something new, and celebrate something.

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned!

Pura Vida,
Shelly

Translate My Transition

Somewhere around 5am I come to conscious, I deny consciousness, then consciousness keeps coming back like I am hitting a snooze button on my biological clock. This happens  five out of seven days a week. On any given two days of the week I probably did something the night before that makes me ignore my consciousness and sleep right through to 10am. Which is actually a big deal for me!

As I come to consciousness my brain takes an opportunity to run through every thought I suppressed over the 12 hour period prior to me waking up. There are images of what I did yesterday mixed in with the sound of what I have to do today. Sometimes poems come to mind. Literally the words will be running through my head as my eyes are opening. Sometimes ideas come to mind. Like I will actually see the idea happen behind my eye lids like a movie screen.

Either I am crazy, gifted, just like everyone else, or nothing like anyone else. I don’t believe I am anything extraordinary therefore I usually lean toward saying I’m crazy or just like everyone else. I figure that this must happen to everyone, right? Everyone’s mind runs a mile a minute whether they are sleeping or awake, right? Everyone lets their spirits guide them in spite of being misunderstood, right? Everyone sees these vivid images of possible future happenings while sleeping or waking up, right? I need some confirmation that I am not different. That the way my brain functions is not just a  symptom of Narcolepsy.

Even though being “different” is what we dare our kids to be it’s not something I ever wanted to be. If you are different you have to just be slightly different so that nobody notices. You have to be the “understandable different.” Not the socially awkward different, nor the psychic different, nor the sleeping disorder different, nor the religious different, nor the geek different, nor the anything unpopular type of different. I don’t know which is more confusing trying to embrace the “different” or trying to fit into the “same.” Either way I would like to think that I am not alone. Is there anyone else out there who feels like I do? Do your thoughts overflow like God is not paying attention to how much he/she is  pouring into your cup? How do you keep yourself from over-thinking?

These are not hypothetical questions. If you really have answers please comment.

Thank you for reading!

Pura Vida,
Shelly

 

Define your “BIG”

I have grown comfortable with the thought that anything big cannot be beautiful. I have concluded that a certain “big” is more appreciated than overly fat. That each weight group has a certain kind of “big.” There’s that solid big person who doesn’t really jiggle, but whose considered “big-boned.” There’s that tall round kinda big where you’re not just overweight but you’re taller than the average male/female. There’s that obese by medical definition, but well put together “big.” Then there’s that flabby, skin hanging, round tub tummy big where there are rolls and rolls of fat dangling from various parts of the body.

It’s hard to tell who defines your “big.” Some people are big and around big people so big doesn’t look so big which means that bigger than the biggest person you see defines “big.” For models the skinniest model with the sexiest curves defines big. For some people the doctor defines “big” and demands you do something about it. Media images define “big.” Clothing stores define “big.” Media and clothing stores combined define “big” in the mind of everyone around you therefore their comments define “big.” There you are….somewhere in between the plus size section of a clothing store and the door. All you can hear is the doctor pronouncing you obese or the stranger that offers you extra space on public transportation or the family member that reminds you that you have gained weight. That is the moment you begin to define your “big.”

This blog post will not solve your “big” problem. It does not include fitness tips and healthy food recommendations. This post is just to say I understand. I am constantly defining my “big” and trying to figure how to keep healthy. I am constantly trying to define my “big” while coping with the eyes of those who have defined themselves as skinnier than I. I am constantly trying to define my “big” while wondering how I got so fat in the first place. I am constantly defining my “big” by the possibility that I will always be “big.” How will I live with that? How will the people around me live with that? They won’t because they don’t get it. The world does not understand how I am affected by it. I often do not understand how I affect the world. Something’s gotta give. Depression is the step after guilt. Defining my “big” is necessary to make myself “OK” with what is an uphill battle for what is currently a cosmetic change. I am not unhealthy. Fat alone doesn’t make you unhealthy. It’s what the excess fat does to your body that makes you unhealthy. So far I am not “big” enough to have weight pulling at my heart or have high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. For those of you who are take your medicine.

I could go on and on! I think I will stop here and pick this post up another day. Today its gloomy outside and I woke up defining my “big” as the fight against what Narcolepsy does to my metabolism. I woke up realizing that I took some weight loss pills yesterday that are probably eating away at my insides as I type this. Today my “big” is defined by how hard it will be to ignore just how “big” I’ve gotten.

Thank you to those who will respond to this post with how beautiful I am and how I should focus on God and how I should just exercise. Thank you to those who will suggest everything but actually figuring a way they can actually help. I understand. You just have to comment and I am grateful to have you here. You are part of the reasons that depressing moments like this will only last till the end of this blog post.

Pura Vida,
Shelly

B.L.A.H. = “Beyond Lost And Hopeless”

I have determined that BLAH is an acronym for “Beyond Lost And Hopeless.” This feeling can sneak up on you at any minute. It arises from the depths of confusion, fatigue, and sex deprivation. In 2012, I predict that people of all shapes, colors, sizes and ages will be affected by this momentary feeling of “WHAT THE F***!” B.L.A.H. is a moment not to be confused with sadness or loneliness. This moment usually passes within a day. If symptoms persist past 3 days try a glass of wine and/or other method of psychological escape. If this does not help consult a doctor of your choice immediately. Doctors include, but are not limited to a gynecologist, physical therapist, oncologist, orthodontist, psychiatrist and any other word ending in “ist” that works for you.

Moments you may feel B.L.A.H.:

When you’re bored

When you lose a job

When you feel stupid

When you look stupid

When you act stupid

During emo movie moments

When you end a relationship

When you want to be in love

When you’re on your cycle (men)

When you’re on your cycle (women)

When you conclude you’re not in love

When you realize you don’t know your purpose

When you feel like the word purpose is stupid

When you feel like you’re not serving any purpose

When you’re hungry and unable to get to food

When you feel like you’re having a bad day/week/month/year

When you spend your last few dollars on some form of transportation

When you realize you’re an hour into the dumbest conversation you’ve ever had

When you misspell words in an important message to friends, family, or co-workers

When you realize you’re pregnant and your religion has convinced you that you are pro-life

When you call on your significant other and find that they are not as significant as you thought.

The B.L.A.H. moment will walk up and pound you over the head if you don’t keep some G.O.O.D. in your life. G.O.O.D. stands for “Gracious Overly Optimistic Deeds.” Stay tuned for the blog on G.O.O.D.

Thank you for reading! Don’t be B.L.A.H. follow this blog!

Pura Vida,
Shelly

5 Myths about Love

Myth 1: You complete me

If someone says this to you…RUN! OR make sure that you are an incomplete person who is looking for another incomplete person. When you read that out loud it sounds absolutely ridiculous. If you are looking to fall in love or find love and haven’t yet this is possibly your problem. Become whole and complement one another. Unless you are an incomplete person hearing the words “you complete me” will not be the moment you decide this person is the “ONE.” Complement me don’t complete me. I am already a whole person. This is a great transition into the next myth.

Myth 2: I am looking for the ONE

Being that you will be a part of at least two relationships where you feel completely satisfied with the someone and they won’t be so satisfied with you it is not realistic that there is a “ONE” out there. It could be the “first kiss” crush from elementary school to the high school sweetheart or even the college mate. The relationship could have lasted a short three days, but for that three days of agreement you felt like he/she was the ONE. You were perfectly correct! Even though you were considered too young to be kissing, or too old to be letting go of such a long relationship you still considered yourself lucky to have them! Once you noticed that he pees on the toilet seat or she does not cook you probably became less in like therefore less in love. Then determined that this person is not the ONE after all. This is not true. They were the ONE for that time period. That’s completely OK. Now on to the next ONE.

Myth 3: Love is all we need

BULLSHIT! Love is an emotion and just like all emotions, guess what…IT WILL PASS! It will come back, then go away, then pass, then go away. In the moments that love has passed you will find yourself actually trying to relate. “Relate” is the root word of “relationship” however people forget all about this when they have the overwhelming “love” bug. You know the one where all you can hear, eat, breath or think about is THEM…the ONE….then you sit in the pee he left on the toilet seat or get hungry and look for her to cook a meal and realize you don’t know if you like them so much. If something happens once or twice it’s considered an incident, but when habits become routine it should be considered a part of your personality. Evaluate each personality you feel overwhelmingly in love with for compatibility. Can you last 20 years sitting in pee or not having a hot meal from the one you love? Will your ideas of family fit into that space? Is this person a dirty person? Is this person forgetful? Do you want to clean up after them or always be the ONE cooking? The biggest question…”IS THIS RELATIONSHIP SUSTAINABLE.”

Myth 4: If you love me you would….

If you have to say this what you probably mean is “if you like what I want you to do or are able to like me enough to just do what I want then you would do it.” This is rooted in instant gratification. We all want it. We all need it. The momentary “I will do anything you want me to do because I love you so much.” Emotion is measured by action. If you’re sad I wouldn’t know you’re sad unless you say or act sad. We think the same of love. If you don’t do something like marry me, buy me gifts randomly, or create a romantic atmosphere of some sort you don’t love me. We have to ask ourselves questions about the relationship we seek/allow. We feel like we’re in love in a matter of weeks due to the way we are treated. Some people actually marry each other in a few weeks and it works for them. You may not be that exception. Stop trying to be. Love does not look like a particular action that takes place a few times a year. It’s actually a feeling. Feelings motivate you to be romantic, to spend time with a person, to hold them, to be there when they need you, and to just be a part of their lives holistically. The ideas of love in one person have to complement the ideas of love in another. The actions of love look very similar across relationships of all sorts. Think about it. What does the media tell us love looks like? We use these images as our definitions of love. The most widely known and marketed ways of love is what we determine is our own way of showing love and being in love.

Myth 5: I love you but I am not “in love” with you

Hmm…

love is to feet wet as “in love” is to underwater

love is to warm as “in love” is to fire

love leads to exclusive dating as “in love” leads to marriage

love is to like a lot as “in love” is to like a lot more than anybody

If you have ever defined love as something you are inside of, outside of, sitting around, on top of, or under you are delusional. In fact, if you refer to love as any type of locale whether relative or geographical you are delusional. I have also been this person. Love is  a feeling. It is triggered by experiences. Most of these experiences are not new. They come from childhood, previous romantic and/or platonic relationships. When people become conscious of the fact that a sustainable relationship is not possible with a person they are involved with they will consider themselves falling out of love. How much does this say about falling in love? Is love something we feel we can take our time with? Has the media put us on notice that everyone whether male or female has a love clock ticking? Maybe they are right! Maybe they are on to something, however it’s not the something shone so plainly in the happy ending of a movie. It is the portion of the movie that is too long and boring to show. The part where the person keeps a running checklist of the “likes” and “don’t likes” of the relationship they’ve chosen. It’s the part where he pees on the toilet and you clean it 100 times all the while head over heels in love, then the 101 time you decide you don’t want to make to the 1000th time. It’s the part where your “going out” budget is becoming overwhelmingly taxing on your lifestyle all because she can’t cook. You begin to realize that you can’t eat out forever. You realize that you’re getting older and fatter all because your woman can’t cook. These things sound so minute in the first two years of a relationship. They end up being the simple death of lots of relationships.

Of course your thing may not be peeing on the toilet or cooking, but there’s some quirk about you that makes you an unsustainable mate for someone. However that someone has to determine this before riding off into the sunset with you then wanting to ditch you by morning.

BOTTOM LINE

If you would like to be in a committed relationship that leads to marriage consider actually focusing on relating! By this I mean don’t start unsustainable actions to impress someone. Don’t begin a romantic routine you can’t keep up. Notice that this person does not have the lifestyle that best fits you early on in dating. Be conscious about what you really want. Use paper and pen to write down what you think you want then re-evaluate after each relationship. Meet, greet, relate, reflect, move!

Thank you for reading!

Pura Vida,
Shelly Bell

WordPress.com.

Up ↑