Stranger

Mental Health

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Lately, I’ve been so entrenched in the details of the reality I’m trying to manifest that the reality I’m currently living in has started to feel a little…strange. Or maybe I’m what’s strange. Either way something has changed and at first it was quite startling.

Yesterday, I talked some about how important my environment is to my creativity, and honestly, to my overall mental health. So obviously, my classroom is pretty cozy. There are lamps and twinkly lights everywhere. The wall space above my desk is covered in cool art and wall hangings and my windows are framed by some awesome geometric curtains.

I tried to create a space where I feel comfortable. Since I teach ESL, I receive new students all year long. I like to think that the environment I’ve created makes those newcomers feel comfortable too. I can only imagine how terrifying the first day of school in a different country can be. I try to use the design elements in my classroom to communicate as much positivity, security, and inclusivity as possible.

Usually, when I walk into my room, seeing those elements makes me happy. But yesterday, when I turned on my classroom lights after a long three-day weekend, I had this incredibly odd feeling. Like I was a stranger entering a space that didn’t belong to me.

I didn’t feel upset or angry or really any negative feelings at all. I felt detached, maybe even a little confused. Almost like waking up from amnesia.

It got me thinking about where my head’s been at for the past several weeks. My practice hasn’t been perfect. Those fears and doubts still creep in now and then. But I have been extremely dedicated to trying to stay positive and take action where I can to manifest the things I want.

And I’m starting to believe that’s how this whole thing works. I felt strange stepping into my classroom yesterday because my mind was already living in the future. In that reality I am a writer and full-time creative. In that reality I am content and stress-free. Teaching is the opposite of stress-free. In fact, the more overworked and overwhelmed you are the more you are rewarded–usually with more work.

Now I have these two realities, almost these two different people, yanking me around in this tug-of-war. Eventually, one of them is going to have to win. I want to be ready to make that decision. I want to be sure. If that means getting uncomfortable, I have to be willing to endure that too.

In the meantime, I am incredibly grateful that the work I do is meaningful and makes a difference. It might not be what I’m meant to do forever but my classroom is not a cage. It’s more of a…chrysalis. A place to grow and change. But also a place I’ll eventually have to break through if I want to discover my true potential.

Maybe that’s what comfort zones are for. Barriers we break through in order to fortify our minds and find our gifts. Maybe we should keep that in mind the next time we feel the urge to build a nest, whether that’s decorating our classroom to the nines or renovating our home. The purpose of the nest isn’t to protect us from all of the dangers of the outside world. The purpose is to provide us with temporary safety while we’re still learning to fly.

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2

Mental Health

Before I can move forward on this journey I have to lighten the load I’ve been lugging around for the past three years. That means unpacking the things I’d rather not look at over even acknowledge, throwing things out that don’t serve me and slow me down. That means forgiving myself for being afraid.

I have lived in this body, with this mind for twenty-seven years. I know how I think, how I operate, how I navigate the world. Most of the decisions I make are based on avoiding discomfort at all costs. But no amount of tiptoeing can save you from life. It’s constantly changing, evolving, and it expects you to change along with it.

That’s the point of the human experience–to have a human experience. To feel pain and joy. To be struck by dreams and disappointment. You need both. Always.

When I avoided doing the things that scared me, I thought I was saving myself from something. Protecting myself from more heartache. But I was actually robbing myself of what waits on the other side–transformation. A chance to be a better, stronger version of myself.

At this point, it’s not productive to dwell on what I’ve lost or what I didn’t give myself a chance to gain. I can’t be angry with myself for doing what I thought was right. For making decisions that were really out of love. But what I can do is try to show myself that same love in a different way.

Instead of running from discomfort, I can ease myself into it. Instead of questioning my own greatness, I can remind myself of it every day. Instead of holding onto the thoughts and feelings that burden me, I can let them go.

I can let go.

I can forgive myself for my choices, my inaction, indecision, and doubt. Unpacking them; leaving them behind. I can stop using my fear as a compass and start using my heart instead.

1

Motivation & Inspiration

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The Universe is already listening.

I set the intention to move full force in the direction of my dreams…three days ago.

THREE DAYS

Here’s how I demonstrated my faith:

1) I set a retirement date from my current career.

2) I created an 18-month escape plan of tasks and goals, both personal and business related, to help me get there.

3) I cleaned out my closet and got rid of a ton of stuff I’d been hoarding due to my fear of lack.

4) I bought myself a ticket to hear a 5 hour lecture and Q&A from one of my favorite authors.

Here’s what’s happened so far:

1) I crunched my January budget for the hundredth time and I found an extra $400 to go toward completing my Emergency Fund.

2) A graphic designer who I was certain was completely out of my league actually responded to my email. After 2 weeks of thinking I was a loser they shouldn’t even give the time of day.

3) My boyfriend found a portable recorder in with some of his equipment for the podcast I’ve been fantasizing about but have yet to mention to a single soul.

4) The migraine I’d had for three days suddenly disappeared.

It’s creepy awesome!

So here’s what I’m going to do for me and all of the other indies and creatives who are dreaming of leaving their day job behind, of finding their true purpose, of getting rich, and being brave–I’m going to blog diligently for the entire 18-month period to capture all of the miracles, big and small, that come my way.

Because I know in those moments when Doubt’s whispers become shouts I will need proof. I will need reminding that my thoughts are magic and that instead of wading out into that fear I can climb onto my life raft, the one I am building for myself one prayer, one promise at a time.