Monday, February 28, 2011
But, I clearly digress. Today is my birthday.
Even though I am now the semi-unexciting age of twenty four, I am really optimistic about the year ahead. Ever since that math game we played as kids, I have been in a love affair with the number 24 and all things that come with it. There are just so many mathematical ways to reach twenty four and (in a sort of metaphorical way) there are so many ways I could have arrived here today. For me birthdays are about love and acknowledgement of all that has made me who I am today. This includes events, decisions, and most importantly, the people that have helped me get here. Birthdays seem to call loved ones out of the woodwork; they come quietly out of nowhere to wish you a happy birthday. It’s about love in its purest form, wishing someone else well and telling them how thankful you are that they are here.
With that said, I feel strange with the amount of attention birthdays carry. I always just want to tell everyone how much they mean to me and how much I appreciate them, rather than the other way around. It was a bit ironic this morning when I opened my book The Essential Yoga Sutra by Geshe Michael Roach, to the following sutra:
Santashad anuttamah sukha labbah
Kayendriya siddhir ashuddhi
Roach translates it into English to mean, If you stay contented, then you achieve happiness that is unsurpassed. Embracing spiritual hardships destroys your impurities, allowing you to master both body and senses.
There are a lot of deep ways to interpret this and I am sure each of you will get something different out of these words. Maybe this passage stirs nothing inside of you and that’s okay. The truth is that these are just words and we attach a meaning to them. Sometimes I read something 5 times and each time it has a different meaning. This morning on this particular day, these words are a gentle reminder to be content and to be happy with all 24 years of my life. I must embrace the hardships, the disappointments, and the confusions that may exist in my mind and simply allow myself to be content.
And you know what? I am. I really am enjoying life and have little to complain about. I have a wonderful family, a loving boyfriend, phenomenal friends, and I really enjoy what I do. So it truly is a happy birthday to me.
How do you remind yourself to be content?
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Who doesn’t have a favorite cheesy, salty, buttery, thick, meaty, ooey, gooey, yummy comfort food?! I sure do and my weakness is always something terribly bad for me. When I have a long, hard day or just not feeling my best there is nothing better than good ol’ fashioned Jersey pizza pie. Top that off with some fries and a milkshake and you pretty much have the best comfort meal ever. Or maybe its Mac n’ cheese, baked to cheesy perfection….yum! Chocolate cake, amazing! Tacos! Ice cream! I could go on…
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Yet at this time of year, I find that I have forgotten the initial exhilaration of snow. That feeling is replaced by an involuntary “ughhhhhhhhhh” as I look out my window at 7am to see my car hidden under a white, heavy load. The reason for the change of heart? Life continues on after the first big snow storm. All snow after that is socially treated as a burden. We are still expected at work, we don’t have the money or time to go to the mountain, and we are over this whole winter nonsense.
Monday, February 21, 2011
“There are years that ask questions and years that answer”
—Zora Neale Hurston
Never before have I said so many words, so many times over in my mind. Beautiful, simplistic, infinite. Over the past year, this quote has become my personal mantra, my inspiration to trek forward. In its simplicity it has kept me grounded and yet stirs a drive deep inside my soul. Starting this blog is a way to share ideas about ways to live courageously.
Last year as I was coming to the end of a 10-month apprenticeship program, I was given this mantra from a friend. Together, 30 of us had completed a program that was equally grueling and rewarding. It was an adventure of constant questions, as it was my first experience after graduating from college. The change from college classroom to office cubicle caused my mind to fill with doubt about my future.
- How will I know what I am doing at work?
- Will my friends forget about me?
- Can I really become self-reliant?
- Is the non-profit sector right for me?
- Will I ever be able to afford my car insurance?
It did not help that everyone around me seemed to be in an equal state of panic. Before starting the program last year I started a blog, which I had hoped would chronicle my adventure in the workplace and fellowship. I posted once. I took a glance at it the other day and tried to remember what my intention had been. Originally, I thought I would show my friends what my 9-5 was like. Perhaps I would offer some grumpy humor for the new and unexciting chapter in my life. I’d lay all the office drama out on the line, describe the hardship of living on a stipend, and maybe describe my job pranks.
Deep down, I was terrified. This move into the workplace meant I was no longer a kid. So, how was I going to come to terms with that?
For a long time, I felt unbalanced and left any hopes of insightful blogging far at bay.
But one day, my confusion was replaced by confidence. I have no idea how it happened, but like the summer between junior and senior year, suddenly I had all the answers… Or at least I stopped searching for answers to questions. Suddenly, I felt content, balanced and alright. Changes and growth took place without me knowing. The first year in the program challenged me to question a lot about myself that I decided to come on for a second year. Maybe the answers would simply come.
So, why blog now?
Here I am another year older, with a birthday fast approaching, and I have high expectations for next year. Unease is a challenge, but its not forever. Its something I constantly remind myself, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
I really want to not only chronicle my adventures, but I want to provide a way to tackle our barriers. I am on a path to find balance, happiness, and maybe even some answers—and I want to take everyone with me.
Welcome to Living Courageously, a blog I hope to use to inspire people to live to their fullest. I’m a young woman with a lot to say and a whole bunch of opinions. I believe there are 6 types of actions that define who we are and what life we lead: Leaping, Reading, Stretching, Balancing, Eating, and Loving. I purposely used the progressive tense of these words as a way to emphasize the importance of doing. Taking a proactive attitude in life will not only give you the energy to live to your fullest, but you will inspire others along the way. Another reason for the progressive tense is to emphasize that the proactive attitude is ongoing. We must constantly move through life, so it might as well be with purpose. And, it might as well be fun! In this blog I hope to:
- Inspire you to take a leap: explore things you may have been scared to try
- Open your eyes to read new ideas
- Show you ways to help you reach your fullest potential
- Show you the excitement in balance
- Share yummy food recipes for body and soul
- Talk about love, love, love
But what do I know? Don’t listen to damn thing I say.