Lately, I’ve caught the travel bug. [At least I think that’s the sort of bug it is; otherwise, I need to start stockpiling tinctures and head south with the birds because I am so over this season… and let’s be honest, the fun in being sick isn’t really as prevalent when your mom lives a couple hundred miles away and sick days aren’t about getting to stay home from school to eat popsicles and watch cartoons.] The reason behind this itch to get away isn’t totally clear to me: I’m not sure if it’s because I feel discontented with my life right now (hence the hiatus in blog posting… I tend to feel less inspired to write when I am not in a place of contentment or am feeling unable to gain anything apparent or potentially useful from periods of reflection) or if I’m just fully realizing my mortality and how temporary this life is — so I feel like I can’t waste too much time in one place because I have only a finite amount of time to experience what’s out there — but either way, I feel like I need to get out of here.

Whether it be for a weekend, a few months, or a year, I feel like a fulfilling experience away from the everyday would help me to return to my home feeling refreshed and grateful for its comfort and stability. That would be great, only my home isn’t offering me much stability or comfort right now. The leaves of change are swirling around me {this phrase is totally cliche in most cases, but this time it’s actually true: 100 + mph winds whip in, uprooting trees and sweeping up pretty much everything in their path, eventually depositing their goods in disarray all over my yard during this season; it’s far from a joke} and as they catch me in their upwards spiral I’m suddenly completely aware that my feet have been swept up from underneath me and plotting out some sort of game plan in order to figure out just how to plant them back on solid ground has become futile. My job situation is somewhat inconsistent at the moment, and my roommates [who have helped me to form the foundation on which this chapter of my life has been built] are moving far away because of new opportunities and new people are moving in. And I’ve found myself focusing on the negative aspects of each of these changes instead of seeing the beautifully transformative possibilities for which each allows, were I only to open myself to them. Perhaps it’s a lack of outside fulfillment. Challenges that might be initially hard to face present themselves as more than just obstacles; instead, they become all-consuming and enclosing shadows, sweeping over and through me like a fog and sucking me into a vortex, its existence being totally unbeknownst to me until I find myself winded and entirely incapable of forward movement.

The thing is, there are plenty of wonderfully astounding and staggeringly positive aspects of my life, and inspiring, brilliant, loving beings co-create divine, light-filled existences all around me. Magic exists everywhere, especially here, and I have access to it. It’s all entirely within my reach. But I’m not cultivating an open, healthy heart space for myself that allows the intake of this flowing, all-encompassing beauty. I’m not allowing myself to be grateful for what I have available to me. I am not taking advantage of all the support and benefit that exists in my world. This is what I’ve realized. At some point in my writing experience with this blog I’ve written about leaving the comfort zone, and how those who recognize they live within their comfort zone but do little to alleviate this issue are in the worst comfort zone of all (as blissful ignorance eludes them.) Well, I’m finding myself to be quite the hypocrite in this moment. And I’m sure as shit no fan of any hypocrite. This sort of self-loathing speak won’t get me far, so instead, this is my drive:

I am desperate to figure out why I’ve allowed this to happen, and just how to stop allowing it. Because I’m certainly not okay with it.

This is why I feel like maybe I need to get away. I’m searching for something… but what it is, exactly, I’m not sure. I just know that I’m not finding it by sitting right here. I read, I practice yoga, I take vitamins and supplements and eat healthily (and am surrounded by a culture that values this in a huge way), I rarely drink (because it only obscures my clarity and leaves me with residual negative thoughts and feelings in the days that follow), I watch and I listen and I challenge myself when I can and I try to write on my findings. But it’s still not coming to me.

I read this quote recently and while it seems simple and even a little silly, it applies to what I’m feeling right now (or the inverse, I guess): “Wherever you are, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” At some point in the last couple months my light’s been slowly depleting. It returns to me sometimes (and I’m totally aware of it when it does… and it feels awesome) but shining it is more of a struggle these days. And I certainly don’t take it with me everywhere I go.

I know that I have everything I need within myself, I just need to figure out what it is that will fulfill me and make me feel like my everyday is worthwhile. I want to feel like I’m contributing something to this life and making it the best it can be for myself and for everyone I come into contact with. The people I love deserve that… because they have given me so much. I deserve that. Each of us deserve to feel that light shine within ourselves.

Part of what scares me is that I’m fully realizing how fleeting my youth is. I’ll be 26 in a couple weeks and this seems huge. It’s more terrifying than past birthdays have been… 25 will be soon be a somewhat distant memory and there’s nothing I can do to hold onto it or slow down its inevitable passing. I can take the lessons I’ve learned in the past year (which have been a multitude, I have to admit; I’ve shed myself more times in the past twelve months than I have in the past twelve years) and take them with me, and of course I will, but what now? This is contributing to my feeling that I want to travel today… because today, I’m still young. (Will 27 still be young?) What I don’t want, though, is to travel because I’m trying to escape something here. If I do that, I’ll have my eye on some obscure, unclear goal up ahead of me and miss all that is happening in my peripheral. And as I am well aware, the journey is the destination. What I want is to travel because I know I am one who can fully embrace beauty, see it in humble places, appreciate everything around me and recognize the meaning and raw wonder in all of it. I know this about myself, and knowing that I’m not flooded with that wonder right now brings me to feel a bit like a new environment will bring that out in me once again. I feel like when my body moves, my mind moves, and then what follows is the movement of my spirit… and I become re-inspired.

Because what worries me is that getting away would just be a temporary fix. Because what seems to be true in the past when I’ve left is this: I’ve had a great vacation and then I’ve come back to my home to see that not much has changed. Things change for a little bit, maybe. I’m more energized (I write mad lists when I’m in Chicago, for example, and feel motivated to adopt new, positive habits in my life), or more relaxed, or whatever… but finding a healthy, clear head space and a purpose in the place where I live is what is going to sustain me.

Maybe the search needs to be right here, within myself. Then, when I find that light again, I can go share it with the world. Maybe I’ll stay here a little longer. Continue to practice good habits, force myself into a practice of positive thinking, work to find sustained purpose in the everyday. Continue the search right here at home.

***

{I have to say, I had no intention on getting this personal when I began this blog. (Because somehow my negative, somewhat depressed thoughts that lead to these blog musings feel a lot more personal than anything else I put up here.) I suppose this is where I learn to manifest the continuance of my growth process (integral to my evolution as a writer) and just say this: Here it is. I’m human, no shame.}

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I’ve found a couple simple actions I am realizing I can take to bring myself back into the present moment… here’s hoping they might help you as well:

– Return to your breath.

When it comes down to it, breath is, at its core, our life force. We can survive a few days without water and we can go maybe a week and a half or so without food… without breath, maybe a few minutes. (Unless you’re super human… in which case, you get maybe seven minutes. Since seven is lucky and all, that sounds about right. Even super humans run out of luck when they try to test the universe. Most of my friends are super human, and we all try to at times. The universe tends to win…) When I find my mind wandering into thoughts of the unknown, into worrying about the future (which, for me, often manifests in feelings of anxiety), what am I learning to do is return to my breath. Breathe in… breathe out.

Breathe in… breathe out.

I inhale for a count of seven (or eleven, depending on what my body tells me), and then a count of seven (or eleven, as the case may be) on the exhale. I remember that my breath is what sustains me. It is what allows me to exist in this present moment, and when I remember this, I am filled with thoughts of gratitude. I am thankful for this life and am reminded that this moment is what matters. It’s all I have. My heart rate slows and anxiety diminishes. Plans and musings about the future evaporate into the atmosphere and I am left with only myself and my breath… this is all there is, and I am thankful for it.

– Write a reminder to yourself and tack it in a place (or, multiple places) where you will see it and it will be most beneficial to you.

For me, my mind tends to wander a lot when I’m driving. Sometimes positive thoughts about my life and feelings of thankfulness, sometimes reflections on experiences I’ve had {sometimes these reflections are related to whatever music I might be playing… Railroad Earth tends to elicit wonderful feelings for me – I’ve found myself driving through the mountains and crying tears of joy while blasting some Railroad Earth. Go ahead and picture it, it’s awesome. Even more awesome when I’m living it. I digress…}, but sometimes I find myself worrying about the future or what’s to come, or what will happen when I get to wherever it is I’m driving.

So, I have a sticker on my visor above my head that reads, “In The Moment Of NOW” at which I will glance whenever I find myself starting get a little anxious.  This does the trick for me in an instant… I remember where I am RIGHT NOW and I return to that place (this place, I guess I should say.) I stop worrying. And I breathe in the blessings of the moment.

This sort of thing requires repetition in order to really be able to flip a switch, but I would say its benefits started for me after about a week or so after putting this sticker in my car… I started to get used to it being there and after the first couple times of glancing up at its message, it became habit. I will read the words out loud to myself at times: “In the moment of now”, I will say. And I breathe, come back to the moment, sometimes turn my happy music up just a little louder and look around me to remind myself of the beauty that surrounds me. This grounds me and I quit my worrying. I am okay.

Your message to yourself may be different than mine… it could be as simple as “Smile”. Whatever it may be, follow it. You know yourself and will learn to know what works for you. This is part of the path to loving yourself: trusting that you know what you need.

– Find a pen. Find some paper. (I keep a notepad and pen with me {but this wasn’t always the case… I’ve learned my lesson and let enough musings that I could have expanded on pass me by. I think this means I’m really doing this writing thing. Word.} in part for this reason.) <- Weird punctuation like this is fun for me… I think that means I’m exactly where I need to be.

Write down three positive things about yourself and three about someone you love. Be honest. (This brings you back to the moment of now because you are forced to consider how you really are, right now (if you’re being honest with yourself at least you are) and you’re thinking positively. This positive thinking elevates mood and our worries of the future and/or things we don’t have control over seem less intense and more inconsequential compared to what’s available to us at hand. ‘What can I do right now?’.) <- More fun and weird punctuation.

(Also, this takes you outside of yourself and gets you thinking positive thoughts about someone in your life who you love and the things about him or her that probably brought you to feel that love in the first place. You are removed from your issues within your mind and are feeling good about (and thankful for, probably) someone who’s lucky enough to have your love.

– Find your mantra.

This is similar to writing a message to yourself to glance at but instead, it’s verbal, and it’s a phrase that you’ll repeat to yourself to help you find what it is you need. I think we all, on some level, know what it is we need. At least we do when we fully decide to be honest with ourselves. And we’re either addressing it or hiding from it. This mantra helps to bring us right back down to reality because it was something we found at a moment of clarity… and helps brings us back to that place when we’ve strayed and are feeling a little lost. For me, it is this: “We all want the same things. We all want to be happy and to be loved.”

Here are a couple others that I feel would work well:

“I am love, I am LIGHT.”
“I am happy. I am happy. I am happy.” (If you don’t feel it, fake it ’till you make it… and it will. Or you’ll start to feel ridiculous repeating this over and over and hopefully start to laugh at said feelings of ridiculousness. Life is silly… so laugh!)
“I AM SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!” (If you’re screaming this at people, especially at inappropriate times, you probably are.)

Get creative with it, get happy. Get it.

[I know I will continue to add onto this list as I find develop other positive habits such as these and will update accordingly.]

Take care of yourself today, hug someone, smile at a stranger, look up at the sky, breathe deeply.

You are loved!

I’ve been meaning to write about this for awhile. It’s something I’ve started to consider as something extremely positive for my life… a reversal of habit that I feel like will benefit my my most forward evolution.

I’m recognizing that learning to let go of expectations before immersing myself in a new setting is what makes that immersion the happiest. The happiest, the warmest, the fullest, the most hug-me-close-then-release-me-softly-into-the-world-with-a-blessing-est, the best it can possibly be. Because without expectation that a certain event or series of events will take place, I allow myself to be fully present in the moment of now. I’m not hoping for something not to happen or wishing for something else to happen or wondering why something I wanted to happen isn’t happening. I’m open to whatever is happening… right now.

Because I didn’t expect something or some specific outcome, my mind isn’t attached to that expectation. Rather, my mind is present in the here and now, laughing and dancing and loving all the characters in the novel that is my life as they should be… just as they enter the page and for all the moments in which they exist within this story.

This, like many things, is easier said than done.

I sometimes like to think of the mind as a collection of little muscles that can each be strengthened. This is one little part of my mind, one little muscle, that contains the habit that I’ve gotten into somewhere along the way to here to think into every damn situation before it happens and envision it just how I wish it to be. The strengthening of this muscle over time has, at times, cause somewhat of an adverse effect on my experiences – so I’m making a point, now, to instead develop and strengthen an opposing muscle, one that creates in me the habit to live in the present moment. To force myself back to now… to stop creating a future moment in my mind and instead to create positivity in the reality of today.

Now, let me say this — I’ve stepped into situations with what can be described as a positive outlook while also holding specific expectations and I’ve had great times… sometimes even some of those specific expectations are realized. That’s happened, for sure.

But sometimes, in those scenarios, I recognize myself as not totally present in the now. Possibly because I’m feeling grateful something I had previously worried about didn’t happen… or I’m comparing something that just happened to what I had previously pictured… or because I’m waiting for the next thing to happen [because everything’s going exactly as I had hoped (planned?), so when’s the next thing that I hoped for (planned for?) going to happen?].

Instead of imaging a specific scenario and developing a subconscious hope (which manifests often in an expectation), what is most beneficial for my life is focusing on how I’m bettering myself right now. And knowing that things will be good. Because most likely, they will be.

That’s when I get the most out of an experience.

I’m not saying I won’t think ahead about things. About my life. I do, and I always will. But more so in an arbitrary way; in an excited, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN AND I CAN’T WAIT TO FIND OUT BUT I’M GOING TO TAKE IT AS IT COMES AND RIGHT NOW FINISH THIS DELICIOUS SANDWICH I’M EATING type of way. And that’s what manifests. The positivity that comes from knowing this: wherever I am, I will be okay.

I know this because I know myself,

because I trust myself,

because I love myself.

But I didn’t expect. I didn’t expect certain things to happen. I didn’t expect to have a certain sort of conversation with a certain person, to feel a certain way. And so if those expectations aren’t filled, I’m not let down. And if they are fulfilled, I experience them fully, as they are – not because I had imagined them. I get to enjoy them for the first time, for the best time. Then remember them in years to come, for just as they were.

[Although, there is something to be said for imagining things however you choose… because your mind is your own and your memories are based on your own interpretation of your experience, so, may they be whatever paradise you dream up.

Does this negate this whole post? More on that another day.]

I meant to write this on New Years Day (is that supposed to be capitalized? I feel like I should know that.) but was sort of busy raging a mountain party to welcome in the new year… I know you’ll forgive me. Also, I forgive myself. So there’s that.

Moving along…

I want to write a couple resolutions for myself; affirmations I wish to adopt into my life and put into practice in 2012. If the growth I’ve experienced in 2011 was any indication of what’s to come, things are on the up and up.

I’m grateful for that.

I passed around a new, blank journal I received for Christmas at our get together on New Years Day and everyone wrote things that they’d like to embody in 2012 in it. There’s some beautiful stuff in that book… I kind of love these people I’m lucky enough to call friends. This list is a continuation of what I wrote for myself, but is also influenced by what I’ve learned from these wonderful humans who blanket me in their love.

In 2012…

  • I will judge less and listen more.

Judging someone before I truly know their mind and soul doesn’t really benefit anyone involved. And, does that even ever happen? Do you ever know someone’s mind… someone’s inner most wants and needs, fears and desires? Do you ever truly know someone’s soul? I’m not sure you can. Not fully. The layers of a person, of ourselves, go deeper than we can possibly ascertain. I think the ultimate goal is to know yourself. And one could spend a lifetime doing that. So if it takes a lifetime to know yourself, how long might it take to know another?

Exactly.

And therein lies my resolution: I will work to not judge another human being as I can’t possibly know the depths and the core and scale of where they are truly coming from. Maybe all people really want is for someone to know them… and while this might be impossible, I know that listening sure as hell helps.

This leads me to my next resolution…

  • I will see every person as a friend.

If I’m not judging, this makes it much easier to love. And doesn’t everyone want love? I think so. Because loving someone feels awesome. And the feeling of knowing you’re loved feels just about equally as awesome. (It’s also much easier to strike up a conversation with someone if you see them as your friend already, before even knowing him or her. Just a little side note, to make social situations a little less stressful than they can sometimes be… especially those which exist right outside of our comfort zones.)

We’re all in this together. So, let’s be friends. (It will things a lot more fun, I promise.)

  • I will see time by myself as an opportunity to grow.

I’ve struggled with this a little bit, especially recently. I’ve lived essentially by myself in the mountains for the last six months. There have been times where I’ve felt lonely. And then I try to stop and think about it: we are all alone, really. We are born alone and one day we will return to the earth from whence we came… alone. And if I can’t be comfortable in my aloneness, how comfortable can I truly be with others? Being able to be alone and feel okay about it is the first step on the road to loving myself. At least for me, that makes sense.

And… if you don’t truly love yourself, I have a hard time believing you can truly and fully, with confidence and without expectation, love another. When I’m at my lowest, I attribute my existence in that place to feelings I’m experiencing about myself… it’s not based on how anyone else is making me feel. What’s that one quote? …ah, yes: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And the reciprocal is true as well: you’re only going to feel your best if you can go to a place within yourself, a happy home that exists within your soul… a place you can retreat to when you need a little pick-me-up, a reminder of the divinity we all carry.

Sometimes when I feel lonely, I recognize I’m experiencing constraining thoughts of what I might be missing elsewhere. A good friend told me recently to remember that whatever I’m doing is the most awesome thing to be doing. This year and always, I’m going to work to internalize that.

“i am exactly where i need to be
i need to be exactly where i am
i am not aimlessly existing see
i am in perfect harmony with universal energy
and i am truly free when i accept my own divinity

The path to loving myself is under my feet, and 2012 feels like a good year to pick up my pace. And maybe dance a little more, too. [The first day of the new year I danced for about eight hours straight and it was the best day I’ve had in a while. I’m just saying.]

  • I will remember that we are all magnets… we attract the same energy that we expel.

And this goes both ways. I’m over putting out negativity into the universe. There’s enough of that already. From here on out, I will strive to embody only love and light. We are all made of it. So let’s return to that, to those roots. It’s true that when I see someone dancing, loving, experiencing enjoyment in their life, I see their light. And it makes me happy. I see in others what I see in myself… that dance, that love, that joy, comes out in me. Because that person’s magnetized energy attracts all of the same thing in me. I am so grateful to those that bring that energy out in me, and I only want to produce and expel and attract the same in others.

“if you look at me close enough you will see a dark stormy night
and what is night without it’s polar opposite of sunlight
so if you watch the way my hands sway
you’ll see the light of day
and everyday is a testament to the sediment of the earth’s core
it’s ever spinning enormous force so if you look at me just right
you will see a spark of the source
but the most fascinating thing about this, and it’s true
is that if you look at me close enough, you see you
it’s only what you perceive how you believe the space between
you and me
that creates reality”

)))(love)(((

and finally…

  • I will listen to this song more; its message speaks to me, and internalizing it will come with time… I know this to be true.

***

Blessings to you in 2012!

A while ago, I wrote about two human emotions: love and fear. An opinion was shared with me belonging to someone whose wisdom I’m often confounded by. I was just getting to know this person when we engaged in a conversation in which he shared with me his idea that there are two emotions that all humans experience and, ultimately, act out of. He told me that all human behavior is dictated by either love or by fear. At the time, I think in part because this was a person whose mind I happened to greatly admire, I took his word for truth. That’s not to say that I didn’t consider the alternatives and question myself as to whether or not this made sense, or really whether or not I even greed that his theory [which was not stated as though it were a theory but rather, fact] was so. I did those things.

It’s just that… that these last few months I’ve experienced emotion fully and on a broad spectrum [perhaps broader than I have ever before experienced in my life] and have concluded that humans are much too complicated and their minds too intricate and with depth too vast to conjecture they act on one of those two emotions alone. I say ‘conjecture’ because the decision to categorize this way is just that…  it’s based on a conclusion deduced by surmise or guesswork [Merriam-webster.com, you’re a peach.]

That being said, I’ve been doing some thinking of my own. A little surmising and guesswork, you could say. A lot of it is due to those far-and-wide-ranging emotions I’ve felt recently. Because I feel something then I analyze the shit out of how I feel until I recognize what and why it is and hopefully, I realize how I can alter it if I don’t see it benefiting me at that time or in the future. Hopefully I can change it into a more positive version of itself… maybe one that serves me better. {Or I meditate and try to not attach myself to any thought… so that those un-thought thoughts don’t manifest themselves in any emotion that might be trying to surface within and mix themselves with it, swirling, bringing it up from its depths within my being, poisoning it. And then, I do some thinking after the period of meditation. Because it’s nice to sit without emotion sometimes. And to not think about how I feel or why it is.}

That said, this is what I’ve concluded: if humans feel too much for all of those feelings and behaviors based on feelings to be categorized into either one of only two emotions [which I believe, wholeheartedly, is the case], then they also can experience emotions or attraction or desires for another human being, any human being, at any given time, place, or dimension. And maybe you feel these things for a person and that person happens to not be of the same gender or sex of whom you felt those things for yesterday. Because we’re humans, and we’re complex. The most complex species on Earth or something. Maybe only second to some sort weird mushroom or miniscule sea-dwelling creature. (I could have just made that up, I’m really not sure. My point is, we’re complex.) So who’s to say that one category can fit all of you in it? That just doesn’t seem fair, asking someone to choose just one category and stay in it. Like, stay in it forever. And you just get to choose one… or the other.

Is that what society wants? Being in one little box (or circle, if that’s how you tend to shape your categories) for your whole life seems like it would get sorta claustrophobic. Why is society trying to make me claustrophobic?

Silly, if you ask me.

Thought manifesting in emotion is what makes me human… and I kinda like that. What’s also sort of amazing is encountering all these people with intense, complex emotions and thoughts. And stuff. Because each of them has challenged what I might feel and believe (and manifest) at some point previously with other viewpoints and ideas and theories and I’ve taken those and stirred them around and mixed them in with what I already had… and I’ve ended up with something more beautiful than before, and much tastier.

So… this is what I have to say about it now. But ask me again in a couple months and I’m sure I’ll have more to say on the matter. Maybe sooner… depends what I feel. 😉

{And that’s what you call the evolution of thought…. oh, snap.}

[You might find this key helpful. Maybe. Maybe not. Ahh, free will.]

{I have broached this topic with a couple friends in conversation recently and think I’m going to write about it now… partly because I want to see it written out so I can make more sense of it and maybe start to internalize it after reading, playing with, maybe editing at some point, …and then nudging myself towards eventually manifesting it.}

{^Not posting to blog.}

I think life experiences (which are unique to you because of who and how you are, where you are, and the people you encounter and of course those with whom you have meaningful interaction) train you into learning how you want to live. When someone says, “Happiness comes from within”, I say this: {picture me nodding with you} Happiness is within. It is inside you, yes.  [It’s on your outer body as well, as in you wear your happiness, but that’s another subject entirely.] But life experiences based on environment and circumstance are what teach you just what it is you love and what you do not. That is if you interpret these stimuli as possibly becoming a positive force in your life if continuing to subject yourself to them… {might it be something like a beautiful house in the mountains that will sustain you and fulfill a recognized longing for domestic comfort, or someone – a person who reflects your views but challenges you to develop them and works with you to reach the next level of truth, or, some widely-held mindset and value system that you sense in the air, that you feel when you walk into your place of work or neighborhood bar or the grocery store on a Tuesday night} a positive force that you could grow to love and will accumulate value and ultimately, happiness, for you and those you will encounter if you pursue it…. That is to say that you decide that you want more of what you realize you love. I’ll let you come up with what love means to you… I shouldn’t have assumed you couldn’t think of examples yourself.

So when someone says to you when you’re venting and feel chaos inside of yourself because life just isn’t really what you feel like it should be, “Happiness comes from within!” {and people have said this to me in just this sort of situation before}, I say to you: Don’t be so hard on yourself. For me, when I’m hard on myself I think about how I must be doing something wrong, that all these people who are so happy (or at least appear to be because I see them laughing and having what looks like fun all the time with the people they call their friends) have the answers. From time to time there are keys passed out to people, keys that unlock this door into a magical land of eternal, loud and proud, in-your-face-everywhere-you-go-because-you-can’t-help-but-rub-that-shit-in-people’s-faces happiness and somehow, SOME WAY you just keep missing those days… were you home in bed with the flu or what?

That’s totally how I’ve felt. Like I’m just supposed to get over everything and everyone that makes me unhappy and retrieve from the depths of myself this full and thorough happiness that is totally there but just hidden deep within me somewhere and I need to recognize its existence AND THEN I need to come up with even more of it and pull it all out so that it brims over my soul and I project it everywhere I go and to whom all I meet and I can then apply it to my current existence and everything will totally be great instead of like I’m always searching for something.

There were no magic keys passed out… I promise. Instead, this is the case:

We cultivate happiness. We grow it from the ground up. Sometimes people start a little higher than ground level because they’re given certain privileges in life so they have the means to seek what they love more swiftly and in larger quantities, or what it is that sustains them (because after all, many will never know what it is they truly love, either because they don’t ever experience it or because they don’t see the necessity or have the drive to pursue it once they find it. It’s fleeting, feels good, but is viewed as just “that one incredible, mind-shifting, life-altering weekend I experienced X, Y and Z”.) {I still struggle with comparing my everyday to a certain weekend I would describe precisely as incredible, mind-shifting, and life-altering: When things aren’t somewhat on par with that relative moment in time in some way; when I don’t form a connection with myself or with any other humans in the way that I did during said weekend. But it gives me strength to know that I recognize the coveting within myself for experiences on the same scale. That I can pursue it because I know what it is, what the word “love” means [to me, anyway… and what I know quietly and softly, deep in my soul is its meaning for so many of the people who were there with me that particular weekend]… I know what it looks like, what it smells like, how it feels on my skin, sounds in my mind, floats in the sky, and the way it dances around me. My existence is currently spent deciding if I will or won’t take to my pursuit each coming day… because being let down usually sets me back a few paces. [This is also what I would like to gain along my path: renewed energy after each let down. An unending replenishment of hope that transforms me to action.]} We cultivate happiness within ourselves based on components outside of our bodies. We take them in and keep them close for a while, sometimes even bringing them inside, to see if they like it here and we like them here and then we choose to let these components go [or maybe just one component if we’re lucky (and I mean lucky in a relative sense here, of course) and chose well for ourselves; letting go of one component isn’t nearly as hard as letting go of a multitude of components] or… we work towards keeping a particular component, or grouping of components, safe and happy and right there inside. Right here.

{I’ve also played with the beautiful and wonderfully intriguing belief that for the beginning portion of our lives (and the length of this time segment depends entirely on the individual), we are each living out the energies of our past lives. We are reaching the point of adopting and encompassing and exuding the energy that fits us best for this lifetime, and as those past energies were already developed and put into the universe in our former lives, it is inevitable (if growth continues) that we will reach a point where said past energies have run their cycles in this current life and it is time for one’s newest and true-for-your-current-life energy to emerge… and this is who we become. [This is, of course, centered on the belief of one’s soul spanning all of human existence and manifesting itself within a body many, many times.]}

If there is a component (or group of components) in your life that you find alter(s) your state of discontent to the level of almost entirely [or shit, let’s say totally entirely] dousing it out altogether and you find that with this particular component (be it environment or human being or other outside factor) you can and are able to continuing forming and developing a connection (such as the types of connections I listed early on)… and you do so… you are undoubtedly moving closer and closer to an ultimate state of being [and encountering new states of being with each step closer to it] in which you can know love (the kind I described above, or whatever your soul recognizes as true.)

I believe that it is only in this ultimate state of being that you are completely free… that your soul is free to fully expand and flow within you and pour over you and anyone else encountering your path and become what it can truly be (there is no threshold of course, and any sort of number of factors can result in your soul’s tumbling and somersaulting and maybe even growing then shrinking in time to come.) This is when you know love. {If you subscribe to the belief of the existence of past lives, this is the state in which your soul finally becomes what it will after living out all of its past energies… because it has found and recognized the energy that allows it to love [see above paragraph.]}

To expand some more… I believe that it is only at this point that you will recognize others who share the same love in their souls, and your soul is open to finding a counterpart. When it is open to love because it knows it, your soul recognizes the energies within other humans [held within the lower mental auric body, if you subscribe to a belief that encompasses auras.] When two souls connect [the higher mental auric body with another], sometimes your nervous system sends a chill through the body… just in case you weren’t already entirely sure that you were interacting with a soulmate. This merging of the mind, body, and soul in a physiological reaction is real and tangible. I’ve felt it.  {And my interpretation of the aura is that when your higher mental auric body connects with another’s and you both become aware of this, your Spiritual (intuitive) bodies have met.} Soulmates happen to be incredibly helpful in aiding the growth of your ability to allow yourself to continue to exist at this highest state of being. {I would say my true happiness [which comes to me when I feel truly fulfilled in all the aspects of my life that are important to me] is often dependent on the soulmates in my life and the knowledge that I will continue to meet more of them as I continue on my path. That is, the path that the universe sent (and continues to send) signs to aid me in finding. I continue everyday to look for those signs and when I see them, to recognize and follow them. [See The Five Steps but, you’ve been warned: I might have been a different person when I wrote it. Though I still greatly value its lesson and work to internalized its message and manifest it into practice daily.]}

At some point, another’s shared beliefs and values and the presence of compatibility between respective outside factors [the ones that each person holds important and necessary for their continued happiness: i.e. the geographic location where each want to live is one and the same, or that way that each person appears and presents themselves physically is pleasing and settling to the other] matches up and you find a partner. A partner is not someone you have “settled for” or have tried to change to make into a replica of what you experience desire for instead. Your pace of growth through phases of life is similar… maybe sometimes one slightly ahead of the other, but generally evening out before the passing of much time. You look outwards in the same direction while walking towards whatever it is that will exist there hand-in-hand.

I think some people settle for partners because they fear that if they were to leave their partners, they might never meet another who “matches” that next level of being that he or she KNOWS he’s/she’s capable of climbing to. This is where the comfort zone exists. Comfort zones encompass and are often invisible. There are many, many humans who exist on this planet unaware that they’re balls deep in a comfort zone. Or they choose to not think about it, so as not to make it an issue… because addressing an issue takes some heart. Before you address something that’s possibly an issue you better be aware that you might find the solution to this issue and if you’re unwilling to make the necessary changes to make this solution a reality for yourself then you might live in perpetual discontent for a period of time. Then, learning to not only exist but to function while experiencing discontent is apt to lead its human directly into a whole new kind of comfort zone. And this even more uncomfortable comfort zone is a bitch because when you’re here, you totally know it. Your comfort zone has become uncomfortable… making a little more confining then it was before. Maybe it’s a little harder to breathe sometimes. To belly laugh. You recognize where you are but for one reason or another (and you most likely know the reason), you’re denying to yourself the necessity to take action to change it… to alter your state of discomfort. To find what it is that will bring the discomfort to subside. Or, you’re unwilling to take the first step. Oftentimes, it’s not a step but a leap.

So, I get it.

I get that some people don’t want to take that leap.

But… I’m not content in a comfort zone.

I have been before. Content, that is. Lingering.

Waiting for the next thing because it will surely make me happier than I am now. Sometimes looking for it, but mostly just waiting.

You don’t find soulmates in the comfort zone… or, if you are lucky enough to find one, you won’t know it. Because you’re not open to that connection. Your soul isn’t open to it.

In the comfort zone, you don’t recognize that you require three hundred-plus days of sunny skies a year over your head to feel excited about spending time outdoors or that there is better music out there or that you might feel better about life if the person who laid his head on the pillow next to yours wasn’t a raging, narrow-minded Republican from Kansas City. Or, if you do recognize these things but don’t take the action to ensure their realization in life, you don’t reach that ultimate state of being. You don’t experience what could be.

Some people don’t need to, I guess.

But for me, I need to move forward. If I feel this discontent emerge (and I know what it feels like), I will continue to wander until I reach one of those life components that I can hang with for a while. And maybe develop. I’m learning each day the signs (individual to me) that let me know if I’ve fallen into a comfort zone… to recognize what’s happened and to take action (and, hopefully, with increasingly more and more aptitude and speed) and climb.

Up. Out of it. And in the direction the signs take me… closer and closer to where my soul feels free.

{blahblahblah} = My comments… comments on something I’ve just written, something I feel like prefacing, or something about which I want to offer my own personal perspective based on my experience. Sometimes I like to relate something to personal experience so that I might further consider it, reference back to it, and hopefully expand on at some point… and I suppose, also on the offhand chance that you might find these comments interesting and worthwhile.

(Expansion on a certain idea that is helpful to that idea’s conception and possibly also to its lesson. It’s helpful (and hopefully intuitive) to read content within parentheses… but you already knew that because who ignores statements within parentheses anyway?) = [Continuous Explanation]

[When I put things in brackets, I guess it’s not totally necessary to read what’s in them in order to fully understand a central theme, and often they’re just relative tidbits that I think might add to an idea, but I wouldn’t advise skipping them. You’ll still get the presiding message. But if you wanted to skip them, you totally could. But you shouldn’t… just trust me on this one. I promise I will use all the positive energy available to me at the time of writing to not let you down if you do. Like, for example, that little thing above was kind of funny, right? When I put “Continuous Explanation” in brackets, because you totally didn’t need the continuous explanation… but it was funny to read it and sort of witty?] = Extra stuff that isn’t necessarily personal to me. Read it or don’t… it don’t matta.

So I’m blog shopping and trying something new. Hubpages isn’t doing it for me. Here’s the link to some previous stuff, but I also like to think that my writing has evolved in its content and style since some of those earlier posts. Hopefully the progression isn’t glaringly obvious because that would be mean that as little as six months ago I was a totally different person that I am today.

Actually, that doesn’t sound so bad.