My Truth: How I Learned To Honor Myself

So it’s 10:30pm and I’ve figured out that this might be the time I have to write posts for the time being. AFTER the baby goes to bed. Hopefully I can get back to writing more frequently.  I don’t like waiting so long before talking to you.

So this last month has been extraordinary for me in so many ways. It all started with my classes last month. It was a very powerful weekend for many people and things have just been shifting a lot for me and others. Everything that weekend flowed together so perfectly. My whole path started to make sense and things just really hit home for me.  It started at the Friday night class on May 2nd.

We had to do a trio conversation in which we talked about what the hardest thing  has been for us during the program so far. I talked about how I have had a hard time “DOING” the work. Implementing the practices. Practicing the skills. Really learning how to walk that talk. I mean this is one of the main reasons I decided to go to USM. To have the experiential practice that would catapult me forward on this path I have been on during the last 6 years. And here I was learning all of this amazing stuff, and I would come home on a peace high for a few days but then I would dump my folders and books to the side until it was time to prepare for school again 3 weeks later. Not really staying mindful daily about how to keep the work going.

Reading books and blogs and going to seminars had only worked so much for me. I have been able to develop a huge  passion for my spirituality and purpose but really felt lack in the “DOING” area. Sometimes I would feel really motivated and empowered to stand in my integrity but most of the time, I can admit, I was just intellectualizing it all and not really connecting on an emotional level for myself. Helping others was great but doing the work myself was a lot more challenging. Going through months and months of class and witnessing people’s lives changing right in front of me was starting to make me jealous. Started making me wonder if I was ever going to change or keep wasting time by not “DOING” the work.

In one of the next trios I had acknowledge myself. I acknowledged myself for sitting in the chair. For being in that classroom. Sometimes I would be in class and it would just hit me that “I’M HERE”. I’m doing it. I had heard of USM three separate times before I decided to check it out. When I looked it up online it was in perfect timing because there was an intro meeting THAT week. I thought of a couple of excuses of why I wouldn’t be able to go but I felt the fear and went anyways. I immediately felt the connection and knew this was the place for me because it was exactly everything that I am passionate about. It was the opportunity to really get pushed into DOING. And get my Masters in the process. What a bonus!

I then made a million excuses for why I might not be able to go. I found out I was pregnant. I wasn’t sure how I was going to afford it. Plus a million others. BUT I went through with it. I felt the fear and I did it anyways. I had to really acknowledge myself for that. Usually fear makes me turn the other way but this time I dove straight in and it all has worked out perfectly.

After 5 years of wanting to go back to school, here I was. And not just any school. School how I always imagined it would be. I love this school so much that I was in class the weekend of my due date. I was having contractions in class and STILL participating in trios (until of course they got too painful and I had to leave to give birth). THAT’S how dedicated I am to becoming a better version of myself to serve the world.  I almost took that weekend off until I realized there was no place else I would rather be. What beauty to have the loving energy of my classroom surrounding my child right before his debut into the world.

During the Sunday class is when everything just hit home. There was a surprise waiting for us as we entered. I can’t spoil it for when anyone reading this decides they want to attend USM in the future (which I promise it’s the BEST thing you can ever do for yourself). But what I will say is that this SURPRISE was absolutely amazing and so so powerful. I was moved to tears and it really just hit home that I AM HERE! I am right where I need to be. It hit me that Year 1 is only the beginning.

Year 1 is the preparation for the best yet to come. Year 1 is where my hands are supposed to get dirty. Where I am supposed to go through a ton of emotions. Get mad at myself. Get mad at my process. Get mad at my ego. Get mad at my job and my friends and my family. I dont doubt this will continue to happen, probably more intensified, in Year 2 but its so I could learn how to love and appreciate it all. The process is the beauty of it all. I was realizing that Year 2 was where it was really going to begin and I was perfectly in a space of being able to trust my process and timing.

loving-eyes (1)

After our surprise the next trio we had to express gratitude to those who have helped us on our path. The first person that came to mind was my boyfriend. If you personally know me and are really close to me, then you know that I have on and off again issues with my boyfriend. If you are in my class at USM and have done a trio with me, you know that I have on and off again issues with my boyfriend. I am not going to cookie cut it for the sake of looking good, we have had issues for a really long time and so many times I have wanted to call  it quits or have tried to only get back together again and repeat the process over again.

I will admit, my relationship is also another reason I am at USM. As I said, I want to become a better person to better serve the world and in that includes being able to better serve ALL my relationships, the one with my boyfriend being most important. I also knew though that learning everything I am learning, and by really stepping into my true authentic self, I was also risking the relationship. I was risking the possibility that we wouldn’t make it through. I was risking the possibility that I could lose him. And as I write this, maybe that’s been the hard part about the DOING. I had been afraid of losing what I was used to. I had been afraid of being uncomfortable. But trust me, If you really want to step into your true authentic self, you can NOT be afraid of losing anything. What you have to gain is so much more powerful.

Looking at my relationship though from a place of gratitude, especially having gone through the feelings I was going through from the weekend, gave me a VERY different perspective of my path. I won’t go into the connections I saw in past relationships but what I will say is that over the years, most intensly in the last two, I have had a VERY strong calling to honor my Self (Self with a capital S meaning my Soul)  and step into my truth. Two of the qualities I am working on are Vulnerability and Authentic Expression. I had a hard time being vulnerable, especially with my boyfriend, and a hard time authentically expressing myself because of the fear of getting into an argument (which happened a lot with us).

I have done multiple meditations and insights that always have led me to the same answer of “BE VULNERABLE, SPEAK YOUR TRUTH. TELL HIM HOW YOU REALLY FEEL. CHOOSE LOVE”. I have had ample opportunity to do so and almost always I chose to ignore. Let me tell you, you can only ignore the whispers for so long before it becomes a yell. Over the last two years that is what happened. HONOR YOUR SELF. HONOR YOUR TRUTH. HONOR YOUR VULNERABILITY. HONOR YOUR AUTHENTIC EXPRESSION. CHOOSE LOVE. I’ve heard it over and over and over.

The first time I remember hearing this whisper was during my last long-term relationship ten years ago. I had been unhappy for a long time but instead of honoring my feelings and expressing myself, I waited for things to get bad so I could just leave without feeling guilty. And  it worked. I have tried to do that in this relationship a bunch of times but the beauty in this situation is that we have kids together. The Universe wasn’t giving me the easy way out this time. THIS is the time the lesson is going to be learned. I would want to leave but every time I couldn’t leave because I KNEW I hadn’t expressed myself. I knew I hadn’t been DOING the work. I knew that there was a possibility that things could be different if I would just HONOR MY SELF. But I also knew there was also a possibility of loss.

Thinking about this in my trio, about this guidance being yelled at me over and over for the last two years, I realized that if it were not for my boyfriend and how he is, or how I perceive him to be I should say, If it weren’t for how we act and react with each other, I wouldn’t be in a place to where I am being called to honor my Self. I wouldn’t be in a place of opportunity to step into my true Self. To step into my vulnerability. To step into my Authentic Expression. To step into the LOVE that resides in me. Its because of that, that he is perfect for me.

I would get mad at myself a lot for how I would respond and react in certain situations. I wanted so badly to change but had felt like there were no results. If it weren’t for my boyfriend, and all the boyfriends before him, ALL the relationships in my life, and how I perceive it all to be, the issues that come up for me, how I respond and react I wouldn’t be called to change. I wouldn’t be called to really step into my full Self. So really, I thank everyone.

I was REALLY realizing that everything has happened the way it has because THAT is the way I would learn how to become the real me. Issues were mosy present in my boyfriend because he was the closest to me. He mirrored myself perfectly. We all learn in different ways and we attract to us the situations that aid in our learning of lessons and this was my way. So what had come from that realization was nothing but pure and honest gratitude. Gratitude for my boyfriend for being who he was and being with me the way I was. If it weren’t for our relationship, I could not say that I would be where I am right now and for that I am grateful.

Gratitude helped me shift my view. Everything came together in that moment. I realized that yes here I am at USM and I have this great opportunity to learn so much about myself and others, I need to DO USM. This is the chance I have longed for. Take advantage and DO the work. DO the skills. DO the practices. I outlined my ideal relationship and now it was time to DO the steps that would take me on my way. I felt more empowered then I had ever felt before to HONOR MY SELF.

That weekend my boyfriend and I had argued (such perfect setup by the Universe) and usually when we argue, it feels very vulnerable expressing myself to him, especially in any loving type of way. Until then, Vulnerability had not been my strong suit. That Sunday I got the urge to call him just to tell him I Love You. Sounds silly and maybe so simple for others, but to do that in the midst of an argument, especially when I was feeling defensive, was a very big deal. I felt the fear but I also saw the opportunity for me to step into that vulnerability and authentic expression. So I got out my phone called him and said “uhhh so ummmm i just called ummm because, umm i just wanted to tell you that I love you”. Of course he responded very lovingly and it was THAT phone call that changed our relationship.

We started talking about our argument, I listened with my heart instead of getting defensive. I HEARD him and I empathized with his feelings. This led us to stay in a very loving place when I came home which then led us to a very open and honest conversation about our relationship. Where it was and where we want it to be. It led for more opportunities for me to be vulnerable and express my truth and HONOR MY SELF.

My teacher has always said something along the likes of, “If your calling is to be courageous, you won’t wake up one day all of a sudden courageous. The Universe will provide you with opportunities in which you can choose to display courage.” This time instead of running away, I chose to step into it and the response was wonderful. I chose to be vulnerable. Let me just say we have just made it a whole month without fighting. If you really know us, you know that’s a miracle. There have been little spats here and there but nothing like they once were. And when there have been little spats, we have been really quick to enter our loving and dissolve them. I have to continue to chose vulnerability and authentic expression. Most importantly I am aware of my self judgements and compassionately forgiving myself for them. Now instead of asking myself “Why am I still in this relationship?” every time I feel uncomfortable, I now ask myself “What opportunity is my soul presenting to me?” and let me tell you, it makes the world of difference.

You see, it all started with GRATITUDE! If it weren’t for EVERY SINGLE THING that has happened in your life, you would not be the YOU that you are today. And YOU are a wonderful, powerful, being of love. GIVE THANKS to all that has presented itself in your path. You can have the life of your dreams, give thanks and DO the work.

I want to hear from you. What is something you want to DO that has challenged you? What quality would it take for you to step into your greatness? How has the universe given you the opportunity to step into that quality? How can you acknowledge yourself RIGHT NOW? Who can you give thanks to in aiding you on your path?

Leave me your comments in the section below.

You are loved.

xoxo,

barista

 

 

 

Tracking Social Media

So I’m realizing how NOT easy it is to keep up with my blog after having a baby. I pictured myself having this time while the baby sleeps to keep updated and work on my blog, change layout, create awesome posts, but….NO. It hasn’t exactly been working like that. I obviously have forgotten what it’s like to have a small baby.

Ya know the saying is, “Sleep when they sleep”. Ya right! When he sleeps I have to decide if I’m going to shower, make something to eat, clean up, do a load of laundry, read my books for homework, do homework assignments, or brush my teeth. Oh yea, and most times I only have 30 minutes to do whichever task(s) I pick because this baby likes to cat nap yay! The last few days I have fallen asleep too though. Not by choice of course. My lack of sleep is just catching up with me. When I’m only getting 2 maybe 3 hour increments of sleep at a time, some days my eyes are so heavy I can’t help but to doze along with my little man. I’ll take it when I can I guess.

But I haven’t forgotten you, and I haven’t forgotten wanting to lessen my time using social media and my cellphone in general. I have not been able to track my usage the way I wanted to because it’s a little too tedious for my current situation but what I do know is that I use Social Media and my phone in general A LOT! There is a fine line sometimes between using the phone for something productive and using it to waste time. I tend to get ADD when I use my phone. It may start by checking an email and then 15 minutes later I’ve checked Facebook 3 times, posted a picture to Instagram, read two blog articles people posted, and three YouTube videos. I am constantly checking my Facebook and Instagram. And I mean constantly. And to notice the things going through my brain as I do it has been pretty interesting. The urges alone, when I am aware, can be very strong and sometimes when I know I should just put my phone down, I just HAVE to check my profiles. It’s hard to stay focused on just being useful.

hp_CountingTime1SDA

What I originally wanted to do was track just how many times I open each application and as a small step I was going to lessen that number each few days or so until I eventually am checking them less and less. But to do it that way I need to know exactly how often I am checking. That means counting each time, and in reality, I check so much that I don’t have time to count. I am actually looking to see if I can find an application that tracks my usage for me. If you know of any, please let me know. It’d help me.

For now, I am going to continue to notice what things run through my head when I am using these various applications. I am going to be aware of my use when I am with my family or friends, my use in public places, and my use when it has nothing to do with anything but wasting time. Then maybe instead of cutting down number of times a day I am using, as a small step, I can even cut out specific time frame in which I do not use. (it sounds like I’m talking about drugs, I know, but seriously it almost kind of feels like that… I admit, it’s pretty sad). I’m not going to judge myself though. Change becomes a lot easier when we are compassionate with ourselves.

If anyone has any other ideas let me know to help me with this process, I would love to hear any suggestions.

How often do you use Social Media? Your cellphone? For what purposes? Leave a comment below.

As much as I want to check in with you in a few days, I’m not sure when I’ll be back… but IWILL try my hardest to check back in, in a few days. Just know I’m always thinking of you so come back often for updates.

xoxo,

barista

My Truth: Finding Freedom

ok ok here goes… I know I was bordering avoidance. I know I teased you guys a few posts ago about doing something that took a lot of strength. The strength was this… I had to tell the truth! Seems so simple right, but expressing truth is one of the hardest things for people to do. To fully own themselves, good and bad.

“If you are in any way keeping a secret, or if you are in any way pretending to be something that you are not, you will never ever become all that you were meant to be. It just cannot happen.”  -Oprah

A while ago, I had discovered the one most powerful thing I wanted was to have as much freedom as I could get. Freedom from this man made prison built within my own mind. Well Freedom = Truth. So to grasp freedom, one has to learn how to grasp truth. Based on how much our ego runs the show, it’s hard for many of us to even recognize what our real truth is. We have who we are, and who our ego wants us to be. Ego likes to think we are all seperate, therefore it is CONSTANTLY comparing us to others as better or worse. In reality, to our soul, we are all the same. Learning to recognize this one concept will help you discover what your truth is. One of my goals with this blog is to question and test my beliefs and be able to share what I experience by doing so. All those great quotes and articles we read and share …yes they make sense, they sound right, but how often do we test them to see how they relate to us.

When you express your truth, you know that those attracted to your life are there because they accept you for who you are. What I consider to be the highest form of relationships, is that built off of truth. I’m sure in your head you are saying, “of course Barista… we all want relationships based this” or maybe you’re even saying, “I don’t know about you, but I already have relationships based on truth”. My response to you is “Yes you say that, but do you really?”

Try to think about all the restrictions you have in your life put on by you or others. Is it possible to have freedom with restrictions? And I’m not talking about restrictions like rules and laws you have to follow in society, but restrictions placed on your need of expression. To express how you feel, what you want, who you are. What are some reasons people are afraid to express themselves? Fear of hurting someone, fear of losing someone, fear of not being accepted… common theme is FEAR. This fear makes us hide what we think…what we feel…who we are. When we are hiding even a piece of who we are, we are then pretending to be something we are not. When you are pretending to be something you are not, then how can you ever be who you are suppose to be. Like Oprah said, it’s IMPOSSIBLE!   

 Back in March I had read Oprah’s quote above, and it resonated with me instantly. But still I was convinced that I could get over telling the truth by just becoming a better person and moving forward. If I was going to be a better person then what good was the truth to know. See that’s the thing. There is no change without truth. There were plenty of lessons being taught in this one experience and that was one of them I was ignoring. What happens when we don’t learn the lesson? It keeps coming back in different form until we decide to get to finally get it. I couldn’t just stop and be a better person if I couldnt be truthful. So guess what? All the times I thought I could just stop and move forward, I couldn’t…because people don’t make change by avoiding the truth, they change by confronting the truth.

I recently had to reveal myself to a friend which meant not only did I have to tell the truth, but I had to be vulnerable. Vulnerability = Truth. My truth was that I was going through some pain and insecurities and to mask that I was “acting out” in ways to prove my insecurities and pain right. I knew this acting out wasn’t who I was and I felt shame for it so I then was hiding how I was acting out. I felt restricted from being able to express my insecurities and what I was going through out of  fear of not being understood. But do you see how I created this prison for myself. I didn’t KNOW if I was going to be accepted or not. I just feared it. And through this fear I created shame. And through this shame I was punishing myself for something that wasn’t even true.  When you act out in order to mask your true self, it’s usually a temporary feel good but in the long term you end up feeling bad. When you feel bad, all that means is that you aren’t aligned with whats in your heart. I didn’t like the person I was “acting out” as so I became dedicated to figuring out how to heal the real fear and pains. How on earth do I EVER expect to build relationships and expect people to accept my truth and share with me theirs if I wasn’t accepting it myself?

Every time you lie, big or small, you are hiding a piece of who you are and how you feel. By telling the truth I understood were ways my friend could react to it. Was I afraid? Of course I was. I was so afraid that just thinking about telling the truth made my heart beat fast, my palms get sweaty and I practically had an anxiety attack. That’s how I knew I had to do it…because I was uncomfortable. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is the best way to learn though and if I wanted to learn truth I had to live truth.  If I wanted someone to accept me for who I was, I had to reveal who I was. I learned who I AM was not who I was being. Suddenly hiding and lying was no longer an option. Instead of it coming down to, is this person going to accept me or not, it came down to do I accept myself? As long as I accept myself then those that dont accept me dont deserve to be in my life in the first place. There was a sense of peace in accepting my truth and placing that first. How did I know if this other person was or wasnt going to accept who I was if I didn’t just admit who I was. So there I was, on the edge of the cliff…. I could stand there staring down scared of what would happen or I could jump into the arms of freedom. You can’t learn to fly if you don’t jump first.

So I did it. I jumped. I told the truth. At that moment I was jumping into my freedom and into my expression and into being myself.

I knew in that moment of truth that I was owning who I had been and what I did.  Did that make the lying and hiding ok? Absolutely not but I was taking responsibility for whatever the outcome. These lies and hiding had nothing to do with any other people and ALL to do with ME. I know the lies and hiding and my “acting out” wasn’t who I was destined to be. I had to deal with accepting what I was going through and confronting the truth.  These lies weren’t something to be proud of and was hurtful towards another person but when I revealed them I immediately felt free. Not because I didn’t care about the other persons feelings, but because in that moment I was speaking my truth and the truth will set you free. Guess what? They accepted me! So all those fears weren’t even true in the first place. Imagine that 😉

My challenge to you is to figuring out what you are hiding.  What piece of yourself are you keeping locked up?  How are you restricted? What are your fears about expressing your truth?  How can you test those fears unless you be yourself and see what happens? When you lie, notice what you are avoiding? Every time you feel fear its your soul begging for truth. I dare you to jump and experience how it feels to fly!!! We all make mistakes, its the only way to learn. You owe it to yourself to love all of you, mistakes and all. You are owe yourself the truth. You owe yourself freedom. You owe it yourself to be all you are meant to be. When love your truth, someone else will too!

xoxo,