Mental Health Issue or Illness?

About 3 years ago, I was renting a townhouse in my hometown.  It was 5 separate townhomes connected together.  My home was in the middle.

About a week after moving in, I was sitting in the living room watching television.  All of a sudden, it sounded like someone kicked the front door.  About 5 minutes before I had taken the trash out.  I looked out the front door and I didn’t see anyone.  I went outside and didn’t see anyone on the street.  I was scared.  I called my dad and he told me to call the police.  So I did.

My parents arrived before the police officer.  When the police officer arrived, he told me some very important information.  I didn’t know who had kicked the door.  The police officer told me about what had happened with the previous renters.  The previous renters had had some problems with the neighbor that lived next to them.  The neighbor was hearing loud music and accusing the other neighbors of doing it.  The police officer told me that this neighbor had been caught throwing rocks at the house at night and yelling for the previous renters to turn down the music.  The previous renters had been asleep at the time that the neighbor started throwing the rocks .

At that point, I had already signed a year long lease and so I just had to hope that that situation wouldn’t happen to me.

The next week, I had gotten home from work at 10:00pm.  I lived an hour away from my job, so I would leave the house at 5:30 am and usually get back home around 9:30pm.  When I got into the house, I was sitting my things down and then my door bell rings.  I go to the front door and its the neighbor that had thrown the rocks at the house with the previous renters.  The neighbor asks me if I had been playing loud music all day.  I told the neighbor no and that I had just gotten home from work.  The neighbor asked me if I had an alarm clock that had been left on.  I told him no.  I used my phone as my alarm clock and I took my phone with me to work.  The neighbor then went to the other town house on the other side and asked them if they had been playing loud music.

The next week, I met some of the other neighbors.  I asked them if they had heard any loud music.  None of the other neighbors had heard any loud music.  One of the neighbors told me about the problems that they had had with the neighbor about loud music.  That neighbor said that they had not been playing any loud music or heard any loud music.

Over the next 2 years, I had a lot of problems with that particular neighbor.  I was woken up at night by loud banging on the wall that connected our town house together.  One night I heard the neighbor yelling to turn down the music from outside.  I couldn’t see the neighbor when I looked outside.  I was woken up one day by loud classical music.

Looking back on the situation, I was meant to be in that town house.  I was actually looking to rent the house to the right of my town house.  I put in my application for that town house and some how my check got lost and returned to me.  When I called the realtor, she stated that since she hadn’t received my check that she had rented the town home to another renter.  The next week, I found out the town house right next to it was up for rent.

Also looking back on that situation, I feel like the neighbor might have had a mental issue or illness.  No one else was hearing loud music.

I now have sympathy for that neighbor.  While going through the situation, I was scared.  I was scared that that neighbor would snap and lose it one day.  Since the neighbor thought that I was the one playing the loud music, I was scared that the neighbor would eventually hurt me.

How scary would it be to be hearing loud music that no one else is hearing?

How scary would it be to admit to yourself that you may have a mental issue or illness?

It was probably easier for that neighbor to blame the other neighbors than to admit that something else was going on.  I know that it would be easier for me to blame the other neighbors.

I don’t know if I would have the courage to admit that I was hearing loud music that no one else was hearing.  I would be afraid to take the medication.  I would be scared of the side effects of the medication.  I would be scared that the medication might not work.  I would be scared of having to tell people about my mental illness.  I would be scared of the changes that the mental illness would bring to my life.

Thankfully mental illness can be managed well with help.

There does need to be more mental health hospitals in the country.

When I wanted help for my eating disorder, I wanted to find a therapist that specialized in eating disorders.  At the time, I wasn’t able to find one in the Atlanta area.  I found group meetings for eating disorders but I wanted one on one help.

People who get help for their mental issues or illnesses are courageous.  It takes guts to admit that there is a problem.

I do hope that the people who bought the house after I moved out aren’t having any issues like I had.  I wanted to tell them about the neighbor but the landlord really wanted to sell the house.  So I kept my mouth shut.  I did tell myself if they asked me then I would tell but they never asked.

Its ok to ask for help

Recently some of my Facebook friends posted that no one should be posting their personal problems on Facebook.

To some extent I agree but if a person needs help and that person has no one to turn to, I would like them to post on Facebook.  I don’t want to hear about someone being horny or their sex life.  I almost deleted a family member from Facebook because of that issue.

Most people only post the good things that happen in their lives.  Most people don’t post that they didn’t get the job because of them being late or having a bad attitude.  Most people don’t want to post that they got fired because they weren’t doing the job or they were being lazy.

One of the reasons that I write this blog is to show people that you can overcome your problems and that everyone has problems.

When I was going through my eating disorder, I felt alone.  Yes I had family and friends that I could have talked to but I felt ashamed or that I might be judged by them.  I knew that there were other people that were going through an eating disorder.  I felt that because I was a nurse that I should know better.  Now I love to see and read blogs about people with eating disorders and how they got help with them.

I wish that more people would share their problems so that every one would know that their problems are not unique and that they can get through their own problems.

There was one time that I was glad that a Facebook friend shared their problem.  This friend’s posts were becoming suicidal.  One day this friend posted a date and a time that they were going to kill themselves.  I didn’t know where this friend lived and there were other people on Facebook that were concerned as well.  Finally another of my Facebook friends messaged me and told me that she had sent the police to this friend’s house.  Thankfully that friend didn’t commit suicide because they had posted it on Facebook.

In my opinion it is ok to post the hard times that you are going through.  Maybe one of your friends can help you or maybe they can refer you to some one that can help you.  Maybe one of your family or friends has been through the same problem that you are going through and can tell you how they handled the problem.

I’m glad that I reached out and asked for help for my eating disorder.  If I had not of asked for help, then I would not be where I am at in my life today.  I would not be happy.  I would still be waiting on my husband to make me happy.  I would not have the energy to have a blog, be a travel nurse, and be in school to be a life coach.  I would not love to exercise.  I would not have fallen in love with myself.

On Facebook, I see a lot of people saying that you should keep your next moves silent so that no one will know what you are up to.

I don’t believe that.

One of my best friends told me that when you are ready the teacher will come.  When I was ready to do something about my eating disorder, I sought out a life coach.  I told her my dreams and she is helping me to get to them.

Recently my cousin called me and told me one her of dreams and what she was trying to do.  She asked me some questions because I’m a nurse.  I answered her questions and helped her.  Hopefully she will get the business up and running.  I’m proud that I was able to help her and that she thought of me.

Its ok to tell people what you’re trying to do and to ask for help.  For example, I was talking to another nurse and I told her that I’m in school to be a life coach.  She said she didn’t know what a life coach was and I explained it to her.  I even gave her my life coach’s website.  In the future, she could be a client for my life coach or myself.  I know that if I don’t let anybody know about my business then I won’t get any clients.  My ideal clients are going to be nurses.  So I need to talk to other nurses about my business.

I guess some people are afraid that if they tell any body about their dreams then that person may steal their ideas.  I believe that there is enough room in the world for many ideas and many businesses.

Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, it means that you are strong enough to recognize that you need help.

When my friend posted that Facebook message about harming himself, he was being strong enough to ask for help.  When my cousin called me, she was being strong enough to ask for help.  To turn some of my dreams into reality, I needed some help.

Sometimes it takes some help for your dreams to come true.

In high school, I wasn’t doing so good in math in my senior year.  Math was my favorite subject.  I usually did good in that subject.  I was just telling myself that I would just study harder and do better.  The teacher was concerned because I was doing bad.  She wanted me to get a tutor but I was against the idea.  Getting a tutor felt like failure to me.  I wanted to be able to do it myself.  When I wasn’t able to leave early after the senior picnic because of my math grade, my parents told me to get a tutor.  I ended up getting a tutor and passing math.  Looking back at the situation now, I just wonder why I was so against getting a tutor.  I guess I just wanted to be able to say that I got a good grade on my own, with no help.  I didn’t want some people to know that I needed a tutor or that I needed help.

I don’t know if I would have passed the class if I had not gotten a tutor.  For some reason, I was just not getting trigonometry as easily as all the other math classes that I had taken.

Its ok to ask for help.

 

Trying to listen to my intuition

Recently I didn’t listen to my intuition and got myself into a situation.

A couple of months ago, I was looking for my next travel nurse assignment.  I remember telling my recruiter that I was done with Georgia and Florida and that I wanted to go somewhere new.  She sent me some Texas jobs.  None of the jobs were in Houston.  I asked her if there were any jobs in Houston.  She called the hospital and she told me that there were no jobs in Houston.  She did say that it was odd because there were usually at least one job in Houston.  So I told her to look in Nevada.  If there had of been a job in Houston, then I would have been there when hurricane Harvey hit.  I just wasn’t meant to be there.

I found a job in Reno, Nevada that looked nice.  My recruiter submitted me and then the waiting began.  She had told me it took the hospital 5 weeks to call the last nurse that was sent there.  A month passed and still no word from the hospital.  I started to get anxious.  My money was getting low.

I told my recruiter to start sending me jobs from Georgia and Florida.  Something in my spirit told me to wait.

During this process, I was talking to another travel agency.  I’ve been a travel nurse for 2 years and this new agency was teaching me a lot of things about the travel nurse business.  In travel nursing, there are job tier levels.

A tier 1 job is a job that the travel agency has a direct phone number to the hiring manager.  When the travel agency sends the nurse’s resume, the agency can call the manager and ask when the manager is planning to call.  My new agency told me that the nurse is more likely to get a tier 1 job because the travel agency can speak to a live person.

A tier 2 job is a job that the travel agency has an email address of the hiring manager.  The travel agency doesn’t have a phone number.  Again, the travel nurse is more likely to get this job than a tier 3 job because the travel nurse agency has a contact source to the hiring manager.

A tier 3 job is a job where the travel nurse agency doesn’t have contact with the hiring manager.  The travel nurse agency just sends the nurse’s resume.  The travel nurse agency doesn’t know when the job will call or when the hiring manager will look at the nurse’s resume.  It could take months before the travel nurse gets a call from the hospital.  To get a tier 3 job, the travel nurse must be willing to wait.

Last month, I wasn’t willing to wait anymore.  My intuition was telling me to wait but my bank account was telling me another story.  I was submitted to the job in the middle of July and by the middle of August, the hospital still hadn’t called.

I had already found a great apartment in Reno.  I had mapped all the hiking trails that I was going to go on.  The apartment was overlooking the river.  I was going to try stand up paddle boarding.  The park nearby had kayak lessons. I was going to visit the Indian reservations.  I was going to go to the Grand Canyon.  I was so excited to be going somewhere new.   California was right next to Nevada and I was going to visit it on my days off.  The job in Reno was a tier 3 job.

I eventually went with a job in my home state of Georgia.  A part of me was excited because I would finally have some money coming in.  There was also another side of me that told me that I should have waited on the job that I really wanted.

One of the reasons that I became a travel nurse was to go to new places and live.  I love to explore different places and getting to know new things about those places.

Just last week the hospital from Reno called.  I was sad because I already had a job.  When my assignment is over, there is no guarantee that the hospital in Reno will have any day positions open.  My intuition was telling me to wait but I needed some money, so I didn’t listen.

Now I’m driving 3 hours to work each week and staying at a hotel on the days that I work.  On my days off, I travel back to my hometown.  Its getting very tiring to do this.

I had to finally let go and tell myself that next time I will listen to my intuition.

 

The Cumulative Effect

I recently got asked a question that I don’t get asked a lot.  I was talking with another nurse about my weight loss.

She asked me, “Why did I gain the weight?”.

I told her that I was just making bad food choices.  I was eating fast food a lot.  I didn’t feel the need to tell her about the eating disorder.  That did play a big role in the weight gain.

When I got home, I really thought about her question.  It wasn’t just that I was making bad food choices.  It was the cumulative effect of bad food choices that I was making that led to me gaining weight.  It was the choice to eat doughnuts, lunchables, and fast food every day.  It was the choice not to exercise.  It was the choices that I was consistently making that were leading to my weight gain.

When I decided to work with a life coach and we modified my diet, I started to lose weight.

Why?

I was consistently making healthy food choices.

I had to understand that eating healthy for one meal a day wasn’t going to help me to lose weight.

It took me a while to get to that realization.

For the first few months of working with my life coach, I was still eating doughnuts.  I had given up the fast food but I couldn’t seem to let go of the doughnuts.

We did this exercise for a few weeks.  I was just to see how I felt after eating each meal.  I started to notice a pattern.  I noticed that after eating healthy, I had more energy and I felt great.  My mood was more positive.  After eating doughnuts, I felt tired and depressed.    My mood was negative.

I had never before realized how important my nutrition was to my overall health.  To reach my goals I needed to have the energy so that I could go after my dreams and goals. 

That realization led me to eventually give up eating doughnuts every day.

Now I don’t always make the best food choices.  Sometimes I do eat a piece of cake or a muffin.  I just don’t do it every day or for every meal like I used to do.

Understanding the impact of my food decisions, helps me to make better food choices on a day to day basis.  If I gain 5 pounds, then I know that I am not making good food choices consistently or I’m not exercising enough.

To maintain my weight, I have to consistently make good food choices and exercise.

Every decision that I make is shaping my whole life.

Taking care of myself by eating right and exercising my body,mentally and physically, is helping me to have the energy to sustain the life that I am living right now.

The Good and the Bad

I had a very interesting night a couple weeks ago.

I was with my friend and she introduced me to a short story called, “The Egg” by Andy Weir.  The message that I got from the story is that we are all one.  This is a quote from The Egg:

“But all the people on earth…All you. Different incarnations of you.”-Andy Weir.

This friend told me that I should support an organization because I’m black, I told her no.  The short story of The Egg, says exactly what I was trying to say.  Only supporting one group of people is like asking me to just support one side of my body.  She told me that I have to deal with the body that I’m in right now.  I don’t agree with that.

I am not my body.  I am a spiritual being. 

No one’s soul is black, white, asian, or Mexican.  God/Universe doesn’t just show love to a certain group of people that look alike.  My DNA says that my body is Nigerian, Mali, Cameroon, Native American, Irish, Scandinavian, Southeast Asian, and British.  If I just support one “race” then I’m not supporting all parts of this body that I’m in now.  I’m borrowing this body right now.  In a hundred years, I probably won’t be in this body anymore.

The beauty in that is that I get to choose what to do.  I don’t have to live my life according to what other people what me to do.  I get to live my life the way that I want to live it.

Every one has that choice. 

My friend asked me how I was changing the world.  I replied that I was changing myself.  For example, as a travel nurse I am spreading my positivity around where ever I go.  People are noticing that I can keep my smile during a stressful situation.  After going skydiving, one woman said that she was now inspired to go skydiving.  Some of the nurses are inspired to become a travel nurse because of all the adventures that I talk about.  I started the blog for myself and if it helps other people that is great.  That is just some of the ways that I’m changing the world.  Some things that I do, I don’t talk about because I do it from the heart and I don’t want everyone to know.

That’s why I say to change the world, you need to change yourself. 

Sending positive energy into the Universe always comes back to you.  If the people around you are angry, then you are putting out that vibe into the Universe.

When I was in the process of falling in love with myself, I learned that I have to love all of myself.  I can’t just pick and choose what part of myself I’m going to love.  I have to accept and love all of myself.  I dont just opt to love the “African” side or the “British” side of my body.  One friend of mine said that she didn’t want anyone to have to settle for loving the crazy parts of her because she was really crazy.  I wanted to tell her that she has to love all the parts of herself before you can ask anyone else to love all of you unless you are willing to love all of yourself.  I didn’t tell her that because she didn’t ask for my opinion.  She just wanted me to listen.  I used to be in relationships asking for my boyfriend to love me when I didn’t even love myself.  I had to learn to love myself, the good and the bad.

When we got back to my friend’s apartment, we sat outside by the pool and talked.  We talked about spirit animals and other things.  There were ants crawling on our picnic table.  I looked up the meaning of ants.  Ants are small but they are very strong.  “No matter how small your task, or your contribution, it is still essential.  All good things come with time and effort.” – Ant.

One man was listening to our conversation.  My friend and I ended up sitting at the picnic table that he was at and having a conversation with the man.  The message that I got from the conversation, is that when a person has peace on the inside they radiate that peace outwards to other people.  I know that to be true.  People are starting to notice the inner peace that I have cultivated.

I didn’t agree with everything that the man said but I listened to him.

It is possible to really listen to someone that you don’t agree with and be respectful.

What would the world be like if we actually listened to other people instead of just waiting for them to finish so that we could state our opinion? 

I do this sometimes too.  Just like I want to be heard so does the other person that I’m talking to.

The man also stated that I needed to look up the meaning of my name.  I need to know what I’m responding too.  A lot of people have asked me what my name means and I always respond that I don’t know.  When I got home, I looked up the meaning of my name.  My name means, God is gracious in Irish.  No wonder I think that God/Universe is gracious.  God/Universe has always taken care of me, even when I make a “mistake”.

The biggest lesson that I learned from that night was to radiate peace from within.  That is how I’m going to spread peace and love. That is also how peace and love are going to come back to me.  The energy that I put out into the universe is going to come back to me.  Whether it be good or bad energy.

I believe that that man was sent there to remind me of that.  If I had not listened to him, I may have missed that message from the Universe.

https://www.spirit-animals.com/ant-symbolism-ant-meaning/.

 

 

 

Change is Nature

I was recently watching one of my favorite movies and I gained a new perspective on it.  The movie was Ratatouille.

The movie is about a rat, Remy, that can cook.  Remy is tired of being the typical rat always stealing garbage.  He wants to make things instead and be a cook.  Remy’s father is content with the way things are.  In order to do what he loves, the rat needs a human to help him.  Linguine, a human, finds out that Remy can cook.  They come up with a plan to help each other.

At one point in the movie, Remy’s father takes him to an exterminator shop to show Remy dead rats.  Remy’s father tells him that this is what happens when rats get too close to humans.  Remy’s father tells him that we live in the enemy’s world and we look out for our own kind.  Remy’s father states that, “this is the way things are and we can’t change nature.”  Remy refuses to believe that.  Remy states that, “change is nature”.  He realizes in that moment that the future doesn’t have to be the present.  He can make a different future and he does.  At the end of the movie, Remy is cooking at a restaurant and Linguine is a waiter at that restaurant.

This has happened in real life too.

A pod of killer whales in Australia used to help whalers to catch baleen whales.  Every fall this pod would come to Eden, Australia.  The Thaua people of the Yuin nation had developed a relationship with the killer whales.  The killer whales would herd the whales into the bay.  One of the killer whales would alert the humans by either breaching or tail slapping until the humans showed up.  The killer whales would then lead them to the baleen whale.  After the whale was caught and killed, the humans would let the killer whales eat the lips and the tongue.  The humans would get the rest of the baleen whale.  They even put a law into placed called the Law of the Tongue.  The whalers had to let the killer whales eat the tongue and the lips.  The killer whales would protect the humans from sharks and help them from drowning when the boats were destroyed.  If a killer whale became trapped in the nets the humans would help the killer whale out of the nets.

If humans had only looked out for themselves then this relationship would not have worked or vice versa.  There are a lot more stories of killer whales helping humans to fish and the humans giving some fish to the killer whales for helping them.

So I posed a question to myself.

Why do some humans like to only be around people that look and think like them?  If humans and animals can learn to work together, then why can’t all humans learn to work together?

I thought about that question for a while.  I guess some people like to be around people that think like them and look like them because it makes them comfortable.  Those people won’t challenge their views on the world.  It helps keep them in their comfort zone.  I used to be like that.  I liked having all my friends look like me.  It was comfortable to me.  Now I’m happy that all my friends don’t look and think like me.

When I became a nurse, I had to work with a lot of different people.  I had to take care of patients that didn’t always look like me or think like me.  I’ve heard a lot of different view points.

The most important thing that I learned was just to listen to different view points.

I don’t have to agree with them but I can at least listen and have a discussion without getting into a heated argument.  That is just one of the reasons that I love being a nurse.  I get to talk to all types of people and learn new things from all of them.

 

 

 

 

Perspective

Perspective is how a person views the world.

For example, Oprah did a talk show about eye witness accounts.  While the audience was waiting outside, there was a fake crime that was staged.  A man stole a woman’s purse.  The audience was then asked to write down what they saw.  After that they were shown the video of the fake crime.  Some people had gotten the color of the man’s shirt wrong.  Some people had gotten the man’s height and age range wrong. At the time, that was their perspective of the situation.

Every one has their own unique perspective of the world, much like wearing glasses, it is the unique lens they see the world through. 

We could debate how someone’s perspective is right or wrong, but really the beauty in this is that a person can change their perspective when they want to.

It wasn’t always easy, but here are a few shifts in perspective that have changed for me:

I have a friend that wasn’t always able to go out when I asked her to.  At first it would make me sad when she said no.  Sometimes we would go months without seeing each other.  We texted each other but we didn’t talk on the phone.  It would hurt my feeling because when she said no, then I would think that she didn’t want to hang out with me.  She would say that she was tired or sick.  My first full time job was as a nurse.  I work 3 days a week.  I’ve never worked any job that required me to work 5 days a week for 8 hours each day.

Thinking about that helped me to change my perspective of the situation.  I feel tired after I work 3 days in a row.  The next day all I want to do is relax at home and not do anything.  I can only imagine how tired I would feel if I had to work 5 days a week with just 2 days off.  I was talking with my life coach and she told me a story about her friend.  I thought about what she said.  Now when my friend says no it doesn’t affect me like it used to.  When she does say yes to going out, I know that she really wants to be there.  She’s not tired or sick.  She is present in the moment.  I was able to change my perspective of the situation.

Want a shortcut to hearing people’s perspective?  Post something on social media or start a blog, haha. 

Another example, is recently someone told me since I said in my blog that I didn’t love myself a couple of years ago, then I didn’t have love as a child.  Perhaps for some people that might be true, but that person’s perspective didn’t apply to me.

I had a great childhood.  I had everything that I needed and most of the things that I wanted.  To be honest, I was spoiled and I loved it.  I was surrounded by love.  I had love from family, friends, and neighbors.

The struggle that I was having a few years ago, was that I was relying on my ability to be happy to come from things outside myself or out of my control.    I was telling myself that I will be happy when I get to a certain weight or my husband comes into my life or I will be happy when I get my nursing degree.

My happiness was fleeting because it was always conditional.

When I shifted my perspective, I realized that happiness is an inside job, as in I had to cultivate it within myself first, it brought me back into the driver’s seat of my life.  Rather than waiting to be happy later, I could be fulfilled and joyful now, and from there losing weight, loving myself, and feeling worthy of love came naturally.

Another example, is when I started my nursing career.  I thought that I was going to be a super nurse.  That was my perspective at the time.  All my patients were going to listen to what I had to say and they were going to change their lifestyle.  One diabetic patient told me that they weren’t going to give up fried foods.  That patient was getting worse each time that the patient came to the hospital.  I finally had to learn that I can’t change a person. Just because that patient wasn’t listening didn’t make me a bad nurse.  I had to change my perspective of the situation.  Now I know that I’m a great nurse.  Some patients change but its of their own accord.  When I overcame my eating disorder, it was because I wanted to change and not because someone else wanted me to change.

One of the reasons that I changed my perspective in the examples above, is because I was harming my self esteem with my original perspective.  That diabetic patient was getting worse, but it wasn’t because of them not listening or my teaching skills.  It was because the patient didn’t want to change and that was the patient’s choice.  My friend wanted to hang out with me but she was tired or sick.  I couldn’t let that person’s perspective on my childhood make me feel sad.  I know the truth.

What I learned was that we can change our perspectives when we want to.

 

Freaking Out and Doing it Anyway

I was recently asked how do I get the courage to do some of the things that I’ve done by myself.

I told one person that I had to go in baby steps.  I used to be scared to go anywhere on my own.  I started small by going to the movie theater by myself.  I went in the middle of the day when I knew there was not going to be a lot of people there.  Now I actually like going to the movie theater in the middle of the day by myself.  Its like I have the movie theater to myself.  That led to being a solo travel nurse.  I was freaking out inside before doing those things but I wanted to do them anyway.  I wanted to be a travel nurse ever since I wanted to be a nurse.  I love to travel.  If I was scared to do things on my own, how was I going to become a travel nurse.

Like my life coach told me, courage isn’t the absence of fear.  Courage is having fear but still doing what you want.

I had to learn to acknowledge the fear.  Before I did my very first open mic poetry reading, I was so nervous.  I had invited some friends.  I was contemplating on not showing up because I was so scared but I also wanted to do it.  So before I got on stage, I had a talk with my guardian angels and told them to help me.  The fear was still there but it had lessened.  After doing my performance, I felt great.  I had faced my fear of public speaking.

Before I went skydiving recently, I was so nervous.  I was actually looking to do indoor skydiving because I had seen one of my Facebook friends do it.  The skydiving place was just 15 minutes from where I was staying.  I just decided to do the real skydiving.  The night before I went, I couldn’t sleep.  I was scared and nervous.  I literally talked to my fear inside my head.  I asked what I was scared of and why did I feel that way.  After I did that my fear lessened.  I was able to go to sleep and rest.  The next day I went skydiving.  Before they let me go skydiving, they wanted me to watch a safety video.  My feared came back.  By that time, I had already paid so I was going to go.  There was no refund at that point.  I had another talk with my fear.  Stepping out of the plane at 13,000 feet was scary.  I didn’t want to back out.  So I closed my eyes and let the instructor lead me.  It lasted probably 10 minutes.  I realized that my fear of the event was gone.  I had a lot of fun flying through the air.

I haven’t regretted doing something that I wanted to do but was scared to do at first.  I now use that fear to my advantage.

I was freaking out inside but I did it anyways.

 

 

 

 

Finding the Beauty

I went hiking today and learned a lesson.

As I was walking up the mountain, a beautiful black and blue butterfly flew in front of me for a while.

I realized that I’m like that butterfly right now.  Life is dealing me some punches right now, leaving me black and blue, but still beautiful.  I’m still living and learning.

On the way to the mountain, it looked like it was going to start raining.  I still wanted to go.  I made it to the top of the mountain and the clouds were coming in and the thunder and lightning had started.  It was such a beautiful sight.  It didn’t start raining until I was in the parking lot when I was done.  God takes care of me even in the midst of the storm.

I recently read a book, A Short Course in Happiness After Loss, by Maria Sirois.  Before I even opened the book, the cover photo spoke to me.  The cover photo is of a bowl with gold in the cracks of it.  I remembered in the Japanese culture, if an object breaks, the cracks are filled with gold.  The cracks become a part of the story of that object.  The author talks about that in the book.  Kintsukuroi is the art of filling in the cracks of an object with gold.  My heartbreak is just going to become a part of my story.

One the quotes in the book, really spoke to me.

“Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.” – Viktor Frankl.

In the middle of my heartbreak, I was choosing to be sad.  I needed to feel that.  It was okay for me to feel that.  In the middle of loss, its okay to feel whatever comes up.  It is also okay to feel happy.  I can choose to see the beauty in the moment.

Even when other people are telling me that I haven’t changed in 10 years or that my life choices are wrong, I can still find the beauty in the situation.  Those people care about me.  They choose to show their love by voicing their opinions and telling me their concerns about my life.  I don’t have to take their opinions or concerns about my life and make it my own.  I know that I’ve changed and I don’t have to prove it to anybody else.  I have to live my life how I want to live my life.

In any situation, we have the choice to choose how we feel.

At this moment, I choose to be happy.  I’m hopeful about the future.

A friend told me recently that I’m glowing from the inside.  She has seen my transformation since I started working with my life coach.

I’m happy with my life choices and the path that I’m on.  I am a beautiful spiritual being.

 

 

 

 

 

My Success

Success has many definitions.

To some people getting married is a success.  To others being single is a success.  To other people getting a million dollars makes them successful.  To some other people, helping others makes them a success.  To other people, traveling the world makes them a success.  To some people, losing weight makes them a success.

The beauty in all those above mentioned things is that success is all of them.

Success is defined differently by different people.

I can define my own success.

My success is going to look different from some peoples success.

My definition of success is being happy in the moment and achieving my goals while living a life that I love.

I once had an interviewer ask me my definition of success.  I was interviewing for a teaching job that taught CPR to healthcare workers.  I hadn’t been expecting that question.  I was scrambling in my head to come up with an answer.  At the time, I was having a hard time defining what success looked like.  I remember telling the interviewer that success was being happy.  Happiness doesn’t depend on how much money is in the bank, if you have a significant other, or a fast car.  As long as you are happy doing your job then you are a success.  I came up with that answer in under a minute.

I wish I had actually listened to myself.  At the time, I was still defining success as having a significant other or a husband.  Waiting on the knight in shining armor.  I don’t need a man to be happy or successful.  My future husband, will be adding to my happiness and success.

Success will manifest itself in different ways for every body.

One of the reasons that I love being a travel nurse, is that I can take a month off in between assignments.  After not taking a vacation for 7 years, I love being able to take time off.  The time off helps with my mental health.  It helps me to relax so I can choose my next assignment.  I don’t want to rush and pick an assignment that I’m not happy with.  I became a travel nurse so that I could go places that I want to go.  To some people, taking a month off means that you aren’t successful and that you are being lazy. That’s ok for them to have that opinion.  Every one can define success differently.

Some people love to work overtime.  They love their jobs and they don’t mind doing it.  I love being a nurse, but I don’t want to work overtime.  Three days a week is enough.  I need those four days off to recharge myself.  I used to work with a nurse that worked 6 and sometimes 7 days in a row.  It worked for that nurse.  I one time, worked 4 days straight and I was emotionally and physically exhausted at the end of the fourth day.

I’m living a life where I am successful on my own terms.

I lived 30 years of my life, trying to live my life by other peoples terms of success instead of my own.  I was never truly happy.  Happiness was fleeting and never sustainable.  Now that I’m living my life on my own terms, I feel successful.  I may not be where I want to be but I’m on my way.

What would you do differently if you lived your life by your own terms of success?