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I Don’t Know Why, But Thank You

So an interesting thing happened to me this morning…

Usually over the weekend, I plan out what fitness classes I will sign up for that work around my upcoming work week schedule, and register for the classes ahead of time to hold myself to it. I signed up for my barre class last week, so I had planned for the last several days that “Tuesday morning was barre class at 9:45am.” Last night I set my alarm to make sure everything was done in time for me to leave and make it to class with plenty of time to spare (driving from Exeter to Newport is about 35min, anticipate traffic so 45min, coffee on the way adds another 10min, so leave by 8:45am, because in my world, being early is being on time, and being on time is being late. I share these details with you to give you some insight into my personality 😉 So last week, even last night, I knew that my day on Tuesday was that I would wake up at 7:00 to take my pup for a walk, eat breakfast and get dressed to leave by 8:45am to take my barre class from 9:45-10:45am…that was what I thought I knew…

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 10.26.04 AMI woke up this morning, about 35min before my alarm was set to go off at 7:00am, with a mild headache…not a horrible one, just that small pulsing pressure at the front of the skull that makes you want to shut your eyes a bit longer. Blessing in disguise that I woke up early because the headache made me drag my feet a bit, but in the back of my head I now figured I have time to take my time. A bit of nausea swept over me after breakfast and I started to question whether or not I should go to class at all this morning. However, sometimes I get nauseous if I am overtired or didn’t get enough sleep, so I looked at my calendar to see if there was any way to fit in this particular class at some other point in my week and there wasn’t, so I talked myself out of excuses and continued to get ready to go. As I was saying goodbye to my pup, a mirror from my bedroom suddenly fell right off the wall and smashed. I put my things down and quickly picked up the broken mirror and put it on my dresser, running a fast vacuum over the rug to make sure there were no shards my pup could step on, and then told myself I would clean it up more when I got home from class. I did feel bad leaving when I did though because it totally freaked my dog out. Even despite this, I was able to leave at my exact planned time of 8:45am and drive to go get coffee.

I walk into the coffee house to find an unexpected line that took an unanticipated 10-12min to get my coffee. Because I had planned to buy my coffee this morning, I had not had any yet, so I had been awake for almost 2 hours without it (not a thing in my world), so I waited in line. Rushing to leave to coffee house, I knew I was going to add a few MPH to my drive to stick to my plan and make it to class – I was now about 6min behind schedule. Sure enough, not even 5min into my drive, I’m stuck behind a small truck that is driving 25mph in a 35mph zone and I’m behind him for about 5 miles of my drive, adding time to my clock. I’m super frustrated and keep telling myself that soon I’ll be on the highway and I can scoot right around him and still get there on time. I’m anxious to get to stoplight where I can take my right hand turn onto the highway and break away. Low and behold, it turns red just as the truck pulls up and there is no way for me to scoot around him to take the right turn onto the highway despite the red light. And this is one of the long red lights that connects to Route 4, so being stuck here adds another 5min to my clock. It finally turns green and I get to the highway, my clock saying Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 10.24.48 AMI’ll still be rolling in about 5min early – not my planned 15min, but at least I won’t be a disruption. I’m feeling relieved, but still rushed, as I cross the Jamestown bridge at around 9:25…super! JUST KIDDING, of course the universe has other plans – I’m in stand-still, bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Newport bridge due to an accident. It’s only 9:25 though, I have 20 minutes to get out of this mess and I’m only about 12min away so I’ll be ok…breathe. 9:35 rolls around and I haven’t budged. I call the studio to let them know and luckily I’m not the only one stuck so they’ll be starting class a few minutes late. Solid. I hang up the phone and take a few deep breaths in my car. I suddenly start to feel my car shake and move; I’m feeling the wind blow the bridge and the cars. I’ve never been stopped on the Newport Bridge before, and let me tell you, with my SUV and the way the weather was this morning, my anxiety spiked and I had a moment of panic…do I pull my emergency break to get more grip, how can I try to encourage the car in front of me to move up a few feet to get alongside this bus to block the wind etc.

I look at the clock again and it’s 9:43…this is not happening. I called the studio to let them know. As I hung up the phone and sat there waiting in my car for the traffic to move, I thought, “for whatever reason, I am not supposed to go to this class today. There have been too many complications that are out of my control, prohibiting me from going. I’m not really sure why, but it’s too coincidental.” Just as I complete this thought, Saltwater Gospel by Eli Young Band – my faith reminder song – comes on from my MP3 player, and I rolled my eyes, sighed, and laughed. I just had to say to myself, OK here we are, enjoy your coffee, and go home! I then sit in my car until 9:58am, with no alternative available…I am where I am. Finally making it across the bridge only to turn around to go home, the sun broke through the clouds on my way back over, which turned to gray and rain again as soon as I landed back onto the highway.

Yes, this was a super long story with a lot of detail (so thank you for bearing with me haha), but it’s just one of those reminders for myself and maybe to whoever reads this…

We all have those days where so many things seem to “go wrong” and stand in our way from what we want or expect. Sometimes it might just be one thing that occurs, and sometimes you might have an entire day filled with a series of events that delay every plan, like what I had this morning. So many of us settle in our frustrations and let these Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 10.25.09 AMinconveniences take over our attitudes, and even carry it over into the next day. It’s a vicious cycle of negative manifestation actually if you can’t find a way to accept things the way they happen…your poor attitude of an inconvenient situation carries over into the next plan, or is soaked in by the people you encounter that day, which only delays and inconveniences the plans after that, or makes that person hand their bad attitude to another person etc…almost like “paying it backward,” instead of forward. And this story of my morning is just a small example of the things that can happen. Sometimes it’s a bad week, or even a bad year. Sometimes people believe themselves to just be carriers of “bad luck.” Whether the reasons are available for you to understand or not, gratitude has to be present. For one reason or another, things played out the way they did to be in your favor, I promise you, as long as you can find a way to say “thank you” always. I have no idea why I wasn’t supposed to go to class this morning…maybe it could have been me in the car accident that occurred just before I made it onto the bridge, maybe I was actually going to be sick if I went, maybe my pup was going to have another episode due to the scare just before I left, or maybe it wasn’t a reason for me, it was for someone else I would have crossed paths with…I have absolutely no idea. But what I will say, is that I wasn’t supposed to go, I don’t know why, and I’m not going to question it; I’m just going to say “thank you.”

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Tell Me About It…

Lately, for one reason or another, I’ve had this strange desire to really learn – and I d72f77ab7a20b7baabe380fafbf9e7acmean REALLY learn – how to open up and very boldly, but sweetly, speak my truth.  This is both in information and stories that I decide to share or simply trying to communicate a thought, idea, or feeling with another.  As I mentioned in my last post regarding communication, I have an extremely hard time with this.  This is mostly because I’m so consumed with how I feel the listener will receive what I put on the table – whether they will approve or agree, what they will think of me, what will happen as a result etc.  As I have continued to meditate on this, this feeling has only grown stronger.  I was honestly hoping that if I just zip my lips and breathe that the feeling to share/express would dwindle away…but, nope.

Ok, so this post is not about me all of a sudden deciding to share EVERYTHING, but it is an open door, to both share as well as receive.  In addition to exploring ways in which to express myself through verbal communication, I also had an epiphany…

Imagine this…

As the sharer, what if you did not assume the outcome of the information you decide to open up with?  Imagine that the person you’re opening up to DOES in fact understand, or can relate with what you share.  It makes the experience of sharing a hell of a lot less scary, because when you feel as if you’re alone, or you feel the person in front of you couldn’t possibly understand what you’re going through, or have been through, it makes it that much harder to talk about.  So imagine that the listener has been parallel with you this whole time, through all of your experiences.

As the listener, what if you did not assume that you understood or could relate to what the speaker is sharing with you (reread that question for a minute to absorb)?  Imagine how much more compassionate your presence could be to the person sharing if you did NOT premeditate how that person was handling their experience.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s an absolutely wonderful and empathetic thing to be able to place yourself in someone’s shoes in order to try and understand.  However, that tactic is most helpful as a physical practice to do on your own rather than a listening practice to do with another person.  We may have had similar experiences as one another, or even different experiences that arise the same emotions, but we ALL go through stuff differently (“how deep is the mud? depends on how tall the person is that is standing in it that you ask.“).

So how about this…b2062e4e028c2e4bb8f3f9e8f8b292dd

As the listener, don’t assume to know what the speaker is going through.  As the speaker, don’t assume that the listener wouldn’t understand or couldn’t relate with what you decide to express and/or share.

How much more would we communicate with one another?  How would it physically change the WAY in which we communicate?  It’s a beautiful thing to be unapologetically raw, to know that what you see is exactly what you get.  Don’t be afraid to ask, don’t be afraid to share.

Tell Me About It…

6aea24f7d339b3c539e4cdee28cbfc12One of the hardest things I’ve consistently had to work on my entire life has been communication.  Let me just face the facts straight up, I suck at it.  I’m a “yes” person to the core.  I accept everything that falls into my path, whether I feel I can juggle it or not.  Because of this, I almost welcome being walked all over.  At times, I find it so overwhelming that I end up completely disconnecting and unplugging for a few days, without any warning, and temporarily shut off.  The after effects of this are (as you can only imagine) twice as stressful than it would be to power through it.  But sometimes it gets to be too much, and I really only have myself to point the finger at.  I never SAY anything.  Interestingly enough, in the age of technology, I am pretty much known by my community for being the WORST with texting.  This is because I have a really hard time with how impersonal it is.  Not to mention the fact that the biggest part of a conversation I have with someone is when I can physically hear them, and even better, physically see them.  As I’ve ranted about before, energy is everything.  It introduces you before you even open your mouth.  You don’t get this with a text.  This is me taking full responsibility for this struggle.  The constant battle I find I have with communication is — what is too much and what isn’t enough?  How do I effectively communicate with people in my life while be clear and direct, as well as adapting and carefully forming thoughts and weaving words together in a way that the receiver (or the listener) will not only absorb what I am saying, but also have a clear understanding of it?  When should you speak up and when should you let it roll?  How do I say no, or at least recognize my limitations before I disconnect entirely?  It should be a very obvious answer, but for me there is an extremely fine line, one that is often pushed further and further over the edge of my limits because of empathy.

My entire life, I’ve actually been given physical reminders of how I need to work on this.  cdb732d1a038d48d096d60f1daf9f841Since I can remember, I lose my voice twice a year, and for a fairly extended period of time (usually about 10 days).  I always used to say this was just the changing of the seasons, but I’ve noticed that it usually occurs right before one of those breaking points I have when I’m overwhelmed. I also am the youngest in my house and growing up, I always felt talked over so most of the time I learned to just enjoy being quiet and not feel the need to express much verbally.  When I was very little, I had asthma and was on a nebulizer for a few years, which paralleled the time in which I learned to enjoy silence.  It was only in the last few years that I really began to notice how little I spoke up for myself and began to make a conscious effort in my methods of communication.  I can’t tell you how often I physically feel my throat close up in anxiety.  Just recently I made this connection when I was experiencing a few minor anxiety attacks a week for the last couple months and made note that they usually begin with that feeling of my throat closing up.  I immediately recognized that my anxiety had been rising up from being in circumstances when I felt I had something I wanted to say that I wasn’t saying or expressing.  A few days ago, I began coughing and feeling my throat go dry.  However, I’m nowhere near being sick at all.  Because I have grown to really try to observe these types of patterns on a different level, I began to make the connection to my throat chakra…I’m not communicating, I’m not speaking my truth.

9e3ff8652418d46554d8b35835a3728eThis post was not to be used to hate on myself for being an ineffective communicator, but actually to maybe raise a little awareness, look at ourselves and observe the way in which we communicate with one another.  Let’s face it, we all tend to have gaps in communication and the core of this issue is in the fact that we all feel that it is the job of the receiver/listener to absorb our words in the way we want them to, when it is in fact OUR job to make sure we are communicating properly, and compassionately, with the person we’re choosing to share with and/or confront…and if at first you don’t succeed, try try again, right?  I mean, how wonderful would it be if we ALL attempted to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes that was standing in front of us?  Think about how much would change in our approaches.  What would happen if someone randomly started becoming defensive, or raising their voice, or picking apart every detail of your responses (let’s be real, we’ve all been in that situation waaayyy too many times to count), and instead of lashing back and/or defending yourself, you quickly think to yourself, “hmm, I wonder what has happened to this person or what kind of a day this person had that is making them lash out in such a way?”  Now, this is by NO means an excuse to be walked all over!!!  Use your best judgment in the situation and decide whether or not this person is actually truly frustrated with you, or if you think maybe it has nothing to do with you.  There is no need to fuel a fire that does not actually belong to you.  Breathe, and let it go…you don’t always have to have the last word.  On the other hand, I also truly, truly believe that there is a way to say EVERYTHING no matter how tough it is, but first consider who it is you are speaking to and what you are trying to say.

I give myself credit for having noticed and accepted this about myself, and made physical 7cce570b8837b1711e222e9a6a9748bdstrides towards making changes with the way I communicate.  One of the most successful methods I’ve found has been to step outside of it, either for a split second or maybe even for a day or two..removing myself from it entirely and then looking at it from an impartial perspective.  The observations are not just of the other person, but also turning inward and noticing how you react to other people’s words, striving to understand how and why YOU receive information the way you do;  why is it I am keeping quiet?  This is a helpful tool in terms of being able to reflect back on your own automatic ways of communicating.  Our experiences shape us as a person, and with that comes the way we come across and communicate as well, so acknowledging how YOU absorb as the listener will help you to also bring awareness as to how YOU form your words (or lack thereof) and come across to others.

It’s a two way street, people.  Bottom line is whether you are the speaker or receiver, be compassionate, be empathetic, and be respectful, regardless of what is being shared.

I wish that I could say that it’s easy but I believe it’s something you have to work in every single moment of every day.  We meet new people all the time who will translate things differently and the people that we think we already know can change; we have to constantly strive to communicate with one another effectively and empathetically.  I whole-heartedly believe that when setting goals you have to put effort into manifesting them, meaning WRITE…THEM…DOWN!!!  So here is my goal – I wish to be a compassionate and clear communicator and to always find loving but firm ways to speak my truth, starting here…

 

 

How to Stop Absorbing Other People’s Energy

energy
original article link here

If you’ve ever been in a room with a negative person, you know how tangible his/her emotions can feel. You feel like his/her heaviness is seeping into you and you find it harder to keep your head up. Learning to defend yourself from this kind of toxic energy is an essential life tool, because your emotional state affects you mentally, physically and spiritually. Let it be your own!

Here are five ways to stop absorbing people’s negativity:

1. Let Go Of People Pleasing

If someone is complaining about you, gossiping, or talking down to you, do not take it personally or fixate on trying to make them like you. This will only pull you deeper into his/her field of negativity and make you energetically and emotionally dependent on their opinion.  Be compassionate towards yourself and realize that not everyone is going to like you – and that’s okay! Everybody has different personalities, likes and dislikes and these will create a different life experience for every person. Show yourself love first and it will act like a force-field around you that will keep other people’s opinions from draining you.

2. Know When To Say ‘NO’

If you had a guest in your home, would you let him come in off the porch and track mud all over your carpet, or would you require him to clean his shoes before he entered your personal space? What if you asked him to dinner once and he invites himself over for the rest of the month? And what if he insisted on sleeping on your couch to save himself the trip tomorrow? All without your invitation?

Being generous can be a great thing, but there is a fine line to be aware of to make sure you and your generosity are not taken advantage of. Accept no freeloaders, naysayers, or emotional vampires past where you are comfortable. Set boundaries and enforce them!

This is your life. Your body, space and personal time are your sacred temples, so think carefully about what kind of people you allow access to them. There is nothing wrong with saying ‘no’ as often as you feel you need to. Set clear standards about what you expect from others before you give them a place in your life.

3. Stop Feeding The Beast

Above, I threw out the term ‘emotional vampire.’ These are parasitic personalities who literally feed on your attention and affection and suck you dry for all your efforts. Emotionally investing in these people may feel worthwhile at first, but ultimately, you will find yourself drained of energy and their many problems still unsolved. Their thirst for your love can never be satisfied if they are determined to stay feeling like a victim.

You can offer your support to those who need it, give a listening ear to a struggling friend or stranger, but note when your efforts start becoming redundant or when their calls for help begin feeling more like vies for attention. The more attention you give their problems, the less resolution there will be.

It is not your responsibility to fix other people’s problems, especially when people don’t really want their problems solved. They want to be pitied. It is healthy to know when to walk away! When you feel your resources depleting, offer your sympathies and leave the situation. There is nothing mean about refusing to engage in someone else’s drama.

4. Return To Nature

Sometimes, you really just need a breather from everyone else. Their chaotic energies can be hard to tune out, so take a weekend, an afternoon, or even an hour for yourself and go somewhere peaceful. Let the many voices of nature replace the mind chatter of the modern world. Notice the simplicity of the natural world, the lack of motive, the coexistence of all things plant, animal and earth.

Breathe deeply and meditate. Focus on filling your body with fresh oxygen and elevating your spirits and when you return to your daily routines, you will feel refreshed and less apt to absorb negativity from others.

5. Remember Who Is Responsible For YOU

You are the only one with any say about how you feel. You are 100% responsible for what you let influence your thoughts and emotions and if any aspect of your happiness is out of balance, you have the ability to correct it. Your own perception of yourself is more powerful than anyone else’s, unless you choose to trade away that power for their approval.

Once you choose to be accountable for your feelings, you free yourself from the influence of others. When you are confident in who you are and how you want to feel, it is much more difficult for others to throw you off balance.

Make deliberate choices and take control of the positivity in your life. Choose situations which boost your energies and keep the kind of company that only adds to who you are. Love yourself enough to say ‘no’ wherever it is warranted and walk away from environments that do not serve you. Remember, you are responsible for your life experience. Make it for you and make it phenomenal!

 

When you ask me about my faith…

Every Sunday I see people filing in through those front doors
Got a cross up on that steeple, yeah it’s time to praise the Lord
Some watch it on their TV, sittin’ on the couch
Me, I get in my old Bronco and point those headlights out

Oh, ain’t got too many miles to go, to save my soul

Hey I go down and sink my feet in the water
And I soak up that sun and I watch it set
Yeah, I can feel the power of the saltwater gospel
I’m as close to God as I can get

Now there ain’t nothing wrong with puttin’ on your Sunday best
Me, I won’t be wearin’ nothin’ that I can’t get wet
I just think about how small I am and life after we’re gone
I’m out here by myself

But I know I’m not alone
Yeah, I got all the proof I need
And it sure makes me believe

When I go down and sink my feet in the water
And I soak up that sun and I watch it set
Yeah, I can feel the power of the saltwater gospel
I’m as close to God as I can get

Amen
I’m in heaven watchin’ all these waves roll in
Amen

When I’m lost I know where to get found again
Yeah I go down and sink my feet in the water
And I soak up that sun and I watch it set
Yeah, I can feel the power of the saltwater gospel
I’m as close to God as I can get

Yeah I go down and sink my feet in the water
And I soak up that sun and I watch it set
Yeah, I can feel the power of the saltwater gospel
I’m as close to God as I can get

Every breath we drew was “Hallelujah”

Almost exactly one year ago, I was lead through an experience that completely brought to light where I truly was with my spirit, and I was shocked at what came up.  This song was what lead me (us) into the experience…Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley.  Every time I hear the song, it reminds me of how far I’ve come since then and what my spirit has been able to endure.  I feel a soft strength within me whenever I sit and listen to it, and it’s there for me whenever I need that gentle reminder.  I also believe that whenever it may come up without me prompting it to means that there is something in my life going on that needs that same reminder, as it just did…

So about the experience…a workshop was hosted called Qoya that mixes dance with yoga (an obvious draw to anyone that knows me even just a little bit).  One of the last parts of this workshop was this particular experience.  We were asked to start at the back of our mats, heels touching the edge.  We were then given the entire song to move from the back of our mat to the front in complete free movement, with encouragement to close our eyes as to keep the experience internal and without judgement.  However, there was a catch to this…your movement was to reflect the last year of your life.

So at the time when this workshop happened, my life had recently done a complete 180.  Unfortunately this particular shift had put many questions and doubts into my head and had brought up A LOT of very unpleasant feelings; nothing about that last year (and for a long time before then) held space for anything I wanted to look back at, and asking me to revisit this was something I was by no means ready to do, nor did I want to at all.  But, just like life had done, the music started and you just had to move forward.

I found my heels completely glued to my mat…I was totally frozen and almost immediately began to cry.  I physically placed the command in my head, “left foot, lift,” and got no response from my foot.  I had brought myself back to that year earlier and couldn’t find it in myself to move.  Everything in me was heavy and sad.  I remember feeling like it was impossible to find movement.  I was scared at what would happen, physically, emotionally, spiritually etc.  All I knew was the back of my mat.  My insides literally shook and I quietly sobbed.  After having to probe myself repeatedly with commands, my foot peeled off my mat and stepped forward and then almost immediately returned backwards.  This happened several times…two steps forward, one step back.  I think it was about halfway that I just dropped down to my mat.  I felt exhausted at the pull I was experiencing and really did NOT want to keep moving.  I had to remind myself that this moment was NOT the same moment as a year ago, that this was just my mat, that this space was safe.  With the same confidence that I found in myself in consciously leaving behind what had held me back a year before, I stood up and began moving forward, this time without stepping backwards.  When I found this, my movement become larger and lighter.  By the time I had reached the top of my mat, I felt totally free and in my power.  I felt complete, relieving happiness.  I was so surprised how difficult I found the whole experience to be.  I did not realize how terrified I was to fall back to where I had been.  I also had not known that at the time (the year before) that I had felt as if I could not move from where I was, that where I was was the only thing I knew and the only place I could be.

Almost 2 years later, I hear this song and it gives me the same reminder.  Stand in your power…know your worth.  And today, I needed this.

I do hope that if you’ve read my entry up to this point that you’ve considered the gentle reminders in your life that may provide you the same type of comforts and strength.  I hope that these tools are just as accessible to you as a song.  And most importantly, I hope that if you can (unfortunately) relate to anything in this entry at all, that you too have found your power.