Big things have small beginnings. This quote could not be more true and pertains to everything that is and everything that will be as I see it in my own life. This holds true for the life I wish to create for myself. While I have truly nothing to complain about in my life right now – I am living in Colorado with horses in my back yard, I have a job, I take care of other peoples’ animals (sometimes staying the night in their own beautiful homes), take care and loving my own animals, and I am all around quite comfortable living with my best friend on her five acres. I have adventures nearly every weekend, involving mountain biking, hiking, taking a drive somewhere, horseback riding, and other wonderful outdoorsy-enjoying-nature activities. Some of my artwork is displayed at a local gallery. I get to work there once a month or twice a month and enjoy the quiet solitude of being around fantastic pieces of artwork created by local artists. This sounds like a dream come true! For all its rainbows and butterflies, I do struggle with finances, I sacrifice many of my bills in order to enjoy a little fun and eat what I please. I don’t go extravagantly all out of course, but I have allowed myself too much freedom with it, sometimes getting me into trouble with my bank account by going over just a few dollars here and there and forgetting about what is supposed to be coming out. Finances is just one facet of a much larger crystal that I wish to improve in my life. I will get to that here in a little while.
“Big things have small beginnings” was quoted from the movie “Prometheus”, but also comes from “Lawrence of Arabia”. This blog is about my journey to improve myself in many areas. This first post is an outline of everything I wish to change, to improve upon, and to accept in my life one small step at a time. This is a hard lesson for me. Old habits are hard to break. Being my first post about my big overwhelming journey, I’m not at all concerning myself with the formalities of a perfect writing style. I just wish to write what I see fit in an effort to organize my thoughts.
So this is my first step: writing about everything that I despise about how I’ve blindly allowed my life to come to be. I’ve always been a tumbleweed in the wind. Letting myself get swept up in the impulse of a moment; making rash decisions without thinking first about the consequences, and taking first my heart’s desire, and instant gratification. I finally know how I wish to live my life, and pursue my purpose, but I’m finding taking the action on this journey towards meeting those goals, and breaking the nasty habits in order to get there, has not been easy. I am too comfortable breaking promises to myself. Going down this road is rocky, filled with uncomfortable uncertainties, and a fear that is not so easy to shake. I know in my courageous heart I can overcome this fear, if I only let myself, if I have the confidence, if I break the habit of procrastination and a “don’t-care-in-the-moment” attitude to satisfy immediate desires, whether that is eating junk food, lazing about the house watching Star Trek or X-Files episodes, or watching movies, or documentaries, and allowing the deep darkness of depression that sets in when I know I’m not doing what I should be doing. When I know I’m wasting time. What is this? When I get up and DO something, I feel remarkably better. It is healthy. So why do I continue this cycle that has hounded me since the day I discovered what I want to do with my life 7 years prior to this? What happened to the ignorance of just allowing life to happen instead of making it happen? I’ve read countless inspirational remarkable astounding beautiful self help books, blogs, and articles, that just boost my energy and enthusiasm, knowing that I, that little me, can do this thing! I’m rambling! So here it is… I will address the fundamental problems that many people may experience in their life time. Health, Art, Relationships, Spirituality, and Wealth.
IMPROVING MY HEALTH
My number one priority is my health. It is the foundation where everything else I wish to accomplish starts. With optimal health, the energy will be there to pursue my every goal, however big or small one small beginning at a time. My mind will be clearer to allow those creative ideas to flow.
Habits I wish to break to better my health:
- eliminate fast food except as a very very once in awhile treat
- eliminate mochas. I’ve allowed myself to become addicted to espresso loaded with milk and chocolate. I don’t even like the taste of coffee! I prefer tea! WTF??
- eliminate processed foods and sugars. When I go grocery shopping, I generally buy good! meats, fish, nuts, good cheeses, almond milk, fruits and vegetables. I tend to let it go to waste though. WHY?
- BE LESS WASTEFUL OF FOOD!
- Reduce portions
Out with the old and in the with new habits:
- Drink water, herbal teas, and green tea
- Eat meats, fish, vegetables, nuts/seeds, healthy oils, and fats, cheese, fruits, and anything that is as close to nature as possible
- plan meals, prepare, and cook
- bring lunch to work
- once a week treat is OKAY
- regular get outside and play schedule
- practice yoga and pilates daily
- engage in moderate exercise daily (which I kind of already do; I move around a lot)
I love food. It is comfort and it is a fun very pleasing necessity of life. I was never fat as a kid and into my early twenties. Then I started gaining weight when I obtained the quintessential desk job. I’m sure many people have a story to tell that is similar. I allowed myself to indulge in fast food avenue. I love a good cheeseburger! I also let myself overeat. Moving to Chicago didn’t help matters. Being exposed to the wonders of Italian beef, as Chicago knows it, and the smorgasbord of restaurants that capitalize on it, caused me to gain another 20 pounds on top of the 20 I already gained. I’ve gained and I’ve lost, but never lost to my goal weight — 130 – 135. I really haven’t set an official weight as I’m not sure where my body wants to be now that I am a 36 year old woman at the time of this blog. Who knows it might want to be a healthy 125! I will let it decide when I get there. I love the outdoors! Outdoor activity and exercise is something I truly adore. I can work out in a gym okay, but there is something more fulfilling about being ever present in the wonders of nature. Moving back to Colorado, I’ve been given the opportunity to go out and be active, which that alone has caused me to lose weight and maintain it at 150 lbs give or take 5 pounds. I have been flip flopping between eating as much fast food as I wish, to being on the wagon and eating good. The funny thing is…how do I continue to eat junk, when I feel so amazingly light and healthy and happy when I eat good? I would think that that would be a great motivating factor! I allow my negative emotions to rule my decision making.
My art. I’ve ignored it for too long. I LOVE art. It is my passion. Why then have I let it slip by me? Why has it become such a chore? They do say getting started is the hardest part. I will start simply. Sketch every night for 5 minutes. Art is my soul. Part of my spirituality.
This is a tough one. I generally get along with most everyone, so my relationships are good. I’m very much a people pleaser, but I do not wish sacrifice myself or what I believe in to please others as I always have done. I’m passive, and that has opened the door to let myself be walked on and taken advantage of though most of the time I don’t see it that way. It is time I stand up for myself. This is a touchy subject. I don’t even know where to begin with it. I want to continue to be helpful to people; to provide service, but I also want my needs met, and wish to communicate and dictate my own wishes too. This will be a big step for me. I don’t want to change the core of who I am, yet I wish to be more assertive, communicate with confidence, find the words I wish to say right then and there, address conflicts diplomatically instead of avoiding them. Avoiding them is what I do. It has worked, but it also is unhealthy to let my emotions hide. I am good at letting it go, but I am also good at holding it in. Dealing with people, and being more comfortable with myself around those that are not close family or friends, is my goal.
I wish to find a man. I know the type of man I wish I meet that will be my best friend and lover through eternity. It is a romantic dream, but I believe he is out there. We will connect spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. DEEPLY connect. In the words of the heroine, Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice: “I am determined that only the deepest love will induce me into matrimony”. Truer words could not be spoken.
More on relationships later. For some reason this subject is eluding me tonight.
SMILE. BREATH. GO SLOWLY. I wish to embrace the practice of zen simplicity. I am starting this blog as I was inspired by another blog: “zenhabits.net”. I enjoy the thought that we are connected through unfathomable strings. I believe what each individual does effect the world as a whole either negatively or positively. Like a drop in the big ocean of life, those ripples travel far.
I feel in my heart that there is a power; a great energy source that when tapped into allows us to heal emotionally and physically. Science and religion are both stories that are man made, but there is something even greater than any religion can preach or science can prove. It reaches beyond our wildest imaginations. It is no mind. I believe it is going to be a part of our evolution for millennia. The power of thought is truly that: POWERFUL
I am increasingly reminding myself daily to live in the present moment; to give each task my full attention. To be AWARE of my surroundings and feel the natural flow of energy. To practice observing my thoughts, noting them, and getting in touch with my consciousness and true self — are what I would call divinity.
That is spirituality to me.
I absolutely unequivocally suck at managing my money. One simple goal: I just want to live below my means. Another goal: I just want to be able to save money for my future retirement (sooner than later and without the crutch of working for big corporate America.) This is a daunting task however, for I find myself in a hole. How can I get my cow out of the ditch? How did my cow get into the ditch? How can I keep my cow out of the ditch? I read this somewhere once, and I’m not recalling where, but it is a practice that can be applied to any problem.
What would it mean to live below my means? My guaranteed take home at the time of this writing is just over $1800 a month. My bills including essentials are $2030. How do I make ends meet with that? I make some money here and there with pet sitting, gallery sales, rarely through online sales, rarely through art commissions and notary acts (though this is merely pocket change that I burn through quickly).
*Sigh* Where do I begin? First I must find a way to get caught up (Get my cow out of the ditch). How the hell do I do that WITHOUT borrowing money? I want to avoid that like the plague!
- I’m about $1400 behind on some bills
- I’ve penciled in a small plan to chip away at that, but still keep myself caught up with essentials which is what I’ve been focusing on, and partly why I’m behind. Food. Car. Gas. Roof Over Head.
- Stick to the plan!
- Avoid unnecessary spending (excessive mochas, fast food, vending machine, and random impulse buying especially when with friends, blah, blah, blah)
Now that I am caught up (near future is the goal), now I can address how I got in the hole in the first place. How did my cow get in the ditch? Spending more than I make. Eating out when I should eat at home. Spending too much on mochas. Impulsive spending habits. Let my emotions run my decisions.
How do I keep money in my bank account? (How can I keep my cow out of the ditch)? Follow a very strict spending budget. Give myself an allowance and NEVER spend above and beyond that. Be my own parent and above all forgive myself!
So there it is. It was really hard not to delve deeply into these subjects, explaining how I was going to tackle making my life better, but I focused on keeping it straight forward and instead with the intent of delving into these issues more deeply in later posts. For now, my blog is private, as I only wish to express all my thoughts and feelings towards my life, my goals, my plans to see those goals through, and celebrate my successes.