On feeling lost

I used to be so afraid of this, of feeling lost, of needing to explore. When I was younger, I used to hear often (and disparagingly) of teenagers and young 20 years olds who don’t have their life figured out and I grew to be so afraid of ending up like that, so I nerded out on planning and figuring out my life. I thought that if I read all the self help books and business books and did all the volunteer work and internships I could get my hands on then I would figure out the answers early and I wouldn’t ever feel lost. Although that gave me an invaluable set of experiences, it never buffered me from going through a time of confusion and exploration.

The first time I felt this way, questioning everything, not seeing a clearly outlined path that I’ve made for myself, it was like my world was turned upside down. It was a real struggle, it was visceral but the result on the other side of that was a massive growth spurt within myself. Now although I still feel the uncertainty that comes with questioning and searching within myself, it doesn’t cause a panic or stress reaction. What has helped with that is understanding that it is normal and I will probably experience it throughout my life at different times, as do others, because it is integral to growth. What led me to that clear understanding is hearing others at different ages and places in their life go through that and watching Youtubers like Fran Meneses who are authentic and honest about their journey and experiences.

The question for me now, is how do I get the most out of this recurrent phase to further my growth? I’m still figuring it out. One thing that has helped me focus on exploration is not searching for “end goal” answers but rather trying to do the process as best as I can. I imagine it like loosening my brain so it’s as if it is lying in a hot tub (so it doesn’t stress out in search of clarity) then using the nerd power to deep dive into whatever it is I am questioning and the goal is not a clear destination but rather how far I can dive and what skills I can pick up to do that better.

It’s kind of like watching a CSI show for me (NCIS is my fav), it is not that the result is new and unpredictable and exciting, but rather it is the process of figuring it out and exploring the different avenues that is exciting. So for now I remind myself to focus on the process and get the most out of it and that requires honest self reflection and effort in exploring (it won’t come to me, I have to search for it) even when it is a struggle.


Disclaimer: Always learning… Always evolving.. For life. x

On Not Knowing

Just the idea of not knowing and that state of confusion makes my heart clench and my stomach do a back flip and wiggle. The funny thing is that not knowing is an escapable state because the moment I figure something out another thing is unclear. I suppose that that’s just the way life is; it is a path we are on that we need to actively explore and figure out.

It is very scary to face the uncertainty and struggle to figure something out so the obvious choice becomes to retreat to being comfortable with all the possible excuses and explanations running through my head as to how this will get resolved without me having to get a few muscle pulls in the process (yes, mental muscle pulls are a thing). It is so comfortable here doing every other possible thing that makes me feel like “I’m working on it” except actually struggling with it.

I’m gradually learning to find the courage to just leap outside my comfort zone and face the uncertainty head on. Maybe even dance in its face. I’m learning how to break it down into a manageable size by asking questions. Having to answer those questions makes it clearer and more definable. The basics are always:

  • What?
  • Why?
  • How?
  • When?
  • Where?

… and loop as needed. (Just ask them over again to their answers and so on)

Knowing when to push for more clarity and results is what I am trying to figure out now. When am I just thinking that I have a clear answer when it is just a surface solution to appease myself and get back in my comfort zone as quickly as possible and when is it an actual clear actionable answer?

If you have any idea then please let me know. For now, I’m working on clear actions done in short durations and bulking for increased focus. I’m loving the taste of experimentation and being a human Guinea pig.

This was written while searching for clearer answers and convincing another to join in the search. 

Disclaimer: Always learning… always evolving.. For life. x

On Shame

I had a very interesting discussion that led to a reflection and exploration of guilt versus shame. I’m learning more about shame because of it’s apparent toxicity and affect on the individual that stays with us until adulthood. It starts in childhood, often with parents trying to use guilt as a tool to teach and educate but that doesn’t work the way they think or hope it would.

You see, Guilt is intrinsic, it starts from within as a reaction that stems from one’s moral code and points out a behavior or state that contrasts with it. You feel guilty because YOU believe that you should be behaving differently. Parents trying to use that tactic actually just results in shame. Shame is extrinsic, it stars from outside and cuts right through to our sense of self. It comes from being made to feel that our behavior or state of being is bad/ evil/ inappropriate/ etc. so we interpret it internally as we are bad/ evil/ inappropriate/unworthy/ etc. Hence, all the “dark like my soul” references.

Now that is a deep impact! It doesn’t mean certain behavior stops or changes, we just learn to hide it and feel bad/evil/inappropriate/unworthy/etc. for doing that. It just reinforces that shame induced belief.

This can be extrapolated onto the mundane things like loving the color black but your parent hating it and associating it with something other than how they want you to be all the way to societal shame experienced by survivors of violent sexual assault. The research of Brené Brown, beginning with this podcast discussion, got me thinking about this more deeply after the initial discussion and exploring it within myself.

Our words are very powerful and how we phrase them can leave such a lasting impact. What was said to us and around us leads to us forming certain beliefs that we internalize. Through becoming aware of this, I hope to separate between those toxic beliefs and who I am by identifying them and tracing back to where they came from then choosing for myself what I would like to believe.

Brené Brown says that “shame drives two primary tapes: not good enough, and who do you think you are?” So if you find yourself feeling or thinking that way, identify it, explore it, and replace it.

This followed two discussions, a podcast, some reading, and a lot of reflection, and I’m still only at the tip of the iceberg, needing to explore daily details.  

Disclaimer: Always learning… Always evolving.. for life. x 

On gentle productivity

This week was really interesting and abundant with some important lessons.

I had  to manage varying types of tasks and emotions; that’s just real life, I guess. The week started with a good active day. The next day I woke up feeling exhausted and grumpy with a tightness in my throat and chest from unidentifiable emotion. I managed to not rule off the day as a bad day and instead had some coffee and got myself a good laugh by watching some funny compilations of people I love then I journaled and allowed the space for some creative ideas. That got me feeling a bit energized, but still unable to really focus on an analytical task so I switched up schedule and did all the physical tasks first like meal prepping, working out and some cleaning, then I sat down and got really productive. I was so proud of how I turned the day around and found time to do everything I had set for a busy day and more!

The next day went in the opposite direction, with me feeling hyper energetic and instead of allowing myself to switch tasks to suit that and believe in the abundance of time and my ability to do it all, I ended up forcing myself to do a task requiring a lot of focus and doing it really slowly, with distractions and negative self-talk because of the slow performance. I ended up wasting more time that could have been saved if I had allowed myself to do a more creative task that would channel that energy then be able to switch to a focused task and accomplish it quickly and efficiently.

Our mind is really wondrous, we can consciously learn something transformative one day but then revert to old thought processes the next. I will practice the following lessons everyday until it moves from conscious thought to automatic thought.

  • Time is abundant if used efficiently.
  • Efficiency requires tuning inwards and adapting tasks to flow with that.
  • It’s a lot more fun to surf the wave than to struggle against it.
  • I am worth the time.

Recognizing these lessons makes my heart swell with joy because it shows me that I am growing and evolving. *flailing moon dance*

I wanted to record this here as a reminder to myself of an important lesson. 

Disclaimer: Always learning… Always evolving.. for life. x