Shameless

I wish I could be shameless

about the things in my heart

that are begging to be expressed.

 

My heart is eager and willing

but I am not.

I hold her back

like a traumatized parent,

terrified of the world “nowadays”,

saying to her child,

“Don’t do that,

They’ll hurt you.

Don’t show your raw aching heart to them,

They’ll hurt you.

And you’ll feel so cut up inside.

You won’t want to exist.

 

You’ll feel

that same burning shard in your chest

when people see who you truly are.

Trust me, Babe, you’re better off pretending

and hiding

and concealing the wildfire that glows inside you”

 

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But my heart,

like a rebellious, wise child

untouched by the world’s viciousness,

Takes my hand

and smiles, saying

“It’s okay, Mama love.

We are safe.

We are safe now.

And we will always be safe.”

 

 

 

 

Cover Photo by Kyle Peyton on Unsplash

Fire Photo by Joshua Newton on Unsplash

 

 

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Gemstone Woman

I once met a woman

Who had fallen to her knees in sadness

Yet she glowed

Like the most radiant gemstone

Gleaming with brilliant light

From within herself

Yet she cried and cried and cried

About small things that made her feel weak

Unable to realize

The strength of a gemstone

And the light of brilliance

Already within her.

 

 

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

 

 

Finding My Joy Again

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If I’m being honest, I’ve felt moderately depressed for the past few months. Maybe at first, I had ignored it and stuffed it down. Because who was I to be depressed? On paper, my life is fantastic. I have wonderful relationships, I’m financially stable, I have a stable job, I have a shit ton of free time and a flexible schedule, and I’m healthy. In my mind, there was virtually no reason to feel depressed. So when I started to feel that way, I added on the guilt and the shame of BEING depressed. Which is quite odd, but very human of me to do. So it was a lot to take on.

Until last month, something kind of awful happened. And it pulled out my depression and shame from under the rug and multiplied it times a billion. And I found myself unable to feel alive. Life felt pointless. Chaotic. There was no meaning. A nihilistic existence. And let me tell you, that stuff is dangerous to believe in, at least for me. Because to live in a chaotic, random, pointless universe means to me that there is nothing out there to live for and you just live in a constant state of fear about what monster is about to come around the corner. All the things I took joy in doing, all the relationships I was happy to be in, made me feel numb. It was as if someone had robbed me of my ability to feel anything and left me completely empty.

I grasped at anything to try and feel again. I tried listening to new music, I read new books, I tried sewing and drawing—anything to get me riled up again. But every attempt proved to be empty and every time I tried, I grew more disappointed and hopeless.

At that point, I couldn’t find the joy within me to enjoy the world anymore. For the first time in a while, I no longer had a clear vision in my life. I felt like I had no direction, no purpose. This whole time, my goal was to get good grades in school, graduate nursing school, pass the NCLEX, get a job, and be competent at that job. And now that list has been fully checked off. Then what? What next?

A small turning point occurred. I randomly bought this book at target that looked pretty. In this one chapter, the author was writing about this amazing experience he had of simply watching the sunset in San Francisco by himself.

“This will emerge as one of the more memorable moments of my life so far, and I’m really not sure why. Maybe it’s because I had eagerly anticipated what my happy place would feel like, and it exceeded all expectations. Maybe it was simple, soulful moment, that required no internal editing or filtering, no explanation. Or maybe it was a moment of pure joy that, deep down, I needed to feel alive again after going through some of the hardest months of my adult life. I’m not sure. But what I do know is that the time I spent on the hilltop—roughly two hours—flew by and left me wanting more. More time alone. More of these magical moments. More time to reflect. More time to appreciate the natural good in the world. I went up there alone, empty-handed. I left alone, but walked away with a unique memory no one else will have; it was mine and mine alone to treasure. That’s so special to me. As I grow older, I wish for more of these snapshots of joy, to be able to string them together into a long line of happiness. To remember how life should feel. To remember to take time out by myself and appreciate both my own company and the world around me.”

— Connor Franta, Note to Self

Reading this reminded me of such a fond memory of a concert I went to a few years ago. It was of the band Deafheaven, a black metal band that, despite it’s heavy sound, carries such a beautiful and contemplative energy in their music. As they played their song Dream House, I danced in the fiery pit of passionate music lovers, and felt as if I were floating above, watching from the ceiling. Feeling the energies of pink, purple, and orange that this music created float about. Nothing else mattered. I didn’t fear death. Death didn’t even exist in this space. I felt a part of something unlimited and whole. Like an infinite, significant, blissful energy. And then I remembered, that was how life should feel. I may not have a clear vision of the direction I’m heading in, but I know deep within me that that is how life should feel.

Then, on my birthday, I received a wonderful card from my Mom.

“Celebrate the many ways you’ve grown wiser, deeper, stronger in spirit. Know that your life has special meaning and that the purpose of your birthday is to honor the unique person you have become.”

Yes, I could see it as a stereotypical Hallmark card. But it spoke words to me that I really needed to hear. I had forgotten how important it was to feel that there was meaning in my life. And that I am not worthless. My existence was not pointless.

I needed to hear that I had purpose. That my life has meaning. That life isn’t just endless suffering and chaos. That I can do something meaningful with this time I have here on earth. That I am not powerless. And slowly, I felt myself rise from the dark hole in the ground I’ve been living in.

“I found God in myself.

And I loved Her.

And I loved Her.

And I loved Her.

Fiercely.”

                     — Ntozake Shange

 

If there could be one highlight to all of this depression and loneliness and emptiness, it would be this point: Meaning is essential to enjoying life. Scratch that. Not even enjoying life. Meaning is essential to life itself. That may seem very simple, even a bit obvious, but it’s something that has been fundamentally missing in my life during the last few months. And the past months have been a tough, but necessary lesson to never forget that.

And even though I still don’t have a clear vision for my life at the moment, I have faith that my life will go the way it needs to go, under God, under the Universe, under Divine Love, or whatever you want to call it. And when I do stray, I’m going to find my way back to Love in whatever way that feels right to me.

Love,
Gretchen
Photo by joe ting on Unsplash

A Reminder To Myself

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“There is a basket of fresh bread on your head, yet you go door to door asking for crusts.”         

— Rumi

Sometimes (or if I’m being real here, OFTEN times), I forget about the spark of divinity that lives within me. The same spark of divinity that lives within all of us, regardless of religion, gender, or race.

And I think I often forget because it’s so easy to believe that your worthiness depends on your looks, your accomplishments, your career, what clothes you’re wearing, or how much money you make a year. Based on how much praise, respect, and admiration we give those who are seemingly perfect and beautiful and rich and happy, it’s easy to convince yourself that if you’re not any of those, you aren’t worth anyone’s time. That you have to fight to prove yourself in this world. To be seen. To be heard. To feel valued.

But frankly, I’m tired of that. I’m burnt out from it.  I’m exhausted. And I think I’m done playing that game. I want to unwind from all that.

With that, I truly believe there is a better way. An easier way. Trees have no trouble growing tall and strong. Flowers have no trouble blossoming in the spring. Nature all around us effortlessly thrives. So why should we constantly have to fight our way to happiness? Why can’t we trust in this power, that same power that forms little babies in a womb or makes seeds into big oak tress, to lead our lives for us? I certainly want to, but like I said, I often forget.

I write to keep myself sane. I write because sometimes I need that internal voice in my head to be written down in physical form so I can actually pay attention to it. And I find that when I don’t write, I’m either depressed, repressed, or suppressed.

I also write to remind myself of things I’ve fallen in love with. Things that make me happy to think about. Like destiny. Or the Universe. Or God. Or the truly wonderful blessings that are always in my life. And how I’m already amazing. And how everyone else is already amazing. And we don’t need to be anything else but how we are, exactly in this moment. With all of our flaws and struggles and issues. Beautiful, divine chaos!

Kisses & Meows,

Gretchen

 

 

 

Photo by Jony Ariadi on Unsplash

All That I Experience Is Good

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UWisdom Instagram

Your mind is your endless servant.

Whatever you say will be, the mind makes it so.

You know the truth in this already. If you start your day off by thinking the day will be bad, then the experiences you have throughout the day validates this belief. Likewise, if you start off your day believing all that you experience is good, then your mind will give you experiences that validate this statement.

There are billions of stimuli to our brain at this very moment. We can only pick up and notice a certain amount of things. Our mind can only focus and intake so much stimuli. In commanding your mind that all that you experience is good, your mind will pick up only the stimuli that give you that. For example, if you say to your mind you want to see a stuffed teddy bear today, I guarantee you you will see one. Your mind is your faithful servant. It blindly follows the boss. And the boss is YOU.

Sharing this concept with you guys brings me great joy. I absolutely love talking about the power of our minds and our ability to create the reality we want to see. We are not victims to our experiences—this is the most disempowering belief we can carry. We can deliberately create experiences that bring us joy, fulfillment, and excitement. The best thing about this is that we don’t need to attain any achievement, social status, wealth, or award in order to bring about these wonderful, positive experiences. We can bring out these powerful positive emotions right now. We don’t need to chase anything or anyone anymore. We are all that we need. It all begins within.

Kisses & Meows,

Gretchen

“Everything Is Honored But Nothing Matters” {Eckhart Tolle}

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UWisdom Instagram

I love this quote.

This quote allows me to relax and let go.

Of everything that I try to strive for. Of everything that I try to create.

Sometimes, I look at all the personal growth books that I’ve been reading, all of the podcasts I listen to to improve myself, all of the goals I set out to complete and feel that there is something missing. It’s this little itch of a feeling suggesting that all that of this trying and doing and pushing won’t help me feel any better about myself.

I love this quote because I deeply believe in its meaning and what its trying to say.

The essence of everything is already whole and complete.

All that I do to try and make make myself feel better–whether its get ahead in my career, make good money, or start up my own business–really doesn’t make a difference. Because the joy that I am striving to feel is already available to me, right now.

It doesn’t matter if I decide to move across the country.

It doesn’t matter if I decide to quit my job tomorrow.

It doesn’t matter if I people give me praise or criticism.

Just like how a woman dressed in fancy clothes doesn’t mean she’s rich.

Or like how a woman dressed in rugged jeans and a sweatshirt doesn’t mean she’s not a millionaire.

The essence of the person is not affected by the clothes. And the essence of myself is not affected by my life’s circumstances. Whether or not I have a job at a big company or work for myself. Whether or not I travel the world or stay in one place. The essence of who I am does not change.

And sometimes, I get so caught up in arranging my life circumstances a particular way that I miss the point of actually living. I miss the joy that is in this present moment.

Being able to enjoy your own essence of who you are feels joyful. It feels amazing. It feels light and happy. There is no stress, no strain, no striving. Everything just is. And all is well. You just let go and you let yourself be cared for by the Universe. I know, easier said then done. But its never too late to start unwinding yourself and practicing being in your own presence.

Kisses & Meows,

G

Introducing: OVERCOME RESISTANCE DAILY PLANNER (free pdf)

Hello there!

Do you have a wildly amazing vision for your life?

Are you eager to pursue this vision, but find there are certain mental blocks holding you back?

That was exactly me. Actually, that’s still me right now. I wake up with a rush of excitement and eagerness to move closer to my dreams, but it quickly disappears when I think of all the individual steps I need to take to actualize those dreams.

I procrastinate. I pace around my house. I snack on junk food. I criticize myself endlessly.

There is this tension that occurs when I try to sit down and do anything meaningful, anything that’s worth doing. I’m still a big believer in “following your joy” but I know that it’s not always that simple or black & white.

Sometimes what we need to do the most gives us the most pain and anxiety.

And that’s okay.

I created this daily planner for people like myself who feel the pain & resistance of doing the work that we are called to do in this life.

The path to create an amazing life and share our gifts with the world is not always sunshine and cupcakes.

A big focus of this planner is to identify your resistance traps and how to overcome them. However, I can’t tell you what your exact forms of resistance are or how to overcome them. Only you can.

Examples of resistance would be any vice, addiction, or perceived limitation. The moment you decide it’s impossible, then it is.

For example, one resistant trap that I’ve been writing down for myself is always trying to achieve perfection, which is so frustrating since this is virtually impossible. Nothing will ever be perfect. And so for me, nothing ever gets done. Or if it does, it’s never good enough in my book.

A strategy of trying to overcome this block is to instead go for “finished” or “good enough”. I wrote down on my planner that there is no point to any of this if what I’m trying to create isn’t finished and shipped out to the world. All that hard work is wasted when it’s not shared.

A huge inspiration for this planner was Steven Pressfield’s popular book, “The War of Art”. Reading this book has changed my life and the way I approach my work. I’ve converted some of the ideas into practical, no-nonsense steps. I highly recommend reading this book to gain deeper understanding of how to overcome resistance blocks.

In addition, I’ve incorporated some of my own tricks that help me get through the boring, yet necessary chores of life (mundane chores infused with joy).

Below is a link to the pdf. It contains a little note from me, an example of how to use the planner (one that I’ve written and actually used in my daily life), and a blank one for you to fill out in whatever way you want.

This planner was crafted with love and made to support your highest visions. Thank you for taking the big leap of faith with me to bring the unmanifested into the world.

Kisses & Meows,

G

One of my own daily planners that I’ve filled out:

Resistance Daily Sample

Overcome Resistance Daily PDF download: UWisdom_OvercomeResistanceDaily

 

Photo by Cassie Boca on Unsplash