Lessons from Therapy: The Importance of Discomfort

Hello my friends,

I wanted to share with you one of the important lessons that I learned from therapy…the importance of discomfort. I think it goes hand in hand with the heaping dose of patience that therapy teaches you.

Discomfort is necessary for change to happen. This fact of life has yet to fail me. Whether it be a waistband that’s too tight or a relationship that doesn’t feel quit right, discomfort holds a mirror to your current situation and gives you the insight that leads you to change. When we ignore what our inner voice is telling us, we not only allow ourselves to be trapped in unsavory situations but we also limit ourselves from reaching our full potential. The next time that you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation lean into it. Listen to what the frame of mind is telling you. Oftentimes, we limit ourselves by failing to acknowledge the truth that is right in front of us.

One of the things that I am working on in therapy is my fear of failure. Unfortunately, by some cruel twist fate you cannot work through lifelong issues without failing every now and then. This is probably one of the most frustrating things about consciously working on yourself. There is no such thing as being perfect. There is only better and sometimes better is “worse” than where you started. It’s the non-linear pathway that growth often takes. Growth, the albatross that it is, breeds an immense amount of discomfort. For every step forward, there is a potential for a backslide that will leave you reeling. In conclusion, there is no growth without discomfort.

I hope you all find peace and enlightenment in your discomfort.

Yours always,

EM

An Ode to Rainy Sundays and Gratitude

Hello my friends! Long time no speak…

I don’t know about y’all, but this holiday season has been ROUGH. Nothing about it seems to make sense. On this rainy Sunday afternoon as I cuddle up with Wentworth, I’ve begun what has become my favorite holiday tradition. A form of self-care amidst the craziness of holiday season. Thankfully this tradition is very much doable and perhaps needed in the times in which we are living. The one tradition that I’ve decided to carry on this year is my mid- December gratitude list.

Unlike most people, I like to postpone my Thanksgiving meditations until after the holiday has passed. There are several reasons why I do this. After a few years, the gratitude starts to all sound the same. Another reason why I postpone it, is due fact that we immediately roll from the season of Thanksgiving into the season of abundant consumerism. That fact has always seemed incredibly ironic to me. In order to combat this sudden paradigm shift that we undergo each and every year, I started the tradition of saving my gratitude for December — in the midst of endless Christmas lists, the feeling of not having enough, or not doing enough. This always grounds and me positions me to start the new year off without feeling as if I am lacking.

I encourage you to actually take time to do this. Take a break from the stress, the endless new cycles, and the Monday scaries. Truly take the time to compose this list and pin it somewhere where you will see it. This can carry you through and can serve as a nice reminder as you make your new year’s list, if you make one at all.

The two thing that I am most grateful for this year are time and love. Time has been one of my greatest gifts. It has given me the space to grieve, lent me moments of deep reflection, and blessed me with my last moments with my mother. Love has given me strength. Amidst this season of uncertainty and loss, I have learned to never underestimate the power of love. To my friends, I love you dearly. More than you will ever know. Thank you for bringing light to my darkness and joy to my sorrow. I am grateful for each and every one of you. Being loved by you is one of the most beautiful gifts that I have ever been given.

That’s all folks! I hope that you have a happy Monday and that you take some time to show yourself some love.

Yours always,

EM

Bacon: It's Good for Me

Happy Wednesday my friends,

After taking a much needed break from the blog to decompress, I decided to hop on and write a quick lighthearted post to potentially brighten your day during these very tense times.

First of all, take a deep breath. We will all be okay.

B.A.C.O.N

B-Bad

A- Attitudes

C-Can’t

O-Overcome

N-Nothin’

Bacon. Forgive me, the grammar, but it gets the point across. Bacon: it’s so damn good for me. It’s my little treat. The crunch, the hint of saltiness, the guilty grease, it’s so damn good for me. It challenges me to savor each bite. It pulls me from my vacuousness. It rouses me from my proverbial sleep. Bacon, when savored properly, allows for one to understand that too much of one sense can be a bad thing. That balance is key to an enlivened experience. That we all have those mornings where we wake up on the wrong side of the bed or rather election race haha. Umami, the dream, a bite with equality of senses. An overwhelming sense of peace.

We are a nation of people and we must remember this as we move forward. Regardless of the outcome, remember that bacon is good for you. Go with love my friends.

Yours Always,

EM

First Date Chronicles (2): Somebody Call Poison Control Because There’s Some Toxic Masculinity Invading My Space (Part I)

Happy Wednesday my friends,

I invite you to grab some popcorn, a glass of wine or three, and settle in to my date with the douche. Let’s call him Putin.

Part I: Enough Red Flags to Line an Ultramarathon

Before we begin, let me preface this story by taking full responsibility for ignoring the pre-date red flags. In my defense, he is Russian so I cut him a little slack 🤷🏽‍♀️.

I’ll list a few of the red flags below:

  1. His insistence that girls and guys cannot be friends…and that if we dated I would not be able to hang out with my closest guy friends 1:1.
  2. His very arbitrary points system. At first I thought that it was a joke about brownie points, but he’d reference it throughout multiple points in conversations because I was and I quote: “Trying out to be on his varsity team”.
  3. His insistence that cleaning would be 60/40 with me doing the heavy lifting. Furthermore, he said that was him being generous. Ideally, it would be 100/0. He also said that cooking would be 100/0.
  4. His insistence that if a girl is assaulted then it is her fault. She should know that every guy is potentially just trying to get in her pants…including her own father 🤢🤮.
  5. That I should stop dating other people and cancel my plans for the next week before we even had a chance to meet.
  6. Somehow all of his exes happened to be “crazy”
  7. His insistence that he has everything that a woman can want and that it’s okay for him to suggest changes to her. Any changes that she would suggest would likely be small and unimportant.
  8. His claim that he dated nothing but models and that he received acclaim for his skills as a lover

I know…I’m judging myself too. What the heck was I thinking?! I felt a responsibility to challenge his problematic ideas and a girl has got to eat 🤷🏽‍♀️.

Turns out the pre-date red flags were just the tip of the iceberg. Tune in next week for Part II to hear about the actual date.

I’d love to hear from you! Let me know about the types of red flags that you look for before a potential date.

Yours always,

EM

Some Potential Background Vocals

Thoughts for my Thoughts: “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”-Pericles

In honor of the emotionally draining election period we are going through and today’s voter registration deadline, I thought I’d share a quick quote from one of my favorite philosophers.

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”-Pericles

In summary my friends, please vote.

I know that this election is being touted as the election to end all elections but that is simply untrue. Our right and duty to exercise our freedom of involvement in public matters, has and will always matter. Please do not forget that regardless of the outcome or of the individuals running for office.

I encourage you to explore for yourself what you are the policies being proposed by both sides regardless of your political leanings. Empathy and compromise are the best ways to deal with this contentious time period.

I’d love to hear more from you. Happy debating my friends!

Yours always,

EM

Staycation Nation

As I sit here writing this blogpost, my next door neighbor is banging away on his newly acquired drum set. While I appreciate the joie de vivre, I do wish he’d work through his midlife crises in a more introspective manner or at the very least substitute his drum set for one of these. I kid, BUT I will be adding some noise cancelling headphones to my holiday wishlist lol. Everyone deserves their little piece of escape.

Speaking of escape, I never knew that staycations would one day become the norm. I mean I don’t think anything, apart from The Simpsons, could have predicted the kind of year we are having. We live at home, we work at home, and are somehow expected to find our escape in our homes. It’s a lot for any person to manage. (Side note: I’m particularly impressed by the parents that are toeing this difficult balance.) In an effort to help you with your much deserved staycations, I wanted to share some things that I’ve been doing and tools that I’ve utilized to give myself those little moments of mental reprieve.

  • Reading: Reading truly is the ultimate escape. Even before quarantine, I found solace in the way in which words can weave wondrous worlds for us to wander in. (I couldn’t help myself with the alliteration lol). I’ll try to get some posts together regarding my quarantine readings.
  • Decorating: Decorating is truly an underrated art. I’ve always taken quite a spartan approach to my living arrangements. If I had what I needed, then I was utterly grateful. However, spending so much time at home has really illuminated the importance of personalizing your space. I’ll do more posts regarding in depth tips for decorating , but I did want to mention three things that really have helped me
    • fairy lights– I’ve purchased multiple sets of the lights linked here. They add such a soft glow of gloomy nights when you don’t want the harshness of overhead light. They are an excellent way to create a space to escape. I personally love the “romantic” feel that they add to any space.
    • Japanese screens– Japanese screens or room dividers in general have been an essential part of my quarantine experience. While they are a little on the steep side, they are still much less expensive than paying rent for a larger place to live! I’ve utilized room dividers to assist with creating physical barriers in my small space that assist me with mentally dividing my now complex relationship with my living space.
    • Bedding– Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always invested in decent bedding. However, I never appreciated it until quarantine. While this may not be the best habit and perhaps counterproductive to the whole division of space trend, I find myself using my bed ask my main work space some days. To be honest, sometimes I have to muster a lot of energy to work and I can’t manage to both work and get out of bed. When I commuted into the office, I had an external pressure to be “ON”. Now, Wentworth is my only co-worker. Although he is a somewhat shady boy, the pressure to be fully present doesn’t feel the same. Instead of punishing myself for not being able to get out of bed some days, I decided to invest in myself and create a space that I could feel both comforted and productive.
  • “Me-Do” List: This one may be self-explanatory, but I find that I create to-do lists for everything. I always have discouragingly long to-do lists pertaining to my job and my life responsibilities, BUT I don’t…well didn’t have one for the things that actually feed my soul. That’s why I started making “Me-Do” lists. Forgive the grammar, but I was feeling cutesy haha. On my weekly “Me-Do” list, I put down things that I enjoy doing that have no end goal or objective apart from bringing me peace and/or joy. I don’t have to do everything on that list, but I challenge myself to at least do one of the things on my list at some point during the week. When I’m feeling more ambitious, I challenge myself to do one thing from the list each day. The nice thing about “Me-Do” lists is that there isn’t a right or wrong way to utilize them. Some weeks, I do the same “Me-Do” every single day. Other weeks, I fit in a quick one on Sunday just to say I did it. Below are some examples of “Me-Dos”
    • Painting(I have this exact set. I absolutely love it)
    • Playing guitar
    • reading one book chapter
    • cooking a nice meal
    • lighting some candles( these are some of my favorite candles. convenient and great burn time)
    • getting dressed

You get the gist of it. Your list should be reflective of all of the things that you put to the side in favor of things that you have to do.

Well that’s all from me. I hope that this post was somewhat helpful. I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments if you have any book recommendations or suggestions for feeding your soul.

Sincerely,

EM