Learn, Create, Move, and Soothe

I was feeling a tiny bit bit negative for the past few days. Not enough to pinpoint it at first, not until last night when I was feeeling so annoyed, and unsure, it was clear I wasn’t in a good space. I did some deep thinking about the difference between this week and the last one, and I realized it was because I wasn’t actively pursing happiness and positivity. It’s easy to fall into a bad place when you haven’t created a routine around avoiding it. To change that I realize that the best way for me to be positive is to incorporate four core principles everyday: Learn, Create, Move, and Soothe.

Learn means I need to expand my brain a little, or a lot, everyday. If I don’t read something, or actively do something, that allows me to learn more about the world, other people,  science/math/tech, or myself, I feel bereft. It’s why I love carpentry so much. Did I mention that prior to my accident I worked 40+ hours per week as a carpenter apprentice mastering the trade, one wall at a time. Being able to look back at the end of the day, and see what my hands and mind was capable of was extremely empowering, and it’s why Create is included in my daily things.

Because it’s hard to sit, or stand, or lay down for very long, creating things as far as carpentry is concerned is out of the question. Instead I focus on creating stories, dolls, art, or music (fun fact: I own 3 guitars I’m not very good at playing). Most of what I create is just for me, and is a painstakingly (literally pain in my butt 😂) slow process that involves me changing positions frequently, and/or stopping all together just before the rhythm of satisfaction kicks in. I persist though, knowing that I will create something I love is important. Moving forward (haha), we come to Move.

I love to dance. The kind of love that would force me from a car stopped at an intersection in order to really move the way the song called for. The kind of love that was wrapped in soca, tied with salsa, grounded with tunes from the 50’s – 70’s, sprinkled with soulful pop, and seasoned with hip hop and R’n’B. I still love this music, and I still love dance, it’s just that my body doesn’t cooperate the way it used to,( I still have hope that it will again). Which is why I chair dance and head bop with every opportunity. I am also walking as much as I am able- sometimes a little more than I probably should, but the only way I can get bettter is to do as much as I can, when I can.

Lastly is Soothe. It can be meditation, or listening to music, imagining the future, or having my feet rubbed. Anything that gives me the peace of mind I need to calm the racing and sometimes negative thoughts that stomp their muddy boots through my mind.

So there it is my daily must do’s. Do you have any? Maybe you should.

Ciao Bella/Bello

-xo

Advertisements

The Unease of Happiness

Hey you, quick question for you-

Are you uncomfortable being happy?

It sounds awkward right? But really, are you uncomfortable being happy?
You probably want to say no. You probably want to say “Nah, I love being happy, happy is awesome.” But you probably gag on it. You’re probably scared to commit to that level of saccharine. But there it is. Right there in your sarcastically condescending, “everybody likes being happy.” Sure everybody likes the idea of happiness, but actual happiness? That ish is scary as hell.

So, why is happiness scary? Because choosing happiness forces you to recognize just how unhappy you are. Have you ever been sitting in your car, listening to a song you really like, diddy-bopping along? Maybe you’ve been out and about having the best freaking time ever, and then, all in a sudden, you feel tears falling down your face, and you can’t say why the hell they’re there. I mean, you’re happy right? In that little moment you are, and you are so in the moment that when you become aware outside of that moment you compare it to the rest of your life, and realize just how sad, or unfulfilling, or depressing, your life is. So after that, it becomes a lot easier to reject what feels really, really, good, to avoid a comparison to what feels only ok, or maybe even pretty freaking bad. You don’t hang out with friends, because going back home to an empty apartment is much more awful than staying in and watching netflix. You don’t cuddle your girlfriend, because cuddling leads to sex, and sex is the only time you reach euphoria, and the come down makes you want to leap off something steep.

So what’s the answer? What’s the solution, right? How do you allow yourself some happiness?

You get out of your own way.

You don’t allow anyone, or anything, or even yourself to get in the way of your happiness. It’s what you want, naturally, and the only reason you don’t have it is because you cut yourself off from it. You are responsible for keeping it away from yourself. That means you are responsible for providing it to yourself. So, stop being a scared little 💩, put on your bigly pants, and go be effing happy.

with love, and peace, and hair grease,

-xo

Pain in the butt (well glute, hips, and back)

Hey there, how are you, full of gratitude and energy I hope.

So, today was a rough day. I was in pain like you would not believe; the kind that rips your concentration from mindlessly thumbing through your phone, to being minutely aware of the places where you skin presses just a bit too hard on bone.

I had an accident last year, and have spent the past 12 months trying to recover. I finally had a procedure I’ve been waiting on for the better part of that period, and instead of the relief I expected, I received a severe uptick in pain. Now, this sounds bad right? Who wants something worse than what they already had to deal with? I’m choosing not to look at it that way though. Perception is the difference in believing that mostly good things happen to you, or mostly bad things.  I choose to look at it as progress. Things have changed, and brought me to this state, they can change again, and bring me somewhere else. Being in excruciatingly debilitating pain over the last few days has allowed me to divorce myself from the concept that this pain is who I am. I’ve realized that the pain reinforces things about me, but in no way qualifies me. I am not a person in pain named Xsumi. Instead, my name is Xsumi, I am creative, articulate, and dogged in my pursuit of knowledge; I have been in a constant pain, that I’ve grown accustomed to accomadating myself towards over the course of a year long intensive in advanced level pain. If you see me limp, grimace, or sit unnaturally straight, I am in that moment experiencing acute awareness pain. My pain however, does not stop me from smiling, laughing, telling jokes, or finding the good, not anymore. More on that another time.

Your pain, physical or emotional, should not prevent you from fully participating in life either. Please do not let it.

With all my love,

-xo

Listing Out

Hola! ¿Que Tal? Súper Bien.

Ok, so, I’ve made some progress on the list, not leaps and bounds, but I’ve identified a way to categorize my motivations on the list. How you ask, before snoozing because of all the technical sounding stuff? By Qualifying my list; adding the immediate emotional response I have to each list item.

My reasoning behind adding qualifiers is to better understand the connections on this list. Because this is my life, each item is connected to personal experiences and memories that are difficult to pinpoint however, qualifying them allows me to categorize and sort the items.

Qualifiers, and my list driven personal definitions

Love Gladly do this for free, for my own personal selfish reasons, something I really really want
Like I’m not compelled to do this for free, it is not a pressing “I must do this” feeling, but it is definitely something that I want to be actionable about
Interest I would do this for money; I would do this just for the knowledge of it
Fear Something that I must do to conquer the fear I feel about it
Dread I believe this is going to involve a lot of work, and I’m not sure I’m capable
Logical This makes sense to me in such a way that it cannot ever not make sense, now that I understand it
Need Something I understand I must do in order to feel good about myself, my life, my physical, and/or emotional health

 

And, here’s the list all qualified

Love, Interest Really learn to sew, at a professional level, to create my dream dresses outfits, dolls and projects

Interest, Logical Make money, enough to sustain myself with a comfortable and low scale elegant lifestyle, with very little “work.” Work meaning doing things I do not like or would not Choose to do for free.

Like, Logical Travel, a lot, a whole lot

Love, Interest, Need, Logical Help girls and women, and by extension men and boys too

Love, Interest, Need, Logical Do something about, or towards fostering more understanding about, race perceptions, self identity, and personal awareness, rape, sexual assault, true equity not the 50/50 bs, fairness, and a better living standard for people in general

Love, Interest, Need, Logical Expose women and girls to possibilites they haven’t allowed themselves, or been allowed, to consider. Expose the diversity and intersectionality of women and girls

Love, Interest, Need Read a lot of books

Love, Fear, Interest, Dread Write several books, but at the very least my dusty and forlorn ya fic book

Fear, Love, Dread Be fit as f!@#

Logical Be comfortable enough emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually, etc. to have, or adopt a kid, if that’s what I want to do in several years.

Love Live in Montreal in the warm nice weather months, and maybe experience a winter too

Logical, Love, Interest, Fear Create jobs that pay well, and treat people well

Love, Logical Be in a position to uplift my friends and family

Love, Fear Build a really really great relationship; supporting, loving, genuine, fun, and sexy.

Love, Interest, Logical Learn new stuff

Love, Fear, Logical Be fearless, or at least be able to say eff fear and do it anyway, legs shaking as I step forward

Love, Logical, Interest Be active in my community, with my body physically, and with my voice on the internets

Love, Need, Interest Ground myself with a custom fitted spiritual practice

Love, Need, Interest Practice yoga and meditation consistently

Need Allow and invite happiness and stay in a positive mental space

Need Let go of worrying and “I wish” type regrets

Need Be healthy

Need, Love Be comfortable

Interesting observation, I’ve written the list here exactly as it came out of my mind, and I notice I’ve put all my personal needs last. Hmm something to ponder.

Okay, so that’s what I’m sharing so far. I hope this helps you with your own list.

as always,

-xo

Time to think

I woke up this morning, late for me- 6am, thinking about the list I posted yesterday, letting my mind start to make connections, and eliminations. I assumed I would finish it up and post it today. What I did instead, was listen to Malcolm Gladwell talks on YouTube, and remind myself how to have stimulating discussions. I reminded myself how much I want to create, instead of consume, and just how much I want to be impactful. I’ve had quite a year. Set backs and stumbles, sure, but so many milestones and lessons. Learning that I need to allow myself the time to ponder and come to a fuller conclusion is chief among them. Allowing myself the space to grow, change, and adapt is another. The listed list is coming, just not today. I need to think some more.

-xo

Lists

1) I am a list person

2) I like to plan

3) Most of these plans amount to little more than super detailed written day dreams, but I throughly enjoy them.

Haha, like my list about lists. See what I did there, jajaja I’m so clever.

Anteway, hello internet full of friends in my head, howdy! So lists, I’m not sure when I started making them however, since that ambiguous point in time I’ve come to depend on them, and they have served to see me through some Ish; bad relationships, major financial decisions, future outcomes, hopes and dreams and wishes made on a dim star in the depths of a lonely heart. Ya know, normal life stuff.

If I were to compile a collection of my lists, that would probably be a pretty good way to learn about myself, unfortunately most of them were scribbled in notebooks with pencil (my preferred method of thought delivery), and are either illegible or were unceremoniously trashed, boo hoo 😭. I do have access to my intermittent journals for the last 20+ years, so maybe I could do something with those, one day, probably not soon, though it is a pretty good self awareness resource, so I should probably find time to do that earlier than Nevuary 31st. No. Nope, no half-a$$ing, I’m committing to doing that, and posting about it here (yay, accountability!)

Back to lists.

In honor of this post I’ve compiled a list of things I want to do, if I could do anything, and fear/indecision wasn’t bullying me in to meekness.

Big Bad List of Things I’d Like to do if I Could do Absolutely Anything

Really learn to sew, at a professional level, to create my dream dresses, outfits, dolls and projects

Make money, enough to sustain myself with a comfortable and low scale elegant lifestyle, with very little hard work.

Travel, a lot, a whole lot

Help improve the lives of girls and women, probably by exposing them to non-traditional arenas, and by extension improving the lives of men, boys, and non-binary persons too.

Do something about fostering more understanding about race perceptions, self identity, personal awareness, rape, sexual assault, true equity- not the 50/50 bs, fairness, and a better living standard for people in general

Read a lot of books

Write several books, but at the very least my dusty and forlorn ya fic book

Be fit as f!@#

Be comfortable enough emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually, etc. to have, or adopt a kid, if that’s what I want to do in several years.

Live in Montreal in the warm nice weather months, and maybe experience a winter too

Create jobs that pay well, and treat people well

Be in a position to uplift my friends and family

Build a really really great relationship; supporting, loving, genuine, fun, and sexy.

Learn new stuff

Be fearless, or at least be able to say eff fear and do it anyway, legs shaking as I step forward

Be active in my community, with my body physically, and with my voice on the internets

Ground myself with a custom fitted spiritual practice

Practice yoga and meditation consistently

Allow and invite happiness, and stay in a positive mental space

Let go of worrying and “I wish” type regrets

Be healthy

Be comfortable

Be Free

Finally grow my fine, natural, low porosity, type 4 hair to be healthy, and beyond shoulder length

Figure out how to care for skin properly to finally kick my adult acne and dark marks

Create a couple kick-a$$ apps

 

This a long and unwieldy list. Some things overlap, some contradict, and it contains way more topics than most successful laser focused blogs tend to. I don’t care. This is me, all these things, not a cherry picked handful. Life is intersectional, not one dimensional, and I will not aim to disservice it with containment. That would be terrible for my self awareness, and if you’re trying to follow along for your own path of self discovery, it would be detrimental for you too.  We are whole people, with a whole lotta Ish in our lives, and we will embrace all of it!

So I have a list, yay! That is now checked off my list, jajaja (laughing in español in case you’re wondering). Next up is a post that will aim to condense the list, by finding redundancies and overlapping themes. Then I will list real world actionable ideas and steps/possibilities I can take to make them happen. It is all about making things happen, for me and hopefully you too.

Okay kiddos, enjoy a nauseatingly positive day on me

-xo

Cultivating Self Awareness

I like reading, always have, well maybe not when my mom would send me to read book after book when I wanted to watch Saturday cartoons, but even then that quickly changed and now personally, I don’t own a television (though my Netflix subscription has beeen getting way too much eye time lately, ahem). This has given me lots of time to learn things. Yoga for body comfort, meditation for peace of mind, sewing, crochet, and carpentry to keep my hands, and mind busy, plus lots of other stuff it would take too much time to go into. Am I an expert at any of these things? Nope. But I’m well past beginner in all of them, and past proficient in most of them. All of this brings me to the thing I haven’t spent enough time learning about, and that’s myself.

There are reasons why I’ve avoided the topic of self that one day I’ll feel brave enough exposing to an internet full of soon to be friends, but today is not that day. This is not to say I’m completely ambivalent towards myself; my favorite color to look at is blue, to wear is grey, my favorite food are fruits, and whistling is something  I’ve accepted I’ll never be able to do (maybe).

An-tee-way, self awareness has been buzzing in the back of my mind lately. I even talked to my sister, Talia, about creating a self awareness program that we would perfect with ourselves, and hopefully make it inclusive enough to offer to others.

I admire Gary Vee, if you don’t know him, I don’t know where on the internets you’ve been, but you should get to know him. Entrepreneur extraordinaire, motivational whizkid, and all around great seeming guy (gush over). He talks about self awareness being the most important factor to his success. The most interesting thing about it is he consistently says while you need it, he does not know how to create it. I want to figure it out, and I want to help anyone who needs it as badly as I do. So, this is me experimenting and learning how to know myself.

Cheers to an awesome, interesting, and knowledgeable journey!

Love you hunny bunnies- xo