I have been slammed with SUPER intense emotions. Crashing over me like waves. I’m fine for a minute then, BAM, another hits. Maybe it was the full moon, the lunar eclipse, or the comet that passed a few nights ago? Maybe it’s just where I am in life?
All I know for certain is…
I realize, to some,this sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo. But it is honestly the state of my being right now. Everything in me is changing, evolving…
I am becoming more awake. More aware.
Aware of the things I have let defeat me. Aware of the thoughts that have held me prisoner. Aware of the negativity that I allowed to permeate everything around me.
I am seeing with fresh eyes the things that suck up my time. The things that suck up my soul.
I am awakening to the collective unconscious. The societal voices that become our inner monologues.
I am seeing that I have allowed those voices to steal my confidence, my joy, my passion.
I am awakening to the lies that I have believed simply because generations before me accepted them as truth. I now cringe at the “that’s the way great-great-granny did it” mentality.
I am waking up to see that it is sometimes the comfort of the lies that hold us back. We have become afraid to rock the boat. Some of us have let our own voice grow silent, adopting instead the voice of complacency.
I see now the time wasted, never to be regained, on the belief that we need to follow societal norms. We live in fear of doing something “wrong”, messing things up.
I see the lie of perfection. The desire for perfection, in all things, cripples us. We want perfect hair before our pictures. We need the perfect shoes for our outfits. We won’t be happy with our body, with our lives, until we reach our goal(s).
I no longer believe the lie that we must “climb the ladder” to succeed. The need for titles behind our names & signs in front of our parking spaces. Just more lies.
I pray to never again be convinced of the importance of these pretensions.
I am hopeful that each day I will continue to become more aware, more awake.
I hope to become a better version of me each day simply by laying down things that no longer serve me and making room for new and healthy thought patterns and life habits.
I vow to escape the deception of perfection. In fact, I will avoid striving for perfection at all. Instead focusing on growth in every area of my life.
I will be me bravely, with intentions of failing boldly in MANY endeavors.
I have so many things to be grateful for in my life yet, this is the most important thing I have ever done. It is not easy to change your old thoughts, old habits. It is not easy to let go of things that you identify as “yourself”, but it is so rewarding.
Striving to become more awake, more aware, has changed/is changing every aspect of my life. I realize now, that striving to be the best version of me is so important. It’s not selfish or self-serving. Working on me, gives me the strength to be there for others.
This awareness has begun to overflow into every detail of my life. Becoming a better me allows me to be a better mom, wife, friend….PERSON.
Stepping back from old thought patterns, becoming accepting of the way things are, letting in more light and love into my life…these are the things I am most grateful for today.
This is the scariest, yet most freeing advice I have ever gotten.
Hello, my name is Kristal, and I am afraid of failure.
I shared my fitness journey and how I spent A LOT of time hiding in the corner of the gym, on the treadmill. I had NO clue what I was doing, and I WAS AFRAID. Afraid that if I lifted a weight I wouldn’t do it right. Afraid I would look like an idiot. I KNEW that I could never be comfortable in a gym. All those skinny girls in spandex with perky booties, all those muscled-up men, all those health nuts. They were intimidating!
I was AFRAID. Afraid to try, afraid to fail.
It took someone holding my hand through the process, cheering me on, showing me that those “intimidating” people at the gym could care less if I looked like an idiot. Showing me that even if they did care, it didn’t matter. Showing me that this was about MY life, about making ME healthy.
Fast forward…. I now feel more at home in the gym than most other places. It’s my retreat. My therapy. My happy place. I didn’t fail! I worked hard, I listened, I read…I made it work for me!! I took charge of my health. I took charge of my body.
I found success in the health/fitness arena. What I didn’t do was conquer my fear of failure.
My entire life I have dreamed of becoming a writer. I have dreamed of owning my own business. I have dreamed of traveling the world. I have dreamed of making an impact by doing something that I am PASSIONATE about.
I am a chronic dreamer. I have SO many ideas ALL the time. What I lack is follow through.
Why is that?
Why have I not written the 101 novels that I have ideas for? Why have I not written the 99 children’s books that I’ve dreamed up? Why have I not started 3 companies? Why have I not traveled?
I’ve been too afraid.
Afraid that this small-town girl who grew up in poor, rural, South Carolina would never have what it takes. Afraid I was not “good enough” to be successful. Afraid I was kidding myself with my crazy ideas and dreams.
I spent my life thinking that if I could just “get by” (have a steady job, a family, a decent car, a house instead of a trailer, some semblance of peace, etc.) that would be my life. That would mean I had “arrived”.
That was a lie. A lie that I told myself. A lie that I believed. A lie that grew and grew until it became debilitating. I lie that I began to identify with. For years, I have let this lie destroy my life.
I have made many HUGE mistakes in my life. I’ve felt like a failure as a person. No matter how many successes I’ve had, no matter how many “good” things I’ve done, I could never view myself as “enough”.
I am WHOEVER and WHATEVER I decide to become. All I have is NOW. I can’t change the past. I can’t change who I am. What I can change is how I think and where I go from here.
I am determined to change my “stinkin thinkin”. I am determined to chase my dreams RELENTLESSLY. I am determined to fail.
I realize now, that I am going to have to fail. More than once! But guess what that means? It means…
I will never be an author if I don’t WRITE. I will never be my own boss if I don’t start TAKING ACTION to get me there. I will never travel if I keep telling myself it’s not a possibility for me.
Guess what?? The hand-holding I needed to get off the corner treadmill….I still need it. We all do. So I have started working on my circle. Working on my average. Working on surrounding myself with people who encourage me to chase my dreams.
I’ve realized that there is NO aspect of my life that should be passive. I have to take charge of the energies I surround myself with. I have to take charge of my goals by breaking them down into ACTIONS. I have to take charge of my writing by…well, WRITING.
When I read this quote I had TONS of thoughts. Thought I’d share a few:
There are not currently 5 people that I spend a lot of time with. I’ve become quite the hermit lately. I’ve battled depression and anxiety for the past couple months and when those dark times come, instead of doing what I know I should… reach out for support, I withdraw into myself and make as little connection with ANYONE as humanly possible. There I stay, captured by thought and a feeling of continual angst. Sounds fun right?!? Ugh.
My relationships with my loved ones are less than healthy. My relationship with my parents is strained, my relationship with my in-laws is distant (although they melt my heart and I would be lost without them), my relationship with Brent is a roller-coaster of emotion (he and I are opposites in MUCH, and while it is exciting, it is also a lot of work). I’m not very close to anyone else in my family (in any sense, location included).
In fact, as I thought about this quote I realized that I am quite the loner. Don’t get me wrong I love my alone time, but I think that is one reason I get trapped in my own head a lot. This may seem like a negative discovery, but I am thankful for awareness. I am thankful that I am discovering negative patterns in my life. I am becoming aware!
My favorite people in the whole world are such a random collective:
The ones who laugh BIG, who dream BIG, who love BIG. The square pegs that REFUSE to fit in round holes. The freethinkers. The mavericks.
I am super blessed in the friend department.
There are so many more people who I hold dear. So many people who have changed my life in positive ways. As I contemplated my “average”, I caught myself thinking about how many people AMAZING people I have in my life. Some I talk to regularly, most I don’t. Some I haven’t talked to in years, yet they remain dear to my heart. So many smiles as I think about these people. So many amazing people I have the privilege to call friend.
I am reminded of the cheesy Girl Scout song that said, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”
I don’t want my “average” to be average.
I’m done with thinking small. I’m done with petty. I’m done with people who don’t love big. I’m done with drama. I’m done with settlers.
This year I vow to find and surround myself with people that I want to be like when I grow up (still haven’t decided if I EVER will). People who are making a difference. People who are spreading love and light. People who not only dream BIG, but are accomplishing BIG things.
I had a convo tonight with another freethinker. We talked about settling. We decided we have done too much of that in our lives. I just kept saying, “There has to be more.”
I believe that with my whole heart. There is more. There is life with purpose. There is life full of happiness. There is a true North for each of us to follow.
“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us…” -Maya Angelou
So powerful. The sum total. Each of us goes through this life, soaking up, basking in, running from, running toward. Life is so messy. It encircles us. Life happens to us, we happen right back. The lies we are told, the truths we refuse to hear. Each a tiny piece in the puzzle that is us. The person we become is shaped by each experience. Lives intertwine, disconnect, support, destruct. One life reverberates off another. The great silk thread that links us all. The underlying consciousness, the feeling of belonging we all search for. Life is so complicated. So complex, so diverse. That is where the beauty lies. Beauty in diversity. Beauty in each day, each moment being different than the last.
I have felt so emotional lately. I want so much more. Not stuff, not possessions. I want to help people find their own path. I want to offer happiness in a world full of discord. I want to see all the beautiful creations of Mother Earth. I want to better my yoga practice. I want to save EVERY animal. I want to spread smiles like peanut butter. I want to LIVE!
This past year has been…difficult. I have battled with dark places within myself. I have discovered negative thought patterns that threaten to ruin me. I have learned that NO ONE is perfect, and EVERY ONE will let you down at some point (and that’s ok, we are all human). I have struggled to find balance in all things. I have cried, laughed, tasted the harshness of desperation, savored moments of pure bliss.
If I am being honest, I don’t know where life will take me from this day forward. All I know is that I am going to be ok. I am going to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have battled so much in my life and ALL I know for certain is that I WILL NOT QUIT. I WILL NOT HANG MY HEAD IN DEFEAT. I WILL NOT SETTLE FOR A LIFE I DON’T LOVE. I WILL FIND MORE.
Thank you to everyone who has touched my life this past year. Thank you for your encouragement, thank you for your criticism, thank you for helping to shape me into who I am. I am so blessed with so many awesome people in my life. I hope that you all take a little time and decide what it is that makes you tick. What is your purpose in this crazy life of ours? Once you find it…spin WILDLY in that direction! I hope this year we all LIVE life to the fullest….each and every moment! Spread love! Spread happiness! Spread laughter!! Life is too short to do anything else!
I cry. I grin. I reflect. I plan.
I cry because all the animals in the shelter look extra cold and lonely this time of year. I cry because there are kids being bombed instead of waiting for Santa. I cry for the “perfect” holiday moments that I will never have.
I cry at EVERY. SINGLE. PUBLIX. COMMERCIAL.
Sometimes I know it’s coming, and other times (usually because of those sneaky commercials) ….BAM, floodgates open outta nowhere!
When I’m not tearing up, I find myself grinning like the Cheshire cat. I look at the kids and their eyes sparkle just a little brighter this time of year. The expectation and miraculous wonder that this season embodies just emanates from kids around Christmas time. I watch them sleep and I swear I can see those dancing sugar plums…
I stand there, creepily staring as they sleep….and begin to reflect…
There is nothing better than the holidays to put me in a reflective, “What’s the meaning of life” kind of mood. Reflection is a good thing sometimes. I just tend to go into reflective hyper-drive in the months of November and December. It is during these months that I find myself reflecting on ALL things…. GREAT and small. Yes, I said ALL things.
Pick a topic…chances are I have reflected on it during November or December. And if I didn’t get to it this year…I will work on it the next holiday season…
I reflect on Christmases past. Nostalgia takes over. I remember the excitement of my grandma’s house on Christmas Eve. I see my grandpa laugh and smile as he opens his gifts (he was always a big kid at Christmas). I smell oodles of Christmas cookies my mom and I baked in our overly-decorated, yet oh so cozy home. I sleepily listen for reindeer and hope I to catch a glimpse of Santa.
Yet amid these heart-warming reflections, this year I also find myself reflecting on the state of our nation and the rampant hate that seems to have such a vice grip on it. The state of our planet and the lack of regard for her. World-wide chaos. Priorities that seem flipped upside down.
I reflect on my life, on past mistakes and past successes. On what I thought life should look like at my age vs. reality. I reflect on people that have come and gone. I reflect on the person I was three years ago, five years ago, ten years ago. So many changes I have undergone…so many truths I have unearthed, so many people I have been.
The one thing, the only thing, all my reflections have in common….
Regardless of whether they are the best memories or the worst memories, the one thing they all have in common is…they don’t last. Change is the one constant in our lives.
After all the crying, grinning like an idiot and being uber nostalgic, my reflecting turns to a focus on change. What changes do I want to see happen in my life? What changes are key to my success? What changes can I make to get me closer to my goals?
While some people REFUSE to make one New Years resolution, I tend to make a LIST. Go big or go home right? Somewhere, in the middle of crying, grinning, and reflecting, I begin to plan. My list is sometimes beautifully handwritten (those are my favs, all swirly and artsy, colorful and fun), sometimes it is typed, sometimes it is scrawled in barely legible handwriting on a legal pad, it has even been a journal entry once or twice. It is normally at least 25 items in length…sometimes WAY more, sometimes a little less.
There are just so many things I want to do. So many things that I want to remind myself to make into daily habits. So many ways that I feel my life can be improved.
I have so many interests, so many goals, so much I hope to do with my life! I can be a little scattered at times (which drives my husband crazy…sorry honey…). This scattered thinking leads me down many rabbit holes. Some of which I am glad I went down, others not so much…but live and learn, right?!? I am a believer that life is meant to be lived.
For too long I have let life live me. I’ve gone along for the ride. My planning this year is all about changing that.
I have plans to take charge of my life. I have plans to make my dreams a reality. I have plans to live MY life, MY way. I have plans to be able to contribute in ways that matter. I have plans to surround myself with people who are doing these exact things.
Maybe I’m the only one who becomes emotionally unstable during the holidays? I am sure there are others out there just like me…sniffling through those pesky holiday commercials, remembering Christmases past, planning for what is coming next. Is this you? What do the holidays bring out in you? What “feels” does this time of year bring to the surface for you?
Meet my ride or die.
We are fire & water. Complete opposites in almost every way! We’ve come a long way together…our story is Lifetime movie worthy to say the least!! Our relationship has been rocky & at times utterly dysfunctional (we’ve been in some CRAZY situations)!! Despite all that, truth is, I’m certain we are meant to be. Realistically there is no reason that we should be together…our circumstances and zodiac signs can both attest to that. Still we remain, sharing a bond between us that is unique to anything I’ve ever felt. I feel like the Emery Allen quote says it best, “…maybe we are from the same star”.
These faces keep me going. Without them I am positive I wouldn’t be around today. They have saved me in more ways than one. I am eternally grateful for each of them.
The eldest of the 5, this chick right here is AMAZING! She’s a brilliant student who also happens to rock at b-ball, dancing (one of my goals in life used to be to beat her at Just Dance, ha! I’ve long given up that dream), singing, drawing, and being random. She is fun and hilarious. Kaylyn’s smile lights up a room! I can’t wait to see where life will take her next. She is unstoppable.
The odd man out. A red-head with four blonde siblings. My only lefty. He is super athletic and super opinionated! Wyatt’s always had MORE than enough personality. He is the one you gotta keep an eye on! He’s the spunky one of the bunch. Always has something to say!! Just call him Mr. Personality oh, and Mr. Football at the moment…
Owen is one of the most caring, sensitive kids ever. Always concerned if someone is left out and also serves as “protector” for the younger two. He’s always willing to help out. He is an early riser, a thinker, an old soul. Owen wants to be a MLB player…go ahead man!! We are still working on goals that are non-professional athlete related…
Trinity is still convinced that the Princess Sophia cartoon on Disney is about her (pretty sure I told her that when she was smaller…). It may as well be. She is a princess through and through. We are trying to convince her that we are mere town folk and unable to support her royal ways, as we are fresh out of butlers and chauffeurs!! Trinity loves to dance and play Minecraft.
An aspiring ballerina (she’s a ballet school drop out), gymnast, artist, professional gamer…honestly her interests change daily.
The baby of the bunch. Tarzan himself. Trinity couldn’t pronouce Phoenix for a long time so until about a year or two ago, he was still forced to answer to “Meesix” on the reg. This dude could be mistaken for a kid raised by wolves. He is in a constant state of undress. He is candid and full of crazy (mostly made-up) stories. He is the actor of the group. I need to sign him up for acting classes and profit from some of this craziness! Ha! Phoenix is a mini-Brent. He looks and acts WAY too much like his dad most of the time! From his freckled face to his picky eating habits he is Brent made over! He keeps us hopping! Never a dull moment with him!
These are the people I share my home with…but that’s not all!!! We have fur kids too! Check them out!