Finding Your Flow

 

 

 

My goodness, it’s been one heck of a week for me, so I’m behind in many posts I’ve planned. Regardless, I received an email this morning, and I just had to share the wonderful news with you.

Oprah and Deepak Chopra are presenting another free meditation event called, “Finding Your Flow.”

You might ask why I’m so excited about this. One year ago, I stumbled upon their first free meditation event called “Perfect Health.” It was honestly, life changing… Like three weeks of daily epiphanies!

And it’s free! I LOVE free!!!

Since then, they presented two more meditation programs: “Miraculous Relationships” and “Desire and Destiny.” So the deal is, it’s a three week event, in which they send you an inspirational article and a guided meditation every day. Each day has a new concept or theme. In addition, they have a journal with meditative prompts that help you connect even deeper to the theme and purpose.

In case you’re skeptical, I want to assure you it is 100% free, no obligation to purchase anything. They don’t share your information with anyone either. Their meditations are for sale either CD or digital copy, but like I said, there’s no obligation. I honestly would purchase the meditations, but they’re not quite in my budget right now!

And no, I’m not getting any special perks or benefits for suggesting this. Though, maybe if enough of you convinced Oprah, we could work something out! 😛

I’m just so passionate about this because I’ve experienced, first hand, the profound benefits that come with meditation. Though when I meditate on my own, I have trouble focusing and finding meaning sometimes. I wholeheartedly believe everyone can benefit from this, both experienced meditators and newbies. Even if you don’t view yourself as a meditation-type person, just listening to the calming music and affirmations is a surefire stress reliever.

Ahhhh, I’m just so excited about this. It’s my belief that the more people are connected with and living from their true spirit, the better we can transform our world into a more peaceful and loving place.

I never urge people to do anything, but I’m strongly suggesting you to just try it!

Ecstatically,

Adelie

Commitment Issues

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Some might say I have trouble committing. I can see why they’re drawing these conclusions…

I buy a book from the store, and lose interest only a couple of chapters from the end. Months later, I’ll regain interest, but I can’t simply pick up where I left off. I would have to read it from the beginning, and well, who has that kind of time?

I learn a new recipe and buy the required ingredients, plus a few extra to garnish. When I return home, I’m either too tired to cook or I have a different craving. The ingredients go unused. Veggies shrivel and rot in my fridge. I’ve thrown out an absurd amount of zucchinis.

I wake up on a Saturday with the intention to make it memorable. After planning my morning yoga, healthy lunch, afternoon jog, and evening writing session, I notice the need to take a step back…to the couch. Several hours later, I’ve knocked out nearly two seasons of a series on Netflix. If I really dedicate myself over the next week, maybe I’ll have watched all of the episodes.

…So yes, maybe I do have commitment issues. Though, it’s truly not that simple. These are merely symptoms of a deeper issue. The true problem is my undying commitment to something greater.

And that would be my purpose.

My heart knows what I must do. My brain knows it too. However, there’s something the two of them haven’t agreed upon.

And that would be if living from my soul is worth the risk.

Until a decision has been made, they allow me to dream and prepare. Though, they won’t let me finish a damn thing until they agree whether or not it’s worth the commitment.

I truly hope they’ll come to an understanding one of these days.

Until then, I think I’m going to train for a marathon.

Child’s Play

Sailor Moon

           Though this is only my second week , I’ve already discovered I’m a weekly writing challenge enthusiast.  This week, the writing challenge comes from Andrea Badgley, who happens to be a very inspiring woman and author of theButterfly Mind blog. Along with developing my writing skills further, these challenges introduce me to wonderful writers and new sources of inspiration, which I find invaluable. If you haven’t participated in a weekly writing challenge yet, I highly recommend just giving it a shot. This week, Andrea suggests we focus on a single object and expand upon it. Surprisingly, my object came very quickly. Here it goes!

            Everyone has their childhood superhero. Ever since kindergarten, mine just happened to be Sailor Moon. For those of you unfamiliar with the teenage galaxy warrior, I’ll give you a brief introduction. Though, to give the full effect, I’ll allow my fiver-year-old self to give you the run-down:

      *****     

            Sailor Moon, also known as Serena, is the head of the Sailor Scouts who fight crime to protect our galaxy against the forces of Evil. The other members of the Sailor Scouts are Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Venus. While Sailor Moon is my favorite, given her agility in fighting evil with her tiara magic, I secretly admire Sailor Mars because she can do some serious damage with her fire. Anyway, Luna is the guardian cat who advises Serena. Let’s not forget Tuxedo Mask, the handsomely dreamy man who helps Serena and drops roses around.

      *****     

            And that was a glimpse into the mind of five-year-old Adelie. I know what you’re thinking. Yes.  As a matter of fact, I did have pretty impressive diction for a kindergartener.

 

            *If you want a more detailed and objective description, there are several fan sites and resources out there. I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I believe Sailor Moon is now a part of the Anime world. A complete outsider to all things Manga, Anime, Comic-con, Cosplay, and the like, that’s about as much insight I can provide on the matter.*  Alright, back to the point…

            Let me explain, I was more than just an avid watcher of Sailor Moon. Every recess consisted of my best friend and me fighting the intergalactic villains lurking around the playground. She was usually Sailor Jupiter, and I was always throwing my magical tiara around. Reflecting on it now, I can still envision the unsuspecting and confused faces of my classmates as I accused them of plotting against our planet. Though at the time, I never noticed how baffled they looked when I’d run around them and launch invisible tiaras, which they probably assumed were fancy Frisbees.

The thing is, I wasn’t pretending to be Sailor Moon. Without a doubt, I was Sailor Moon. It wasn’t until middle school that a classmate reminded me that I wore a skirt literally (and I mean literally) every day until second grade. The rain, snow sleet, and wind never fazed me because, after all, I was a warrior. Though not identical to her sailor costume, my variety of plaid skirts gave me the same powers and made fighting crime very comfortable. I wonder how many kids saw my underwear when I did my awesome jumps, kicks, and cartwheels. Maybe I owe them an apology?

            It goes without saying that Sailor Moon had quite an impact on me growing up. While some descriptions of the show mention her crying a lot, I can remember shaking my head at that part of each episode. Being a crybaby was not an option for me. My mother’s signature phrase was always, “Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about!”

            I love my mom. She was an awesome parent, but she scared the hell out of me sometimes.

            Back to the point I’m trying to make, Sailor Moon showed me that women can take charge and that kicking ass isn’t just for Batman and Robin. Perhaps this helped shape me into the into the self-sufficient lass I am today. 🙂   Here’s something I just noticed that’s quite amusing.

Observe this picture of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask:                                

Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask

 

  And now a photo from my wedding:wedding

 

There’s a resemblance, right? Tell me I’m not the only one who sees this!

            By now, you’re probably wondering how the saga of my childhood alter ago fits into the weekly writing prompt. Well I had to lay the groundwork so you could truly appreciate the story I’m about to tell you.

            I was six, and my family went to a restaurant in Chesaning called Heritage House. It was this beautiful and historical restaurant that we only visited once a year, on my mother’s birthday.

Heritage House

            On that particular year, we had our delicious dinner and made a quick stop to Meijer on our way home. Somehow, I ended up in the doll aisle and behold….

            I’m sure I was squealing and jumping around. After all, I had never seen a doll of me, Sailor Moon, before! I showed my parents, who calmed me down somewhat. Then, they explained I had to earn the doll. After one year of chores on the farm, we would go back on my mom’s birthday, and they would buy me the doll. Back then, I certainly didn’t appreciate them instilling the values of hard work and dedication. Looking back on it now, I know their hearts were in the right place. Now, I think you can guess what happened next….

            One year later, I could barely contain myself as we walked into the Meijer. I was always a meek, well-behaved child, so it took everything I had to not sprint to the dolls. My parents perused the grocery aisles first, no doubt to torture me further. Then, we finally arrived at the magical aisle lined with dolls in pink and purple boxes. I walked down both sides of the aisle. Confused, I scanned the shelves a few more times, assuming that I must have just overlooked her iconic golden pigtails. Sensing my panic, my parents walked up and down the aisle with me a few more times.

            “There must be some in the back,” my dad assured me, as he went to find an associate. Finally, a woman in a red vest, carrying a Telxon (hand-held inventory computer) approached. After clicking a few buttons on the device, she routinely stated that they no longer carry Sailor Moon dolls. Remember how I told you I cried only on the rarest occasions? Well, I wiped a few tears from my cheeks before my parents could catch me, and didn’t say anything for the rest of the night.  Just thinking about it now breaks my heart.

            Now I’m unsure exactly what happened, but the dolls were discontinued for a few years and then brought back several years later for a period of time. Nowadays, with Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, and the infinite resources on the internet, you can track down a special edition tube of lipstick from three years ago. Back then, when something was discontinued, that was typically the end of the line.

            Fast forward twenty years to last November. One dreary day at work, I was staring at a blank screen with a lack of motivation and inspiration. Then, I decided just to write. I started typing away without any topic, theme, or plot in mind. (I’ve found this technique to be rather therapeutic). And on this particular day, this Sailor Moon doll memory just popped up, after being hidden in the depths of my mind for two decades. As soon as I finished my writing, I called my husband. I felt really silly, being a grown woman, telling my husband that I absolutely needed to find a Sailor Moon doll. He was very understanding though, probably because it wasn’t the most peculiar subject I have brought to him. Anyway, I told him that someday, some way, I was going to find myself a Sailor Moon doll. I glanced online to find that the few dolls that were still in mint condition were definitely out of our price range. Some day though, I was going to have that doll.

 

That day just happened to be Christmas.

 

            Opening it, I squealed just like I would’ve twenty years ago. I asked my husband if I could take it out of the box, thus, ruining its mint-condition state. Surprisingly, he smiled and said “Of course. I know you’re not going to try and sell it someday.” I took her out of the box, brushed her hair, and placed her on the bookshelf in front of my vision board. Sure, when family has come over to tour our house since then and noticed a doll on a shelf in our bedroom, the thought of hiding her has crossed my mind. Though, she’s never been moved or put back in her box. While some might find it juvenile to have an action figure prominently displayed in my bedroom, I keep it as a reminder that if I truly want something, I’ll find a way of getting it…even if it takes twenty years!

 

So here’s the artful adventure for today:

-Make your inner child happy!

            Is there something you enjoyed doing as a child that hasn’t carried into your daily adult life? Maybe you liked to draw, dance, or look at star constellations? Is there something you wish you could have done as a kid? Whatever it is, make time today to return to those moments where your only responsibilities were to have fun, do your homework, and brush your teeth. You could adapt these activities into your adult life by taking ballroom dance lessons or finding a ceramics class at a nearby college, or….

            You could go back to the basics! Yup, I’m talking about buying a coloring book and crayons, making some snow angels, watching your favorite childhood movies, or blowing the dust off some long forgotten board games! Whatever it is, give yourself a time-out from taking yourself too seriously. You may feel silly at first, but that’s what it’s all about!

Better yet, collect evidence from this event! Tape your new masterpiece to the fridge, collect a unique looking stone from your hike, or have someone take a picture of you and your friends living it up at the karaoke bar! Place this evidence somewhere you’ll see it daily to remind you how alive you felt once you just let go and had fun. And then, make a commitment to express your inner child every day, week, or month.

Whenever I’m asked about my dream vacation, the first thing that comes to mind is going back to when I was five. Sure, I had my chores, but the days seemed so much longer back then. I never ran out of steam, never cared about looking fat in a particular outfit I was wearing, and I spent nearly every waking hour outdoors. No taxes, bills, counting calories, insurance claims, periods, or car maintenance to worry about. Just curiosity and boundless energy. While I can’t pack up and go to Tahiti today, I can take a few minutes to dance in front of the mirror, paint a portrait using only my fingers, or simply watch the shapes of the clouds overhead. I’m hoping you’ll go on your own vacation today!

From my vacation home to yours,

Adelie

Scarcity of Silence

candle

              It seems to me that it isn’t until I seek silence that I find the most noise. Though I’ve never been one to fit in, I have a strong suspicion that others share similarly loud and buzzing lives. After all, the majority of us wake up to noise, whether it be the radio, screaming kids, deafening beeps, clumsy neighbors, anxious pets, or (in my case) a quick little ditty from my cell phone. As I’m currently typing this, our kindhearted maintenance man is incessantly pounding the floor in front of my desk with a hammer. Suffice it to say, I’ve given up on finding silence for a while

            Please excuse me if I jump around a little here. As you can imagine, it’s a little challenging to stay focused. Let me get back on track!

            Have you ever had one of those drives home where you crank up the radio, hook up your MP3 player, or pop in a CD, and next thing you know, you’re pulling into the driveway? We’ve become so used to outside noise that it nearly puts us in a trance. Honestly, it’s pretty scary to think about. Everyone’s heard about the dangers of driving under the influence, driving while sleep deprived,  and texting while driving. Though, how often do you think accidents are caused by people simply not being present? It’s no secret that this has been a ruthless winter, even for Michigan. Let me tell you, if I wouldn’t have been completely aware while commuting between work and home, I wouldn’t have been able to avoid the four potential accidents that threatened me. And this is just in the past week, no joke.

            Another tangent again, my apologies.

            Where I’m going with this is that we’re so used to continuous sounds around us that when we actually seek silence, it can feel uncomfortable and almost frightening. I used to habitually turn on Netflix the second I walked in the door. From that point until bedtime, you could hear reruns of The Office in nearly every corner of my house (as you can infer, I don’t live in a sprawling mansion…yet 🙂 ). Even if I were in a different room doing laundry, cooking, or doing some other wildly exciting activity, I always had the TV on.  So, when the evening came that I decided not to have the TV on unless I intended on actually watching it, I hit the red button on the remote and the pranks between Jim and Dwight evaporated into thin air. I just sat there, staring at the blank screen and feeling completely awkward. My fingers inched back toward the red button, but I decided to allow myself to sink into the silence a little more. A few minutes later, I no longer felt like I was in some foreign dimension. I actually felt lighter and free. Then, I went to the bedroom, lit and candle, and sought to embrace the silence not only in my house but my mind as well. After shifting my butt around on the bed until I crafted a nice, comfy crater, I closed my eyes. 

            That’s when it hit me: I have to call the insurance company tomorrow. I wonder how my sister’s neurologist appointment went. Did I bring the mail in today? Do I have to pee? Tomorrow’s Wednesday; gotta take out the trash. I can’t believe how my boss treated me today! Maybe I should poison his coffee. What’s that smell? These pants feel tighter on me than they did last week. I think I do have to pee. Do bald men wash their heads with soap or shampoo?

            Who would’ve thought that the moment I quieted my surroundings and went within myself, that’s when the real chaos would begin? I could elaborate on my theory that we surround ourselves with so much noise daily as a means to numb our inner conflicts, but I’ll spare you the boredom.

            The whole point that I’m trying to drive home is that although noise is nearly impossible to avoid on a daily basis, it is very important to find a moment of silence within every day, if even for a couple of minutes. There’s a reason that the EPA is actually concerned with noise pollution. On their website, it actually states that the effects of noise pollution span further than just hearing loss. Unsurprisingly, excessive noise can contribute to stress-related illnesses, compromised productivity, and high blood pressure.

            This helps explain why daily meditation has so many benefits, not just for our spiritual health, but our mental and physical health as well. As you’ll come to find, I’m quite enthusiastic about mediation. Some might call me an advocate, but that seems to give an impression that I’m a sage with several years of practice and enlightenment under my belt. While I’ve dabbled in meditation over the past few years, it wasn’t until this past January that I actually made conscious efforts to make it part of my daily routine. I still struggle with meditating on a daily basis. Sometimes I just can’t seem to find time to still my mind, or when I do, I’m afraid I’ll fall asleep. Though, when it comes down to it, these are merely excuses. My parents always told me, “If something’s really important to you, you make time for it.”

           

            On that note, here’s the artful adventure for today:

 

            -Find three minutes (or more, if you’re super ambitious) of silence with no distractions. This might prove challenging and seem nearly impossible. Though,  I strongly believe that with a little creativity, you can create a space of solitude for yourself. You might have to wake up a few minutes before everyone in the house or stay up a little later at night. Maybe you’ll take your lunch or break alone, perhaps in your car or a peaceful picnic table near your work. While it can feel incredibly refreshing to find solitude out in nature, that might prove difficult for some people (especially those who aren’t fans of the snow). I’ve discovered that one of the easiest places to find solitude and serenity is in the shower, assuming you shower alone (if you’re one of those kinky people who shower with their partners, then I guess there’s no serenity to be found for you)!

            Wherever and whenever you manage to find the silence, close your eyes, observe your breathing, and attempt to look past the stream of thoughts that might flood your mind. If it helps you still your mind by focusing on something, perhaps recite an empowering affirmation, a meaningful prayer, or a chant. There is an abundance of help out there for those new to meditating that I’d love to share with you. But for now, let’s just keep it simple.

 

Sending wishes of calm and serenity,

  Adelie

The Promise of Passion

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I can’t tell you how excited I am to write the very first post. Today, I sat down, signed up with WordPress, and BAM! This post just popped right out of my head and onto the screen. This is simply the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

Alright, maybe you don’t know me well enough yet to detect my sarcasm, but I’m confident that you will in time. However this time, I’ll give myself away. Being that this is the very first Artfully Aspiring post, I suppose you deserve one freebie. Though, from here on out, you’re on your own.

So here’s what really happened:

After tossing the concept of a blog around in my head for a couple of years, I finally took the leap one week ago. For so long, my mind was full with potential posts, so I was confident that the second I actually started my blog, everything would just flow. Well, that certainly didn’t happen. It’s not that I’m a procrastinator…I just tend to over-think things. When I get excited about something, sometimes I put so much emphasis on it that I totally psych myself out.

Finally on day five of revising this post, I came to the realization that I was hitting so many roadblocks because I was overly concerned with what readers might think.  I wanted to be inspiring, supportive, and help motivate others to pursue their aspirations. Though, I definitely didn’t want to come off as a self-proclaimed genius who expects others to blindly follow my suggestions. Don’t get me wrong, the opinions of my readers are very important to me. However, as with anything in life, when we craft ourselves into what we think will please others, we end up betraying ourselves. I could spend a few more weeks editing this single post in hopes that I might please every single person who happens to read it. Though, that wouldn’t be me. The whole purpose behind Artfully Aspiring is inspiring others to celebrate themselves and whole-heartedly follow their unique passions. If anyone has to embody this purpose, it certainly is me, the creator of this blog. So, from this point forward, I am writing as Adelie, and if my content and style of writing does not appeal to you, I apologize  Nope, actually I don’t! 🙂 As long as we live from our genuine hearts, we should never have to apologize for who we are.

So here’s what it comes down to:

The purpose of this blog is to encourage others to pursue their aspirations for the greater good of not only humankind but all beings in this miraculous universe we live. 

How might I do this?

For several years, I’ve eagerly sought resources to help me achieve my goals, to make sense of life. Some might call me a self-help and motivational material enthusiast!  With each post, I’ll bring forth resources that I feel will be most valuable to you, along with my personal experience. I will give you some challenges (artful adventures) in which to apply these resources (which I truly hope you will accept) so that we can form a mutual support as we pursue our aspirations together.

I want to sincerely express my gratitude that you’ve stopped by and given me the opportunity to introduce myself and my purpose.  I sincerely look forward to cultivating a community for fellow aspirers, where we can learn together as we achieve our dreams.  If, however, you’re not ready to pursue your aspirations at this time, that’s fine too. You know where to find me.

 

Warm and welcoming wishes,

Adelie