redefining wanderlust

a life blog by Bekka

Posts for self help

WORD OF THE YEAR: WHOLENESS

If wellness is a state of good health, then wholeness is the state of a good life.

Wow! I feel like I have been kicked in the gut. I just wrote out a 556-word article on my philosophical idea of wholeness and it didn’t save. I had been working on it for an hour, and then my Word froze up, didn’t auto-save it and I am looking at a blank page with the wind ripped from my sails. But I’m going to approach this again because I really wanted to get this post up today –Sunday, January 15th.

At the end of 2016, I was reflecting on the year and thinking about the year ahead, and this concept of Wholeness came to mind. Wholeness is one part physics and one part new age philosophy. A remixed idea of Newton’s third law; For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction and The Conservation of Energy: Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can be altered from one form to another. What if in all my actions and the energy I used was vibrant, full of love, positivity, beauty, and light? In every choice I make whether it’s what to eat, where to go, who I talk to, and what I fill my mind; I choose what will lead to more positive energy, beauty, light, and love. Then based on physics, shouldn’t what revolves around me be more vibrant, beautiful, positive energy. It’s a philosophical hypothesis.

Now, I know there are many negative things outside of my control. But like every self-help book states, my reaction to negative influences are within my control. This year I’ve decided to fiercely apply the idea of wholeness into all my actions. I created a WELLNESS category on the blog to expand on wholeness as a part of wellness. Wellness is the state of good health, and to me, good health is when the mind, body, and spirit are all in a state of positive vibration. Wholeness is when wellness it put into action throughout your whole life. It’s the one decision that leads to the next. Sometimes I draw a symbol of a circle on my wrist, just as a reminder that everything is connected. And as a person that is constantly afraid of making the wrong choice, I’m deciding not to be afraid, but to ask myself does this choice bring more love and light into the world and my life or does it stifle my life’s full potential.

Thank you for reading my musings on philosophy and physics. I’m not sure if I explained myself as well as I did the first time. But I wasn’t going to let the frustration of a glitchy auto-save stop me because this principle is the seed from which everything else in my life will grow. It’s important to me that my Blanket Fort family knows about WHOLENESS too.

What is your word for the year?

 

Love & Light

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Awkward Stage Playlist

 

“I’ve been reading a lot of self-help stuff…” – said to my friend last Friday night in Echo Park. 

This new playlist is titled Awkward Stage, as that’s been my emotional state for the last few month. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m going through my awkward teen years all over again. It’s been over a decade since I was 14 and as I’m in the midst of a condensed awkward stage I wonder, “does everyone go through this?  I should be able to deal better by now.” So as I was hanging out with my friend last Friday night and was feeling awkwardly self-aware, all I could share about the last few months was, “I’ve been reading a lot of self-help stuff.”

Fall is my favorite season, so I’m feeling hopeful about how 2016 will end considering it’s been rocky from the start. With the new season, I feel it’s time to stop working on this playlist and start something fresh.

 

 

 

Awkward Stage Playlist : 53 min | “Anxiety” – Preoccupations / “Shut Up Kiss Me” – Angel Olsen / “Another Loser Fuck Up” – Christopher Owens / “Rodeo Queen” – Escondido / “Cigarettes and Red Wine” – Ella Fence / “Apogee – RJD2 Remix” – Tycho, RJD2 / ” I Go To Sleep” – Anika / “Poison & Wine” – The Civil Wars / “Can’t Remember” – Teen Body / “Bridges” – Nine Pound Shadow / “I Think You’re Alright” – Jay Som / “When To Let Go” – Violens / “Videotapes” – Blouse / “Soul Searching” – Shigeto

 

Find all my playlists (mixtapes) on Spotify  | Username: blanket_fort_adventures

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Abstinence August!

This month, August, I am going to be practicing abstinence from a series of pleasures. The definition of abstinence is “the practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something” and I have over indulged in Netflix, Alcohol, and Dining Out a little too much lately. Apart from the fact I love alliterations, ‘Abstinence August’ has such a great ring to it – I’m ready for a lifestyle shift.  I need to create habits that allow myself to feel more in control when the world around me is in chaos. I want to strip myself of my normal comforts that are no longer serving me. I believe by practicing abstinence, I’ll in turn strengthen my creativity, productivity, and come closer to my ideal self by September.

So why am I choosing to abstain from Netflix, Alcohol, and Dining Out specifically? Well, let me explain…

 

NetFlix

Netflix:

I love Netflix! They create amazing television to binge and are an endless source of documentaries that fill my mind with new information. But it’s also incredibly addictive and suddenly when all I wanted to do was turn off my brain for thirty minutes, I’ve allowed an entire night to pass me by filled with stories. Instead of working on my own story and creating my own success, I have fallen into the celebration of other people’s dreams. Netflix is filled with great content to absorb, but I need to abstain from it as a form of mindless entertainment.

I’ve been wanting to draw, paint, and itch that creative scratch but never seem to find the time. Instead of watching Netflix, in August I plan to break out my markers and colored pencils. I will turn off my analytical brain, by turning on my creative inner child. I’ll just start playing more and allow the part of my brain which has been dormant to be stimulated again.

Also, the unfortunate thing about Netflix is it’s a two sensory media. A person needs to watch and listen to it. Unlike podcasts and music that only occupy your hearing. In August, I’ll dive deeper into my love for music and listen to classic storytelling in order to multi-task more, focusing my visual attention on different tasks.

Abstinence August Alcohol_Blanket Fort Adventures

Alcohol:

I’m not a heavy drinker. At most, I drink three nights a week while hanging out with friends or celebrating the end to a long week, and it’s usually one (maybe two, rarely three) whiskey cocktail or a glass of wine. But I want to say goodbye to alcohol. First, I want to save money. Alcohol is such a stupid waste of money. One drink at a bar usually runs $10 dollars and even a descent bottle of wine to drink at home is $13 dollars. At the end of the month, I could spend anywhere between $30 -$120 dollars just on alcohol. I want to stop drinking money, and put those dollars towards a more renewable sense of joy, like a pretty dress or less credit card debt.

Also, I’ve noticed alcohol effects my mental state more adversely than I’d like. Lately, I find I’m more sensitive to alcohol than I have been in the past. The sensitivity I’m talking about isn’t when I’m actually drinking, but what happens the next day or following days. All of a sudden a switch will be flipped in my brain and I’m significantly more negative than I was just seconds before. It happens late at night, and it’s almost like my general tiredness triggers a massive depressive episode. I think I’d like to abstain from this, for at least a month. The cocktails aren’t worth it.

I’m planning on painting my nails or doing an at home facial to unwind instead of a glass of wine. Read a book or journal with some La Croix water to celebrate the end of a long week. As for hanging out with friends, I’m pushing myself to not use dinging out and drinks for social interactions.

Dining Out Abstinence August _ Blanket Fort Adventures

Dining Out:

I’m a lazy, particular, eater. I don’t like eating the same thing over and over again. I also don’t like cooking at the end of the day when I’m tired. Because of my eating and appetite quirks, I tend to dine out a lot. I also eat a lot of cheeseburgers and french fries. My bank account is really taxed over my bad eating habits, and I’m sort of over it. I also use food as a way to cope when stressed out or depressed.

July was a really hard month, and I stuffed my feelings with rich food and alcohol. Even in the midst of eating my feelings I knew it was bad, but I didn’t care. So I need abstinence August to help me hold myself accountable for coping with life’s stressors in a different way. When I want to throw my hands up in the air and say “f*ck it, I’m getting In and Out” – I’m going to go…”No, you are in the middle of abstinence August, go to the store and make yourself your own burger if you really want it or buy food to make food.”

I feel that forcing myself to go to the grocery store in itself will guide me to make better food choices overall. In the moments between going to the grocery store and cooking at home, I can cope with whatever is bringing me down. Plus. I’m thinking I will add on a 80/20 rule to eating this month, 80% plant based diet and 20% omnivore diet. We will see how that goes.

Also, I want to abstain from dining out because I feel it’s this default setting for spending time with friends and I want to get more creative. I want to plan picnics or grab coffee* and visit an art gallery. Make excursions with friends during the day that involve exploring a part of our city, and connect with them in a new environment. I know we can be more creative than dinner at a hip restaurant.

*Loopholes //

The best way to succeed at any habit or lifestyle change is to know yourself in order to set yourself up for success. I know myself pretty damn well and I don’t want to fail, so that means I have set up a few loopholes.

Netflix:

I can still rent DVD’s and watch movies. But watching something old school requires a bit of planning. You don’t get lost behind an endless supply of content like one does while streaming Netflix. There is something very finite about a DVD, and it helps control the start and the end of my movie watching time.

Alcohol:

No loopholes – wait till September.

Dining Out:

If someone else wants to treat me to a meal out, then that is perfectly fine. My aim is to shake up how I normally operate and to make more meals at home. Along with stopping myself from using dining out as a way to escape the world and ignore my feelings. I love food, and I want to make cooking a more meditative and loving experience in my home. I also I think coffee or tea is a low expense way of meeting up with people, so I’m letting that in the loophole.

 

Like I shared, July was sort of sucky month, and really 2016 has not been the easiest year. But I can’t let external events influence my happiness and wellbeing. My ability to put out love and light into the world comes from inside. I want to be a stronger, more creative and productive person. I want to make my dreams come true and cultivate the life I desire. I know it might sound silly, but I truly feel Netflix, alcohol, and dining out are holding me back from my best life. Abstinence August will give me the time I need to redirect my energy in different ways, so my default settings are not Netflix, alcohol, and dining out; instead it can be painting, sparkling water, and field trips.

Want to join me?

Comment something you can abstain from in August that will help you get closer to your ideal self!

PIN IT FOR LATER :

Abstinence August Pinnable _ Blanket Fort Adventures

 

 

 

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The Gift of Being Present

I debated sharing this story, because I feared by sharing this story it might lose its potency. But my sister encouraged me to share it and the truth is; when sharing something positive – its light doesn’t dim by being shared but grows bigger.

Without getting into my personal life too much, emotionally I was edge yesterday morning, and I knew I wanted to go for a run to get my blood pumping. Nothing like putting your body through a physical challenge to assure yourself you can overcome any mental challenge. I didn’t expect to leave all my troubles on the track, but that is exactly what happened.

I’ve been using the C25K app to build up my stamina this past year, and yesterday I was told to run for 25 minutes straight. I hadn’t exercised in 4 weeks and was intimidated by the request, but as I started jogging I told myself that I wasn’t going anywhere. For the next thirty minutes I was going to be at the park and on the track, so instead of dreading the next 25 minutes, be present on the track and accomplish the task – it was the only thing I had to do at that moment.

I let my mind wander most of the 20 minutes, thinking about work, meal planning, and my favorite places in the USA. But in the last 7 minutes I decided to bring my mind back to the track. I was starting to feel fatigued and needed to be present to keep myself going. I don’t listen to music while running, so I started a mantra in my mind. I started to thank my legs for carrying me, thanking my heart for pumping blood to those limbs, thanking my lungs for feeding my body oxygen. I told myself to experience the track; feel the cool wind against my skin, smell the fresh cut grass, see the sun reflecting and illuminating the park.

I imagined this brilliant white light filling me. I told myself that I don’t need to hold onto the past or worry about the future, I just have to be in this moment. I have to be present. I GET to be present! Know this moment, right now and in the present without the past to bring you down or the future to freak you out, all you have is a blank slate of love and light. To feel and be a beacon of love and light!

As these thoughts flooded my mind, as the light filled my body, I started jogging harder. I felt pulled up and my posture was held higher. On my last minute, running harder than I had the entire 24 minutes, I began to wane; but I told myself you can continue on because you are filled with light and the light will carry you. I don’t know how long I would have actually gone, just thinking about the light that filled every cell of my body, but it carried me to my cool down.

The emotions I was feeling earlier in the morning had completely disappeared. I was excited about the day. I was excited about the gift of love and light I was able to give to the world, by being completely present. It’s hard to let go of pain from the past or worries of the future, but in reality the past and future only rob you of the potential for the best day ever. Be present and realize the gift in every day, to share love and light with all those around you. Illuminate the world around you!

love and light signature

As I was writing this Fantasia’s “Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy” came into my mind. I wanted to share the video because it’s a good visual representation of what I’m trying to express. We are all fairies and when we are filled with love and light, we can affect the world around us making it a brighter more sparkly place to live.

 

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