On Grace

I’ve never really considered myself to be a religious person. “Spiritual” certainly, whatever that means, but I haven’t ever really subscribed to any one doctrine of faith. I think religion is wonderful and faith is a beautiful thing to be sure, but no one religion has ever completely fit my beliefs completely. Let me preface the rest of this post by also mentioning that I am fairly well-rounded in the realm of religious study, as I spent my four years in college delving into every religious tradition I could – both mainstream and not so well-known (Jainism, anyone?). While four years of study isn’t nearly enough to make me an expert on religion in general, I think I have exposed myself to enough religious diversity to be able to confidently say that I am not one thing. I love all religions, and I think they are all beautiful and perfect at their core.

Now that I’ve established myself as a neutral party (and no I won’t discuss religion with you at a party, it makes me uncomfortable), I wanted to touch on my newly found openness to G-d or qi or loving energy during my second trimester of pregnancy. I was having my nightly phone call with my mom, and I was telling her just how happy I feel, and how blessed and just how…humbled I am with this whole experience.

I know this is the typical experience for the second trimester (I feel FANTASTIC and have so much energy!) but I also feel so much deeper. I feel like my whole body has been opened up to the universe; like my insides are too big to fit inside my physical self anymore (I’m not talking about that baby busting out of mom’s abdominal wall, either). It’s like the life and love inside of me is just so expansive and large, that it reaches out into the universe infinitely, touching every single thing ever… It reminds me of a Ted talk by Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist who experienced a massive stroke, and was able to work her way back to speech and a healthy brain. She said that while certain parts of her brain slowly ceased functioning, she stopped being able to perceive where she ended, and the rest of the universe began. She described her body as no longer existing, and said she just became this limitless energy pouring out into everything.

THAT’S how I feel. Like becoming the carrier of this little human life has just split my body in two and allowed everything in, and simultaneously allows all my life energy to flow out into the world.

This is deep, I know. I had to write it down so I could remember feeling this way later, when I am wiping poo off the walls.

The negative side to this experience is that I also feel more exposed to negative energy. I have experienced more anxiety in these months than ever before too, I’m sure due to hormones, but also because my soul or heart or whatever is just out there for the world to imprint on. I feel very, very sensitive to hearing or seeing anything sad. I feel completely overstimulated by the news, and hearing about the attacks in Paris put me over the edge for a few days. My heart aches for every terrible thing that has happened or is happening, and I feel like a silly little white girl who just can’t even. But I really can’t, it hurts me on a very deep level right now.

But my sensitivity to the bad things brings me back to Grace. The Grace I feel like I am able to find in so many things every day now. Like meeting the exact right person at the right time. Or having everything seem to just start falling into place. To feel finally like you have everything you need  in each moment. To be able to find so very many things to be grateful for every single day, and to just feel that everything is going to be so much better than just okay.

I see that Grace, and I am overwhelmed by it.

 

Advertisements

On Gratitude

What better time of year to focus on practicing gratitude than Thanksgiving? I know in the past I have written about my struggles in practicing being grateful for everything I am blessed with, but becoming a mom has really brought me to my knees with gratitude.

We have been so, so dang lucky this year (and just overall in our lives). This year, in particular though, has been a good one. We have had a very successful first year of marriage – minimal arguments about pithy things (usually laundry), and have gotten to do some pretty fun things in the past twelve months. We were able to buy a home, and have steadily been able to afford to make improvements in our home. We have wonderful, loving family and friends who love and support us in everything – without them, I would be lost. We were able to travel quite a bit, and I was able to see each one of my good friends throughout the year. And of course, we were able to become pregnant and have a healthy, happy, squirmy baby in there now, doing all kinds of tricks on the ultrasound for Mom and Dad.

bebe

We had our anatomy scan on Monday this week, and I have just been so in love with our little one since then, I can’t stop thinking about her/him. That’s not to say I didn’t think about little Bdub (our nickname for that baby) many times a day before, or feel super duper happy about their impending arrival; but seeing them move around on that screen, playing with their fingers and lips, stretching out and curling back up again…it just made me feel so much more connected to our child, our BABY! It’s surreal and also very real now, and the amount of gratitude and positivity I feel surrounding this baby is just incredible.

 

On Being a Negativity Magnet and the Wardobe Capsule

Lately I’ve been feeling like I am surrounded by a lot of negativity. At work, at home, in the outside world…it seems like everyone around me has something to complain about. Which I completely can’t blame them for, because I’m probably the biggest complainer of all. Yesterday I kind of stopped and thought that maybe it’s not everyone else who is being negative. Maybe it really is just me, and I’m just drawing all that negative emotion towards me. People might feel the need to complain when they are around me. Ew.
So many wonderful things have been happening to me lately, yet I seem to be moving too quickly or focusing on the wrong stuff—to the point where I look back at a great weekend with family and friends, or a huge milestone and spiritually freeing event, and can’t really remember actually feeling joy. I know I wasn’t mad or upset, but I definitely don’t remember feeling happy either.
How terrible is that? I’m so blocked up by stress, junk food, and negative thoughts that I can’t truly find joy in the things that I am blessed to have or experience. At least I can say that it’s not for lack of trying though. I go on walks, do yoga, try to slow down and enjoy things…the one thing I haven’t focused on is my health, which is why I’m very eager and excited to get deep into this Whole30 experience.
So I did not get to do my yoga last night like I intended (Mad Men was on the DVR), but I did create my summer wardrobe capsule! I’ll have to put some before and after shots in another post, because I can’t even believe how much happier I feel looking in my closet now! I can’t believe I used to feel like I needed more clothes (constantly), when, in reality I have SO MUCH to wear. I think this whole practice will help me find things that fit my comfort and style a little better too—maybe think a little more about the quality of my clothes.

Now, if only I could pare down that massive collection of yoga pants…