Priorities

Good morning Dear Reader,

This is a Public Service Announcement.

You should always be your number 1 priority and always have your best interests at heart. If you put your faith in others prioritizing you (your job, your friends, even your loved ones) you may find yourself disappointed. So please put you first. Always.

That is all. This has been a friendly reminder from your friendly neighborhood writer. Please have a great day.

Warm regards,

Shannon M.

Beginning

Good morning Dear Reader,

Let me begin the day with a question: how many times can one “start over”?

It’s been on my mind recently in regards to my writing and my goals. Some times I feel like I’m really on a roll with things. Like I’m really making it, while others I feel like I’m in a slump. Then it becomes a vicious cycle of having resolve and losing it. It makes me wonder how many times one can begin again.

Now to be fair, each time I start over, I have gained way more lessons from the previous time, and it seems like my “up” cycles are a lot longer. I suppose that’s well and good.

However, I wonder, as a creator how many chances do I get? If there is such a limit on things. I would imagine it’s not a problem as long as I don’t start from scratch each time.

Take this blog for example. I have had it for about 6 or so years and it’s gone through so many changes. I wasn’t sure the direction I was going to take it and honestly I experimented with it a lot. At first it was supposed to be an advice blog, then a personal blog, then a writing blog, then back to a personal blog. There were times when I considered scrapping it altogether but then I thought “why?”. There are so many memories and growth within it and I think it’s okay.

In the past year or two, I have gained a lot of tools. So now, I have a website for my professional writing, my personal blog, and separate outlets for my creative work. Everything doesn’t have to be one goo glob of everything I’m capable of and I think that’s okay. 🙂

In any case, I think it’s okay to slow down or take a break as long as I never stop.

What are your thoughts, dear reader? Is there a limit on beginnings?

Warm regards and much love,

Shannon M.

Gratitude

Good morning Dear Reader,

This will be brief.

I am grateful for the life I have and all the obstacles that have come with it. For without them, would I be me?

I am grateful for my partners who allow me to love freely and provide me a safe space to explore all of my edges and pieces.

I am grateful for the kindness the universe has shown me. For the people it put in my life to guide, to teach and to shape me.

I am grateful to you Dear Reader. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

Nightly Thoughts

Good evening Dear Reader,

One of my goals this year is to read more. So I compiled a list of 52 books I want to read. I am allowing myself the flexibility to read as many of the books as I can, without the pressure of having to meet that number. The goal is to read more in general.

That being said, I’m nearly finished with “The Four Agreements”, by Don Miguel Ruiz. I had attempted to read this in high school and I remember there being a lot of “good stuff” in there. I had been wanting to read it for years but somehow it stayed on my shelf with the other forgotten books.

It is very insightful and every page challenges my soul as I read it. I will admit, there are parts that rub me the wrong way. There are parts that are hard to digest. There are parts I have to take with a grain of salt. Yet, as I initially suspected, it is full of “good stuff”.

“These beliefs are so strong, that even years later when we are exposed to new concepts and try to make our own decisions, we find that these beliefs still control our lives.”

-Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

I recognize that I have a combination of unhealthy habits, unresolved trauma, and toxicity within me. I try hard not to let that seep to the surface to effect those I love or people I interact with. As well, I am active about trying to heal from these things. I recognize that I do make mistakes but as long as I’m always striving to get better, I think I’ll be okay.

From what I’ve read, I started to heavily analyze certain wounds I’ve had and the origin of them. “When did I become so afraid of this? Why is it hard for me to speak on that?” and so on. I realized that some “agreements” I hold true came from one small event and yet I took so much truth out of that experience. I noticed that if I was rejected once in some capacity as a child, I somehow developed a complex in my adulthood. It was a very interesting analysis.

In any case, it is a hard thing to do to peel back the layers and look at yourself in earnest. It’s painful but necessary.

I was having a honest and open conversation with one of my partners surrounding topics of what femininity means to me. He asked me follow up questions and I answered in earnest. As we delved deeper into some of my fears, I told him “I’m feeling very vulnerable right now. It feels as if my heart is open and you’re poking around inside”. His response was delicate and inviting and when we moved on to other topics, I couldn’t help but wonder “why”? Why was talking about my fears and such so hurtful? Why couldn’t I just dive in fully?

The book suggested that to do so can do more harm than good. That change and healing is something gradual and I couldn’t help but agree. As I learn about myself, I’m growing steadily. I am not the same person I was. I am learning more about what it means to love myself and even though it’s scary, I know it’s worth it.

I’m worth it.

As I go along in the book, I do realize I have some of these concepts in my heart, but I need to actively work on adopting the others. I’m pretty hopeful. I know I can do it. I just have to brush past my hesitation and act.

If you haven’t read it Dear Reader, please do. The Four Agreements is a wonderful read (this is not an affiliate link).

Much love and warm regards.

Shannon M.

An Introspective Day

Good evening Dear Reader,

The first day of 2021 has already been a lot. I hadn’t been sleeping very well recently and after getting home from my night audit shift and taking some melatonin, I crashed under my amazing weighted blanket.

I started reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and one of the lines bounced in my head as I drifted into an almost outer body experience.

“We cannot forgive ourselves for not being what we wish to be, or rather what we believe we should be. We cannot forgive ourselves for not being perfect.”

-The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

As a professional perfectionist, lines like this are challenging to digest. When I try to sleep, I do a meditation of sorts. Some deep breathing to relax me and sink me deeper into a restful state as well as visualization. Today when that happened though, even though exhaustion was threatening to claim me at any moment, I couldn’t help but think of that line.

And I had the most vivid dreamlike state I’ve ever experienced.

I started reflecting on all the love I constantly pour out for others in my life. My partners, my friends, my family. All of it. pouring out like kinetic sand into them.

Then a voice, one that seems to only recently been emerging, said “this is great. Now, turn this inward.” and apart of me resisted, though I don’t know why. So I tried. The same love and energy that I pour forth for others, I imagined pouring into myself. Obsessing over myself. Loving for myself. Sacrificing for myself. Appreciating myself. All of it. It was difficult but beautiful and the sands of my love swirled around inside of me.

In that moment, I saw my personal demons surround me. They were growing and shrinking as my fear fluctuated. But the voice told me, I had to learn to keep turning this energy forward. She spoke to the demons and said that once I learned how to master this, they would have their time and we would make peace with them. Some of them subsided and let me work on pouring my energy into myself from my root to my crown. It was vey interesting because my physical body twitched even though I wasn’t sure if I was awake or asleep. Then one of my voices, the “Judge” as Don Miguel Ruiz would label it, stepped in. her face was twisted in anger and told me how foolish I was and that I’d never change but then the thought came.

Even if I’m not where I want to be now, I have everything inside of me to get where I need to be. Now, it should be noted that this is something my live-in partner has said to me on more than one occasion. However, in this moment, I could actually see it. I could see the love inside of me. I could actually feel it and it was beautiful.

I got a little scared as the voice of the Judge and grown to be too loud and I started to drift off to an actual sleep.

It was interesting and an unique experience.

I plan on finishing the book this week in hopes of dissecting it a little more.

In any case, I wanted to share this experience with you Dear Reader. Have you experienced any sort of situation like this? If so, let’s share and discuss. If not, what are your thoughts on vivid dreaming?

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

The End of an Interesting Year

Good afternoon Dear Reader,

2020 is coming to a close.

Despite all of the tragedy that has happened to the country and the world, I am personally able to find gratitude for some of the events that happened this year.

2020 has shown me how much I rely on social interaction as a way to escape my problems, which is a good thing because I was forced to face my demons. Now that I know what they look like, I can make peace with them in 2021. These months of forced down time have allowed me to see things that I wasn’t able to due to the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. In this time, I’ve been able to take stock of myself, my needs, my desires, my fears, my darkness-of all of me.

I realized that since I left home I’ve been in bad situation after the next and although initially I didn’t think it had effected me, it actually effected me a lot. Although my beloved nesting partner has helped me grow in so many ways, I have enough self-awareness to know that my true healing won’t happen until I live alone. So, this year I made the decision to live by myself, away from my nesting partner. I am very fortunate that he understands and is willing to let me experience this. Within the next few months I’ll be transitioning to my solitude, which is both scary and exciting all at once.

This year also saw the formation of a new dynamic with a beautiful man. I’m learning a lot not only about myself but also about how to be more communicative without fear. I am enjoying his energy but I also struggle with not losing myself in the heat of the excitement. I appreciate that he allows me to feel the love and appreciation but he has enough of a good head on his shoulders to not allow me to be too dependent on him.

Sadly, 2020 also saw the ending of an important dynamic. Although I am torn up about it, I understand that this is for the best. I need to stop holding onto things that no longer serve me and being quiet about it. A part of me feels like if I had been honest about how I felt when things came up, maybe I could have salvaged things…but the other part of me knows that that wouldn’t have changed things. I received what I needed from the relationship and I’m grateful for it but it’s time for me to let go (which is scary and it hurts).

In any case, I have a lot of gratitude and I hope I can keep this sort of energy in the coming year. I admittedly have a lot of fear. I fear failure. I fear success. I fear that once I do all this digging that I won’t find anything of substance underneath all the trauma… but despite the fear, I know it’s time to move. Moving forward is the only option and the only path to potential happiness. I’ll deal with whatever comes later but right now is the time for action, accountability, faith, and growth.

Happy New Year.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

Trudging Up The Past

Good evening Dear Reader,

I’ll be frank. Today sucked.

Over a year ago I began working on a self help book for managing depression. It has a few practical tips that one can implement into their day-to-day. Within the book, I have my personal story and after I wrote it I put it down until yesterday.

I was editing the personal story portion because it was the last piece of the work and it was…challenging to say the least.

Writing an autobiographical piece about all the things that lead me here made me feel as if I was reliving my experience which is by no means a fun afternoon activity.

It was painful, raw, and I considered scraping the project altogether. Yet, I feel deep down that this book will be important to someone. That someone out there needs this book so I continued writing.

I spent most of the day recovering, napping and doing some self love activities. Even in saying that, I judge myself a little because the fact that I needed to do that makes me feel weak. However, I also acknowledge that allowing myself the space for weakness and vulnerability are important and that’s where growth happens.

I will be continuing with the book, though I will give myself a day or two to settle before I start editing again.

My support system offered me solace, space and a listening ear and that was amazing. All of my romantic partners gave me what I needed today as well, a very good friend listened intently and helped me process some of the knots and tangles in my soul.

It was still painful because I’m the one experiencing the things. But it was not an unnecessarily cruel experience. I was able to ease my way in and out of the painful parts and for that I am grateful to them.

The moral of the day I suppose is give yourself space to feel and to hurt. It is an important space to create for yourself.

Have a wonderful evening Dear Reader.

Much love and warm regards,

Shannon M.

Somber Thoughts on Trauma

Good morning Dear Reader,

I haven’t been sleeping that much. It may be from working overnight though I figured only 2 nights a week wouldn’t effect me. It’s unfortunate because sleeping is the only real release I have from my constant stream of thoughts…

I woke up at 3am the past couple of nights and just started the ol think tank before the sun had even kissed the sky.

Something I’ve been pondering, and I’ve thought this for awhile, is how sensitive I was as a kid.

Now maybe all kids are sensitive, I’m not sure, but it’s wild to me that things that happened in my childhood still effect me today. Some thing that happened up to 20 years ago! That’s pretty ridiculous to me.

Now perhaps I’m lacking compassion with myself but I’ve had a lot of time to think and I realize a lot of my “triggers” and trauma come from things that happened during the first 22 years of my life.

Now too be fair to myself, leaving a super strict and religious home environment and immediately getting into a restrictive and abusive relationship didn’t leave a lot of time for healing.

At the same time, a large part of me is screaming “will you get over it already?” And that is hard to deal with sometimes.

So, I’ve broken down some of my thought patterns and behaviors because I don’t think the question is “why can’t I let go” but rather “what is it that I need in order to let go”.

Because when I think about it, there are plenty of behaviors and thought patterns I’ve been able to release. It’s just a matter of how to release the rest of the baggage that sits unpacked in my closet. They are all pretty, right between my skeletons and the demons that hang out there from time to time.

One thing I’m doing for 2021 is getting my own apartment. I’ve lived with my nesting partner for 6 years and we moved in with each other after 3 weeks. I dont regret doing that at all but we met maybe 4 months after my break up with my abusive ex. Again, no regrets but I think never having the chance to live alone didn’t allow me the space to unpack all of my emotional baggage and sort through it.

So rather then have the proper time to grow and analyze myself I’ve just been accumulating baggage from childhood to early adulthood and I think this quarantine has allowed me to really see how much is there.

So the first step is to branch out on my own. I love my partner because he is very understanding and we discussed it a few times as to what this will do for me. I won’t lie, it will be very difficult for me to separate physically. Although I don’t live with any of my other partners, I feel especially attached to the one I live with. So it will be a huge adjustment for me.

At the same time, I know intuitively this is a necessary hurdle in the next phase of my growth. The relationship I have with myself is forever and I don’t feel I can put off getting to know myself any longer.

In any case, my thoughts have been so consumed with how to make this a reality that I’ve been very stressed. I have to find a second job, save up, find an apartment within my budget, moving costs, functioning alone, etc. Etc. There are so many things that worry me but I know u have to push beyond them.

All the while, I’m trying to be productive with my other goals. To keep up with my writing. To finish the two books I’m working on. I started learning coding and it’s fun but it’s another thing on the plate. Finding the energy to game and other such things.

It reminds me of when I was in college and I had 22 units to complete within my last semester. I was an English major with an emphasis in Creative Writing, had a leadership minor and was trying to become certified in Non-profit Management. The 22 units were all from each of those goals. My counselor recommended I drop some units because he felt I wouldn’t be able to finish. If I did that, I would have had to let go of one of those credentials and I wasn’t willing to do that. Against his advice, I kept the 22 units and pushed onwards despite the crippling depression and breaking up with my ex that semester. I finished the coursework and when I saw my counselor at the ceremony I said “see, I told you I could do it,”. 😬

So I know I’m capable of taking on many things and that it’s okay to set my sights on multiple goals. I just have to figure out how to get there and what works for me. The disconnect for now is finding the “how”.

In any case Dear Reader, I hope if there are things in your past that hold you back that you’re able to heal from them. It certainly doesn’t feel very good to have your past bar your way from a great future and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Take care of yourself today.

Warm regards and much love,

Shannon M.

Nice Things

Good afternoon Dear Reader,

This post will be a short one. Just wanted to share with you a little positivity that I found in my life.

The sky was beautiful today and I saw some pretty amazing flowers and greenery while I was out today 🥰

I also had a great meditation the other day. I redid my shrine and took this picture to commemorate the peace of the space.

Also today, I made a yummy and delicious meal. A tuna poke bowl. I mixed the ahi tuna with kimchi, ponzu sauce with fresh lemon, sesame seeds, microgreens and mushrooms. I got a new rice cooker and the rice came out amazing. Then I have the okra which, I somehow forgot, I absolutely love. I didn’t even add spices or anything. It just tasted so good to me and made me happy.

That is all 😌

Have a wonderful day Dear Reader.

Much love and peace,

Shannon M.

Somber Thoughts

Good evening Dear Reader,

I was accustomed to fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, and fear of judgment.

I’m sure if I thought a bit more I could find reasons why but it’s more important to work on letting go of those fears.

I say “was” because I’m actively trying to change that. To live more authentically and honestly. To acknowledge the fear but dance past it.

I was watching a video recently

It was such an interesting concept. Even if one doesn’t believe in this sort of possibility, it is incredibly interesting to consider.

The oneness of everyone. It was incredibly terrifying yet beautiful to think about. I felt so alone yet so connected in a moment. It was empowering yet made one question meaning.

Since this video, it assured me that it’s more than okay to be me and to live how I’d like. To experience things as fully as I can and that my existence is unique.

Yes these are things I’ve already known but it was nice to have additional outside confirmation.

In anycase, there’s many things to pontificate on. I hope you have a great evening Dear Reader.

Warm Regards,

Shannon M.

A personal tale on living.