Tag Archives: challenge

TV Diet Day 1

Image result for no tvJust so you know, this is waaaaay easier than quitting smoking. Giving up TV is more like that awkward friend standing in the middle of the room that you feel like you have to explain. I went for the remote a few times, but managed relatively easily. I did notice that it was easier to fall asleep and I got tired more progressively; as if I watched all the machinery slow down. Normally, I practically pass out to the TV blaring away. If I am too lazy to turn it off in the middle of the night, sometimes it would still be on the next morning. I wonder what kind of programming I’ve tuned into. But seriously, that can’t be good. I also noticed that I feel calmer overall. It seems like I have more hours in the evening. I’m just happy I’m blogging again with my newfound spare time. I’ve started getting my news as a feed on my phone. NO VIDEOS. I actually read more news now because everything is in digest form. I like feeling more informed. I still don’t feel motivated to clean the house, but I’m hoping that will kick in soon…..

with love from
aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Be Nice, dammit!

Being honest with yourself can be one of the hardest things you can do. The ability to see who you are and sit with it in peace is something I believe few of us acheive in our lifetimes. Most of us who do not sit on mountain tops, get glimpses now and then generally try to avoid the less than ideal stuff that comes up.wpid-img_991120245608510.jpeg

Recently, I was thinking about how difficult I find people. I really want to play well with others, but sometimes I am so completely overwhelmed by how toxic people can be. How much they are willing to hurt others for some perceived gain. It disheartens me. It is not as though we can walk away from every person like this. We have to work with them, live with them if they are family, associate with them if they are in an organization we volunteer.

I find myself often very depressed and anxious around these people. They suck the life out of everything and seriously decrease my creativity and joy. To make matters worse, they aren’t responsive to communicating about the problem and often try to blame it on you. It’s a real cespool of our worst human traits.

Personally, I have a hard time letting go of the feelings that arise from this because I feel trapped and uncomfortable. I don’t trust them and feel treated during our interactions. It plain sucks. To make a bad situation worse, it takes a hit on my self-esteem because I feel like a failure for not being able to handle the situation and create peace and harmony. I feel like the other person is saying, I don’t think you’re worth it to make things work. I feel resentful and angry then on top of helpless to advocate for change. A recipe for depression.

I’m curious to know if others have had similar experiences and at what they did.

For me, this one of the most challenging aspects of myself. I feel deeply, my skin is far thinner than people realize, and I have a hard time finding a way to positively interact with those who are unkind in this way. It eats me alive and I obsess over the “why!?!”

So I wondered if there are fellow empaths out there who have advice for me on not having it consume me.frustration

I suppose because it is considered unfashionable to “need” anyone nowadays, I have even tried to divorce myself from my own needs inside in romantic relationships. Fact is I’d like to have someone to take care of me. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only one looking out for myself. I have tried to make due with unloving men telling myself I can give that to myself and I don’t need that. That’s bullshit! You need to have both if you’re in a relationship. I miss feeling the safety of another person I can count on besides myself.

Nowadays it seems like everyone considers the other disposable. It is as if people try to pretend they need less connection than they really do. We all try to act like we’re ok when we’re lonely as hell and desperate for connection. Fewer and fewer people want to risk their own vulnerability. They keep people at arms length with texting and chatting electronically, but won’t expect themselves to act with courage towards one another.

Once upon a time, before technology became our life line to others, people actually faced challenges and people head on. Yeah it was tough, but it built character. You learned, by doing, what you could handle and as time went on you actually grew as a person. We talked things out and took for granted we’d be together, so the only two options were to be miserable together or work it out together.

The problem now is that now people don’t make that assumption and so their relationship is always on the line. You CANNOT build a relationship with someone when you are always willing walk away during challenges. No one could relax in this situation. With the constant threat of it ending, both people are not all in or committed. It is like being in a relationship that doesn’t exist.

Maybe it is nostalgia clouding my memories, but I remember it being easier to be in a relationship and to work things out with people. Now I just find myself digusted most of the time with how people treat one another.

Thoughts? Advice?

The Hardest Thing

Sometimes you don’t get closure in the way that works best for you. ¬†Sometimes other people withhold it¬†because their bitterness¬†is their last connection to you. ¬†In the end, all heartbreaks are really personal journeys aren’t they? Even when you have your answers, you’re on your own to sort it out.

Blue Footed Boobies. Isla de Plata.
Blue Footed Boobies. Isla de Plata. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† “He sent you a text breakup and he’s still creepin’ on you?” ¬† “Guuuurl…that’s cold.”

After my boyfriend broke up our 1 year relationship via text message, I couldn’t bring myself to even respond for about 1 month. There are no words to describe the range of emotions I was feeling. As a result of a misunderstanding, I reached out to him to thank him for something I, mistakenly, thought he sent to me as an apology. That is when I realized I was blocked — from everything.

I was in shock and disbelief.  Did he send me the text and go balls against the wall total def-con 5 NO CONTACT? Did he really want to even keep me from responding?  And still after a whole month?

I’m not going to lie. ¬†I kind of lost it. ¬†I tried every form of communication I knew of to reach him. Multiple times. I couldn’t believe it was for real. ¬†I thought surely he would return a call or a message. Nope. Instead he found new places to block me. Nice. Who is this man? ¬†Then I find out he’s creepin’ my Facebook page and even tried to hack into it. ¬†Yet he refuses direct contact. Again I ask, Who is this man?

So there I was making a fool out of myself. All. By. Myself.

I’m a “why” person. Curious. Investigative. There is no surprise I became a scientist ūüôā I like to know answers to questions. I like to unravel cognitive dissonances. ¬†With this I got nothin’. ¬†Sure I have my theories, but ultimately I couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t bring himself to have even a conversation with me.

Basically, I have been making myself crazy with constant – Why? Why? Why?

It had to stop.  So today I did the hardest thing.  I left my last voicemail with the ball in his court to call. I walked away without answers.  This is my personal living hell. But I had to do it for me.

Even if a relationship needs to end, do yourself and your lover a favor, end it while preserving one another’s dignity.

Still seeking everlasting love
– aneternaltraveler

Good Character is Sexy in a Man

We ladies all know the stereotypical a**hole.

He’s hot, arrogant, has a certain kind of swagger. ¬†He makes you crazy in your head and between your legs. We don’t know why we stick around because he’s such a jerk. ¬†But something keeps us stuck on him like white on rice.

Unfortunately, these drop dead gorgeous heart throbs are the only easy on the eye. ¬†They are hard everywhere else (damn it, that’s not what I meant – deep breath..focus). They pick you up and drop you down. When you need them most they’re not around. ¬†You stick with it wanting to turn it into something more, but sooner or later you end up crying on the floor. Not pretty. Not worth it.

Have you ever run into a guy that is average looking or maybe a little above and thought “eh, he’s ok”. ¬†Then, he opens his mouth to speak and is magically transformed into the most amazing man you’ve ever seen? ¬†Here again you can’t quite figure out what keeps you so attracted, but in this case it’s a good thing.

He’s like a breath of fresh air – a real good guy – so beautiful inside – a perfect combination of character traits. He’s funny, humble, intelligent, compassionate, selfless. ¬†These guys are really uncommon. ¬†When you think about it that way – stud muffins¬†are¬†a dime a dozen.

Too often we are trained to equate good looks with good character, but looks aren’t gonna let you go the distance with someone. ¬†Character counts in a very big way. ¬†The older I get the more I realize that truly good-hearted people are few and far between.

I have never met a really good-looking guy who doesn’t have a ginormous ego – a sense of entitlement. ¬†It’s as if they don’t think they have to be a decent person or treat people decently because their looks give them a free pass. ¬†Keep in mind these guys are easy to find – they are the one’s with their heads so far up their own asses they can’t see you. ¬†As far as I’m concerned, these are some of the most unattractive people I’ve ever known.

They are empty vessels. Belly-button gazers.

There is nothing sexier than a man who is comfortable with himself and doesn’t think he’s the shit. ¬†He knows his shit stinks (uh..because everyone’s does). They are simple and so loyal to you that each encounter with them leaves you wanting more. You know they love you and they are there for you when you need them most. He sticks to his word and is loyal through adversity. ¬†Image result for good character man

The difference here is that when you are looking at a good man, you’re seeing him from the inside out. ¬†An asshole looks good outside, but there’s nothing to see when you go deeper.

Recently, I had to let go of someone who was no good for me. We’d been on a yo-yo together for so long. I am so glad I finally did because it opened the door for¬†that good man to walk through. Sticking around and hoping someone will change for you is a waste of time. We’ve all heard it before and I can tell you from my experience, it is true. ¬†You are literally keeping the good guy away while you make¬†room (and excuses)¬†for someone who doesn’t give a shit about you.

I don’t know about you, but I want someone who is compassionate, caring, humorous, not just a charmer. I want to be able to rely on him and know he’s got my back, who brings love and positivity into my life.

Looks come and go, but good character lasts a lifetime. And I want to go the distance with someone who can hack it.

-with love from aneternaltraveler ūüôā

The Formula for Success

Pessimist vs OptimistDuring childhood we were read fairy tales to¬†show us a world of possibilities; that we¬†could do anything no matter what. We dreamed of the kind of person we would be someday. ¬†Memories of those stories kept us motivated to carry on when the bullies came, the name calling started, the awkwardness of puberty set in. We knew that someday we’d be the hero/ine. We’d come out on top.

Funny how just when you’re old enough to be able to make fairytales come true, you’re told that you’re living in a fantasy world and it is time to grow up. As a result, you spend the next stage of your life coping with the¬†disillusionment,¬†certain you were cheated out of your shot at happiness, and trying to find workarounds.

It seems like the most successful people somehow manage to weave the two together.

Take Steve Jobs, who was quoted saying, ‚ÄúI’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” ¬†I interpret this to mean that it is great to have a dream, but the successful dreamer sticks with the dream until it is brought into reality. ¬†This can be applied to more than our careers. ¬†It is a way of life. A way of thinking.

Ask yourself this question.

When your optimism for achieving a goal runs out, what do you have left to get you there?

A lot of people will change the goal when their tolerance for waiting for “someday” fades out. They will say, oh well I guess it wasn’t meant to be. On to the next thing (which they hope will be easier to achieve).¬†Successful people persevere with the same goal until it is reached. They dream big, take small steps and simply arrive.

For a long time in my life I thought that I was a very scattered person in terms of my goals. I felt like I had many things I wanted to achieve and they weren’t necessarily related. I often thought I was a failure because of this. I realized later that what you see on the surface is not necessarily the actual goal you are chasing. When I looked deeper, I saw the golden thread that weaved it all together.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean by inviting you on a journey though a part of my life – my college career.

I love to sing. I heard there were tryouts for the coveted spot of lead vocalist of the Big Band. I was a freshman and everyone told me not to bother auditioning because a freshman never gets selected. There were plenty of advanced musicians with more experience and know-how to choose from. I auditioned my heart and soul that day and poured years of pain and passion into every note as I sang a jazzy version of “Summertime” from the opera Porgy and Bess. A week later, I learned that I got the spot. I was the first freshman to do so and I led the way for the next ones.

I was proud but then I thought, what in the world did that have to do with being a Biology major?

The years went on and in my Senior year I wanted an independent study in the Biology dept., but my research idea was dropped by the lead researcher at the last minute due to changing priorities. I was now facing the new reality of failing out of school since that was my whole grade that semester. So, what did I do? I nagged the hell out of every department head in the Science building; Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, with the belief that someone had a project they wanted to get off the ground and were waiting for someone like me to come along and bring it to fruition. Finally, a Physical Chemistry professor took a bite and I said yes, even though I knew it would require some serious crash courses in advanced Microbiology and an understanding of laser technology even before I could begin! So, I found more professors willing to take a chance on me and teach me on the side what I needed to know. I asked for an extension and worked through the summer. I completed the project and not only did I successfully answer the research questions, but I also took it a step further and ended up creating a Biochemistry Lab that was used to help students understand more deeply how this enzyme worked for years to come.

So what’s the point of these examples? How do these seemingly unrelated goals relate to the core message of this post?

Here’s how…lying beneath everything I’ve done my whole life is a burning desire for answers and an unrelenting drive to use my potential to help others reach theirs.¬†I believe this is my purpose. This is what motivates every decision I make and every goal I set. And in that way, no matter what I do on the surface, underneath the main goal remains the same.

Persevering each step of the way is from a commitment to arrive at the destination I’m driven towards. When I’m at my best I can feel the creative sparks flying everywhere. I am dreaming big AND I am making it happen even when people say it is impossible. This is sometimes called, Flow. It occurs every time our passion and purpose align in perfect harmony and we stop thinking and simply do.

You don’t have to compromise your dream of being the hero/ine in your own life just because you’re an adult and there are responsibilities. The greatest responsibility you have is to yourself.

Don’t let anyone ever convince you that growing up equals giving up.

— with love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Top 11 Reasons to Bail on a Relationship: SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

turn the page or close the book

For a long time, I used to think that I was terrible at relationships because of my divorces, but the flip side of divorce can be a much greater understanding of what works in a relationship and what doesn’t. Of course the caveat is that you must actually take the time and make the effort to breakdown, grieve, get real with yourself and come out the other side with peace AND understanding.

So when I did this and then ventured back out into the dating world, I had a whole different view on myself, my needs, and my expectations in a relationship. I knew what values needed to be in place, the kind of emotional connection necessary, the humor, attitude, character, etc. that would work best for me.

I had learned to take care of myself which was terrifying at first, but became a source of great empowerment to me. I didn’t need someone to complete me. I discovered that I am already whole.

If you’re anything like me you love lists. So compact and to the point. ¬†So here’s my list of the TOP 11 Reasons You Need to Bail on A Relationship. As a side note, this can of course apply to female partners¬†as well, but I am writing from the perspective of a hetero female ūüėČ

1. He doesn’t comfort you in your worst moments. He actually often makes it worse by arguing with you, laughing at you or showing no emotion or inappropriate emotion.

2. He thinks of himself first and leaves you what’s left or nothing at all.

3. He thinks that s/he can buy your love to make up for the lack of emotional intimacy.

4. You can’t imagine him caring for you if you were old, sick, or dying. In fact you might imagine him¬†trying to get sympathy in public and treating like garbage behind closed doors.

5. He makes you feel worse about yourself when you’re together and brings out the worst in you. You are not growing emotionally or spiritually with him.

6. You spend more time talking about the relationship than enjoying being in one.

7. The bad times start to outweigh the good and hardly a day or two goes by without conflict.

8. Nothing ever gets resolved because he manipulates the situation with threats (suicide, leaving, withholding etc.), putdowns, avoidance, playing dumb (gaslighting), managing down your expectations by teaching you that fighting with him isn’t worth the trouble so you better start expecting less.

9. He’s over 30 and still afraid of what his family thinks about him, you or your relationship. ¬†He puts more effort into making sure they are comfortable instead of you. He makes you look bad in front of his family. This man will not have your back (unless of course it suits him). He is not a reliable partner. Good time, yeah! Bad times….not so much.

10. He has a history of cheating while in a committed relationship. Whether or not he cheats on YOU sexually, I guarantee you that this kind of behavior is a whole mindset that is based on superficiality, entitlement and instant gratification. This is not a guy who goes the distance. He won’t keep promises he makes no matter how often he says so.

11. If his words don’t match his actions, judge the actions. That’s what counts.

Commitment is great, but make sure it is to someone who is really committed to your happiness too.

Would you add anything based on your experience?

with love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Self-Love is NOT the Cure for Self-Hate

A step in the journey to self-love - Camino de Santiago.
A step in the journey to self-love – Camino de Santiago.

Self-love is not the cure for self-hate, it is the result of a healing process.

You must make your mind up that you will love yourself, but then go through the healing process. Most people just wear a mask of fake self-love or pretend to be selfless, but that’s not what it is.

You can’t fake it till you make it. You have to do the work to get to the other side. There are no shortcuts.

Here’s my 5 step plan. It’s what I did. It worked for me. It may work for you too.

Cry if you have to cry

If you’re in pain just admit it and mourn it properly. Stop trying to deny it. Stop taking it out on other people. Just take some private time and admit you’re pissed about your dad, mom, upbringing, how you feel shorted, spoiled, at whatever disadvantage, feel victimized, abused, unheard, ugly, whatever it is. Cry it out as far as you can. Then, dry your eyes and go do something else that’s comforting and nurturing. Take a bath, a run, a ride on a bike or in your car, put on your favorite music, call a friend, read a book, jump up and down or do a happy dance. You just got real with yourself, mourned it, and let it be. You don’t need to dwell on it all damn day.

Stop Being Selfish

You spend all day long thinking of just yourself. Oh I hate myself, I suck, I’m not worthy, nobody likes me, everybody thinks I’m a loser, I have no friends…and on and on.
Turn off the broken record and go help someone out. Become a volunteer at an organization for people who are way worse off than you. I bet you probably have a home, food, a nice place to sleep, some money in your pocket. Lots of people don’t.

Challenge yourself with something that will prove to yourself what you’re capable of

I took a walk across a country for 500 miles to show myself what I was made of instead of continuing to assume I’m not capable. I just stopped my bitching and got moving. It scared the shit out of me. I did it anyway. ¬†Just that move showed me that I was courageous. What can you do to put yourself in that position? Because right now I’m sure you just have a long list of reasons why you suck and things you’re not good at. Why not find something that would test whether that’s true? Something where you’d have to make it work and prove yourself to yourself. I guarantee you will pleasantly surprise yourself.

Do little things that consistently make you feel good and proud of yourself

Some of the things that make me feel content are not in any way exciting sounding. In fact they are pretty mundane and ordinary, but they make me feel good inside. For example, I really like making sure my kitchen is clean. I like when I manage to cook a healthy meal and eat at home even when take out tempts me. I like when my cat eats all her food and is active and healthy. It makes me feel like I’m doing a good job of caring for another being. I feel loved for it in return (in the way only a cat can show:) I like when I have my best friend over and we talk even for a few minutes because I feel connected and enjoy exchanging ideas and humor over life’s adventures. I love bubble baths and when take care of myself and get enough sleep so I am ready for the next day. So you see, it doesn’t have to be some expensive thing or big ta-da – you don’t need surround sound in your living room or a better satellite package, you don’t need stuff. You need to do things that you feel good about. That make you feel proud of yourself. Things you can do everyday.

Maybe you’re right¬†

Maybe people don’t like you. Maybe you’re a genuine pain in the ass. Maybe you don’t take responsibility for your life and your actions. Maybe YOU need to change that instead of asking people to feel sorry for you. Maybe there really are good reasons why you feel these things. Maybe you’re putting your energy into manipulating people and whining instead of healing yourself. Maybe you should get off your ass and make the necessary adjustments to be a better person to the people around you and for the world you live in instead of waiting passively for someone to come along who “gets you” and makes you falsely feel “all better”.

The healing process sucks. I’m not going to lie. But what’s the alternative? — Keep bleeding out all over yourself and others? C’mon. I know you can do better than that. You deserve more than that. Go get it!

–with love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Why Bother Doing Difficult Things?

One of the questions I got when I returned from walking the Camino de Santiago was – “Why did you think it was a good idea to walk 800 km across a country?” Basically, what’s the point?

French Pyrenees - No guarantees what's ahead.
French Pyrenees – No guarantees what’s ahead.

I had a lot of reasons for walking the Camino, but I realized that for someone who asks this question, none of those reasons would justify a 500-mile walk.

I wanted to be able to reach people with an answer, regardless of where they are at in their understanding, when they ask me “Why?” There is some curiosity there to even bother asking at all.

I took some time to really think about how I could explain the “reward” of taking this journey.

In fact, why bother doing difficult things at all, really?

To be totally honest, the rewards of the Camino are not predictable, but the effort and pain and fatigue are guaranteed. And frankly, those rewards may not be in proportion to what you invest.

Roncevalles, ES
Roncevalles, ES

Some people can look at the pictures of the landscape and the historical buildings and think, “Wow! That looks cool!”. “I want to do that”. They say things like, “How was your vacation?” There is so much beauty, but they also don’t see or feel the wpid-20140625_161727.jpgphyscial, mental, and spiritual pain and exhaustion it takes to get to that rewarding vista.

You don’t get something amazing by doing no work. It is the willingness to do hard work itself that transforms you into a better person.

As I thought about answering the question, “Why bother?” it occured to me that you can substitute “marriage” or “parenting” or “my career” etc. for the word Camino in the above sentence and it reads just as honestly.

“The Camino” is a living breathing metaphor for the path we take in our lives towards anything we consider worthwhile.

The reward ? An absolute certainty that as long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other, I will get there. And that I won’t be the only one on the road. And there is great comfort in that.

Keep walking. Don't give up. You will arrive.
Keep walking. Don’t give up. You will arrive.

If you want to be a successful person in life and achieve your dreams and goals, then you have to persevere.

Never give up

Always move forward

Rise up to challenges and overcome them

One step at a time

…until you arrive.

 

— With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Working Smarter

So I’ve started putting some items up again on Craigslist this weekend.

This summer I created a “4 week clutter challenge” as a part of my desire to minimize the stuff own.

The more stuff you own, the more it really owns you.

The challenge was to clear out as much as I could each week and put it to the curb for a pre-arranged pickup with a local charity. This keeps you committed because you don’t want to waste the charity’s time driving by and seeing nothing. I also challenged myself to sell more valuable items on craigslist.

Long story short I’d managed to clear out about 50 bags and boxes which allowed me to gain alot of perspective in my house. And I made enough money to put towards new flooring to upgrade my basement.

So tonight as I sold another table I didn’t need, I thought to myself wow! I just made more money in 15min from the comfort of my home than I make standing for 5 hrs on my feet at my second job.

The whole point for me was that you get a lot further and end up with a lot more of what you want when you clear out the crap and work smarter instead of harder.

What do you think?

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ