It seems like forever since I have woken up in this cottage.
In the woods.
Whenever I’m here it feels like a dream. Like if I could have written a story about living in the most amazing place with the perfect man for me, this would be it. What I didn’t know about manifesting my desires is that its possible to not even realize you've done it. As human beings I believe that one of our struggles is satiation. We seem to live in a state of wanting. On a small scale I used to notice it with buying things. I would see a shirt or something at the store or online and become so obsessed with it. It would be just the right colors and cut to really represent me, I thought. If I could just have it and wear it I would feel more like me. Like I was really able to express myself.
So I would buy it. Wear it once…twice… and eventually it would lose its luster. I wouldn't get the same satisfied feeling from wearing it. It felt old and boring. Then I would start shopping again.
I only ever felt truly satisfied for a few hours the first time I wore something new.
If I had to name my “substance” of choice when it comes to coping throughout my life (other than co-dependence, but that’s for another post) it would be food. I’m no better or worse than an alcoholic or any other person who has been addicted to a drug. I have disrespected my body to the nth degree with food. Eating things that hurt my body long-term in order to feel the (what, 10 second?) relief of feeling ice cream in my mouth. An escape from the reality that I am feeling deeply lonely, isolated, bored, confused, etc. When I was a kid I used to go in our walk in pantry and eat stuff like hostess cupcakes one after the other. I would hide the wrappers so my parents/sister wouldn't see how much I was binging. Then I would sulk back to my room wondering what was wrong with me. I would think how no guy was ever going to want to be with me (yes I was thinking this from 3rd grade) because I was too fat. Then I would feel lonely and start the cycle all over again.
It wasn't until pretty recently that I started diving into the root of my “satiety” issue if you will, and I believe now that it comes from two things.
1. Not following my hearts desires. It is imperative to live a life that is aligned with what you enjoy doing. If you enjoy shaping young minds, become a teacher. If you like to draw, become an artist or a designer. If you like to debate and read and write, become a lawyer. Or an author. It is also not about already knowing exactly what you want to do. It is about granting yourself the grace to experiment and find out. I am so passionate about helping people and shaping the future. I thought I would LOVE teaching special ed. Well I spent one semester in a public school and found out very quickly that that particular setting is just not right for me. So, I thanked the universe for the experience and moved on. Part of me was frustrated that it didn't work out, but then I realized that it was the part that wanted to please others. I wanted my parents, particularly my dad, to be proud of me for getting a stable job with good benefits. I wanted them to feel like they did a good job raising me and that we made the right decision in putting me through college. But as time goes by and I see more and more people with “stable” careers self sabotaging to escape their reality, my reality is changing. My compass for what “normal” is is getting harder to read. It seems like what is most important is to trade our time for money doing things that give us purpose, or at least working towards that diligently.
2. Presence. PRESENCE. Be here, be now. My dear friend and Micah’s mom used to say this when we were on our phones at dinner or something. A reminder to be here in this moment, right now. Not reminiscing about the past or worrying about the future. Not concerning ourselves with what someone else is doing right now hundreds of miles away. Appreciating this very second because soon it will be gone. This has become a mantra for me. The thing about anxiety is that it wants to rob you of the here and now. It wants fear, something that isn't even real, to play like a old film projector in your head, blocking your vision from what is right in front of you. As anxiety has reared its head in my life recently after my parents split, I often feel like this is what is happening to me as I try to enjoy this beautiful life that I have. There’s an old black and white movie in my head that only I can see. To everyone around me it just looks like I'm staring into space. But what I see is a movie about my fears. Losing Adam. Getting sick. Having to leave Oregon and live in my home town again. Never achieving my dreams. Adam never achieving his dreams… Not only is this a bad thing because it is counter-productive to manifesting my DESIRES to spend time seeing my FEARS, but it also completely robs me of the present moment! The truth is that change happens. I could die while making dessert. I just read about a french woman that had a whipped cream can explode towards her chest and kill her. If life can change that quickly, that makes the present moment pretty important. I should probably pay attention.
As time goes on, I learn to value of stepping back from my situation to gain perspective. Everything that has happened to me thus far, good and bad, is neither. It just is. I am not being punished by a man in the sky for my sins. I am not being rewarded for my kindnesses. I have created the reality around me. In a beautiful symphony with the universe, I have attracted and repelled the people and experiences that have shaped me to be who I am and where I am. I am being taught the lessons that I need to learn exactly when I need them. I am being given all of the resources necessary to create the most satisfying life that I can imagine. I just need to lift the projector screen in my head and take it all in. Right here. Right now.
Part of what is going on right now is that Adam and I have decided to start taking on clients for portraits and small weddings! I had the privilege of capturing my first wedding while we were in Hawaii and guys... it made my heart so happy! Adam has photographed several weddings before, but this was the confidence boost I needed to see that my ability far surpassed my expectations. If you have an event or moment that you would like to freeze in time, we would love to capture it for you! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook or Instagram.