Monday, December 30, 2013

Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and New Year

I'm a calm, easy-going, rational person. I've had on-and-off, ghost-related experiences now for most of my life but especially the past 5 years or so. Lately it's been getting a little too frequent.

It seemed like from 2011-2012 not much happened in the ghost department (at least not very frequently). Then it was monthly. Now it's daily.

I went to my mom's house with my sister the Saturday before Christmas (which was on Wednesday). Saturday night sucked. I remember feeling a presence in my room and being surprised because nothing had happened at mom's for a while. I remember it felt like someone was sitting on the edge of my bed -just like old times. So as usual, I got up, went to the bathroom, then came back to bed. 10 minutes later the presence came back again. It sucks having a dog in the house that can drive the ghost away, but the dog decides to sleep in another room completely oblivious to what's happening.

Then I experienced nothing until either Monday or Tuesday night. Whatever happened must have escalated to something more than the usual experience because I actually got up and went into my sister's room at one point. My sister's room was dark and cold. She used to have a night-light and I thought she was really stupid for not having one at that moment -especially since she told me she had felt a presence in her room on Sunday night. So I woke her up and told her things were getting kind of intense in my room so I was going to chill in hers for a little while.

She asked what had happened and I do remember that at one point I heard papers shuffling on the computer desk next to my bed as well as feeling a presence in the room. So I stayed in her room for 15 minutes and then got too cold and went back to my room after I heard the dog wandering around.

We then came home on Wednesday to have the rest of Christmas with my dad. On Wednesday night at some point I remember feeling a presence in my room at my apartment and being freaked out by it enough to actually get up at 3am, go into the living room, turn on my laptop, and surf the internet until around 5pm (which is kind of what I'm doing now).

I went back to my dad's house to hangout with my sister ad told her this stuff and at some point decided I should spend the night. I spent Thursday and Friday night at my dad's house in the downstairs den on the couch in hopes of evading ghosts and getting some sleep. That backfired. My sister actually thought it was kind of a stupid idea because she experiences ghost stuff at dad's house so it's like jumping from one sinking ship to another.

True story. I tried going to sleep on the couch in the den and ended up falling asleep around 1 or 2am because it's really hard to fall asleep with the presence of someone standing beside you while you're lying in bed. So with some crappy days of sleep under my belt I decided to go back to my apartment and try to sleep yesterday night (Saturday). Things actually went pretty well. I did feel the presence when I initially tried to fall asleep, but I was hopped up on an energy rush brought on by hot coco so I really didn't give a damn about ghosts or anything and wrote off everything I heard and felt.

Then at 5am sh*t got real again. Lately things have been happening at 3 times during the night:

1. When I try to fall asleep
2. Sometime around 3am
3. Sometime around 5 or 6am

It sucks. The things I've been experiencing at my apartment when things get "intense" are kind of hard to explain. It' not like I ever SEE anything. I'm paranoid that I will, but I never do. Instead I end up feeling and pseudo-seeing things. It goes occurs in this order:

1. Feel a presence in the room. Heart rate increases and my ears start to ring.

2. A "shadow" falls over the space in front of me. I'm not looking around the room -it's just the pillow in front of me as I lay on my side, but it gets darker like what light there is in the room goes down. It's not the shadow of a person or a silhouette of anything -it's just a darkening of the space around.

3. I feel a "heaviness" come over me. It's not like someone sitting on top of you pushing you down. It's like a heaviness and a subtle pressure that descends on you. Heart rate increases and I'm fully awake and alert. It's weird in this state because sometimes I'm actually pretty calm during it, but I'm still present to and afraid of it.

4. I hear noises in the room. Some I can write off. The ceiling makes a light "crack" sound and I say it's because it's winter and it's cold and the apartment is creaky. Then there's another "crack" on the wall I write off. Then there are other similar sounds I tell myself the neighbors are making and it's coming from their apartments -not mine. Then there's a sound of the floor shifting as if someone is standing or taking a step forward just outside my doorway. I can't write that one off. So I give up, get up, and turn on the laptop.

It just gets to be a bit much after a while. My sister says there are 3 ghosts she encounters at dads. I have NO idea how she knows or thins there are 3. How the hell could you distinguish between one experience and another and assign blame to 3 separate ghosts instead of just one? Then I think, Maybe I'd just prefer there to be one instead of believing there's an entourage of ghosts everywhere I freaking go.

I want help. I want this sh*t to end. Not sure how to do it though. You can't exactly call the Ghost Hunters in. I never SEE anything and barely HEAR anything. They can't catch crap on audio or their tech equipment. Then because they'd inevitably experience nothing during an investigation they'd say this place wasn't haunted. So it'd kind of be a waste of time to go that route.

Then there's a religious/spiritual route you can take and get some people to either bless the apartment or come and "clear the space". But is the place haunted or are ghosts just clinging to me? At some point -especially given the years this has accumulated -I have to find out how to get rid of these things for myself. I think I want to find a psychic who can tell me who the ghost or ghosts are and then show me how to get rid of them. That's what I want. Now I just need to find a legitimate psychic nearby...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Post Xmas List

Previous List Meets Current List (as well as other things I got not on the list):


-Anna Karanina (GOT IT!!!)
-Buffy Season 5 (Didn't bother asking for it -I will get it one day)

-Lincoln (Still haven't seen it)

Also got Princess Bride, Water for Elephants, and Sherlock (BBC Version) Season 1

Also got my step-dad Gangster Squad.

Things I did not get but will buy tomorrow with Xmas gift money:

-Don Jon
-50/50 (maybe)
-Aviator (maybe)
-Shutter Island (maybe)
Inception (maybe)

Music Albums:

-Keane "Strangeland" (Got It!!!)

-And $75 worth of iTunes download power.

What I want to get tomorrow:

-Augustana "Augustana"

-Evanescence "Evanescence"(maybe)

-Goo Goo Dolls "Magnetic"

In the future if I feel like it (maybe)...

-Taylor Swift "RED" (Don't got it)
-Ke$ha "Warrior" (I wanted this?...)


Friday, December 20, 2013

DBV #14

"And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins" – Luke 1:76-77 (NIV)

Thoughts: There's an important point -making way for God by forgiving people of their sins. Not condemning people to death or starting wars or locking people up. FORGIVING people. Salvation and God come through forgiveness.


My friend Jos is very ambitious and has a lot of projects going on. Right now it's a pretty big goal of hers to be wealthy, so she asked me what birthstone was associated with wealth carry it around. I looked on my birthstone chart I compiled and found some surprising coincidences...

 It was the birthstone for those born in July, the Ruby. Guess who's birthday is on July 13th? My friend Jos!
her birthstone is one of the only ones associated with wealth. (It's also associated with wisdom and love).

In another weird twist of coincidence, the month I blogged about the birthstones was also July. 

Then yesterday I met with Jos and she said she was looking into using a hotel space we had attempted to host an event at before. The hotel had charged for everything it could possibly think of and wasn't accommodating so bridges were burned and we didn't use the space. Then last week a new person was hired at the hotel and she called Jos and asked what kind of space she was looking for. We've been trying to find a free venue, so this new woman said we could use 2 of the smaller rooms to host meetings at FOR FREE and she can set us up with bigger rooms for events. The woman's name is RUBY.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

DBV# 13

"His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come to His people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David." – Luke 1:67-69 (NIV)

Don't know the context. Again. All I know is the message of joy/celebration that is sent out through people when it really hits them that God is present. They're filled with energy and excitement like no other. 

I think sometimes people misinterpret the notion of "Spreading the Word of God". It is something that people can feel genuinely inspired to do because they feel so uplifted, spirited, and excited about God and want others to enjoy the same feeling. Kind of like people spreading "Christmas cheer". 

Unfortunately some people get a little overzealous with it and end up driving people away with their bombardment of words, speeches, arguments, lectures, rants, opinions, beliefs... which then leads people to associate negativity with the message you're trying to convey. It's like another quote from scripture I saw today:

"I don't judge the person who doesn't obey my words. For I didn't come to judge the world, but to save it!" -JESUS, John.12:47

It's about doing good -not just going around telling people to do good. 

It's about embracing life in all it's forms -not demeaning the lives of others and detracting from them. 

It's about sharing God with those who want to know Him for themselves -not forcing strangers to agree with your opinions of Him. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DBV #12

"A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” – Isaiah 40:3-5 (NIV)

Thoughts: Since everything comes from God, everything consequently makes way for Him. The oceans don't rise against Him or block Him -instead they hold Him up. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DBV #11

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." – Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)



My friend Maria who I met through our women's group does photos for women. Before the photoshoot, the women she photographs send images of their beauty inspiration and vision for themselves. Then during the photoshoot, their hair and makeup is done based on their inspiration and they are then posed and photographed for about a couple hours. Afterwards they are then sent a few questions to answer so their "story" can be completed and understood.

Maria asked me if I would be willing to support her portfolio by having my pictures taken last Saturday. I was also asked to fill out the inspiration board and story questions.

Give us a little snapshot of who you are.

I’m a pretty easy-going, creative person who likes helping others and connecting with people. I work as a graphic designer, marketing assistant and am involved in various groups including Toastmasters and Promote Her Business.

Who or what 3 things have helped shape you to be the woman you are today?

God would have to be the first person I’d list because every time I think of who I really want to be in life, it’s someone who’s close to Him. I’d say being an introvert has also shaped me because it taught me to look more internally for solutions and answers and has allowed me to be a greater listener in the world. Lastly I’d say my family has shaped me because it was from them that I learned the value of education, friends and family, and being there for others.

If you knew then what you know now as a woman, what would you have told your 18-year-old self?

I didn’t really know myself at that age. My mind was still kind of closed-off and in the dark and I didn’t accept myself for who I was.  It felt like I was hiding from myself and the world. The thing that really changed that was “letting go” and finding peace. If I had told myself to look for those things I’m still not sure I would have found it instantly or even understood what those things meant. So if I had to go back and tell myself something at 18 it would be to hold on and be patient because life would work out and make sense eventually.

What leadership qualities do you most admire?

I’ve always admired people who were strong-willed and determined. Nothing can stop a person who doesn’t stop themselves with their own doubts and fears. I admire people who look after others and empower the people around them.

What are you most passionate about? I’ve always been passionate about art, music, nature, and spirituality.

What is your personal motto or mission statement? My favorite quote is “Life is just a chance to grow a soul.”

 If you could share a message about beauty, self-esteem, or self-worth to other women (whether older or younger), what would that be?

I’ve found that what changed in my life when I really gained self-esteem and a better sense of self-worth was the way I treated myself when I failed. When I would make a mistake or fall short of my own expectations, I would assume myself to be a failure. But when I finally embraced who I was, when I fell short I would instead give patience and acceptance towards myself. I would reassure myself that I could still improve and that life wasn’t over and I still had time to change things. I didn’t give up on myself in those moments like I use to. My message to women would be to love themselves compassionately as they would a friend who had fallen down and needed help getting up again.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Daily Bible Verse #10

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” – Micah 5:2 (NIV)

It's good to remember that it isn't always about us -that we are part of something greater. We always seem to want to be the center of attention -the one who gets all the credit and glory. But indirectly from us, especially through a legacy, we can make life better for others -which is something that matters far more than ourselves. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Daily Bible Verse #9

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned." – Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)  

Not sure of the context, but God is a great light, and those who experience Him don't fully realize how dark their life has been until the day they let Him into theirs.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Post Christmas Party

After 2 months of vague planning, our holiday fundraising party officially launched last night. My friends Maryanne and Elizabeth co-headed the party with me -including the planning process. It was pretty easy to secure speakers: 3 (one from each cause we'd been raising funds for throughout the year) and 1 comedian/magician who I met through Toastmasters. The venue was the biggest concern for us. Luckily a my friend Sherrie suggested her friend's Greek bistro that he'd just opened and we booked the room for 20-30 people. 

Then came Jos' paranoia. Jos founded the women's group so she's paranoid when it comes to planning most things about it, but she was really worried attendance would be next-to-nothing for this party. We had one non-business-related event that focused on women's health and only 10 people showed up. We've had events with 20-40 people on average, so Jos was worried only 5 people would show up for our non-business, non-profit party. Even if it was the holidays. 

I on the other hand had faith. I knew at least 20 people would show up -especially my friends. Emailing people was less successful than I'd hoped though. Many of my friends either never responded or they messaged back that they had other plans that Thursday night. I started emailing people about a week or 2 before the event. The frustrating part was that on it only showed 15 people who'd signed up the day before the event. But 25 people ended up coming. It's really hard to gauge how many people will come. We've also had past events where 30 people say they'll come and only 10 people end up going.

The event itself went well. We initially tried to stick to the schedule/agenda, but it was mostly used as a guideline to make sure the event Ended on time and we had enough time to say what we wanted to. Everything balanced itself out. Our opening speaker took longer than expected and some of the other speakers were shorted than expected. The comedian/magician was hilarious and entertaining though. Everyone had a great time. 

My goal at the beginning of the year was to raise $1000 to be split among the 3 non-profits we were supporting. Until this event we were at $650. Then some people pre-paid online for the event and we were at $820. Then we had people pay at the door and buy raffle tickets. The money needs to be counted, but I think we made the $1000 goal!!! 

*Update: We officially made $1200 in funds for the 3 causes!

Daily Bible Verse #8

"My heart says of you, “Seek His face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek." – Psalm 27:8 (NIV)

 It's an inherit desire of the soul to seek God and find Him, not just His being, but to be close enough to see His expression.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Daily Bible Verse #7

"The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights" – Habakkuk 3:19a (NIV)

I'm super stessed today and kind of irritated in general because there's a lot of little things going on right now, so I was kind of hoping that today's verse would be something assuring and comforting. Technically it is, I'm just not feeling it. 

Basically it's saying God is a source of strength you can draw from and He makes you agile and free so you can achieve greater things than you would otherwise be able to. It's a great notion, but it means nothing unless you practice it and make it a reality. It's one thing to make flourished statements like that, but unless God really is your Source that you turn to and give yourself over to, the words don't amount to much. Like someone handing you bread that you choose not to eat even though you're starving. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Daily Bible Verse #6

“Come,” He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” – Matthew 14:29-30 (NIV)

I have read this story. It was pretty incredible. Basically shows that people are capable of doing far more by faith and soul then they give themselves credit for. Without the belief and assumption that this is true, people instead limit their own possibilities. 

It also reveals a lot about Paul himself. Paul always seemed to be a man of action. Going out and physically acting on his belief without much hesitation. And when he purposed his being to reaching Christ, he managed to walk on water. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Daily Bible Verse #5

"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” – 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

The downside to not having read all of the Bible is that I still don't know the full context in which some of these things are being spoken so it took me a second to fully grasp what God was referring to. Initially I thought Samuel was judging someone by there "unattractive" appearance and dismissed them and God was telling him not to. Then I realized God had rejected the person being judged physically -which means Samuel was actually looking favorably on the person (who was probably a handsome, popular king or something) and God was telling him not to trust or admire that person because inside the man was condemned.

Kind of suggesting that the devil often appears beautiful and trusting to lead people into false favor with him. Like the serial killer Ted Bundy.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Daily Bible Verse #4

"The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad." – Psalm 118:22-24 (NIV)

Not sure what the "stone and builders" are in reference to specifically, but I get the overall message/meaning. The Lord takes what others cast away and reject and makes it something essential to foundation of life. 

For instance a blind man that society has neglected and cast aside can become a leader of men through God's will. God often takes things we ignore, cast aside, and take for granted and turns them into something Glorious that adds to the life of everyone. The modest and common-place shall inherit the earth. Nothing is useless in the eyes of God. He gives everything purpose.

Why I Hate Christmas (Besides the Cold Weather)

I'm a Christian. Some of my friends are "spiritual", Buddhist, or borderline atheist. So this time of year, I get to hear about all the ways they're pissed off at having Christianity shoved down their throats. And as a Christian I instinctually feel a twang of pain in my gut when they complain about something I feel deeply personal about, so I attempt to defend Christianity by saying: "Hey, I'm a Christian and I haven't even mentioned my faith more than twice to you -and only by stating the fact that hey, I'm a Christian." And they say, "Well you're fine, you don't shove your religion on other people, but there are a lot of Christians that do." Then they blame Christianity for Santa -who they hate about as much as I do now.

Let me explain Santa to you as I do to them. There are 2 Santas. There first Santa is based on a Catholic saint who felt inspired one night to go out into the cold and bring gifts of toys to orphans. The second drinks Coca Cola and hangs out at T Mobile. I prefer the first Santa, but even his ideals have faded into dust. We don't give gifts to orphans like he did. Some do for charity, but most just follow the protocol of Santa 2 and buy up a bunch of stuff out of social obligation to friends and relatives who then feel guilted into doing the same.

Then there's Christianity itself -which people also complain is too overt around this time of year. It's frustrating because according to Christianity we are supposed to be celebrating Jesus birth -a miracle unto itself considering a king was told of His coming and decided to murder every child in the city Jesus was later raised in. So a pregnant woman had to flee in the night to a neighboring land and give birth in a barn. We are celebrating the birth of our Savior.

But when people of other faiths see and endless sea of Nativity scenes, they want to throw up. And I get complained to about it. I told one friend that Jews should be more open about their faith -and she said it would exacerbate the problem. She wants LESS, not MORE. And I say, "Well there are two kinds of people. Some say religion should be shouted from the roof tops and announced to everyone to share the good news. And others say that it should be kept secret in a closet and privately worshiped and devoted on. It's just that the first kind of loud-mouthed person tends to be heard that much more." And she said, "Well they should be more quiet and keep their religion to themselves." 

You know what else frustrates me? There are essentially 2 main holidays in Christianity that people celebrate. For Catholics it's a couple more days worth noting, but for your average, run-of-the-mill Christian it's 2 days out of the year when you should be acknowledging and celebrating God: Easter and Christmas. And even Easter has been taken over by a stupid Rabbit and some Chicks that have their own corporate allegiances -mostly to Hershey's.

These religious holidays are never really about what they're supposed to be. The benefit of being Jewish is your religious holidays are always clear and never mistaken for anything else. There is no corporate mascot for Hanukkah. No Wiley Coyote to help celebrate Passover (which I think is a holiday Christians should celebrate more as well). You just get the sacred day itself with it's original intended purpose. No one gets alienated or says, "Hey can you be a little more quiet about your religious celebration? It's starting to bug me." 

And the fact is there is NO time of year when it's really deemed "ok" to acknowledge and celebrate your religion as a country/people as a whole. Except for those 2 designated days, it's just you and whatever local congregation you go to and/or whatever friends of the same faith you happen to know.

Personally I want to know more about religion in general. Whatever faith it may be, I feel my eyes are opened wider to the loves of others when they share their beliefs and include others and me in their celebrations of faith. I want to know more about Hinduism, Judaism, and other religions that play second-fiddle in our country. But they have more of a "keep it to yourself" policy. Maybe that's why more people know about Christianity even when they're atheist. At least they have the luxury of saying they know. For the rest of us, other religions are vague and rumored beliefs our friends who follow them don't usually speak about. We are strangers to the worlds of others around us. 

 It is the instinct of children to want to share and understand. I want to share what matters to me in hopes that it may add value to the life of another. I want to understand what matters to those around me so my life can be added with greater meaning as well.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Daily Bible Verse #3

Today I woke up light-spirited and happy. Not entirely certain why because technically I had crappy sleep last night and a billion things to do today, but I'll take the happy over the sad any day.

Today's verse from

"Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety." – Psalm 4:7-8 (NIV)

Not sure who they "their" is, but the message is pretty clear. God fills you with joy and gives your soul the only real safety and peace it can ever have. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bible Verse #2

"But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you after he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’ Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle, must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites. You are to help them until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.” – Joshua 1:12-15 (NIV)

This passage is complicated. Looking for the lesson/message God is really giving behind it. The message I get is : God will give you peace and provide you a place of rest, but having given this to you -you are now asked to go out and assure others find it as well. Once everyone has their peace, you may rest fully in yours. It's an act of Grace. Having received grace from God you are then compelled to give Grace to others.

This passage also shows that man often takes land and fights for the sole purpose of find some semblance of peace, prosperity, and home.

Ghost Shadow

Last night sucked. Had a pretty frightening dream. I was lying on a coach at a friend's house at night with a baby beside me that was apparently mine and I sensed a demon come in the room. It essentially tried to possess the baby and I was trying to fight it off. I heard it's voice in my ear -which was deep and angry (not to mention terrifying). I kept shouting at it "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to leave" and my voice kept failing me. 

Then I woke up from this dream and was like, "Well that sucked. I really need to avoid thinking about it right now since it's 2am and I'm alone in my room." 

Lately the ghost activity has been low. Slight sensing of a presence here and there at night, but the one thing that seems to be consistent lately is this "shadow" effect. Whether my eyes are closed or open at some point when I'm lying there awake I'll notice a darkening come across like a shadow falling over the space around me. It's strange because it's hard to verify logically and compare the before/after visualization of the room/area. You can't say: Well before it was super bright because a light was on and now it's dark because the light is off. It's night time so it's fairly dark all around -except for light coming through from the street and your eyes adjusting. But there is a noticeable shift in the room and a shadow that falls over that you can almost feel. It's unnerving, but manageable I guess.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Daily Bible Verse (#1)

Thanks you internet for helping me achieve Goal #3 

There is a place called "" that can help. Yayz!!!

Today's verse:

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." – Matthew 5:9 (NIV)

It's funny because according to Enneagrams I'm personality #9 "The Peacekeeper". 

That and I posted a statement today: "I don't have to hear the argument. It's enough that I can admire both sides for being passionate enough to stand up for their beliefs." This I wrote after seeing a post someone made about an argument between a woman who was "pro" moms being physically fit and sexy and a woman who said moms who were voluptuous and overweight are just as sexy. I didn't bother reading the details it's an ongoing debate that seems too superficial to worry about, but it was nice to see both women being open and putting their thoughts out there.

Integral Coach Check-In

So I met with Nadine on Monday and since we're kind of nearing the end of the 6 month coaching session we looked and assessed where we were at goal-wise. My goals haven't changed much from the beginning. 

My goals were: 

1. Gain physical presence and healthy body
2. Foster closer relationships with a few friends
3. Increase spiritual focus and experience 

So far those goals still haven't quite been reached. It seems like the goals I wanted for this year from the beginning (giving back to the world in a bigger way) has been achieved and I've over-extended myself in that sense with the Women's Group, Toastmasters, CCPY, and work). I'm officially making the above list my goals for 2014. Too bad I didn't come closer to achieving them this year. 

I'm going to drop CCPY after my "term" is over next year. I've learned a lot, but having the ideal of guiding a young, struggling teen and actually doing it are two different things. Reality is far less glamorous and interesting. Essentially it's just being there to listen and encourage -which is hard to do right now with my busy schedule. 

So my life coach is trying to find a way to help me make day-to-day habits that can answer to the 3 goals listed. 

1. For physicality: Learn basic stretches/yoga moves and practice them for 5 minutes in the morning or end of day. 

2. For friendships: Set aside 1 day out of the week and make sure at least 1 person is scheduled to meet that day "just to hangout". 

3. For spirituality: Read a random verse out of the Bible once a day and reflect on it. Attend church when I can and meditate when I can.

The stretches are honestly the hardest because I keep forgetting to stop and do them. :(

Monday, December 2, 2013

Wisdom in a Dream

Before Thanksgiving hit, I had a dream that I walked into a wisdom course. I woke up with the one question that had been posed to be during that session:

What would it be like if you thought everything you Accepted was Exceptional?

I woke up and thought: Damn. That was profound. Especially given the randomness of most of my dreams. 

I then reflected upon the question. 

Thought #1

Well if you thought everything you Accepted was Exceptional, then consequentially everything you didn't "accept" or "embrace" would be deemed ordinary. 

Therefore, instead of saying: "I hate that kind of food. It's gross," you'd say: "That kind of food is just ordinary. It's not that it's bad -it's just not that exciting or exceptional to me." 

But then, how would you apply that kind of thinking to tragedy? A boy was hit by a car. It's not "exceptional" or "amazing". It's tragic and a hard fact to accept. It also can't be called "ordinary" -because that would be an insult. Tragedy would be the one gray area this theory couldn't quite apply itself to.

Thought #2

Putting the "opposite theory" aside, the initial idea is quite profound. If you genuinely believed that the things you accepted/loved/embraced were Exceptional and the things you didn't weren't bad/evil/negative but just Boringly Ordinary -then you would enhance your life greatly by exemplifying that which you brought into your life as your own. 

For instance: "I don't just like chocolate ice cream -it is exceptional to me."

But things like that can't just be said because the idea sounds nice. You HAVE to find a way to justify it. "Chocolate Ice Cream is Exceptional/Amazing to me because..."

-Because it involves the sense of taste -which is a blessing and a miracle endowed to living beings in and of itself

-Because chocolate tastes sweet to my pallet and brings me a sense of comfort and joy

-Because it can occasionally come with a cone -which I also enjoy eating

-Because it's a better flavor than vanilla (which is just Boring)

-Because it reminds me of fond childhood memories I enjoy recounting

Being asked to give reason for something being Exceptional really makes you see to the heart of why you like/enjoy/embrace/accept/love something. It makes you that much more appreciative and grateful for it. It also makes you more accepting and understanding towards things you don't like as much.

This Past Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving initially sucked. 

I was all ready to go. My sister decided to drive she and I to our moms this past Thursday. She said she would come by to pick me up at 9am. 

9 am came around. 
I was all packed and ready to go.
I had my clothes all packed, that DVD mom wanted to borrow firmly placed in my sack of traveling supplies...

Then I remember I left the Christmas list mom had requested me to make in my car.
No problem, I thought. I'll just grab the keys to the car and leave everything inside my apartment since I'll be right back anyway...

And that's when I accidentally locked myself out. 
The landlord was nowhere in site. Why would she be -it's Thanksgiving. 
My spare key was in my purse -which was also inside the apartment-so no hope there. 

So I gave up hope and accepted the fact that I was heading to mom's with nothing but my cell phone, my car keys, my Christmas list, and the clothes on my back. 

Around 10am my sister finally came -after about an hour of waiting on the steps outside my door praying to God to unlock it by some miracle which never occurred.

I was mopey, slightly pissed-off, and tired. Not a good state to be in. Luckily I knew superflous amounts of mood were in my future so I didn't stay upset long. 

Made it to mom's house and was immediately greeted by her, my step-dad, and out dog. 
We ate lunch there and then hopped in the car to go to town.
My sister decided to drive me into town and buy me a toothbrush from Rite Aid.
She also gave me the spare shirt she had brought. Between that and the spare underwear I found in my old room, my ensemble for the next day slowly began to come together.

Then our mom decided to tell us that the main reason our aunt Deb was being flown down from Oregon for Turkeyday -after being gone for about 5 years -was because our grandpa had just been diagnosed with cancer and wanted the family together for this holiday. 

On that note, our relatives started showing up. First our Aunt Deb -who had changed only in appearance and only slightly in presence. 

She seemed kind of down -which was understandable given the fact she had recently had surgery and worked a back-breaking night job moving logs and firewood in the dead of winter. Then my grandpa and grandma showed up. Then  my other grandma. Then food. My mom's Thanksgiving dinner never changes and it's always the greatest meal I have out of the year.

After we ate we sat around checking in. I hear and respond to 3 main things whenever I'm at mom's surrounded by relatives:

1. How is work going?
2. Why don't you eat more?
3. Do you have a boyfriend

Those are the only things anyone ever wants to know about. Isn't kind of rude for people to comment on your weight? Apparently only if your fat. Then you get let off the hook. When you're thin and tall -everyone shares their opinions unapologetically. 

The amusing thing I noticed between my dad's family and my mom's is whenever relatives get together they ALWAYS talk about other people they know who aren't there. It bugs me because it kind of feels like gossip, but on the other hand I've come to realize it's also how they keep in touch and find out about the lives of other people they've met. It's like updating an archive of status updates on friends you haven't seen in years.

"How's Henry doing? Have you sen him in a while?"
"Yes I saw Henry last week. He has a new job as a florist and is doing well."
"Is he still married to Elizabeth?"
"No they're divorced now."
"Oh thank God, I hated her."

It's kind of heart-warming on some end because they ask out of concern/caring, but then it's also kind of  disheartening because they're not really any closer to that person in the end and can only give brief opinions of what they think of that person's recent update in life. 

On Friday my sister and I headed back to San Jose and I knew I'd get my apartment open and everything would turn out alright. I did wonder why God had made it so I went without my stuff this past Thursday. Part of me thinks, Jessica, you idiot. You locked yourself out, not God. But the other side of me thinks,  

Maybe He was trying to show me how well I can do without my stuff. Without all the clothes and supplies and movies and music and debit card and check book and purse... I managed pretty well without it all. Maybe this was His way of showing me how much I have to be grateful for -especially since at the end of the day I can unlock the door and go back to all of those things when there are others who have to go without every single day.