Feeling, Reading

#30daysofdresses – day 9

October 10, 2014

The little yellow belt is back…so are the boots. Clearly the best $17 I’ve ever spent at Kohl’s.

This dress is my straight forward style – comfy, navy, and an interesting neck and hemline.

That’s it really.

If you’ve been following along, I haven’t been doing so well. As I write this, I’m feeling better, but the start of the week was rough.

But how to explain it to you?

I wake up rested, even happy, to be laying in bed in the dark – the cool desert air coming in, the cloud cover of the westside hiding the sun, and then some thought hits me, and anxiety. Can’t even tell you what the thought is.

Or I feel fine, and decide to vacuum (Carter’s fleas may be the death of me). And as I’m vacuuming, the drone of the motor, the rhythmic back-and-forth, the dog circling me unsure, I start to feel pissed that the carpet sweeper is broken, that I have to vacuum before work, and my mind races through all of these injustices and bam, I’m crying instead of cleaning.

If I could explain it, maybe I could fix it.

But I’m also learning that there’s nothing to fix because I’m not broken.

It just is.

If this dress is straight-forward me, then turning to books is my typical approach to feeling insane. The day I wore this dress I started reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. My friend Steve calls her one of my saints. That evening I watched part one of Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Another of my saints. I watched videos of Pema Chodron on Youtube. These women hold up a light when I’m in this deep darkness. Anything to know that I’m not alone.

And I gathered three things:

1. “Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a questions of engagement.” ~Brene Brown

2. Elizabeth Gilbert saying that we have three different voices in our head. The child, throwing a tantrum because they’re exhausted. The older sister, who we think is the voice of our highest self, saying things like “why do you keep doing this to yourself?!” but, Gilbert said, if there’s any of this ::wagging her finger::, that is not your highest self. There is no judgement from your higher self. And the actual higher self she seeks to listen to, which is full of love, grace and support. The voice that says “I love you” and that’s it.

3. Pema Chodron saying that even she experiences times of meditation where she feels like her mind is crazy and the thoughts do not stop. But even if the experience of meditation that day isn’t great, it’s the post-meditation feeling that matters. That her meditation practice “opens more room in (her) mind”.

I wish I had better answers for myself so I could pass them on to you, but all I can do is read, jot down my notes, let the crying come when it does, and be gentle with myself.


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  • Reply talklesssaymor October 10, 2014 at 6:01 am

    If I take this back to your daily ocean view…we’re like waves floating around; sometimes the water gets a little rough but it always passes and we float along again, rocking back and forth. Embrace whatever the water is doing, “just keep swimming” and know soon enough, the water will calm down. <3

    • Reply justine October 10, 2014 at 8:22 am

      Thanks Katie – from personal experience, I know that to be true – it’s just hard to think it’ll ever calm down when the waves keep crashing. Today, tho, I feel better 🙂

  • Reply sensitivesteve October 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Love that you can connect starting Brene Brown’s book to something you were wearing that day. And your usual wonderful self-ethnography of your emotional landscapes. Not sure, though, about the difference between “straight-forward” you and “insane” you…don’t they both come from the same sources, even though the presentation may be different? Thanks for the acknowledgment and back at you: was in the SM Library yesterday in the completely deserted fiction stacks (you really notice this when you go to the other parts of the library first and then wander into the fiction area) and remembering your great observation that the library is like your church. I always cop that line and use it.

    • Reply justine October 10, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      and reading is my prayer 😉 xo

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