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Working for the man
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[Day 8] Lessons Learned Working for the Man

Working for the man

Today’s day 8 of the 30 day blog challenge. If you’ve got a blog and want to sign up, it’s not too late. Go here.

Quote of the day

“It is not death that a man should fear. Let him fear instead never beginning to live.” -Marcus Aurelius

Today’s topics:

1) Favorite Day Job you ever had

OR

2) Least favorite day job/funny story about working

My First Job
penelope

My sweet Penelope was the best part of working at the pet store!

Aside from babysitting jobs, the first job job I ever had was at a pet store. Honestly I wanted to be around people as little as possible (highly sensitive person/introvert) and felt working with animals would be a stress-reliever for me. It was.

Though it was still scary and I struggled to talk to people, I feel like it was a great first job experience. It taught me some important things about myself:

  • I am responsible and capable.
  • I care about what I do – whatever it is.
  • I have to be careful with this because I have the tendency to do others’ work for them.
  • I have the right to speak up and be treated with respect.

I ended up quitting this job shortly after I purchased weenie dog  because I felt like the owners were taking advantage of me (at 16 I didn’t yet understand that I was attracting this experience). It felt really good to quit because I knew in my heart I deserved better.

My All Time Favorite Job

My most favorite job ever was working at a raw food restaurant. I got to be in charge of opening the store in the morning, prepping food and running the front register.

The best part was the people (and the free food). It was woowoo paradise. Someone always had something to share with me (be it wisdom, jewelry, hand-writing analysis, healthy eating tips or just a smile) and I loved being able to share my knowledge with those new to the raw food lifestyle.

As I shared in this post, food is something that really helped me get sober, feel better and honor my body, so this place was perfect for me to practice a healthy lifestyle. Remember: one of the quickest ways to change something is to surround yourself with people who are doing or have already done what you want to do.

Tales of A Banquet Server

From the time I turned 21 until this day, I have been a part time banquet server. When I first got this job, I loved it, then I hated it and now I’m learning to love it again.

Negatives

  • If I allow it, it reminds me of how I’ve “failed.” Thoughts like “I shouldn’t still need this job” pop into my head often. I have to remind myself “it’s only temporary” and “I’m not my job.”
  • I feel like someone is constantly looking for and waiting for me to screw up. But, since other people are a reflection of me, I get to see how I do this to myself and from there can choose to do something different.
  • The uniform. I can’t stand not being able to wear what I want to wear. I kinda look and feel like a ventriloquist dummy. Which is funny and ironic because I think it’s a great metaphor for working for the man.

Positives

  • For as much as my co-workers complain, I seem to have a different experience. When I make the decision to have a good day, I do. The people who come and talk to me are nice, the people I serve are polite. My “assignment” is easy. Sometimes all I have to do is fold napkins.
  • It’s a great outlet for my perfectionism – I get to go all OCD when I’m setting tables.
  • I’ve sold some of my books to co-workers – and they found it really helpful!
  • I get to practice what I preach – it is a huge challenge to stay in my own energy/vibration when being there, but I get to remember that I always have a choice.
  • I get to work on my people skills, including truly showing up in service.
  • It keeps me humble.
  • The contrast allows me to clarify what I do want – with even more enthusiasm.

Insights

  • Life is what we make it.
  • I can let other people help me.
  • I’m a good leader/organizer.
  • I can work as part of a team.
  • There are positives in EVERYTHING.
  • This quote sums it up:

“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your f@#%ing khakis. You are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

  • You can’t change anything by hating it.
  • You can’t love anything without loving yourself.

All in all, what I have learned is every challenge helps us develop something we didn’t know we had in us.

It helps us step up, activate our highest commitments and take that leap of faith.

Tips for Parents with Teens:
  1. When helping teens look for their first job,  keep in mind what type of personality they have – introvert/extrovert? Works better on own or working for someone else?
  2. Talk about money in a positive way – make sure they know money isn’t the end-all.
  3. Talk about your values – your teen may not have the same values as you, but make sure you discuss what you feel and why you feel that way and encourage your teen to do the same.

I would love to hear some J-O-B stories from you. What have you learned from working for the man and how are you using this to help you create more of what you do want? Leave me a comment below.

30 day blog challenge
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[Day 7] Favorite Causes

30 day blog challenge

Today is Day 7 of the blog challenge. Topics to choose from:

1) What is your Favorite Cause?

OR

2) If you were in charge of things, what would the World look like?

I’ve been involved in many causes over the years and help when and where I can, but in recent years, I’ve been delving deeply into the mental health area. There are a lot of changes I would like to see there.

For a very long time, I wouldn’t go near anyone in this field because I thought they were the enemy.

I realize now this energy was displaced because of my personal experience (which thankfully is not everyone else’s experience). I had to forgive the doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, counselors and treatment facility workers who really didn’t know how to help someone like me.

I’ve got tears steaming down my face right now as I remember the first moment I realized what I wanted to do in my life. It’s been a long 10 years since that defining moment.

But there I was, 17 years old, in the middle of my 3rd panic attack that day when everything abruptly stopped. There was a break in my reality and when I looked up at the person sitting across from me I calmly stated, “I would never wish this on anyone.” It was in that moment I knew I was meant to do something big with this experience. I knew without a shadow of a doubt this was part of the plan.

And this is the point in time I choose to focus on when I’m doubting myself or my work. There are so many people out there who are experiencing the same thing I did. There are so many young people especially who are being labeled, drugged and discarded because they and those around them believe they are “beyond help.”

But they’re not. They just want to be seen, heard, known and loved for who they are.

They want our help.

But are afraid to ask for it.

Which is why we have to talk about it. Which is why we have to say,

“Hey, I’m screwed up too.”

But let’s be okay with that. Let’s embrace it. Let’s accept it because nothing is going to change through force.

It has to start with acceptance.

It has to start with you accepting all parts of yourself so that when you look at another person all you see is a beautiful, imperfect human being just like you.

To briefly address topic 2, I’m going to list the top ten things I’d like to change around here.

  1. I want us to be able to trust each other more
  2. I want people to tell me how they really feel (instead of saying “fine” or “good” when I ask “how are you?”)
  3. I want “mental illness” to be seen as a gift
  4. I want people to allow others to believe what they believe
  5. I want people to stop fighting over God, money and everything else – I’ve always been extremely against war
  6. I want people of all genders, races, sexual orientations, etc. to be treated equally
  7. I want everyone to stop messing with the earth – she doesn’t like it
  8. I want schools to understand that a lot of kids can’t and don’t learn in that setting – I know I didn’t
  9. I want people to respect their bodies and the bodies of others – sex is a sacred act and both parties should have consent
  10. I want corporations to stop treating animals the way they do just so they can make more money

But here’s the thing…

I can’t change anyone. The only thing I can do is be more of the person I’d like to be. And know and TRUST it makes a difference.

Maybe it won’t change the world, but I know it can help one person. Who will help another. And another. And another.

So I’m going to keep praying for the strength, wisdom and dedication I need to be able to serve my purpose in the world. I’m going to keep showing up, speaking up and LISTENING to what others have to say – you wouldn’t believe how many people just need someone who will listen and allow them to be who they are.

What cause are you passionate about? How are you “being the change”? Drop me a line in the comments section below.

Journals have feelings too
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[Day 6] My Books!

Journals have feelings too

Hello from beautiful Denver, Colorado! I’m here to learn more about an addictions counselor certification program I’m interested in. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Wash Park

Last night my sister took me to Washington park and I was able to capture this beautiful sunset.

Today is day 6 of Amethyst Mahoney’s 30 day magic up your blog challenge. My topics to choose from are:

1) Your favorite book, and why it’s your fave. If you can’t choose just one (and who can?) then give us a run-down of your top 5 or 10 Favorite books.

OR

2) Let us know about a book you’ve written.

I’m going to do a little bit of both. What’s cool is as I was laying in bed wondering what I was going to write about, I was thinking about how many people have shared with me how much they love my writing (thank you). And so I was planning on dropping a line about the books I’ve written in today’s post.

Impeccable timing as always, Universe.

There’s my first book, Journals Have Feelings Too which has been read and loved by teens and adults alike. It’s a quick, but highly impactful and practical guide to journaling, why it works and what to write about.

Every chapter includes several journaling prompts (aptly named “JOURNAL TIME”) where readers are encouraged to put the book down and do some inward exploration.

It includes topics like “The Blabbering Brain” and “Finding Your Voice.” For someone like me, who had so many thoughts in her head she couldn’t formulate the words to speak, journaling became my go-to tool to unveil what was really going on in there, how I really felt and it allowed me to find and accept ALL who I am.

For highly sensitive people, alone time is essential. And I firmly believe journaling (alongside meditating and walking in nature) is one of the most therapeutic and necessary practices for such people.

Through the exercises in the book you learn:

  • How to differentiate between thoughts of the past and your truth – no one else’s
  • How to use journaling to create a new dialogue between you and the various parts of you in a non-invasive way
  • How to establish a regular writing practice that works for you
  • And a lot more

Journaling brings me the freedom I often used to look outside for. It helped me beat my addictions, stop taking responsibility for other people’s feelings and rebuild my identity so I could finally be who I wanted to be.

I love being able to share this with others. Here’s what people are saying:

“I also have really enjoyed reading her book, Journals Have Feelings Too and highly recommend it for both teens and parents alike. I applaud Carrie for her bravery and transparency in sharing her life trials and insights to help others in such a positive fashion. Thank you Carrie for all you do!!!” -Amy

“Using specific examples from her own struggles in life, Carrie makes quick connections to the reader and provides examples of the usefulness of journaling. Her openness and willingness to share her experiences throughout Journals Have Feelings Too helps readers to see the direct results of the journaling practices she puts forward. This concise writing leaves the reader with a surprisingly deep toolkit in a short period of time.” -Glenn

Fun fact: the entire book was written in a journal before being typed out

Onto book two.

Just last month I finished writing a chapter for my second book Behind the Mask: The Many Faces of Bullying which I co-authored among 24 other women. I’ll be receiving physical copies soon and it will be up on amazon by the end of the month.

My chapter is called “Bullying: Our Youth’s Cry for Connection.” I talk about how young people are acting out an inner battle they don’t know how to express and how their behaviors are just a side effect of the connection they are so craving – connection to themselves and others. And with all the technology and distractions they’ve lost the awareness they need make positive choices.

This chapter teaches adults how to connect and communicate with young people and be the strong and steady influencers they need to make healthy decisions and walk with their heads held high. It discourages the use of blame and shame and instead encourages exploration and resolution of the true problem.

I’m excited to see the whole book when it comes out and will update this post when I have the link.

Now, my favorite book.

As much as I love learning, I am a slow reader. Maybe slow isn’t the best word. I’m a very deliberate reader. I like to soak the words into my cells instead of just getting them into my head so I spend a lot of time reading one book at a time.

My favorite book to reference is The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz. It gets right to the point.

I like books which help me simplify and calm my very over active mind. This puts me right into a heart space along with the book I’m currently reading, Soul Love by Sanaya Roman.

Other good ones:

The Power of Now

The Gifts of Imperfection

Loving What Is

Wise Mind Living

What about you? What’s your favorite book and why? Leave me a comment below!

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[Day 5] Bucket Lists

bucket list

Today is Day 5 of the 30 Day Magic Up Your Blog Challenge <— click to join.

My two topic choices are:

1) What’s on your bucket list? What are you absolute “Must Do’s” in this lifetime?

OR

2) What’s on your Vision Board?

Since I’ve done a post on vision boards, I’ve decided to choose the bucket list.

(To see my vision board and learn how to make your own go here)

But before I get into this post, I want to talk about how yesterday’s post impacted me and the miscellaneous thoughts in my head right now.

image

Because I know if I don’t I’ll be doing the same thing I often do and…

Doing the same thing = getting the same results

Yesterday I talked about my greatest accomplishment. I LOVED writing this post, I loved how many people commented on and shared it and I loved reading it again after the fact.

It was really good.

And yet, those nagging thoughts I exposed in the post came up even stronger.

“It wasn’t that good.”
“Don’t get too confident.”
“You can’t write that well all the time.”

Tunnel vision.

And then my mind proceeded to bring up all the times it thinks I’ve failed and all the people who are doing what I do, but are doing it so much better.

So I frantically:
Attempted to shake it out
Write it out
Get into the feeling
Breathe it out
Eft?!?

Then I paused and asked,
“What is really going to help me?”

This part of me wants to be seen and loved.

That’s it.

I can help her be seen by sharing this publicly (rather than hiding my deepest and most vulnerable thoughts and feelings in my journal [what I’ve always done]).

Even though right now she’s screaming.

image

I can quietly repeat “I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. You’re safe. I love you.”

I can breathe.

And I can start writing my bucket list.

I haven’t written one of these in a long time, but I went back not too long ago to look at an old one and was so excited to see how many things I could cross off the list.

Some of those included:

  • Having a non-traditional wedding
  • Writing a book
  • Quitting drugs

But, it’s time to make a new one. Plus, it’ll be fun to come back here later and cross them out as I go.

I will…

Travel to

  • Europe (Stonehenge please)
  • Egypt
  • Ireland
  • Northern California to see the giant sequoias (this is happening at the end of the month [pictures to come])
  • Legoland again
  • Sacred places
  • All the oceans

Business

  • Publish my journals
  • Write another book

Life

  • Go to an opera
  • Have regular adventures with my family
  • Make music
  • Make enough money to live comfortably and ensure all of our needs are met
  • Make art – paint, draw, crafts
  • Buy whatever food I want without worrying how much it costs
  • Dine out often
  • Allow myself to be seen and heard – even when I’m not being “perfect”
  • See a tornado in real life
  • Get a cat
  • Milk a goat?

Material Things (because we are living in a material world…)

  • Get equipment to make music
  • Get a new macbook air
  • Get an imac
  • Buy a video game system (I’m all about the love, but sometimes I just wanna fight…)
  • Buy a new home – one with a fireplace, hardwood floors, 3 bed, 2 bath, safe location, good vibes
  • Buy a new car with manual transmission (don’t know what kind yet, but I miss driving stick)
  • Buy cute furniture and home decor (etsy?)

My Body

  • Chop off all my hair (pixie cut!)
  • Wear vintage clothes
  • Find an amazing holistic doctor in Oregon
  • Weekly massages
  • Weekly acupuncture
  • Mommy retreats

Spirituality

  • Go to church because I want to not because I think I have to
  • Find my own way to practice faith

Family

  • Have another baby
  • Have a happy marriage – honest, open, loving, accepting, communicating
  • Learn with and from my family
  • Honor one another – by giving compliments, random gifts, calling just to say “I love you”

I’ll continue adding to this as things come to mind and crossing things out I’ve done, but now I want to hear from you.

What’s on your bucket list? What’s the biggest thing you wish to be or do or have in this life? Leave me a comment below.

While writing this post, I found this site with a bucket list for teens. Check it out.

Adolescence and individuality
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[Day 4] My Unique Awesomeness

Adolescence and individuality

Today is Day 4 of the blog challenge. Still haven’t signed up? Go here and then come back to read this.

Here are the two topics I have to choose from:

1) What is the greatest thing you’ve accomplished in life so far?

OR

2) What are you grateful for? What are the Top 10 things that make your heart sing?

Because I already wrote a post very similar to the number two topic (check it out here), I’m going to challenge myself to write about my accomplishments.

I’ll have to admit, I had to do this at a seminar once (face to face with someone I had to talk about how great I am) and I almost barfed.

I remember being so concerned with how I sounded, how the other person would interpret it, if my accomplishments were even good enough

My thought process was something like this:

What if I sound like I’m full of myself?
What if I offend her?
What if it’s not what she wants to hear?
Does any of this matter?
Am I really great?

From a very young age I was extremely competitive. I had to be the best or I was nothing. I’m not exaggerating. So the fact that I’m here writing and out in the world being seen and heard is a huge accomplishment.

I have so many filters. My 10,000 simultaneous thoughts travel through my fears and beliefs about what I should say and who I should be and all that’s left is a smile or a blank stare.

No people, I’m not shy. I just think too much.

I spend a tremendous amount of energy trying to say the “right” thing.
To do the “right” thing.
To make everyone else happy.

Again, something I learned at a young age.

For survival.
For self-preservation.
Because if I wasn’t that girl, it would cause another fight.
And I didn’t want to be in the middle of it – again.

So I learned to carefully plan every word or keep my mouth shut.

That was then and this is now and I have to remind myself of that often.

I have to remind myself that:

  • It’s okay to be wrong.
  • It’s okay to make mistakes.
  • I’m not responsible for how other people feel.
  • I’m allowed to cry.
  • I’m allowed to feel.
  • I’m allowed to speak.
  • I’m allowed to be quiet.
  • I’m allowed to be me (even if “me” changes her mind constantly).

Every single thing about me is okay.

Knowing this, believing this, feeling this, becoming this…

Is my greatest accomplishment.

Giving birth to an incredible human being who is growing up to be kind, generous, loving, sensitive, in tune and absolutely brilliant would have to be my second.

Not how many gold medals I received as a gymnast
Not how many people are subscribed to my list
Not how many friends I have
Not the car I drive
Not how much money I have
Not all the blog posts I’ve written
Not all the books I’ve published
Not all the certifications

You get the point.

Because none of those mean anything if I can’t accept who I am without the accomplishments.

I don’t need anyone to tell me my worth.

And neither do you.

 

What makes you uniquely awesome? How will you celebrate your individuality today? Leave me a comment below.

Healthy eating for teens
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[Day 3] Food

Healthy eating for teens

It’s day 3 of the 30 day blog challenge. Do you have a blog? If so, you can join the challenge with me and a ton of amazing women here.

The topic today is food. In the past I didn’t have the greatest relationship with food or the body into which I was putting it.

This was especially true during my teen years when I struggled with anorexia and started snorting speed to curb my appetite. As a former gymnast I was judged and critiqued constantly about my body so I was convinced I was fat and needed to be skinny to be acceptable.

(If you haven’t seen the video on my five tips to quit drugs, you can do that here).

The skinny to be acceptable belief was a bunch of bs, by the way.

When I quit drugs the first time (including prescription meds for my “mental illnesses”) I did so by utilizing diet and nutrition. I had been a vegetarian since the age of ten, but not a very healthy one. Boca burgers on wheaty, gluten-filled buns were on the menu at least 3 times a week. And I’m positive all the soy was screwing with my hormones.

I was 18 when my friend staged an intervention for me. She called my boyfriend at the time (the one who was supportive of me, not the one referenced in this post) and had him come pick me up.

We sat at a park in his 280zx talking for hours. I was so out of it I don’t recall the exact conversation, but I do remember how I felt and the decision to stop. I always knew I could stop, but didn’t see the point. It was self-sabotage at its best.

I told him to buy me one last “sack,” so I could ween myself off slowly instead of quitting cold turkey. And I’m happy to say I did.

From there, I read everything I could about getting off drugs. The common thread?

  1. Change what you eat.
  2. Change what you think.
  3. Change who you hang out with.

My biggest life-saving book?

The Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity

As I wasn’t a fan of “real” doctors, I was committed to finding a way to do everything naturally. This book helped me do just that. Not only did it help my body, but I found a new hobby I really loved – cooking.

Now, thanks to the beloved internet and the food blogging revolution, I find most of my recipes for myself and 3 (almost 4!) year old online.

He eats meat. I don’t.

We both steer clear from:

  • Cow’s milk (goat please)
  • Soy (too much estrogen is no bueno)
  • Corn (almost all the corn in the world is genetically modified so no thank you)
  • Gluten (my body just doesn’t like it)
  • Strawberries (deathly allergic to the mold)
  • Peanuts (even more deathly allergic)

And I buy organic wherever possible.

I’ve been accused of being picky, but I choose to see it as knowing what my body wants and needs and acting accordingly.

Our bodies are talking to us constantly. Are you listening to yours?

How has food impacted your life? Do you have a favorite recipe or type of food (I love curry). Share it below!

Oh and here’s a non-curry recipe I love making: Baked Red Lentil Falafel

Day 2: Spirituality
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[Day 2] Spirituality

Day 2: Spirituality

Today is day two of Amethyst Mahoney’s 30 day blog challenge. Interested in participating? Go here.

Yesterday I decided to do my own thing and created this video post (my first!) about addiction.

But today I’m going to talk about spirituality. And just so you know, there is a huge part of me right now saying “don’t share too much.”

Not just about my spirituality, but in general. Why? Fear of course. I’m afraid I’ll offend someone or lose business or (insert other excuse here). One thing I miss about being a teenager is how I did not give a flying f bomb who I offended, I wrote whatever I wanted. Carefully planning every word has become constrictive.

So I’m not going to do it anymore.

Religion and spirituality have always been a large part of my life and of my business (on my end), but when it comes to talking about it publicly, I don’t.

For a few reasons.

1. I’ve been called crazy A LOT.

I’ve even got the diagnoses to prove just how insane I am. So if I tell you I do moon rituals you probably won’t take me seriously.

(Assumption)

2. I have mixed emotions about religion. Always have.

I’ve been to many different kinds of churches and at each one I experienced the same thing. The words were different, the terminology was different, but what I felt was exactly the same. Love, being, connection. And yet, so many wars are fought in the name of someone’s religion. And that really pisses me off.

3. I don’t want to fight about it and I don’t want anyone to feel forced to believe what I believe.

I refuse to be that person. You know, the one who says “This is the only way. I’m right. You’re wrong.” I’m a vegetarian, but I don’t try to convert people. I know other people know what’s best for them. That applies to religion as well.

Interestingly, now that I’ve shared these three things, I feel a little less intimidated about sharing my spirituality. Now that I know you know where I stand with it, I feel like I can tell you.

So I will tell you…
  • These past few months, I have never felt more connected to God.
  • Pieces of the bible are deeply meaningful to me. Others pieces I find misogynistic and downright offensive to women.
  • I feel a strong connection to Jesus.
  • I love listening to what other people believe and allowing them to connect to God in the best way for them.
  • I find myself always surrounded by religious and/or spiritual people and it does not bother me whatsoever. In fact, I love it.
  • The universe speaks to me in license plates. “trusthm” (trust him) and “Iblieve” (I believe) are two I just saw yesterday. I feel amazing connection and appreciation every time this happens.
  • I don’t believe God is vengeful. I believe people are.
  • And lastly, I don’t believe God is going to change the world. I believe we are.

So let’s start now.

What are your thoughts/feelings about all this? Please share with me in the comments section below.