I AM…

At the Journey Home women’s retreat I went to last year, we did an exercise where we went around to each woman as a sort of “speed date” and we told our partner positive traits that our intuition FELT about them, while looking deeply in their eyes. In the end we chose which of those traits to claim, in the form of “I AM.” Gosh I haven’t looked at this for a while…and it just makes me tear up. I am so grateful for all those wonderful ladies I connected with that week. They told me what they could see in me… and it was beautiful. Posting here as a reminder for when I need it:

I AM MAGIC
I am a seeker of truth
I am barefoot in the jungle
I am in a huge underground cavern nourished with running water and beautiful rock formations
I am acceptance
I am an infant and wise woman all at once
I am chosen innocence
I am deep wisdom
I am the fairy lights
I am overwhelming at times yet sparkle with infectious aliveness
I am fierceness, vitality and exuberance
I am a warrior goddess who champions love, joy, courage, honesty and authenticity
I am Elora. 

Perhaps I’m starting to see it a lil bit of this within myself… 🙂

Reclaim Your Own Power

“I now break any contract I have ever made with another, consciously or unconsciously, that has given them power over me, power over my sense of self, the authority to approve or reject me or anything about me, including my voice, body, creativity, spirituality and way of living. Of my own free will, I now choose to directly perceive my own inner beauty and turn within with kindness and compassion to see myself through the eyes of unconditional love. So be it.”

One of my friends in our yoga group just shared her card pull from Alana Fairchild’s Sacred Rebels deck. Given that I just watched Labyrinth the other day, I’m absolutely loving it!!

youhavenopoweroverme

Been thinking a lot about “power” lately, and how funny it is that we so easily give ours up. Any time you assume that someone is thinking poorly of you, judging you, or talking about you behind your back… you allow them to take that power away. You focus too much on THEIR thoughts of you, rather than just going on with your own life. It’s so funny that we do that…

Also been listening to Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey” and he talks about how the nature of nature is to eat itself. That’s what the ourobouros is… right? LIFE EATING ITSELF. THAT’S NATURE. THAT is what we have to accept. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

ouroboros

It became really clear to me when he said that tribal societies would have sacred festivals for the animals that they would have to kill and eat… it was their was of honoring the sacred balance of nature. But our modern world does NOT honor that balance, and it puts us in a rough spot to figure out the power balance within society. We’re all capable of being “predators,” in the nature sense… having power… or giving up that power to accept being prey… being that one “eaten by” others.

Shudder. This is why Beastars is so great — brings up those important “cycle of nature, these are our instincts” questions.

Anyway.

I don’t wanna be prey anymore. I probably never truly was, but I THOUGHT I was. Thinking about it though, I wouldn’t wanna be a predator either. I want to be like Gaia… watching it all and experiencing the beauty of it, rather than getting caught up in any type of power struggle. Detached, observant, blissful, accepting… and I guess the only way to do that is to reclaim PERSONAL power. Not let anything else bother you. And this quarantine… separated from any energies competing with my own… it’s been a nice time to begin to honor my own energy. And I’m starting to see…that energy truly IS divine. And guess what, so is yours! 🙂

For the first time in my life I feel like I AM reaching out for that power, and finally claiming what’s mine.

Bipolar Extremity As A Superpower!

Mood: 😀

So that’s what I mean by “enjoying life”– allowing yourself to feel this blissful, like everything is right in the world, even if it’s burning down around you.

baloothisislivin

“Now this is livin’!” – Me at this very moment (Wonder what it’ll be tomorrow lol…)

Dunno if I’m going manic or what, especially after what happened yesterday… but I dunno I’m just feeling really great all of a sudden. I think it started when I was working and thinking “I wonder if I can enjoy this” and then I realized that, part of what’s been wrong is that I NEED TO ENJOY LIFE and I’ve been CHOOSING not to this whole time! And it JUST dawned on me.

How ridiculous is that?!

I think… on good days like this for me… I can step back and see that life is just one huge game. I think it was as I was reviewing older posts and I saw this enneathought I posted.

AE9FB25F-5247-48B1-B6CA-603B2BB77DF7

I am simply the result of too much selfishness and egocentricity, but to look at it and accept it… to KNOW that where I’ve come from has turned me into that… I can now just… let it go.

I wish I could see the enneathoughts for the other types for that specific one… because it shows me that we humans on earth, basically all we’re here for is to exist to provide examples for other humans to learn. I was looking back at my life today thinking “at what points do I feel like I’ve learned the most? And what am I learning from? I feel like I’m ALWAYS learning!”

And that’s because you learn from the world around you!  Yeah sure people go to school and value that sort of academic learning… learning more about how other people say the world works… but someone like me learns from doing. Learns from experiencing.

And I think that’s why I’m one of those “Apocaloptimists” they’re talking about, and Eddy is the complete opposite of that.

apocaloptimist

I’ve been following this “healer” path for a while, but I guess just realizing it’s a healer path since I’ve come back from doing Ayahuasca, even though I had been doing it all along.

You know, people say about mental illness that you can shift your perspective to see it as a “superpower” rather than a “flaw.” I could clearly see the obvious superpowers of bipolar — boundless energy, sometimes productive mania, generally more open with others — but one of the something I’m starting to become really aware of is the EXTREMITY of it all.

I guess I’ve been slowly becoming aware of this for a while, but it hit me really hard today! When I went to the Journey Home women’s retreat last year, Claire brought up the idea of a pendulum, and how we have to allow ourselves to swing all the way to each end in order to truly see ourselves and heal, but a lot of us are afraid to and only swing somewhere in the middle.

But if you live just in the middle…it’s true that you feel less pain because you have walls up to protect yourself, but is that truly living? Some would argue that not truly feeling life to it’s fullest isn’t, but I suppose some people would be ok with that in order to be safe. One of my friends literally told me so when I mentioned the pendulum — she did NOT want to venture further, which was shocking to me!

So that’s what I mean by “enjoying life”– allowing yourself to feel this blissful, like everything is right in the world, even if it’s burning down around you.

Lol I feel like I now understand this on a deeper level:
onfire

Yes, this is a good mood day, but it made me realize how much I value this “enjoyment,” and I suddenly started seeing that I was choosing to just look at certain things as “unenjoyable” when… that was only a perception I was deciding to choose.

But that’s just a habit right? A pattern? And something I realized today was the effect music can have on me… I never knew before, but I guess today I was extra sensitive, and I noticed that listening to mantra calms my mind down enough to simply enjoy the act of working.

And now having felt that enjoyment working, I can continue to chase that feeling to release dopamine and keep me entertained by something I previously disliked. And maybe turn THAT into a habit instead!

Of course this is just a hypothesis and I won’t know until I try it tomorrow and… I wonder if it can work even if I’m depressed. At least it’s a ray of hope!

Something interesting too is, I asked Eddy if he considers it a priority to “enjoy life” and he said no! I knew it! I don’t think it is for an Enneagram Type 5! To him it was more about “protection of life.” I wonder… what would YOU consider your “priority” of life? Yes, it changes… but I’m curious what it could be other than to “enjoy” it too.

ANYWAY LIKE I WAS SAYING!!! The extremity is a superpower because we as bipolar people ALLOW OURSELVES TO FEEL BOTH ENDS OF THE SPECTRUM!!!

I dunno how this is with other people, but at least for me I feel like I come alive in a crisis situation. Like… if everyone else is freaking out, I feel like I can keep calm and somehow make people around me feel better, even though normally I feel like I’m complete shit.

Yeah, it sucks to be on the low end but I’m betting that being in that dark place so much gives us a tolerance to it that only people with similar experiences have. And because we’ve been equally as far on the other, “good” side… (remember: pendulum) we’re able to stay optimistic because that feeling was SO GOOD that we’re constantly trying to get back there. Then once we’re there and people experience our true joy, they see that it IS possible… to feel that. And that’s one of the true beauties of life, isn’t it?

And THEN, when the world goes to this level of darkness, like it has, many of those people haven’t allowed themselves to feel enough pain to be ok with it. Like their tolerance is too low. But I suppose… being a hungry ghost to the extreme level — a “perpetually unsatiable 7,” the hunger trains you for… The Hunger Games. LOL.

“Lessons from gluttony”, if I’m not mistaken haha xD

I’ve noticed that people at these retreats and such that I’ve been going to are similar… they’ve gone through enough pain to make them seek an alternative path in life… a path that’s painful, but they don’t give up trying to understand — themselves and others. It truly is the path of healing, because once you heal yourself, obviously you’d want to pass that knowledge along.

And that’s what I’m vowing to do. Hopefully I can remember this… and come back to it.

We’ve all got superpowers! I’m so happy I feel like I’m starting to discover mine!

This is the song that helped you have this epiphany btw, good idea to maybe come back to it later when things go bad again. Ganesh is a great for you — “REMOVER OF OBSTACLES” — exactly what’s needed right now 🙂 Highly recommend this mantra if you wanna stop being stuck! I’m gonna try listening to it the whole time I work and see what happens!

Day 16: Mulan, Facebook, and Being a Late Bloomer

“…but look. This one is late. I’ll bet when it blooms it’ll be the most beautiful of all.” – Fa Zhou, Mulan’s dad

Geez I just realized that my last entry was over a week ago. I kept telling myself “I’m too tired, it’s too hot, I’ll write tomorrow” and tomorrow came and went… EIGHT TIMES!! Wow. I’m consistently blown away by the passage of time.

A lot has happened since the last entry which has taught me a lot, including watching Mulan, Han getting attacked in the eye by another dog at a 4th of July BBQ, getting back on Facebook after 2 years, having to deal with an insane heat wave, listening to a Steve Martin master class on comedy, the experience of going to the Comedy Store as one of our fav comedians’ guests, playing this game called Detroit: Become Human about androids gaining consciousness, and not being able to sleep last night. What a long run on sentence.

Mulan — late bloomer tendencies… realizing that its ok, and more and more coming to terms with everyone being on the same path. mulan is a great reminder of that. I’m not sure if it’s the changing times that has caused this, but I think watching movies is a different experience now since they’re so short compared to the longer streaming format which allows for a longer journey with the characters. Especially how the structure of these movies is, it’s very nostalgic in the sense that it’s formulaic, what I’m used to, and what I grew up with as a kid that taught me lessons back then. They feel like FABLES now, and I’m really paying attention to the lessons that they try to teach to children, and I feel teach subconsciously.

Mulan actually made me feel a LOT better about myself. Through this whole journey that I’ve gone on the past couple years I’ve realized that my childhood has stagnated my growth in a way that I have to learn to deal with in order to move forward with my life. I was very overprotected and didn’t get to be exposed to much. I grew up on TV, videogames, and amusement parks rather than learning how to socialize with other kids, play outside, and work as a team. My personality type longed for hands on experiences, but I focused instead on getting good grades and trophies. Learning about the myers briggs function stacks, I see that I was forced to function at my lower stack for the majority of my young life, so by the time I went out into the world I could ONLY be a late bloomer. But of course I could never see that, and not seeing just made the pattern continue until it all exploded in my face in my mid to late 20s.

Going back on Facebook has been a surprise, and not for the reason I was expecting. I thought I would never go back on facebook and continue this defiance, but at some point I realized that not going back on facebook was synonymous with continuing to run from my fears. I keep saying that this was an irrational fear, but I can totally rationalize it now. When I started being really active on fb, “collecting” friends, interacting with people and feeling like they cared about me… feeling POPULAR… I got addicted.

Looking back now too, I spread myself so thin and always tried to respond to everyone, to hang out with everyone, because I didn’t want to become “irrelevant.” Now knowing about my bipolar, I can look back and see that this was when I lived in a pretty manic state, for months at a time, maybe even like a year. EVERYONE knew me because I was constantly EVERYWHERE, at gallery shows, wrap parties, conventions… even though I wasn’t working in the industry, I was everywhere in the industry and I loved it. At least I thought I did. But of course that’s not sustainable, which is why being bipolar is so dangerous… I THOUGHT it was. Thinking back on it, I barely ever even slept working in Orange Country, taking classes in Pasadena, going to the Magic Castle all the time, doing homework and driving constantly to events from OC to LA.

I stupidly felt like it was my purpose to be bubbly, entertaining, and elevate other people to make them happy. I wanted to be everything for everyone…I wanted to make them feel loved and be loved in return, which resulted in a lot of pain, jealousy and feelings of worthlessness. After being sheltered for so long, the world was NEW. I wanted it all at once and I wanted it to want me back, but that’s such an unrealistic expectation to put on yourself and other people. The crash was REALLY hard. It took YEARS of depression and meeting a patient guy who could see the real me crying out for help to even get to the point I’m at now. Total Tiny Rick situation lol.

It’s like… suddenly the fog is clearing and I’m gaining all this clarity of my past. But the best part is, everything I’m encountering lately I feel is pointing me in the right direction. It’s validation that I’m on the path I need to be on… and that’s a great feeling. Synchronicity.

Anyway, the reason I’m surprised now getting back on FB is because I DON’T CARE as much as I thought I would. I thought I would easily fall back into my old patterns, but I guess I’ve done enough growing to where I don’t care about being irrelevant. I don’t feel the need to catch up with everyone all at once, or check up on people and feel left out because they’re doing stuff without me. It’s almost like a part of “ego death”… it’s my “social media ego death.” I feel… free O_O And it’s AMAZING! I’m finally learning how to adapt to this crazy society! (I think)

I thought I would be floundering around forever, never making any real changes in my life and I would die with a ton of regret, but surprisingly I can tell that I’m making actual progress by really becoming aware of my shifts of mindset. I recognize now that embracing the fact that I AM a late bloomer is liberating me from the shackles of the past and accepting that everything that came before this present moment makes me who I am, and who I am is a beautiful thing. The set of circumstances that have brought me here is a miracle, and I need to always remember that. If I wasn’t a “late bloomer” maybe I wouldn’t be as introspective, maybe I wouldn’t feel the world like how I’m beginning to feel it, and I definitely wouldn’t be surrounded by people that have taught me unconditional love.

I think I’m starting to come to terms with what it means to be alive… and that’s heavy shit for me.

So much more to talk about but I gotta go back to work for now! Couldn’t sleep last night so I’m running on manic energy and it feels so gooodddd! I never need coffee hehehee!

Day 15: Lion King Changed My Life Pt 2

“Ah, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it…or learn from it.” – Rafiki, The Lion King

Woke up this morning and finished Lion King… it’s funny how my un-high mind has a hard time communicating thoughts in a stream of consciousness way. This was so much easier last night! My sober mind was still JUST as affected by this movie though… it’s SUCH a beautiful thing when something can be so relatable and touch your heart in a way that makes you want to be a better person.

Eddy always talks about how similar I am to Simba in terms of wanting to run away from all my problems. Really… Hakuna Matata is SO GREAT. Simba was in really bad shape when he was chased away from Pride Rock, and he would totally have been dead if Timon and Pumbaa didn’t find him. Timon says to Simba “You gotta put your past behind ya. Look kid, bad things happen and you can’t do anything about it. When the world turns the back on you, you turn your back on the world.”

Image result for timon you gotta put your past behind you gif

Simba does eventually learn to put the past behind him, but he needed this period of isolation and “turning his back on the world” to subconsciously rack up the courage to do so. There’s no WAY he could’ve survived to take on Scar without living the “Hakuna Matata” lifestyle first. He needed to HEAL dammit!! And it’s really nice to remember that! ;_;

Gosh what I would GIVE to live that kinda life… I don’t think I’d even mind eating bugs! Living peacefully out in the woods, looking up at the stars at night, not having any worries or problems… really sounds like the way to go. It’s the way of the shaman! I’m so annoying to Eddy by this point how when I get into my horrible moods I immediately jump to running away, faking my death, and living on an island somewhere. He never entertains these thoughts, but I constantly bring them up anyway because when I’m in a bad place, it’s definitely the easiest solution to turn to.

However what Lion King reminds me of is that can only last so long… Eddy always brings it up too. He KNOWS that over time I would get restless living that kinda life, because I’m meant for greater things. Well… not so much that second part. He urges me to just live in the moment because this is it. The moment that we’re living right now, THIS is life. Even if I were to escape, my “grass is greener” mentality still wouldn’t let me be happy. I need to change that whole outlook first, and I think slowly it’s finally starting to happen 🙂

Lion King is great because, even though we’re not all royalty, meant to grow into a role of king or queen, it suggests that we have to learn to put the past behind us and embrace what’s happening in our current life. We can’t just run away forever, and we have to look within us to remember where we’re from, and who we are.

Especially now after losing my dad, I feel like I’ve become a completely different person. I’m starting to care about real shit, rather than focusing on my internal stress and worry all the time. I would go so far as to say… going through my dad’s death forced me on the path of “growing up,” something that I was fighting for so long because my mom always tried to force me to grow up and I naturally rebelled. It’s interesting how in all these Disney movies, or in tons of movies in general, the parents or someone important to the main character dies. In so many things, even Magic The Gathering, the “spark” within is ignited by a traumatic event, waking up the person to become a Planeswalker.

It’s easy to become complacent, but certain events in our life are a “call to action” and we have to make a choice to become who we’re meant to be or stay stagnant. Watching Mufasa come out of the clouds to remind Simba who he really is… that’s some powerful shit. It’s so dumb but I can almost see my own dad coming out of the clouds to remind me to embrace this life I was given and really go for it. Not like I’m a king or anything, but there’s so much I wanna do with this life I was given that I’ve chosen to neglect because of the stupid past. Hearing Mufasa’s booming voice say “Remember who you are” is that call to action I needed… and it’s nice to know that if I’m ever feeling down or that feeling of stagnation to just watch The Lion King. I’ve always loved this movie but, I think more than any other Disney movie, the meaning has changed so much for me in my adult life that it can be a powerful tool for kicking my ass out of depressive episodes.

It’s so easy to let the past rule our lives and mess up what we SHOULD be paying attention to, so much so that it cripples us to actually LIVE. The Lion King is a great reminder that we need to have the courage to take responsibility over who we are and who we’re meant to be, because it affects those around us. As much as I love Moana because it helped me cope with my dad’s death when it was still VERY fresh, I think Lion King deals with similar themes even better than Moana, in a deeper more adult fashion. There’s so much death and darkness in it, but that’s fucking life.

Lol Black Panther dealt with similar themes too, in such a similar fashion. Man life is hard and responsibility sucks, but it’s just a part of it. Sigh. Gotta work harder. Thank goodness I’m not some secret royalty… seems like that would make it even worse haha! I’m grateful for my life, and also for having the dad that I had…I can’t take that for granted. Something I need to remember moving forward.