Anniversary Reactions


The season revisits old pains. Last year near this time, I broke up with my fiance. Now I’m experiencing an anniversary reaction. I realized people respond to trauma this way,  but I didn’t know how it worked. I thought it was psychological, that people mentally keep track of dates. This hit me suddenly and I decided to do some research . I discovered this is a physical reaction. Most of the time our brains filter lots of of details on normal days to focus on the major stuff. During trauma, your brain goes into emergency mode and sends ALL signals directly to emergency centers of the brain, collecting minor information that could be important, like a hyper vigilant detective. This includes the nuances of season and lighting. Next year, when the time of the trauma draws near, your brain enters protective mode, reminding your body of old feelings and sensations. It  warns you about different threats in the environment. “Last time it was April and you were standing in this spot, this happened. Be careful!” This lasts a few weeks leading up to the event. While I thought my mind was in a state of healing, my body told me otherwise. Maybe healing was too painful. My mind covered the wound with a bandage, to revisit later. To revisit now.

Vivid memories

I return to the silent, shaky screams into my pillow on a beautiful sunny afternoon. The confusion, the blur. I listened to the song “Black Velvet Band” (old Irish song) recently which I hear frequently. I am taken  to times when I sang this with his family, and it stings in my heart. I remember my friends- who was there, what they said, and how they tried to comfort me. I remember these very long walks with my dog. Whenever I sat down, I didn’t know how I was going to live any longer.  I am inundated with shock and sadness. I am trying walk through it this time. To pray through every pang of hurt, anger, and guilt. Since I moved, my surroundings aren’t the same. I can process this with some space and distance. I sit on this breezy warm patio, listening to wind chimes and birds. I receive pink petals to my lap. Life is always bearable when I notice pleasant details.

Moving forward

This year has been happy and prosperous in many ways. Yet, often I had a sense of coldness and toughness and lonesomeness which I am  familiar with. Pain surfacing is a welcome change at times. My body is giving me another chance to grow and learn how to make things better in the future. I can re-frame the situation and redefine what I want. I’m a tough, hardworking, and independent girl. Yet, this situation showed me the value in being loving and community focused. To build my future family, I will need to have the qualities of a good wife and mother which I don’t have yet. I have always used bad situations as fuel for my future success. I am positive I can do it again.

My hope flowers

I decided to grow a little patio garden. Cilantro, nasturtiums, and chives. I may also add blackberries, spinach, and/ or wildflowers. Now is a time for long prayers and contemplation and watching these little guys grow. And to be corny, I will grow  along with them. I’m a hopeful Dianium blue eyes. I know God has plans for my future family. He wants me to feel that love and trust which is the foundation of families.


I know most of us have gone through terribly dark times. Do my readers have anniversary reactions? How do you handle them?



I haven’t posted due to having a busy month. I messed up my schedule and had to work excessively, 12 hour days. They were all intense and energy consuming. My blood sugar crashed a couple of times. I have a big project due for school. Yesterday I asked work if I could please have today off if possible to catch up. They seemed mildly displeased but gave it to me. I felt myself getting triggered. Now thankfully I have a week off , and my mom and step dad are coming.

I’m excited to have 33 people following me after about a month and a half! Thank you for your support.

I have a long list of blog topics. Some are difficult to tackle, some fluffy. I am going to spend more time editing and improving content. I feel called to do this right now.

I plan to devote more time to this once I am done my current class. I can’t wait to be spending time here soon. In the meantime I enjoy reading all your blogs! Keep up the positive work.

Anyone can also feel free to ask for my perspective on anything, the more ideas the better!

7 Tips for Everyday Peace

The last few days I’ve had this sense of peace over me. It is because I am getting settled in to this new life. And I’m on vacation. I have been so peaceful that it was hard to think of a blog post. There aren’t as many thoughts in that state of rest, it’s just being. While I am not always in this state, I can achieve it for long periods of time. I wonder how many others can do this.

Often we look for happiness in future days. Days when we’re getting married, having a baby, getting a new job, having success with our blogs, buying a house, traveling the world, and having everything we want. I know I look forward to those occasional hypomanias where everything feels exciting and new. As I gain more life experience I realize that true happiness comes in the form of peace in the settled days. That life’s exciting experiences are just a small portion of my happiness. It is usually more beneficial to achieve a state of balance. I used to think that balance meant routine and possible boredom. In these routine days I discovered a new version of joy, and that is the unshakable state of peace. It is difficult to achieve but thankfully I arrived here many times.

You’ve heard these tips before, but as with anything important, there are no shortcuts.  

Getting back to the present moment

I’m stating the obvious here. Books beat us over the head with this. It is cliche. It’s not as simple as jumping into the present moment, or else we would all be there. Yet, it is essential for peace. For a while I had a phone alarm that said “stay in the moment” which was supposed to jerk me back into the now. It often worked except it caused increased focus on alarms and my phone. After a while coming back to the present became a habit and I eliminated the alarm. It is hard to stay in the moment when things are fast paced, when the weather is horrible, when you have a flat tire, when someone in your family is sick, or you’re having a bad day at work. Those moments suck. On those terrible days, many of us do laundry and the dishes, make a meal, spend quality time with loved ones,  read, and go to bed under a warm blanket at night. Those are low stimulation times, and they are perfect for debriefing and coming back to the now.

Get rid of your stuff

My new job gave me a relocation bonus. After doing the math, it made more sense to get a smaller relocube to bring my stuff and rebuy furniture when I got here. I could have used a trailer for a 3-4 room house, but I got a trailer for a studio instead. This was one of the best decisions I ever made. I won’t give a lecture on how to decide what to keep, but the book The Secret Magic of Tidying Up was extremely helpful. I know I had an unusual opportunity, but I can’t emphasize how important it is to declutter your space. You do not need your crap. We use too much space in our heads to maintain our stuff, and just to look at our stuff. Our minds and our demons are skilled liars. They will delude you into thinking items will make you happy. None of us can happily manage too much stuff. Some people like antiques and cute things. I like new and updated things. Because I’m a terrible interior decorator, I just went with a color scheme and slowly repopulated my space.

Happy Habits

I used to put a major focus on having unpleasant tasks done. Bills paid, house clean, appointments done, odd stuff done. (Like “go to the town hall” or “get application notarized” for example.) Due to my past, it was important to stay ahead of things and parent myself in case of an emergency. Yet, those endless to do lists are just threatening and unhappy. Those tasks will always be there and it’s almost never urgent. Now I have this happy daily to do list that I look forward to every day. It’s pray, tidy, read, write, spend time with my dog, practice Spanish, and practice  guitar and keyboard. These are areas where I truly want to progress. I find when these are in line, I have energy to do  the other things. The blah tasks are more peaceful. By prioritizing what I love, I align with the holy spirit. On the other hand, everyone has multiple habits they want to do “DAILY!!” work on your abs DAILY!!! Practice your language DAILY!!!!!! Write DAILY!!!!!!!!!!” it can be overwhelming. Sometimes we just gotta chill on this daily stuff and be flexible. And that’s ok too.

Daily silence and prayer

Except for this. Don’t skip this. God’s first language is silence! We will lose all sense of direction if we fill our days with business and routines. We start to do all the wrong things, take on unnecessary obligations, and get totally lost. We lose control of everything. Constant and mental noise is pure hell, it is horrible for our souls and it is the main issue with society. Silence and prayer are absolutely necessary for peace.

True Connection

I struggle with this one at times. I am goal oriented and also reflective and I get lost in my own world and thoughts. I tend to daydream and lose presence with others.  Despite being near awesome people, I become isolated and lonely. Many are more skilled in this arena. We are all faced with true connection practice with people in our lives. God’s other first language is love. Try hard to listen to others and see their point of view. Despite how it feels, we are all truly connected. Others often reveal a part of God that you don’t have yet.

Healthy habits

Exercise, taking medicine, nutrition, etc.

Ask for grace

While I can often achieve peace and balance in my life, it is not by my own efforts.. Everything is 1000 times easier when you sincerely and earnestly seek God’s guidance.


Lent came barreling up to me this year! One second it’s a normal day and the next second, boom, logging off Facebook.

Facebook is this ongoing issue for me, especially recently. Last year I gave it up with such grace and ease like I was this big Facebook sacrificing angel.

This year God puts me to the test, can I make this sacrifice even though I don’t feel thoroughly invested?

It seems silly to make a big deal over this. Facebook gives me this forum to mindlessly relax while feeling mildly passively connected to everyone I ever knew. I defend this because the problem makes me feel lame.

Im not adding anything this year. I’ve just taken on a whole slew of new good habits this month – the writing, the music, the Spanish , the confession.. my goal will  be to keep it all going.

I have to keep in mind I’m making this sacrifice to be free from a (seemingly benign) chain, so I can have more time for my hobbies.




Perfectly yourself, a review

I just finished the book (previously mentioned) Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly which I received at church as part of Dynamic Catholics Christmas book program. I enjoyed this book  a lot. Matthew Kelly says  similar stuff in his books but the messages continue to hit home.  Because I’ve read some of his books, some points are just reminders. Here are three topics that jumped out at me. 

Don’t make excuses for yourself

I hate this excuse from people. “That’s just who I am!” “If somebody doesn’t like me, then that’s too bad!” They use this barricade to be ignorant, critical, rude, selfish, overindulgent………This book reminds us that “perfectly imperfect” means that we all have weaknesses. Maybe you aren’t a good leader, or a good writer. Maybe you aren’t good with  details. Maybe you use the word good too much.  That’s because God calls us to use our own skills and talents to do jobs that are uniquely for us, and not to worry about jobs that aren’t for us. The qualities I listed above are not who we are made to be. We can’t cower behind them. They’re facades, constructs of the ego, and we’re better than that. If you are truly being yourself, you don’t  feel the need to defend your bad qualities.

Work on your virtues

Your entire life will improve. It goes without saying that two patient people will have a better relationship than two impatient people. Two caring people will have a better relationship than two selfish people. The book mentions a few examples, and while this is a given, I think we forget about this in our own lives. A virtuous person is also more attractive to others. People like honest, trustworthy, loving people. We have stories in our heads about why we act the way we do but at the end of the day, working on these qualities will improve your life tremendously. The book encourages us to work on one virtue at a time. I chose patience with situations. I won’t fulfill my endless desires in one day  so I have to relax and trust that God has his own timing.

We work 86,400 hours in our lifetime!

For goodness sake we gotta find something we like to do! I’ve always been focused on work, even the jobs I didn’t like. I have this mysteriously good work ethic and I don’t like to give up on endeavors, even if I dislike them. Now, I have a new idea.  If you’re lucky  to have options in your life, it is important to chase something  you are passionate about. I always felt uncomfortable with the “follow your dreams!” mindset. It seems unrealistic, a little fruity, a little first world, spoiled, and possibly lacking in character.  I value the mindset of our grandparents who  put their nose to the grindstone, developed their willpower, and were survivors. But I am blessed with opportunity, and this mentality won’t serve me anymore. If God gives you choices and passion, then do yourself a favor and drop the things you hate to pursue the things you love. Most people in the world and in history would give anything to have those blessings.

As a side note, my good friend Christa and I always say “much is given, much is expected.” Meaning that if you live a  life of opportunity, you are called to give back in a big way, and you are called to make the world a better place. This is where you can build your character.

Other Matthew Kellyesque points

While these messages jumped out at me, his books all bring important messages, such as the value of silence, being in the present moment, not giving into our every whim and impulse, and creating good habits.

Now that I’m in this high minded cheerful mood with a choir singing the hymn “We are Called” in my head which will keep me up all night I hope you enjoyed my little review and have a great night. Namaste. God bless, etc.

Currently reading: Mere Christianity- C.S. Lewis


Seriously it’s so stuck in my head. don’t laugh.

Following your passion for the right reasons

This week, I’ve heard the Gospel reading twice- once earlier when reading Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly, and again at church today.

The Short Version

After a long day of performing miracles, Jesus arose in the morning and went to a quiet place to say his prayers. Simon and other friends followed him to say that everyone was looking for him. But Jesus said “Let us go on to nearby villages, that I may preach there also, for this purpose I have come.”

Why this is important

There are some amazing feelings on the earth, and one of the most prominent is making a difference doing something you love. When you improve the world in your own way, you deserve enormous encouragement and support. Sometimes this support can go further. If we’re effectively using talents, charisma, humor, or intelligence, we gain popularity, power, money, and praise. These are all positive benefits of walking with God. However, as humans we don’t always handle them well.  These feelings make us high and elated, and eventually they become our end goal.

Once you start focusing on all these side effects of being awesome, you start to lose track of your goals. Popularity, money, and glory can become the focus, rather than doing Gods calling, and they become the priority over following our passions. We become so addicted to these that we can lose our sense of self and purpose. They ARE the purpose. We have all experienced this on some level. We think we earned this, and we deserve all the credit. We can all think of one or two famous individuals who experienced this path to an extreme.

Gods Voice

In response, there are two things God can do. He can let you go on your own free will, and perhaps you will continue to receive all this glory and recognition. But soon you will find yourself empty, and alone and wanting more and more. That is because with what you are gaining, you are losing God. God is the one who was making you feel fulfilled in your talents to begin with.

The other thing God can do is take it away. He can take away those rewards, he can even take away those talents that he gave you. He can take away everything. In those moments, God is calling you to come back to Him. During the darkest times in our lives, God is asking you to take a step again towards Him, towards those fulfilling times when you are doing his work.

On a positive note, God is not here to restrict you or to take away your happiness. All of your blessings and happiness come from Him. He loves you and wants you to live with such a deep sense of joy that most of us can’t fathom. When we start to chase our own glory, we’re slipping into temptation, and false joy. Put God first and attribute all of your successes to Him, and continue to seek His guidance every day, so that you will know the difference between real peace and fake peace. Money, fame, and power all come from God. They are positive and not inherently evil. It’s the love of these things that are evil. They are just easy to love.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus shows us that we can find a deep sense of joy just by doing the jobs we are called to do. Sometimes this comes through work, or other joys and talents we have in life. We should do those jobs for the sake of doing them. This will create a sense of peace, calm, and wisdom that will remain with you for the rest of your life, and perhaps you will receive extra bonuses as well.

Mark 1:29- 1:39

On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn, he left 
and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come.”
So he went into their synagogues,
preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

Mark 1:29- 1:39