Before/After

I have been quite quiet here for a while now. But that doesn’t mean things have been quiet in my world. So much has been changing in my physical and mental world, that it’s been hard for me to take the time to reflect here. Some big changes that are occurring:

  • I’m leaving New York in September to travel with my partner Ethan. We have no plans, just a one way ticket to Budapest!

    • Since I’m leaving NY, that means I’m shifting away from my full time role with Coding Space. 

  • I went to Blue Cliff Monastery- a Buddhist monastery in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh.

  • I started swimming on Roosevelt Island 2-3 times a week. There’s this amazing pool there called Sportspark that has $5 day passes. It’s by far the cleanest pool I’ve swam at in NYC. I love swimming and have found this addition of aerobic to be incredibly helpful for my mental health.

  • I started a Sex and Intimacy course at Landmark. It’s been amazing and exactly what I wanted to examine how I’ve been showing up in my relationship.

    • My biggest takeaway so far has been that I’ve been seeing my life in two parts- before being raped and after being raped. Because of this, I had a clear view of the person I was before- fun, flirty, alive and adventurous. After- I am fragile, carrying trauma with me in every scenario, and struggling to heal constantly. I am letting go of this Before/After mental model that has been weighing me down for so long and deciding that I can show up each day as whoever I want to be. This has been so liberating and beautiful.

    • I have also been saying that my body has been carrying trauma. I read part of The Body Keeps Score, and really latched on to that idea. Because of this, I have been making my body wrong every single day. I am letting go of that idea, and embracing that my body is wonderful and filled with love.

With all these changes swirling around, I have found meditation so helpful. I am on a 31 day streak, which is the longest I’ve ever done. Being able to notice when I am feeling a certain way and not get attached that I will always feel this way is a gift. Things I’ve started doing daily to help with my practice:

  • Changed my phone background to a Thich Nhat Hanh quote that says “Smile, Breath.”

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  • Installed a Chrome Extension called Bell of Mindfulness that rings every 30 minutes. When it rings, I have to stop what I’m doing and breathe in and out three times. At Blue Cliff, they have a bell ringing every 15 minutes and whatever you’re doing you have to pause and breathe. This means you could be in the middle of a conversation with a group of people, and everyone will freeze. It is magical.
  • Use Insight Timer to meditate first thing when I wake up. If I’m feeling in a hurry, I will do it for just 2 minutes so I maintain the routine. I typically am meditating for 15-20 minutes these days.

I am planning to start writing more frequently and sharing photos along our travels. My intention is to slow down and be present as much as possible. I have no idea what this next chapter in my life is going to be titled, but I am excited to start writing it.