Friday, November 16, 2012

Finding home

I just moved 36 days ago from New York to San Francisco. Other than a semester abroad, I've always been within about an hour's drive to my family and friends. The past five weeks have shown me much turbulence and growth. All I which I welcome and will further reflect on when there is more space...

For now...I share a quickie to show the vulnerability of our adaptiveness, of our discomfort with uncertainty, and how the existential happens in between the aisles of down comforters and shower heads.

Yesterday I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond in San Francisco. Walking through the aisles I could feel myself get excited and relaxed at the same time. I stared at the things I could buy. I didn't want any of it. But still I gazed eagerly at it all. Drinking it all in. I noticed the distinct sensation of peace I felt, in contrast to what I've been holding since we landed in California.

I remembered shopping with my mom. And my house in New Jersey. I remembered starting my new home in New York. I could see flashes of all those decisions I made for creating numerous homes for the past 20+ years. I suddenly got transported out of the constant new in San Francisco to a place I knew. The familiarity of the lighting, the blue aprons worn by the clerks, the tall stacks of towels, and the awesome 20% off coupons nestled in my wallet washed me over with a soothing feeling. I found myself at home in Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

They say to lean into the discomfort, to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, that uncertainty is the only certainty. It's hard. So yesterday the universe gave me a hug...and I received some relief. I glanced quickly at a sense of stillness. For a moment I didn't have to discover, change, or learn anything - I could just be in midst of flannel sheets and glass tupperware.  And it was amazing.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

7 steps for how not to feel bad for feeling bad.

Ever have a day when you know you have tons to be grateful for but still feel like shit? Don't feel bad about feeling bad. Judging your emotions actually stops the flow of information you're receiving. Which is the whole point of feelings. Feelings are another sense. The sixth sense. They allow us to navigate towards a better place. The more you bottle up your negative emotions, however uncomfortable they are, the more icky they become. Feelings just want to to be felt. Acknowledged. They want your attention. If you ignore them or disconfigure them - they'll just do all sorts of gymnastics to get your attention. And instead of showing you how to improve a situation, a relationship, yourself - their kungfu will get the best of you - until you're on your back with no other place to go.

So how exactly does one not feel bad about feeling bad? Or not bottle up without turning looney tunes? Or receive the info so they don't need to get beat up completely with all sorts of tough biznass. 

Well here's how:

1. Acknowledge that you feel like crapola. 
2. Know that it's not YOU who is the crapola, it's just a fleeting sensation.
3. Know that fleeting sensation will pass. I can't guarantee how long it will take. So you have to be patient. The more you lean into this - the easier it will subside.
4. Pretend you can actually see yourself from 30 feet above and watch yourself. Imagine who you are watching is just a little kid who is going through something. Would you tell that little kid they're a loser, weak, or bad for being where they're at?
5. I hope not.
6. Give an imaginary hug that little kid. Love that kid. 
7. Give yourself a break. Find a way to be quiet, sleep, exercise, scream, do whatever feels right in the moment to show yourself you care about you and that you're honoring where you are at. Even if this is inconvenient. Even if this takes time that you may think you don't have.

My inspiration for The i Scream Truck came out of this process. Instead of judging myself for wanting to scream, I just let it happen. I acknowledged that something was up and that I wasn't crazy for feeling so overwhelmed. I chose not beat myself up for my emotions, but rather just acknowledged and expressed them with some screaming. Afterwards I felt tons better. 

If this resonates with you take one minute and 10 bucks to contribute to The i Scream Truck campaign to generate inner peace one block at a time!

With much love,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Loving myself

Back in 2010 when shit hit the fan on a personal level - I set out on a quest to figure out how to love myself. What does it mean to really love yourself? Is it regular mani-pedi's? Exercise? Good diet? Daily affirmations?

About two years later I think I've finally gotten the swing. The love comes from listening to myself. And not judging. And listening to myself. And not judging.

It's not easy to listen to myself hear say, "Stella, you're not going to work today - you've been working too hard all weekend, so you're going to have to do nothing this Monday." Or, "Stella, you want that chocolate cake like it's nobody's business, just go for it!" Or, "Stella, the answer isn't clear now, but trust that its on its way." Or, "Stella, even though everyone says it doesn't make sense, this is something you've got to do - so just do it." It's not easy to hear such messages without judgement.

It's felt like a wrestling match at times - to go down the path of listening despite what I thought I "should do." But the more I trust the listening and do it without judgement, the happier I am.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

knock knock...anybody there?

I'm not sure if anyone is out there anymore. But I miss Positively Stella. It's the day before I test my first early prototype of the i scream truck - something I've been dreaming up for a long time. I felt kinda blah today. I took myself out for a walk and kept whipping out all the positive interventions I usually do for a lift: gratitude, visualizations, distractions, mantras - non of it making much of a dent in my state of whateverness-wtf-am-i-doing-ness-is-this-crazy-and-does-it-matter-ness. Then I saw a cab drive by advertising the lotto for a $110MM. I asked myself - what would I do differently if I had that money? And my answer was: exactly the same thing I'm doing right now. Sure, I'd have nicer bags, a dishwasher, travel some more - but the slight relief from anti-climaticism came there. Realizing that I'm living my dream. And while I have no clue if will all transpire - I at least know that I have no regrets for not giving it a crazy go right now. I told my boyfriend, Ilya, about my not feeling the butterflies today and he said so wisely, "the stars would not shine if there were no darkness." I don't remember where he got that from - but I'm so glad I got him. Love, S