Spiritual Awakening

I’ve always been interested in the supernatural or metaphysical. Even when I was young and living in a conservative Christian home, not allowed to watch The Wizard of Oz or Harry Potter, I still had a strong affinity for learning about magic, ghosts, and other things many people in our church and community saw as “demonic.” As I grew up, my family became less dependent on religious doctrine and we each went our separate ways spiritually. I’m very lucky to have had so many different resources and experiences through my parents’ discoveries because I’ve been given a great spiritual foundation from varying ideologies.

With that foundation, I’m beginning to seek out spirituality for myself. After high school and college, I gave religion a wide berth, not because I felt negatively towards it as a whole, but because I needed space to come to it on my own. I don’t like labels, especially on things like religion; they’re too limiting for such an unknown and strong energy. Even describing myself as “agnostic” didn’t sit well with me. It still doesn’t.

I’m forging my own path through different means. Currently I’m focusing on mediation and healing energy. Chakras, crystals, and candles, oh my! I’ve begun teaching myself to read tarot cards and hope to take a 6-week course on it next month. To learn the cards and their many meanings, I’m updating my Facebook page and sometimes my Insta daily with a tarot card that my deck chose for me that day. I really love it so far and appreciate the clarity it adds to a situation. Tarot isn’t meant to be “fortune telling” or reading the future; tarot is a reflection of yourself.

Similarly, I bought my very first crystal this week. At a a local metaphysical shop I was browsing through the many cases for a few specific ones as gifts. My intention was to buy for others on this trip and only get the tarot cards for myself. I came to the sunstone and saw the brief description on the card and it took my breath away. While it isn’t the most beautiful or most versatile, it certainly is the most important crystal I could have chosen as my first. Instead of putting it in my “shopping cauldron” like my other purchases, I felt drawn to holding it in my hand while shopping, and continued to do so once I got into my car as well. It immediately warmed in my hand and I could feel its energy vibrating through me while I held it. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

I have a lot of things I want to learn. I want to educate myself and share my knowledge with those who want to hear it. Maybe that gets done through healing, readings, or charms; maybe my new positive energy will strengthen others to seek out a deeper spiritual awakening of their own. Nonetheless, I want to research and read and try everything to see what works best for me.

Will any of this last? I hope so. I want it to. It doesn’t feel like church revival “warm fuzzies” that fade. This feels like a transformation in my deepest soul. I don’t feel this transformation only spiritually; I feel it emotionally and physically. I feel lighter as I’ve been practicing mindfulness in the past week, taking care of myself and ridding my life of negativity. I’m focusing on the positive energy and not allowing the negative to come close to me. I’m speaking blessings and focusing on the good in myself and in others. I’m becoming mindful of the way I sit, the food I eat, and the amount of wastefulness I’m trying to reduce.

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My Small Return to Facebook

Back in July, I ended my relationship with Facebook. It was causing me to feel a lot of negativity that I didn’t need in my life. While I still have an “active” profile, I no longer have anyone on my friends list and only use the website for a few Facebook groups and to maintain my photo albums. All of my online interactions have been on other social media sites and this blog. I’m here to make a quick post that I am more or less returning to Facebook, though in a slightly different way.

I have made an Orlando is Calling Blog Facebook page as another space to share my blog posts, photography, and other things I would like to share. My reasons for using Facebook are a few things. One reason being I know it’s much easier for people to keep up with things if they’re on their newsfeed, so having my posts show up may bring more people to my blog. A second reason, and really the most major, is that I have a goal for my blog.

I’ve always loved writing. It’s been a passion of mine for as long as I could write. Within the next two years I want to be making money with my writing. It’s a somewhat long-term goal, but I know a strong social media presence will only aid me in succeeding in my dream. I don’t need to be able to make a living off of my writing, that’s a goal for another day. For now, I just plan on starting off with chump change. In order to even begin that process, I need to continue writing and gain an audience.

For now Orlando is Calling is just a personal blog about my life. I share my feelings and my interests with you in order to express myself. Even though my posts are mostly about myself, I do consciously try to add in interactions and open-ended questions to bring a sense of inclusion to whoever may be reading. I want to encourage and inspire my audience by using my own life as an example. When I make mistakes or go through a difficult/strange situation, I want to share that and maybe someone will have a similar story to tell.

This doesn’t mean all of my opinions or stories are “right,” but it doesn’t make them any less true or real for me, and I hope my readers can understand that and accept me for my personal truth. I’m changing myself a lot this year; I’ve already made many great strides mentally to rid myself of heaviness and negativity and I still have a ways to go, but I want to share that with you through my blog and social media accounts. I will continue to make mistakes and say things I shouldn’t, but I also hope that I can inspire you as I find more light and positivity and grow within myself.

Please excuse the emptiness of my page, but I encourage you to find “Orlando is Calling Blog” on Facebook and give it a “Like” so my posts show up on your newsfeed.  I hope you join me in discovering whatever my purpose is and in achieving my goals.

The Bullet Journal

For way too long I’ve struggled with craving organization in my scheduling; although “organized” is the last word I would use to describe myself, I know I need structure. Every year I buy the cutest planner to fit my personality and fill it out with important dates and my work schedule. After that I never look at it again. Occasionally I might remember it exists and cross out months that have already passed and leave it to collect dust again.

I’ve decided my problem with traditional planners is that they aren’t flexible. They’re all the same and don’t  work for me. I have dozens of break slips in my pockets with tasks and to-do’s that have a much more linear aesthetic that I prefer. When I sit down to make life plans in a notebook, it gets listed. For me, boxy calendar views are wasteful in the end. I have at least a dozen notebooks scattered around all containing the same information. I need one main journal to keep track of my plans.

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Given my life currently, I don’t have “appointments” or meetings to need to plan in detail.  My work schedule is saved in screenshots in my camera roll so writing them down is useless. My life is tasks and flimsy plans with friends with no time crunch. I need to know what day bills come out and when my dog needs her heart worm medication and when to refill my antidepressant prescription and plan out my running days.

With all of this being realized, I began looking at a lot of posts of bloggers who use bullet journals. It’s been a thought in the back of my mind that I wanted to try the “BuJo” life, but like most people just starting out, I was overwhelmed at the amount of creativity most of the examples had. Still, in my fresh mindset I have decided to jump in.  Maybe it will work for me, maybe it won’t. Still, I want to give it a try. I’m standing by my statement that 2017 is a year of continued growth and logging that in a bullet journal with a more linear task list might just be the way to do it.

In less than 24 hours, I already learned some things I do and do not like and things I want to add or change in the future. I wish my journal was dotted or gridded instead of lined, for one, but I like the size and quality so I’ll survive. Before even starting, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t compare my journal to the Instagram models; I would allow my bullet journal to grow and evolve with me this year. BuJo would be my friend to learn from week to week and month to month.

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I think that’s my favorite part about the Bullet Journal model: complete freedom. If I try something one week and hate it, I’m not committed to it. I’m in an open relationship with my planner. As I was coming up with my pre-plan, I didn’t think I wanted a daily log. I started off with the blank spread, trying to decide what would work best for me. Then I realized i could do both: on weeks where I know I have a lot going on, I can do a daily log, and on weeks where I’m not doing much, I don’t need to waste the paper. I love the potential lack of waste that comes with this process. If my Thursday is packed, then I’ll do a Thursday log and skip the other days, lumping all my tasks into my weekly tracker.

Some collections that are unique to me are my long-term goals and tasks with no time constraint, things like cleaning out my iTunes library and running a marathon; I have a collection of dreams such as buying a new mattress and getting married; my favorite personal collection is my list of dates I go on, complete with a rating system and where we met. A few collections I added are inspired by others I saw online. Gift ideas, favorites of the season, bills and habit trackers, along with a few others are all a part of my bullet journal.

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Something I plan on gaining from this (besides structure) is strengthening my handwriting. This is a big joke, I know. My handwriting has always been horrendous, but I hope that through. My bullet journal I am able to at least have legible scrawl. In the short time I’ve spent making my first spreads, I’ve found a new acceptance for my lack of artistry and cursive/print hybrid penmanship. I discovered that although it isn’t easy coming up with my own doodles, fonts, or borders, I can copy the basic idea from what I find online and make it fit my needs.

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A trend I’ve noticed in the Bullet Journal community is finding a word to motivate or describe the upcoming year. I didn’t think much of it until I kept using the phrase “year of growth” whether it be in my blog, private journal, or even just my thoughts. I mentioned in my last post that “growth” is the word I plan on returning to throughout the year, and I stand by that. Even in the few short weeks of this year I’ve felt a great sense of growth within my self in many ways and I hope to use my new Bullet Journal to continue that feeling.

If you’re curious about how to start or need more inspiration, Modern Mrs. Darcy has some great posts about her own Bullet Journal and her posts include even more links to great resources. Of course there’s the official Bullet Journal website if you want to learn more from the creator himself. For me, I love the flexibility and casualness of this style of planning and I can see myself using it for a very long time.

January Goals

I could very well write about New Year’s Resolutions and how I plan on maintaining long-term goals throughout the entire year. But we all know how resolutions go, and I hate admitting that I’ve failed at something. Instead of writing about the long-term, I’ve decided to break down my goals into smaller, month-sized pieces and share them as the year goes on. Many of my goals may be the same month to month; this makes it less of a resolution and more of a continuing habit.

With all that being said, here are my goals for January

  • Drink more water
  • Run 3 times a week
  • Lose 5 pounds
  • Complete a “75 Push-up Challenge”
  • Complete my half marathon without dying
  • Enjoy my trip to Disneyland without stressing out about money
  • Continue reducing the items I own
  • Crack down on a good skin care routine
  • Publish at least 4 blog posts
  • Read at least 4 books
  • Maintain a private journal
  • Focus on more photography

I tried to make goals that were diverse. Some are health-related while some are personal goals, and some are just good practices to get into. I spent a lot of December thinking on these and making strides to begin my new habits.

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Both in this blog and in my personal journal I’ve
mentioned that 2017 is the year of growth, and I plan on returning to that word throughout my year. Everything I do this year is all based around personal growth. Expect that to be a reoccurring word in my posts.

What are your thoughts on forming New Year’s Resolutions? Do you stick with them through the entire year or do they fizzle out? How do you separate a “resolution” and making new habits, or is there a difference at all? I’d love to know your opinion on this, and I hope you join me through this year of blogging.

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Goodbye Sixteen, Hello Seventeen, Hello Love (Time to Grow, Time to Go)

2016 was by far the worst year of my life. During the last year I hit rock bottom with my mental health and my stress and anxiety levels were at an all-time high. Not only did the year suck massively on a personal level, but it was also miserable on a global level. I’ve never been so happy to see a year end to start fresh.

At the very beginning of the year, my boyfriend and I broke up which left me completely distraught. I was already in a bad place emotionally and that heartbreak just made everything worse. Although that wasn’t the only reason for my downfall, it most definitely did not help. As painful as my year was, I’m very grateful that I finally did something for myself and sought medical help. For me, 2016 was a year of intense pain, but it also began a time of healing when I finally went to get the help I needed. That is a long-term journey that is still a work in progress, but at least it’s progressing.

The monstrosity of “ick” that was 2016 is not all about me and my problems. Every year comes with its own tragedies, but last year had so many events that hit very close to home. Through the many celebrity deaths that hit the world on a personal, nostalgic level as well as the violence around the world (not to mention the insane election), 2016 was all-around a horrendous year for everyone.

I have no intentions of having 2017 be anything but a great year. Although I don’t have any goals or resolutions written down, that is my plan for the week; I want to prepare this week and set myself up for success in this new year. The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that there is only one way to go from there.

My life is extremely blessed because of the people who have stuck with me. I have the most incredible live-in best friends that anyone could ask for; my dog is the greatest and has gotten my through all my emotional turmoil. My family, though they aren’t nearby, have never stopped supporting me despite the distance. As long as I have them, I’ll be unstoppable in 2017.

2017 is the year of me. I’m going to continue putting myself first, and take care of my mental and physical health. This is the year of my writing; I love the release of putting my emotions down on a page for others to read. I’m committing myself to growth and health in this new year. Within the next week I will make a complete list of goals and share them here. For now, know that I am determined to keep my head up thanks to the support and love of those who have stuck with me through a shit year and into the promise of a better one.

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