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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Finding Out Who I Am

With recent conversations the topic of “Who am I?” has come up and stuck with me. Some days it’s more of an anxiety than a passing idea. I’ve worried a lot recently about not knowing who I am or why I’m even here. We as humans are always changing and I’m not excluded from that. Everything from religion to education to habits and personality have changed for me; a lot of those changed have happened in the last 5 years. More than anything I’ve changed a lot in the last few months.  At first, I changed for the worst, but now I can see myself making a lot of really good changes. As I got to a better place mentally, I’ve found myself even more lost than I felt during my depression. Now it’s clear-headed lost feelings because I don’t recognize myself since emerging from that darkness I was in for so long.

But who was I before? I don’t remember that girl at all. I remember being popular in my friend group, easily being the center of attention–but not in a bad way. I was always holding court amongst my peers. I was full of light and attracted people to me. I was loud and social and full of energy and hyperactivity that the girl I am now isn’t reminiscent of at all. I’m a lot quieter now, which is something I never thought I’d be.

Thinking back, I don’t know who I was for most of my adolescence. I defined myself in high school and college by who my parents were, who my friends were, where I went to school, where I went (or didn’t go) to church. I don’t think I realized what I was feeling back then; I felt out of place, that was all I knew.  Since moving to Florida, I defined myself by the job I had. Everything revolved around that, and not who I was deep inside, so I forgot.

Being unhappy in the workplace that was the only defining factor I felt I had made me feel like a failure. During my college program, I knew I’d found my place. That was who I was. Then I went to merchandise and lost myself. With a transfer back to the place I was happy, I felt alive again. Look at any of my social media bios and you’ll see “Pirate” on there. Hardly ever does it say “Cast Member” because I never defined myself as that. I was a pirate and only a pirate.  I went back to Adventureland part-time as a “real” Cast Member and in the best way possible thought I owned the place. I was going to apply for trainer and coordinator and facilitator and I was going to be there forever. Moving from my definition to Frontierland has been hard. Again, I felt like I had failed myself and didn’t know who I was outside of my Pirate Life. That’s what I’m struggling with right now. I’ve made myself feel like I have nothing special to prove that I’m unique or interesting.

I thought maybe school would make me interesting. Maybe I needed to label myself as “Student” if I couldn’t have “Pirate.” But why? In high school when everyone was talking about college plans, I joined in, but in my three semesters of college, I changed my major three times and took only one class outside of the core requirements. Everyone knew who they were and the plan to get a degree to match. But I don’t want to be “Career Woman Hannah,” so why do I need to spend the money on school to get a degree that I’m only getting because I’m lost? What I realized I was actually doing was following others on their paths to happiness. I’ve spent so much time comparing my success to others’ when they’re on their path and I’m swerving into their lane. This is the exact opposite of finding my individualism! I can’t find myself when I’m not forging my own way and only following what others seem successful in doing.

I have no answers. Just trying to get out these thoughts bouncing around inside. While doing this, I’ve been making a list of things I know to be true about myself: interests, habits, personality traits all good and bad. I’m not writing down things I wish I was or can be sometimes. But I’m writing down constants in the moment. Deep down, I know I’m special and unique. So I made a list to remind me why.

I don’t believe in coincidence. This post has been a thought for about three weeks, and a draft for one. Yesterday I was catching up on blogs I follow and came across this post by guest writer Maxie McCoy on The College Prepster blog. Incredibly inspiring, this post made a lot of sense for writing this one. In it, Maxie talks about her three buckets of experience: Contribution, Personality, and Values. She goes on to ask three questions, “What does it mean to be radiantly you? What work aligns your talents and interests? What gives you the most energy?” That was exactly what I was trying to do by making my personal list. But Maxie put it into inspiring words and gave me a process and a goal.

I’ve chosen to not define myself by the people I spend time with or the location I work at. I want to look at my “buckets” or list of things I know for sure about who Hannah Noel Jackson is. I’m a writer, a reader, a dog mom. I’m a wife to someone I’m not married to yet; I know that deep down just like some women know they’re meant to be mothers I’m meant to be a wife. I’ve got messy handwriting and I’m stylish as hell. I’m supportive and independent and say whatever is on my mind. I say things without thinking and sometimes I hurt people’s feelings. I’m a hard worker and I’m not lazy. I can perform one-woman Broadway shows in my car. When I care about something, I care a lot. There’s so much to me and I’m just trying to figure it all out.

People change. That’s life. I’m not who I was in high school, I’m not who I was 6 months ago. I’m not who I will be a year from now. I’m trying to find who I am in this very moment outside of work and relationships. More than thinking about how those things define me, I need to worry about how I define them. They bring nothing to me, but I can bring everything to them. This whole “find yourself during your twenties” thing is a lot more difficult than tv and books prepared me for.

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Less Facebook, More Blogging

As I’ve mentioned a lot recently, I haven’t been myself. Call it depression or a funk, but I haven’t been me for a long time. A lot of factors have contributed to this, but more than anything else it’s been my internal voice that’s caused the most emotional turmoil. Lots of guilt, comparison, and not feeling worthy have played a big part in what’s been wrong. So I’ve been trying to change that.

I’ve made lots of changes physically, emotionally, and environmentally. One of the first things I did when I began to feel clearer was rearrange my room. Just changing the space that I spend so much time in made a big difference to my mental state. I’m trying to run more often to make me feel better physically and mentally. Even making a direct decision to wear makeup and look pretty helps a lot on days when I need that reflection of self-worth. (As a side note, I don’t believe that outward appearances mean shit, but sometimes it helps boost what’s inside. And vice versa.)

Not only have I made the changes in my mind by being more positive and not allowing my negative thoughts to have any presence in my life, I’ve tried to filter out that negativity other places. For me, that means unfollowing a lot of accounts on Twitter and Instagram (I unfollowed over 700 accounts on IG last night until they blocked my access to unfollow for a week). I also deleted a lot of people from my Facebook.

Social Media breeds comparison and resentment of others because of how they present their lives. At least it did for me. I saw how people online present only part of their lives (the good part) and it made me jealous. Because of what I have been going through recently, I wanted to have the happy life my Facebook friends had. Of course, most people have evolved to be smart enough to only post the good, keeping the negative to themselves. Still, I spent a lot of time feeling as though I need validation from all the people I’m friends with on Facebook. I compared my photo or status success with others’ and I felt a lot of pressure because of it.

I don’t feel that kind of pressure from Twitter or Instagram or Tumblr. For one reason or another, Facebook did something different to me. Because of this, I’m reeling back on my usage of the site. You probably still notice me there, but I don’t post much other than links to my blog. I haven’t quite broken the habit of needing to check my feed, but I have broken myself of posting everything, seeking attention for every photo and thought. That’s what my blog is for.

I would very much like a good audience for this platform. That’s my end goal. But I’m not comparing my blog to others that have been writing and growing for years. Everything I would need my friends and family to know, I will text them about. If it’s insanely important to my own growth, I’ll write about it here.

For a long time I thought I had to add every person I ever met on Facebook. I’ve learned in the past few years that it isn’t necessary. I have a little over 100 “friends”, and I still feel as though I have a social obligation to some of them. Others I have a genuine desire to have their presence, even if we haven’t seen each other in years; I enjoy the content they post. I enjoy having my closest friends and family to keep up with what they’re doing and to be able to post links and photos to share with them. But I realized I only want to be surrounded by those that I am comfortable around. I don’t want to compare myself to others anymore. I don’t need that right now while I’m doing so well.

I feel like Facebook is bragging ground. Am I playing into that when I post links to my writing? Maybe. But I’m not asking anyone to read it by posting it to my accounts. I don’t even need the validation of a comment or a like. I just want to share my thoughts and feelings from every part of my life; I want to be honest about the good and the bad during my journey. That’s why I wanted to blog: I want to share my life and my reactions to it.

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Relocation and Change

Hello, friends.

There are a lot of changes going on in my life–past, present, and future. These changes are mostly within myself that are expressed outwardly in attitude and decisions, etc. In order to continue with these (I hope positive) mental and emotional changes , I’ve decided to relocate my blog from Blogger to WordPress. I’m doing this so that eventually, when finances allow, I would like to own my own domain.

I’m extremely passionate about writing, and I want to take a chance and start writing more to be able to grow as a writer. Maybe writing professionally isn’t for me, but maybe it is. And I’m sick and tired of being afraid that I can’t achieve the deepest desires of my heart because I don’t think I can survive on writing alone. I have an entire post in the works just on this topic.

Originally, I was just going to make a Facebook status and share the link to my blog. It got real wordy real fast, so why not publish it here? This post is very much just an extension of a Facebook status, without the “continue reading” tab. No one likes to click those. Facebook statuses are supposed to be longer than Tweets but not as long as a full-on blog post. At least that’s my opinion.

Continuing on. I’m working on myself to find inner peace with who I am and what is going on around me. I want my blog to reflect the growth and progress (and the difficulties) that are coming with that mindset. I’ve been reading some amazing books and have had conversations with amazing people in the last week that have given me so much insight to who I want to be and how I want to see myself getting there.

All of this seems pretty vague right now, and that’s because I have future blog entries that will explain in detail what I mean. For now, this is a quick update before I need to get ready for work. Future entries of these subjects will be planned and edited and proofread, whereas this is very by-the-seat-of-my-pants and rushed.

I just wanted to share that this is where my blog now resides. I’ve heard wonderful things about WordPress, and as I grow, I would like my blog to eventually reflect that. It’s still in the works; I’m tweaking and adding and formatting as best I know how, but I’m content with it. If anyone has any suggestions on things to add, I welcome them. Or just encouragement on this journey to see what I’m called to do next.

Thank you for reading, and subscribe via e-mail over to the left (or via Bloglovin’!).

Yours,

Hannah

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When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange who you are and what you’re gonna be.

sBRING It–ShayLoss Diet Bet Challenge

How many times does a person have to start and stop again? I don’t know, but at least I’m not the only one. If nothing else, I’d rather start and stop and start again than quit forever. While I was catching up on my YouTube subscriptions on Tuesday, I realized that ShayCarl and HiImRawn were starting up a new DietBet challenge and beginning to train for a marathon. It was, again, perfect timing for me to also start again with weight loss. This video was great to remind me that it’s okay to begin again.

No matter how well I do, no matter how much weight I lose, I always seem to gain back to the same place. I forever fluctuate between 212-215 when I gain it back. All I want is to be under 200 pounds. Obviously, I don’t want it ENOUGH or I would buckle down and be there. But it all has to do with priorities. Because of my work schedule, my priorities have been eating whatever food I can whenever I can. If I can eat it in a 15 minute break without much effort, it goes in my body. Whatever is quick to eat when I get home or before I leave, I’ll eat it. And no matter how much walking I do in the parks and at work, it’s not going to change the fact that I’m eating like shit. And one apple here and there doesn’t make enough of a difference.

I haven’t gone running, and that’s going to hurt me. The excuse is that I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed to leave and have to explain to my roommates what I’m doing, I’m embarrassed to be seen huffing and puffing, and I’m embarrassed passing/being passed by others walking and running along the same pathway. I’m also so used to running at night, but I’m afraid to here. The area I live in is nice, but I also feel like it would be perfect to target girls by themselves if someone were to want to snatch someone up. Someone could snatch me up anywhere, so why am I afraid of it here when every apartment complex has security guards that I could run up to? (Oh yeah, because the security guards would probably do nothing and there’s that one who’s super creepy) I don’t know. It’s a stupid excuse that doesn’t deserve to be an excuse.

I have the Expedition Everest 5k next Saturday. We’ll use that as a slap to the face reminding me to get my running together before Tower of Terror in October. Not only that, but I so badly want to do the Princess Half Marathon in February. Piper and I have to do that together! I have the mindset to WANT to be a runner, but don’t actually have the get-up-and-go to do it. Why is that? Where is my drive?

So I joined the newest Diet Bet, weighing in at 214.8 pounds. I need to lose down to 206.2 in order to win. In a month, this is doable. But is keeping it off?

When it comes to eating right, I’m fine during the day. It’s at night that my tummy gets the rumblies that only hands can satisfy. I walk in the door and engulf anything edible in my path and completely ruins the good that I did that day. That’s the biggest thing I’m going to have to train myself to do this time around–stop the mindless eating. It’s 100% doable; I’ve done it before, I can do it again. 
I miss how I felt last summer when I was doing so well. I want to feel like that again. 

Becoming the Person I WANT to Be. Not the person I HAVE BEEN.

In the recent past,  I haven’t been a nice person. I’ve pretty much been the worst kind of person. I’ve gone through some major times of self-hatred and doubted myself a lot. This has not just affected me, but has begun to affect others through me. I have been emotionally hurting myself, and began to hurt others with my selfishness, intolerance, and cruelty through my words.

When I left Hardin-Simmons, I thought everything at home would go back to “normal” (i.e. good ol’ high school days), and they didn’t. My friends had settled into their new college lives, new relationships, and became focused on their future. I, on the other hand, am looking ahead, but still trying to drag my old friends there with me. I got very hurt at the reality check I was hit with when I came home. While the months ahead of me are very bright and I have so much to look forward to, I have become very angry and bitter in the last several months, because I felt left behind. Everyone I care about is “on-track” in my mind. I came home and all but dropped out of school, and sunk down to the depths of a person I don’t like.

To me, I feel like a failure because I’m going to be at least a year behind all of my friends. And I don’t know what the future after the DCP has in store for me. I’m upset at myself for how I’ve been acting, and I’ve acted the way I have because I can’t control any thing about my life like I want to. I want all my high school friends to stay behind with me because I’m selfish, instead of praising their accomplishments and supporting them in their lives. I’ve been a bitch because I’ve only been thinking of myself, and it’s time to stop.

There are all these things in life I want to do. Things I want to be. And being a selfish bitch won’t get me there. It’s going to take me backwards. And saying mean things and talking about people behind their backs isn’t going to win friends and influence people. And it sure isn’t going to create lasting relationships. I’m sorry if I have every hurt you, because it isn’t the person I want to be. I don’t want to be the kind of person who hurts people. I want to heal people, encourage people, inspire people. I’ve been acting like a child, and for that I am very sorry. I’ve taken being strong and independent and turned it into the worst possible qualities that I don’t want. I don’t like that about myself, and it’s time for a change in heart.

From now on, I am going to use my words in person, texts, and social media for good. I’m going to use them as a source of education and encouragement. I want to share my life with you, but I don’t want my life to be hurtful to others. I want to be an open book to those who know me, but I want my pages to be uplifting and a light for those who read them. Everyone makes mistakes, and I’m admitting to you a big one that I have made this week. I’m using it as a chance to learn and grow as an adult, and I have been very wrong at how I have acted in the past.

I will mess up. You will mess up. But I hope that I can learn to become the person I tell people I want to be because of this past self. Please forgive me for being the way I have been. I don’t want to be that person. I wasn’t raised to be that person.

Times, They Are-A Changin’

Literally my life is so boring right now I’m ashamed to even be writing a blog post about how boring I am.

Firstly, this blog isn’t anything cool anyway. We talked about blogging a lot in my PR class today, and it made me want to have all these cool opinions on things and share information and make some kind of statement with my words. But, instead, I rant or ramble, or make lists about my boring, boring life.

Secondly. Not that my life is GOING to be boring forever. It just seems that way because all my exciting stuff is 90 days away. Right now, everything else just seems less-than. My average day isn’t even worth talking about. It can pretty much be summed up with: 1) work, 2) netflix, 3) reading, 4) Disney, 5) coffee, 6) naps.

I’m not social anymore. Not that it’s my fault. It’s no one’s fault. Life is busy. People are backing away because I’m leaving. It’s normal. But it sucks major. In high school I thought I had all these great friends that I would hang out with all the time, now, we don’t even ‘like’ each other’s Facebook statuses. But I can’t bear to remove them from my friends’ list, because I don’t do that. I hold on too long. That’s a quality that is both good and bad about myself. I can’t let go even long after others have. I care too much about my friends whether or not I’m still a priority for them. Sad, right?

Though my life is just UBER FAB right now, (and how many times have I said this before??) I DO want to develop some thoughts and beliefs and blog more.  Mostly what I think about writing is just LONG Facebook statuses.  Statuses that require the comment: “TL;DR”. So if someone EVEN gives a crap, they can read my rant on whatever. That’s what this is: an extension to my Facebook. I feel like I’ve kind of neglected Facebook recently. I’m on Twitter and Instagram much more often these days. Maybe that’s how everyone is going, or maybe it’s just me. I still use it, don’t get me wrong, but as far as where I post and get my information, it’s Twitter.

So, there are some things. And I’m sorry for neglecting you, little lonely blog that no one reads anyway.

H