I Guess Healing Never Really Ends…

Originally Written April 5, 2019

This morning, I was sitting on my little green meditation pillow with my legs crossed, eyes closed, palms up, and tears rolling down my cheeks.

I’ve been meditating a lot recently. Every day in fact, for the past 3 weeks. Most days it’s really nice, other days, it’s 10min of utter chaos + mental to-do lists, but I consistently walk away from my little green pillow grateful for that time.

When I meditate without a guided recording, I do this:

1. Deep steady breaths to anchor myself to the present moment.
2. Listen to sounds, far away then closer.
3. Back to breathing. How does it feel in my body?
4. I visualize a light surrounding my body, first around my head and then all the way down. As the light moves, I pray that any negativity or tension be release, and I am mindful to relax each individual muscle.
5. Breath here a few times, in this totally relaxed state.
6. This body is now the perfect home to house high-frequency energy like gratitude and joy. I focus on what I want to embody + draw in for the day + feel it in that present moment.
7. That’s usually where I cry. I also used to love to imagine the universe/god being so pleased with me, I try to feel the love it feels for me in the form of a warm all-encompassing hug. Sometimes I move my hands to my chest + stomach. For some reason that position always makes me feel safe.
8. I’ve recently been trying to end every mediation by looking at myself in the mirror and saying affirmations. I wasn’t big on talking to myself in the mirror – it was awkward, but I did it once and had no idea just how badly I needed to hear to the words “I’m proud of you” come out of MY OWN mouth.

The past few days I’ve been slowly declining mentally, emotionally + energetically.

As I sat there on my little green pillow, I noticed for the first time a very stark shift in my mind and body. Where I went from my “low mindset” to the present moment. It’s so good to be here again, I thought to myself. The recording I was listening to mentioned something about neuroplasticity…

I share all of this because I’ve been struggling quite a bit over the past… I don’t even know how long. I hit lows and then I’m fine… I’m not sure if it’s depression or a mild form of a mood disorder, like Cyclothymia which is often diagnosed around 25 years old, or maybe it’s not a mental health condition at all and instead, it’s something spiritual.

The past few months (Since like Feb.) I’ve been feeling this need to shed. Like I don’t fit into the life that I’m living anymore. I don’t know what, but I know in my core something needs to change. I’ve been doing the job search thing, I’m trying to set boundaries for my days, but it’s all really hard. Yesterday I had a rude awakening and curled up on the couch crying. I realized that 2 weeks of trying to shake things up isn’t enough time. I had energy and was excited to be moving onto this grand, new chapter. I was hoping that it would feel more like starting a whole new book instead of just turning a page. Patience…

Birthday Update

So after I had that full melt-down the day before my birthday, I actually had a great birthday. My mentor cut my hair and did my make-up and she and my roommate and I just hung out and bonded for most of the day. Later they blindfolded me and took me to the beach… where my boyfriend threw me a little surprise birthday bonfire. THAT explained why some of the people I contacted “couldn’t make it”.

BUT as silly as my meltdown now seems, I think it was good for me to go through. I was able to let go of all of the expectations and the bullshit I was holding onto about birthdays. Through my tears, I was able to sort out what really matters to and change my perspective to embrace gratitude. I could have been upset the whole day until the bonfire… but I chose to embody the woman I wanted to become. I chose to start acting the way I wanted Year 24 to feel.

Not gonna lie though, I’m still a baby sometimes though. There are some parts of me that may never grow up. And that is okay 🙂

Birthday B.S.

My chest is on fire.
No one is going to show up.
I’m embarassed and ashamed.
I feel like the only person at the loser table in a high school cafeteria.

Birthdays have always been a little bit uncomfortable and weird for me but this year, I have more anxiety and stress than I ever have before.

When I was little, my mom threw a few really awesome parties for me and my friends to celebrate. When I turned 7, I distinctly remember forcing everyone to sit in a circle in the living room and watch me dance. I had a blast but was definitely offended when a few kids who just wanted to run around left my performance early.

In high school, birthdays weren’t a super huge deal, but my friend group had a tradition of going to dinner and splitting the bill for the birthday person’s meal. In college, we partied and decorated each other’s dorms rooms and partied some more.

Now I’m a full grown adult literally crying about my birthday.
I HATE planning, I’m afraid no one really cares about me enough to show up, and I think of fun ideas too late to make them happen.

And to be blunt, I’ve noticed that people in L.A. have a hard time showing up for each other. People are busy, yes, but I think it’s more a social anxiety thing.
or commitment issues.

Whatever it is, it’s a fear that is more important than friends.

It’s been a real struggle finding people that are consistent, and real and that show up.

Last year for my birthday, I went on a hike with my roommates because no one showed up, except for the guy that had a crush on me who brought me flowers (He’s my boyfriend now). I once had a house warming party that started at 7pm but people didn’t show up until 10pm. Same thing happened to my friend a few weeks ago.

So I was going to lay low because I know it’s hard to gather people together. It truly takes a lot of work – especially 3 days beforehand.

So this year I thought about just using it for a self-reflection/Spa day or something. BUT then people said “You should do something fun!” “Don’t be alone!! Be with your friends!”

UGH the truth is that I DO want to be with people. I don’t need to be treated like a queen or anything but I want to feel loved by people that I love. (In a tangible way) So I came up with an idea to go sailing for sunset. I’d only need 5 people to join me.

I started extending invites.

And I started getting replies…
Most of them are out of town this weekend.
Some have work and can’t make the sailing time.
Some said they needed rest and weren’t interested in going out.

Only one said “YES!!” (My roommate)

I worked through a list of 15ish people and everyone said “Sounds fun but sorry I can’t!”

And that sucks.

I don’t care what your excuse is – all of them were valid and understandable – but it still hurts to be rejected.

It takes vulnerability and courage to extend an invitation, so it still hurts to hear an “I’m too tired” from people you care about and want to celebrate with.

On top of that, the sailing cruise got booked. I was scrambling to find a new time – messaging the captain to find out another option but that stressed me out.
What’s the point if no one can join me anyway?

So I give up.

Instead I’m frustrated, banging my fingers on a damn keyboard and feeling all the feelings that I WANTED TO AVOID by just taking the day for myself.

….Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on it. Celebrate on another day, what’s the big deal? I definitely want to do dinner and maybe a small house party when people are back in town next week, but I believe that there should be something to celebrate the day of. Something small, filled with joy.

Some people say they don’t care about birthdays and I kind of wish I could be like them…But I think “not caring” just a defense mechanism.

I think someone who doesn’t care about birthdays is someone who used to care a lot about birthdays but doesn’t anymore because they got nail files & hand sanitizer for their sweet sixteen (true story).

And I admit my aversion to birthday celebrations has hindered me for showing up for others. And that’s shitty. And if I haven’t shown up for you because of my own fears, I’m sorry. I want to be a better friend.

I want to show up for people because that, to me, means the most.

So on Friday, April 5th, don’t just tell me “happy birthday” – show up for someone you care about. Bring someone lunch, buy someone flowers, give the people you love a hug. Congratulate people on their wins, sit with people in their pain, stop rescheduling the coffee date and just commit.

On April 5th, I want you to SHOW THE FUCK UP.
That’s what I want for my birthday.

We’re All Here To Save The World – Brands Making a Difference by Helping You Live Plastic Free!

Eventually, this post will have a longer list of brands and a cute little video, but just in case it takes me way too long to put it together, I wanted to share this list of companies who have supported the #PlastICKY Project and are helping ALL OF US go plastic-free (Yes there are discount codes)

Package Free Shop (Click to Shop)
A one-stop shop for finding plastic-free OR alternatives to single-use plastic products. Their goal is ZERO WASTE, founded by the girl who could fit all of her waste from an entire YEAR into a 16 oz Mason jar. The video went viral.

Davids All Natural Toothpaste

Davids All Natural Toothpaste (Click to Shop)
Toothpaste that comes in a recyclable metal tube!! The tiny cap is plastic BUT it is a GREAT alternative if you love toothpaste and don’t want to switch to chalky tablets. They also come with their own little metal key tool to use to squeeze all the paste out! (Also Sold at the Package Free Shop)
Use the code “PLASTICKY” for a discount!

KooShoo 100% Biodegradable Hair ties: (Click to Shop)
I NEVER thought about plastic in my hair ties !! These are phenomenal though. (Also Sold at the Plastic Free Shop)
Use the code PLASTICKY for 20% off of $30+

Planet Wise Large Pale Liner

Planet Wise Pale Liner (Click to Shop) (aka Reusable Trash bag)
These are the only ones that exist as far as I know! Machine Washable & waterproof!

Zerovana Plastic-Free Deodorant (Click to Shop)
Zerovana is another online store filled with great items to help you go plastic free or zero waste. I’m super excited to try their Deodorant!
Use the code PLASTICKY for 15% off of your entire order!

Different options for Bee’s Wrap

Bee’s Wrap (Click to Shop)
This is a fantastic alternative to cling wrap! Not only is it sustainable, but it also won’t leak cancer-causing chemicals into your food while you sleep 🙂

Eco Enclose (Click to Shop)
Compostable Mailing Supplies. They have eco-friendly alternatives for tape, bubble wrap, plastic bags – EVERYTHING. This is a really important company that you should share with all of your friends that mail things or have companies that mail products. I’m going to purchase some Eco-Friendly Tape.
Get 20% off your first order of $20 or more by Clicking Here or using copy & pasting link: http://ecoenclose.refr.cc/annabelled

#PlastICKY Intro

I’m doing an experiment this month and going PLASTIC – FREE.

https://youtu.be/ehWLchgEFjU

I’m planning to share a vlog on IGTV (@annasbanana123) every weekend (probably Sundays) this month to talk about the journey. I’m also partnering up with some cool brands that I found and will be posting about the companies out there making a plastic-free life possible! I’ll be sharing on Instagram and LTMLS (Letters To My Little Sisters…this blog).

Here’s what I’m really stressed out about for this month:

  1. Food. I’m afraid this is going to make grocery shopping really difficult.
  2. Water. I buy plastic water bottles ALL the time. I’m a little bit particular about taste so I haven’t purchased reusable bottles because the plastic ones taste like plastic and the metal ones taste like metal. Also can’t drink the tap water in LA because it’s nasty & not even a Brita filter can clean that shit – plus it’s plastic.
  3. Toiletries. I can’t buy Toilet paper without also buying plastic!!
  4. Other. I understand that there are going to be a lot of products, like pens and toiletries, that I probably won’t need to by more of or replace during this month… but if I want to continue to be plastic-free I’m definitely going to have to find a new place to purchase things. In other words, I acknowledge the privilege I have to start & stop this plastic-free life.

I’m hoping that some of the brand partnerships I’m creating can help me (& you) find stuff to make this transition a little bit easier!

A LITTLE BACKGROUND, AND SOME THOUGHTS ON PLASTIC

My goal is to not create any plastic waste during this month, however, in the case that I do, I’m made it a rule that I CANNOT throw it away. I have to hold onto it until the end of the month and figure out a way to up-cycle it. Throwing plastic away doesn’t make it disappear, it just becomes the earth’s problem… or stuck in the belly of a turtle or a baby bird. And that is something I’m really trying to learn & remember. Our individual disconnection from our culture of consumerism has caused A LOT of problems, for not only our environment but our physical, mental and spiritual health. The first step to fixing it is our mindset & awareness of the impact we can have.

That truly is the secret to everything – you just need to know the power you have and how to use it.

Plastic was made in 1907 for our convenience. We all know plastic sucks but it’s inconvenient to switch. Convenience is the name of the game and I truly believe there is a way to make being plastic free, more convenient than using plastic. Let’s use our power collectively, to do that!!