Tag Archives: Wisdom

Harvest

I don’t know when I lost my mind.

Sometimes I really wonder if what goes on in my head is normal. These thoughts, these dreams, these insanely absurd fears – where do they come from? Why do I have them? Why do I feel them so strongly? Why do they speak to me just as a lover whispers sweet nothings: So faint, yet I feel them so deeply, within myself, resonating in the pit of my stomach.

Often it is the fear within that corrodes my heart. My ambitious dreams are always present, yes, but those damn fears – they are like the lingering sweat on my flesh after a playful night’s encounter with a stranger. I shamefully carry them with me each day. They are the morning dew that lay gently on blades of grass alike – cold and obnoxious, transparent and dissolvable. Their residue lay heavily on my mind, always.

In my most recent post, I touched on the topic of modeling and the energy that is injected into my soul surrounding each experience. Modeling opens the door to knowing me better and allows me to hurdle over those difficult comfort zones. Lovely, yes.  However, I would like to dive into the difficult issues surrounding modeling for you, readers, now.

Why do it, Ki? Why put yourself through such stress? I receive the same questions from family and friends. If I have such overwhelming anxiety each time, then why do it?? Why? Why is it so stressful for you? What are you seeing that we are not?

I think a seed was planted years ago. By whom? By what? That, I can’t answer. I’m not sure. All I can say for sure is a seed has grown exponentially over the years and is now seen wildly overgrown in my mind. That seed — stubborn and proud — has flourished, reproduced, and conquered. Where there once lay a small and immature seed, a forest lush with lies and untruths now stands firmly in the ground.

Today, I look in the mirror and see nothing similar to what you – my readers – see. No, I do not have an eating disorder. I am very healthy and active and take care of myself to the best of my ability. When I say I see something different – it is as though my mind tells the looking glass what to show me – an overweight, flawed, ugly human being. Each imperfection is amplified. Where you see a nose, I see a mountainous error that will one day be ‘fixed.’ I see hideous breasts, abused and battered by pregnancy. I see wide hips and chunky thighs; I see all features as shameful extensions of a less than worthy body. As I said, my lies and untruths are very firmly planted. This post is not for pity, but for strength. In sharing with you, I shed yet another layer of myself. This moment, I thank you for being with me as I do so.

Compliments from others are appreciated, yet it changes nothing about how I see this body that walks with me each day. There is nothing a friend, a relative, or a passerby can say that will allow me to see the truth that stands before the mirror. My truth is distorted and manipulated by the inner, deceptive workings of my brain – and I am slowing pulling the weeds and tilling the soil; desperate for a harvest one day soon. Maybe my heart feels so heavy because it is growing. Maybe the holes are filling in, repairing themselves. Hey, not a bad thought.

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Are you struggling? Does your soul feel lonely at times? I know, it is so tough to get past those moments of insecurity, doubt, and fear – and I’m talking about all aspects of life – personally, professionally, everything readers. Let me offer you this: Realize that you cannot hide forever. Make it a choice each morning as the sun kisses your skin to greet her and choose life, to live. If that is all you can do, then hold onto that tightly. Wake up each day, choose to live every moment, and you have taken the first step. You see, with time this will become natural, a habit of sorts – and you will see that the less you think about ‘doing,’ the more you will simply ‘be.’ I promise you, you will slowly become less of an observer and more of one who chooses to be active in the world again.

Quiet the incessant thoughts that tell you to use caution; silence them as best you can. Sometimes the heavy confusion within is really just our way of denying the natural course of our lives.

For twenty-three years I have been a victim of my mind’s deception. I have listened to it, obeyed it, and continued pursuing a life without imperfection. If you can relate, I beg you to stop. Now. You will never be perfect. You will never know perfection. Remember that ‘perfection’ is simply a word. It is not achievable. It is a word that carries immeasurably high hopes and devastating upsets. See that word, visualize it now, erase it, and let it go. Never use that word again.

Life is not beautiful despite imperfections. Life is beautiful because we climb, we fall, and we choose to overcome. There are many days where you WILL be on top, and there are many days where you will not. Take it all in. Take every moment. Accept the ‘bad’ just as you would accept the ‘good.’ Life is not meant to be continuously ‘happy,’ ‘joyful,’ etc (insert your favorite adjective here).  Let go of the emotions. Let go of thinking. It is in this release that you will begin again. We can always begin again.   

 

I don’t know when I lost my mind.

But I’m so thankful I did.

I’m feeling again. I’m loving again.

And I’ve only just begun,

Again.

 

 

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Musical inspiration behind this post — “Miss You” Ed Sheeran

Layers

What makes you uncomfortable? Public speaking? Airplanes? Social gatherings? Visiting your in-laws? Regardless, we all have our ‘things’ that make us uneasy, hesitant, unsure of ourselves – right? It’s all about that ‘comfort zone’ and what brings us out of it. How do you break out of yours? For some of us, it’s not so easy. Here’s a look into my world…

I’ll be very honest in saying that the thought of being a normal, functioning human being was inconceivable after having my son three years ago. Thrown into a new world of parenting, I was exhausted, fat, and scared to death of simply ‘being.’ I’m sure most first-time parents are terrified, but let it be noted – I was an extreme case, to say the least. For practically the first year of my son’s life, I was not just a stay-at-home mommy – I was a recluse. I did not enjoy being outside, I did not enjoy seeing other human beings, I did not enjoy most aspects of life at that time. Depressed? Maybe. Okay, yes, I was very depressed. More so, I was trapped in my safe little world that I had created. My comfort zone was suffocating me.

In retrospect, I can’t say specifically what happened over the last couple of years that slowly brought me out of my home and into the world again. Baby steps, perhaps. But steps in the right direction, nonetheless. Readers, it’s a bit embarrassing to admit how closed-off from literally everything I really was two years ago. During the early months of Lucas’ life, it was all I could do to muster up the courage to take a shower and go outside to push him in the stroller for a few minutes. The simple thought of being around people gave me anxiety. Trips to the grocery store were out of the question. Shopping – was a disaster. Going to a park to get some fresh air – forget about it. I was frozen in time, desperately trying to care for another human being while I could hardly take care of myself.

As I said, embarrassing. I felt like a failure. I saw nothing but the negative in myself. What had I amounted to at that time? College dropout, new mother, and struggling to simply ‘be.’ I was spinning. What was this life I had created? What was this life that I painstakingly refused to live? What would it take to get me out of my comfort zone?

Friends, this is difficult to talk about – but honestly, it’s the first layer of myself that I am peeling away at; the layer of guilt, shame, and fear that I want to share as a reminder that it is possible to keep living when the world seems like an impossible place to be in. It took a couple of years to realize that I needed help. REAL help. Therapeutic help. I needed an outlet to stay sane; to feel again; to remember who Kiley was. This blog has been my saving grace. An outlet to purge my thoughts, fears, regrets, everything. And YOU, readers, have been my motivation to keep going. All of you. Friends, family, ‘strangers’ who have become the best of friends to me.  You guys are the ones who challenge me to not only keep going, but also to keep breaking down the walls of comfort.

I think there is always more we can do to challenge ourselves. With extreme social anxiety, I’ve used my son as my security blanket for social situations. He has become my ‘go-to’ guy when anxiety surfaces and I feel I’m losing control. Lucas centers me; he distracts me at times from my nervous feelings; and above all else he is the smile on my face during those panicky moments in public. So, lately I’ve wondered: What can I do to challenge myself? What can I do to get out of my comfort zone?

Thus, I’ve found modeling. This really is quite an amusing topic. Who would have thought that I – anxiety-ridden, self-conscious Ki would take up modeling as a means to break free from comfort? But hey, I’m quite the impulsive, odd woman, so friends and family shouldn’t be too surprised by this decision (This is your cue to chuckle, guys – I’m learning to laugh at myself as well). You know, it really doesn’t make sense that I would choose such an industry to be involved in – seeing as how I have many body image issues, it would probably not be advised to take on a world where confidence is THE most important quality to have, when I seemingly have very little, if any, confidence at all. Okay, I digress. Maybe the point here is I make everything difficult on myself. BUT! I’m DOING something that is beyond freeing, beyond therapeutic, so far beyond my comfort zone.

There is something to be said for the sheer panic that I feel right before a fashion show or photo shoot. There is that ONE moment where my mind screams, DON’T DO IT. YOU WILL FAIL. And I have a choice. To do it now, or be swallowed up by the thoughts that have been bringing me down for years. I have a choice. Do I listen to the, “You’re not pretty enough; You’re not skinny enough; You’re not good enough?” Or do I walk out in front of everyone, fully exposed, and say – Fuck all of this self-doubt and self-loathing – you are here, now, be you and no one will take that moment away from you...

Really, the choice is a daily battle in my head. No, I don’t model every day. But my mind speaks very loudly, readers, and some days I struggle so very much. I can’t even begin to tell you how tough the battle with myself has been recently. I think I offer this story to you because in pushing myself I have come to know myself better. I’ve learned that I break easily, but each time I break, I grow a little stronger. Each time my mind aches and I see nothing but ugliness in the mirror, my heart grows a bit stronger as well. I mentioned baby steps earlier in this post. I am the epitome of baby steps. And I am okay with that. My journey is very slow, very hesitant, but fluid nonetheless. Readers, make it a daily challenge to yourself to get out of the comfort zone you have created. You will see the good, the bad, the strong, the weak. You will see all sides of yourself.

There is nothing more beautiful than getting to know oneself. There is nothing more beautiful than loving yourself.

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***Photos courtesy of Mike Washington Photography***

 

 

Cheers, readers

 

Lost and Living It

Would you agree if I said, All journeys begin with a question?

What type of journeys? You might ask. Well, any. Let me ask you this: What is beginning in your life? What is ending? What is changing? What is shifting? New job? New classes this semester? New students? Friendships forming? Others fading? Lost a relative? Newly retired? Regardless of where you are on the spectrum of this life, think for just one moment: What is this cycle that catches us as we live each day and pushes us to face the friendly foe that is: change and impermanence? More importantly, are you prepared to face what today is offering to you, dear friend?

My ego often speaks very loudly, saying I’m the only one going through this; no one understands. On those days, I submissively give in to fear and doubt, inevitably feeling lost. I wish I could see the power of those weak moments. I wish I could say to myself: Kiley! You feel lost, yes. But you stand here, now. You’re sad, yes. It shall pass, soon. There are tears, yes. They will dry, as always. Kiley, be proud that you continue to live each moment. You may feel lost now, but you’re lost and living it.

Each moment is so precious in this life. A dear friend often reminds me that there are no ordinary moments. I agree. Every person’s journey is his own to take. Each person’s journey is his own to experience, to live fully, to enjoy. I’ve found that the many paths I’ve walked down have taken me to beautiful, yet perplexing corners of life. Some paths are very obviously paved for me to follow; others, overgrown weeds stand as stubborn obstacles for me to overcome. Any way I look at it, each path serves a purpose in my life. Each path I take, each path I explore brings me closer to knowing my true self.

You know, we walk these paths – as parents, teachers, doctors, artists, salespeople, caretakers, etc. Sometimes we walk numerous paths simultaneously. The ego says, You must be good at everything you do!! Get the job done, and do it well! But do not be dismayed, dear friend.  These journeys we take, they are not mere ‘things’ to be conquered and completed.  They are not simply obstacles to be overcome. We should not take on new journeys with fixed plans and final destinations in mind. These shifts in life, these new paths, really are a gift to you. A gift to be cherished, not a race to be completed. These moments are gifts and lessons, wrapped up in one. Your journey should take time, be questioned, explored. Be patient with yourself, on each new journey.

Change — Impermanence — New beginnings – they do not discriminate. We all experience them. Maybe instead of asking: Why do I feel so lost? Why is this happening to me? Why now? Instead, acknowledge the change. Embrace the shift in your life. Know that you feel lost, but that there is nothing to search for. Every answer to each question that lay heavily on your heart lies quietly within yourself. Why not be Lost and Live it? Why not be Lost and Love it? Search for nothing, my dear friend. You are whole from the very beginning.

Ask those questions and take the next step on this path of yours. This is your life.

Why not live it?

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Cheers readers!

Fleeting Thought

What do you know for sure? Think about it: What do you really know for sure? No, not that you own two cars, have a mortgage, three children, and a vacation home in Maine. What do you know about life? Have you ever truly loved? What about unconditional love; what does that feel like? And do we FEEL it, or do we KNOW it? Is there such a thing as unconditional anything? Can we experience true friendships? Are people ever REALLY altruistic?

Other than the fact that I know, for sure, that I was once fertile (i.e. a child passed through my birth canal approximately three years ago) I’m not sure that I know anything at all. When my son asks what color the sky is, I say blue. But how do I know that what I see as blue is what he sees as blue? How do I know that when I touch a smooth rock, Lucas perceives ‘smooth’ upon touching the rock as well? When I tell him I love him, and he reciprocates, what is his foundation of love?

When he replies with ‘Why?’ to every declarative statement I make, I find myself confused, challenged, unsure of how exactly to respond. He is so inquisitive, and I am at a loss these days. I don’t have any clever responses anymore. I tell him the train is passing our home, and he asks, ‘Why?’

All the while I’m thinking What do you mean ‘Why?’ So I answer: Because it has to go bye-bye to the next town.

‘Why?’ – Lucas.

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Lucas’ incessant questioning has led me to do just that: question the world… and my busy mind finds peace in one statement:

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

Socrates

I challenge you to tell yourself what you know for sure in this world.

Can you?

Cheers, Readers.

 

 

 

More fleeting thoughts HERE!