Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Quote: Tahereh Mafi

“The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”

 ― Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

Monday, December 11, 2017

Guiding Word of the Year

I dropped the ball this year when it came to posting about my guiding word of the year. The short story is that it went really well for the first half of the year. There was lots of decluttering, especially digitally. When I sat down to look at it, I was amazed at how much digital clutter I had. I was hoarding emails, subscribed to dozens of newsletters, overwhelmed by YouTube videos, and swamped with Instagram. It took months but I sorted through it all, deleted thousands of emails (yes thousands!) and prioritized my subscriptions. That's as far as I got though. By the time I was ready to go deeper than just physical decluttering, I found myself unemployed and it went downhill from there. Collecting clutter is a manifestation of depression for me and I started struggling with it during my unemployment and the sporadic temp jobs that came after. I kept my digital clutter down but my physical clutter went back to how it was before I started this. I spent the end of November and I'm spending December undoing the damage.

I have been having trouble figuring out what my guiding word will be for 2018. The past few years were easy to figure out. A word popped out at me without really thinking about it. I just knew what I needed. This year has not been like that. So, I'm going to go through Susannah Conway's Find Your Word course. I hope that it will give me some clarity.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Quote: Susan Beth Pfeffer

“I never really thought about how when I look at the moon, it's the same moon as Shakespeare and Marie Antoinette and George Washington and Cleopatra looked at.”

 ― Susan Beth Pfeffer, Life As We Knew It

I have always been a night person and a star lover but lately my focus has been on the moon. When I take my dog out at night, I always look for the moon.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

5 Imaginary Lives

I was watching Lavendaire's YouTube channel and came across this video. This exercise is from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I really need to finish reading that book. The idea is to imagine what you would do if you had multiple lives to live and then figure out how to bring some aspects of those lives into your actual life.

1. Photographer
I'm not sure when I fell for photography but I know it was when I was young. I actually think that I have a very good eye for photography. The thing that holds me back is the technical aspect. I need to pull my camera out more often and go on day trips that will allow me to flex that muscle.

2. Archeologist
I always felt drawn to ancient Egyptian and ancient Mayan culture. I received a computer game that was about exploring Mayan ruins. My best friend at the time and I wanted to plan a trip to explore the ruins in real life. She's not in my life anymore but maybe it's time to make that trip happen with someone else.

3. Interior Designer
There was a time in my life that I was thinking about either going into interior design or architecture. I almost failed geometry so I decided that architecture might not be my thing (although I just watched Abstract on Netflix which kind of reignited my interest in architecture) but interior design still intrigues me. I've been working on decorating my space. It is slow going but will feel great once it is done.

4. Geologist
I'm not sure if geologist is the right term as my focus would be on gemstones and crystals. When I was young, I collected rocks, mostly from my school playground. Because of this, I was given a little gemstone kit and decided to do a project based on it for my school's science fair. I loved learning about the gemstones and have been interested ever since. If gemstones and crystals weren't so expensive they would be the majority of my decor. Maybe I should set money aside to start buying some so I can at least have them around me.

5. Writer
Quite frankly, I think that if I could just write and travel the world, I'd be happy. Writing is vital for my life, hence this blog, but it's much more for self expression than something that many people would actually want to read. Taking the time to do research and write posts that are more than just self expression might be a good idea. Writing more poetry would be good too.

Creative exercises are so interesting. They bring up so many unexplored things. I need to do more of them.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Non-Existent Confidence

I was watching a YouTube video about building confidence and she was talking about how her confidence came from the small wins she has experienced over the course of her life. I related to that. I had many small wins in my childhood that helped me build my confidence. However, as an adult those small wins have been completely overwhelmed by huge losses. I have failed at everything I have tried. I was unable to finish college, I haven't built any real relationships (found out that all my childhood friends didn't actually care about me, haven't made any new ones, and haven't had one single healthy dating relationship), I have not been able to build a career, I actually haven't even been able to find a job that pays enough to make a living from, and every time I get close to any of those things it blows up in my face. Winning a few sprints and getting good grades, even making the Dean's List, just isn't much in comparison.

My confidence is shot and I am spiraling back into depression, something I spent more than a decade working to get out of. But here I am again. I'm 31 and I look around and have nothing to show for all of my work. I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted with no chance to rest. So the big question is, how do you create confidence out of losses? How do you keep going when nothing works?

I just don't have an answer to those questions.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Quote: Anita Johnston

“The mermaid is an archetypal image that represents a woman who is at ease in the great waters of life, the waters of emotion and sexuality. She shows us how to embrace our instinctive sexuality and sensuality so that we can affirm the essence of our feminine nature, the wisdom of our bodies, and the playfulness of our spirits. She symbolizes our connection with our deepest instinctive feelings, our wild and untamed animal nature that exists below the surface of outward personalities. She is able to respond to her mysterious sexual impulses without abandoning her more human, conscious side. What happened to the girls who dreamed of being mermaids?” 

― Anita JohnstonEating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling

Saturday, June 24, 2017

52 Lists Project- Week 10

Week 10 ~Ways That You Can Cleanse For Spring~

Personal Quarterly Review
Purge Possessions
Buy More Plants
Deep Clean Carpets
Open Windows
Light Beeswax Candles
Change Out Bedding
Change Out Capsule Wardrobe

I've been very interested in the idea of seasonal living so I tried to think of things that I might do on a seasonal basis rather than just for Spring. I couldn't buy plants all of the time but I do hope to have a personal jungle one day so I would try.

Friday, June 23, 2017


Contemplating life
Overwhelmed with ideas but
Not confident in my abilities
Frozen at this point in my journey
Unable to choose a direction
Stuck in fear and indecision
Escapist habits returning
Denying myself a full life

I haven't completed a poem in so long. I think it's been a couple of years! I'm so relieved to finally write something again.

Creative Commons License
Confused by Porcelain Lotus is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Quote: Trina Paulus

“ 'How does one become a butterfly?' she asked pensively. You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” 

 -Trina Paulus

I relate to this so much. It reminds me of my favorite quote of all time, the Anias Nin quote I keep posted over there. -------------------->

That quote basically woke me up and started my journey but since it has been with me for so long, it almost fades into the background sometimes. It makes such a difference to come across things like this quote from Trina Paulus to snap me back and help me to refocus.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

52 Lists Project- Week 9

Week 9 ~Places You Want To Go~

Paris, France
Bali, Indonesia
Helsinki, Finland
New York City, New York
Mayan Ruins
The Greek Isles
Los Angeles, California

If I had my way, I'd live in a place for 6 months or so and then move to another. I couldn't do it by myself so I'd need a partner. Maybe some day I'll find someone with the same dream.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Quote: Oprah Winfrey

“True forgiveness is when you can say, "Thank you for that experience.” 

― Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, May 11, 2017

My Dream Life

I am working towards teaching journal and poetry therapy and helping people learn to make it and other self-care rituals part of their lives. I have experienced first hand their healing power and am very passionate about sharing that with others.

I used to love reading! When I was a child, I read everything I could get my hands on. Every time my mom went to the library she brought back a few books for me. Then high school came around and being forced to read books I wasn't interested in, at ridiculous speeds, then writing papers about them, made me hate reading. Honors english classes are not worth it for people like me. I've been trying to bring reading back into my life. Besides experience, reading is by far the best way to learn.

People who travel, and I don't mean travel to resorts, are different. They are more open minded, cultured, and educated. I want to be one of them. I want experiences that open my eyes and mind. I want to get out of my little box and develop a more global perspective.

In this culture, sensuality is basically another word for sexy. I have a different definition for the word. To me, sensuality is being in touch with and enjoying all of your senses. It means being equally in touch with your heart, mind, and body. I find that I am stuck in my mind and have trouble connecting to my heart and body. It's very hard to enjoy life that way.

I never connected with the family that I was raised in because of all of the abuse and abuse apologism that I've experienced from them. Don't get me wrong, they are victims too but there is a part of me that might always resent them for refusing to address it and heal thereby putting the burden of ending the cycle onto me. I've always craved a strong family unit that I can connect with and trust. So I believe my family will be a family that I choose.

Journaling and writing poems maintain my sanity and are the most healing restorative thing I have ever come across. I want the time and the freedom to do it more often.

Ten years of depression on top of having PCOS has really done a number on my body. I lost my strength and flexibility. My hormones and menstrual cycles are out of  whack. I recently went off birth control so that I could treat the PCOS naturally. I'm looking for a form of exercise that I enjoy. Improving my diet has been a struggle but I'm working on it.

I was inspired to do this post by this video from Lavendaire. The next step would be to create some very specific goals for each of these things.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Quote: Malcolm S. Forbes

"Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are."

~Malcolm S. Forbes

I am definitely on this list of people.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

52 Lists Project- Week 8

Week 8 ~Favorite Songs~

Nightwish- Beauty of the Beast
Corinne Bailey Rae- Put Your Records On
Madeleine Peyroux- You Can't Do Me
Sweetback- Lover
Anna Phoebe- In Contiuum
Nightwish- Rest Calm
Adele- Set Fire To The Rain
Gregorian- Fleurs Du Mal
Lindsey Stirling- Shatter Me
Amel Larrieux- For Real
Anna Phoebe- Nemesis
Skit & Tijani- Sweat

This one is supposed to be your favorite albums but I rarely listen to whole albums.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Quote: Henry David Thoreau

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

―Henry David Thoreau Walden

Friday, April 28, 2017

I'm Friendship Inept

I have made no secret that I have a long history of being mistreated by people, from abusive family and boyfriends to neglectful friends. Quite a few years ago, I pulled away from relationships. I cut off neglectful friends, ended my relationship with an abusive boyfriend, and stopped working on creating new relationships. I stopped dating and decided to be celibate and while I was still friendly with people, I didn't attempt to become friends with anyone. I just stopped desiring relationships.

Recently that has changed. If I ever wondered whether the work I was doing towards healing was working or not, this is proof that it is. I don't desire a lot of friends or to start dating like I used to. I desire a very close sister circle, including a mentor, and a long-term romantic relationship.

I am kind of confused about the whole thing though. I have spent most of my adult life avoiding relationships so now I have no idea how to start friendships and even less of an idea how to date maturely. That's such an odd thing to even think about, much less admit. I'm 30 years old and I do not know how to make friends. Seriously, where do I begin? I'm very shy and hate small talk, which seems to be the starting point of most relationships. I tend to avoid creating close relationships at work because I've always seen it cause problems. So in a city that has very little of the things I enjoy, how do I even meet people with similar interests? Moving is not an option and I'm not too interested in running. I'll save moving until I've got some thing figured out.

I'll stop now. Usually as I'm writing, I come to some kind of conclusion or at least get an idea. I'm stumped on this one.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Quote: Roman Payne

“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.”
-Roman Payne

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Guiding Word of the Year Starting Plan

Over the last year I would escape when I needed to by watching YouTube videos. I came across some minimalism channels. I was very intrigued by the concept because of all of the chaos that is been in my life for so long. I can't see myself as a minimalist but I decided to take some of the concepts and come up with something I've been calling "intentional living". I know I didn't come up with that term but I don't know who did. This is where the idea to make my guiding word of the year, simplify, started. Getting to the point where everything I do is intentional is going to take some work.

I needed a plan. I really like the app Trello for planning and organizing projects. So I sat down and created some projects for myself, starting with a minimalism challenge. This challenge is to get me started. I've got three places that I let collect physical clutter and I have all kinds of digital clutter. So I'm going through all of it little by little and either organizing it or getting rid of it. I started with my email. I am an email hoarder. I don't know why but I rarely delete an email after I read it. At one point I actually had over 4,000 emails in my inbox, just sitting there for no reason. I unsubscribed from the majority of the subscriptions I've collected over the years and deleted thousands of emails.
Next I went through the people I subscribed to on YouTube and followed on Instagram and deleted anyone that I hadn't been as eager to check on for awhile. I still have to deal with my Evernote account. That one is way worse than my email accounts and is going to take quite a bit of time.

Once, I have taken care of my digital clutter, it's on to the physical clutter. I'll address each area one at a time to make it easier but that's as far as I got in developing a plan. Fortunately, I found Muchelle B's 30 Days To Simplify Your Life challenge. Between working an exhausting full time job and having already done some of the things that this challenge involves (i.e. decluttering my wardrobe), I won't be able to follow it exactly and it will likely take more than 30 days to go through it. But it seems like a great place to start. Plus, there is some mental decluttering towards the end of the challenge that I haven't even begun to think about. It will be nice to have some guidelines to try while I begin this journey.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Guiding Word Of The Year For 2017

It's that time again. Time for me to decide what direction I want to go this year. I've been choosing a guiding word of the year for a few years now. Sometimes it works out well, sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't has proven to be the most valuable. I've learned some good lessons and have been forced to look at my weaknesses.

Last year, I chose the word focus as my guiding word of the year. For the most part, none of my plans worked out. Towards the beginning of the year, my living situation crumbled. Since I was unemployed at the time, my choices were to move back in with my parents or be homeless. I chose to move back in with my parents so my first focus was to get rid of all my furniture that I had worked so hard for as well as everything I couldn't fit into my car. It took me a couple of months because this was such a hard pill to swallow. Something I've never had is a space of my own. I've always been under other people's rules, had to deal with what little space I did have being violated by thieving family members or those who just didn't respect my needs, and constantly being reminded that this space wasn't mine and could be taken away based on someone else's whims. So losing my space, once again, based on someone's whims was devastating. It might not sound like much but I am 30 years old and it's the third time in my adult life that I have had to start over. I'm tired.

After moving, the focus had to be shifted to getting a job. There wasn't any time to heal. There never is. I was broke. I'm also living in an area that is agriculturally based and I do admin/computer work. My job options are slim so waiting just wasn't an option. I've found temp jobs but nothing permanent so I'm still working on this.

Then towards the end of the year, I ran out of birth control pills and just can't afford them. Plus, psychologically I just can't handle the idea of putting artificial hormones in my body with the intention of shutting down my ovaries. So now instead of working on journal therapy research, I'm researching natural ways to keep PCOS under control.

Through all of this craziness I realized how done with craziness I am. I need to pare down and lose the clutter. This leads to my guiding word for the year.

My guiding word of the year is:

Everywhere I look and everywhere I think there is clutter. I can't believe how much I managed to squeeze into my car. I also was trying to keep so much of the things that I had developed emotional ties to, that I left things that would actually be useful. Some things need to be organized, some things need to be tossed or donated and some things need to be replaced.

It's not just stuff. My mind is always all over the place. My emotions tend to be all over the place. I've got so many goals and changes that I want to work on and I can never focus on one for very long.

I'm still working on a plan for this. I'm not quite sure where I want to go with this idea. I just know that I need to go somewhere.