Let the Journey Begin!

I am taking a leap of faith and following my instincts.

Like a five year old child, unable to sleep, knowing that there will be presents under the Christmas tree in the morning.  Like the scent of rain on the wind, long before the forecast was checked or a dark cloud seen.  Like the moment just before your lips touch your lover’s for the first time, locking in a passionate kiss.  Yes, just like that, I can feel something good is coming.

For most of my life, I have trusted my logical mind.  When push came to shove and important choices needed to be made, logic won over emotions and feelings almost every time.  This type of thinking kept me safe and secure, but did not do a wonderful job of making me feel happy and satisfied.  I was still longing for more, without really knowing what more I was looking for.  Over the past few years I have tried to find a better balance of following my mind, my heart and instinct.  Not surprisingly, the main thing holding me back was fear.  Fear of change.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of being judged.  Fear of failing.

Thankfully I realized the fear holding me back could only be released by me.  After all, it was placed there by me, so it was going to be up to me to figure it all out.  That kind of work must be done within.  As much as I love the idea of throwing money at the situation to fix it or using a Band-Aid to cover it up, no dollar amount or bandage can fix the fear – it can only be released by the owner and operator, Yours Truly.

Right now I am in a really good place.  This past year I have been picking up speed like a snowball turning into an avalanche (just ask my friends). I am releasing my past.  Confronting my demons.  Facing my fears. Taking on challenges. Falling down, dusting off, and trying again! Listening to my body.  Quieting my mind.  Following my spiritual light.  I am learning to trust (and rely on) my feelings and emotions more than my logical mind.  This is huge for me.

So here we are on this journey.  And I do not say we just to engage you, dear reader.  I say it because we are all on a journey together right now – this is part of the change I feel.  Recently, I have seen strangers becoming kinder and more patient.  I have watched close friends and family become more open and vulnerable. I have witnessed physical, mental and spiritual transformations result from the simple thought of wanting a better life.  These changes are not a result of a longing for more money or fame.  These changes are happening because we as humans are awakening to an inner desire to become the truest and best version of our self – whatever that may be. We are trying.

“For those of you who don’t know, December 21st 2012 is regarded as the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar otherwise known as the Mayan Calendar. New age interpretation of this date is that it marks the start of a time in which Earth and its inhabitants will undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that it may mark the beginning of a new era (Note: Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have pointed to this date though it’s still debatable).” – The Lotus Effect.

I am taking a leap of faith and following my instincts.  Something good is coming.

All I know for sure, is that it is my job to prepare for it.  Not the typical preparedness that involves formal education or purchasing emergency goods, but rather internal preparedness.  I have never been this focused or passionate about caring for my mind, body and soul and helping others around me.  I know with every fiber of my being, that now is a time to feed my body nutrient rich food, sleep well, exercise and purify my body of toxins. That now is a time to quiet my mind and be open to new possibilities.  Now is a time to be patient, forgiving and speak with more love than ever before.

Yes, just like that, I can feel something good is coming.

What have you been experiencing?  Any tips, advice or ideas to share?  Please, all thoughts are welcome.  We are in this together.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

Sober October – Personal Quest

Alcohol is part of life in Wisconsin, where I grew up.  Like many states, countries, cities and cultures throughout the world, it is part of most social engagements.  Wine on a romantic dinner date or ladies night.   Beer during the football game or on a boat on the lake.  Champagne to celebrate an anniversary or promotion. Cocktails at a concert, at a ski resort or on a lonely Friday night.  There is always an excuse to drink.  It is no wonder I started at the age of 15, which was actually not as early as some of my friends that started at 12.  No one thought it was odd; it was almost expected.  My parents would have been disappointed to know this, but I knew kids in my High school whose parents bought them liquor and let them have friends over to drink illegally.  Who were they to judge since they had a six pack or more a few days a week, children to care for, and drove?  This set the stage for my relationship with alcohol.

 

I didn’t start out drinking in moderation – I binge drank.  Drank until I puked.  Drank until I blacked out.  Made out with boys I never in a million years would have kissed sober.  Very classy and respectable, you can imagine. Ugh.  Once I had a boyfriend, I slowed (a bit).  Clearly it is not attractive to be that sloppy in front of the man you love, so I tried my best to contain myself.  Sometimes I succeeded!  Sometimes I failed, which resulted in a much dreaded talk about my drinking and behavior – all with red eyes, a fuzzy head and nauseous stomach the next morning. Oh joy.  I have had more than enough shining moments that should have caused me to stop completely, but instead I have tried to find a balance so that I can keep it in my life. I love it!

 

When I maintain the balance, which I am much better at now, it is really wonderful.  The warm sensation and robust flavors in red wine seduce me and please me in so many ways.  Wine is my vice. There are so many varietals of wine, so many flavors to unlock and secrets to taste in every sip.  Adventure and exploration roll over my tongue as I try to uncover the distinct flavors and subtleties within the glass. I could definitely abandon the tequila, vodka and gin, but oh, I would hate to abandon my red wine!  She and I are besties.  We have been through thick and thin together. But just like any friend, we have our ups and downs.  Sometimes I see her daily, weekly, for hours on end or not for weeks at a time.  Every once in a while, we spend way too much time together and I need a break from her.  She tires me and makes me need some time alone.  Time to reset and remember who I am without her – that as much as she enriches the moments in my life, I exist without her.  I thrive fully on my own and she just makes my days brighter.  She is not a necessity – she is a bonus.

 

I disagree with the notion that you cannot live without someone.  Attaching yourself that much to any person or thing is not healthy.  When you tie your happiness to someone/something else you limit your potential happiness and open yourself up to horrible disappointment and grief.  Happiness lies within – I know this now. I have learned this from my mistakes and I do not want to make the same mistakes again. I do not want to feel dependent on any person, any one thing or any bottle of red wine. I can be happy on my own, without it, and it is important I remember that. Plus, my wine habit is hard on my liver, my wallet, my productivity and on my waist line. For these reasons, I have given up drinking for the month of October.

Giving up alcohol for the month directly coincides with my goal for 2012: to make better choices in my life.  This is no small task and I keep tripping and stumbling along the way, but I am trying.  I am finally at a place in my life where I am truly happy with who I am and am fully aware that my circumstances are a direct result of my thoughts and actions.  I have no one to blame.  No one that can act as my scapegoat – there is just me.  If I want something to change, if I want something to be different, it is up to me to make it happen. And as we know, it all starts with the power of that first thought.  Then we take that thought and dream about it, envision it, and we make it grow into our action and our future. 

I started a business this year.  I recorded a song with a friend.  I had a poem and article published. I have met some amazing new friends, strengthened existing relationships and let some friendships take a backseat during this process. My dating life has been a bit all over the map, but I have tried to be open, honest and much more patient that I normally would be.  I feel confident, capable and worthy of the good things in my life.  But I want more good.  I want to write more, sing more and really grow my business.  I want to have more energy and lose the 5lbs I gained over summer.  How do I plan to do this? Sober October!  My bestie (Red Bottle of Malbec) and I have been hanging out too much again, so this month she is taking a backseat. 

I put up a simple post on Facebook and from that post I started a Facebook Group Page with over 40 members and about 20 of us that are really taking this Sober October seriously. Together, we have committed to a month of healthy habits.  We are eating healthy, working out, focusing on our work and side project, and not drinking.  So far, we all feel great!  We are sharing recipes, workout trends and success stories.  Taking a month off is not as difficult as I expected and it certainly helps to have cheerleaders along the way.  Together we are moving toward the future we want for ourselves.  Together we are sharing our ambition and helping one another to succeed.  Together we grow in our strength, our motivation and in our personal quests.

A simple thought. Envisioned. Shared. Action. = Future!

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

From Heartbreak to Gratitude

There is something to be said for heartbreak.  Until I experienced it for myself, I had no idea how horrible it really is.  I had no idea how painful it can be and how much it can destroy your very foundation. 

My heartbreak was at the hands of the first man I ever loved.  We were together for over five years and I thought I was going to marry him.  This did not happen.  I had never known betrayal until our end, and I certainly never could have imagined it would yield such doubt and sorrow.

Grief was never anything I welcomed or allowed in my life.  When our end came, I knew that I had to feel this hurt.  It was going to be completely vital for me to acknowledge and feel every ounce of pain in order to heal – and so I did.  My once cool and collected self became a puddle of tears.  I cried every day for months.  Then I cried a few days a week for a few more months. Eventually I cried once a week, once a month, and then only rarely.  I was grateful not to have tear soaked pillows every night, but I was completely withdrawn from my old joys of life.  I had to take a step back and reevaluated my life and the choices I had made that brought me to that point.

Yes, I blamed him for what happened, but things are never one sided.  I had overlooked things in our relationship and in him. For this reason, I blamed me too.  I no longer trusted myself as a good judge of character.  Learning to forgive myself and trust myself again was going to be paramount on my journey.  I decided I needed to take all of my life plans and put them on hold.  Before I would be able to wholeheartedly pursue the career, house and family I wanted, I needed to fully heal. Not only did I need to heal, but I needed to have joy in my days and in my heart.  I needed a genuine smile, big belly laughs, and a healthy mind and body.

One at a time, I pursued these things.  I moved to a part of town I preferred. Check! My boss was adding too much stress for me to heal, so I found a new job.  While it was less money, the peaceful work environment was priceless. Check!  I lost 20 pounds. Check! I felt stagnant in my activities and habits, so I said YES to new things and hung out with as many new people as I could. I took a trapeze class. I took a sushi making class. I learned to do Yoga. I started to sing again. I started to write. I worked out more. I’ve always been healthy, but I made it a top priority and really started to listen to my body. Wow… Check! Check! Check!  I started to feel happy – really happy. I realized that the house I wanted, the man I wanted to marry and the children I wanted to have was all part of a lovely plan – but I wanted more. 

So here I am today. I have found forgiveness for my Ex and for myself.  In fact, I often catch myself spilling tears over the amount of joy and love in my heart.  I am in awe at the love I have for myself, the people in my life and this amazing journey we are all on.  The plan now, which I am actively pursuing, is to be present.  I vow to continually try new things and live in the moment as much as possible.  I am open to love, travel and career possibilities.  I will never again try and force a life I want. Being present, I enjoy each moment and happily accept the gifts that Life gives me. I would never be where I am now if I hadn’t been wounded so badly.  My broken heart led me on a journey to finding true love, within.  I will be forever grateful for the lessons I have learned.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

P.S. Here is the audio version if you would prefer to hear my actual voice.

So here it goes…

As I sit here and try to think of a clever Mission Statement, Statement of Purpose or Grand Master Plan for this ErinTerese site, my mind draws a blank.  I would love to tell you that I have a clear plan. Oh crap, who am I kidding?  I’d love to tell me I have a clear plan!  The plain and simple truth is that there is no Master Plan. No finite Mission Statement for my intent. But I have a longing in my soul. An energy and drive that pulses from the tips of my toes, through my fingers, circling around my eyes and ears and flowing through my mind.

I feel the desire to share my thoughts and feelings with you, my reader. Even though I don’t know who you are yet, I want to know you.  I want to hear your stories and learn from you.  I want you to hear my stories and tell me what you’ve learned.  Life, for me, is all about stories.  Life stories.  Stories from your childhood.  Stories from yesterday.  Stories you’d like to write for yourself.  Hearing other people speak, reading other people’s words and watching people from afar, is what gives me passion and purpose.  I know myself better, when I know others better. I understand the world more clearly, when I understand others more clearly.  The more I can relate to you, dear reader, the more I can relate to the world and the closer I am to finding “it” – whatever “it” may be.

I have no idea where this journey will take me…  Where this journey will take us.  But please come with me.  I would like you to read my work and comment, share and give me your feedback.  Send me your favorite blogs, links and videos. Let’s go on this journey together and try and find the “it” we have been looking for – assuming you haven’t found “it” yet.  If you have, that is awesome!  Please share.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese