Today is the end of Monday. Friday, and perhaps Thursday, sometime mid-late last week I started to get in a negative mindset. That’s why there was a few day gap between my self-love posts around that time. Now I’m reminding myself that it’s only 10 minutes. If I do more, great. But if not, then still great. When I’m writing I feel so much better, even when I feel like I don’t have the time, and even when I’m in a negative mindset, when I write about self-love, it lifts me.
Last Friday I became overwhelmed with work, with classes, with student loans, with my financial situation, with life responsibilities. I felt both exhausted & overwhelmed and I started to develop the victim mindset. I take classes to defer my student loans. When I first graduated, there were classes I wanted to take & I devoted a lot of my time to learning web design, etc. But now I know what I want to do with my life & I view classes as something holding me back, sucking my time & draining my energy. So on Friday I called Sallie Mae, the student loan people, to see if there were any other deferment options that didn’t involve taking classes. For a moment I got excited because I thought there was going to be a clear solution, but I was wrong. There still might be some other possibilities, but I’m worried about the outcome.
I didn’t sign up for classes when the time came because I was exhausted and drained from classes from the last semester. I didn’t want to take them, and during the last semester I battled off and on to maintain a positive outlook towards them. So I emailed 4 teachers seeing if I could still get into any class, preferably online classes, and got 2 nos and haven’t heard back from the other two professors.
This & other financial, etc. responsibilities started to weigh me down greatly on Friday. I work 50 to 80 hours a week, where I’m building the foreground to my future. Working for Curve Magazine, writing for EDGE Boston, networking, helping others when they reach out to me, building the Love Warrior Community, Building Community Bucket List, etc. I’m working on things that I love & I’m building them so within the next year I can turn my passions into an income that can support me. Currently, 95% of the work that I do is non-paid. So sometimes I feel like I’m constantly working, and I’m still struggling. But at the same time I know I’m progressing, and I know I’m progressing quickly with all of my goals & projects. I know I’m on the right track. I know within a year I’ll be able to support myself financially with everything that I have set up and with everything that I’m working on. And I know it takes time. Knowing this, it makes the idea/action of taking classes draining. Last semester, it took about 20 hours of my time, each week, away from my progress on my goals, away from me working on my passion projects & away from time put into building my career.
Complaining, complaining, complaining — this was my mindset this past Friday. I was focusing on the negative, occasionally pulling my head up for air, and then going back into the negative.
There’s still a lot of things I need to take care of in the near future that all have big question marks over them. And I either need to take action to get all of those question marks answered or I need to not focus on them until I’m ready to take full action on them because focusing on them while doing nothing to resolve the issue will only bring negative energy into my life. And when the question marks are answered, even if it’s not the answer I want, at least they will be answered. There will be some finality and I won’t have to worry about unknown situations and outcomes.
Today my focus was focusing my attention on one thing at a time, and letting go of everything else so I can relax, live in the moment, not let the negative get to me, enjoy whatever task at hand, and increase my productivity since I wouldn’t have other thoughts distracting me.
I woke up tired, and I was woken up to hold my niece for a moment while my sister gathered their things to go back to their house, and I enjoyed holding my niece, looking into her eyes and seeing her smile. But when they left, instead of jumping into whatever tasks for the day, I went back to sleep. I was really tired and felt like I might have been coming down with something, so I let myself go back to sleep so that when I woke up — I would wake up fully energized, alert and happy for the day.
When I was up, I made myself a healthy breakfast instead of choosing the Old Chicago Pizza, realizing how tired pizza made me right after I ate it the previous two nights, and knowing that I wanted good energy for the day. Then I cleaned my room, where I usually work, because it was horrendous and the energy of my messy room had been bringing me down for the past week. I felt great when my room and my space was clean. Then I showered. I enjoyed it and relaxed, feeling the warm water soothe me. After that, I got myself a latte, then I started my work for Curve. Before I started work, I told myself that I would enjoy it all, and not worry about X, Y and Z that I wanted to get done & probably wouldn’t get done today. Instead I would enjoy the task at hand, as if I had nothing else I wanted to accomplish for Curve, just the task at hand. I had a great Curve day. I didn’t get everything and the world that I wanted to for Curve, but I got done what I needed to get done, plus I got time to work on something that was weighing me down. Getting more of it done felt really good. Everything else on my to do list I was able to let go of, and it felt good.
Last Friday, when I was frustrated about not being able to put the time I wanted into strengthening the Love Warrior Community & Community Bucket List (especially when both communities have picked up in energy & participation) if I began to take classes again, I found a way to tunnel and focus that frustration into something positive.
On Friday morning I created a self-made “Kickstarter” campaign to promote awareness, increase participation & to raise funds for both the Love Warrior Community & Community Bucket List, and I “Launched/published” it on Friday night. Kickstarter is a website that allows people to get funding for their creative projects, like funding to create their movie, to make their CD, to start their clothing line, to self-publish their book, to create their magazine, etc. And when someone makes a pledge they get something in return, like the finished movie. I’ve followed and supported a lot of different Kickstarter campaigns and I noticed that although it’s about raising funds to create thier project, another huge aspect of it is building their audience and getting people excited about what they’re doing.
With the Love Warrior Community & Community Bucket List growing, I don’t want to slow down in momentum, so I created my own “Kickstarter” page and I put it out to the world on Friday night. Then about 15 minutes after I had hit “publish”, I left for San Fran with my brother and we visited with my grandma, two of my aunts and some of my cousins, then we went to another cousin’s house and watched a movie & played some Wii tennis, bowling and ping pong. 🙂 We were going into the city originally to listen to a DJ, but we found out he wasn’t coming on until later than we expected, so we stayed in and still had a blast.
Originally, I wasn’t going to go out into San Fran with my brother. I had already bought the ticket, but that day, from the moment I woke up, a series of “negative” things were occurring and my stress had been building up, so I thought, “I’ll stay home tonight and work more”. But I realized that working more wouldn’t relieve my stress. So I got off from working with Curve promptly, instead of working late, then I published my “Kickstarter” page, got ready quickly before my brother came to pick me up, and then jumped into the car and went into the city. I made the conscious decision to not work, to relax and to enjoy myself and the company of others. And it felt great.
I remember when 5pm hit, I told my editor that I had to leave work promptly today and I couldn’t stay late to finish something we were working on (I don’t always work late, sometimes I get off on time, other times she lets me out early, but sometimes I do work later than scheduled) because I was heading into SF soon. And she was completely fine with it. And it felt good speaking out for what I wanted. I didn’t specifically say, “No”, when I said I needed to leave work when my “shift” ended. But it felt like a form of “No”. And sometimes saying “No” is needed. It felt good, saying “No” to others when we need to say “Yes” to ourselves.
So I left for the city, and with that action I left my computer, my work and my worries at home. I took a bus back home the next morning and it turned into a mini adventure. It reminded me of when I was traveling around the East Coast last year. I got onto various buses to find the right bus to take me back across the Golden Gate Bridge. I found it, asked if it would take me to my city, the bus driver said yes, and I got on board and had many mini wonderful naps.
When I woke up from my last nap, I realized that the bus was driving into a parking lot with a lot of other similar buses, and then I saw that no one else was in the bus, but the driver. I spoke up and the driver didn’t realize that there was anybody left in the bus. (Good thing I woke up in time!) 🙂 He gave me a transfer pass, told me where to walk to find the bus I needed, and I left the bus, walking down some random street and it felt invigorating. It was just what I needed, a little bit of exploring, some fresh air, conversation with strangers and the fun side of the unknown. Walking in a unknown part of a semi-known city, trying to get myself back to my town, interacting with strangers, it was such a huge contrast from sitting at my computer, in doors, not moving a lot and working. It felt so good.
When I got home, I continued to relax more and to enjoy the day. I got in some work, but it was a nice mixture. Also, when I got home, I saw that I received my 1st pledge for the “Kickstarter” campaign I created. A friend and colleague pledged $50, which is the highest pledge amount, and in return she’ll get all of the pledge rewards, a self-love journal, a self-love writing guide by my mom, and some other cool rewards relating to Community Bucket List & the LGBTQ community.
It was a great feeling to know that I created something and put it out there and immediately it got a good response and a few people began to share it. On Saturday I looked at Community Bucket List & I updated all of the content. Some of it was outdated because I have been putting the majority of my focus towards the Love Warrior Community. And then I made a list of blogs & online publications relating to the themes of the Love Warrior Community, of Community Bucket List and the LGBTQ community that I would contact to see if they would interview me about my “Kickstarter” campaign and the two online communities, write an article about it or have me write a guest post relating to it.
From yesterday & today, I contacted 9 people so far. From that, a few more people have been sharing the Love Warrior Community & Community Bucket List, 1 person submitted a bucket list, the Love Warrior Community & Community Bucket List Image got put on my friend’s home page of her website, Emily Marsh: Marketing & Promotions & another page of her website, I got a write up about both communities on an online LGBTQ magazine, The Fab Femme, I got in touch with a lesbian blog, What Wegan Did Next, and I’m hoping that they may interview me for their Real Life Lesbian campaign, and I got in touch with a lifestyle/entrepreneur blog — Midlife Passion that will either interview me, write an article about the two communities or will have me write a guest post.
So, my frustration and negative energy from Friday and my worries that I wouldn’t be able to put in the time and focus into further developing both communities like I wanted to actually pushed me to create a campaign that will increase awareness about both communities, that will increase participation and that will increase funds. It also forced me to update Community Bucket List & to get things more organized for both communities.
Although I’ve been in less of a self-lovey mood these past few days I have actually been focusing more on making self-love decisions for myself — because I’ve needed it even more. And experiencing a day of being extremely overwhelmed and dissatisfied with some aspects of my life, it made me take action so I wouldn’t continue to feel that way. And something great came from it.
When I get busy or overwhelmed or exhausted, I tell myself to slow down, to enjoy it and to take one step at a time. To focus on one thing at a time, so I can relax and really enjoy whatever it is I’m doing at the moment and so I can let go of everything else. It’s not always easy to let go of stress and worries, but it is doable. And sometimes I have to tell myself to let go of worries often, but as long as I catch myself, and then tell myself that it’s okay to let go of whatever thoughts for the moment, then things pan out for the better.
It’s okay to be in a negative mindset. It’s happening for a reason. It’s my job to recognize why it’s happening and then to take action to change my thoughts, my actions and my situation so I don’t repeat the negative habit that’s bringing me down.
Like my mom says in her upcoming book, Self-Love: The Only Diet That Works, our emotions are like a chest of hidden treasures, and if we go digging for them and take the time to explore them and decipher their meanings, they will reveal a lot of great information that we can use to make the most loving decisions for ourselves. Our emotions reveal to us what we need: what we need to work through, what we need to let go of and what we need more of.
Emelina Minero writes for Curve Magazine and EDGE Media Network. She’s working on launching her own progressive LGBTQ publication. She’s a Connection Connoisseur, Networking Maven and Self-Love Enthusiast. She founded Community Bucket List and co-founded the Love Warrior Community. Find her on Twitter, @CommKr8veWriter.
Go here to submit your 10 minute self-love writing: Share your writing with the Self-Love Warrior group blog!, here to see a list of all self-love writing submitted for this event & to get a run down of what’s going on & here to join the event via the Official Facebook Event page & to get updates on the 10 Minute Self-Love Writing Challenge.