Happy Friday!

I woke up at 5 am this morning, and couldn’t go back to sleep. 🙂 This has been happening all week and has to do with both Daylight Savings and the US elections. For the first time this week, though, as I lay awake, listening to the beeping and grinding noises of the loud construction vehicles, I felt happy. I’m hopeful about the future, I feel like things are turning a corner. I also was happy to hear the construction noises, which was another sign of things trying to go back to normal. Constant city construction work in my part of town was totally normal pre-COVID.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Day of the Dead and only 2 days left before Election Day!

Can’t believe it’s nearly Election Day. It’s been a crazy four years, and no idea what will happen. I was feeling more pessimistic a few weeks ago, but regardless of the outcome I don’t understand why I’m feeling stressed.

As an immigrant, I can’t vote in this country. I’ve never voted since I’ve spent all of my adult life in the US. Folks are saying nothing will change regardless of who wins, but for some reason it really feels like it matters.

It may be time for me to say goodbye to the US if it becomes increasingly too painful to stay. It’s been a difficult four years, to say the least. Only time will reveal the truth.

On a lighter note, I dressed up as one of my artistic heroes this Halloween: Frida Kahlo. Amazing, inspiring person, what an incredible artist!

Meh. :)

This should have been a great week riding off some really good news from last week. Work was more manageable than usual, and I’ve discovered a love of The Great British Baking Show. My sleep quality has been a lot better as a result.

But my brain is just mush and rather numb from the stress of the past few months. It’s resting from caring too much about everything and being too wound up. I could do with a nice beach, a sea or an ocean, some good food and some books. I can see the giant beach hat and sunglasses and infinite number of naps in my mind. So meh. 🙂

Bright and Sunny Monday

Spectacular, bright and sunny Monday today. Brought a little bit of peace with it. On a day like this, you can almost forget everything raging and breaking in the world right now. Breathe it in, lovely warm afternoon sun streaming through the window. Reminds me of lazy summer afternoons from when I was a kid and summer vacation felt boring and long.

I hope everyone is doing okay and had a decent start to the week. Hugs.

Peekaboo! New Release! :)

Really excited I was able to release this track today:

This song started as an idea that sprung from a conversation with a friend on attachment theory. Soon after, one of my best friends suggested that I take an inner child journaling course with her. This set up the space in my mind to look back in my life. My grandmother passed away during the second week of the course, and I finished writing the song as a tribute to her unconditional love and my childhood. Enjoy!

Hello, Insomnia…

Not the first time I’ve found myself lying awake in bed unable to sleep recently, frustrated beyond measure partly at the negatives in my life, but mostly at not being able to unwind enough to get the sleep and rest I desperately need. This the first period in my life I’ve ever struggled with sleep like this. I’m a light sleeper so noises and lights will wake me up easily, and I need the temperature to be right as well, but I’m usually so tired that I can fall asleep really quickly.

My sense of humor still prevails (which I’m so thankful for!), but I’m still angry at people who continue to cause pain in my immediate life. I picked up Fred Luskin’s book, Forgive For Good, a few years ago. It’s a great book that provides practical, actionable tips on forgiveness as a practice. But, like good communication, forgiveness has to start with a commitment to let things go. 🙂 I’m not ready yet.

I want life to assert balance right now. I want Takers to suffer, and I want karma to slap wrongdoers upside the head. Today, I’m not in the mood for acceptance though that worked really well last week, haha. 🙂 Today, I want to see karma in action against those who crush folks below them without compassion. Today, I want to see people pay for the pain they have caused, both involuntarily and on purpose. Entitled, spoiled, bratty privileged people hurt because of their ignorance and callous lack of awareness, as much as they hurt to preserve their place on the totem pole. I want them to look at reality and understand it, develop a real knowledge and awareness of it. One way to do that is reactions that are equal to their actions. Did you lie to gain your wealth? I want you to lose it all and then some to make sure the point is made. Did you bully, hurt and steal ideas from people to get up the corporate ladder? I want you stuck in limbo for the rest of your life experiencing pain as a direct cause, and I want to see you learn and grow from that pain and realization.

I’ve watched amazing friends and family members suffer a lot unfairly in life. And I’ve watched terrible people make it and achieve their dreams. I’m a proactive, type A person, so part of my anger stems from the fact that I can’t teach anyone to do the “right” thing. I can’t change anyone, their evolution can only be driven by them. The best I can do is pay it forward. I’m lucky for what I have right now, maybe focus my energy on people who have less? I can try and help when I can’t right the wrongs in this world by getting angry. Acceptance and forgiveness are the best route to peace right now when so many things are out of my control.

Life is unfair. There’s no getting around it. But what about balance? Is that something I can hope for? What about accountability and consequences for bad actors?

Hello, calm. Writing helps me process emotions really well, so this was great. I’m yawning, so hopeful I’ll fall asleep as soon as I go back to bed. 🙂

Take care, peeps, hope you are all well. I’m rooting for you.

Heat, Pressure, Release

I did yoga this afternoon at home, thinking it was in the 80s outside because that’s what the forecast said yesterday. I felt like I need to center my mind to make it feel like a Sunday and just stretch my tense muscles out. Turns out it was about 100 F. No wonder I felt like I’d done a hot yoga class instead.

Last week was a lot in all kinds of ways, but I was able to find a way to assert my boundaries and enjoy what I got out of it. I wrote a polite and constructive but firm email stating that work was starting to feel insane to my boss and the CEO of the company on Tuesday. This lead to a good meeting with them and me then creating a spreadsheet with all my major tasks last week (I really took it to the next level of detail, down to calculating an estimate of how many hours I’d spent on emails). Turns out I’d spent 71 hours working last week, and that’s not counting random calls, chats and requests from clients and colleagues, or reading about the industry and our clients. I’m really hoping this leads to better conversations where the executive team actually takes us seriously when we say we’re overwhelmed and don’t have time for any additional low priority ad hoc requests. I hope it leads to thoughtful discussions around where we can improve how we spend our time so our work feels more meaningful and we have the time to actually have a life outside of our jobs. We are not robots, Silicon Valley. This should be particularly obvious with a pandemic raging, climate change turning weather insane, and just the world being in a state of chaos.

Calmly taking charge of expressing myself was a boon. It released a lot of the angst and tension I’d been feeling, and was a gift for that reason. Every source of frustration is also an opportunity to set your boundaries, express your needs, give the other person the chance to help you or meet you half way, and negotiate. All good things, without getting destructive either with your thoughts or in terms of the way you express anger or frustration. Good for me to remember and try to practice when I can.

Another step towards growth last week for me was trying to re-frame things not working out as opportunities for something else. 🙂 This is a fun one, and I’m usually pretty good at it but there’s been too much external pressure and breakage lately for me to manage right away. This has taken a toll on some of my abilities and strategies to stay resilient, and I’ve had to just sit with the negative emotions and accept them. They are also important, and life has ups and downs.

Some friends of mine wanted to catch up yesterday at a restaurant, for example, but bailed as the conditions were bad in the city and they changed their plans. I was definitely sad I wouldn’t see them at first, but also got to cook a delicious dinner with fresh ingredients, finish my errands without rushing, and work on music in the evening. I actually loved having that time to myself after a crazy week at work. We had planned to catch up again today, but the air quality is terrible in the city. We’re doing a video chat instead, and I’m really grateful this is an option with modern technology. I can’t imagine what this kind of a pandemic would have been like 30 years ago without Zoom/Skype/Google. A second example, today, it was really hot, but I got to do a hot yoga class at home without paying for the studio time nor having to deal with bad feet smells. 🙂

Happy Wednesday :)

I had a genuinely good day yesterday, and was happy. 🙂 Some of my work projects are winding down, I gave pointed, critical feedback to executives at work about some major work overload issues that were affecting the entire company. My feedback was (at least on the surface) received well, which was a good feeling.

I was also able to provide all the information needed for a new contact at a new branch we’re launching during a call, and could really see how much my knowledge about our product has grown. It was a really good feeling to be able to help them out with every question they had during the call without having to say, “let me get back to you on that one.”

Spent some time relaxing, singing and working on a new song after what felt like ages. Hoping for a peaceful end to the week, and so excited about the 3 day weekend!

Take care, peeps. I hope you are all staying safe and well!

Pathway To Peace Course

A close friend of mine suggested I do a writing course with her called “Pathway to Peace” a few weeks ago. It was a four week course, and this past week was the final week of the course. It was an amazing experience, and I turned a couple of the writing prompts into songs.

The final assignment was writing a sacred letter to your younger self. I had plenty to write, but here were the three most important points I walked away with for my past and future self:

  1. Maintain the belief that you are worthy. Everything in life is a process, and believing in your worth is not something I take for granted. But for me, it is essential and deserves time and effort.
  2. Prioritize your health as being critically important. I learned some tough lessons early, and ignoring what your body needs means you’re too broken to show up for the stuff that matters if you don’t listen. And by then it’s much harder, if even possible, to fix the problem.
  3. Be true to yourself. Cliche, but so true. Trying to force yourself to become someone else version of what’s right for you will leave you feeling empty and drained. I’m really flawed, but I also have good things to offer. If I ignore that completely, everyone will miss out on the good stuff. 🙂

Musings for a Saturday. The air finally cleared later today, and I’m grateful for it. I’m happy I can finally think clearly and don’t have a burning sensation in my throat. 🙂