Facing Your Fears

Sometimes in life, doing the thing that scares us is necessary. I’m always hearing my favorite Youtubers say that growth happens outside of our comfort zones. And so I try to push myself to do things I’m not used to. One of the things I’ve done recently is deliver a speech at my church for the graduating class.
I was hesitant to do this at first, but I immediately thought back to my ethnic studies class I took this quarter. In the middle of our conversation about who know what, I made a note of what we were discussing and knew that it would belong in a speech. I even n though about looking into being a commencement speaker at my own graduation. Which I did look into but sighed, very relieved that the deadline had passed.
Just a few days before the ceremony for graduates at my church, I was asked to be the student speaker. I said yes and remembered that moment in my class where I was sure that what I learned that day was going to be in a speech. It’s funny how things wok themselves out the way that they need to be.
Anyway, I ended up delivering that speech in front of a pretty crowded church. Was I nervous? Yes. Did I trip, fall or pass out? No. Did I die? Again, No. It was well received and all of the people that I truly loved were so happy and proud of me for delivering it. (In case you want to read my speech, it will be posted at the end of the post!)
We so easily get into our heads about what could happen that the fear turns into one of the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park that chases us until death occurs. When it probably isn’t so bad. Most of our fears are conquerable and the more time that we spend in fear of them, the more power we give them.
I don’t really know what else I am fearful of, other than the lack of plans in my immediate future. But this year in between grad school, I intend to spend pushing myself out of my comfort zone and living life to the fullest. Besides one of the best markers of a good life is that you live with no regrets and do no harm to yourself or others.
Be free and live life the way you want to
-Joss
Congratulations class of 2018… we did it! Time has truly flown by and now, here we are, ready to cross into a new chapter of our lives. in my time here at UC Riverside, one of the lessons that has stuck out to me is that we, as children of God, are not meant to live this life alone.
I remember my first week as a freshman feeling alone and looking for a way to make new friends. With so many options to choose from, I knew I waned to find a way to get involved here at the church. And I’m glad I did. I, like many of you, have formed bonds with friends that extend beyond the church itself.
I am so grateful to have found my place in the student choir as all of you have found a place where you belong here within the community center. We are meant to take an active role in the communities that we form. To commit fully to each other in the good times and in the bad.
I have no doubt that these communities we have formed will last for years to come. And when we look back on our short time here, the moments that will remain ingrained in our hearts and minds will be those in which we shared moments of joy and happiness with one another. All of this to say thank you. Thank you to our parents, friends, and classmates for heir constant outpouring of love and support on this journey.
However our journey is far from over. We now have a commitment to an unknown future, but most importantly, a commitment to live our lives according to God’s will. And trust in His plan. Though we may not know yet where we are headed, we can continue to rely on the support of our communities, just as they rely on us.
I have faith that God has a beautiful life planned for each of us. And I wish you all the best of luck on your journeys as you continue to walk in faith on the path that God has meant for you. Once again, congratulations class of 2018 on all of your accomplishments.
Thank you.

The Year of Me (and You)

This coming Sunday, I’m graduating with my Bachelors of Arts in Creative Writing. It’s crazy to think that my time here at the school is now over. But of course life does not stop and wait for you once you have graduated.
If you can’t tell by the title, I’ve decided to shift my perspective on my gap year from one of fear to excitement. Since I’ve decided that I was going to take a gap year, I’ve been pretty afraid of what was going to happen. I let others get into my head especially regarding my finances. It’s been a huge stress currently.
I decided to change my mindset when my friends and I got to go to the nail salon together. And my friend had mentioned that this was going to be her summer. And our own summer. That immediately felt weird to admit that this would be summer. But I decided that this should also be my year. To do whatever it is that I want to do. To not be afraid of what is coming next and believing in myself and my ability to make it happen.
This is a huge undertaking, for me especially, because I think I have always been a little fearful of the things that I don’t know. And to just not worry is almost like giving my control on my life. But I think it’s necessary. Especially now.
I recently got to go to New York for the Teen Vogue summit, more on that in another post, and see my friend. She has been such a great motivator and someone that I feel really can relate to what I am doing-even if she is much older than me. Anyway, we had dinner and I told her that I’m a little terrified that I have no plan for the first time ever. And she reassured me that it’s okay and that sometimes, no plan is the best plan.
So since then, I’ve decided that I really need to change my mindset. Living in fear is not a good thing to begin with. I’m sure that just being afraid leads to less things that you can experience. And I never want to not experience my life to the fullest. Life is meant to scary, but it’s also meant to be lived according to our own terms.
So I plan to make the most of my year. To push myself out of my comfort zone and to really do as much as I can to live a life that I am excited about. I honestly can’t wait for the travel and the chance to explore the world I am in.
-Joss

Being Open to Receiving

Over the weekend, I saw this quote on my Instagram feed, “You attract what you are ready for.” I immediately resonated with this. Between the messages I’ve been getting from God and the Universe in a variety of ways and graduating from school, I’m feeling really grateful. And I’m also all ears to everything that is coming my way.
I haven’t been so consistent here on the blog the last few weeks. When it comes to school, I feel like I’ve been hitting a wall or the wall has been hitting me. Either way I am being attacked and I am just tired. Not that it’s an excuse, but in this time I did a lot of soul searching of what’s holding me back. Most of it is just fear of failing. Which at this point in my life is kind of inevitable.
Nothing about this life is guaranteed. There is no for sure outcome in where your life turns out the way that you want it to. And although there is a certain freedom in being able to create our ideal life, there is a lot of unknown. I’m still accepting the fear and I am looking for options to make my future not look so scary.
While I am working to find the life that aligns with who I want to be, which is a long way from here because there is a lot of work to be done, I am becoming more aware of what is calling my name. While on my break from the blog, I noticed a bit more people finding their way to my blog (thanks!) and I was just blown away. I’ve realized that my fear of failing at this blog is not something I need to be worrying about right now. In fact it should be something that I jump into instead.
When there are signs or opportunities that are coming your way, make an effort to pursue them. Don’t just let these opportunities go by, they came your way for a reason. Who are you to tell the universe that this is not what you want? Especially because it could lead to something much more than what it looks like.
Being open to receive is not about doing what ever comes your way, but following where your gut or the good vibes from the thing that is knocking on your door. No matter what, you lose nothing from just experiencing another slice of life’s pie.
-Joss

Questioning Social Media

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about social media. I was taken off of social media responsibilities at work and that was a huge sigh of relief. I didn’t like going in and posting. I didn’t like constantly feeling like the content I was posting was not good enough. Heck I don’t really post on my own social media accounts because I feel like I haven’t found a way to be authentic about it.
Like most people, I got caught up in trying to look a certain way on social media that I was getting so frustrated that my posts where not coming out the same way. What do you mean I don’t have an instagram aesthetic? How do I get one of those? I tried really hard for a while to start curating posts like it was my job and then… I stopped.
I really just took a minute to not post on social media and I don’t know that I’ll ever go back to the way I was. Especially because I started to see my life in a totally different way. I was jealous of the way everyone else’s life looked compared to mine.
Now more than ever we are bombarded with the constant pressure to stay in the loop and to be on the pulse of everything. Our thinking went from enjoying the moment to “doing it for the snap” or to validate that it actually happened.
When did we decide that it was better for others to see what we are doing than for us to have fun in the moment that we are in? Did we forget that after this, that moment is gone?
I forget. All the time. When I get home the first thing I want to do (other than run to my bathroom) is just sit and watch youtube videos. Yeah, they mainly help me destress and what not. But then I get sucked into it likew we all do and I spend hours staring at my phone when I could be spending time with my family. Or getting some exercise in. We complain so much about the time that we dont have but we are not willing to acknowledge the time we waste behind a screen.
All of this to say that I am going to take down my facebook page and more than likely migrate back onto my personal instagram. It’s not worth it any more. I promised myself that I would be 100% myself. So what does that say about me if I am constantly trying to post on social media when I rather be spending time writing for not only you but for me?

Failed Attempt at Avoiding Burning Out

With the end of the school year just around the quarter, I’ve finally accepted that I am burning out. However I did not expect to be this burnt put, especially as I am just approaching midterms for this quarter. Seriously, I’ve been wishing for classes to be cancelled every week. But this past Monday was the worst bout of resistance that I’ve had all quarter.

I actually did a lot in the morning to start my day off right: I ate breakfast, meditated, did yoga, read and did my normal skin care routine. By the time I was out the door, I was feeling so good and ready for the day. I normally am dreading my first class, but I was feeling so good that I walked into that class feeling amazing.
While I was at work, waiting for my shift to end and to go to my next class I noticed that I felt the need to cry. And not just a few tears, but like a whole session to just get everything out. The last time that I felt this way was when I was stressed from my sorority meetings. It was that level of crying.
In that moment, I realized just how much I hated my class and did not want to go. Because in all reality, I can’t handle any more than the two classes I really need to take. Not that this dance class is a lot of work. But it’s requirements are taking up mental space that I don’t have.
Because I had no idea what to do about this class, I looked to a few friends for advice. Then I realized how much I look to other people for validation to do the things I need to do. Even after my friends assured me that I wasn’t being a wimp- my own thoughts- for just not going to my dance class, I still worried about my parents judging me for not going to my class. Even though I didn’t really explain everything fully, just hearing them supporting my decision to not worry about that class anymore was a load off my shoulders.
I should have changed this class when I first thought about switching classes. And I should have listened to myself when I realized that this was not the class that I wanted to take. Even if we don’t want to admit it, the initial feelings or gut reactions we get about things are usually right. And if we aren’t listening to them, the universe will remind us that we should.
I know that listening to our gut, or intuition, or feelings, is not necessarily the easiest or most feasible option, especially if you have limited options, but it usually is the most rewarding. Life is full of complicated decisions and events that make life the beautiful mess that it is. But if we listen to our gut, our lives will be a lot more balanced and more fulfilling. Or maybe even less stressful. But we won’t know unless we try.
It’s a lesson that I am working on learning and I look forward to getting better at recognizing what my gut is telling me.
Do you listen to your gut?
-Joss

Living Our Imagined Lives

The other day I was reading a book for class and the main character talked about imagined lives. You know exactly what I mean. Those daydreams and fantasies you have of your life. I love to escape to my imagined life, mostly because it is aligned with my best version of myself.

And while normally this would be shrugged off, I think these imagined lived are important. The person we usually imagine ourselves to be is a better version of ourselves. We’re confident, bold and unafraid. For me, my “best” imagined self is at a healthy weight. This version of us is the person we are meant to become. Why? Because this is what most of us work toward.

Whether we know it or not our spirit or souls wants these things because we are meant for them. We are the only ones that are able to give us what we truly want. However, we are our greatest roadblock.

When I got my tarot reading, I was told that the reason I am not getting things I want is because I’m in my way. Why? Because I don’t believe the possibility or even the slightest chance that it will work. I bet a lot of people do the same.

So why not just believe, even for a moment? Try asking yourself what can go wrong or right? We can even start by writing affirmations multiple times like Sam Brown does. Or we can just tell it to ourselves daily. Believing these imagined lives can happen is the only  part of the answer. Hard work and dedication really make the imagined lives come to life.

So start believing and commit to putting in the work. I know I need to.

What can you do to make your imagined life a reality?

-Joss

A Little More Self Lovin’

Hey guys!
If you haven’t noticed, this little corner of the internet got a new name. So welcome to Living Life Unplanned.
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about life after college and then panicking shortly after. This is the first year, of my life, that I have no plan. To say it scares me, is stating the obvious. Which led to me changing the name of the blog.
Anyway, one of the things that I’ve picked up on is giving myself some love. I’ve always struggled with being nice to myself and just understanding what it is I really need. I’ve had the really cool pleasure of talking with Chelsea (@thenewagemystic on Instagram) when she did a tarot read for me. (Side note: things will get a little more “woo” because I find it super interesting). One of the biggest takeaways that I had was that I need to focus on is giving myself some self love.
I’ve really gotten into the habit of doubting myself and just questioning everything that I do. Which leads me to really getting in too deep with my emotions. Not to say that being emotional is bad, but I let these thoughts of doubt allow me to feel as though I am not enough.
So I started to make shifts in the way that I talk to myself. It was hard at first, but now I have gotten a lot better. I realized that my self talk, especially when I am under some sort of pressure, would slip into telling me that I’m not good enough in a variety of ways. The hard part of this is to stop the thought and say to yourself that the negative self talk is a lie. That you are good enough.
It’s become really easy to say, now especially since it’s trending, that we can be a “potato” or that we are a “trash” person. Even if it is a joke, I think there is a hidden truth behind using these words. While we may think that these words are harmless, they feed into the negative thoughts that we often think of ourselves.
If your friend was staying that they were a “trash” person for not texting you back in a timely matter, even if you know that they are a busy person, would you let what they say about themselves slide? I wouldn’t- I would negate that instantly and remind them that they are awesome, even if they don’t text me back. So why not do this for ourselves?

We are our toughest critic and yet we are expected to be our first friend. Let’s try bringing down the negative self talk and go from there.

Baby steps…
Joss