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Everything posted by JillianZ

  1. Faune, I completely agree with you on the early darkness! I need it to settle in and wind down in the evening. It is as if the darkness gives me permission to be done for the day and relax. When it is light and bright out later, it feels like a beam of responsibility shining on me to get out there and enjoy it. Growing up in the frozen tundra that is Wisconsin, I especially feel the pressure to take advantage of the nice weather when you can. Now that I am living in the much more summer forward state of Georgia, I feel it would be nearly impossible to take advantage of all the sun and warmth this southern climate has to offer. When the weather and the seasons align with my mood I feel in harmony and like everything is "ok". When I am tired and the sun is shining and it is gorgeous out, I feel like something is wrong and how I am feeling is not "ok". Then I self-induce feelings of guilt and unworthiness. I am also currently going through the process of healing from an Eating Disorder. I have made it farther in this process, this time, than I ever have before. In fact, I am past the point where I usually turn around and run back to my old disordered ways because healing feels too hard. But being at this point is terrifying and it feels like it is killing me, especially with spring arriving and summer indefinitely right behind it. Being uncomfortable and unsure in this new body that I don't recognize and don't enjoy is amplified by the season of summer and obligation of "fun in the sun". I just want to hide in the dark until I am healed. I almost stopped my post there, but in accredit to all of the self inquiry and inner work I have done so far, I know this is not the answer and it is not the end. How I feel is ok, no matter what the weather forecast is like that day- I can rest, learn, and heal in the dark and I can also live, grow, and connect in the light.
  2. I love this quote and how it fosters self acceptance. I have recently gotten in to shadow work. And I am over the dark side of the moon about it! I am sure I have come across the concept before at some point in my journey, but is resonating with me now. And I am enthralled with the idea, simplicity and brilliance of accepting all of ourselves for who we are, including the so called negative parts. There is honestly no other choice, if we want to be whole. Yet we spend so much of our lives denying and hiding who we don't want to be instead of embracing who we are. I have just began to dive in to this vast ocean of shadows, but I already feel my self acceptance and self love over flowing! It has also helped me to accept and appreciate others in my life for who they are and love them with all of their so called flaws rather than trying to change them. Recognizing my own shadow in the reflection of others allows me to accept, embrace, and appreciate all of us for who we truly are.
  3. I have never been a fan of winter. In fact I moved from the comfort of my home town and away from my friends and family because of the winter. After growing up in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, as soon as I became aware living somewhere warm and sunny (for more than a few short months out of the year) was an option, I was gone! Even living now in Savannah, GA where it is more than hot and less than cold most of the year and I am able to spend more time at the beach than hibernating indoors, a winter season does still exist. And this year, probably for the 1st time ever in my life, I embraced it. Rather than putting up my typical fight to stop all things summer from ending I welcomed the change. I didn't have the strength to fight Mother Nature as hard as I usually do (even though she wins every time). So I leaned into all that the winter season had to offer. I think I needed the break more than I knew and I may have leaned a little too far into the indulgent seasonal foods and acceptable lower levels of activity. Even though I was probably long over due for this winter renewal I am still having a hard time accepting it and letting myself fully experience all the season has to offer. I am truly in joy being home and getting cozy and turning inward. But then all that societal conditioning and outward influence creeps in telling me I should be doing more and getting ready for spring and summer and that I'll be sorry I spent so much time just being in winter when they get here. And now that I have immersed myself so deeply in the dark, quiet, heavy winter how will I ever climb out to embrace the light and warmth of the sun?
  4. JillianZ


  5. I would love to learn more about how to mindfully abandon my conditioned thought patterns and perception of things. I feel the pandemic had this effect on me without my awareness of it happening at the time. I have always been a creature of habit and routine, very set in my ways, resistant to change and even just down right stubborn. But with the forced shut down, losing my ability to support myself and having no choice but to face the uncertainty, I eventually embraced it. I began trying new things and stopping doing others that I may never have without the help of the pandemic. I also started seeing things differently- slower, simpler and more valuable. When the pandemic 1st hit home for me I was a raging ball of anger and fear! By the end I was calm, peaceful and at ease. Acceptance is something I am currently, and have been working on for quite sometime, especially in relation to my physical body and personal goals and achievements (or lack there of). I accepted the reality of the pandemic because I had to. I wish I could accept the reality of the things I actually want to.
  6. Thanks again Gillian for sharing that great quote. I truly like the idea of living the questions. I've always been a fan of fully experiencing and embracing life- the good, the bad, and the ugly. And as of recently, (and something positive I can personally attribute to the pandemic) is my new found ability to embrace and lean into the unknown and trusting that everything will be ok- even if I don't know how or when. I am not yet completely unwavering in this belief, but it is something I wouldn't have even consider before. And I know that I want that acceptance and surrender in my relationship. I have consciously made the choice to be in it- good, bad, and ugly. But the negative thoughts are still there. I literally feel like there is a monster inside of me that will not go away until I give him want he wants and end my relationship. And as soon as I do, he will look at me and laugh and say "Ha!Ha! look what I made you do, you fool". But then I think to myself, is this monster really my intuition telling me this truly isn't right. And I am the one making it appear as a monster because I want the relationship to be right??? How can I be this out of touch from my true feelings and detached from my own heart that I can't tell what is real or right vs. wrong? To answer your question, my only current practices at this time are my daily meditations and journaling. I have previously contemplated hypnosis. I believe I made a post asking for any insight on the topic awhile back. But I never really looked into it until earlier today when I put an inquiry in to someone I came across in one of those round about cosmic ways
  7. Thank you so much for sharing your personal experiences with me. I do believe I know what you are describing. There have been times where I feel something inside me shift or release and things become clear and I see things differently and feel lighter and hopeful and inspired....for awhile. I have had many "Aha!" moments when everything makes sense and I feel I have it all figured out. I feel like I can let go and move on and do things differently and better and never look back! But especially in this particular circumstance things are great for awhile and then for no seemingly legitimate reason these thoughts come back with a vengeance, almost as if they will not stop until the relationship is destroyed, even though I do not believe that is what I truly want. But at the same time they've got to be coming from somewhere for some reason... And that is where I am driving myself crazy trying to figure it out in the level of the mind. I have never been very in tune with my heart or true feelings or emotions and have always led my way with my had which has been sad but lonely. I have been so guarded to others and the outside world I don't even know hoe to let myself in, not truly, not all the way.
  8. Hi Gillian! Thank you so much for reaching out! That is very heart warming. When I 1st read your email I was eager to give you an update and excited and that the idea of receiving some of your wise and useful feedback. I wanted to update you that I am on the last leg of the teaching certification course in primordial sound meditation from the Chopra Center and am excited and proud and terrified all at the same time! I have no idea what I am going to do with this certification when completed. Becoming a meditation teacher was never me direct intent, it was just the next opportunity I took when it came up. I have already signed up for the Ayruveda health certification course that follows and am very interested in that personally, but again not sure how I am going to fashion these certifications into a new career. I am a bit skeptical and extremely uncertain of how this is all going to play out for me. But what I am aware of, is that the old me would have never even started on this journey without a direct route to the finish line and not knowing the end result. I am just taking the next step as it comes and trusting the universe will lead me to my dharma. Having said that, I still battle doubts and fear the unknown. I'm just not letting it stop me! That was my 1st response to your request for an update. After rereading the posts above regarding comfort zone, another challenge I have been dealing with came up. When I first posted about being out of my comfort zone vs. forcing something that isn't meant to be, I was referring to my relationship with my boyfriend. The issue is he has 2 children and I am not the motherly nurturing type and have spent my whole life avoiding the little monsters ;) So it is quite a struggle for me to be a part of their lives, on so many levlels. I am ashamed to admit that I am also jealous of how good of a father he is, not having had the best relationship with my own. We've had many discussions about it, even took a break for awhile. We know we want to be together. And I am willing to try and put in the effort. And I have and I do and sometimes it is great! But the majority of times it is a true struggle for me internally and I can keep my thoughts and opinions to myself and grin and bear it, but it is not easy and definitely not natural for me. I have identified where my ego is involved and have acknowledged my own personal issues with the situation and have consciously chosen to let all my old beliefs go and participate willingly as a part of this family. But my question is, having made the conscious choice to let go, how do I actually let go?? (this question applies to so much in my life) Because the negative thoughts haven't stopped I just don't listen to them anymore. Things were good for awhile. Slow but steady progress was being made and I felt connected. But recently, perhaps due to the holidays or perhaps due to my boyfriend seemingly insecure as a father (there is a stepdad in the picture) and needing to do more and spend more, I have been feeling very insecure and disconnected from him and the seemingly family unit we were trying to create. It is such a touchy subject with him and it feels like we have already talked it to death that I don't know how to bring it up anymore or approach it in a way he doesn't automatically get defensive. The bottom line is the kids always win. So I have been having this same internal struggle, push through the discomfort or accept what isn't meant to be?? Its like you said above, I cannot discern my intuition from my egos thoughts and old habits of self sabotage. Thank you so much again for reaching out! Hope all is well with you and Happy New Year! Gratefully, Jillian
  9. I have immense gratitude for you Gillian and this whole forum. It is so amazing to have a place to go to ask anything and get real responses from real people! It is a great place to connect, learn, and grow. It is comforting and at the same time can nudge you out of your comfort zone with its inspiring offerings and new opportunities. I am truly grateful to have this resource at my finger tips and incredibly appreciative of the quality and timeliness of all the responses I have received. Immensely grateful, Jillian
  10. Hello! I have a question. Not sure if this was the best place to post it, but here goes How can you tell the difference between just being out of your comfort zone vs. forcing something that just isn't meant to be? Gratefully, JZ
  11. Thank you Jeff! That was incredible and very helpful information! I have been trying to go with the flow more and surrendering to the universe. It is what I truly want, but as you noted, unfortunately we are conditioned otherwise. Understanding that everything has its season and that everything is unfolding for me just as it should, on the timeline of the universe, not that of my mind or my ego has helped me accept things as they are and not try to force or rush anything. But again, in this day and age can be difficult to remember. Thank you for pointing this out in such a universal way. Gratefully, JZ
  12. Thank you Gillian! I appreciate the thoughts you shared, very interesting! I did recently engage in an online course which is something I have never done before and spending that much time in front of a computer is definitely new to me. Something I am not a fan of and still getting used to. I can feel my eyes becoming tired and worn out some days, but did relate that this may be happening to my body as well. Thank you for bringing this to my attention! Your 2nd point is interesting as well. I don't believe it applies to my current situation, but I can definitely see how certain environments can be energy drainers! All good thinks to be mindful of! I also feel my ego may have something to do with it (because what doesn't he try to get into). This new feeling of ease and calm that I am feeling, as wonderful as it is, also has me feeling guilty or like I should be doing more, that just resting in being and being present isn't enough. Im sure this is from many false beliefs drilled into me by society's view that you have to work harder longer faster just to make it, and do more and be more, and no pain no gain.
  13. Hello! I am wondering where is the energy!?? Physical get up and go movin' & groovin' energy! I have been living a moderate to fairly healthy lifestyle for awhile and have recently kicked it up a few notches to pretty darn good! I am meditating 2xs per day at 30min + I have an active lifestyle which includes daily yoga practices, I am very mindful about what I eat and have recently incorporated additional superfoods and nutrient rich foods in the form of a daily smoothie, I also took a tip from one of the 5 mindful musings and ordered the Triphala supplement, I am getting plenty of rest as well. So with all of this good stuff going on, I am still not feeling the energy levels I would like. What I am noticing is my stress level is way down and I am more present, calm, and at ease in general than I have ever been (which is incredible and I am incredibly grateful for!). I am also noticing that I am getting much more sleep than ever before, I used to have trouble sleeping and never felt rested. Now I am falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer and feeling that deep full body rest, however I am also feeling like I could sleep all day or nap at anytime of the day which is something I could never do before. Is there some key energy element I am missing or something I am doing wrong? Gratefully, JZ
  14. JillianZ

    Day 1

    Allowing myself to focus solely on my breath is empowering, to give all of my attention to myself and let go of everything else it that moment. It is also comforting knowing it is ok to take that time and nothing bad is going to happen. This impacts my state of mind by immediately generating a sense of calm and peace. It provides a pause to just be and not feel the need to deal with any outside distractions, while providing an opportunity to become centered before you do need to face a situation allowing for a more balanced response rather than a rushed, defensive, or involuntary reaction.
  15. Thank you Gillian! The only practice I am using is my awareness and then trying to bring myself back to where I need to be. I actually think my awareness is pretty good, its the action that I am challenged by. I can recognize when I have been thinking about something that is not happening now and tell myself "stop, that doesn't matter now." But eventually I find myself there again. I'd like to prevent that from happening or at least less often. The physical awareness you mention is interesting and something I have not paid that much attention to. Recently I did however recognize that I was feeling rather numb or indifferent at the time that a lot of really positive, and what should be exciting, things were unfolding for me. I also was having some physical pain in my body during this time that I believe was manifested by stress. It was brought to my attention that this could be my physiology trying to keep me stuck in my comfort zone by making it uncomfortable for me to move forward. This is very intriguing to me and I would like to learn more about how it is all connected, do you have any insight on this or resource recommendations? Gratefully, JZ
  16. Does anyone have any tips or personal practices they use to help stay present? I want to live in the now and focus on the present moment, but so often I find myself dwelling in the past or anticipating the future. Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now turned me onto this concept. It is so simple and brilliant, yet feels so impossible! And for the Ego I am well aware it is there and how it is constantly trying to sabotage my true self and my new positive choices, trying to keep me stuck in my comfort zone and in a place of fear rather than love. But again, even with the awareness, the struggle is overcoming the ingrained false beliefs and old egoic ways that have taken such a strong hold. If anyone has any advice or helpful hints to offer on any of this I would greatly appreciate it!
  17. Thanks for the tip on Triphala! I could use an energy boost!
  18. I love the idea of compassion and aspire to be a truly compassionate being. Learning self compassion has made a great deal of difference for me in my every day life and I could not have gotten this far on my self growth journey without putting it into practice, and often. Giving to others and being generous and helpfulI is something I deeply enjoy doing and look forward to finding opportunities to do so. However, I do struggle with the non-judgemental aspect of it. I can show kindness and generosity and help others and be glad to do so, but not without a brief moment of judgement crossing my mind. And something I find extremely curious about myself (and I assume in some way is related to my ego) is that it feels more natural and less judgmental on my end, to help strangers or acquaintances than people that are close to me.
  19. I look forward to that as well! Thanks for everything! I will peruse the other topics in the forum.
  20. Gillian, I can't thank you enough for your helpful advice and suggestions! I checked out some of the sites you recommended and can't wait to dig in deeper. Other than our names, it is so ironic that you recommended that book to me, because my best friend who is on a similar self growth journey as I am, is reading that and just recommended it to me as well! I am so grateful to have come across this website. In addition to all of the incredible resources it has to offer, I feel a special connection and appreciation for the informative conversations I have had with you. Thanks again for everything! Enjoy your wknd and Happy 4th of July!
  21. Hi Gillian Thank you for the response and encouraging feedback! Can I ask how you got in to freelance writing and what if any kind of professional training or education you have? I enjoy writing as well, but have no professional experience or formal training. I would love to do something similar to what you do here. I do not know all that your job entails but the communication aspect of it intrigues me. I am also interested in the voiceover industry, specifically narrating audiobooks. I have been looking into coaching and training programs for that but have been hesitant to commit. I really appreciate the advice you offered about not needing to know everything in order to take a step towards something. I think I really needed to hear that, Thank you. At the moment, I am reading The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle. I absolutely love his ideas and want more than anything to be able to live in the present and not dwell in the past or anticipate the future, however it is definitely easier read than done! I have quite the over active mind and stubborn ego that I have managed to reel in, but still have a long way to go to feel in control. My favorite meditations are those of Deepak Chopra. I am currently participating in his latest 21 day meditation series and today is day 8. I just finished listening to an audiobook by Rachel Hollis titled Girl Stop Apologizing. Her story is very inspirational to me. I appreciate that she admits the things most people won't, things I thought I was the only one who felt. I also do yoga with Julia Marie everyday via Amazon prime video! Thanks again for the helpful feedback and I look forward to being a mindful member of your community!
  22. Hello! My name is Jillian and I have been on a self growth journey that has been kicked into high gear in the last few months. I have gained incredible self awareness and adopted new positive habits such as meditation, journaling, and yoga. I used to consider myself a cynical skeptic who was just getting by, but now I have become mindful and discovered the power of positivity and the universe and I want more! I am a server in a restaurant and until recently was content with my job and planned to do it for the rest of my life. However, I want more. The challenge I have at the moment is I don't know what direction or where to start on a new career path. I want to do something helpful, creative, and positive that fulfills me and also helps pay the bills. I recently wrote and recorded my own meditation which was extremely rewarding. I also am in the very beginning stages of writing a book. I stumbled upon this website in my research and I love it and everything it has to offer. Id like to be involved in some kind of positive work like this. Any suggestions, advice, or guidance would be greatly appreciated! Gratefully, JZ
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