Meditative Monday Mindfulness – 11.5.18

Good morning, readers!

 

I’m super proud of myself. Wanna know why? I managed to get to bed at a decent hour, after doing homework and things for the podcast, woke up at 4:30 a.m., and got my ass to the pool for open swim. I know, I know, 4:30 a.m. is crazy early, but I desperately need to be back on a regular workout schedule.

After about thirty-five minutes of swimming this morning, I spent a good fifteen minutes in the dry sauna.  I really enjoy the heat of a sauna, especially after a workout. Your muscles get a nice, relaxing blast of heat and the restorative benefits are pretty great. The feeling in the dry sauna reminds of me a hot yoga session – except you aren’t doing a series of poses. I like to sit with myself, in silence, and roll my neck and shoulders gently as I enter meditative thought.

I’m not particularly social in the mornings, so it’s a bonus that by the time I get to the sauna, that I’m the only one there. This makes it easy to meditate. I closed my eyes and let the thoughts flow. In two weeks, I will be thirty-two years old. The past few years have been very formative for me as a young professional and young man. I feel like when you enter your thirties, you truly enter your adulthood. I decided this morning that as I push forward with any personal goals, projects, or career moves, that I need to keep it light. It’s amazing, the amount of pressure you can put on yourself without realizing the true weight it exerts.

I spent the majority of my fifteen minutes in the 120-degree heat processing how I accomplish this: Take baby steps and go forth with confidence. Not putting too much pressure on myself if something proves to be more difficult than planned. Being as supportive as I can be to everyone supporting me. And remembering to be patient. What is meant to be, will be.

I plan on starting every Monday this way, so I can keep myself on track throughout the week. It’s easy to get caught up in the crazy, maybe sharing these little blurbs will help some of you remain centered and focused too.

 

Have a great Monday, everyone, and a gorgeous week 🙂

 

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It’s Been 3 Years!

Gays in the Life turned three years old yesterday. Can you believe that? I was listening to one of my favorite podcast this week when I found myself triggered. You see, the conversation centered around how perfectionism could be the cause of procrastination or the reason some people never go after their goals. Needless to say, The Friend Zone podcast struck a chord and it got me thinking about what growing the Gays in the Life platform has taught me. I suffered some major writer’s block this summer and wasn’t as productive as I would have liked to be. Large part of that was due to me being unable to get out of my head. Here are a few items that have contributed to both the darkest and lightest lessons over the past few years (and especially the past few months):

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Productivity. When I started Gays in the Life I had more time and endless energy to put into ideas and content. Fast forward through a couple promotions, a busier work life, and time juggling personal projects and you’ll notice all that energy and time has gone out the window.

Today I’m slowly getting back into my groove and making time to fidget with the blog every couple days. If writer’s block is getting the best of me, I’m maintaining tasks for my side hustles or tweaking ideas to improve the GITL platform. The secret for me has been to remember the fun. Once the fun is gone, I’ll truly be doomed and none of you will see another blog post.

Next is my relationship; my marriage. Three years of diving into my marriage through the blogging medium most definitely shed some light on strengths and weaknesses – things we need to work on and things we can celebrate.  Gays in the Life has become an ever-changing blueprint for our relationship.

Going through old posts, we recognize opportunities to learn and grow beyond the lessons we’ve already shared on the site. We jump at any chance to improve below average scenarios and capitalize on shared victories. My heart dances because S and I have been able to share our experiences and paint a realistic view of what it takes to survive the early years of marriage.

Balance has been trying and tricky the last few years. I touched on it lightly at the top of the post when I mentioned having a busier work life and juggling personal projects.  Navigating my perceived lack of availability was exhausting and began to eat at my creative process. My life was evolving in other areas and keeping it all together and on track was a challenge.

Instead of getting caught up in the sludge of life I do my best to keep to the schedule and goals I set, and don’t beat myself up about missing any desired deadlines. Another helpful trick to keep your cool when you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, is to reflect on the things you did accomplish that day. A quick reminder that you aren’t completely worthless never hurt anyone – and remember, you have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce.

With all that being said, I’m happy and appreciative for how Gays in the Life continues to morph. From the early stages of focusing on content only and maintaining the basics of the site, to present day where I’m digging more into GITL social media analytics and elevated site design… I’m challenged, inspired, and feel the next phase of evolution on the horizon.

We’ve got some fun things coming your way on GaysintheLife.com and it only works with your support. So thank you all for hanging in there with us.

Cheers,

Reflect, Recharge, Repeat.

Work is just something we all have to do, and we’ve stopped fighting that fact. No one has to settle by any means, but it doesn’t have to feel like a death sentence. I’ve realized this recently whilst dealing with a mess of a scheduling issues and curveballs at the 9-to-5.

Before last week, I would come home in a drained state of mind. No activity sounded interesting and my drive to work on side projects suffered. S has always been better at managing this kind of energy. I’m so used to being upbeat that when any hint of darkness presents itself, it flourishes in no time at all. 

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I’ve been letting work consume my spirit. Good days fly by and the bad ones linger; why is that? Because in my mind there is always another version of the way a scenario could have played out. At the end of the day, if some customer is pissed or you aren’t seeing eye to eye with the boss, don’t bring that home. Who wants that under their roof? Keep the clouds outside.

I’ve been really into the following quote from RuPaul lately:

“Don’t take life too seriously and have fun. Don’t waste your time on things that your ego will try and convince you are important.”

Over the past handful of weeks I’ve dug deep into myself to work through this uncertainty. Uncertainty about whether to stay or go. Uncertainty about the person I’m morphing into in this role. Uncertainty about if I can do this and chase my dreams. Queen Uncertainty seemed to be stirring the pot and mixing a fierce trouble stew.

 

You’ve all heard me go on about work life and balancing life outside of the office. It’s taken some time – even after those previous posts – and self-reflection to really get to the bottom of that. When I come home now, I’m only focused on the positive. My focus and energy after 4:30 PM go toward my goals that need a little more nurturing, S, and our pup.

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It’s been nice not worrying about mediocre days at the office or dwelling on nonsense that I can’t truly impact in the moment. I’m in control and in the end, I know what’s next for me and that’s exciting. Banking this focus and energy has provided me the ability to laugh at a not-so-stellar day at work or elsewhere. Did I mention S thinks my moods at home have improved greatly? (laughs out loud)

So, everyone, “don’t waste your time on things that your ego will try and convince you are important.” Because wasted energy is wasted life. I know I do a great job at work, so I’m not going to sweat the little things. Passion haunts anything I’m a part of, including work, but I finally see how I need to manage that moving forward. This was a long one! Thanks for reading.

J.

3 Years A Husband.

Anniversaries happen every year, yet I’m still unsure where the time goes so quickly. “So, does being married feel any different?” I’ll ask good friends after receiving a save-the-date magnet – I know they aren’t technically married yet, but come on – or during their wedding receptions.  It’s a question we got from family and friends after our courthouse ceremony.

Being married feels no different to us and I never expected it would. We’re the same two schmoes that met in a wild and crazy bar during our college years, but sure, we’ve calmed way down in the party category. While we now have a legal title, everything feels as it did when we first became boyfriends in Fall 2011; fun and mostly light (lol).

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Remember, not all relationships are the same. Having each other and keeping up with our joint goals is enough to drive our relationship and keep us flourishing. Nine times out of ten we are on the same page when it comes to any topic within our marriage. And if we aren’t? We take some time to discuss and get to the bottom of it.

A big factor that’s been adding to our relationship recently is encouragement. We’ve always pushed each other to do our best in all aspects of life, but it became extremely important this past year and a half when we ran into challenges in the corporate world. Wishing anything for an opportunity to run away from angst and frustration, we were able to keep each other focused and sane. I’m not sure how I would make some of the decisions that come my way without S.

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We truly take each day at a time. If there were some super secret to share, believe me, I would. I can count on one hand how many fights we’ve had in our almost six years together and we won’t be adding to that number anytime soon. I will say this: Keep each other level. It’s amazing what happens when balance is present in a relationship.

We’ll see what new lesson I’ve learned when year four is upon us.

Upside Down Paschimottanasana

Tonight’s time on the mat was needed to process my rage towards the rogue button that popped off my jeans at work. I haven’t the slightest clue why I was so annoyed – but I was.

Super short story time:

The button on my jeans broke today. I’d had the pair for going on a couple weeks and had already returned and replaced a previous pair from the same brand a few weeks earlier. I wanted to adjust my shirt properly, so I took a few steps toward the men’s room mirror. Lightly tugging at that the denim, I was enraged to hear the button hitting the floor; landing inches from my feet.

Working through each pose, focusing on connecting my breathing with each movement, I decided that the little things can’t get to me like this moving forward. I was genuinely annoyed, but harboring that kind of hidden negativity can be so terrible if it simmers too long. In upside down paschimottanasana pose, I purged the last of my peeved thoughts – concluding that things are finally calming down and all I need is some rest and focus.

If you’re hanging on to some non-sense for no reason. LET THAT **** GO. Take a moment for yourself, get it together, and get ready to squash the next thing that gets under your skin.

I’m usually following a video on Tim Senesi’s YouTube channel if I’m not going through Bikram poses. Tonight’s session:

Be easy, everyone!