• Speaking My Mind

    Whack-A-Mole

    One day I will have it all: A bountiful, dynamic, creative career, and a satisfying, secure, love life. That day is not today though. 

    Today, I feel like I’m playing whack-a-mole. For months I was stressed about my professional life and not worried about my romantic life at all. Now, my professional life is flowing, and my romantic life has been torched to the ground and then pulverized for good measure.

    I’ve become a little numb to the devastation of my relationship. This is both good and bad…good because I’m able to function relatively normally at work, with my family, and with friends. It’s bad because my feelings aren’t really being addressed since I opt to distract myself, thus this numbness has been hampering my creativity.

    So…below is a little check-in with myself based on my breakup-recovery checklist from a few weeks ago.

    How to Bounce Back from a Breakup

    1. Keep applying for jobs. I know, this is probably the most eye-roll-inducing item on the list considering “applying to jobs” is all that I’ve done since May. I will land a job soon though, I’m positive of it. I did land a job! It’s fantastic!
    2. Clean my room and the spare room, which is essentially a disastrous extension of my room because it’s filled primarily with my own belongings. I don’t need that much shit! If most of it was thrown out, I wouldn’t even notice. Plus, by organizing my space, I am more prepared to move out. I did organize a little bit…but this is still a huge “to do.”
    3. Get a haircut and paint my nails. Sure, they’re not necessarily transformative tasks, but I am well overdue for a haircut and painting my nails would make me feel fancy, which is important. I want to feel good about myself. I did get a haircut, but I never painted my nails. 
    4. Plan a weekend trip, then actually follow-through on it. It’ll be something to look forward to, which I definitely need. I’ve been doing my best to plan small outings with friends on the weekend. It’s definitely been helpful.
    5. Lean on the friends that I have during this time of healing. Yes, but more importantly, I need to allow myself to grieve.
    6. When I get a job, fearlessly put myself out there, both professionally and casually. Perhaps I can make some new friends through work. I get along with my coworkers really well! We plan to go to a Thai meditation center together next week.
    7. Finish reading Don Quixote because I’ve been meaning to finish it for over a year, plus it’s hilarious, which I definitely need in my life right now. I haven’t finished this book, but I’ve finished about three or four other books. This is still a work in progress.
    8. Resume reading my chakra book so I can begin to create chakra yoga classes. That will be a fulfilling project to work on and to share with my students. I haven’t done this. 
    9. Do guided meditations for a few weeks to establish the habit of meditating. Meditation is medicine. I did it for a bit but my meditation habit continues to be inconsistent. 
    10. Find something weekly to get excited about and to look forward to. This can be something as simple as treating myself to a nice meal or trying a new class at the gym. Yes…I’ve accomplished this. 
    11. Free-write daily to alleviate my burdensome thoughts. Express myself and my creativity! I have been journaling…it helps.
    12. Until I get a job, find ways to engage with people. This can be by making small talk with someone while I wait in line at the register or by offering someone I pass a compliment. Lately, I’ve been engaging with people primarily at work. 

    One thing I’d like to add to my list is below:

    13. Allot time to grieve weekly.

    Do you have any breakup recovery tips? Let me know in the comments below!

    Have a splendid weekend 🙂

    xx Vic

     

  • Yoga

    Living with Uncertainty

    Despite how heavy my foot was on the gas, it felt like we were driving in slow-motion. I was weaving around the cars in my way and tailgating them as my dad clutched his side and dry heaved into a plastic bag. I had never driven so recklessly and aggressively.

    I pulled to the front of the emergency room and he pulled himself out, hobbling toward the door. I quickly parked in the deck and with shaky hands, I put on my sweatshirt and sprinted to the ER after him. He was already inside, sitting in a wheelchair and checking himself in when I arrived. He had stopped shouting in pain and was relatively calm as he sat there.

    They told him a room would be available in a few minutes as they wheeled him to the side to wait. Suddenly, his calm expression broke into one of agony and his mouth opened wide to verbally release the torture his body was causing him. I rubbed his back and reminded him to breathe deeply, hoping it would pacify him. It did not. He continued to cry and shout in the waiting room while people checked in. Then he started vomiting into a plastic bag. I got him tissues to wipe his face and I asked the administrator when the room would be ready. I was impatient at this point.

    Fifteen minutes later, a nurse slowly meandered over and wheeled him to the room he would spend the next six hours in. Ironically, it was the same room he had spent nine hours in, the same time last year. That time was for a different emergency though.

    After several hours, multiple doses of pain medication, and many tests, the doctor diagnosed him with kidney stones. He was able to pass it in the hospital and be released the same day.

    Life is obviously uncertain, but it didn’t use to scare me as much as it does now. My cousin’s death has completely transformed the way I perceive the world and it has caused me to raise questions that I otherwise wouldn’t have asked or even considered. While I feel like I have more compassion and gratitude for life, I have also come to recognize as life as being very fragile. This has caused me to develop fears that I did not use to have. Some of the fears are silly while others make more sense but… I haven’t seemed to overcome them all yet.

    The terrifying experience I had with my dad on Monday as well as the volcanic tragedy in Guatemala, among many other tragedies that people experience, has caused me to reexamine the reality that life is fragile.

    I had shared this realization with the grief group I used to attend about two years ago now. Many of my peers had solemnly nodded their heads in agreement as I shared my concerns and worries about this fact. The therapist, however, raised the question: how do you deal with uncertainty?

    One method for coping that my peers came up with included acknowledging the challenges we had faced previously and that anything that comes next can be overcome too. Another idea was to focus on the present rather than worrying about what might never occur.

    Since I’ve been learning more about yoga philosophy for my yoga training, I’ve learned another effective method for challenging my fears is to be in a state of mind that is described in the Yoga Sutras, which is upeksha, or “indifference.” I learned about this idea in an article from The Yoga Journal written by Frank Jude Boccio titled, “Calm within.”

    Boccio deems it is more apt to regard upeksha as “equanimity” rather than “indifference.” He defines equanimity as “a state of even-minded openness that allows for a balanced, clear response to all situations, rather than a response born of reactivity or emotion.” He adds that it is a balanced state of mind and heart. It allows one to experience pleasure and pain without clinging to it or condemning it. In other words, equanimity is about experiencing life and different situations without judging it as good or bad and therefore, maintaining an emotional detachment from it.

    For example, my dad had kidney stones and needed to be hospitalized. It’s not good or bad, it just happened. He was able to get the care he needed to alleviate his pain through hospitalization, and he was working from home that day which enabled me to drive him there. So..while it may seem unfortunate that he had to be hospitalized for this condition, it was actually perfect timing and everything panned out well. In the moment, however, it was scary and awful but it needed to happen this way. If he was at work, he would’ve been taken to a hospital that was further away and it would, therefore, take the rest of my family longer to get to him.

    Equanimity is also about realizing that while you can’t be responsible for nor can you control what happens in life, you can control your reactions. I controlled my reaction by driving him to the hospital, and I let the doctors take control of the situation.

    The last aspect of equanimity as Boccio describes it is that you have to open your heart while simultaneously letting go of expectations and attachment to results. This aligns with what I’ve been reading in the Bhagavad Gita, which is Hindu scripture traditionally written in Sanskrit. It is part of several books of epic poetry.

    The god, Krishna, tells a warrior, Arjuna, that it is important to act for the action’s sake, and not for the results, whether that be success or failure. This equanimity is yoga. (The physical aspect of yoga that is the most popularized is only one limb of yoga philosophy. Yoga is actually a more comprehensive philosophy with eight limbs).

    I believe this type of mindset and state of being would be beneficial to me and it is something that I would like to practice in both my asana practice as well as in meditation. This way I can keep a level head when difficult situations emerge and I can also live with less fear than what I live with now.

    How do y’all feel about equanimity? How do you live with uncertainty?

    xx Vic

  • Poetry,  Speaking My Mind

    over time

    first

    you will be dumbfounded

    your heart will plummet

    into the depths of your stomach

    as the whole world before you

    tumbles

    as if the entire universe

    was shoved into a dryer

    spinning

    steady yourself

    on someone’s shoulder

    first

     

    then

    when strangers

    you haven’t seen

    since you were a newborn

    all cluster together,

    solemnly murmuring

    donning dark colors

    touching the glossy wood

    of the coffin

    the magnitude of death

    will feel heavy

    you will

    need to sit

    and your aunt

    will comfort you

    then

     

    later

    when you call her up

    because you start to forget her voice-

    but the line has been disconnected

    when her seat at the table for the holidays

    is vacant

    year after year

    when her sister

    has become an only child

    when you get older

    and she doesn’t-

    the passing of time just means

    that she’s been gone longer

    you will understand

    the finality of death

    later

    © 2017 Vic Romero – Creative Writing Fall 2017

  • Speaking My Mind

    Save Rock and Roll (Save Myself)

    I’m bored with all of the books I’ve been trying to read and with all of the shows I want to watch so I decided it was about time to come on here and write again.  So…yeah..I’m ending my Fall-Out-Boy-esque-hiatus now.  My hiatus was not five years nor did I release an underrated, killer record before going on break and then proceed to get married, launch a solo career, or have children during my hiatus…but this has been the longest break I’ve taken from writing on here, and in general, since…my sophomore or junior year in high school.  It’s a little unfortunate I didn’t write because I like to document my life, thoughts, and feelings…but everything seemed so…heavy at the time and the idea of writing anything…I didn’t perceive it as therapeutic.

    During the last month or so, however, I have been documenting random thoughts/feelings into a journal by hand to at least get them out there and then I would organize them into the different Bullet Journal prompts I had going.

    Anyway!  I am going to resume writing again.  I’ve been having an urge to write creatively over the last week or so…hopefully I can do some of that because I miss that.  In the meantime, I’ll blog a bit about what’s going on and I’ll start with an update since a bunch has been going on!

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