• Speaking My Mind

    Planted Seeds

    Good morning, everyone! Happy Friday!

    I apologize for my absence last week. Unfortunately, I came down with a cold on my first day of work, so when I wasn’t working, I was sleeping. I’m grateful to report that I feel significantly better and that I’m back to my regular self!

    Aside from being sick, the last few weeks have been insightful and exciting. Before I started my new job, I took advantage of being unemployed by going on small adventures.

    The first two days of the week, I subbed at my previous temp job so I got some extra spending cash for my adventures. On Wednesday, I went to my alma mater and ate lunch with my sister. Then I spontaneously had dinner with my ex. On Thursday, I caught up with my friends from my Europe travels. It’s always wonderful to see them. Friday, after teaching my AM yoga class, I went to the city with my sister. Because it was so nice out, we walked a ton, it was fantastic. Then on Saturday, I visited a friend’s new apartment and neighborhood. The area had such a LGBTQ/hipster environment, it was cool to experience. On top of everything, I subbed for a yoga instructor all weekend.

    I suspect all the adventures, plus subbing all the yoga classes, were taxing on my immune system, causing me to get sick. It was well worth it though.

    Last Monday, I began my new job! I’ve been enjoying it a lot. My boss is kind and supportive, my coworkers are lovely and helpful, and the work has been challenging and exciting. The only thing I’m having a bit of a difficult time with at this new job is the amount of sitting I do all day.

    I’ve worked in an office before, so it’s not like I’m completely unaccustomed to a desk job. However, the previous office I was at was larger, so important places like the bathroom, the printer, and the kitchen were further apart, thus I walked more. The office I’m at now is significantly smaller, so I take probably 10 steps total to either go to the makeshift kitchen, to get something from the printer, and to go to the bathroom. All the sitting causes me to feel antsy, so sometimes I stand at my desk while I work. Unfortunately, the desk is not accommodating for working while standing, so I can’t stand for very long. I may get something on Amazon to make my desk and thus my workspace more comfortable. And/or I may go on a brief walk during my lunch break. If you have suggestions or thoughts, please share in the comments!

    Another new thing going on in my life: last week I taught my first yin class at the local community center/gym I regularly teach at. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to teach an additional class and to teach a different yoga discipline. I am continuing to research workshops to take to expand my knowledge so I can integrate it into my classes. I have one in particular that I most certainly want to do, it’s just a matter of finding the courage to register.

    That’s about it for me. A lot of new seeds have been planted before the Spring Equinox. I’m eager to see what blooms.

    xx Vic

     

     

  • Speaking My Mind

    Growing and Flowing

    You know how most of my blog posts for the past year have been about the devastating/depressing/frustrating/stressful process that is job-searching?

    Well, last weekend, that process came to an abrupt halt because I got two job offers! Yes. I got two job offers in one weekend.

    It was surreal! It still feels surreal! About a year of job-hunting has gone by without interest from any employer, despite the plethora of contacts that my parents have given me and despite utilizing recruiting agencies. Then, suddenly, I got two job offers in the same weekend. I felt like a hot commodity finding myself in a love triangle of job offers!

    Well, I accepted one of the job offers, and I begin on Monday.

    I’m genuinely excited about the job and I’m so grateful for how everything has panned out. The process has been grueling, but in hindsight, I can see that this is how it all was supposed to go. It all has flowed seamlessly, I just had to lean into the process rather than resist it. Before it felt like I was trudging through honey, but now I feel like I’m flowing with ease.

    So let’s dive right in into the two contenders for my heart in this love triangle, and then the Law of Attraction journey to landing the job!

    Contender 1: The Loyal and Reliable One

    One of the job offers actually came from my own contact through my yoga job. I wasn’t expecting my part-time yoga job to end up connecting me to a full-time professional job, but the Universe works in mysterious ways!

    Even how I got a yoga job was mysterious.

    Essentially, I was skeptical I was even going to have an opportunity to teach yoga. I didn’t have any relationships with yoga studios in my hometown and in my area, it’s difficult to get a yoga teaching job. Rejections both from yoga studios and from professional jobs were beginning to weigh me down, so on the drive to my last yoga audition at a community center, I vowed that I would put a hold on yoga job-hunting if it didn’t pan out.

    The last yoga audition I had was for a position not exactly at the most desirable hour (5:45am!), but my then-girlfriend insisted I go for it. I’m glad I did because I got offered the job offer right then and there!

    Months later, the community center has become a second home to me and it has provided me with grounding when I’ve been entirely off-kilter.

    They trained me in CPR and first-aid and they provided me with a membership as well, so I’ve been able to take yoga classes with others rather than doing yoga entirely by myself. Plus, I sub for other yoga teachers whenever I can, and I have challenged myself by trying other workouts as well, such as cycling, which I have come to love.

    My boss appreciates my contribution to the community and she has provided me with the opportunity to try teaching an additional yoga class on Sunday afternoons to see how it goes! This part-time yoga job has provided so much for me just in regards to yoga, but the story doesn’t end there!

    One Friday night there was a happy hour for instructors, and I attended despite my hesitation to go because I was exhausted. I’m eternally grateful I did attend because I ended up chatting with my boss and other instructors about my job-hunting woes and how my temp job was ending the following week, so I desperately needed a new job. Well, one of the instructors told her husband, who was looking for an employee, and then told my boss about it. My boss raved about me to her husband, who was looking for someone with more accounting experience than I have, but he ended up offering the job to me because of my relationship with my boss!

    Contender 2: The Mysterious One

    The second job offer I had was through Indeed, so the story isn’t as glamorous.

    Basically, my positive attitude and perspective that I’m continuously working on helped me land a job offer with the second contender. I know this because the owner of the company, who sat in during all the interviews, told me.

    The Law of Attraction Journey

    Obviously, I’ve been working really hard toward getting at least one job offer, but I strongly believe that I successfully harnessed the Law of Attraction in my favor too.

    During the month I was working at my temp job, I was reading a book that my wonderful then-girlfriend lent me about the Law of Attraction. One of the ideas detailed in the book was to ask the Universe directly for what you want by pretending you are placing an order. When you order something online or in a restaurant, you don’t order it again because you know you are going to get it. You don’t think about it again either, except to maybe visualize receiving it and to be excited about whatever it is you ordered.

    One day, I decided to try this idea. I wrote in my journal the things that I wanted in a job and then I wrote “I have asked and now I believe that I have already received. I have placed my order and I’m experiencing it now.”

    Below is my “order:”

    • I want to be in a company where I can grow
    • I want to have a routine and enjoy my coworkers
    • I want to be challenged without being excessively stressed
    • I want to be close enough to home (for now)
    • I want to feel excited about my job
    • I want to build a community
    • I want to be able to work from home and I want generous PTO
    • I want to be able to continue to pursue my passions (yoga teaching, writing, etc)
    • I want to be paid fairly
    • I want to have reasonable hours
    • I want to have a social life outside of work
    • I want to travel on my PTO and invest in a car/an apartment
    • I want to save for retirement and buy stocks
    • I want a benefits package

    When I thought about job-hunting again, instead of regarding it as a dreadful, tiresome experience as I have been for the last year or so, I thought “I ordered a job, and I’m going to get it. It’s on its way.”

    This thinking allowed me to relax a bit and not be so hard on myself. I focused instead on raising my vibration and feeling joy.

    During my last week at my temp job, however, I was upset that everything in my life seemed to be ending. The temp job and my relationship with my girlfriend had come to a close, and my future felt incredibly uncertain.

    That changed a few days later when my supervisor asked me about working an extra two days after I was technically done. A few days and job interviews later, and I got two job offers as well!

    I spent the weekend weighing pros and cons to both jobs with my family, and then I opted for the job I got through my yoga job. I believe this position aligns with my “order” well, although both offers did. Anyway, I am so excited about this job and I’m excited to see how this opportunity will challenge me and allow me to grow.

    Evidently, I’ve learned so much from this process, and I will undoubtedly continue to learn more when I start working. I can’t wait to share it all!

    So, the main takeaway: grow and flow, flow and grow.

    xx Vic

     

  • Speaking My Mind

    Rise and Grind!

    The title of this post makes me laugh.

    In all seriousness though, it is true. I rise before the sun does and I sleep well after it has fallen. This is primarily because I got a temporary full-time job!

    I’ve actually been enjoying both the job and the grinding. It may be a little odd to be excited about joining the rat race as well as working a conventional 9-5 (it’s actually, 8:30-5:30pm…the grinding is real), but it’s true. I love it. I love working consistent, normal hours, going to the same place every day, seeing the same people…I’m not even being sarcastic. It’s such a nice shift from attending a large university where there was tons of volatility in your schedule, working a campaign job which had weird hours, and then being unemployed since November.

    So yes, I’m finally in motion!

    I’m unsure how long I will have this role, so I’ve continued my job search. Thus, when I’m not working, I’m job hunting, interviewing, and completing surveys for interviews. It’s been a little intense. I can’t wait to get a full-time job and be able to spend my free time reading. The only reading I’ve had the energy to do lately has been through Audible, which is better than not reading at all. In fact, thanks to Audible, I’ll be finished with Pride and Prejudice soon!

    Anyway, the job itself is good. It’s not my “dream job,” but I’ve learned to express gratitude and to practice Santosha, or contentment. I’ve written about my realization that I need to find Santosha before, but I’ve noticed that I need to find it again. It all started on the second day of the job…

    I was feeling bummed out because the work is not mentally stimulating. There’s nothing wrong with the job, but it is very boring most days. The dullness allows my mind to wander and to partake in my favorite activity: comparing myself to everyone else. (This time, I’m being sarcastic. The comparison-trap leads to my self-destruction).

    My thoughts became consumed with Wow, I could have a career job right now, but instead I’m just answering phones and My friends have benefits, and I’m only getting paid hourly. Unsurprisingly, these self-pitying thoughts ruined my second day of work. After that, I realized that in order to not be miserable every day, and the only way to get as much as I can out of this experience, I have to change my perspective. That’s when I remembered Santosha, one of the Niyamas in Yoga philosophy. While practicing contentment, I realized that this is where the Universe wants me to be right now because the Universe totally conspired to get me this job.

    First of all, I had an interview for this job back in…late November I believe, and I got the interview through a job agency. I went to the interview already resistant to the job, which was probably why I never got an offer. I was exuding all this negative energy to the Universe that I didn’t want a job offer for this position because I deemed that the job was beneath me. Now I know better than to judge a job so harshly, especially when I’m unemployed.

    After that interview, I continued my bleak job search for months with the help of the temp agency. Then the holidays came around, I took the GRE, and I spend much-needed time with my sister who was home for break. Around the time my sister was preparing to return to school, I became antsier than I already was to get a job.

    Then in January, I had a job interview through the temp agency for a job that seemed perfect. I willed the Universe to let me have it from the beginning too.

    Well, the day I was supposed to hear back about the “desirable job,” I got a call from the agency about the job I had interviewed for back in November. Something hadn’t worked out with the person that they had hired and they needed a temp until they found someone externally. I was excited to have a job offer, even though it wasn’t the job that I wanted initially. Unlike last time, I wanted to accept it.

    Before I committed, I called up the other recruiter to find out if I got the “desirable job.” Well, surprise, I didn’t get it, so I accepted this job that I now have!

    This position was initially temp to permanent, but now that they want to hire externally, it’s just temporary. The fact that it was initially temp to perm frightened me because I didn’t want to be so committed to a mundane job, but now that it’s just temporary, I’ve been able to relax and really enjoy myself. Additionally, I’m working in an industry related to the field I want to be in, I’m interacting daily with people in this field, and I’m able to learn from them and network with them.

    Aside from full-time job stuff, I’m still teaching yoga and I’m loving it. I want to update you all soon on some new things I’ve learned as a teacher! That’ll be another post though.

    While I’m working full-time, I decided to post only once a week on Sunday mornings. If time permits, I’ll post during the week too. I’ll play it by ear.

    If you made it this far, thanks for reading 🙂

    xx Vic

     

  • Speaking My Mind

    Top 10 Holiday Favorites 2018!

    This is a list of my favorite items from Christmas. Not all of them are gifts, but most of them are. The gifts I received this year were particularly thoughtful and I love them.

    1. The toasted tartelette eyeshadow palette by tarte

    I used to rock all sorts of colorful eyeshadow looks, some of which you can find on my website by searching “Lookbook.” After my cousin passed away, however, I veered away from eyeshadow in favor of just eyeliner because I was depressed and I also didn’t want to spend the time doing my makeup anymore.

    When I went to Ulta with my mom for the annual holiday sale, I picked up this sophisticated palette because I wanted to explore my makeup creativity again. This palette has more sophisticated shades than my older ones, making this palette more versatile for all occasions. I’ve greatly enjoyed creating dramatic looks and neutral looks with these warm shades!

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    2. Yoga Bolster

    I asked my mom for a bolster for yoga for Christmas, and she delivered! She got it at Walmart so I assume that the price was reasonable, although I know they have reasonable ones on Amazon too. I love having a bolster for my home practice. It totally elevates my yoga experience. Plus, it matches my yoga mat so nicely!

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    3. Gluten-Free Holiday Doughnuts

    My parents met someone that owns a gluten-free bakery, and they only make doughnuts on the weekend. My dad got twelve of them because they looked so pretty! They were tasty too, but I barely ate one because they’re very sweet and I try not to consume sugar.

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    4. BBC Radio Production of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

    My favorite type of podcasts are ones that are basically old-school radio shows: there are actors, sound effects, and lots of suspense/drama.

    I wanted to read some Agatha Christie novels and when I saw that there are radio adaptations of her books available through my local library, I was so excited! This was incredibly entertaining to listen to, and I want to listen to the others!

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    5. Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty

    This is an old favorite that I reintroduced to my daily routine. I mean, I don’t use it daily, but I use it several times a week (which may still be overkill). When I used it in college, I was always complimented on the pepperminty smell of it. It’s such a nice treat to start my morning with it because it’s invigorating and leaves my skin feeling luscious. They did increase the price a bit since I last bought it about three years ago, but I think it’s still worth it.

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    6. Lands’ End Holiday Slippers

    My mom got me these for Christmas, aren’t they fun? Slippers are so useful and cozy, and I love the holiday cow on this pair!

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    7. Prep Naturals Mandoline Slicer

    My dad surprised me this year by getting me this super thoughtful gift because he knows I like to cook and that I spend an exorbitant amount of time cutting produce. (In the past, he’s gotten me useful, albeit not for everyday-use items, such as a flashlight for your head). I love this gadget so far, but it can’t be used for all vegetables. For example, I tried cutting a pepper with it, but the pepper was too soft.

    For veggies such as cucumbers, carrots, celery, and probably onions too, this is great! You can adjust how thick you want your produce sliced and it comes with a safety shield and glove! It also came with a spiralizer, which I’m dying to try.

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    8. Tea Strainer

    I found this individual tea strainer on Amazon, and my lovely girlfriend got it for me for Christmas! It’s wonderful because it comes with a small dish to set the strainer in when you don’t need it anymore. There is also a nice long chain with a hook that you can use to hold the tea strainer in place.

    My tea tastes so much better now that I’m not cooking it in the pot of hot water.

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    9. Immersion Blender

    For some reason I didn’t take a picture of the box or of the item, so here is a picture of a sacral chakra soup I made with it! My girlfriend got me this too for Christmas. The blender has several speed settings and it also included a whisk that you can attach to the blender, it’s super nice! I’m eager to make other soups with this blender!

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    10. Puzzle

    My sister got me this puzzle for Christmas because she saw a puzzle I had completed with my girlfriend so she assumed I enjoyed puzzles. I do enjoy puzzles, but I have never completed one of this magnitude before!

    It’s fun to do the puzzle together though. We stay up late working on it and we listen to old classics like the Cheetah Girls and One Direction. It’s been a nice bonding activity. Hopefully, we will complete it before she returns to school!

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    What have been your favorites from the holidays?

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    If I Wasn’t Afraid, I Would…

    • Move out of state
    • Take a trip
    • Choose a grad school program
    • Apply to a grad school  program
    • Light a match
    • Drive on the highway
    • Chant more
    • Be confident
    • Be positive
    • Introduce more “yogic” things to my yoga class
    • Write a book
    • Develop my own business
    • Make malas
    • Reconnect with mentors
    • Pursue my passions, even if I’m uncertain where they will lead

    What does your list look like?

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    My Birthday Week Recap!

    My 23rd birthday was definitely one of the more epic ones!

    6 November – Election Day

    First of all, our campaign was victorious! It was such a great feeling, especially since it was the last day of the job. All of those long hours really paid off. We won by 53%, which makes it even crazier because if we hadn’t been campaigning, the Referendum that we were advocating for definitely wouldn’t have passed.

    We all celebrated at a local bar, and my boss and my family friend kept buying everyone rounds of drinks to celebrate. Since my birthday was only a few hours away (it was the day after Election Day), my family friend kept insisting we do toasts, not only for our success, but also for my birthday. Then my boss, his girlfriend, and I went to another local bar and had a drink there. We waited until it was midnight, AKA officially my birthday, and then he got me an Uber home.

    7 November – My Birthday!

    The next day I was quite hungover, which was a little annoying but thankfully I wasn’t nauseous. I just had a headache from dehydration from all of the cheap glasses of wine I had consumed.

    My girlfriend came by early in the day to take me to my car, which I had left at the first bar. Then I dropped the car off and we went to my favorite Thai place for lunch! Afterwards, we went to my alma mater to hang out until I went to dinner with my family.

    My second favorite place to eat is a Spanish restaurant which is located where I went to school, and that is where I ate with my family! This was the third year in a row that I’ve eaten there for my birthday because the food is absolutely divine and the atmosphere is wonderful as well. My last two birthdays have been on a Monday and a Tuesday though, so they weren’t particularly lively when we went out to eat at the restaurant. This year, however, my birthday was on a Wednesday and they had live music! I love live music, so I was living it up. It was some groovy salsa band and they were fantastic!

    Here are some pictures of what we ate!

    Homemade guacamole with a variety of homemade plantain, sweet potato, radish, and potato chips
    Homemade guacamole with a variety of homemade plantain, sweet potato, radish, and potato chips
    Vaca frita con maduros y arroz con abichuelas and a white sangria
    Vaca frita con maduros y arroz con abichuelas and a white sangria
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    Yucca fries

    8 November

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    The day after my birthday I bought these beautiful boots that I’m obsessed with, thanks to my grandparents! They’re by Marc Fisher, whom I’m only familiar with because I had purchased a pair of boots by him two years ago! Those boots are only booties though, whereas these are killer tall boots! The story behind them is pretty amusing too…

    I went to DSW to search for booties without a heel because I only have one pair without a heel. I tried on about twenty pairs of booties, but I didn’t love any of them and the ones that I did like didn’t fit my feet right. They were either oddly too loose or too tight. Even my mom tried some of the booties on and noticed that they weren’t fitting properly.

    After being disappointed with the booties, I decided to try on tall boots. I have two pairs of tall boots but only one of them is more “professional,” so I thought another nicer pair would be great. My mom found these and I tried them on, and it was like a Cinderella moment! The shoes fit like a glove! When I was walking around to see how they felt, a shopper stopped and stared at me and said, “Wow, those are nice boots.” Then I turned around to show her the back of the boots where the studs were, and she was pretty stunned. I then decided that those boots were mine, and I’m so glad because I love them so much!

    9 November

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    My mom is having the bathroom redone so they turned off the water for a few hours. Thus, I took advantage of the community center yoga class and shower that day! I took a great class and then I took a nice hot shower and got super fancy for the day, including my beautiful new boots!

    Then I went to lunch with a friend from high school who I hadn’t seen in over a year. We caught up at Panera, then migrated to Starbucks. My girlfriend had a job interview in the area so she came by to join us. Then we got two bottles of wine from the liquor store and took the party back to my parents’ house, where they were having their own little gathering. We all drank wine and ate my mom’s burgers and chatted, it was so much fun! Then we watched the first episode of the new Sabrina series on Netflix. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo with my friend, but I will see her one more time before she goes back to New Hampshire!

    10 November

    On Saturday, my girlfriend and I went into the city! We were going to go to a museum but by the time we arrived, neither of us wanted to go. We ended up walking around to see the local sites instead.

    Macy’s had already decorated the store inside and Bryant Park was bustling with shoppers at the boutiques, people dining, and ice skaters. My girlfriend wanted to ice skate but I don’t enjoy ice skating so we ate poutine with duck bacon instead. It was fun to be in such a busy and festive environment!

    Then we went to the Amazon bookstore! I had been meaning to go there for a few months but I never had the chance. The Amazon bookstore is different than other bookstores because they include the star rating of the book as well as a quote from a reviewer. They also do what Amazon is famous for doing, which is suggesting books you may like based on a book you have read. For example, they had a shelf saying if you read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, you may like other poetry books. Amazon’s bookstore also included some Amazon technology. It was a cool environment. I don’t believe they included book prices though…

    After the bookstore, we walked to Rockefeller to check out the tree! It was also a bustling environment but it wasn’t as fun as Bryant Park was.

    11 November

    On Sunday, I spent my day crocheting myself a new hat! The last time I made a hat for myself was four or five years ago, but I had loomed it. You can see it in the photos of me in NYC, but below is a better picture of the type of yarn. It’s a beautiful yarn but it’s not very warm and it’s just time I made myself a new one! So I followed a tutorial on YouTube, which was surprisingly super easy, and now I have a nice new hat! I’d like to get a pompom for the top of it.

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    My old loomed hat

    That sums up my birthday week! It was such a fun time and I’m grateful to have concluded my 23rd year on Earth, in this lifetime, with people I care about.

    Now I’m back to reality, which includes finding a new job and resuming studying for the GRE. I have a new strategy for getting a job this time…I’ll talk about it more if it works out.

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Flowing with The Current

    I’ve been listening to The Lively Show podcast a ton lately, and not just because I have too much time on my hands, but because I have learned so much from it.

    Jess Lively, the woman behind the show, is an entrepreneur and an intuitive coach. Essentially, she coaches people on how to become more in touch with their intuition.  Her podcast used to be a more Q+A style, but recently she switched things up in Season 5 by airing sessions she has with clients.

    I love listening to these sessions! It’s comparable to listening to someone’s therapy session, except focused on intuition rather than on psych. This podcast has caused me to reflect on my relationship with my intuition.

    In my previous blog post, I did an oracle card reading which concluded that I need to connect with who I really am, also known as my intuition. I have learned that my pessimistic attitude can be attributed to resisting my intuition. This is not uncommon at all, as I’ve been learning from the podcast.

    The two clients that Jess has interviewed thus far have been confronted with the challenge of acquiescing to one’s intuition, even if it’s scary because the results are unknown. The unknown is what makes life exciting and worth living, though. Thus, I’ve been working on transforming my perspective on life by living more intuitively.

    You might be wondering what that even means, which is a completely valid question.

    I believe living intuitively is different for everyone because everyone connects with their intuition differently. I think I connect with my intuition when I write, similarly to the two women in Jess’s sessions.

    Initially when I write, I’m actively thinking about what I want to say…but eventually my intuition takes over. My intuition is why I learn the most about myself when I’m writing because it is when I’m writing that I have epiphanies and moments of complete clarity.

    Since I want to strengthen my intuition, I’ve decided to write more frequently than I currently do, which is at least twice a week for my bog. In addition to my blog, I’d like to hand write in a journal. I tend to avoid writing in a journal because I find it to be more isolating than writing somewhere on the internet. Unless you give the journal to someone, only you will read what you write, which is fine but I enjoy building a community with others by sharing. On the other hand, journaling is also very valuable because it strengthens the community that one has with oneself.

    I’ve decided to journal either before or after meditating, which I’d like to make part of my morning routine if I choose to do yoga in the evening instead of in the morning. Once I begin my new job, I will manipulate my daily routine as necessary.

    By the way, I have a job! I begin on Monday and I’m quite excited about it. I was really nervous to take the opportunity because initially it wasn’t what I thought I wanted to do. However, with my more intuitive approach to life, I decided that I should take advantage of the job offer and see where it leads. I’ve also finally decided to stop vacillating between the decision to apply for grad school or not, and I’ve officially concluded that I will postpone applying for at least another year. My intuition has been guiding me to get to know myself without school…so I’m going to trust it.

    There are many examples of when my intuition proved itself trustworthy, but the most recent one has been with my experience as a new yoga instructor.

    I began teaching last week, and it was phenomenal! It’s a 5:45am class, which initially made me hesitate because it’s so early, but my girlfriend urged me go for it and I focused on my intuition rather than on my nervous mind. I’m grateful I did because despite whatever job I’m doing, I’ll be able to continue teaching this class since the class is before most jobs begin.

    I have been working for only a week, but so far it has had so many perks! I’m able to sub for other teachers (which I’ve already done), participate in other classes, and use the facilities. Plus, I got CPR certified and I’m part of a great community! I feel like I can try new things without fear of criticism, which is important to me too.

    Evidently, things are going pretty well right now. Flowing with the current of my intuition has allowed me to feel more aligned with my true self, which isn’t stressful at all. I thought it would be…because trusting yourself is scary, but when you go all in, it’s not.

    This is not to say that you will never experience seemingly undesirable things if you trust your intuition, because that’s not true. However, I do think that trusting yourself provides you with a peace that is unachievable when you only tune into your mind. My posts are a great example of that. I often begin my posts using my mind, but by the end, I’m more intuitive.

    Aside from writing, another cool way to hone your intuition is from an app that Jess shared on her podcast. The app is free and it’s called ESP Trained. Astronauts use it to strengthen their intuition and according to the app, they improve their skills significantly. I like playing some rounds with my eyes closed.

    Do you tune into your intuition? How so? Please comment below! Also let me know if you try out the app and tell me what you think!

    xx Vic

    PS: The photo I used for this post is from a few weeks ago when I was out to lunch with my sister. I’ve been to the area before, but I was inclined to snap a photo of the creek that time. Little did I know it’d make a perfect photo for this post!!

  • Mysticism

    Realigning with My True Self – An Oracle Card Reading

    September has been emotionally difficult because every day feels like a futile fight to stay positive and to cultivate a future. It seems like a futile fight because most days I wake up already in a bad mood, and on the few days when I actually wake up excited and I work toward my goals, I end up feeling defeated and depressed by the end of the night.

    I try not to casually throw around the word, “depressed,” because I don’t want to misuse it…but I feel like after weeks of crying daily, instigating tons unnecessary fights with my mom and with my girlfriend, emotionally beating myself up, reducing myself to nothing, and wishing I could escape from reality warrants the use of the term, “depressed.”

    I have only wished I could disappear when I am struggling to cope with change, struggling to stay afloat, and struggling to thrive. Right now I’m struggling with all three, so it’s overwhelming.

    I’m not sharing this to worry anyone…I don’t want to hurt myself, I just don’t always want to deal with my life. Not because my life is bad or anything, because my life isn’t bad at all. I have food, a home, a caring family, health insurance, and I’m finally working part-time. My life is good and comfortable, which I’m grateful for and I try to remind myself of this all of the time.

    Despite acknowledging my blessings, I get caught up in my stagnancy. When I focus my energy on taking steps toward my goals so I can move forward, I doubt myself and I doubt my ability to move forward at all. It’s a toxic cycle that unfortunately has poisoned my emotional well-being as well as my relationships. I don’t want to be around anyone because I feel like poison. Isolation exacerbates my depression too.

    So…I pulled my Ganesha cards on Monday to get some insight and guidance that I can reflect upon. I’m not going to share a picture of my cards this time because most of them I have already shared on my blog.

    My Reading

    1. The first card, which represents where I am now, I pulled Positive Outlook. I was bewildered when I saw this card because as noted previously, I wouldn’t consider myself having a positive outlook at the moment. Well, the card is about how all circumstances are neutral, and it is one’s mental attitude that influences how it is perceived. It reminds me of what I have read in The Untethered Soul as well as something I had painted on a flowerpot after my grief group concluded two years ago: Your perception is your reality. I suppose I need to take a step back from judging my experiences as negative and to at least view things as neutral.
    2. Sustenance is the card that represents my next steps. The painting on the card is of Ganesha enjoying a buffet, but the card isn’t about food. It’s about how I need to acknowledge my blessings as well as acknowledge the abundance of ways to support my desires. I need to understand my needs and satiate them, even if it’s scary or unconventional.
    3. My obstacle is Cultivation, which is strongly linked to music. Music creates communities and it soothes the soul, causing music to be a method for connecting to spirits. I haven’t been listening to music too much…I either listen to podcasts or watch something on Netflix. When I’m not listening to these things, I spend my time in silence…but I suppose it’s a little too isolating right now. Perhaps replacing the silence with my yoga playlists would facilitate some more positive thinking, creativity, and a sense of belonging.
    4. My resource for overcoming my inability to cultivate is Reflection. When I saw this card, I was like “duh, I’m great at reflecting! I reflect and write weekly!” When I read the description of this card though, I was speechless. I’ll just share what it all says.

    “You have reached the point in your life’s journey where self-judgment and criticism no longer serve you. It is imperative that you understand and appreciate the distinctive persona that you bring into all situations. Each of us has our own unique path….Through reflection and visualization, get in touch with the wise person within you.” – Whispers of Lord Ganesha Oracle Cards by Angela Hartfield

    While this card is titled “Reflection,” I feel like it is about more than that…and it really resonated with me.

    5. My new outcome is “Acceptance,” which I’ve pulled multiple times because I’m always fighting with my true self. This relates back to alignment as well. Life will become easier when I accept my true self and when I accept that I don’t have to know everything. The reality that I don’t know anything about my future has been weighing on me because it’s an uncomfortable feeling. I haven’t been enjoying living in the unknown and not having all of the answers right now. My life will improve though when I look at my experiences and the world from a more spiritual perspective as well as by not placing so much value on my thoughts.

    All of these cards address connecting with who I really am…thus, that may be the key to transforming my perspective and my life. It will take some time and patience to realign with my true self via these suggestions from my Ganesha cards. My meditation practice, although not daily (yet), will help me get there too.

    Also…while I feel like I have been stagnant, that isn’t necessarily true. As I’ve mentioned previously, I am now working a part-time job. I am also almost done with the hiring process to teach a regular yoga class in my town. I doubted I was going to be able to teach yoga this year and if I hadn’t nailed the audition, I was going to postpone my teaching dreams…but the universe surprised me. Lastly, after avoiding and debating with myself for several months, I finally booked a GRE test date!

    So…things are moving. I’m progressing, contrary to what I believe.

    If you would like an oracle card reading, please comment below or email me at hello@unziptheselips.com.

    xx Vic

  • Yoga

    Swings and Meditation

    Hello, everyone!

    I made another video, and this time I edited it! This is the first time I have edited a video in about eight years and I think it came out pretty good. I’ve really been enjoying playing with visual media a bit, and I’d like to continue to practice with it so I can improve.

    I hope you enjoy the video and comment your thoughts below!

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Pumpkin Spice, Everything (Will Be) Nice

    These last few days have been emotionally tumultuous for me, so I’ve been recharging in Starbucks sipping on iced pumpkin spiced lattes. They’re a delicious treat and I feel a bit better after consuming them. It’s also nice to be out of my house considering I did not leave my house at all in the last two days…which is probably not healthy but I don’t really have anywhere to go these days. Not leaving my house is definitely one of the many reasons I feel emotionally out of balance as a Vata person.

    In Ayuverda, which is the sister science to Yoga, I am predominantly a Vata person. I can explain this more in a different post, or you can look it up…but to explain briefly: Ayuverda is a method of characterizing everything in the universe, and there are three Doshas that can be used to describe it all in a very detailed manner. Everything has all three Doshas, but sometimes one is more prominent. Vata is only one of the Doshas, and in regards to how this Dosha appears in people, it includes being tall and slim, physically cold, creative, and idealistic. Some of the things that imbalance a Vata person are a lack of schedule, stress, and instability. I have been experiencing all three.

    While I have stability in the sense that I have a roof over my head, clean water, and food, everything else in my life feels unstable. It’s the dance that all twenty-somethings that graduate from college have to do, and I feel like if someone were to rate my performance thus far, it’d be a lackluster rating.

    The lack of a schedule, while everyone else is busy with school and/or work, is really getting to me now that my sister went back to school. For the first time since I was born, I’m living at home with only my parents around. It’s kind of weird honestly…so I’ve been spending a lot of time in my room.

    There have been perks with that though because I’ve finally been making progress with my room. My mom bought me some new furniture to store items in and my room feels so much more peaceful. I have to tidy up my floor now and then do some more minor organizing, but I plan to get the biggest stuff finished this week. I will share pictures soon.

    Aside from cleaning my room, I’ve also been reading daily before I go to sleep instead of wasting time on social media. I have finished three books I had half-read: The Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I plan to finish Don Quixote next, although it may take more time considering how large the book is.

    The only tasks on my schedule lately are job interviews, which is super stressful. All of my interviews have been phone interviews so I don’t have to go anywhere and I also haven’t been getting dressed for the day because I spend so much of my time at home. My interviews seem to be going well for the most part. I did have a terrible interview experience though…perhaps I’ll talk more about that in a different post.

    I know I have said this before, but maybe it really is time to look for part-time work? At this point, based off of my interviews, I won’t be working until October 1st at the earliest, but that’s assuming I get second-interviews and then a job offer before then. If that doesn’t happen, I may end up not working until December, January, or even later. Ideally, I’d like my part-time work to be yoga related…but considering how volatile my self-esteem is these days, it’s so hard to put myself out there face-to-face with someone. My girlfriend recommended I put teaching yoga on the back-burner for now because when the time is right for me to teach, I will be able to teach. I do have a yoga audition today though…but yeah maybe I’ll hold off on it for a while.

    It feels like I’m just “holding off” on everything. I’m postponing taking the GRE, applying to grad schools, and thus, attending grad school. I am also postponing getting a yoga job and it seems like the universe has decided for me that I am postponing working full-time for at least another month.

    People don’t talk truthfully enough about the frustration, depression, and self-doubt that comes with graduating from college and then trying to get a job. I feel like people only talk about those feelings in hindsight once they get a job, so their perspective on the situation is different at that point. They see their challenges through rose-colored glasses because they had overcome the job-hunting challenge.

    Well let me be honest: post-grad life is grueling.

    College is super stressful, but this is a whole different type of stress because you will be on your own and you will be trying to be an “adult.” Plus you will get asked by everyone you interact with the dreaded “so what are you doing now that you graduated?” and as the months go by and if you still don’t have an answer, you will seem and you will feel more pathetic. All you will do is worry because you won’t want to dread that question, you will want to answer it and you will want to be excited about your answer, but you will have no idea what/when/how you will have the answer.

    Every job application you send out will feel desperate and you will just hope that the employers can’t tell. You will feign enthusiasm in every interview you manage to get, but the second you leave you will be overcome with negativity and self-doubt. Every rejection you get will feel personal, because it kind of is, and you will doubt every decision you’ve ever made in college ie maybe you should have studied something else, maybe you’re not an ideal candidate for any job because of XYZ.

    It will feel like everyone is judging you, especially your parents/guardians, especially if you live with them because everyone is judging you. “Judging” is essentially what employers do. No one will judge you as much as you judge yourself though.

    Right now, on the mental and emotional spectrum of Esther Greenwood in The Bell Jar (clinically depressed) to Don Quixote from Don Quixote (unaware of his senselessness but unwaveringly believes in himself, disregarding the ridicule from anyone else), I feel closer to Esther Greenwood. I would love to be more like Don Quixote.

    Hence why I got dressed for once to be seen in public, went to Starbucks, and got an iced pumpkin spice latte.

    Pumpkin spice, everything will hopefully be nice eventually.

    xx Vic

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