a LOVEly Day

February 14th is traditionally celebrated between lovers and amongst friends. In early 2014, my journey towards healing began. That year, I spent Valentine’s Day hiking to the Hollywood sign and found a beautiful rock left by XoXo NONO — NONO Facebook. I found it  when I most needed affirmations from the Universe.

That Valentine’s Day marked the beginning of a celebration of self-love for me. As simplistic as it may seem, that was when I first realized that one cannot fully love others until self-love is achieved.

Today and everyday, let us celebrate self-love!

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Holiday Party (of One)

Soft blankets, hot cocoa, rainy days, holiday lights, and fuzzy socks. That’s what comes to mind when I think about winter, particularly, December.

Along with the coziness found in homes on chilly winter evenings come cheery, almost always fun filled holiday parties.

This year, my job’s holiday party invite was sent out via email. I excitedly RSVPed immediately. As the date neared, I occasionally checked the list of confirmed guests. As more people replied yes, one thing became obvious — almost every single person had a plus one.

____ + 1 (my husband)

____ +1 (my partner)

…and on it went.

On the days leading up to the party, I became mildly obsessed with this idea that everyone was taking a +1. And yes, saying Everyone is a cognitive distortion.

Let’s take a moment to rationalize that thought: some people are in relationships and are taking a plus one. Others, however, are going solo, just like you.

That symbol and number led me to spend some time thinking about my current relationship status: single.

I made a cross-country move while being in a long distance relationship with an individual living in the city I was relocating to. I was starting over in a new place. I had left several things behind: friendships, a job  — an entire life I had spent 5 years creating.

The difficult reality of relocating hadn’t fully hit me and a big reason was because I had someone there.

My life revolved around work, him, and reconnecting with family and some friends. Along with ridding myself of many physical belongings when I moved, so did the powerful traits that once defined me shed away.  Transplant amnesia took over as I completely forgot about the passionate, empowering activities I had spent years committed to that truly defined me. And, I was okay with that because I was in love.

After the break up I took care of my self, focused on positivity, cognitive behavioral therapy, and self-love. Slowly, I began to find myself again and find meaning in my life outside of my partner.

Now, months later, I know and am truly happy taking care of myself by myself.  I have once again dedicated my hours and days to fighting for a better, more just world.

I have set short and long term goals and have regained confidence, self-esteem, and levels of productivity. I have become a better person by prioritizing my needs and wants.

Currently, I stand in a place of compassion and self-care, where I am becoming a better version of myself. Along the way, I have created unimaginable amazing experiences and fostered even stronger relationships with others – all which would have not been as achievable if I had not had the opportunity to blossom.

So, tomorrow is my work’s holiday party. Tomorrow, I will go as a RSVP without the +. Tomorrow, however, I will also spend the entire day prior to the party engaging in empowering work that has provided me a space to find myself once again and develop my own life. A life independent of another person, i.e. a man; a life where I am building myself; a life filled with experiences that have transformed me, built my confidence, and surrounded me with love.

A Great Moment

I have had an amazing week. I’ve reconnected with several friends I met in NYC and haven’t seen in several years.

On Thursday, I went to the beach with a friend.

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As I laid there taking in the late afternoon sun rays I felt bliss and gratitude for the opportunity to feel the wonders of nature underneath my body.

I keep reminding myself that living in the moment means acknowledging what’s happening in the present and observing it while being detached. It’s the good events I then immerse myself in, fill my heart with love, and express ultimate gratitude to the Universe for being able to experience a great moment in my life.

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Today, I am having a good day.  Right now, I am happy.

Happy

I recently learned depression is tied to events that occurred in the past. Anxiety on the other hand is tied to events that have not yet occurred.

The problem with depression is that the past has already happened and it’s essential to learn to let it go. The problem with anxiety is that a person gets all worked up by events that have not even happened yet.

This has helped me understand the idea behind mindfulness. Living in the moment, being in the moment,  appreciating the present moment for all it is — especially when everything is fine.

Being present in the moment has been a key goal of mine. Mindfulness combined with my goal to focus on the happiness in my life made it possible for me to have a beautiful and wonderful day.

Today,  I reached out to people, learned about their lives, gave a caring hug to someone, and laughed a lot. I was open, fun,  free spirited, and genuinely human.

I am so proud of the amount I accomplished today and am grateful for the opportunity to live a wonderful day.

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I am happy today!

Whirlwind & Instagram

I have been missing in action because shortly after my trip to Nebraska I went to Chicago for a few days and soon after to Las Vegas. The trips were both eventful and I will write about each one in another post. For now, I want to write about the insane crash I experienced as a result of these trips — mostly because on these trips I was constantly surrounded by people, constantly socializing, partying, and having fun.

When I arrived home from Las Vegas at 4 am on Sunday, I was relieved to know I would finally be home for a few weeks before summer takes a break ’til next year. However, I also began to experience loneliness. On Tuesday and Thursday I fell into a dark hole and struggled to crawl out of it. I happened to have a therapy appointment this week and am so grateful for that visit. I identified some of my triggers  and my homework over the next two weeks is to focus on the happiness in my life.

Today, I went to yoga and after class ordered a large Jamba Juice with a gift card I had received. I sat in the sun and read a few chapters from Law of Attraction before my parking meter expired. It was the most beautiful moment of the day! I was so happy, calm, and at peace. I continually told myself, ” Xiomara, it’s OKAY to be happy.” I am working to want happiness, expect happiness, and realize that happiness is the norm.

So, I will be posting on Instagram @dearxiomara.xo a picture (or two) a day of everyday happiness. Follow me on Instagram! #everydayhappiness

The Xiomara Project

I am so excited about my first post! It’s been a long time in the making and a well deserved day off allowed my desires to materialize.

Depression sucks. It feels like a pot of emotions boiling and overflowing without the ability to clean up any of the mess. However, there is light and love emitting from the universe — ever flowing love streaming to us and all we need to do is accept it.

There are days when I feel so sad, lonely, abandoned, and unloved. Then, I realize the most important love is the love I have for myself. Loving myself is my first priority right now. Whether it’s watching my favorite tv show, reading a good book, practicing yoga, hiking, getting enough sleep, or reaching out to friends — I try to find a way to love myself every single day.

With that said, I want to share love with everyone. For that reason, I am starting the Xiomara Project. I will photograph messages of love, peace, and gratitude I find in my everyday life. Then, I will frame these images and include a positive affirmation inside each frame. I expect someone who needs a reminder that they are loved, a reminder to be joyful, a reminder to be grateful, or a reminder to take a deep breath and just be in the “now” to find one. dearxiomara.com
dearxiomaraXiomara Project

Smile! You are loved!

Feel free to comment! Did you find a frame? Where? Share an uplifting moment with me! I am looking forward to hearing from you.

 

<3, Xiomara