Saturday, January 31, 2015

Stream of Consciousness: 41 Random Thoughts from 2014

I wrote this 'Stream of Consciousness' last year with no intention of ever sharing it with anyone - let alone publishing on the vast World Wide Web. I came across it again this morning, and thought, "Why not?"

So, here's not to the question of "Why?" but to "Why not?"

(Note - this list is in no particular order and has no specific rhyme ... or reason...)

Stream of Consciousness: 41 Random Thoughts from 2014 You are now entering an unfiltered and uncensored part of my 2014 brain , read at your own risk.

  1. 'What a Girl Wants' by Christina Aguilera is just as much fun to belt out now as it was in ‘99
  2. I wish Ace of Base would have continued to make music.
  3. I also wish The Cranberries would have continued to make music. (Or, did they?)
  4. I wish that I could liquefy and bottle the feeling that some songs give me, then amplify that feeling by 100 and drink it as a cocktail. Like a spirited libation.
  5. And then give that liquified feeling as a gift to someone so that the recipient could experience that same feeling. Like the feeling I get when I hear the very beginning of ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want,’ and floods of bittersweet memories come pouring in my brain and permeate my body.
  6. Few things compare to what my taste buds experience when fresh squeeze orange juice hits them. It’s like a sensational dance inside my mouth that extends to my brain and limbs and everything in between.
    Look how good this (above) looks. Seriously. Yum.
  7. I don't indulge in fresh squeezed orange juice enough.
  8. The times in my life when I have found myself in a difficult situation (sometimes wildly chaotic and dicey situations), was a direct result of me doing what I thought I should do - driven by external forces, versus what I wanted to do driven by my inner desires.
  9. The single most significant piece of health advice I’ve ever had to truly accept and live - above all else- above nutrition, above fitness is to "manage your stress and release worry.” High stress and incessant worry has a PROFOUND negative impact on the body, mind and soul. Thus, when stress is managed and days aren’t spent worrying about what could or should have happened yesterday and what might happen tomorrow, the body, mind and soul can be at ease; allowing the space and time to take care of yourself. ‘Managing stress and releasing worrying,’ sounds somewhat detached and dispassionate though the WAYS that this is achieved is highly involved. Through various ‘rituals’ (that are different for everyone), managing stress and releasing what does not serve you can be achieved. For me it is is a continuous and evolving practice (including but not limited to walking, meditation, yoga, music, connecting with nature, writing, reading, dance, spiritual awareness, embracing nutritional health, connecting with family and friends, mantras). All of the practices I exercise help to bring balance to my body, mind and spirit.

10. In my past, I have fallen in love often, passionately, deeply and intensely. 


11. Once I accepted that I really do not like eating celery (celery juice is a different story - go ahead, laugh), regardless of its wildly amazing health benefits, my life got a little bit easier.
12. I have seen the movie Vanilla Sky more times than I can count, and I am still not 100% sure that I fully understand it.
13. I’m on the wheatgrass bandwagon. I love it. I crave it. I want some right now. 
14. My favorite quotes from Vanilla Sky: "Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around,” and “I’ll tell you in another life, when we are both cats,” by Sofia Serrano (played by Penelope Cruz). 
15. Sunshine really does have the ability to heal (physically, emotionally and spiritually).
Getting my sunshine on - cliffs of Mt. Desert Island, Bar Harbor, ME
16. I've recently realized that for the past 7 years, I've been trying to create a life rather than simply living my life. Since I had that epiphany, the way I live my life has fundamentally changed. 
17. I am one of those people that feels better about eating carrot cake because it has carrots, raisins and walnuts in it. So it's healthy… 
18. People tell you about the overwhelming love that you will have for your own child, but they do not tell you about the love you'll feel for a nephew (or niece). I have five nephews (update for 2015, I now have 6 nephews!) and my heart aches each day I am not with them. They are the most precious creatures I have ever known. I loved them instantly.

Hanging with my nephew, Carter (2012) #adore
19. I am incredibly proud to be part of my family. 

Yup - this one right here. 

20. I love coffee. The smell, the taste, the feel of the mug in my hand, the steam that lifts off when you walk outside with a cup on a brisk morning, the way people gently blow across the top of their mug with their lips parted and kind of squint their eyes and scrunch their face up slightly when they take the first sip. 
21. Even though I have a deeply rooted love and appreciation for coffee, sometimes, I wish I loved tea. Tea drinkers have a unique air about them. 
22. I think great songs, the ones that you can listen to over and over, the ones that give you that "oh my I LOVE this song," each and every time, have that effect because it's a combination of feeling the nostalgia of the song, yet simultaneously still feeling like you're hearing it for the first time. Every time. Like when I hear ‘Crash into Me,’ by Dave Matthews or ‘Live and Let Die,’ by Guns and Roses. 23. I simply cannot imagine my life without music. And there is rarely a time when there isn’t a soundtrack to my life. But sometimes… sometimes… complete silence is invigorating.
24. Sometimes that invigorating silence is interrupted by sounds of nature. Like a bird singing, leaves rustling together, waves crashing - and suddenly - nature’s soundtrack plays. 

The stillness and solitude just outside of Telluride, CO

25. There are bits of my childhood that I remember that bring me so much joy and peace that I wish just once, I could revisit those memories. If only for a moment. Like sitting in the garage, warm next to the Kerosene heater with my Dad while he worked (on what I’m not sure, there were sounds of hammers and nails and smells of cedar and plywood) with Willie Nelson or Moody Blues playing in the background.
26. Somewhere along the line, in living alone, I grew accustomed to living in a house and not a home. There is a difference. That is changing now.
27. I use to not like the look of magnets on refrigerators. I thought it looked cluttered and messy. That has changed. Now, I want magnets. Meaningful, frivolous and bold magnets. Lots of them.

2015 update - I've started a collection.
28. I think sometimes (not always), people confuse not liking something with not understanding it. Example: I use to say that I did not like math in school. The truth is, I found it fascinating. But, I didn't understand  it. With the frustration of not understanding, I convinced myself that I didn't like it. I believe that this happens with topics like homosexuality.
29. I don't have a favorite color. I've never really understood the question. When asked the question, "What's your favorite color?" I find myself wanting to ask "my favorite color for what?" I love the deep red color of fresh strawberries, I love the luminous dark shade of grey mixed with blue and green during a storm; I love the faded teal, green and brown spotted with rust that happens over time on an old aluminum can. I love the rich colors of black and on horses. Life is full of colors, why limit our love?
30. I don't believe that there is good in everyone. I believe we are born good. Some people, lose that good, and are able to restore it. While others are drained of all their good and are not able to restore it.
31. Sometimes all I need to do to positively shift my mood is to ease the tension in my face by relaxing the muscles in my face, especially my jaw. My sister taught me this.
32. I don’t trust people who don’t have a junk drawer in their kitchen.
33. There are kitty-corner angle people, and straight-line forward-facing people. I am a kitty-corner angle person.
34. RAW, Vegan, Paleo, Primal, Vegetarian, Pescetarian,  (fill in the blank here), whatever is chosen - the bottom line is that ANY of these diets are getting rid of processed SHIT - THAT is the main reason why people are feeling better on ANY of these diets and why there is such wild success with all of them if they are shifting from eating processed junk to whole natural foods (in case you were perplexed as to how they can ALL work). Oh, and, it’s also likely that if one is reinventing their diet drastically, they are also started to adopt other health lifestyle habits such as working out, quitting smoking, taking up yoga, meditation and drinking less… ding ding ding.
35. I can only wink with one eye. My left.
36. I can only parallel park one side of the road. The right.
37. I love organ music, although I am not religious in the traditional sense. It brings me a sense of calm unlike any other.
38. Listening to Buddha Bar and other chill-out lounge music has changed my life.
39. Some things are exponentially harder when you are alone. Like going grocery shopping when you have a long list of items, live in the city and have a ‘walk’ to your front door. Or putting together a platform bed. Or a weekend ‘to-do’ list.
40. Stress really does make your hair fall out. I know this from first-hand experience.
41. The truth is, I do have regrets. And I find that it’s quite impractical to suggest we shouldn’t have any. I believe the key to ‘regrets,’ is to do your best to make peace with things you wish played out differently, be responsible for them, own them and continue to learn from them and not dwell on what you cannot change - and, by wisdom of the Serenity Prayer, change the things you can.

Peace,

-Ashley

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