Ganbatte

How ’bout that retrograde/eclipse season, am I right? So sorry to have gone MIA right when things were getting super juicy. I’ve been traveling, I’ve been celebrating, I’ve been resting, I’ve been working, I’ve been learning, I’ve been supporting family, I’ve been doing a lot of things. Except writing this blog. This is not to say I haven’t tried. What is it about inspiration? How do we self-facilitate that shit so easily in some moments and can’t even conceptualize it in others?

When I started this blog I was in a space of needing to throw all of my cards on the table. My poker face had become, well, my face (RBF for those of you who know). I was tired of defaulting to “strong” like strong meant living OUTSIDE of my feelings and weak implied living WITHIN them. I was ready to acknowledge and accept the strength that comes from embracing vulnerability and the only way to actually deal with my feelings was to sit with them, allow them to envelope me and then set them free. I wanted to make clear that this isn’t a one time thing. You can’t just will away sadness, grief, anger, frustration, judgement and memories all in one sitting, day, week, month or year. You can make a singular decision to commit to accepting all aspects of your human existence, but this is a ongoing exercise in patience and perseverance.

My grandfather’s autobiography is entitled Ganbatte, which in Japanese means “do your best” or “don’t give up.” In his case he was referencing his “sixty-year struggle [as] a Kibei worker,” however the philosophy of ganbatte is basically how I’ve come to accept the fluctuations in my personal and emotional landscape. Somedays my best is better than others, but that doesn’t mean I’m not doing my best everyday. Somedays my best is waking up to walk the dogs, eat breakfast and make it to work on time. Somedays it’s waking up to walk the dogs, meditate, stretch, eat breakfast and make it to work on time. While I strive for the latter to be my consistent best, I can’t sit in self-deprecation on days when I am too physically or emotionally drained to get out of bed an hour earlier. I know my best can be better tomorrow if I take the time to acknowledge where I’m at today. Being hard on myself does me no favors. That’s why when these emotions that I spent years trying to bury, drown, burn and lock away come flooding out, I have to be easy. I have to process, reflect, contextualize, accept, understand and release them. They might be back tomorrow or not again until next year, either way, they are a part of my story and  I must do my best to decipher their lessons.

Over the past month my best hasn’t included writing this blog and I know that I can do better in that regard. My best has included: understanding my needs (vs wants), staying grounded/acknowledging when I am ungrounded and then grounding again, calling my energy back to me/releasing energy that is not mine to carry, preparing teas, meditating, being available for friends and family, going with the flow, accepting what is instead of focusing on what isn’t, burning sage, embracing new experiences, holding myself accountable for my actions, listening to the Blunt Shelter playlist on Spotify, making new friends, sitting with feelings of discomfort so that I might get to the bottom of them, practicing reiki on myself in times of stress and/or discomfort, exploring new/old hobbies/interests, staying present, establishing an ancestral alter in my home, reading lots of fiction, planning my future, sleeping, crying, going to therapy (seriously, everyone, go get a therapist and if you don’t think you need one, you definitely do) and of course, walking my dogs and making it to work on time. Not all in one day, sometimes not all in one week, but I give myself credit for doing my best by accepting each moment as it comes. Today, I’m doing my best. Tomorrow, maybe I’ll stretch.

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