Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Name Change and Lack of Activity

Hi guys! First of all, I am so motivated and inspired by the emails/inboxes I have received since starting this blog. As I learned with my other blog, www.bittenbybollywood.blogspot.com, starting a blog requires a ton of patience. When you first start out, the empty comment thread makes you feel like you're talking to air...

But your emails have reassured me it isn't so. Besides, I've decided that I don't care if only one person reads my blogs; If I can learn from you and you can learn from me, nothing is wasted time.

So, next, I do apologize for the lack of activity. I just had internet installed at my new home, and have had a couple bumps in my own motivational energy (I told you I was a work in progress! We're in this together). But, there is no time like the present to let you guys know I am still very much determined to fatten this blog up with content. No, I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with it, but that's ok, because I'm just going to live in the present and let my intuition guide my writing.

The other side to that coin is, this is not my only writing project. As some of you already know, I am also working on a sci-fi/fantasy/drama young adult novel. Actually, its shaping out to be a trilogy, and the story is so complex that I sometimes question whether or not I can pull it off. But as I say in my Facebook stats and Tweets, and as I write in this blog, your success begins and ends with you! The power of our thoughts are amazing, so I try to envision myself writing this book exactly as I hope it plays out. What will come of it, I don't know, but I just have this overwhelming urge to tell this story and I don't think its going to go away! So stay tuned, and if you are interested in proofreading my rough draft, please contact me.

The other thing I have been working on is a wellness plan for improving my overall health and wellbeing from the inside out. As I mentioned in previous posts, I have struggled with my self esteem issues and weight  for most of my life. The last two years have been tremendously healing in that department, but I am still working on some things. I believe there is a way to remove the layers of baggage we have accumulated both emotionally (resentment, self esteem issues from childhood, obsessions with dieting and food intake) and literally (excess pounds/fat/disease).  I do believe it is my life purpose to help others battling with eating disorders and self esteem issues (I am also feeling a strong connection to sexual abuse victims, who often happen to fall into all three of above categories). But its going to take time, and I have to make sure that the guidance I give other people is something I truly have faith in myself. So, this is a long term goal, but its something I work on everyday.

Finally, I did change the name of this blog, as well as the address. She Colored it Indigo has symbolic meaning for me, and I wanted something that was unique and a little exotic sounding. What Happens In My Heart came to me when I decided to blog about my thoughts, feelings, and lessons learned. But as I started writing, I realized I don't want this blog to be centered on ME, I want it to be what happens in ALL of us. How we are all a part of something bigger, how we all can be anything and change big things when we choose to love each other, and how lightness always overcomes the darkness. Hope to hear from you all soon, and please let me know if you're feeling the title or not! <3

Thursday, December 20, 2012

We Gotta Start With the Man In the Mirror


As Michael Jackson says, if you want to make a change, you’ve got to start with the man in the mirror.

Not an easy thing to do!!!

A couple of years ago, when I just about hit rock bottom, I was involved in a very toxic situation with someone who was abusing me on multiple levels. One day it all came to an explosive climax and I called a wise friend of mine for help. As I tearfully unfolded the events that had occurred, I could feel her exasperation with me resonate through the telephone.


“Nida", she said. “This isn’t about what he’s done to you anymore. It’s about YOU. You’ve got to go deep within and make the necessary changes. If not, you will continue to experience this type of abuse in your life, again and again. Until it kills you.”


I knew she was right. The role of the victim was one I knew all too well.  It was the character I played best. And I always seemed to land the part.


I knew where I had to begin, but man, I didn’t feel like going there! And yet, I did. I did because I knew I had no alternative. I couldn’t imagine the thought of my daughter growing up and experiencing the horrors I had endured in my life. I couldn’t bear the thought of her suffering as I had. I knew I wouldn’t finish school or pursue better things for us if I kept wallowing in my self-induced pity party. And, most of all, something deep inside of me knew better!


I began to do the hard work. It wasn’t easy. I had suffered different forms of neglect and abuse throughout my childhood, and I quickly discovered that the only way to heal was to bring the events I had suppressed for so long to light. I truly thought I had forgiven my perpetrators! But instead, I had stuffed the feelings away, and carried the cross of the victim onto my adulthood.


As a result of all of this, I realized with a sinking heart that I really didn’t like the “man” in the mirror all that much. In fact, I’d sacrificed her dignity, her security, her health, her emotional well-being, and her safety in many different ways. It was clear as a bell--I had to learn to love myself. I had to! And I didn’t even know where to begin.


In our next post, we will talk about the journey to self love and self discovery. But for now, I want you to take that good, long look in the mirror. You have to see yourself for how you really are before you can heal. You have to really admit how you feel about yourself before you can start showing yourself some love.


Are you playing the victim role? Have you been abused? Neglected by your father? Your mother? Did your husband leave you for another woman? Have you always buried your hurt feelings in some type of vice (food, sex, video games, alcohol, drugs)? We’ve got to face it. Before we can move on, you’ve got to at least identify WHAT type of baggage you are carrying.

Whatever you fear the most, GO THERE! It is the only way to heal.

Don’t worry about who was wrong or who was right. Obviously, the people who abused me were not in the right to do so to a little girl. But that’s not the point anymore. THIS IS ABOUT YOU! We have to keep it on YOU. As Iyanla Vansant says,  “He’s got his own demons, his own walk.”

The best way to do this will be different for everybody. For me, it was talking it out with a trusted mentor, and going way, way back to my early childhood. For others, it may be journaling, reading a book, or simply looking in the mirror and admitting what you already know. I know some people that bring up their most tormenting baggage when they are drinking. Pay attention to that! Chances are, if you are really honest with yourself, you know what parts of you need healing. You know what pieces of your past you don’t like to think about.

I know this one wasn’t easy. I’m sending you lots of love and I am here if you would like to comment or email privately.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why Change Your Life, Anyways?

A couple of years ago, I was in denial that anything in my life really needed to change. On a deeper level, I did realize I wasn’t activating my full potential, but on the surface, I was OK with telling myself that where I was in life was “good enough” and that maybe I just wasn’t meant to live anywhere else, work anywhere else, or date/befriend/get close to anyone who wasn’t “broken”(Because I felt broken!).


 Then one day, I had an eye opening revelation. I was dating someone who had access to a lot of money and loved to flaunt it. Our entire courtship was a whirlwind of money, glamour, and attention (attention on me, of course; We will talk more about this relationship later, as it ended up being one of the most toxic experiences of my life, and ironically the most conducive to my spiritual growth). He whisked me away to this exotic vacation where all of the pleasures money could buy surrounded us in abundance. A couple months prior I couldn’t afford to fill my gas tank and here I was with an endless supply of the finest clothes, food, hotels and liquor right at my fingertips. But as the excitement of the “new” romance wore off, I realized that to be sedated (whether it be from shopping, eating, drinking, drugs, relationships, etc.) is really quite boring after awhile! At the end of the party, you are left with yourself. And its hardest to look at yourself in the mirror in the morning, isn’t it?


 I’ll give you another example. For about 15 years, I worked on and off for a family owned restaurant that was known for their amazing margaritas. I’m not kidding, they are like liquid crack. People come to this place from all over the world to drink them. Even the restaurants in neighboring Chicago couldn’t compete, or so my Chicago resident regulars would tell me. Well, with all that fame comes a lot of pressure on the servers who work there. You have to be fast, you have to work under pressure, and you have to be able to handle being around a lot of drunk people. So, at the end of the day, you’re tired. You don’t even feel like walking to your car, because you’ve worked so hard for 12+ hours and you just want to relax. You order a margarita from the bar, you take off your apron, ignore your phone, and sit down with your coworkers (the only people who REALLY understand you and how tired you are). It’s your turn now, dammit!

 Imagine all the relationships, friendships, and “bonds” that were formed amongst that crew. In some ways, there is a family kinship there that can’t be broken. But its addictive. Many servers suffer strains on their marriage, their pursuit of education, their finances, and their lives in general. But the comfort of being a part of something so tight, acceptance of the group, and familiarity of the routine can be very seductive. Stay with me now, I will show you how this relates to where you may be. One day, I took a step back and watched my fellow servers interact at the end of a long Friday night. How much fun they were having! How much laughter! Lingering customers kept looking over with longing in their eyes, like they wanted to be a part of the action (We actually do have customers that come by just to “watch” us interact; Like I said, it’s a very fun group). But I saw something different. I saw us all engaging in something that didn’t MEAN anything, something that wasn’t really conducive to our growth. We were all STUCK. We worked so hard to earn our money, and for what? To sedate? To escape? To put it right back into the bar we earned it from?

 My point is, there is MORE to life. Much, much, more than working for hours to engage in a cheap thrill or a vacation once a year. Whats the sense of living if you only enjoy 20% of your life? There had to be more to life, I was convinced of it. I could no longer equate money with happiness, because like any drug, anything you use to “make yourself happy” or numb the pain wears off. That includes escaping reality with the high of a new lover, a new job, the holidays, a new baby…anything you use to distract yourself from yourself! And if the ultimate goal in life is to earn money so you can take vacations and “escape” and “sedate” more and more, then what on earth is the point!?! It all gets old… 


Perhaps you don’t drink, so you don’t see how this relates to you. But maybe your “margarita” at the end of the day isn’t a margarita at all. Perhaps it’s a new lover, or a shopping addiction, or immersing yourself in work. Many people in my hometown know little about happiness outside of drinking, eating, or watching a Packer game (All fun things to do, btw.) As for me, I battled various eating disorders for most of my early life, so at one point my “margarita” was the anticipation of my next meal (many of my family members are guilty of this one, and will be quick to point out the flaws in others without looking at their own behaviors). Or maybe you’re just “stuck” in general, living a hodrum day to day life, where you feel completely empty and unfulfilled. Living check to check in a loveless, sexless marriage…never truly finding happiness. I want to change all that and take my life in a different direction. And I invite you to come with me. If you believe there is more to life than cheap thrills, don’t settle! Lets change our lives TODAY, because it starts and ends with YOU! It always has.

Why Write About What's Inside My Heart?

Why this blog? Why me? Why you? Why should anyone care about what happens in my heart and why should I share it with the world?

 Because I’ve made a commitment, TODAY, to change, to give up living in fear and to actually delve into life headfirst. No turning back. No broken promises. Its time for me to stop wallowing in the illusion of my insecurities and start living! TODAY! And, if I’m going to put my heart on my sleeve and take that good long look in the mirror, I’m going to share everything it teaches me with whoever wants to do the same for themselves.

 The vision of this blog is simple: I want to empower others and celebrate life! I want to grow into most amazing, loving, humble and fearless being I can possible become, and I want to help others break free with me! We can talk about the simple things in life, the finer things in life, and everything in between. We can debate and tackle life’s biggest mysteries and collectively become the very best versions of ourselves on ALL levels.

 The difference between this blog and going to pick up a copy of a self help book in the store (Which I support doing, btw-I am a HUGE advocate of reading for self improvement), is that I am not yet at the point in my life where I can be considered a spiritual teacher. What I am, however, is a work in progress. Someday, I will have my own practice and books that I have written to help people work through whatever it is they are dealing with in their lives. But right now (And NOW is really all that exists, anyways), I am just beginning this journey. So lets learn, laugh, cry, and simply just chat together! We will explore it all-Books, movies, television, food, exotic places…the possibilities are endless. We will delve into our pasts (and SQUASH those demons once and for all), co-create our present, and anticipate the growth of our future.

 My name is NidaMarie and I welcome you into my world…and my heart.