Updated: May 5, 2020
Hi I am Bianca and I'm a 'bottler' (Hi, Bianca).
I find more joy in cleaning my flat then I do in being emotionally vulnerable (I truly wish I was joking on that one... but I ain't). This is something that I would openly admit.
So here I am starting a blog as a form of expression. In true millennial fashion.
Being a dancer and growing up in the performing industry one quickly learns how to flip the feelings switch to 'off' and desensitize - because well taking every comment that gets thrown at you personally would lead you down an emotional mud slide, and although mud is good for your skin... I think I'm good thanks. Not taking things personally can be a very beneficial skill to have because you won't easily be offended or influenced about what others say - well at least you would wear the outer mask of 'things don't really get to me'. It's a good thing, that tough skin of yours, as you are not swayed and you are pretty grounded by your own truth.
It's a good thing until it isn't.
It soon becomes a viscous cycle of people saying things that seemingly don't affect you until it does and you crack and then you really look like the emotional wreck that you always fight against.
Ah yes the good old bottler... the 'strong'one, the one that never 'loses' it, the one that always has it 'together' and when people are really fed up with your blank expressions 'the cold-hearted' one.
I call bullshit.
It's the bottlers that feel the most. Sadness, joy, guilt, anxiety, love etc.
Sometimes feeling it all at once.
Thoughts, emotions and environmental circumstances all becomes so overwhelming and you confuse yourself - running in the labyrinth of your mind and not finding the exit.
And that all culminates in frustration and irritation because we have an innate feeling of being misunderstood if we even dare to open up.
And we are so disconnected that we cannot even bare to understand why people around us have no problem with emotional diarrhea (sorry for that image but it truly is something we actually pity).
Like keeping the lid closed on a bottle of Coke with an entire pack of Mentos thrown in there and left in the back of the cupboard for 3 years.
Usually the overthinkers and the overdoers can relate to this too (yay, call me a triple threat). I would say my favorite past time is getting stuck in my head and brooding. Overthinking every situation. Introspection you ask? It's a fine line you tread my friends, between being aware of your thoughts and completely being engulfed by your thoughts.
The one brings clarity and calm and the other brings suffocation and anxiety.
Even as I am writing this I can tell you this won't be a short post because there are so many things I want to say that's been shoved aside and seen as unimportant. Like what's the point of sharing something if it's going to be taken up the wrong way... or even worse... judged, am I right? So yes we are going to be here for a while because I am rather good at talking about things in the most long-winded, philosophical way possible, thank you very much! And there is a 90% chance it will get existential (Look at me already over-explaining myself... cliche Gemini).
Anywayyyy... back to the fermented, past its due date Coke.
I am here to tell you that if you have resonated with any of this it is time to reinvent yourself. It's time to break down those walls and loosen the cap on the fizzing bottle because once that thing blows it ain't pretty.
Constantly keeping those emotions locked in the same cellar where you keep your 20 year old wines to age is really not a good idea... it manifests, it ages and with age comes growth and before you know it you have cultivated emotional issues that are far far greater than the original feeling ... it creates a completely exaggerated situation in your head and you start to feel threatened but the fear of showing any sort of weakness is too great - so closed it will stay.
You quite literally ramp up your body's stress response (which fun fact - your body cannot differentiate between internal or external stress both are equally threatening) and we all know that anything mental will manifest in the physical realm, good or bad respectively.
Personally I get blessed with the physical manifestation of gut problems. Yay.
Whatever you are feeling within will find it's way out and like a toddler that is constantly told no, a tantrum will announce.
Your mental state will start to ferment (and not in a good, yummy Kombucha way but in a bad 'I didn't sterlise my crock and my sauerkraut has grown furry friends' kind of way.
Now I am not saying by any means that you gotta go for gold and rip the lid off in a grand gesture and let that baby blow. Then you might as well just leave it and let the pressure build enough so it can burst on it's own... both = finding yourself in a glorious public display of snot and tears. And that is the very thing you were avoiding from the beginning
- crying in front of people (gasp).
But let's digress a bit ... what if I told you that crying isn't to show sadness or depression or sorrow or even joy. Crying is merely a release of built up emotion. It is the body's coping mechanism as an emotional detox. It therefore isn't a sign of weakness or a sign that you need to get your shit together but in fact just a proven fact that you are living the human experience.
That you are alive.
That you feel.
You. Are. Human.
Let's all repeat that one all together now!
YOU. ARE. HUMAN.
I found this pretty profound on the crying business front. As soon as you stop connotating it to negativity (which is an agreement ingrained into us by society) and actually see it as a cleansing ritual that brings relief - the judgement falls away.
And sweet relief is... well... sweet.
This can be applied to anything. A mindset shift is your biggest tool.
And how empowering to think that we as humans are capable of this. We have the freedom to think whatever we want to think. We have the freedom to create our own truths and beliefs and we have the ability to constantly change and reinvent them.
To reevaluate and take count of what is happening and how it is reflecting in our actions.
The power of choice in whatever we do.
That's pretty damn amazing because that means we are not bound by our circumstances or genetics or societal pressures or reputations or what we'should be'.
Nope not us humans.
We can wake up one day and just decide to invite change into our lives. And although to most of us change is scarier than a 'keto-er' finding a rogue potato in their salad - it is inevitable... both the potato and change.
Change is inevitable (again, altogether now).
And can I let you in on a revolutionary concept ... when you can accept change with open arms, let it in and invite it over for tea it will become your friend. And we all know true friends provide us with abundance and possibilities and growth.
So if there is one decision we make to change is to embrace the change and lean into it and to ride the wave and see where it takes us.
I think the most terrifying part of change is not knowing what lies ahead, not being able to predict what will come of it, not having a set plan on how it would unfold, fearing the unknown because you don't have a blueprint of how you would be able to handle it.
I am a complete planner so believe me when I say I understand the struggles of adapting.
"I have a good thing going now what if I change and then it's a bad decision and then I fail and then I'm seen as a failure and then I did something wrong and then I AND THEN AND THEN AND THEN". Sound familiar?
First of all let go of the notion that you constantly have to be at your top game and always have to be doing the right things... "I can't make mistakes because that would make you human and that's definitely not me!"
Pfft human... what a joke.
Have you considered that the concept of 'right' and 'wrong' is a man-made one. 'Right' and 'wrong' have been created to box people in. My right might be your wrong and vice versa which means there isn't a standard of what truly is right and wrong because it is subjective. You believe what you believe and that's okay. I have no right to judge you, you are purely living your own human experience which is different to mine or your neighbor or even your twin brother.
It is personal and we are allowed to be our own individuals. Live and let live. You do you. And just like you shouldn't be afraid to live outside of the box that society has created, you shouldn't be afraid of stepping out the box you consistently build in your own head. Boxes are small and dark and only fun to play in when you are fiesty and red and your name is Merlot. So renovate and move things around and challenge yourself to make shifts - as uncomfortable as it might initially feel.
I always say that just look outwards at nature to reflect inward. Nature goes through seasons and changes and leaves fall off and flowers bloom and trees die and then it rains and then the sun shines.
Nature and all the creatures that live within adapts.
And last time I checked we too are creatures of nature so we too will adapt and change - going through the cycles and phases (I think you get the picture because this extends to a whole other topic which I can carry on for hours on).
EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE. EVERYTHING IS VALID.
EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE. EVERYTHING IS VALID.
(I had to say it twice because if you have just scrolled past everything else at least you can leave with this one thought).
I don't think this post was supposed to really be about change but it is something I have only recently started accepting. I used to kick and scream against change and I was bogged down by the strict and rigid plan that I envisioned for myself.
For as long as I can remember I was always driven by what I should be doing, hyper aware of what is expected of me, afraid of doing the wrong thing.
And whenever an opportunity for self-pressure comes along I hold onto it and don't let go. As if the other outside pressures just aren't enough.
I think being 'highly strung' is what most people refer this to.
And this hardens you and finding any form of softness becomes very difficult.
And therefore acceptance becomes very difficult.
And being gentle towards oneself or even others becomes very difficult.
But leaving no room for flexibility for life's curve balls ain't a fun game either.
I prefer Scrabble now - it has rules in a more logical way.
So one of the biggest mind shift changes I have come to terms with is to be more vulnerable with my feelings and invite them to the surface.
I by no means have it figured out (nobody ever has anything figured out).
Every now and then you need to burp the Coke bottle just to release some of the pressure (because diamonds aren't created in Coke that's under pressure... soz).
Letting a bit of that fizz come out is an act of self-love and it is a way of respecting yourself by not ignoring the inner. Your inner directly reflects your outer and your outer directly reflects your inner.
It's that simple.
Letting go brings you so much freedom and it not only grows your emotional connections with others but you start learning that affection isn't all that bad either and you release the ridiculous notion of seeking the need to be validated by others.
You create space for your mind and you create space for yourself. Space that can be filled with beneficial things for you at that time and then get spring cleaned again once it has served its purpose - because space is always better than clutter.
It's taking a huge breath in and then sighing it out instead of holding that breath until you are blue in the face.
You really also do stop caring what others think of you because really what others think of you is none of your business.
So there's that too.
Which brings me to my closing statement before Bianca's "thought court" (now that's catchy) is adjourned.
The current times we are faced with are bringing up every emotion written in the book within the time frame of finishing your Netflix movie and walking to the fridge.
It really is a lot. There are days that feel very heavy and then there are moments of utter bliss and you are left with a warped reality because you not sure which reactions of yours are valid.
EVERYTHING IS VALID (make that three).
Every feeling and thought that manifests in your mind is valid.
Also know you are not your thoughts.
You don't have to get involved in any feeling you are feeling.
Being aware of your emotions, giving them attention and diving into them is different than being them.
You are not anxiety.
"Hi there anxiety I am Bianca. I know we meet pretty often and you like to visit. I see you and I am allowing you to be here and we can work through this together".
Instead of "GO AWAY ANXIETY. YOU ARE NOT WELCOME. AHH I HATE YOU!!!"
Nobody likes to be shouted at, especially not anxiety.
Being aware of the emotions and allowing them to happen is a passive and softer approach it doesn't allow anxiety to take a strong hold on you because you have not created a fighting opportunity.
And so anxiety will move through you and it will pass and so will everything else.
This too shall pass.
But focusing on the 'when' is a party invite emailed straight to anxiety and 'cc-ing' all its friends.
You are not even what you do or don't do.
Your being is not defined by your productivity levels during this time. You don't have to better yourself. Or improve. If you want to pick up on old hobbies or create new ones then do. If you want to do all the online classes, then do. If you want to start that thing you've always wanted to do ( a blog maybe?), then do. If you want to exercise all day, then do. If you want to binge watch Harry Potter all day, then do. If you don't want to do any of that then don't.
But whatever you do or don't do do not feel guilty for either one.
Everybody is riding this out with different experiences and it is based on what they think is the best for them.
Everybody has different coping strategies.
SO STOP COMPARING - you are not that person you are looking at on Instagram, seemingly loving life. You don't know what that person deals with offline.
And I am sure if you are like me and have been reading many posts regarding this you have heard it all before.
So I am just here to reiterate that.
There is no right and wrong (no surprise there - we have come full circle!)
This time is an emotional roller coaster and once you are on that ride it is very difficult to navigate when you are concentrating not to throw up. But taking yourself off that ride and taking a bird's eye view gives perspective and it takes away the adrenaline filled fear.
So allow those emotions and thoughts and feelings to happen.
And this goes for any time you find yourself in.
Not just when you are living through a pandemic.
Realise they are there but you don't have to justify them. And know that every day and every moment is different.
Treat every day like an individual entity.
Don't try and compare yesterday when you were on top of the world to today when you're just not.
You will feel different and it might be unexplainable because you did the exact same things. As a result you will also have different actions and reactions.
Just don't compare full stop.
Navigate your emotions in the best way you know how.
And know you were okay. You are okay. You will be okay.
Love & abundance & high vibrations to all.
P.S. For anybody looking to get into meditation Insight Timer is an incredible, free mindfulness app with guided meditations to assist in reordering your thoughts.
Sarah Blondin is currently one of my favorite channels on the app and her meditation on Accepting Change is seriously worth a listen.