What have I been up to? March — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

Here we are again! I’ve done a lot of reading this month and not as much movie or show watching. It’s a rather beautiful feeling for me. Hope you find something new to watch, read, or see while reading! This is what I base my ratings on. No redeeming qualities whatsoever visually, aesthetically, or as […]

What have I been up to? March — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

Feel free to check this post out on my other blog, especially if you are an explorer like me looking for new things to watch and read.

A Month of Journal Tags: Day 2, If I could gain clarity about (Blank), then I would…

This will be a tough topic to tackle. I have so many questions, most of which don’t/can’t have definite answers right now. I’ll do my best to face the most difficult ones head-on, without judgment or anxiety.

Mindfulness is rarely a comfortable journey. THAT’s for sure.

If I could gain clarity about polygamy I would be able to look at different people who practiced it more gently.

Polygamy has never been a social concept I’ve handled well. Even imagining someone marrying a different spouse after their previous one has died gives me terrible anxiety. Movies like Sleepless in Seattle are most assuredly not my favorite in the world.

Over and over again I’ve gone over the issue in my mind, looking at it from a logical point of view and studying it out until I thought my heart would break. Intellectually, I can understand why God asked certain people to practice it. Emotionally, I fight it and outright reject it.

Even the thought of being caught in that kind of relationship is overwhelming.

The moment I can receive clarity about it is the moment I know I’ll be able to let go of prejudices I can’t seem to shake off against those who do choose it.

If I could have clarity about why I’m still single I would be able to better handle harder problems that will come in the future.

The fact I’m still single has been a burden from the time I was 18 years old. It comes with a plethora of old, scarring questions. “What is wrong with me?”, “Did I make a mistake in the past that has kept me from finding someone?”, “What is it I lack?”, “Will I end up an old maid?”, “Am I destined to be that one person in the family that never finds someone?” etc… (The list could go on, but you get the idea.)

I think the only thing that could bring clarity concerning this question is finding the right person to marry, or discovering a deeper purpose in life.

I know full well I’m not just my relationships, career, hobbies, or thoughts. However, there are times when I feel so lonely watching friends and family find happiness in marriage, pregnancies, and child-rearing.

I could talk at length about this subject, but I don’t like to dwell on it too long. It is painful to ponder, and I want to find happiness where I am now, despite not receiving answers to the longings of my heart.

When I reach a point in the future I can answer this question, I’ll be sure to write about it. I know there are more people out there like me who are lonely and wondering why love and marriage haven’t happened for them either.

If I could receive clarity concerning July 10, 2016, I would be able to put to rest the PTSD I’ve carried for five years.

I can’t go into detail about this particular topic because of its overall nature. However, there have been many times I’ve wondered if my experience was the way I thought. Sometimes I think I might have imagined something so profound could have happened at all.

For now, I choose to believe what I saw and experienced was real and I have the power to combat evil in my life.

Whatever questions I may have, or YOU may have as you read this, clarity comes as a gift to all in time. Perhaps in the near future, I can answer these issues I addressed in this post. Without fear, pain, or confusion.

Good luck to all and thank you for reading! If you like you can use this journal prompt for your own writing.

A Month of Journal Tags: Day 1, The little things I value most in my daily life are…

Sensucht (Dreaming) by Heinrich Vogerer

Journal writing is particularly hard for me because:

  1. I’m tired by the end of the day
  2. I don’t quite know what to say
  3. My thoughts are ALL OVER THE PLACE
  4. . . . I forget. 🙂

That being said, I do think journal writing is extraordinarily important. Therefore, I want to challenge myself! If you would like to join me on my quest to journal every day, feel free to copy, use, and tag the journal prompts I use.

Before I officially begin, the more I thought about what I value every day, the more I realize I love my life and what I have. Gratitude truly lies at the center of a joyful everyday life. Hopefully, I’ll be able to realize this more as days go by.

Let’s go! The little things I value most in my daily life are…

“He is not Here” by Walter Rane

God/My Spiritual Beliefs

My relationship with God and following my religious beliefs day by day is the foundation of my life. I value the time spent reading scriptures, exploring other religions to better understand others, meditating, and sometimes sharing what I believe with others.

I am truly grateful for the joy I receive every day because I’ve chosen to live a virtuous, kind, and thoughtful life.

“Christmas Homecoming” by Norman Rockwell

My Family

Whether I am calling, texting, and visiting with my family members, or even doing family history my connection with my family is precious. I have loving parents, six great siblings, five sister/brother inlaws, multiple nieces and nephews, two living grandparents, and many many other extended family members to love.

I know there are many people who do not know their family or lack a loving family environment. Therefore, my personal connection to such a beautiful family is one of the things I value most.

“Healthy Living” on Dreamstime

My Health

I am SOOO self-conscious of my health. How I treat myself through eating, drinking, and exercising has always been one of my top priorities. This also means I consciously work on my mental health. I value the relationship I have cultivated with my body. Because of this, I never need to worry about being a stranger in my own body.

“Fresh and Cold Soft Drinks” from Dreamstime

Water

There was a poll on Facebook I randomly answered a few days ago that asked, “If you could have a lifetime supply of any beverage, what would it be?”. I chose WATER. I mean that. Sincerely. I understand what a blessing it is to have such easy access to clean water. I value every drink of water I have throughout the day.

“Grace Walking” by Penny Mirande

Walks

It wasn’t until recently I noticed how much my body was craving daily walks. I used to walk about 10,000+ steps per day because I didn’t own a car. I really miss the time I had walking, thinking, and connecting to my world. Walking may be slower than riding a car, but it is such a wonderful addition to my daily life!

Now, despite my crazy job schedule, I take time to walk around my neighborhood. It is how I take time to notice what a beautiful world I live in.

“Philosopher Reading” by Jean-Honore Fragonard

Learning

I am infinitely grateful for my college experience. My professors instilled in me a passion for daily learning. I’m constantly studying, reading, or listening to something throughout the day. Sometimes I write about what I learn. Most of the time I add it to my arsenal of knowledge I cherish.

Image via Dreamstime.com

Yoga

From the time I stumbled across a random yoga video in college, I’ve loved how yoga makes me feel. Doing yoga daily helps me sort through my thoughts, burn off daily stress, connect to my body, and strengthen myself physically, spiritually, and mentally. It’s why I wanted to become a yoga teacher several years ago.

“John Lenon- Imagine” by Melissa McCracken

Music

Listening to and performing music has been one of my greatest joys since I was a young child. I thought I would become a singer when I grew up. Now, I value any time I have with music even more because it took me a LONG time to overcome the personal trauma I experienced while studying music in college. I have quite an eclectic taste in music. 🙂 I’ll talk about it sometime in the future.

Nature Watercolor via HappyWall

Nature

I need daily grounding in nature. I have plants in my room, know all the nature hot spots where I live and am currently working on my backyard garden. If I could live anywhere I would choose a cabin in the woods in the mountains. Henry David Thoreau got it right in his autobiography Walden when he said,

Image via Dr. Tara’s Sunshine

Food

I. Love. Eating! Food is one of my dearest daily joys. And not all food is created equal! One of my goals whenever I travel anywhere whether it be Europe, Albuquerque, or Orem Utah is to find delicious places to eat and remember. Anywhere I’ve lived I remember the delicious foods I found.

It was truly a joyous moment for me when I let myself enjoy eating nourishing meals and indulgences without guilting myself into eating more or less.

“Happy Birthday Miss Jones” by Norman Rockwell

My Job

Surprise surprise I truly value working as a teacher. My 24-year-old self would want to slap me outside the head but I’ve grown up since that time. I’m finally earning my own money and giving back to my community in a way I enjoy. Granted not every day is wonderful, or a picture-perfect Norman Rockwell painting.

What means the most to me is how much I learn and grow by connecting with children.

Thank you for reading! Again, feel free to use this Journaling Tag. Hope to see you soon!

Mindful Living: The Ukrainian Conflict

Image via Higher Self Yoga

My thoughts are a muddled mess right now. However, I want to write this post so I can let people know what I feel and am thinking about right now concerning the Ukrainian conflict.

War affects everyone differently. For me, I’ve become more and more withdrawn trying to deal with a plethora of emotions, fears, and grim thoughts. Hopefully, I can look back on this post in the future and be comforted.

From 2014 to 2017 I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the South Western part of Russia. This is a precious part of my life on which I reflect often because of the people I know and love there. I lived in Rostov, Krasnodar, Astrakhan, and traveled along the coast and even near the border of Ukraine.

So many people have asked me how I am handling the Ukrainian/Russian conflict. The short answer is. . . it’s a grief I never really thought I would have to face.

War is different when those you know and love are involved. I know many Ukrainians and Russians who live in the areas affected by this war and it’s heartbreaking to see Russia hated because of its leaders.

Gratefully, many Ukrainians don’t hate Russians for the hateful acts of their leaders.

I’ve been impressed by how Ukrainian President Zelensky has reacted and handled this war. His speech to the Russian people especially moved me a few weeks ago. It reminded me of two verses of scripture in the Book of Mormon.

46 And they were doing that which they felt was the aduty which they owed to their God; for the Lord had said unto them, and also unto their fathers, that: bInasmuch as ye are not guilty of the cfirst offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies.

47 And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall adefend your families even unto bbloodshed. Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion.

Almas 43:46-47

When he talked to the Russian people directly he didn’t attack them or Putin. He simply laid out the facts and made it clear Ukrainians wouldn’t cave to Putin and his demands. It was a powerful example to me of what it means to fight for a good cause.

This is his speech to the Russian people

I hope his message, along with many others reaches the Russian people.

My heart is breaking, watching the Russian and Ukrainian people suffering so. Like I said before, war affects one differently if it involves people and places they love. And I know what I feel pales in comparison to the sorrow and despair of those living there right now.

I think I understand better the song “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” from Les Miserable. In the beginning line, it states, “There’s a grief that can’t be spoken. There’s a pain goes on and on, empty chairs at empty tables. All my friends are dead and gone.”

I wonder if this is how my grandfather felt, fighting in a war against Germany. His father and mother migrated from Prussia right before World War II, leaving behind what would become part of Germany.

I wonder if he ever felt heartbroken at the thought of facing against and killing possible relatives. I wonder if his sorrow in losing so many of his friends felt more bitter because of his connection to Germany.

The people who suffer the most in war are the innocent, everyday men, women, and children forced to endure the tyranny of evil people.

I love Russia, but not for its government. Russians have suffered under bad leadership since their country’s inception. History books record Russia’s leaders, their beliefs, and goals but never its people; the heart and soul of the country itself. They are steadfast, resilient, kind, and generous. The people do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the country they live in.

It’s like Louis L’Amour once said in his novel Last of the Breed.

If our people and your people could sit down together and talk about our families, their farms, and their jobs, I think there would be no trouble. 

‘It is our governments that are continually fencing for position, each trying to gain some advantage.

Russia does not trust its own people. They have built a wall to keep them in …’”.

-Louis L’Amour

What I’m trying to say is I know Vladamir Putin is doing horrendous things under false pretenses. But there are really good people in Russia, many of whom are being arrested for publicly supporting Ukraine and protesting the war.

Perhaps I’ll post about this subject again, to release further feelings and reflect on what I’ve learned. For now, I pray in full sincerity for the people involved in this war. My heart is with them.

I don’t want to let despair rule my life, no matter how much grief I’m carrying. If this isn’t a test of courage and faith, I don’t know what is. Above anything, I want to say I endured this hard time in my life while focused on Christ, God, and their promises of peace and understanding in the future.

Thank you for reading.

Mindful Living: Burning Out

Image of Bugs Bunny from Looney Toons

I didn’t think I would feel the kind of tired I do now for a long while. In the back of my mind I knew being a teacher is tiring. But when I faced it before, like in college, I just shrugged it off and kept chugging along.

I sleep when I need to, eat as healthy as I can, and even regularly do some semblance of exercise. Yet here I am. . . exhausted and ready to sleep a whole week.

When stuck in the moment I wonder to myself, “How did this happen? I thought everything was alright?” Now, my burnout symptoms have crept up on me like a fiendish specter.

Here are the general steps to reaching a burnout. (Steps I hopefully noticed before it is too late.)

Has this happened to you? If you are not quite sure, here are some signs you might be at your limit. Burnt out. Ready to throw in the towel. . . etc. . . . etc. . . etc.

  1. Exhaustion- feeling you could sleep at least twelve hours and still not catch up.
  2. Isolation- Being sick of people and wanting only to be alone.
  3. Depression- Emotions have overwhelmed you to the breaking point.
  4. Dreading Work or Responsibilities- Even the thought of having to take on any work creates great anxiety.
  5. Irritability- Being easily overcome by anger or annoyance at the smallest things.
  6. Trouble Sleeping- Though the exhaustion has piled up, the brain takes too long to shut down and rest.

I actually think this list could go on for a long while. Each of us suffer differently when overwhelmingly exhausted. For me, I thankfully am able to sleep and function somewhat normally despite how much mental strain I’m under. But I recognize I could be in serious trouble if I’m not careful.

So, what do I do now? What does anyone do in this type of situation? I think it is vitally important to early on draw the line of how much you can take on. It is absolutely possible to be TOO BUSY. ALL THE TIME. Take breaks. Say no when you need to. Your health IS important and it does no one any good to sacrifice yourself needlessly for simple busy work.

Mindfulness and meditation are also key to catching ourselves before our exhaustion has gone too far. The more in tune we are to our emotions daily, the better we become at controlling and truly experiencing them.

For myself, I’ll soon be going on spring break. I’ll get a massage, go to the temple, read a lot, watch some shows, do some research, and go to yoga as much as I can. More than anything I’ll simple sit and do nothing blissfully and sincerely.

If there are any of you experiencing this, I wish you the best of luck! May we all stay healthy and in tune with our limitations.

Mindful Living: I Refuse to have a bad day!

Image via Ambitiously Cierra, Turning Around a Bad Day

I remember once upon a time my mother reading to me a book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. When I was a child I couldn’t understand why Alexander was so obsessed with only noticing the bad things happening to him. Perhaps I was still at the age when this was easy. If there is such an age.

Now, as an adult, I can relate to Alexander. It is SOOOO easy to have one or more bad things ruin what could be a perfectly wonderful or ordinary day. For example, yesterday I woke up tired because of daylight savings, just to find myself locked out of my computer when I got to work, “ruining” my lesson plan I had for first period.

I felt so frustrated and at a loss of how to combat the bad feeling I had. When I walked out of another teacher’s classroom, a substitute laptop in hand, I thought to myself, “Am I just going to have a bad day then?”

A far more striking thought entered my mind at that point. I thought, “Only if I let it happen. It’s all up to me and where my focus is.”

I kept that in mind throughout the day and eventually broke out of my slump. But it took a lot of work.

Building a positive mindset is NOT EASY. It’s almost as if we lead our natural emotions like a wild animal away from violent or brash behavior.

What it comes down to is daily mindfulness. It’s easy to give in and believe life is a series of terrible events. Every human being struggles against something. No one has escaped sorrow, anger, or making mistakes.

But it is as Viktor Frank once said.

I think it also matters a great deal what direction we ultimately WANT to go. And, if we find ourselves veering away from our goals and facing cloudy days, we need a way to pull back.

After I stopped and thought about how I wanted my day to go, I went into my classroom and noticed how beautifully the light shone through my window. I took a deep breath, as if drawing in its beauty into myself like liquid courage.

I am in no way a saint when it comes to this. There are times when I get frustrated, emotional, and even scared. But I hope I can draw myself back and believe life is more than just unhappy events.

If I’m not careful, I’ll miss beautiful moments of light, humor, and joy.

Thanks for reading! See you again!

Mindful Living: My First Spa Trip

Pictures of Ten Thousand Waves Spa

First and foremost, I wanted to talk about the amazing trip I had to a Japanese-style spa in Santa Fe. It’s the freshest in my mind because I just got back from it a few days ago.

I’m not sure what you would call a person who loves/admires Japanese culture but… I might be one of them now. This spa was fantastic. The air smelled like cedar or Juniper trees and the buildings looked like a traditional Japanese onsen.

Fun fact about me, I dream about using fancy showers and HUGE bathtubs. Really. It’s the truth. It’s kind of ironic because I hate going to swimming pools.

Ichiban Private Bath

I opted to rent a personal bath with dual bathtubs, a sauna, and a bathing area. Turns out I’m all for big swimming areas if they are heated with wood and I have my privacy. That isn’t to say the Grand Bath was not wonderful. That was great too.

I thought I would not be able to use up the hour and thirty minutes I paid for, but I drank it up! It was so relaxing bathing without phones or work taking up my time. It was one of the best hours I’ve ever had.

They had delicious smelling shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and body soap that reminded me of my childhood cutting wood with my family. (You better believe I bought some.)

My love for bathing luxuriously alone aside, I also booked a CBD massage and discovered how glorious massages are! I’ve made a wonderful decision for myself. I’m going to get a massage every month as long as my budget allows me. (I’ll even pull from my book budget to make it happen!)

So, I wanted to mention this trip because I’ve discovered how important it is to take care of my mental health. To do that, I need amenities like this, where I go out of my way to do things I love. I ENJOY using fancy baths. I love getting massages. So, it is not a waste of money to do it.

I used to think it was because I save and budget my money like crazy. I feel guilty if I spend money unnecessarily. REALLY guilty. But that isn’t a good mindset to have, especially if there are certain things I love to do and experience.

I once took a small budgeting class where the teacher point-blank told us she didn’t care how we spent our money. However, it’s important to name one’s three top priorities and budget around those priorities.

I’ll talk about this particular topic on a different day, but I brought it up to show there is nothing shameful or immature about taking time and money to enjoy what we love.

Thank you for reading! See you next time.

-The Amazing Aubrey Moore

Mindful Living: Introduction

Image via Burningnight

As I’ve pondered what to start writing next, I realized I haven’t talked very much about my goals and ambitions for my physical and mental wellbeing. I’ve made quite a few adjustments throughout the last few months that are worth exploring.

I know there are many people who’ve tried making goals or striven to find little things in their lives they could change to benefit themselves and others. For me, it’s not easy. But as I’ve made necessary changes I’ve noticed subtle positive movements in how I feel about myself.

Before starting my other posts, please know these goals were fine-tuned for me. Not everyone will probably identify with me changing my toothpaste to be more eco-friendly or starting a scripture study every night.

What’s important is finding goals that match your passions and desires for the future.

These are the questions I ask myself:

  1. Does this goal make me happy?
  2. Do I feel better physically/mentally by achieving this goal?
  3. Am I doing this goal for others or myself?
  4. What will I gain by striving to achieve this goal?
  5. Looking back, will I be satisfied with the changes this goal will bring about?

I use my other blog to write written essays and do personal studies. What I hope to achieve by starting this series of posts is a safe space where I can reflect on changes and products I’ve turned to, to improve my physical, spiritual, and mental health.

May we all learn something new as I reflect and ponder what sincerely benefits my life.

The Full List: My Favorite Anime/Manga Characters — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

When I thought about it, some people will have a hard time reading through five posts with answered questions about anime/manga characters. So, I put all of them into a collective list. If you ARE interested in knowing more about my experiences or thoughts about these characters, feel free to read my five posts about […]

The Full List: My Favorite Anime/Manga Characters — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

My Favorite New Anime/ Shows 2021 — From the Perspective of an Old Soul

This list was not hard to make. I’ve seen a lot of new anime this year (more than usual actually), but if I wasn’t completely invested I just didn’t finish them. Because I don’t have time to watch things that are uninteresting to me. A little tip though. These anime are not necessarily made in […]

My Favorite New Anime/ Shows 2021 — From the Perspective of an Old Soul