Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | December 1, 2010

Am I Listening? Are You Listening?

Are You Listening

I read this post today by @edrecovery called “ED Recovery and Growth In Spite of Our Doubts” and it made me start thinking about a lot of things. This quote especially resounded with me “You have the power to choose your lessons, to grow at your own pace, and to build a life that you feel great about.”

I have a lot of things on my bucket list for ViR that have been nagging at me lately. Almost weighing me down. I have these large goals, vision board material in a way, of what I want to do with ViR. I am facing some struggles with money, creativity, innovation, inspiration, etc. and I keep putting pressure on myself and the Universe to send me BIG answers to the answers in life. I think I have forgotten that life isn’t only surrounding ViR, advocacy, recovery, or social media. My life is a vast colorful palate. I forget to step outside the world in advocacy and see the Universe just may be sending me small lessons, whispering in my ear what I need right now, at this very moment, and I may be too busy looking for the Universe to yell in my ear about what I am wishing it would. Life’s answers are funny. I asked the Universe to guide me, send me some inspiration, guidance, and excitement. I was never clear on the details. So am I listening if I am listening with tunnel vision??

I was reading this article on HuffPost and it touched upon this question: What do you want out of life, really? I had to take a moment and step back and really think about this. I constantly ask myself what I want out of ViR, but what about me? My life? I giggled a few weeks ago, when I told my guy “I wish I lived in a movie sometimes, with a music soundtrack, with inspiring statements, and insights into the life of a character.” I like the pretty wrapped package of stories, written with beginning, middle, conclusion, and always the appearance of insight. If there is one thing in life I THRIVE on, it is on insights into life. I feel insights bring about change, make me able to face fear, drive me to want to inspire others, and help me figure out what exactly I want in life.

Here are a few of my CORE things I want out of life:

  • I want to inspire/motivate/empower people to find their voice, and pursue their journey in life, in recovery and in life.
  • I want to be a loving  and supportive daughter, sister, aunt, girlfriend, friend, mentor
  • I want to make a difference in life
  • I want to continue to push myself, to grow, to be challenged in my thinking
  • I want to live the life I define, the one I pursue, the one that works for ME, and never settle for anything less
  • I want to travel, meet new people, and experience life to its absolute fullest
  • I need a partner who will challenge, inspire, motivate me, and one who is inspired, motivated, and seeking their own passions and goals in life

I am inspired by:

  • My family
  • My boyfriend
  • Advocates, Actionists, Activists, #RecoveryWarriors
  • My mentee
  • People who are fighting to live the life that is RIGHT for them
  • People sharing their voices

I am Grateful for:

  • The love and support of my family
  • My boyfriend, who loves, supports me and was a huge part of saving my life
  • Supportive social media friends
  • I have the ability, in each new day, to make new decisions that will guide me towards the future I want

Looking over this list I realize, it is the small things that are the big things in my life. I never want to take for granted the many blessings I have in life. In the past week I have been given a few gifts and think I haven’t really been listening! I was at dinner at Thanksgiving with my guys parents, and we went around the table to say what we are thankful for. When it got to me, I thought I had the answer “Recovery and sobriety.” What I realized, as I was talking, was that I was truly grateful for my partner, the person who has been with me the past 3 three years, through thick and thin. I know we have our issues, like every couple, but considering what we have been through, it is a true blessing to be where we are right now, in this very moment.

Three Thanksgivings ago, before we moved to Boston, I had just gotten sober (November 12, 2007) and had just started recovery again hard-core. I went to his parents’ house 1) nervous 2) scared 3) unsure of whether I would be able to handle ALL of that in a setting I was not comfortable in. I had printed out the NEDA and Something Fishy recommendations for people in recovery, and read it before going to dinner to calm myself down. Now here I was, three years later, and honestly in such a different place, I hardly recognized the person I was three years ago. That is the true blessing in recovery, the ability to transform my life into something truly wonderful. And I had this partner, who had supported me, by my side all these years later. He is part of the reason I am alive today.

We were at dinner the other night, and he said “I am truly happy with our life here, with you, our life is really good. I love you so much.” This was the first time he had said this since we moved back to California, and maybe the first time in our relationship. Boston was so HARD on us, with school, no family, no support system, a foreign location, no friends, and medical school whirlwind, and ViR creation. Now in Cali, he feels settled, and truly loves our life. Those are the messages I need to be listening to in life. The small comments are the ones that mean the most.

I asked for inspiration and support and a “light” from the Universe. I just may not have been listening at the time to the answer, or the package it was delivered in. The answer is clear: I have what I need, at this very moment, to be happy with where I am and who I am. Nothing “needs to happen” in order for things to be just right. I just need to let go and accept that I am exactly where I am meant to be, and this is a good place to be.

These lyrics today inspired me by First Aid Kit “Heavy Storm”

A new day awaits me.

I could be gone today

A new day awaits me

We could be here to stay

I believe these three questions give incredible insight:

1)   What are the CORE things you want out of life?

2)   What inspires you?

3)   What are you grateful for?

I believe that living in this moment, right now, is where life is happening! Don’t wait for things to be just right to start something, to pursue your dreams. Start now. Find your passions, what inspires you and go for it. Don’t live in the “what if’s” or the “shoulds.” Ask the Universe for some guidance, and be prepared for answers that don’t come in pretty packages. Listen to the whisper.

Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time ~ Leo Buscaglia


  1. I am inspired and grateful for you everyday. Reading your blog I felt my heart swell. I am so lucky to have you home again. Your dreams will transpire as they are meant to, and always listen to your inner voice and that whisper from the UNIVERSE. Mom

    • Thank you Mom! I was just feeling like no one was reading the blog and there comes your comment. A little of the Universe whispering to continue on 🙂

  2. wow. wow. just wow!

    The last paragraph has really struck a chord…

    “I believe that living in this moment, right now, is where life is happening! Don’t wait for things to be just right to start something, to pursue your dreams. Start now. Find your passions, what inspires you and go for it. Don’t live in the “what if’s” or the “shoulds.” Ask the Universe for some guidance, and be prepared for answers that don’t come in pretty packages. Listen to the whisper.”

    I’ve spent so long waiting for things to happen, for change to happen around me and make my life better – when it’s all down to me. Finally I realise this! I’m in such a fortunate position in my life, being at university and much the same as you, surrounded by wonderful people.

    I think it’s easy to get self consumed and forget about the positivity that surrounds you… but it’s there – and people like you help me remember that.

    Every time you post on Twitter… you help me. Whether it’s a quote or a thought I can identify with – you help me.

    You’re a truly inspiring person.


    • Amber thank you so much for your truly honest and kind words. I absolutely love that you were able to recognize how waiting for things to “happen” can hold you back! Taking a moment to realize we are in control of our lives, and are truly grateful for what we DO have right now is a blessing and change in perspective. Thank you so much for your feedback. I am humbled to know the words I write have a positive impact on you! Just know you have one more person to add to your support network 🙂 Hugs

  3. Kendra
    I just read your blog. It makes me happy to see that you have a wonderful boyfriend who has been there for you and you for him. You two have done so much together the last couple of years. I know the next few years will be very good for both of you. It makes me happy when you are happy. Remember just because people don’t post doesn’t mean they don’t read them. Remember to follow your dreams. They will come true.
    Love Dad

  4. I love this post and it really relates with where I have been recently and, particularly, what happens when you move out of the early stages of recovery and realise that you might have the future you weren’t so sure you would…

    I guess this has been the big question for me, and has prompted my recent dreaming – and I think your blog has given me a framework for doing that. Sometimes (and again related to the changed appreciation of life after nearly losing it) I am so busy looking for the big momentous things that I miss the little things and there is so much pressure to make every moment count that I end up losing sight of what it means to count…

    So thanks for reminding me. xx

  5. It is so hard to not only hear the little things but to acknowledge them and make them known but to give them the credit that they deserve and all too often never get. The little things, words, actions or simple recollections are what makes life meaningful and invigorating.

  6. I think this might be the first time have read your blog! You have a powerful message to share as well as to spread 🙂
    In the midst of all that we have going on in our lives…we can easily miss out on not only lessons to learn but blessings to receive by not seeing what is right in front of us.
    Looking at each minute of our life, realizing there are no accidental encounters, enables us to live in the moment and take in ALL of the lessons and blessings that the universe bestows on us…that is what makes life worth living to it’s fullest!

  7. I love gratitude lists. I do one every day to help me remember what I am truely grateful for now I no longer binge eat. It isn’t the material things in life, it is always my recovery from binge eating, the people who have helped me and my family.

    If you are feeling miserable, gratitude lists are a great way to change your mood.


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