Saturday, December 27, 2014

Because the Christmas season hasn't ended in the liturgical year:

Christmas Time is finally here,
It only comes but once a year.
And it's a time to spread good cheer,
To those we love and hold so dear.

Christmas Time is a time of glee,
A time when peace and love run free.
A time for those like you and me,
To sit beneath the Christmas Tree.

Christmas Time is a time to share,
The passing of another year.
Birth of Jesus, a joyful prayer,
To show loved ones how much we care.

Christmas Time is a time for song,
A time for us to get along.
To make us feel Lord Jesus strong,
Forgive all those who did us wrong.

Christmas Time is a time to pray,
Put love and kindness on display.
Show compassion along the way,
Christmas Time should be everyday

(And also because this is the poem I am using for my families secret santa which is in like an hour....)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

The never-ending-semester has ended and I am back home in Maine. It was a bitter sweet end: lots of goodbyes to be said before I leave for Rome but I am also super excited for my upcoming adventures! A month from today I fly to London, and then Italy a few days later. Scary...

I miss my family a lot when I am gone and I am so glad to be home for Christmas to spend time with them. My sister and one (of many) cousins drove up  to VT to get me on Thursday and I am eternally grateful for all their help with moving me out. And they also made the trip more funny and entertaining than a bus ride would ever be. 

My family is great, but we don't always see eye to eye. And over vacation, there are many Christmas parties to attend to, especially the Christmas Eve party we have out our moms house. Tonight we saw so many people that we haven't seen in awhile and it was so much fun! But there was a lot talked about and a lot of things discussed that was controversial. When intense things come up in that are controversial I either want to aggressively defend my point of view or crawl into a hole and never come out,

SO I'm totally copying off this off another blog (link below) because I think that they are wonderful reminders during those stressful moments of pure annoyance at family holiday parties.  

Everybody makes mistakes. I don’t have to be perfect.
I can be happy even if I’m not dating anyone.
I’m satisfied with the way my life is and I don’t need anyone else’s approval.
I am a worthwhile, lovable, and valuable person no matter what. My worth isn’t based on my accomplishments.
My life doesn’t have to meet anyone else’s expectations.
I may be unhappy with some things in my life right now, but I’m working on them and I’m confident that in the future they will change.
I am still a good person even if other people don’t approve of my life.
My religious beliefs are still true even if my relatives disagree with me.
I don’t have to convert my relatives; God will change their hearts. I just have to love them and explain my beliefs to the best of my ability.

(http://lifeteen.com/can-we-leave-now-survive-tough-family-parties/?utm_content=buffere004a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffe)


Merry Christmas everybody! and Happy Holidays and have a wonderful, peaceful winter season to anyone who does not celebrate Christmas!


Peace and love,

SN 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Studying in Starbucks= Procrastination

I have been sitting in Starbucks for almost 3 hours, praying I will find the focus and inspiration to study. Alas, not a lot of luck. I would much rather be facebook stalking everyone I have ever had a crush on or starting research for my senior thesis (and I have done both within the last hour). Please someone stage an intervention. I don't know if this procrastination is the result of some confidence I have regarding my finals or if it has to do with the fact that I have almost completely checked out for the semester. 2 more days baby! 

This comes with a lot of conflict for me, considering I am studying abroad next semester. I am so excited but I am also so sad to be leaving my little college family (and my real family, but I have had a lot of practice being away from them). It's sad but liberating. I feel like I am in a time of transition, and I'm really just trying to accept it. That's hard. I have never been good at changes or transitions, but I feel like I might almost be setting myself up for more anxiety by looking at in that light. I am trying to see change and transition as good. Without it, life wouldn't be interesting and we would never become fully ourselves. But what does that even mean? I don't know. If you do, please let me know (or write a book because you'll probably make a fortune).

All I know is, I should be studying but my mind is occupied with philosophical questions about life. For instance, what does it mean to lose oneself in order to find oneself in God or to reach a greater connection with the universe? I'm thinking about like overcoming or being in touch with one's ego as one of the main 'goals (I guess?) of monastic life so that one can find a deeper union with God. 

SO those are my thoughts lately, what are yours? 


Peace, 

SN

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

(This was a post I meant to publish in October, but I totally forgot about it. So here it is)

Okay, so I didn't know if I want to write this post. But at the same time I want to, so since so few of of you read this, I will. Just a disclaimer: I will try my hardest not to offend anyone, but this is a controversial topic. I have some what of a rocky opinion, but an opinion nevertheless. All are entitled to their own opinion and who am I to judge if you are right or wrong. You may not agree with me and I may not agree with you, but who am I to condemn anyone for this?

If you are on social media or if you keep up with the news, you probably know about the young women who decided to end her life on November 1 using a dosage of lethal medicine that was prescribed to her. She was an advocate for the  Oregon Death With Dignity Act, an act that legalized aid in death (or more popularly known as assisted suicide).

So first of all, this death saddens me. The idea of DWD is super controversial, but there is something more than this. when I think of this women's death, I have nothing but sadness for her families lose. I am also sad that a life had to end so soon. This women was going to die from her terminal cancer, but she chose to die before the suffering became too great for her. Either way a life was lost,  a beautiful and precious life. This is what upsets me so much about her death. Yes, many more people die every day and this makes me sad as well. But since this death was more 'advertised' (if you will) because of the controversial issue that has been attached to it. This also upsets me. I am glad that this women stood up for something she believed in and try to do what she believed was right before she died. I just wish that more people would look beyond her method of death and mourn for the lose of life, rather than criticizes her decision.

Now, I don't think I could ever make this decision for myself or a loved one. For me, suffering is something I see as part of life. And I believe that ALL life is valuable and has purpose. I would hope and pray that if I was every in this position, God would give me strength. And I hope that I could be like Blessed Chiara and see it this way: “there’s only one thing I can do now: to offer my suffering to Jesus because I want to share as much as possible in his sufferings on the cross.” But I'm not sure I could do this either.

But I am not in this position but this women was. She did not chose what I would have, because she is not me. She was a strong individual with her own beliefs. I wish that people did not have to go through something so painful that they would be in favor of the Death with Dignity Act. But our world has this kind of pain. And we do not have the power at this point to rid the world of suffering (I don't think that we ever will). I understand the arguments behind the DWD, but I don't agree with it. But I also do think that people should have control over what they do with their bodies (contradictory, I know). SO if someone decides to get 'aid in death' who am I to judge? Ultimately, it is not my decision nor is it anyone one else's except the persons. Obviously, this is why it is so controversial: Do we give people the right to die as they wish in certain circumstances or do we try to preserve human life at all painful costs? I honestly don't know.

I wish that we could all see eye to eye and do all the right things all the time, but we can't because we're not perfect. I just hope that we can respect each other and live compassionately. I think that living like that will begin when we try as best we can to respect each other and understand perspectives that are different than ours.

I am not writing this to say which side of the issue is right or wrong. I was just very upset by the comments people were writing all over social media, condemning (sometimes in the name of God) this women's choice. This kind of ridicule, I can say very firmly, I do not believe in.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Goodness

I'm home on October break!!! And it feels so good!!!!!! I mean, I'm not doing much. I seriously have watched like 3 hours of Once Upon a Time. But it's all good. This show is so enlightening, in a TV drama sort of way. But I was just thinking, people are good. There is some good everywhere, we just have to find it. WE ARE NOT PERFECT, WE ARE HUMAN. But naturally, we are good and we want to do good. And if we do nothing more than this, if there is no other purpose, I'm okay with that.

God bless,

SN

Monday, October 13, 2014

Compassionate living

Posting again, because studying is boring. I really need to study though. My Christian and Muslim midterm is going to kill me.

I've just had a lot of thoughts lately, as one does when things are rough. I had a mini identity crisis in the last few weeks. I started questioning my whole moral system. Being on a college campus and participating in the 'weekend scene' does not lend itself to making the best decisions. And some decisions just made me ask: who am I? Of course I can't answer this question fully, but I have come to realize even when I feel lost and confused, it will be okay. This might be preachy so just a heads up. I realized I am who I most want to be when God is placed at the center of my life. For me this just means living as God wants me to. I'm so not into preaching and trying to convert people, but I will say that I want to show God's love through my actions and my life. A large task, I know. But alas, I am only human and I have many flaws. I have found that being aware of these flaws and admitting to mistakes is the best thing we can do.

Throughout the two years I have been meditating in a formal setting, the best thing I have learned is to just be aware, be present, and be compassionate (especially to yourself). It does wonders whenever I can do these things.

On that note, I had someone say today that they were feeling stressed out and unappreciated yesterday. Just wanted share someone compassionate words for that person and for anyone who is feeling this way: You are appreciated! You are the only you there is, and you are needed and loved.

Peace.

SN

Just Be You

These are such inspirational pictures to empower women to be who they are! These are the ones that really spoke to me:




And here is the link more about the project and all the images: http://www.boredpanda.com/powerful-illustrations-showing-women-how-to-fight-against-society-prejudices/

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

For the love of Dogs...

Amidst my insanely busy schedule, I have started volunteering at a local dog shelter. It has been the highlight of my week to spend time with these beautiful and terribly misunderstood dogs. Most of the dogs are pit bulls and they have a hard time being adopted because of their breeds reputation. It's so sad because they are all so sweet and rather timid. Also very hyper, but wouldn't you be if kept inside a shelter most of the day? There have been studies done that show that a humans touch can calm down another human, and the same is true of dogs. It's just incredible how far a half an hour walk can go for a dog that is learning to trust and love. And walking a dog has been such a stress reliever for me. Being focused on someone or something else that needs you really helps you put it all in perspective.

Maggie!!! Such a good dog.


 I miss my baby, Sparky!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Tattoos

I'm addicted (I'm also procrastinating) Here's my up to date tattoo collection.
The lotus flower has my grandmothers initials. She passed away this Christmas. The heart design is a symbol for adoption that me and my sister both got. The top one in Cyrillic is says "Lubov" meaning love in Russian. This was the name of my triplet brother who died shortly afterbirth. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

OMMMMMMM


Zen time with friends in Burlington because although its only Tuesday, it needs to be Friday. 
I live with 3 other people which is nice because all my friends are right there, but it is a lot sometimes. Right now one of my suite mates is mad at me and she hasn't really said why and there is just a lot of tension and the whole suite is just in awkward, silent chaos. We've started referring to our suite as a zoo. It's awesome. Except not. But oh well, to each their own. I'll just be over here meditating while the Zoo continues to run. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Blessed (Post-retreat gratitude)

Fall in Love


~Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907–1991)




Leave your fears, anxieties, worries, and pains at the foot of the cross. Be at peace and follow Him.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ballet

I love ballet. Shows about ballet, movies about ballet, ballet shoes, youtube ballet tutorials: I'm obsessed. I have wanted to take a ballet class since freshmen year, and now I finally am!! I'm absolutely terrible but getting better. Needless to say, I would rather watch the professionals rather than take a class any day.


Oh and there's one of my tattoos (2 actually). I got the white cross on a whim freshmen year and the quote reads: "It was then that I carried you" from the footprints in the sand story. It was my 20th birthday gift to myself <3

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

American Addiction


A recent poem:

Breathing in the sweet aroma of lust and agony
Breathing in I feel the warmth and pain
I taste every kiss and every tear
Deserted alone on the road I breath in

American spirits flying higher than the truth
Smoke engulfs me
grasping my heart my lungs 
Every breath like fire and ice
Comfort and irritation  
Happiness taken by trust

Breathing in i believe in him 
Breathing in i feel the temptation
Indulging my every urge
taking me higher and dragging me down

Take a drag, 
Blow it out. 

Feel the sensational calm
Feel the racing of a dying heart
the smoke clears a new path
He disappears on the wings of ashes 

Lungs give out

unable to hold the sadness of living 
American addiction:
     the only way

         I know how to forget

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Todays thoughts.....

Today in Counseling Theory and Method, our professor asked us why we wanted to go into the field of counseling. I have totally thought about this, but she encouraged us to look deeper than we had before. My initial response was that I cared for people and wanted to help them because I had been through some things that I thought I could help others through as well. This was my reasoning when I became a psych major, and it is still true. But my reasoning now is definitely deeper and more clear to me know.

If you have read this blog, you know I have been going to counseling since I was in 9th grade. At that particular time in my life, counseling did not mean much to me. Dr. S was not my favorite person and I actually kind of hated her, despite the fact she was very helpful. I have been seeing a counselor in college as well, and it has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself.

I have seen a growth and development within myself through the lens of counseling. I have reached a place where I am very happy with who I am. I want to see people get to that place. Everyone is genuinely good despite the idea of Original Sin and the Fall. All people have a purpose and great potential that they could reach if they are willing to do so. I want to help people reach this potential.

I wish I could say that the way I will do this in my life is as a licensed professional counselor or something of the sort, but I don't know. I like the idea, but I have something else thats been tugging at my heart for a while now. That whole 'I want to be a nun' thing has not gone away but continue to grow. As frustrating as scary as this idea is, I love it. It is going to be a long journey, the journey into the real world after college. And I still don't have the answers. I wonder if I will look back on this blog as a counselor or nun and wonder if I made the right decisions......

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Junior Year and Life is Beautiful

I have been back at school for about 2 weeks. I am a Junior in college, when did that happen? I often reread this blog as encouragement for the future. I look back to my freshman year of high school and the dark days of being a teenager. I am happy to say my life is drastically different and better. I am also glad that despite the changes that have occurred in the last five years or so, I can still that rebellious and ambitious MimiX within the Sarah Nadezhda I am today.

I have never cared if anyone reads my blog. I hope to continue it though because I like to see my progress and development. It has been confusing and it has been hard at times, but this is me. And I'm happy with that. Life is so beautiful and needs to be cherished and appreciated in every moment because this moment is all we truly has. Who knows what the world will be like tomorrow? We could wake up and realize we have been living in a dream world of illusion. But more than likely we will wake up and it will be more than less the same. The thing is, it is different. Everything about it and seemingly nothing.

We are given the gift of a new day through the grace and love of God. WE have the choice to make each day bright and new, all we have to do is be mindful and aware of the worlds great potential and there are endless things to be discovered.

So this post is totally cliche, and I'm okay with that because I am feeling strangely optimistic and excited for this new school year. It's going to be incredible, I can just tell.

Sarah Nadezhda

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Supermarket Vocation

One and only poem I wrote for my poetry class last semester *sigh*

I find myself walking the streets of Portland,
hungry for inspiration, thinking to myself of your grandeur
with a somber heart of confusion that seeks consolation.
I need a Church in which to leave all my fears but
the supermarket is closer less intimidating than the haunting
pews of my past that loom within the stain glass sanctity.
Wondering the over lit, crowded, shining aisles
I might lose myself to the world of consumerism:
Spaghetti with sauce for dinner that will please the kids
Peanut butter, jelly, carrots, fruit snacks assembled
to make their lunches as I eat leftovers.
I pass the frozen pizzas, tubs of ice cream, TV dinners
Perhaps this is what I shall eat alone watching mindless
TV on lonely, blood red wine nights of mundane life.
But I see you standing in the liquor aisle (of all the places!)
Next to the Skyy and Burnetts, I follow through the produce aisle
You peruse tomatoes, cucumber, starfruit and pineapple
Looking at each item with affection and interest as if
You have never seen them before. I smile to myself
Seeing the wonder of the maker with that which he has made.
And it was all good. Through the aisles made by man filled
With things that we are suppose to enjoy, that we need
I see in the beauty of the forbidden fruit and all things
Good come not from men of a lost society, but from
You who stands among the garden fresh beauty
You wander through the soulless store searching for
The one who sees beyond the labels of pop tarts and Trix
Magazines line my frame of vision, showing me
How I should be happy with two kids, a fence, a man
I abandon the familiarity of a supermarket for a world
Only concerned with the consumerism of love.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Beauty of Children

I have never considered myself a 'kid' person. Surprisingly, I've always done well with them. i volunteered at the school my parents work at and I have a ton of younger cousins. Seriously though, I have always said I never liked or wanted kids of my own. I recently went on a service trip to Buffalo NY where I worked at Nativity Miguel middle school. It was one of the most inspirational things I have ever done. It inspired me so much that when I got back to school, I wanted to continue to do similar work in the community. Now me and one of my best friends from SMC are leading an after school homework help programs at the local elementary school. We went to the school today to help for the first time. We worked in an ESL class room with five refuge kids. I worked with a kindergartner from Nepal with her reading and writing. She was so bright, but was still struggling with the simplest English words. It really put things into perspective for me. I stress so much about all my homework and freak out when I don't get an A. This girl was so happy when she managed to write five grammatically correct sentences. It just made me think that the things we worry about as adults are not as worth worrying about as we make them out to be. And these kids were so accepting. They didn't have any judgements or preconceived notions about us. They just saw that we were there to help. They didn't question if we were of good character or not, they just had faith we were. We can't we all be this accepting, innocent, and open to life?





Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Praying drunk

Poetry class has inspired me to write some poetry. I use to a lot when i was in my teen angst filled days of high school and middle school. I never really shared my poems because they were too deep, too real. But our professor has said one thing every single day of class: we are more than less the same. We all share the same basic human emotions, the particulars and situations differ. So my poems are still dark and real. I find most of my inspiration for writing and most everything else comes from the hard, painful stuff in my life because they teach me the most. We need the bad to make the good mean anything at all. The opening line is from 'Praying Drunk' by Andrew Hudgins:

Our Father who art in heaven, I am drunk.  
Again. Red wine. For which I offer thanks.  
I ought to start with praise, but praise  
comes hard to me. I stutter. Did I tell you  
about the woman whom I taught, in bed,  
this prayer? It starts with praise; the simple form  
keeps things in order. I hear from her sometimes.  
Do you? And after love, when I was hungry,  
I said, Make me something to eat. She yelled,  
Poof! You’re a casserole!—and laughed so hard  
she fell out of the bed. Take care of her.

Next, confession—the dreary part. At night  
deer drift from the dark woods and eat my garden.  
They’re like enormous rats on stilts except,  
of course, they’re beautiful. But why? What makes
them beautiful? I haven’t shot one yet.  
I might. When I was twelve, I’d ride my bike  
out to the dump and shoot the rats. It’s hard  
to kill your rats, our Father. You have to use  
a hollow point and hit them solidly.  
A leg is not enough. The rat won’t pause.  
Yeep! Yeep! it screams, and scrabbles, three-legged, back  
into the trash, and I would feel a little bad  
to kill something that wants to live  
more savagely than I do, even if  
it’s just a rat. My garden’s vanishing.  
Perhaps I’ll merely plant more beans, though that  
might mean more beautiful and hungry deer.  
Who knows?
                I’m sorry for the times I’ve driven  
home past a black, enormous, twilight ridge.
Crested with mist, it looked like a giant wave  
about to break and sweep across the valley,  
and in my loneliness and fear I’ve thought,  
O let it come and wash the whole world clean.
Forgive me. This is my favorite sin: despair—
whose love I celebrate with wine and prayer.

Our Father, thank you for all the birds and trees,  
that nature stuff. I’m grateful for good health,  
food, air, some laughs, and all the other things  
I’m grateful that I’ve never had to do  
without. I have confused myself. I’m glad  
there’s not a rattrap large enough for deer.  
While at the zoo last week, I sat and wept  
when I saw one elephant insert his trunk  
into another’s ass, pull out a lump,  
and whip it back and forth impatiently  
to free the goodies hidden in the lump.  
I could have let it mean most anything,  
but I was stunned again at just how little  
we ask for in our lives. Don’t look! Don’t look!
Two young nuns tried to herd their giggling  
schoolkids away. Line up, they called. Let’s go  
and watch the monkeys in the monkey house.
I laughed, and got a dirty look. Dear Lord,  
we lurch from metaphor to metaphor,  
which is—let it be so—a form of praying.

I’m usually asleep by now—the time  
for supplication. Requests. As if I’d stayed  
up late and called the radio and asked  
they play a sentimental song. Embarrassed.
I want a lot of money and a woman.  
And, also, I want vanishing cream. You know—  
a character like Popeye rubs it on  
and disappears. Although you see right through him,  
he’s there. He chuckles, stumbles into things,  
and smoke that’s clearly visible escapes  
from his invisible pipe. It makes me think,  
sometimes, of you. What makes me think of me  
is the poor jerk who wanders out on air  
and then looks down. Below his feet, he sees  
eternity, and suddenly his shoes  
no longer work on nothingness, and down  
he goes. As I fall past, remember me.

And here we go....


'Our father who art in heaven, I am drunk.'
Being drunk is different than being an alcoholic.
Yes of course. We can all agree.
I hope none of you have to be in that place,
Some of you might though.
Why are you looking at me?
My alcoholism rears its head as a different vice.
We all have those, we can agree.
Dark, so dark.
Alone, so alone in the heavy darkness.
Just a little more and the morning will shine.
As the light falls through the window, I am still alone.
The darkness comes from within,
taking little regard to the world passing by.
So alone in the darkness, alone in the knife.
Stop, you're hurting me.
But you won't listen, how can you?
When I am you, and you are me.
When the subject of fear becomes the object.
When object of fear becomes the subject.
This is my own perfect addiction,
My own drunken prayer to a God that is not there,
Wash my tears away with yours,
Crying for salvation.
Wash away my blood with yours,
Given for a world of misery.
Save me, oh God!
Save the world that hungers for your love.
Amen.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I'M FINALLY GOING TO RUSSIA

HEY EVERYONE!!! I hope people still read this because I'm going to RUSSIA THIS SUMMER!!! And I need some help! Please share this link to your blogs so that I can get donations to help pay my way to Russia. I hope to visit my hometown while I am there and do some volunteer at the orphanage I am from if at all possible. I am also in the process of doing an international psychology research project. SO if you feel so inclined please share or donate! Thank you!


Go Fund Me!!