The universe is speaking to me loud and clear today.

I spent the weekend at a fairly intense personal growth workshop. It’s one that I’ve done before but going back was not what I expected it to be. Last night, I couldn’t help feeling disappointed by that. I could see the places where I hadn’t done what I set out to do for myself, where I hadn’t gotten what I wanted, and it was frustrating. Did I want it to be magic? Yep, I did, and it wasn’t.

Even in the midst of my frustration, though, I could see that maybe I’d learned some things, even if they weren’t the ones I was hoping to learn. And I could also be proud of myself for having given it my all. I worked hard. I did exercises that I hate, that scare me, and when I failed, I tried again. Go me. But it still didn’t feel good.

Then I went to yoga. Maybe — well, probably — it was that I was in the right space to hear this message. Maybe the time, the place, the work I’d been doing, all added up to an openness to receive something that I should have heard eons ago. But Lisa, the wonderful yoga instructor, started the class with a few words, as she usually does, and her words today were about “can’t” vs “can.” She spoke about how we think we can’t do something, we’re right, and when we think we can, we’re also right. My inner skeptic grumbled immediately — I’m pretty sure that telling myself I can do twenty push-ups is not going to miraculously make that happen. But she told us that for today, when our thoughts wandered, as they would, she wanted us to bring them back to positive, powerful thoughts and she threw out a few suggestions, “I am amazing, I am powerful, I am strong, I am happy.”

I’ve tried positive self-talk before. (If I hadn’t, I would have had some pretty bad therapists, given how prevalent it is as a cognitive behavioral therapy technique.) But I’ve always used “you” messages, words in the second person POV. Using first person totally changes the impact, the feeling inside. “You are powerful, you are strong” — it sounds like an instruction and it feels like a lie. “I am powerful, I am strong” is a lot more compelling, especially when I’m thinking it while I’m balanced on one hand. It felt great.

In further universe messages, it’s easy to feel invisible when struggling with depression. Easy might not even be the right word — it’s a symptom, like sleeping too much or not enough. Sometimes it’s feeling like glass; fragile, see-through, unnoticed. But I came back from my weekend away to multiple reminders that my existence is noticed, from online friends and real-space friends. (Thanks, Judy!)

I’ve been trying to focus all my writing energy on the stories I’m working on. Instead of writing blog posts and writer’s pages first, they get to come after I’ve finished my fiction word count for the day. Unfortunately, that’s translating into not writing enough words any day. Last night, I was still eking the words of the story out at 10:30 and I came nowhere close to my 1000 word goal. But I persist. Today I’ve been beating myself up over this short story, so I’m taking a break from it right now and finally finishing this blog post that I started writing last week. Yeah, it’s now 10 days since my workshop. Time flies when you’re not writing enough, I guess.

Good stuff happened, though. The weather was nice enough to go swimming twice, making March 16th the first swim day of 2015. I am pretty sure that’s the earliest ever, which is ironic, since the winter has been miserable. Also R came home and we had Peruvian food (delicious!) and Avengers watching. And now… back to short story writing. I keep reminding myself, just tell the story, but alas, I keep worrying about the words. Maybe I should be listening to more music from Frozen.