Friday, December 19, 2014

Embrace Yourself

The most adventurous journey to embark on; is the journey to yourself, the most exciting thing to discover; is who you really are, the most treasured pieces that you can find; are all the pieces of you, the most special portrait you can recognize; is the portrait of your soul. ― C. JoyBell C.

As I sit here, sipping wildberry zinger tea, under a blanket in my parents' living room amidst a glorious Christmas tree ... I can't help but feel a sense of nostalgia and home.

I'm staying here for another yoga training weekend on the west side. And I'm full of so many emotions, it's hard to breathe today. The more I'm transforming, opening up, the more intense it all feels. But instead of trying to figure out how to "make these emotions go away," like I always used to, I am trying to sit with them, perhaps even make friends with them. Emotion is tied to memory, to ego thoughts, but the feelings of love and joy, those are tied to my higher self, my heart and soul.

So, whether it's sadness or happiness, whatever it's tied to, it's emotion and it's powerful. And now that I have realized how powerful our thoughts and minds are, I'm learning to respect my emotions, on each end of the spectrum and in between.

Because emotion is evidence of living. And I've spent so many years fearing living that I'd much rather get into the mess of it all than sit neatly in the background. This includes feeling so much love, I'm brought to tears most days at the smallest things, whether an act of kindness or a glimmer of nostalgia, whether discovering yet another small shift inside me or noticing it in a close friend.

This also includes feeling vulnerable and open to both my own pain or hurt as well as others'. And there are a lot of hurting people out there. I encounter them all day long and I have to consciously put up a "mental shield" as my counselor used to tell me to do in order to not let it all affect me so deeply. But it's hard. It's hard to open up and then learn how to flip that switch when you need to.

So tonight, I'm struggling with flipping that switch. With learning balance while also allowing the flow of emotion to pass through. It's a hard one to master and I'm sure it will take me years if ever to get there. But one thing I can say ... I am enjoying the journey. Every scary moment when I feel I might lose my nerve, every break through experience where I rediscover something within myself I'd thought long lost, every peaceful breath and sullen tear, every moment I feel my mind take over and I gently intervene, every time I go to lie down and begin to fixate on old fears and all the people I could lose in my life ... And then gently change my thoughts to the positives in my life instead.

It's all a journey, an ongoing lesson book that I am embracing more and more. My fears, well ... they're gonna disappear one by one as I continue to face them. And my essence, knowing myself, that has been the biggest gift I could have ever given myself. Knowing and loving myself for who I am.

I think back on the day I first went to counseling ... as well as the last day. I remember that first time, I had to fill out papers and papers of background information and then my thoughts and feelings. I shutter to think of all the awful, horrible, negative stuff I had said about myself ... things like "worthless," "undeserving," "pathetic" "unloveable" .... and the truth is, all of those things I felt about myself I then created in the people and situations I attracted in my life, which enforced them.

And it wasn't until now that it truly has sunken in how my self worth, the essence of who I am ... of who we ALL are, once embraced ... is invincible. It cannot be shattered. And once we all realize that, we can truly move through life and our fears much more easily.

So, as I sit here, growing, changing ... feeling, being. I offer this simple sentiment —embrace yourself, your TRUE self. And don't live life ... let life live YOU.

Til next time, be well friends <3


Monday, December 8, 2014

Are You a Victim in Life?

“Manifesting is a lot like making a cake. The things needed are supplied by you, the mixing is done by your mind and the baking is done in the oven of the universe.” 
― Stephen Richards

I used to think when something awful happened to me in life or didn't go my way, it was either somehow my fault or I was doomed to be hurt, unhappy, abused, depressed, etc. The world was somehow out to get me.

I won't sit here and excuse other people's words or actions, there are some really awful, tragic, horrible things that people do out there to other people or to themselves ... but I will sit here and say something that has profoundly impacted my view of life thus far.

It's something a lot of people, especially those who are like I was, will not want to hear. But a lot of times, what is going on externally in our lives is an exaggerated mirror of what's going on inside ourselves.

I'm not saying that makes other people's hurtful or harmful actions OK or even warranted. What I am saying is, we tend to attract energy we either put out or that is within us. It's like the child who grows up in a dysfunctional family who unconsciously plays out those same dynamics over and over again in all the adult relationships in his/her life. It's like the woman who grew up verbally or physically abused or had such low self esteem and lack of identity who then seeks out men who are abusive and play out that same internal dialogue.

Those are more extreme cases of what I'm talking about, but other examples could be as simple as someone having internal conversations that say they aren't good enough, they aren't as good as so and so, they aren't lovable, they are flawed, they are broken ... and then find themselves in one failed relationship after another, or never going far in their career, or seeing their counterparts exceed while they stay stagnant.

What I'm driving at is, we often victimize ourselves in life unnecessarily. If someone cuts us off, we feel wounded. If someone is rude to us in a check out line, we feel affronted and defensive. But if we, instead, changed that dialogue inside, we will see that we have total control over how each and every "negative" situation or stimuli that arises in our lives impacts us. We DO have a choice in the thoughts we think and the stories we weave around our experiences. But it's hard for us to sometimes take responsibility for those choices. Sometimes it's just easier to be the doormat and then get mad when someone walks on us.

Our relationships are one of the biggest mirrors and revealers in our lives, in my opinion. They tell us what our relationships with ourselves are. Our closest relationships/friendships can tell us a lot. When you find yourself constantly attracting the same kind of unhealthy people or situations in life, the first place to look is within. What, inside of you, is going on that could be attracting this energy? What kind of self talk do you have? Are you kind to yourself? The friendship and love that you seek from another, are you even practicing that same kind of love and friendship with yourself? What mind chatter is going on all day long? Do you even pay attention?

Our internal dialogue sets the precedence and tone for the rest of the universe to follow. You are a vibrating being. Ask yourself what kind of vibration you are putting out there day in and day out. Ask yourself how, if you abuse yourself every single day with comparisons to others, with negative thoughts, with self-esteem busters, with inferiority or fear-based ego-centric thoughts, with anger, or resentment, etc., could you possibly expect to attract people, opportunities and situations that are any different?

These are hard questions. The last person we want to look at when we feel harmed or abused or taken advantage of is ourselves. It's a lot easier to look at the external ripple rather than look at the internal pebble. It's like allowing a pet to take food off your plate and then getting angry when that pet takes food off a guest's plate. You ultimately set the example internally for the universe to follow.

When I made this realization, it hit me hard. I didn't want to think it for a long time. I wanted to remain the victim. I identified with it somehow. It still tries to grasp at me here and there, if I'm being honest. It was hard to look within and face the sad, dark or awful parts of myself, to see how I treated myself and how that projected into my relationships with others. But once I faced these things (for the record, I face new things every single day), I realized this was not a reason to beat myself up ... it was the very key to my own freedom and empowerment.

So, take these words as your keys to freedom. Empower yourself. Instead of beating yourself up about the past, embrace the lessons there and move forward taking charge of your present and future. Start with your thoughts. Watch them. Let them show you the places in the mind that need rewiring ... and begin, little by little to change your thoughts into something positive. Whether you get cut off in traffic, and thank that person for teaching you patience, or you get snapped at at work and realize that person is in pain of some kind and taking it out on you, so you instead respond very compassionately to them.

Begin to change your entire vibration and essence. Love yourself. Cut yourself some slack. Tell yourself all the things you would yearn to hear from others. Start with you.

The rest will take care of itself. Don't believe me? Give it a try :-)

Until next time ... be well friends <3