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Reflect Out Loud

"The unexamined life is not worth living." – Socrates

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choice

Adjusting

It’s been over a month since I’ve had any income. Between my cross country move from NYC to Cali, rent, bills, and food expenses my wallet is starting to shrink.

I’ve gone on a handful of interviews, applied to literally over 100 jobs in a variety of fields, but haven’t actually landed anything. So as I leave yet another interview empty handed, with no job offer and without knowing when exactly my next paycheck will be, my spirit withers.

My mind begins to wander in darkness, spiraling through thoughts of “Maybe I’m not as good of a candidate I thought I was. Maybe I’m at the bottom of the barrel. There must be something wrong with me. Maybe I won’t make it out here, and this whole childish fantasy of mine was just a delusion – just a mistake.”
But as I walk through the streets of San Diego being kissed by the sun, hugged by the gentle breeze, and hypnotized by the sight of the calming palm trees, I’m reminded that I made the right choice even though right now I am not currently where I would like to be.
I remind myself that the journey itself is the destination. I remind myself to trust the process.

 

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There is no need to rush.
No need to fear.
No need to let anxiety or worry run the show.

 

I am choosing to remain in flow.
I am also accepting, digesting and processing the fact that worry, anxiety, stress and even depression are a natural response to not getting what I want, when I want, as I want. These are natural responses to being out of my comfort zone. This is okay to feel. But I am also releasing these emotions as they come up because I am actively choosing to have faith despite of the facts.

I am breathing in flow energy and breathing out resistance. I am choosing hope over fear. I am choosing trust over anxiety. I am choosing calm over stress. I am choosing joy over depression.
I am choosing to enjoy the unfolding. I’m not taking life so seriously, and am choosing to have fun as I move through this period of adjustment in my life.
This is not always easy to do.
I’ve sat alone and cried, thinking “I have no strength. I can’t do this.” I’ve had a day where I didn’t want to get up from bed because I didn’t want to go on another interview to try to convince someone of my worth and why they should hire me. I didn’t want to put another fake smile on my face. Didn’t want to get dressed. Didn’t want to socialize with anyone.
So I gave myself permission to go through my emotions. To accept, love and honor myself in this process. To comfort myself and just say, “Hey, girl, what you’re feeling is totally okay. You’re going through a challenge right now. Who wants to smile and dance when they experience rejection on top of rejection? It’s okay to feel like this. You don’t have to be strong all the time. Be human. Be wildly human.”
Pep talks help.
Texting my woes to friends who encourage me help.Then getting up the next day, remembering that, “Oh, I’m actually a badass, go getter, New York City bitch and a beloved daughter of this universe,” gives me the fuel to keep pushing forward. To keep having faith. To trust the process.

So I breathe. Roll up my sleeves and keep moving.

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Happiness is a Lifestyle

And then it dawned on me… happiness is more than just a feeling, it’s a lifestyle.

If you want to run a marathon, you have to train.
If you want to perform a song, you have to rehearse.
If you want to be physically fit, you have to exercise.
And if you want to be happy, you have to practice.

It is easy to be happy when life’s smooth sailing. When you get the promotion. You get the house. Your health is phenomenal. There is money in the bank and that new stock you just purchased skyrockets beyond belief. When you catch all the shiny green lights underneath a clear blue sky on your merry drive to work. When the bartender buys you an extra shot of whiskey. When your in-laws never make it to the Sunday brunch (just kidding with that one… haha).

But being happy only when unicorns are splashing magical pixie dust on your path is too conditional to yield lifelong sustainable happiness. Life can be a straight up asshole sometimes. This is why if you want to live consistently happy you must practice happiness as a lifestyle and not simply as an emotional response to desirable experiences. Happiness is a tool you can whip out of your pocket especially when circumstances are trying. It’s like that Optimus Prime type Swiss-army knife you’re gonna wanna carry around with you wherever you go. Because what happens when things don’t go exactly as planned? What happens when you don’t get the promotion? When your finances become unstable? When your health is compromised? When you have to change that flat tire in the middle of a snow storm? When the in-laws actually make it to Sunday brunch!?  (Yeah. I went there!).

I’ll tell you what happens. Happiness often gets thrown out the window.  It gets donated to the nearest Goodwill along with those purple suede bell bottom jeans you have no idea what possessed you to buy in the first place! But this is when you need happiness most.

Absurd, right!? Being asked to be happy when situations have gone wrong.

But here is my question: Do you want to be happy or not?
If you answer yes, then two things:
1) You must seriously choose and commit to be happy
2) You must act in alignment to your choice to be happy

CAVEAT: IT WILL NOT BE EASY. Just like it isn’t easy to get those 6 pack abs everyone so desperately wants.

The ease of the challenge will depend on how much a particular undesirable circumstance impacts you. For instance, it’ll be much easier to exercise your happiness muscle when a simple undesirable circumstance, like spilling some coffee on your white shirt occurs, whereas losing your job will require having had quite some practice.

There is more to be said on the subject as it is not as straight forward as I’m describing it to be. There is an entire process that involves processing and accepting your current emotional state before actively choosing happiness as the preferred state of being. I will write another post to clarify in more detail exactly what this process entails. For now, I kind of just want to throw this out there to get some kind of ball rolling.

But essentially, what I have noticed is that if I want to lead a consistently happy life, I have to actively practice happiness as a way of being and not only as a response to my desired experiences. This doesn’t mean I’ll always get it right and it doesn’t mean that it’ll always be easy (and that’s okay), but the more I make happiness a regular habit the more happiness I’ll experience.

*Image credit to google images

Spectacles

It is interesting to note how your mood impacts your experience of life.
When I wake up and feel great everything around me appears brighter, happier, and wondrous. When I am in a funk, the world seems somber, heavy, and blah. Our moods are like spectacles that we wear. The external world will reflect back your projections depending on which particular spectacle you choose to wear. When you walk out into the world feeling low vibe, events in your life appear worse than they really are. You accidently spill some coffee on yourself and it’s like “FML! Bad things always happen to me.” Low moods make the external world look as if it’s purposely out to get ya. The world is not out to get you – it is only your glasses that make it seem that way.

Taking off your gloomy glasses can be like trying to remove that stubborn ink stain from your favorite white blouse. It’s not always so easy. But it can be done! If you’re riding a low vibe wave and your mood is doom and gloom, here are some tips:

1. Acknowledge and Accept
You don’t want to tell yourself “I shouldn’t feel down,” because doing so only builds on your already negative energy by way of denying your current feeling. You want to acknowledge and accept. Tell yourself, “Hey, I am feeling sad right now, and that’s okay. I am human and it’s okay to experience a variety of moods, including low moods.” The mere act of acknowledging your current mood and accepting it wholeheartedly puts yourself more at ease. Acceptance doesn’t make you feel bad for feeling bad.

2. Tiny Peaks
Tiny peaks will help you smoothly transition from low vibe to higher vibes. If you’re at one end of a road and you’re trying to get to the complete opposite side, unless you have some teleportation device you’re not going to be very successful at making such a huge leap in one step. Instead of telling yourself “I am low, I must be HIGH right NOW, BAM,” think about any one thing that makes you happy. Is it your pet? Is it video games? Is it mountains? Is it the smile of your child? Is it a yummy bowl of chili? (YES! CHILI!) Whatever it is for you – hold that thought in your mind. Holding a happy thought in your mind will not magically boost you from low to high vibe, but it will be a tiny peak closer. And this is what you want! To make small changes that will help raise your frequency and shift you closer to the mood you desire to experience.

3. Remind yourself: I have a choice
The glasses you wear is ultimately your choice, even if it doesn’t seem that way because of its powerful grip on you.  You are infinitely stronger and can always choose to wear a different pair of spectacles. If you’re feeling low, low, low, remind yourself over and over that you have the power to feel high, high, high no matter what. Here are some examples of reminders to tell yourself:
          “Even though I feel down right now, I choose to feel love. I choose to feel happy. I choose to
feel high on life. I choose to feel on top of the world. Even though I am broke and my finances
aren’t the best right now, I choose to feel abundant. I choose to feel rich. I choose to feel taken
care of. Even though I am angry, I choose to let go. I choose to feel calm. I choose to feel as light
as a feather. I choose to feel at peace with myself and others.”

You can add your own words: Even though I am (blank), I choose to feel (all kinds of awesome).

4. Nothing in this world is permanent
If all else fails, rest in this truth – moods come and go and this is natural. It is natural to ride the low waves and there is nothing wrong with you because of this – it only means you’re human. All of what you’re feeling, whether good or bad or in between will pass – I promise.

What spectacle are you wearing today? Is it one that makes you feel good or crappy? You have the power to change your glasses. Wear one that makes you feel FABULOUS, BABY!

Becoming who I am

You’d think it would be easy to be who you really are — but now I realize that it is necessary to assess my own thoughts in order to see which are truly mine and which have been implanted in me by others.

My mother had many fears and many thoughts about the world which she transferred over to me.
“You can’t have sex before marriage, it’s sinful.”
“You have to let your hair grow long because short hair is not desirable.”
“You can’t braid your hair, braids will ruin your hair.”
“You can’t talk to strangers because they will hurt you.”

I understand that her intention was to protect me – she wanted to shelter me from her fears and thoughts about the world.

My mother is not the only one who implanted ideas into my mind. Commercials, movies, stories, books, opinions of others and anything else external to me has had an impact on how I see the world. The outside is dictating how I should see the world suffocating my own ability to think and create for myself.

The point I am making isn’t that we shouldn’t listen to what is outside of us – the point I am making is that we are free to choose what is and isn’t true for ourselves. No one has the power to tell you what and who you are without your own consent.

If I take in the idea “Don’t cut your hair because short hair is undesirable” I limit myself to this idea – which isn’t really true unless I believe it to be so. There are plenty of gorgeous people with short hair – why am I going to limit myself to my mother’s fears of short hair?

I must see that I have the power to decipher what is really true for me.
I must not live by the fears and ideas of others.
I must have my own ideas. I must see the world for myself and through my own eyes, not the eyes of others. This does not mean that others are “wrong” and I am “right” or vice-versa – it’s not about that; it’s about acknowledging and respecting the perspective of others but not losing myself in their picture of the world. I must be able to choose whether or not I think this is really true for me or am I just simply living to impress others.

Am I going with the flow because I believe the flow is suitable for me or am I going with the flow because I am too afraid to swim against the flow? I must not be afraid to swim alone if I have to.
It’s better to be in the pool alone but completely happy than to be in a crowded pool pretending to be happy.

I must not be afraid to become who I am – and I am whoever I want to be.
If I want to have short hair, I must not be afraid to cut my hair because of the beliefs of my mother.
If I want to sell my possessions and go explore the Earth – I must not be afraid to go seek out my wishes simply because others deem it dangerous or unfitting to the norms of society.

I must realize that this is MY LIFE.
MY LIFE GOES ACCORDING TO MY VIEW.

MY LIFE IS MINE.

MY LIFE IS MY OWN. I GET TO SAY HOW I WILL LIVE IT.
I APPRECIATE GOOD ADVICE BUT IN THE END IT IS STILL MY LIFE – IT IS MY STORY TO WRITE.

This is YOUR STORY. Your story is written by you, no one else. You can go with the flow of others but you will always feel like something is missing because you are suffocating your own will to please the crowd.

Don’t suffocate your will for the will of others, unless that is your true will. 

KNOW YOUR WILL!

Are you willing something because it was implanted in you – or are you willing something because deep down it is your own true will? FREE WILL COMES WHEN YOU CHOOSE ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN UNIQUE WILL – NOT IN ACCORDANCE TO THE WORLD BUT IN ACCORDANCE TO YOUR FREE WILL.

If I clean my room for the sake of impressing my guests, am I free? If deep down I just want to be lazy and not clean anything – why am I cleaning? So that I could please others and live in accordance to the will of those who say “you must clean your room to impress your guests.”

BE IMPRESSED BY LIFE ITSELF NOT BY A CLEAN OR UNCLEAN ROOM.

If you clean – clean because you want to.
If you dance – dance because you want to.
If you grow your hair – grow it because you want to.

CHOOSE! BECOME YOU – NOT WHO THE WORLD WANTS YOU TO BE.
BE LOVED FOR WHO YOU TRULY ARE WITHOUT HOLDING UP TO THE STANDARDS OF OTHERS.

BE AS YOU WISH TO BE SO THAT THOSE WHO TRULY LOVE YOU WILL LOVE YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE AND NOT FOR WHO YOU HAVE TO BE IN ORDER THAT YOU MAY BE ACCEPTED.

I am also not saying – go do anything you want like kill or rape. If you don’t want your will to be compromised, don’t compromise the will of others either. We must respect all free will. We must respect all of humanity in the process of becoming who we really are.

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