Search

Reflect Out Loud

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

Tag

happiness

Ramblings…

“Experience life in all possible ways —
good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light,
summer-winter. Experience all the dualities.
Don’t be afraid of experience, because
the more experience you have, the more
mature you become.”

― Osho

Ramblings

What’s there to talk about? The same old thing, the same old stories.
It’s not really “old” though when I really think about it. Every moment is so unique, decorated in its own way, in its own flavor.

I feel like I am going in circles. Chasing something I can’t even describe.
There is this empty feeling I can’t seem to fill.
It isn’t always there, but it’s there, nonetheless.

I want to be happy. Don’t we all? But there are moments where I’m simply not.
Maybe I am ungrateful. And truth is, at times I really am.
I am over trying to cover up the dark side of my self.
Yes. I lie. I cheat. I envy. I hate. I get jealous. I have negative thoughts.
But that’s not all of who I am.
There’s that childish, innocent side. The side that dreams of love, rainbows and peace.
The side that sees no wrong.

There’s also the in between side. Which is a little of everything. That’s who I really am. All of me.

What’s the point of all this I keep asking myself?
What should I live for?
Do I live to chase money so I can buy houses and cars and clothes that leave an impression on people? Regardless of what I do I’ll leave an impression.
What kind of impression do I want to leave? And do I want to impress you or me or a balance of both?
What kind of person do I want to become? What kind of feelings and experiences do I want to be having? How do I even begin to learn what is truly important to me and how not to live to impress others?

I have a hard time answering these questions because I have a long list of “shoulds” implanted in my brain.

According to whose “shoulds” should I live?

I allow too many people to take space in my head and influence my decisions. I feed energy to too many stories.

I also change a lot which makes it hard to even decide on any one thing.
So I am trying to boil it down to experiences and feelings rather than particular details.

Here’s a list:
I want to experience and feel:
Happiness
Pleasure
Peace
Contentment
Confidence
Trust
Fulfillment
Relax
Laughter
Love
Kindness
Belonging
Creativity

Here are some experiences and feelings I want less of:
Fear
Anxiety
Doom
Panic
Hate
Envy
Pity
Lack
Depression
Loneliness
Rush
Confusion

There’s probably a few more I can add to both the lists but this seems enough for starters.

So now that I’ve narrowed what I want to experience and feel more of… how am I going to go about my life to embrace more of those wants?

Good question.

*image credit to google images

Advertisements

Change It UP!

When our routines become overly familiar, life can feel painfully monotonous; bland, like a meal lacking some serious seasoning and a little bit of jalapeño pepper, (I like it spicy).

We can add a dash of flare to our day to day grind by making small changes that can lead to big discoveries and new experiences.

I always walk the same route when going to the gym, for instance. Yesterday, by spontaneity, I decided to turn right just one street before I normally do. I’ve never walked down that block before. As I’m walking down this new path, waving my head back and forth to the funky beat of some dubstep, I suddenly see a colorful sign that reads “fresh smoothies.” I FREAKING LOVE SMOOTHIES! I’ve lived in the area for a little over 2 years and did not know that down this block there existed a lovely little smoothie store that offers freshly squeezed juices and fruit smoothies! This small change in my routine allowed me to discover this cute spot that I can now buy delicious drinks from. I couldn’t be more excited. I walked into the smoothie store after my productive workout and purchased a refreshing, freshly squeezed beet, carrot, apple, and ginger juice! It was great! I walked home with a foot sized smile painted across my face as I joyfully slurped my juice.

This is what I’m talking about! Small changes in your every day routine that may bring you opportunities and experiences to shake up the old and birth the new.

I challenge you to take a new route!
I challenge you to wear your hair in a different style! I challenge you to wear a bold color you’d normally not wear! I challenge you to walk into a random restaurant and order something from the menu! I challenge you to start a conversation with a stranger!
I challenge you to make at least one small change in your routine!

Change it up! You’ll be amazed at how little changes can make your day, and ultimately your life, so much more exciting.

Have fun!

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!

The Extraordinary Ordinary

“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in?” – Unknown

Much of our life is made up of ordinary moments. Eating, brushing our teeth, walking, cleaning, sleeping, bathing, running errands, taking out the trash, doing laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, driving the kids to school, doing homework, and on and on and on.
The bigger, less ordinary, moments in life like getting married, reaching the top of your career, graduating college, moving across country, buying your dream home, among other grand achievements, happen with less frequency. When we live our entire life neglecting ordinary moments because our mind is too busy chasing after peak moments, we fail to enjoy the entirety of our life experience. Like a hamster running on a wheel, we fervently chase, chase, chase the next moment because right now, just as we are, is not quite enough.

All too often I catch myself feeling frustrated because right now my apartment is too small. Right now, I have debt to still take care of. Right now, I am not at the top of my career. Right now, I am not exactly where I wish I were. So what do I do? I spend time neglecting my ordinary moments chasing after the next moment. I beat myself up and don’t feel good in the here and now. This state of mind blocks me from seeing the beauty in the ordinary. It inhibits me from realizing that although I am not yet experiencing the bigger, more defining moments of my life, it does not mean that my life isn’t already big and momentous in and of itself in the present.

Each day, I realize more clearly how important it is to my wellbeing to simply enjoy the journey without getting worked up about the destination. Life is not about chasing moments, though it’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of chasing. It is easy to get stuck in not feeling enough because right now you are just not there yet. The funny thing is, there is no there – there is only, always, here and now. It is always in the now moment that we will experience anything, ever. To live a happy and satisfied life, we must carry happiness and satisfaction with us in both the everyday standard moments as well as the bigger more rewarding moments. If we place our happiness on any future desire then most of our days will be gloomy because we will always have more average days than peak days. We will always be waiting for happiness to happen in some future time while our present suffers. It is in the here and now that we have to find our joy. It is in the ordinary that we have to see the extraordinary. It is in taking out the trash, washing the dishes, walking the dog, driving the kids to school, brushing our teeth, washing our hands, doing the laundry, walking to work, and all the other little things that we have to participate in with joy. The joy we experience in the extraordinary is the same joy we can carry with us when experience the ordinary. Life will be joyous not just because of the great things you will achieve, but it will be joyous because YOU in and of yourself are great and joyous. Feel it! 🙂

People Pleasing

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, yet there will still be people who hate peaches.” Vita Von Teese

I have been guilty of being a people pleaser. Often saying “yes” when I really mean “no.” Often putting the happiness of others over mine. I am guilty of wanting to make the whole world happy, because if I make everyone happy then everyone will love and accept me – and then maybe I’ll be happy. Even as I am writing this now, I am trying to please you, reader, by not making grammatical errors so that you will like and respect me. I am trying not to make mistakes, because if I make mistakes then I probably won’t be accepted and respected by you. Right?

From childhood, many of us are rewarded and praised for being “good” but punished and scolded for being “bad.” My mother, for instance, would punish me if I fidgeted in church because that was “bad” and rewarded me if I sat quietly and still because that was “good.” I was told to “act like a lady” and to “eat with your mouth closed” because that’s the “right” and “acceptable” way. I was praised when I behaved in accordance to my family’s values and lectured when I strayed from their world view. As we grow up, we become wired to believe that if we are good, whatever that means, then we will be rewarded and people will, praise, love and accept us. But if we are bad, whatever that means, then we will be punished and people will scold, hate and reject us. So how do we get love? By being “good,” whatever that means, to others.

Now this puts us in a bind for many reasons. We don’t all agree on what’s good or bad. Some of us find it good to be reserved and introverted, others find it good to be outgoing and extraverted. Some like chocolate others like vanilla. Some like Bush others like Clinton. And in the end, we find ourselves pleasing some while disappointing others no matter which choice we make. Additionally, when we live only to make others happy, we fail to be true to ourselves and consequently suffer.

We all want to be accepted in some way or another – by someone or another. It hurts to be told that “you are not welcome here.” And if you’re anything like me, you find yourself putting others first because you don’t want to upset them, because to upset them means they’re unhappy and if they’re unhappy they will leave us. This search for approval and strong desire to be liked by everyone only becomes more complicated when you are torn by people whose pleasures are derived from different “good” standards. Your mom wants you to be a doctor, your dad wants you to work in the family business, and you want to be DJ, which they both loath. You want to move to California, your partner wants to stay in New York. What to do!?

First, and foremost, no matter what you do, someone out there will be unhappy. Some will adore you, some will despise you, while others won’t give a damn either way. Living a life that is designed around making others happy in order to receive love is a recipe for failure and pain. It is not your job to make anyone happy, nor is it anyone’s job to make you happy. When we place our happiness on anything that is external, we always lose because nothing external is guaranteed or permanent.

When you were born, you were there, and when you die, you will be there. You are the only one who will always be with you – no matter what, no matter where. For this reason, cultivating a life of love for yourself is crucial to freeing yourself from seeking validation outside of yourself. Everything else will follow from there. Once you are grounded in yourself, having the approval of others will not be required to validate your life because you will already have validated yourself.

Here are some tips on how to stop pleasing everyone while forgetting yourself.

  1. Practice saying “no” when you mean “no.”
    If you tend to say “yes” when you mean “no” only so that others can be happy with you, next time, when your gut feeling and real intent is no, say “no.” You don’t have to stretch yourself thin only because you are too afraid to say no. Saying no does not make you a bad person. You are putting yourself first and that is always important. It is like they tell you in the air plane, “secure the mask on yourself first, before putting it on your child.” You must take care of you first and be true to yourself first before you can tend to the agenda of others.

    2. Speak your mind.
    You are here to be expressed! The world needs your perspective. Your thoughts and feelings are valid. Do not hide your voice because you think others will be displeased with you if you speak up. Let the world hear your truth! You may be surprised to see that it isn’t as scary as it seems to speak your mind.

    3. Remember, you can’t please everyone and that’s perfectly ok
    .
    It is not your job to be the basis of happiness for others. You are not here to be the court jester of anyone. No matter what you do or don’t do, someone somewhere will have some negative thing to say about it. There is no way to please the whole world because we are all different and experience the world from a unique paradigm. Remind yourself that you are valued just the way you are and that it is not required of you to always be there for everyone all the time.
    4. Practice self-validating rituals.
    When you feel like you are “bad” because you aren’t pleasing everyone, practice self- validating rituals that refocus your attention back to who you really are and that help you let go of expectations. Tell yourself (as many times as necessary to sink in):
    I am enough as I am.
    I am valid and my feelings are valid.
    I am not bad for speaking my truth.
    I am not bad for saying “no.”
    I am not wrong for standing up for myself.
    There is nothing wrong with me.
    I am whole, complete, just the way I am.

    5. Give yourself a pep-talk.
    Sometimes you gotta be your own coach. When you feel like you’ve let others down by putting yourself first, give yourself a talk. Proudly proclaim to yourself:
    This is YOU time!
    You’ve already done what you can, now it’s time for YOU.
    You got this! You rock!
    You can’t be there for others when you’re not even there for yourself. So just BREATHE. Don’t you dare feel bad. You’re amazing!
    This is ALL ABOUT YOU NOW! Walk out there strong, and ROCK IT!
    #TEAMYOU

    I hope this is helpful to you.
    Always remember that you can’t please the whole world, but you can please yourself by being true to yourself simply because you’re worth it. You are important – live like it!

Vibe With The Scales of Your Life

You don’t have to be happy all the time.
There are things in life that are sad. There are difficult moments. Frustrating moments.

Yes, it’s freaking sad when you lose people you love. It’s sad when things don’t go well at work. It’s sad when your kids are out of control and you don’t know what to do about it. It’s sad when people betray us, lie to us, leave us. It’s sad when sad things happen.

It’s crazy to think that you must be happy ALL THE TIME.

Sometimes you gotta just cry.
Sometimes you gotta just be like “whoa, my life REALLY SUCKS right now.”

This is called acceptance.
Acceptance of what is.

When you resist whatever emotion or whatever situation is happening in your life you only add to the pain already present.
Acceptance, however, allows you to be present with whatever happens in your life.
If you think you need to be happy ALL the time, then you end up abandoning yourself anytime you don’t feel happy. You run away from your emotions. You tell yourself “Oh, no, I don’t feel happy, so there is something wrong.”
Let me tell you right now, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG!!!!!
Feelings are part of life – ALL FEELINGS. Not just the high vibration, “good” ones, but also the low vibration “bad” ones.

You wanna think about this like music.
There are many instruments. Many tones. Many pitches. Many scales. Can you imagine if there was only high pitches in music!? It would feel empty! It would be missing that bass! That deep, RAWR like sound that just brings it all together like a yummy, wholesome meal!

Lol… “I’m all about that bass, about that bass, no treble” (Meghan Trainor)!

^ *Random!* 🙈

But seriously! We gotta take it all in. We can’t abandon ourselves when we feel sad. If you feel sad, angry, upset, THESE ARE ALL VALID EMOTIONS!
What you wanna do is accept that that’s how you feel. Accept that, damn, things aren’t the best right now – but you know what? It is what it is! And I accept this moment fully, wholeheartedly, just the way it is.

What is powerful about acceptance is that you don’t abandon your feelings when they come up. You just sit there with them and allow them to be without making yourself feel like they are wrong and that you should feel happy, joyful, or whatever else instead.
Naturally, as all things, that emotion will pass. You WILL get to a different point in time where you will feel better. When you DO feel better, that is the time to start thinking about what you wish to change in your life and assess where you want to be and what you want to do.

You will NEVER rid yourself of low moods – (because there is no high without low – the piano is a complete scale!) you will only grow to the point of being able to become less attached, and therefore, able to flow in and out of different emotional states with more ease. You will be able to DANCE to the BEAT of your life! Without blaming, judging, or hating yourself for being and feeling the way you do.

YOU ROCK! YOU ROCK ALL THOSE TONES OF YOUR LIFE! High and low!
Up and down the scale of the piano of your life :)!!

Be Selfish

You must first care for yourself before you can care about anyone else. We have been taught to always share and play nice with others – which is a beautiful thing. But when we always put everyone else before ourselves we compromise our own well being. We shave ourselves thin to the point where we begin to crack. We want others to be happy so we sacrifice our happiness for their sake. We say “yes” when we mean “no,” we give what we barely have, or sometimes we even go out of our way to extend offers that weren’t even asked of us. We may, for instance, offer to drive someone home even if we are tired when they didn’t ask for a ride. Or we may end up saying “yes” to going to that party we really rather have said “no” to. We put ourselves in uncomfortable situations because we want to do “right” by others. But how much thinner will we spread ourselves before we break?

PUT YOURSELF FIRST.
Once you are okay, then you can extend your hand to others. It is like the emergency instructions on the airplane say, “Put the mask on yourself first, then put the mask on your child.” How will you help another when you can barely breath yourself? It is so important that you focus on you. What do you need today? Have you taken care of yourself? Are you rested? Have you pampered yourself lately? Have you taken some “me” time? Whatever it is that lights you up and fills your life with vibrant energy – go for it! Once you are okay – then you can go save whoever you want.
It is okay to be selfish! You deserve some TLC too and who better to give that you but your own self? No one else can live your life. You must live your life! You must take care of yourself.

So take this week to DO YOU!
Put yourself first! Make sure you are fine, healthy, and all taken care of – then you will be strong enough to give to others without spreading yourself thin.

Always remember, there is NOTHING wrong with taking care of yourself, sticking up for yourself, loving yourself and above others making YOU your priority.  GO YOU!