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Reflect Out Loud

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

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presence

No Attachment

I’ve been practicing this new way of being. I am not attaching to my thoughts as often as I used to be, especially not the negative ones.

My mind is usually going on and on about anything and everything. Analyzing, criticizing,  fantasizing all kinds of scenarios, breaking things apart, putting them back together, accessing memories from years back and entertaining ideas about their meanings, projecting myself into the future, rubik’s cubing all the possible scenarios to manipulate outcomes, interpreting external cues and data, attempting to make sense of it all, wondering if I’m being perceived okay and if I fit in or not, worrying about rejection and doom, catastrophizing, rationalizing, compartimentalizing, all over the placealizing, and boy, let me tell you, it’s exhausting!!!

And: #ain’tnobodygotimefordat

I have to LET THIS WAY OF BEING GO!

I don’t live in real time when I live like this. I live in the mind. Lost in a story. Lost in thoughts that are usually negative.

No. No. No. No more!

I want to simply exist. Let whatever thoughts cross my mind but not latch on to them like they’re reality. They’re just thoughts. They are NOT TRUTH.

I don’t have to entertain whatever chatter pops up in my head. Ideas have no power over me unless I start to entertain, accept, attach and believe them. Fuck that noise.

I want to live HERE and PRESENT. Not in some limiting bullshit ass story that is running in my mind.

Nope. Unsubscribe from that party!

——

I’m not yet fully versed in this new way of being yet, though. I’m a newbie at it.

But even as a newbie it’s helping me so much already. I am working on my mental health like I am working on my physical health. My mind is a muscle that I can train just like I can train my body. And I want to train it to serve me, rather than be a servant to it’s loose ramblings.

 

Wish me luck! And good luck to those of you out there practicing the same. You’re a badass and I love you!

❤️

 

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One Day @ a Time

I want it, and I want it now.

Having tantrums like a babe. Throwing fists against the wind.

When I’m hungry I find that the best part is eating my meal. Yet so often I crave end results – the being satisfied part. As if there were some permanent end.

Life is always changing. There is no end. The end is the process.

What is it that you’re trying to create? Don’t kill the fun of the process by being so anxious to see the results.

I found that the best way to live is one day at a time. One moment at a time. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make plans. Go ahead. Make your plans. Just don’t get lost in trying to figure it all out meanwhile life slips through your fingers.

 

Latest Meditations

Meditations:

-You are the one with the answers to your deepest questions. Although you may search for the perspective of others, which can broaden your own, ultimately it is all up to you to decide what is truly best for your path.

-Worrying about the opinions of others makes you insecure and afraid to just stand in your own light. Let it go. Stop worrying about others. Your job is not to make anyone approve of you – your job is to just be and approve of yourself.

-People can’t read your mind. If you want something, say something.

-You have to take action to see results. You can’t just wait around and expect that your dreams will magically fall from the sky. If you want to change something you have to actually take the steps necessary to bring that change into effect. If there is nothing you can do at this very moment, you rest; if there is something you can do at this moment, you do it.

-Complaining drains your energy and doesn’t solve anything. If there is a problem you’re concerned with, focus on the solution. Go straight to the source and express your concerns for the sake of moving forward in a healthy way. Stop wasting energy and time saying the same thing over and over like a broken record.

-Not everyone will like, understand, or accept you. That’s okay. Focus on the people who do. And even if there is no one you can fully count on – count on yourself. You are never alone when you have yourself.

-Be courageous and stand for what you believe in in healthy ways. Kindly and firmly up for yourself. Take actions that will leverage you forward even when they feel scary. Once you begin to move forward you’ll see it’s not so scary – every step will be revealed to you as you move.

-Be patient. Not everything happens instantaneously. Sometimes you have to take one step – wait – one step – wait – one step – wait. Some things are a process. Some things transform faster than others while others may take quite a while. The important thing is that you remain consistent in your part and let the rest fall into place in time.

-Be consistent! You can’t achieve anything great if you do it one day and give up for 5 days. Keep the process. A bucket will eventually overflow when the drips of water are consistent over time.

-Most importantly BE PRESENT. You will miss your whole life if you are running around in your head trying to figure it all out. Be here now. Enjoy this moment. The breeze. The lights. The tastes of food. Whatever it is for you – just experience it. This doesn’t mean “don’t think or analyze at all.” There is a time for everything. There’s a time to think and analyze and figure things out. Thinking steals your life when it’s the only thing you do. Experience your life – don’t be lost in your mind.

-When you feel anxiety breathing deeply really helps. Just focus on your breath and not on anxious thoughts or feelings. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Remind yourself that everything is temporary and that this will pass. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. This will pass.

-You don’t have to try to fit in with others when you know you are clearly different. Be who you are and inspire others. It’s okay to be quirky. It’s okay to be you. There’s enough space for every being. There’s enough space for you to shine. Intelligence conspired together to make the atoms that compose your being. Intelligence inherently knows that your unique expression is needed. You are needed. Be who you are even if it’s different from others. Different is okay. No two atoms are the same. That’s what we need. You.

Lost and Found

Some days it feels like nothing goes my way. My jacket zipper gets stuck. I miss the train by seconds. I travel far for a project that doesn’t pan out. My hair gets brutally tangled in my necklace. I glance at the clock and suddenly I’m running late. I blindly sit on someone’s spilled coffee. A stranger’s bad breath poorly concealed by minty gum is blown towards my face. It takes the cashier 5 painful minutes to return me my change.

Is the world against me? Or am I moving too quickly and have missed the lesson here?

I watch other people pass me by and wonder if their life is easier. Maybe their zippers never get stuck.

I start thinking that if maybe I was someone else then misfortune would somehow escape me.

I know it’s ridiculous to think this – but I do it anyway. Then I come here and write about it.

Then I get over it and come back to the moment.

I play tug of war with the now and my rambling mind. The endless commentary in my head seems to win most of the battles. Yet even in the chaos of my inner world I arrive at luxurious moments of peace.
Then it’s lost again.
Then found.
Then lost.
Then found.

I realize it’s not about how many times I fall but how quickly I get up, beat the thick brown dust off my warrior body and keep on truckin’.

Truck, truck, truckin’.
Truckin’, truckin’.
Truck, truck, truckin’.

Just never gonna stop.

Patience

Every time the universe gently whispers the word “patience” to me, like a frantic child I hold my fingers tightly to my ears and violently yell, “NO! I want it NOW!”

ME:

I ask questions like, “When? When will I finally be where I wanna be? Have what I wanna have? Do what I wanna do?”
“Nonsense!” Says the universe in a playful, loving manner.
“Whoever told you that life is comprised of one single instant where you finally reach some end? That’s not life. There will always be something to get, do and be, since at every moment at the same time you are becoming you are undoing. The moment you are born you are dying; evermore unraveling. You are a process of being, becoming, breaking down, reconstructing, transforming. Relax. Be here now. Enjoy here as you go from instant to instant. Carry the enoughness from the present moment into the next moment and you will unravel gracefully without feeling like NOW isn’t enough as it is. Even if you get everything you want in one moment, the next moment there will be something new to experience. You make your bed and marvel at the neatness. Soon, you undo it to sleep, and repeat the next day. You wipe an army of dust from your work desk. Soon, the dust is right back and you must wipe it again. There’s no end to the process. There is no permanent state of perfection, except in stillness, because life equals movement, and movement equals chaos if not for intelligence. Chaos relies on intelligence to organize and maintain it. You are part of that intelligence. If things become too hectic, your consciousness can flow in and out of stillness as you please. This, in part, is why you sleep. Take it easy on yourself. Breath! Aaaahhhhh – you smell that? That’s life, baby! Enjoy it. Be it. Stop freaking out and going all cray cray trying to be more, have more, do more all at once. Do what you can for right now. Be what you are for right now. Have what you have for right now. Together, we’ll deal with what’s next as it comes. Everything will work out – I promise. Trust, act as necessary, and have PATIENCE!”

Breathe. Be Here. Be Present.

I think a lot. A lot.

I realize that most of my thinking hinders my ability to simply experience the beauty of the present moment. The sounds. The smells. The colors. The joy of being part of the eternal now.

My thoughts give rise to my emotions, which gives rise to more thoughts, and circles endlessly.
When I interrupt my thinking mind I feel peaceful. I don’t project myself into the future or wallow in my past or my fears.
Letting the thoughts just play like a song on a radio allows me to be the observer of the thoughts without identifying or giving them more energy to persist.

When I let my thoughts carry me away like the mighty waves of an ocean, I lose myself in my mind. I drown. I start to believe my limiting thoughts are my reality. I play and replay scenarios in my head. I remember the past. I rehearse for the future. I replay all my fears. I analyze. Overthink. I beat an idea down over and over until I am overwhelmed and uneasy.

Then I remember  I have a choice. I can either live in my head or live in the moment. Do I live in the mental stories or do I actually live? The stories make me feel good or make me feel bad, or something in between. The stories do not provide lasting peace as they are always changing, analyzing, criticizing, judging.

Regret. Fear. Anxiety. Love. Nostalgia. Guilt. Shame. Sadness. Pride. Creativity. My myriad of emotions. It’s all tossed in my head like a salad.

Then I chose to take a seat. I just sit there and watch the thoughts. I watch them until they are done rising and sinking. I let them ride but I don’t join. I actively interrupt the thoughts by commanding myself to “Be here. Be present.” I take deep breaths and focus on the feeling of the air filling my lungs and then releasing.

In…
Out…
In…
Out…
Be here.
Be present.
In…
Out…
In…
Out…
Be here.
Be present.

My mind becomes quiet. I am brought back to the present moment where everything is ok. The colors penetrate my eyes. The smells dance in my nostrils. The sounds tickle my ears. The air makes sweet love to my lungs. I am well. I am here. I am not identified with the stories in my head. I am not my memories. I am not projecting myself into the future. I am not trying to control. I am not trying to do more, be more, have more to prove some point to myself or the world. I just am. I just am this living being who is settled in peace, inner stillness and soothing joy.

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! 🙂

Let it Be

Let the wind blow through your hair. Don’t worry if it gets tangled and wild.

Let the rain get you wet. Don’t care if it seeps into your shoes.

Let yourself be late. Don’t frazzle about what you can’t change.

Let yourself mispronounce a word. Don’t judge yourself for your mistakes.

Let your tears roll down your cheeks. Don’t hold back from what you feel.

Let yourself snort when you laugh. Don’t worry about who is looking.

Let yourself get some mustard across your face. Don’t be embarrassed at such simple things.

Let your life be. Let yourself be. As things are. As you are. This doesn’t mean cross your arms and do nothing while life passes you by, it means don’t resist what is, but rather, make the best of it.

Be Here First. You’ll Get There.

“Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.” – Mary Hemingway

Resisting your here and now because you want to be there and then will only create in you more emotional pain. You can eliminate additional, self-caused pain by accepting where you are in time as well as disidentifying from negative thought patterns.

There are times when our present circumstances are annoying. Of course you’d rather be in some future, more pleasant moment, because THEN you won’t be dealing with whatever drama is currently present. Totally understandable. Nevertheless, wanting to escape the present moment only adds to the already uncomfortable situation. For example, you have a job interview to get to but you miss the train so you’re probably going to be late. “FML” status, right? It doesn’t have to be.

Thinking to yourself over and over “I should have left earlier” or “I wish I was on the train” or “I will never get the job now” or “Why can’t I ever get anything right” or “Ugh, if only I never stopped for coffee” or “Ugh, where is the next train!!!??” or whatever other thought of this nature, will only add to the negative feelings you are already experiencing.

So what to do?
Be here now.
Be present with your situation without mentally projecting future outcomes and without blaming yourself or criticizing what is. This doesn’t mean become passive about your life and allow the world to just stomp over you. No. Quite contrary! When you allow yourself to accept whatever the moment is presenting you with, you approach your circumstances in a more peaceful, level headed manner. Instead of adding negative commentary to your already unwanted circumstance, you simply accept that this is where you are right now but it doesn’t define you. Missing the train is your present circumstance, and that’s it. There is no further need to add fuel to this fire with unpleasant thoughts. You accept that you are waiting for the next train and if there is anything else you can do about it, like take a cab for instance, you go ahead and do that. You do what you can do, and if there is nothing else you can do, you allow yourself to experience the truth of your moment without resisting what you can’t control. Breathe. Look around you and admire something beautiful. Take this moment to read or write. Take this moment to appreciate life and find something to be grateful for. If nothing comes up, allow yourself to just be present, breathing, being alive. Becoming frazzled will not solve your problems, instead, it will create additional pain in your life.

The mind will want to project all your worries and fears, but it’s only trying to protect you. It goes into “OMG, I am freaking out” mode because your mind wants your success and so it’s only natural for it to come up with reasons as to why missing the train was a horrible, horrible thing. Thank your mind. It is a tool that is only here to help you! Tell your mind that you appreciate it worrying about your well being and success and that you are going to relax now and breathe.

If anxious thoughts keep coming up, focus on your breath. Don’t attach to them and become identified with them as your ultimate reality. Remember, your mind is only trying to help. Let the thoughts pass like a cloud. Realize that you are not your thoughts. Breathe.
You’re ok.
Be here in this moment.
And from here, surely you will get there.
It starts with here. It starts with this moment.

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