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Reflect Out Loud

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

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stuck

Cage

There are times where it feels like the world is this big cage that I’m stuck in.

A really fancy, elaborate prison.

And I hate to frame it in this negative, gloomy, pessimistic way, but I want you to know how I feel.

I stood with my head against my wall for a good two minutes contemplating how I left the jail walls of my job to come home to the jail walls of my apartment to go back and repeat it all again tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that.

And don’t get me wrong I don’t ALWAYS feel this way. But right now I really do. So I came here to tell you.

And I guess there’s a part of me that feels the need to justify the fact that I’m not some purely dark soul walking around with this grey filter.

And then I feel bad for justifying myself because it shows that I can’t just say what I feel without fear of your judgement.

As if I couldn’t be human.

As if I couldn’t tell you that I struggle too.

And then I’m over it.

My feelings come and go like a wave.

I get low. I get discouraged.

And then it passes.

And then it comes back.

I guess I’m the fucking weather.

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Re-route

Nothing is written in stone. And if it is, jackhammer the shit out of it, turn it into pixie dust and blow it into the wind.

Exploration. Do it. Lots of it. 

You don’t always know exactly what you want or exactly what you like until you explore, experiment, and test things out. 

You may start out super excited about a project, hopeful that it’s going to be a certain way but shortly come to realize “Oh, just kidding. This is totally not for me. This is not even close to what I thought it was going to be.” 

You might make a decision only to realize it wasn’t the best.

And that’s totally okay! Exploration is a huge part of our life experience.

And guess what? Discovering that something isn’t quite what you had hoped or imagined it to be doesn’t mean game over. It doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck. It doesn’t even have to be seen as a mistake, but rather an experience that allowed you to gather more information on what you want and don’t want – what you like and don’t like.

News: At any point in time you can always make a new, different choice.
It might involve going backwards.
Changing course completely.
Starting over.
Or rerouting.

Like a GPS that re-routes every time you take the wrong turn, you too, can recalculate your direction to find your way towards your destination.

Hate that job you said yes to? Fuck it, find a new one. 
Is that person you’ve been feening for showing no genuine interest? Adios mi amor. Moving on!
Is that environment not the best for you? Relocate.
Tired of that same old hair style? Change it up!

Looking to save 15% or more on car insurance? Switch to…. lol JK! Not promoting anything here – just being silly.

Anyway…

Point is, my amigos, that at any point in your life you can decide to re-route. You can say “This is no longer working for me and I am making a change.”

You don’t have to be stuck where you’re at -there is a way out.

Change is possible! Totally possible.
Don’t beat yourself up when you realize that the grass you went chasing after was not only not greener but it was actually that rough, fake, synthetic shit. Is that a double positive? fake, synthetic? (Whatever).

Just tell yourself that you’re an explorer. That you’re here to learn. That you can unsubscribe to what you’ve signed up for – and that’s totally okay!

You’re living and learning. You’re a beautiful exploring soul and at any point in time you have every right to just take a different turn, recalculate what’s no longer working, and move in a new direction.

You’re the driver of your life. It’s okay to make the wrong turn and it’s also okay to re-direct your path.

You are not stuck.

  

Start Where You Are

If you are anything like me, then you already want to be at the finish line when you haven’t even started the race.

There are moments in my life where I feel stuck because I haven’t yet completed my goals – or even worse, I haven’t even started. I feel like I am getting older and have no time to achieve anything because I should already have started, I should already have finished. Thinking that I am “too old” to start has limited me time and time again. It has made me unable to commit to anything meaningful to me because I feel like I should already be at the end, not at the beginning. I keep thinking that I should already have “arrived” where I want to be in my professional life, and because I should already have arrived, then it’s too late to start. I realize, however, that this sort of belief is extremely limiting to me and keeps me from making real moves towards what I would like to accomplish.

The truth is that there is no wrong time to start. There is only here and now, and that is always an enough of a place to begin anything. As long as I am alive, I can move in the direction I wish – even if it takes tiny steps. Tiny steps in the right direction lead to large shifts over time.
So the best place to start is right where I am, as I am.

I realize that beating myself up for not being where I want to be does not serve my best interest. In fact, it only helps to sink me further into non-action and makes me feel horrible about myself.
If I want to lose 10 pounds, for instance, beating myself up for not already being 10 pounds lighter does not serve me in any positive way, it only discourages me. I must simply acknowledge where I am and from here, take steps to where I want to be without calling myself “a lazy fat-ass” in the process. Calling myself mean names and telling myself I am lazy, isn’t helping me. It isn’t making me feel any better and it isn’t motivating me to achieve my goal. Rather than being mean to myself I can, instead, tell myself “I acknowledge that I haven’t been very active, but that’s okay because starting NOW, I am active.”

Whatever change we wish to make in our lives is possible. Whatever you were doing yesterday, whether it be committing to the wrong career, relationship or diet, starting today you can move into the direction of where you actually want to be. You can start making changes today without beating yourself up for yesterday. Yesterday is gone, today – NOW, offers you new opportunities to begin a path that is in line with what you truly wish to achieve. If you are reading this, then you are alive – and as long as you are alive then there is still time for you to move towards your goals. Start where you are and with what you have. I know that it is tempting to want to be at the finish line – and you will be – as long as you start just as you are, today.

Finding Purpose in the Little-Big Things

Sometimes I get down on myself because of where I am in life. I get stuck thinking that I should be doing more, accomplishing more, believing that through my accomplishments I will be finally fulfilled. I keep thinking that once I have a high paying job, a nice house, a nice car, a couple of degrees on my wall then I could look at all the things I’ve achieved and say “OK. You did it. Your life is now perfect.”

Where did I get this idea? Why do I think that fulfillment comes from external accomplishments?
I mean, sure externals can bring fulfillment, but if you’re like me struggling and straining through the externals in hope that your strain will later bring fulfillment – then maybe we need to refocus ourselves.

I keep thinking I need to achieve some big thing so I can prove to myself and the world that I matter.
But today I woke up with the realization that I don’t need to do anything in order to matter. I already matter simply because I exist.

I realize that I need to appreciate the little things and that these little things are really big things in and of themselves. I was wallowing around thinking I have no purpose because I work a “meaningless job” at a storage company. Then I realized “Hey, wait a minute. I do have a purpose. I am the storage girl. My purpose right now is to be the best storage girl I can be. My purpose is to smile and give good service to my customers and to make sure that everyone who comes in looking for a place to keep their stuff is helped in a warm and friendly manner. I am the storage girl for now and this is my purpose right now.”

I was undermining myself simply because I didn’t feel like my job was meaningful. But it is. Even if I was flipping burgers at McDonald’s, that is meaningful too. If flipping burgers is my job, I simply need to know that for now my purpose is to be the best burger flipper I can be! Or if I am a cleaning lady, my purpose right now is to just be the best cleaning lady I can be.

I realize now that no matter what position I am in, whether it is president or servant, I have a purpose to fulfill in my particular place in time. I need to know that my purpose right now is whatever that purpose is right now and that I am not less than anyone else simply because of the title I hold.

I realize also that I have a tendency to compare myself to others making me feel inferior because I believe I should also be doing what others are doing. I need to understand that I am ME and not OTHERS. And that whatever I do in time is just as meaningful as what other people are doing because in the grand scheme of things we are all operating for some greater purpose – to move forward in time.

I need to improve my faith. I need to learn to trust that tomorrow will be ok and that I will be provided for. I don’t need to work-out the future, I just need to be here right now fulfilling this very purpose in time. I need to understand that my worth is not defined by my accomplishments even though that’s what our society often wants us to believe. This kind of mentality only serves to discourage us when in truth we are all the same.

Ultimately, what I am saying is: This moment, right here, right now – this is my life. My life is not in some future place or in the past. My life is here and being here is my purpose. I don’t need to feel like I must accomplish some great thing in the future in order to feel great. I am great because I exist. Life has chosen me to come to be and to be is my primary purpose. What I do at any point in time is big. Just coming in to my job and helping people get their storage room is big. Life has all these little moments that make big things. Let’s marvel in the little-big things of every day life.

Just relax in this moment.
Let yourself know that this moment is enough.
Let yourself know that tomorrow will be ok.
Let yourself be here and now.
Whatever action needs to be taken in this moment, take it.
If no action needs to be taken, just be.
You don’t need to plan your whole life.
You don’t need to compare yourself to others.
You are enough just as you are in this moment.
Your presence is a big accomplishment in and of itself.
Marvel in the little-big things.
Your purpose is to be and that is very, very big.

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