Taking Responsibility

Today’s horoscope suggested that I take responsibility for some of the not so good parts of my life. It’s right. I mean how often do we actually sit down and take responsibility for the things we mistakenly bring into our lives? Not often. I know that I preach my advice for others to really take a deep look into themselves and acknowledge the wrongs they’ve done to really overcome whatever it is they may be going through. It’s time for me to take my own advice, no?

Today I take responsibility for something as small as signing up to a random website and then getting upset at receiving the junk mail that goes with it. I go through the hassle of signing up for things to then find myself unsubscribing. I mean, as soon as I plug in my email should’t I already know what I’m in for? Of course… Yet I still do it anyways.

I take responsibility for conditioning people to treat me the way they do. Not setting boundaries from the start allows people to get a different perception as to how to carry themselves within the friendship. The fact that I bend over backwards at all times for people allows them to believe that I will be okay with anything. How can I get mad at someone for treating me the way that I have put myself out there to be treated? From the beginning I should be outspoken and assertive in the things that matter most to me instead of trying to constantly people please. This alone has set me up for many failures in friendships as well as romantic relationships.

I take responsibility in not writing as much as I should for the kind of goals I would like to achieve. I procrastinate or worse, I allow for laziness to completely take over. I allow for others to talk me into wasting time with them (because typically that is all we do) instead of taking reigns of my own personal time and dedicating it to something that will benefit me and what it is I want for my future.

I take responsibility for not speaking up when I should or shutting up when I shouldn’t say a word.  There is a time and a place for both and there are times I wish I knew when they were. I tend to blurt out my opinion, at times without thought, when all people may need is an ear to listen. So I admit, I should keep my advice to myself unless I am particularly asked.

I take full responsibility for not staying connected with those truly who love me, even though I really just don’t know how to. I allow for my introverted self to shine through most times instead of finding balance with the teenie bit of extrovertedness I do have. I could just chalk it up to my childhood and blaming the fact that I don’t know how to really bond with those closest to me, since detachment has always been a coping mechanism. But seriously, now that I have learned this aspect of myself, why not work on it instead of excusing it, right?

I responsibly admit to not knowing how to always handle difficult situations which in turn leads me to letting people down. I have quite the list going, although I will say that in the last two years I haven’t really had to add new people onto that list so maybe I am making improvements to this area of my life?

I admit to making mistakes, to having skeletons in my closet, and to not being perfect, even if my close friends poke fun at me being “little miss perfect”.

I take responsibility for not eating as healthy as I should and sometimes half-assing my workouts. I will be better, I promise!

I take responsibility for sometimes being way too hard on myself and for not only setting too high of standards for myself, but also holding the bar high for others. Why set these social bars? If I can’t be perfect, why should I expect for others to be? I mean, in all honesty, it is  good thing to set standards but one also has to look at each individual as a case by case scenario. The same standards I hold for person A may not be the best standards to hold person B or C to. So I take responsibility for not always taking into consideration a person’s individuality when it comes to this.

I take responsibility for not always eliminating negative influences out of my life as soon as I pick up on the fact that they’re in fact a negative influence. Whether it be people, places, or things, once I figure that their impact in my life isn’t a positive one, I should say “Adios!” and keep it moving without guilt or second guessing.

With that said, I will take responsibility for not listening to my intuition as often as I should. I could have already avoided a bad romantic relationship (or two), wasting time on counter productive friendships, food poisoning (I knew I shouldn’t have kept eating that), worthless jobs, ect…

Lastly, I take responsibility for not having more faith and confidence in myself.  I know me and I do know what I’m capable of. I know that I can achieve all of my dreams and those that I haven’t even thought of yet. I need to strive harder and I am more than willing to work on myself so that I can be the person I know I can be.

Acknowledging responsibility, it is one hell of much needed kick in the ass. Are you strong enough to acknowledge yours?

 

 

Life Quest

There is us, and then there is them.

Who are they? They are those who live in a world surrounded by hundreds and thousands of people, mostly people they do not know. There is not a minute in the day that doesn’t tic on by without contact with someone else. Every comment, every like inflating that ego; if gone a unnoticed, a pinprick. Alone time scares them. To them, it is an infinite darkness tightly wrapped in an anxious silence. These people have settled in life. They have obtained what they felt they needed but nothing more than that. Falling in a pattern of life that only allows them to come across life’s basic necessities, that to them is enough; content with living the social “norm.” Every morning they wake up and tend to their responsibilities. They eat, shit, sleep, and then wake up the next day and do it all over again. The most they do to spice up their day is to socialize with other’s of their same caliber. No one greater, no one who pushes them to strive for more, just mediocre people who allow them to coast just so they can have the upper hand. These people surround themselves with people, places, and things that do not serve them.  These are people who ignore their inner self. They don’t look to nourish their soul but instead their bank accounts. Instead of filling their homes with love and adventure, they fill it with stuff that ends up collecting dust.

On most days these people complain. They hate their jobs but it provides a way to eat. They gorge while complaining about the food they eat, wishing for whatever else except for what is on their plate. They complain about their “friends” or about the bills they must pay to keep their oversized house that they bought up and running. They complain about the debt they have accumulated for things that they no longer have or care to have. They complain about their closet and how it’s full of last season’s outfits. Most days they complain about it all, while other days they simply ignore the empty feeling they keep stored inside. These people live a daily sham, an unnoticed cycle they cannot rid themselves.

Then there is us. We are the mindful few that strive to be aware that today is anew. We have battles within ourselves because being aware and mindful isn’t easy. It is a struggle but we know the fight is worth every bit. We have limited people around us because we understand that we don’t need a world to stand with us; the world is us. Alone time is precious. It is a time in which we fill up our cups and replenish all that we have put out. We use this time to listen to ourselves for what we need and for what we so desperately want. To be constantly surrounded by others, especially those who don’t carry our best interests at heart, that is punishment. We stay away from the constant because what is constant is numbing.

We are those who like to feel life, whether it is a humbling time, a struggle, a moment of pleasure, we enjoy feeling what it is that we are going through momentarily. We understand that no period in time lasts forever and so we take each moment for what it is and embrace it, live it, then release it back into the Universe. We cherish those small and simple gifts of life. We may not have a castle full of jewels and riches, but instead we are the palace, full and rich. We have a couple trinkets that remind us of a memorable time. Nothing collects dust because we revisit and touch and think and love that little piece of trinket that we cherish so much.

We are those who take on journeys. We challenge ourselves, making sure we are evolving. We know being stagnant is death. We understand that life is a quest, one we purposely set out to be in and we take its mission seriously. We are life’s true warriors.

They are them and we are us.

I Can Assure You This Much

In my 31 years of observing life , one of the many things I have noticed with human beings is that no matter how kind or good-hearted you may be, you will always have at least one hater among the friendly faces.

People will hate you for your honesty.

People will hate you for pursuing a better life for yourself.

People will hate you for going after your dreams and not settling for less.

People will hate you for your happiness, especially if it outweighs their own.

They will hate if you chose to walk the unbeaten path.

They will hate you for putting your feelings and goals above their own.

Maybe you weren’t there for them the one time out of the 80, and because you weren’t a help that ONE TIME, they now hate you for it; stating that you were never there for them when they needed you.

Maybe your priorities are set a little different, different from their own. Don’t worry. They will hate you for that too.

Have you been sharing your stories, lets say, for constructive purposes? Have you been sharing in order to help a greater good? Yep, they will hate you for that too.

Let us take a look at some of the greats: Buddha, Jesus Christ, Princess Diana, Bono, Mother Teresa, all of which are some of the greatest humanitarians that this planet has ever seen. Yet even they have people with a list a mile long stating the things they hate about them.

I am no Mother Teresa I can assure you that much, but I can relate as I am sure you all can (yea, I’ll have a hater for this statement too) . We all have a hater or two (or 20) hanging around reminding us why we are “terrible” people. For many of you out there the need to please everyone you come in contact with is great, but I can assure you that you will drive yourself crazy trying to satisfy the many personalities that roam this planet. No one entity can make every human being happy, not even God, so how could you?

This life is your only life to live so live it to your truth without concern and without regret. You can still be a good person and selfishly live your life. Our time here is limited so the worst thing you could do is worry about what others around you make think of you. Most times they are lost as to what they should be doing with themselves, with their lives. Live your truth. Go after your own happiness. Do not resent those who hate you for what you are doing. Instead show them that they too can achieve the things they want out of life if they decide to one day tune out negativity. Be that example and show the world that no matter what, no matter how tainted and imperfect you are, you are still able to dance among the stars.

 

 

A Mental “Feel Better”

When you’re having a hard time in life, boy does it fucking suck.

It did for me anyways. Big time.

I was looking at unemployment, residential displacement, feeling lonely, and ridiculous amounts of internal conflict over external bullshit. The gears in my mind, lubricated in anxiety, were continuously winding and that’s never any help. I am a thinker, it’s what I do. My overthinking at times is beneficial but most times it hinders my journey towards a more peaceful state of mind. During a depressed phase, over thinking can easily creep in and before you know it you’re caught up in a web of misery and the less you talk about it the greater that misery becomes. You drown in these dark feelings and for just a split second, if you allow it to happen, you give into the drowning, letting yourself sink just a little bit. That was me. For a split second, or more like an entire morning, I allowed myself to sink. I felt myself exhausted and quickly began to question even my very existence.

For may people, reaching this moment is almost like washing up onto the shores of the island of No Return. They lose hope and cling onto the sadness for so long that they only feel comfortable there. But that is only because most people do not know of the tools life has supplied us with in order to survive periods such as these. I am one of the fortunate few to have learned of these internal tools that we were given. I am one of the few who believes in these tools and that is the difference between some of those people and myself.

So how did I snap out of this depression that I was experiencing? I didn’t. One doesn’t just “snap” out of these emotions. You don’t just snap your fingers and wala you’re out of the darkness, nor is it a like a light switch you can just flick on and off. No. It’s a process and for everyone it is a slightly different one considering we are all so unique. Our healing process should be customized to our individual needs as well as to every given situation.

On this particular day my process began with a little rage cleaning. It was early in the morning when I woke up to feces all over my living room floor. My dog had apparently gotten a horrible case of diarrhea during the night and had shitted all over the place. I found the smears within minuets of me waking up and it quickly sent me into a tizzy. I frantically began cleaning like a mad woman (I was a mad woman) swearing under my breath as if releasing the “f” bomb was somehow helping me scrub just that much harder. Before I knew it, the living room, the dining room, and kitchen were pristine and once I was satisfied off I went for a deep cleaning of my own.

My shower is my safe haven. I imagine the water rinsing away my worries even though deep inside I know that it’ll only be for the time being. The steam relaxes my tense muscles and I float away..

It’s only once I’m finished and in the mirror getting ready that I begin to remember all my troubles and at this point is when I actually let myself fall away into the depths of my despair. I wail like a child, sobbing from the center of my soul, cries pouring out of me and invading the silent air. Within my normal life, I hardly ever cry, so as I do now, I stare at myself in the mirror. I stare fiercely into my water eyes. I allow to see myself like this. I allow myself to feel all the emotions that run through me, vibrant and strong like an electrical current and shocking my senses. I’m  allowing myself to feel everything that I had been clearly feeling for quite some time but was always trying to hide.

Instinctively I turn and reach for a notebook and begin writing. I do what is called a “Brain Dump” and write everything that comes to mind. Whether it made sense or not in the notebook it went. All my feelings, thoughts, concerns, everything was written down in the pages of my journal, some of it gibberish, most of it not. I purged everything that I was feeling and by the end of it, five pages later to be exact, my soul was feeling lighter. I wanted to keep this going. I wanted (needed) this mental feel better and so taking advantage of the fact that I was home alone I decided to then get myself into total zen mode.

I lay out my yoga mat strategically in front of my bedroom window so I get some of that natural sunlight hitting my skin. The only electronic device that is powered at this moment is my phone which plays nature meditation music, specifically downloaded for moments such as these. I sit Indian style, facing the sun, eyes closed, and focus deeply on my breathing. I sit there like this for whats seems several mins and then slowly begin to stretch my body. Section by section I stretch and while doing so, I speak to each body part, showing love and gratitude. I connect with this vessel my soul is encapsulated in and not only thank it, but also reiterate to it how it is enough. I begin my affirmations and soon all negative thoughts that once thrived, circling around in my mind, dispersed. They became nothing. In its place stood me and all the good that I had temporarily forgotten.

“I am healthy. I am loved. I am in love with everything around me. Money flows freely into my life which helps promote spiritual growth. I am happy. I radiate positivity. I am enough. I am exactly where I need to be. The universe is conspiring in my favor.”

I recite these and more within in my mind letting it penetrate every cell within my body and it does. I begin to feel strong once again. I begin to feel empowered. Before I knew it I was running on a natural high. No, all of my problems hadn’t just disappeared, but I had the strength and the courage to face them without any self doubt. I had replenished my internal oil lamp and it was radiating so much light, no darkness could invade. Suddenly, there was no problem without a solution.

After my mini mental break down and rebuild, it took me a couple days to really feel 100% me again. I made sure to get good sleep and to actually eat at least somewhat healthier. I also spent a lot of time listening to motivational videos and webinars whenever I could. I would play them as I did my cleaning around the house or as I went for my runs. I’d let them play as background noise, trying to soak it as much as I could and it worked.

To many, this all may seem like a lot of hippy hoopla  but in actuality it takes work to be happy and if happy is what we want to be then effort is what we have to put in. To really feel the pain that you’re going through builds your inner strength. It gives what you’re feeling a voice and it helps you to move on. Merely hiding your issues may get you over it for a second but doesn’t allow for you to get through it permanently. Addressing your inner dialogue is highly important as well. It is true when they say, “You become what you think.” Our minds hold much more power than most of us know and it is imperative to our well being to keep our thoughts positive and motivating. We can be our own worst enemy and it begins with our minds so be mindful of your inner dialogue with yourself and stop being so darn hard on yourself! Meditation can help with this. Silencing your mind for just a couple mins a day can help tremendously and allows for you to regain control of your mind when it does begin to wander off into darker territories.

As I previously stated, everyone is uniquely different and so the process of getting back to feeling like oneself after a moment of gloom will be equally as different. I know that this time, this is what worked for me. In sharing this, I hope to help others who are maybe having a rough day find a way to replenish their internal oil lamp and stop them from being overcome by the darkness that threatens their happiness. Whether it’s meditation, writing, dancing around your apartment like a goober, whatever the method may be, find what works for you. Life is too short to be stranded on the island of No Return for any given amount of time, and remember happiness is a choice.

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Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

Giving More FXS

For that split second…

for that “flick of two fingers” split of a second he thought to himself,

“What the fuck are you doin’?” It was the perfectly phrased question when thinking about his life. The question only popped up into his mind once while he fucked her. But now every time they hung out, which seemed much more often than he was currently comfortable with, the question danced in his mind.

What was he doing with his life? What were his goals? He’s got dreams and fantasies, but what are his goals? A better question would even be what was he doing with her? Someone so grounded and career driven. A woman, he felt, was way out of his league. Not because he wasn’t “worth” it but because she’d never give him the proper time of day. He could provide a roof over their heads, cover the major bills, and still have enough to go out on the town with friends for some smooth jazz and whiskey. Still, all this without a socially accepted title, is an embarrassment.

For a split second…

for a split “blink of an eye” second he thought about leaving her. He still thinks he just might. Just let her sit there at the table waiting. Her deep red recently polished nails fidgeting with the white linen napkin that sat in her lap. His soul is much more valuable than some swanky new job title he’d now have to accept in order to meet her unspoken standards. He peered at her through the crack of the bathroom door. He had direct view.

She was beautiful there was no doubt about it. That kind of beauty that takes your breath away without registering why first. Her eyes were kind and you knew her soul was full of love, with just a tint of sadness. She was relateable and within seconds she could make friends of strangers. She was that kind of beauty. Yet, because of that very beauty he was almost ready to run past their table and out back towards the kitchen doors.

How horrible would it feel for him to have to live with such judgment, mostly self imposed, and such pressure? How would he measure up in her eyes? Could he ever be her equal? He would most likely feel second at best.. *Push yourself* something internally whispered.

She instantly turns her head towards the direction of where the men’s bathroom lies. He knows she cannot see him but he can see her fully now. That face, that stare, slowly taking his fear away. He snaps out of whatever absurd thought he was in the middle of having and straightens himself up before heading out the very doors he was just hiding behind. The look on her face spoke volumes. She was waiting for him and he could not keep her waiting any longer. Without her knowledge she had injected him with courage and he walked towards her fearless. Anything can happen. She loved him, he saw that in the flicker of her eyes as he approached their table. This story could turn into “happiness ever lasting”  just as easy as it could end in tragic heartbreak, but he gave a fuck and that’s why he won’t be running away. He cares about knowing the outcome to this story. He gives so much of a fuck that he will trek the journey and see to it he strives hard for a positive outcome.

He wont let fear govern his life, nor love, because he wants to live and he wants to love. Simply because he gives a fuck.

Before he reaches his chair, he slowly walks over towards hers. He reaches down, one hand wraps under her chin tilting her head up, and he swoops down like a vulture, taking her mouth in to his. He kisses her passionately but only for a quick beat, and then he lets her face go and goes to sit in his chair, not once taking his eyes off of hers. A slight smirk revealed itself, her red lips still perfectly painted, perking up in the corners. He waved their server over and ordered a second bottle of wine. Their finest, her favorite.

He’s got this….

Tough Times Are Bridges

People will always let you down. So will places and things. This is exactly why the sooner we realize to not expect anything different, the sooner we can live in extended periods of bliss no matter  what surprises are thrown our way.

As a kid I obviously did not know this key fact to life. Which is exactly why I love getting older because if you’re smart and you learn from life and its lessons, you begin to realize how much power you truly do hold when it comes to handling situations that are out of your control. The power isn’t controlling external situations. By doing that you’re setting yourself up for dooming failure. The power lies in controlling internal ones. So as I grow older I find that it isn’t so  much trying to grab reins of the outside world but more grabbing the reins of my inner self.  I’m learning to focus on the things I can control such as what I choose to focus my thoughts and actions on. I focus on my inner dialogue as well as I try to always keep tabs on how I feel. My instinct is my greatest tool and as I continue to live my life and tune into it more, I feel that it has become so strong that it has become a different sort of power within itself.

For the majority of the time I am a positive and a happy person, even when life hasn’t been so easy. It’s not that I’m being fake but it’s more that I don’t care to give into the emotions of sadness, rage, anger, depression, ect. I could feel it of course for a second…maybe a few minuets or a couple hours depending on the situation, but you will not see me dwell. I move on. I feel that there is no problem that couldn’t be overcome so quickly I try to find solutions. Even a serious illness has a solution. You may not like it but death is nature’s way of solving. Very emo of me to say I know, but hey, unless you are one to believe that when we die our energy just poof! collapses and turns to nothing, death isn’t such a bad solution, am I right? (I’m not talking suicide! Don’t get these thoughts twisted… Remember I mentioned ‘serious illness’)

Troubles are going to always arise and it is how we handle these problems that really defines us as individuals. No, life isn’t perfect and like I said before, there will always be something disrupting a happy streak. The way to begin to take control of these situations is by first looking at these issues or problems for what they really are, bridges. That’s right, a bridge. You are basically going from one island of happiness to another but in order to get onto that next island of happiness you must first walk the bridge to get there. How quickly you make your way over that bridge is totally up to you. You can take a seat and sulk a bit, dwell on all that you may have left behind on happiness island. Or, you can slowly begin to take one foot and place it in front of the other, making your way off of this wobbly bridge and onto the next happiness island of fun and adventure.

Difficult situations and hurtful emotions are very hard to overcome but human beings are made to be resilient and so we must remember that we are here to live,endure, learn, and there is no way for our souls to live, experience, and evolve without the painful, the hurtful, and the ugly.  The past few days for me have not been the easiest. Actually, scratch that, more like the last couple months, but with that said, I have had beautiful moments in between. Little bits of happiness here and there, sprinkles, like multicolored jimmies on plain vanilla ice cream. Just a little over 24hrs ago a decision was made for me that would indeed affect aspects of my life in ways I didn’t see coming. Although I cannot control these external issues, internally I am dealing. So I have stopped for just a second to take a moment to also breath in some fresh air. Yes, what I may be going through is not easy but I can accept it for what it is and can now wholeheartedly move on without regret. I have begun taking the steps to get over this bridge and I find that it’ll be much sooner than later that I will come upon this new island of happiness. I look forward to that moment. I surrender my thoughts to those of only positivity and happiness. Everything else can just fall away, and as the bridge I walk on sways, I use its momentum to propel me far far away from those feelings that could keep me stuck.

 

What Does It Feel Like..

..to be you? Because to be me feels like…

I’m going somewhere slowly… very slowly, but at least I’m going somewhere, right?

Sometimes I feel exhausted and defeated. There are moments where I feel like the heavy weight of absolutely nothing is hanging on my shoulders and it’s a struggle to put one foot in front of the other.

Sometimes to be me feels like I’m competing against other people and their standards. It is almost as if I am continuously trying to live up to the goals and aspirations that others dream up for me, all the while I wishfully day dream of my own.

There are moments that being me feels like I am the strongest most powerful woman in the world. I feel as though there isn’t one thing any one person could say or do to make me feel less than bright. I shine during these moments like a diamond in the light.

There are times when being me feels like the most rewarding gift life has given me because even though I have lived a semi tough life, I wouldn’t  ever want to switch my life for anyone else’s.

To be me feels nomadic. It feels adventurous and spontaneous, with added slight flickers of instability. To be me feels like a whirlwind of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.

To be me feels daunting yet refreshing.

To be me feels contradictory and imperfect. So much so that it’s completely perfect.

To be me makes me happy.

Now tell me… What does it feel like to be you?