Today, is just one of those days that everything is coming into place and focus. Where I finally am understanding the lesson of the waves, what being patient feels like, and trusting in everything else that is outside of my own control and willpower- acknowledging that and feeling that (turns out) are two different things. Yes, there have been times I’ve been like “yes, I get it there’s not much I can do.” But also others- like now- where it’s truly felt in my heart and I realize that by feeling and accepting that I’ve come into trusting the situation. This gave me a sense of freedom and worry free I’ve been searching for, a lightness and clarity just new to everything overall. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there is something especially helpful about the sunshine during the summer when it shines it’s brightest that can be quite inspiring to us (or me). I also realized today as the sky is blue and clouds hovering above wherever the wind blows them how nice it is to feel light. We can take that as our lesson-whenever we’re ready to receive it- to appreciate the good days. As I encompass the weathers mood- the lightness, worry free and cheerfulness- that hasn’t shown up until now along with my first attempt back into poetry for the first time:
There is a lightness, to me
A optimism that feels free
It’s something hard to explain
Yet feels like the sky, after a heavy rain
This feeling stretches from my head
To my toes
Like a tickle or breeze
In my nose
Where it will lead, I don’t know
There is only one thing to do
Hold on tight, don’t let go
This feeling is yours, and
Yours to feel
This lightness is here and real
This lightness is something I finally feel
There is much to be learned about the ebb and flow of oceans that we can take as lessons in daily life- such as how the tides rhythm follows that of the moon’s cycle-, but most importantly how the tide itself has ebb and flow. Much like that, in life there are times when we feel blue or down in the dumps and hope or optimism is the furthest thing on our minds. In such a state of negativity it covers our sense of reason, hopefulness and appreciation in a total fog (that may take days to lighten).
At least, I find this is the case myself, and boy when that hits there is really not much to help other than taking one day at a time and trying our best to survive. In earlier times, I used to believe that there was no way of getting out and pushing past it but to wallow up in my room, too down and pitying to do anything else. Now I am realizing, simply by continuing on and keeping busy it is challenging to stay in that state. I also know now that this process of feeling low comes with lessons and awareness that it’s all a part of the expanding and contracting we experience in order to grow and realize the value of powerful lessons. By understanding this, we can begin to let a little bit of light in and allow the expanding process to begin as we search for answers within ourselves that eluded us earlier.
I always used to refer to this time as “riding a rollercoaster” because to me that is how it felt (also I am not one to like rollercoasters, so possibly putting a negative connotation on it could have given me power towards it), as a friend pointed out using the analogy of waves, is much gentler and accounts for the natural ebb and flow of life that brings growth. So, since then it has stuck with me. I must note like many techniques, this takes continual practice and a great awareness but in the end is worth it-whole heartedly-. For as Gretchen Rubin, quoted in her book “The Happiness Project”:
“To be happy, I need to think about feeling good, feeling bad and feeling right in an atmosphere of growth.”~ Gretchen Rubin
All things essential to our happiness and recognizing the wave.
To our growth,
And a Love of Reading
As a writer, and someone who loves to read and considers herself open to most genres (but now knows it not entirely true). I now can proudly say that I’ve been inspired by some of the most relatable stories with incredible personal journeys. There is nothing more inspiring and empowering to me than a well written novel or memoir where characters or people triumphant or show strength in difficult times. It is in this stories where we can learn the true strength of human spirit and endurance; when all of a sudden we realize what we’re going through really isn’t that bad or perhaps it is and we find hope and courage in the words of someone else’s struggle then triumphant. We say to ourselves-in surprise-: “You know what? If they can get through then just maybe so can I!” Often what we read- I find- stays with us long past the last page and last words on the page. There in lies the power of the written word and why I am determined to continue writing my own story, for those very reasons. It is also these types of books that I can read with such vigor that within a week I’ll be done the book and not even realize it until it comes to an end. Non-fiction or fiction really good writing always seem to have a message in it that we can learn from.
I have already mentioned one of my favorite reads in an earlier post (titled On Trusting and Knowing) which happened to be the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.
What was an inspiring read that got you THINKING or FEELING?
Your bookworm butterfly: Introverted Butterfly
Embracing the Uncomfortable
This may just be a small victory for some (or big)- depending on your fear of sitting in the dreaded “chair of doom”, and no I’m not referring to the dreaded electric chair, but the more commonly known dentist chair the one that goes all the way back and tips you at the lowest most vulnerable angle. To those of us who dislike the dentist, there is nothing worse than being there (in fact there probably a whole list of places that comes before dentist office we would rather visit). So, with this disposition towards the dentist office (and it’s not like I have a terrible dentist, in fact my dentist is really quite good, if I’m being completely honest it’s the general environment that I dislike) I have often went big time into the “fight or flight mode”, using my victim place to deny the fact that it’s simply an uncomfortable-albeit- short-lived experience and mislabeled my feelings towards it. Turning a dislike and uncomfortableness to fear, releasing the “flight” mode instead of the “fight” mode. Not this time around, this time I hesitantly but bravely went in and got through with little fight but courage in its place and acceptance. So, heck ya! I’m putting that in the victory box and celebrated with ice cream! This sort of forward, accepting of uncomfortable thinking can be applied to anything new or uncomfortable as long as you realize that’s what is and own it (as I’m learning from a very wise, intuitive friend). Also, might I add that celebrating these moments is just as important as recognizing them because these moments quickly pass and you’ll want to celebrate them when you can!
To getting uncomfortable, growing and being YOU!
I would like to add in the Word of the Week:
Perspicacity: A clearness of understanding or insight. Also defined as penetration, discernment
Definitely suiting this weeks lesson.
Sometimes being stuck in the same routine and places can be tiring. You find yourself in somewhat of a groundhog day routine, longing for something new and out of the ordinary. Whether it be some sort of adventure or a simple escape that allows you to reflect on your own thoughts can bring in a welcome REFRESHER to our lives and allow us to get out of our routs. For me, this was going somewhere at a completely DIFFERENT pace than I’m used to, giving me the chance-once I returned-to appreciate how lucky I am that mine is so simple and laid back (compared to this pace). One thing, I must say is that after returning from my adventure is that I’m still readjusting to the routine back home in disbelief that A) the trip happened so fast B) how exciting it was and C) that I’ll be forever grateful for the experience. I always enjoy going places that are outside my comfort zone to see how well I do and what I can learn from venturing out into the new and different experiences it might bring, but I always come to appreciate even more so the comfort of home and familiarity of my own routines that much more. So, not only do you end up un-sticking yourself from ruts but coming to appreciate the familiarity of routine that much more. To sum up, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while and expand your world- in the end, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to LEARN and GROW!
It seems sometimes that those two insights can be the hardest to follow (knowing and trusting OR is it trusting and knowing) either way they can be hard to follow – especially if there is a lot of uncertainty or you’re starting a new adventure/venture. What’s powerful though is having a phrase or favorite quote to help one stay present and grateful often something simple works well-.A favorite quote of mine is from Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild that reads:
“To believe that I didn’t need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything.” (Strayed,311) .
The quote to me illustrates how powerful it is when you realize that simply knowing can be enough, and one doesn’t always need to grasp for more understanding. When I first read this quote in her book it hit me on one of those truly deep and powerful moments as you realize that the author got a huge “aha” from realizing herself the power of that particular moment and at that instance it changed everything for her. Then, again when I watched the movie for the first time you could see the emotion being acted out. It became an emotional “letting go”. Letting go of needing to know of what might come next or always knowing what a particular thing means. Something that I have to practice often in my own life to stay present and grateful for who I do have, as I find myself constantly wanting to reach for fish under the surface, constantly trying to grasp an understanding instead of trusting and simply knowing it’s there and it’s real as being reassurance enough not to worry and reach or always have the need for more. Having this in my back pocket to drawn upon has allowed me to relax, worry less and go with the flow more. It also is a helpful reminder to me personally as I move into different or uncertain situations that you don’t always need to grasp for more, below the surface, sometimes simply knowing that it is real, true and there is enough to trust that everything will be okay.
Is there any particular quote that has helped you get through or trust that everything’s going to be alright?
Quote from: Strayed, Cheryl. Wild. New York, USA: Vintage Books, 2012
Disconnecting from Technology and Tuning Into You
With so many platforms of technology all trying to provide quicker, more instant ways of trying to keep us connected to each other wherever you or I are, the true form of connecting often gets replaced with things like Tweeting, texting and every other social media update in the sun. So caught up in getting the latest update from Friend A we end up missing out on making time or enjoying the opportunity getting to know Friend B better. I also find that a similar effect happens to our own individual thoughts, as we are constantly looking for the next update on this person and that, always wondering what their thinking we lose sight of our own thoughts.
For me I find that when I’m home it’s hard not to tune into the latest episode of this show, or check the latest social media update/updates 1,000 times. Acutely, aware of it’s power I know it is for me often a double edged sword- one where I can keep up with friends and family far away in distance through it’s platform but at times replacing connecting this way to actually making plans with those I can or sending follow up emails. It also is a huge distraction for me, as I can easily lose sight of my own unique way of thinking, writing and ideas- an important part of being a creative person and writer. Hence the importance of tuning out technology, and tuning into you.
By disconnecting, we essentially truly are allowed to tune into who we are, what we thinking and why. You don’t need to go somewhere special or far away to enjoy the benefits. I believe it can be something as simple as going outside for a while, -without your phone and computer- taking in the fresh air and sunshine or appreciating the people you are with in that moment without worrying about those who are not there. Doing this you are allowing your heart to be open to present opportunities and experiences or simply allowing your own heart to speak.
Give it a try, the world won’t end if you do and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to re-connect with yourself and simply BE YOU!
“We act not by years, but by stories”
I love this quote, especially as someone who has many stories to tell already in her lifetime. I think it hints at too that age is simply a number, what really matures you and allows us to grow is the experiences that shape how we view, interact and move forward as individuals in the wide open world at various stages throughout life. People always say “act your age”, but what does that mean? It’s as if they are saying that a certain age or number should come with set characteristics that are different from the previous age. So you were X age and now you’re Y age, all of a sudden you’re supposed to act differently and not as you were before- like it’s as easy as changing clothing for the seasons. I believe we don’t act our AGES, but more accurately act our STAGES based on what we have observed and have experienced in our lifetimes. Who is to say that at the right moments we can’t go back to the playfulness of our youth or that theirs someone out their wise beyond their years. We are all different, thusly we all act different at different ages. Once more there is no wrong or right, there is as there always has been-YOU-!
So as always BE YOU and Enjoy Life!
Image courtesy of: http://bestlovequoteslove.com/we-age-not-by-years-but-by-stories/best-love-quotes-we-age-not-by-years-but-by-stories/
Becoming a More Calmer and Lighter YOU!
Giving yourself what you want, when you want it can be hard. Especially, if what you wish is to become light again. When you’ve been feeling heavy the past little while, sometimes the simplest step can seem like the hardest. Especially if you allow the feeling to guide your interactions. I often think “Here I am now, in the pits of pity back where I started.” That until these two things came to my mind that started to help release some of the heaviness from my shoulders:
The first was that I didn’t need to do this on my own, and why should I when I’m not managing as well as I thought. The second one was “who can I ask/reach out to help me?”. We live in a world so connected to each other- whether online or in proximity- where at some point we all go through tough times. So, why do we feel the need to struggle through it on our own– beats me-. What I do know is that most people you are connected to and if you asked nicely are willing to help because chances are someone has helped them and now that would be their chance to pass along the good deed, again all you need to do is ask. Coming from this realization of wanting help in feeling calmer and lighter I also came to my own conclusion that the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee had spoke up. The “Itty Bitty Shitty Committee” is what I and a friend like to call the committee that delivers hurtful, un-encouraging messages to us that make you doubt everything good you do by allowing the insecurities to sink in. Sometimes all it takes is a whisper to get the ball rolling on that stream of negative thought.
By recognizing the committee is speaking, though we then can turn things around and take counter action, it is then we say “Hey! Enough of this negativity! Time for some positive thinking and affirmations.” For me, at times all I need is “you are enough” as a simple reminder that I am good and enough just the way I am, and to remind myself that it’s okay to ask for help. Nobody’s perfect but that’s okay because that is what makes us human.
BE YOU and know that you are enough.
Image clouds from: https://www.google.ca/search?q=clouds&sa=X&biw=1366&bih=753&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=6gafVdf6E9igyASF4YWQBg&ved=0CBwQsAQ#tbm=isch&q=lightbulb&imgrc=EP8ZUQxtupq-WM%3A
Image light bulb from: https://www.google.ca/search?q=clouds&sa=X&biw=1366&bih=753&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=6gafVdf6E9igyASF4YWQBg&ved=0CBwQsAQ#tbm=isch&q=lightbulb&imgrc=EP8ZUQxtupq-WM%3A
Being Open to NEW Experiences!
This is relatively NEW concept for me that I am still learning to embrace, but already accepting this openness that life has to offer has shown me tremendous benefits. For someone who was barely brave enough to reach out for help or get out of her very set routines to make new connections, try something NEW and different or explore new places, I am now embracing the excitement of NEW. Rather than dreading what’s to come by feeling anxious, that has now begun to be replaced by (get this) the excitement of the uncharted, unexplored and un-experienced. You might like to try it… it’s much more easier on your psyche and you’ll be surprised as how FUN and EASY it is, you’ll want to continue on the YES track. Now, note chances are if your intuition is telling you clearly “no” then it’s probably something you should think twice about saying yes to. But as in most cases, if it is the right opportunity and there is no big red flags going off, then really the only thing stopping you is your own fears and yourself. So what do you say…
Would you -or are you already- willing to trying out YES more often, while being YOU?