Growing is Hard to do (sometimes); but necessary!

~ Reflections on Growing Wiser and Learning from Our Setbacks~

I’ve often talked about growing in terms of new experiences or in learning something new, or making mistakes that teach us valuable lessons on how to move forward or alternatively how not to move forward (i.e. don’t try that again, type of thing). Whether they are good, tough or in between, these personal experiences are the best teachers to learn from and learn about ourselves… that is if we are paying attention to the lesson. If not, sometimes it can be frustrating, or tough having to learn again and again until the message becomes absolutely clear. Sometimes for me this has been the case of “What you are doing isn’t working” or “Try something else” or “Don’t going down that path again”. Whatever it happens always seems to be followed by some new form of knowledge, a tidbit about ourselves that we didn’t know before that allows us to go in a little more prepared than the last perhaps failed attempt. 

But what if that doesn’t work and we end up making it quite a few times, all leading up to a humungous oops?!?

Well, this has been the case for me- a huge stage of every-kind-of-ward growing. Which I realize only after going through some of the toughest moments and emotions that it’s left me better than before. It seems our setbacks have the pretty powerful ability to transform us into stronger versions of ourselves, which is a pretty incredible. I’ve realized this myself and gradually am trying to become grateful for the lessons. Even though, the process that precedes this realization, and transformation was tough and sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other seemed to be asking a lot; it became a necessary step in moving forward and on with life.

The lesson I’ve learned is then this is what we must do if only to prove to ourselves that we can do it and for the process to begin. Despite it being tough and me having to rely on extra support I still managed  to learn a lot about myself and how I am able to grow from my own experiences and mistakes. Getting through the thick of it has also made me realize how strong and resilient I am and that if I got through this difficult time then maybe it is possible to get through any other challenges that may come my way. On this note I shall end with a quote from the wonderful Cheryl Strayed:

“You’ll learn a lot from yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery.

Be a warrior of love.”~ Cheryl Strayed

Thank-you for listening,

Introverted Butterfly,

Learning to be brave and decide! (Part 2 of The Courage Series)

What I’ve learned from Creativity and Deciding!

If there is one thing I’ve learned about myself in the last year or so it’s that almost anything becomes possible once I set my mind to it and decide to go for it. I’ve taken on so many new experiences not only this year but in the last couple of years that have gotten me to where I am now. All have involved deciding to take on at the time something new. If I had not done so then who knows where or who I’d be, perhaps still me but a little more different, a little less brave/open. It’s not always so easy though, and realizing that much of the time what held me back is in agonzining over decisions, going back and forth between truly wanting to try and bowing out in hopes of gaining more information or clarity. 8ba8ba23c5c41649d489c666dd87b3f4 I’ve driven myself crazy in this process- the hemming and hawing involved in making next steps; second guessing/going one way or the other then back again is exhausting; dwelling on the uncertainty looming in the air at times has seemed like an effort in futility.

What has proven valuable- despite uncertainty- is indubitable power in deciding to do something even if you’re unsure. If guessing at what’s unclear is no help then the one that does and can control is our own decisions, which can either mean being brave in the chance of uncertainty or sticking to what we know and is familiar. Which although is safe, doesn’t really allow you or I to grow. If I had stuck to the familiar and in giving an example say in creativity then I would have never learned how enjoyable baking, or knitting or even doing pastels would have been. By deciding, however, to at least try these experiences I’ve learned and grown so much all of which I wouldn’t have if I stayed in my room.

There’s also a quote I’ve seen and have around my desk that reads:

“If it excites you and scares you at the same time, it might be a good thing to try”.

I find it a great inspiration to help in continuing to be brave and open to new experiences and decisions- both those with great certainty and uncertainty. I think of it every time I’m attempting to write something new; explore a new insight; try something new and especially in sharing my experiences or thoughts with someone else. All of which can seem exciting or scary to me at any given moment depending on how I chose to look at it but by taking I’ve been able to stop worrying and figure out how to move forward. *In full admittance* this is a work in progress for me that has been both inspiring and un-nerving at times but knowing there is only one way to go from where I stand and that’s forward with patience and courage has helped- also the quote mentioned above works well too.

Be brave, bold and determined,

Best,

Introverted Butterfly

A New Perspective on What it Takes to be Open (An Introvert’s Insight!)

An Introduction and Thoughts on the Subject:

I begin looking at this topic a while ago with the modest mindset of how others it seemed were more able to show an openness towards sharing themselves and their experiences which got me thinking that it seemed like a pretty courageous thing to do. I’ve always been in awe of that for others while striving to do the same myself. There is something about letting your true self be shown that is rather intimidating for me and so I’ve often admired it in others while simultaneously trying to work on it myself.  With that I’ve began the process really looking at the when and where of sharing while building my own quiet courage which has taken some mustering.

My progress so far: a) Is that it takes time to get there but in order to get there we must keep moving forward and b) by doing so it becomes a process of starting somewhfamous-life-quote_8782-0ere (usually with sharing small thoughts/experiences/interests and moving into bigger topics BUT as mentioned above you must keep moving forward. As hard and perhaps uncertain at times as it may be the alternative to that is getting stuck in a particular spot and not contribute to your own growth or growing the connection. I’ve learned through mine and other experiences that it can take some time too, but if we’re really lucky the person we are connecting with will be patient at the times where our courage is less or what we share is in small doses. It’s important to realize this for ourselves but also in terms of how others may work through opening up and sharing, the uniqueness of it for each person is what makes sharing experiences unique and perhaps to add on another important lesson we can learn from others- especially if they are more open it can encourage us to be more open too. So to conclude is we must keep moving forward, at your own pace of course, but forward. It seems to be the only way to make connections grow and to form trust.

Really what it mostly comes down to for me and might help you is a steadfastness in showing up, and being who I truly am. I’ve also taken the perspective that just by doing that I’m already half way there. Next as follows is the little pep talks I give myself to just say one thing/share one thing about yourself and see how it goes. The voice inside me would say, and you’ll feel prouder for doing it.

 

For now, Introverted Butterfly

Question: “How do you know when you’re ready for change?”

My thoughts on it based on past experiences

It seems from experience,  you may never know how ready for change you are, until the day it happens. This is what can make it challenging, to prepare or plan, even in the most obvious of circumstances there is still something to that change out of our control. So the only way to be ready then is to look back and realize that what made you ready was getting through the change and being brave enough to take on more endeavours in the future.

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On Possibilities and Balancing Life

 How I’ve figured this out and managed to keep afloat

I believe that when you take chances, especially those outside your comfort zone that stimultaneously you are learning outside that space. The very comfortable cozy place where we never feel challenged, or able to move forward sometimes although feeling stuck, we come to rely on when it just seems easier, safer to stay where you are, without the risks and rewards that come with seizing the opportunities just beyond the familiar.

These are the possibilities that are and are not outside the ordinary, where all aspects of our lives can be included in the explorations, curiousities and endeavors that ensue. Not just happening in the grander scale but in the minute moments, day by day as we take chances with unforeseen risks and rewards. What I mean by this is there are work rewards and risks; such as changing jobs, getting promoted, taking on a challenging project, a new job. The same I believe can be said with individual personal risks– those that require us to make the decision on our own if we are single or that we do for our own well-being; it’s examples are similiar but slightly different to the ones in work rewards, in which you may create yoBlog Logo 3ur own projects, you may be moving because of your job or moving in general means getting a new job in your location. There are those which can be on a smaller scale such as: travelling, trying new things, learning new things, or finally following that passion of yours that you’ve been putting off. These are things, where the reward is great and the risks are hopefully small or easily recovered because yes you’ll learn from them but they won’t have a huge affect on your life in a negative way or another’s life.

Within this category- tucked away from harm or sometimes our awareness is the sub-category o
f “Relational/Relationship”, risks, rewards and possibilities. That can be understood in a friendship, romantic or in it’s early stages through the idea of connections. To me, this is one of the bigger most complicated areas to navigate as it’s challenges interlace within each of the other categories. As the possibilities expand in other areas of life so does that balance and there are to be found with each new change. Some you have to take away from other aspects of life or consider them like personal growth could lead to a separation between two people or perhaps stronger connection, things change in a work role or demands could take away extra time from personal relationships making it imperative to consider that aspect, in what’s best for both individuals in the friendship or relationship. This sense also is where compromise could come in. 

As you can see each comes down to what’s best for you and the real matters of the heart. As I believe it can strongly guide the direction we take in the world… if we let it. The only true difference here- in relationship/connection possibilities, is that your heart takes center stage. At least this is how it’s felt for me, like jumping on a roller-coaster having to brace for and then enbrace each coming twist and turn. As you are not only putting yourself out there for the risks/rewards but your heart as you become vulnerable in a totally new and unpredictable way. Yes, it’s a little scary at times, and uncertain but in the end, it seems most rewarding to me to just get out there and try, rather than the alternative, which is theorizing about these things while not really getting any closer to knowing how it feels. For me I’d rather say I’ve done and tried than not done it at all and stay safe.

How about you? What are your thoughts on possibilities, risks, and rewards? I’d be interested to know in the comments!

P.S. Sorry this blog is a little long, I had a lot to say-apparently-.

For now,

Introverted Butterfly

On Brighter Days

Also experiences, opportunities and connections!

Here is how I see the value in sometimes spending my time or going for opportunities. In that there will be those rare experiences that only happen once or you know will be once in a lifetime. The ones not to miss, sit out on or cast aside. Also the ones you remember the rest of your life long after that time has pasted and you are looking back on it in nostalgia. The only way to get there though, is through an openness to whatever comes your way. For me, I have learned to be open to them, exhausted by the end of a week/time, but glad I was there to be a part of the experience than well-rested and remorseful. That’s just my humble point of view.

It’s also harder to write on such things if you’ve never ventured outside your door. To me- the girl who used to think that life happens when these sorts of experiences find you- now knows that the opposite is true. Indeed, that happen when you chose to participate in them and life, putting yourself out there and trying new things. Be prepared to be tired at the end of it all, learn things you didn’t know before and as always more about yourself. As I believe that each opportunity holds those three things or one of those three things for us to find within it. All you or I have to do then is go for it- with little hesitation, some openness and acceptance for whatever is meant to happen. That’s all.

To sum up, although I may be tired at the end of this crazily busy week and have felt like curling up in my sheets and sleeping through the weekend. I donot regret planning the things I did because luckily this time I survived being on the go, had a blast doing so and finally felt like I had great chances to connect with close friends of mine, and build on those connections. These are the things, that make life interesting, full of colour and writing on as I mentioned. Much more so than sitting at a desk, waiting for these chances to come and magically appear.

The “Everything Happens for a Reason” Theory

And My Theory on it:

Blog Logo 3So, here is the thing. As the saying goes, everything happens for a reason. Whether we know that reason or not; have chosen the “why” or “how”. Things happen anyways and often we may never know why. In these cases, the recommended advice is to accept that as we are changing and our perspective widens on how we evolve into who we are there will always be those times that completely flumix us. For no other reason, other than that “well that it happened”, not much we can do. Coincidence or not, a stroke of luck, some important insight or the awareness of getting through after a particularly stormy patch all lead to where we need to be now. To understand that nothing comes into our lives for no reason, other than to test us on this theory is one of the wonderful ways life can be interesting (yes), and challenging at times (definitely). So we can show exactly how accepting we are of what is going on. After all, the best test is one not on theory but in actual practice. It can be all well said and done, but until we truly have the experience of knowing; guessing means nothing and gets us nowhere.

Yet still sometimes it seems quite challenging to do when things get rough or rocky. As best I try to embrace that, with the best of my abilities in situations which are new to me, or it’s circumstances way WAY beyond my control it can be really difficult. I can acknowledge that there is no point in fighting this fact, but end up trying to go against it anyways, not quite ready to let that next step of awareness go.

And…

This is where I’ve been. Somewhere stuck in the middle of trying to figure things out meanwhile putting my best efforts forward to move forward day-by-day on my own while in the process of waiting for answers. Which really comes down to needing coIMG_0336ntrol. A tricky habit-let’s say- I’ve been working on loosening for most of my life.

Knowing reasons, and explanations has been particularly helpful coping strategy to have in my back pocket. I’ve always figured that by doing so I’d have some control over what is happening and assured that everything is alright.  Whether it’s who I chose to let in my life, where it goes, how I handle things and even how to cope in certain uncertainities. This not so “helpful” strategy has gotten me through, but at a cost. Like many things, it’s taken a while for me to realize where my anxiety was hidden, which was within that need of control/trying to control outcomes. I am willing to work on this, though, because spending any more time theorizing the “what ifs”, the “whys” and “how comes” has gotten me nowhere. That’s not entirely true, it’s actually set me back quite a bit from where I once was. Therefore,  I need to break up with needing too many answers, carry on without my anxiety and take everyday for what it is, as it is, without looking back in the wrong direction.

Hope this helps you, as it has helped me!

Truthfully Yours,

Introverted Butterfly

Noticing the Little Things- Appreciating the Monarch Butterfly

Have you ever stopped to think that certain coincidences happen around a particularly meaningful or at interesting times of our lives? When everything that’s happening seems to be spinning around you in a mess of moments? Or perhaps- as it commonly is- you find yourself inside your head and this occurance acts as a way to bring you back into the present? Or give some sort of wonderful reassurance?

I find myself becoming even more tuned into these little signs (you could say) as time goes on. Barely noticable at first, yet if I look just a little closer they appearing at interesting moments, events or intersections in life. It’s a tricky balancing act we must be aware- and Blog Logo 3although I say “look closer” it might not always mean “look harder”. For, searching too hard may lead us in the wrong direction or may seem too desperate/particular for these messages, but going out there and just having an awareness that there’s much more happening around us in this world is a good place to start. An interesting discovery leads me to marvel again and again at the natural world along with wanting to explore even more of it when I get the chance.

There is so much out there, living and interacting among us that’s more than just us. Animals looking for lunch, places to rest along their journeys, preparing for the coming seasons. Plants changing stages, or wilting or sprouting up just in time for their own season in their time, as a reminder to have patience, and that it’s okay to do things in my own time. Another favourite reminder of patience, process and transformation of mine is the butterfly. This beautifully winged creature is a wonderful reminder to
enjoy the moments as they are fleeting, drink in the sweetness of life and most importantly of embrace our very own transformation- both mine and others-. As nothing or no one really ever stays the same. Change is inevitable, especially in nature amongst the butterflies who have their own IMG_1667timely process of change- which takes a great many days to occur. This is why the butterfly is a special symbol to me. As wherever, these flying winged creatures are I am reminded to be patient, that sometimes it takes a great while for the bigger picture to unfold a part of our plans; and even though it may not be precisely when we want things to happen, it always is  when they are meant to be. With that said, there is no greater honour than to encounter a Monarch. A rare species itself I know when I come across it that is the best sign for me to receive. As it lets me know: “My dear Kylie. You are doing the right thing, at the right time. Your patience is rewarded and this is where you are meant to be.” For that I thank the Monarch and let it be and carry on, as I know even the Monarch has further to go still and a hard journey ahead of it, as do I.

Be on the lookout then, because you never know when inspiration and insight will strike you out and about!

Much inspiration and learning,

Introverted Butterfly

Photo an original Introverted Butterfly, photograph- August 28th/2016© (Monarch on Milkweed plant).

A Message on New Experiences and Openness!

How to embrace new experiences and set our expectations for fun!

So here is my theory.  I believe when we challenge ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones, and into new experiences then there is a much to be enjoyed and learned from it, as long as we aren’t setting our expectations too high or not giving it the benefit of the doubt.  Also by being open to these new experiences we’re also opening ourselves up to a more enriching lives with every opportunity that comes our way. And allowing it to be anything and everything, as it is. From there, there’s no knowing where it will lead or what will come next. You may find new ways to spend your time or find out something you might have thought wasn’t for you actually is. Just give it a chance to surprise you. No matter what we are currently experiencing or doing there is something to be learned from it if we are open to it, so why not embrace that as well and throw fun in their just for fun’s sake! An especially valid point for really new experiences.

I’ll admit looking back, I didn’t always believe this to be true. A younger version of me would have shyed away from such activities simply because they sounded too new to me. Immediately, my mind would fill with doubt as I pictured the worst case scenario happening to each outside my comfort zone. I would also set expectations too high and be
victim to 001ef6b1cb732dd2b60c2ab8c6937bcadisappointment or disappointing myself if it didn’t turn out just so.  What I now realize is by closing myself off to these opportunities I wasn’t allowing the opportunity to be fun and enjoyable. By being open to more experiences now-a-days that have surprised me and where I’ve had a blast, really been able to be present in that moment, felt pride for at least trying and most importantly HAD FUN!

Here are just a few: baking then cooking, doing crafts, travelling- that was a big one, but highly rewarding, drumming and dancing. At one point, or other they all seemed foreign and undoable to me now the more I try them or in different ways the more open I am to try them again!

checklist.jpgTo sum up- here is my simpler list of ways to set FUN as the expectation:

  • Sometimes we have to be gentler on ourselves for not quite getting the moves right, or getting anything right the first time. Ask yourself: “Am I having Fun?” and if the answer is “Yes!” then you’re doing great! 
  • Putting expectations on it to go perfectly or for us to be perfect at it. Is too much to ask, and will only get us stuck in our heads and out of being present in the moment.  You can’t expect to be perfect at something you’ve never tried folks! So, why set yourselves up for failure or disappointment?
  • Also it’s impossible to go into any new situation positively when doubt and pessism cloud your thoughts. What that means is we’re closing off the experience to be what it is by already picturing what it won’t be or putting negative energy towards its’ outcome. Try going in open-minded, and embracing it for however it turns out! 
  • And finally…be proud of yourself for taking that first step and going through with it! Sometimes, it’s as simple as saying “Heck! Yes!” even if you aren’t entirely sure what it will entail. Savour the experience and how you feel by being open, positive, having fun and feeling pride just for trying it out! 

When I started setting these expectations for myself then it was definitely easier for me to say “Yes” to more new experiences, enjoy them more and have fun!

 Adventurously Yours,

Introverted Butterfly

Images: Courtesy of Google

Expectations- Where They Might Come from Within Us

Often we are taught that many expectations begin in the mind, and start out as some ideal vision of what we hope the situation/experience to become. From there, they guide us and let us know how well or not we are doing in creating the perfect scenario. Most of the time we are aware of this and can best figure out how to work with them. But there are the select few cases that are a fair bit more trickier to figure out how to navigate our own expectations or perhaps it is finding a way to release them when out of our control. This from my experience is particularly true of the ones where we are required to put our hearts out there for others to embrace and in forming connections with that person. Essentially, ones where it’s not just you involved.

The reality of the experience often tends to be slightly different from expectations, and can create a contrast and confusion over what we perceive is real versus inside our heads. As our expectations often try to trick us into thinking that it is not enough or it’s something we hope to be more than it is. As we get our hopes up, though, our hearts grow with fancy full possibilities of that something now becoming grand. Well sometimes these hopes work out for the better, certain ones can lead to heartbreak and disappointment when your expectations differ from the other persons. Regardless, though, we must try to be brave and open allowing another to see our true selves. In these moments, our hearts can grow fonder or fuller of possibilities as all it seems to take is one positive moment for this to begin as the possibilities to appear and expectations to come in from no where.

band-aid-heart-2

This is why I believe it can be hard to lower or let go of certain expectations because as it is common for our hearts and minds to conflict over particular situations- like whether to take a job or not, where to travel, or what to do in your life it can be really challenging when the dilemma directly involves the heart and a fondness for another person. In what should be the hearts territory we often have to consult our minds to be sure and feel safest doing so, making the battle that much more confusing and tougher to release our greatest hopes from. This is why
it takes being able to do that in the heart as well to truly let go, for one to be okay doing that, work through the process of letting go and accepting what is right in front of us as it is.

This is just my humble opinion though, I’d be interested to see how you deal with your expectations? And do you believe it’s possible to lower them without totally breaking our own hearts?

Receptive and Heartfelt,

Introverted Butterfly