Aside

Is it Really that much better on the Other Side?

Looking over fence

Why is it that we can look at something that we don’t have, and fantasize about it, dream about how much better it is? I know this is going to sound counter intuitive, but that’s why I try to stay away from Social Media. Sure people are having fun, but they only post the Good Moments. Sure their new Baby picture is awesome, but you don’t see the other 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. How much of that was their child crying, throwing a fit, or just other kid stuff. The truth is, sure from your perspective they have a great life. You want to know a secret, they’re looking at your freedom, and singleness, and they’re reminiscing about how great they had it. Chances are if you’re looking at someone’s life and thinking that they have it great, they’re also looking at someone else and thinking that they have it great. So why write this, no I’m not angry or am I going to lament about someone else’s life. Rather I’d like to talk about how we can be content with OUR LIFE, ways that we can find joy in the everyday things we do.

Are you seeing the Whole Picture?

Yesterday I went for a Hike as part of my Sunday/Funday Adventure, towards IMG_1098the end I came across a beautiful view of a beach. Sometimes I feel that when we compare or lives to others, or we see a snapshot of their lives, we’re forgetting a few important details. This picture was taken from a few hundred feet up, people appear as little specs. The climb up to this spot was treacherous, just one slip and I’d fall all the way down to the bottom. It was nearly vertical, so much so that I was also climbing with my hands. I’m not saying this to get credit, but to point out that to get to this beautiful view, it was at the expense of my life. Sometimes I feel that we see other people’s lives and we don’t ask. How high up did you have to climb to get there, is it something I’m willing to do? How long did it take you to get there, do I have the time to invest in that? How did you get down from there, is it worth my life? So my point is that if you saw this picture and thought wow that’s a great view, and didn’t think of what it took to get there, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Without more information you don’t know if what someone else has is something you’re even willing to do. Whether you’re capable of duplicating what they did.

Poor Pitiful ME!

I’m not saying this to be insensitive, or to down play your problems, but sometimes it’s important to remember that EVERYONE, has their problems. Everyone has moments of doubt, shame, and regret. At times we all will hear that voice in our heads say you’re not “good enough” “pretty enough” “smart enough.” I was watching a movie “Mom’s night out” a few nights ago, there was a scene when the main character was going through this very battle. She was questioning everything she had set out to do that night. It seemed that everything she had tried to do was going up in big horrible flames. As she was asking out aloud if she was enough, another character turned to her and asked “enough for who.” While this is a simple statement, it’s implications are so vast. When you’re comparing yourself to others, or even doubting that what you’re doing is worthwhile, who’s the one doubting? Chances are, you’re questioning yourself, no one else is physically there doubting you. Ok so I know that this is not always the case, for some people they’re surrounded by parents, family, and partners who belittle them, and make them feel insignificant. I’m not talking about those scenarios, and even for those, I would say be intentional about who you surround yourself with. Are you around people that will build you up and make you strong, or those who would use their words to hurt you. If you’re your only critic, then learn how to be less critical of yourself. Learn how to remove your own obstacles from in front of you.

Life is still happening ALL around me!

It’s discouraging to think, but the world doesn’t revolve around me! When I’ve fallen down and scraped my knee, when I’m feeling depressed, when I’m feeling that I’ll never accomplish what I’d like. Life hasn’t stopped, you’re still out there posting your awesome pics of your life, you’re still having great parties, you’re still telling EVERYONE about your awesome relationship (or the good parts of it anyway). Life is still going on despite of what I’m going through. It might sound a bit sadistic, but EVERYONE has problems, think about it, no one is immune from bad things happening. I find this reassuring, and it’s not because “misery loves company” but it helps keep me grounded. In my head I feel as though others are living in a Utopian bubble, they’ve found the love of their life, they have an awesome career, and the’re living their dream life. Reality tells me that this is more of an illusion. So if it’s true that LIFE goes on despite my sad moments, then I have to go out and seek out my own happiness.  I have to find my “little moments of joy” Yesterday was a perfect example of just that, after a great hike and breath taking views, I found out I was 2 hours late for work. My schedule had changed, and I hadn’t double checked it. Not to mention, once I got there, there just seemed to be multiple problems waiting until I got there. Bad things will happen, I’ll also be depressed, I’ll also compare my life to yours. Despite all that, I have to be intentional about seeking out “moments of joy” I have to go out and live life, instead of life dictating how I spend my time. If I have a choice, I will surround myself with people who lift me up and inspire me. Whether it’s fellow bloggers giving me kind words, or even my kind words coming to someone when they need it most.

I believe that we are all connected in a way, I’m not just talking about religion. I believe that we have the capacity to sense when others are hurting and are in need. For me I’m learning how to embrace this and to send words of encouragement, especially when you need it most. I’d like to step away from my usual writing and share a quick story. Another reader OwlOfKnowledge, sent me a thank you a few days ago. Apparently I had sent her a reply to one of her posts a few months back. For reasons unknown, my reply was not read at the time, but in a time that she needed encouragement, my old response resurfaced. Just when she needed those specific words of encouragement, that’s when they found her. I don’t write because I’d like to have a certain number of followers, or that I’d like to think of myself as important. I write because of little moments like that, I’ve had a few of those with close friends of mine. This is the best way to reach more of you, to reach you in your quite moment when you’re not sure of your world around you. The moments when the Universe brings you the kind and encouraging words you needed.

Don’t wait for the Perfect Moment, go out and find your Joy. Look at the animals, they don’t have a care in the world, all they worry about is eating, and being the specific animal that they are. So be like the dog, cat, lion etc…Take time to be YOU. 
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Something’s gotta Give!!

Fraying-rope-006

I can’t believe it’s been a few weeks since I made my last post. I’ve been spending the time mostly reading and responding to posts, thought I’d give all you real bloggers out there a chance to do some real writing :-). All kidding aside though, it’s been an interesting few weeks, like many of you who read this, I too have my moments of absolute joy, and my darker moments of turmoil. It’s always interesting what I notice in those moments though, what picks me up. I’d like to share a few of those things with you.

My main struggle these days, in addition to embracing my singleness, and discovering who I AM. I seem to be struggling to find a job that calls me, one that I can say “ah ha this is my PURPOSE, this is what I was made for” In my last post “Finding your Purpose might be easier than you thought!!”, I talked about how we can find happiness by letting “Our Light” be our purpose. I incorporated that into my daily life this past few weeks, and it made a noticeable effect on my attitude. Some days at work are brutal, but by embracing my positive attitude as my purpose. It has allowed me to reset more quickly after dealing with a bad customer experience. Although this is a good tool for the overall work motivation, I still felt as though something else was missing. I’m someone who will only do things if I can predict the outcome. At this point in my life I have absolutely no idea what the future holds, I don’t know what I’ll be doing Career wise 1,2 or 5 years from now, and I’m not very comfortable with that feeling. While I’m generally not worried that I won’t find something that’s the right fit for me, just the uncertainty is hard to deal with. So why not do something you ask? So far the things I’ve set out to do haven’t worked out, and I believe that it’s because I’m still in my growing phase, I’m still learning something else that is part of the lesson I’m to learn. I have faith that God has something bigger than I can imagine in stored, so I’m learning to let go.

Live as though Heaven is here NOW!

So before I go on and on about my uncertainty about my career path, let me tell you what I saw this week that helped put things into perspective. For me I have to remember to be in the PRESENT, while having goals and future plans are important. If I’m not living in the present how will I know what path I’m supposed to be on. I believe that the signs are always there, you just have to look and listen. I may call it God, you may call it The Universe or Destiny; there is still a force that pushes us in the direction that is aligned to who we are at our core. Just as how last week the sign was to let “My LIGHT” be my purpose, I came across something else that points to the same concept.

This is an excerpt from a Song by Steven Curtis Chapman:

” This Life passes in the blink of an eye. But the Story has only begun. So go, Taste and SEE the goodness of God”

Secondly while watching the Movie “Heaven is for Real” a familiar Bible verse was highlighted. Many know it as “The Lord’s Prayer.” “…may your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” Matthew 6:10 – NLT

So I know that these were all biblical references, but bear with me a bit more if you don’t share my Faith. You see all of these references are about enjoying Happiness NOW, rather than waiting for something to come by and sweep you off your feet later. Whether it’s that awesome job, or perhaps you’re in search of “The One” you don’t have to wait to find happiness. You see true happiness comes when you learn to embrace and enjoy where you are now. If you fall into “and then” thinking, you may never find that happiness, because you’ll be constantly chasing a goal that will keep eluding you. To be clear I’m not saying that EVERY goal you’ve set for the future can be actualized now! If your goal is to be a Doctor, and you haven’t gone to Medical School, you cant just go start treating people :-). Take myself for example, I see myself becoming a Counselor, I see that as my purpose. While I don’t have a Masters or PhD in Psychology now, being a Counselor involves helping  those in need, those in personal conflict and relational issues. Although I don’t have a degree in psychology, I can still help friends and those close to me. I can even write posts such as this one that will help to lift up and encourage others. In my case I don’t have to be a Counselor or Life Coach to help others, there’s other ways to fulfill my purpose in this case. So what I am saying is to find what makes you happy, learn how to incorporate that into your daily life. Just as Christians believe that Heaven (a future time, when there will only be happiness and no pain) will come later, there is nothing stopping you from having some heavenly traits here now. Just as the verse said “your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” I believe that we can have a little bit of heaven here now, we don’t have to wait for it sometime in the future.

While you might still be on the road to happiness, remember that you don’t have to wait until you get to your destination to find happiness or fulfillment. It’s possible to enjoy some of that now. By shifting your perspective, and realizing that it is possible to actualize some of your dreams today, it will get you in a better mind-set to accomplish more later.

Master of YOUR Universe!!

“Oh Great today is going to be crap! Why can’t I have a great day today? There’s no way I’m going to be able to accomplish any of these things!”

Have you ever started your day off telling yourself these things? I caught myself thinking negatively about the upcoming day today. Not entirely sure why I was thinking this way, besides I had just gotten out of bed, the day hadn’t even had an opportunity to go either good or bad. Although I hadn’t even started my day, I was already thinking negatively. Not to worry I gave myself a mental kick in the rear, and ran as far away from that train of thought as possible. I thought it was interesting though, although I hadn’t even embarked on my day, I was already telling myself that it was somehow going to not go well.

Hope

I have hope because what’s the alternative to hope? Despair? If you have despair, you might as well put your head in the oven. – Studs Terkel.

I don’t think of myself as one of those people who sees the world through negative lenses, but somehow I was allowing myself to start the day on an unhealthy journey. The world is full of many things we can’t control, but I do have some control over my attitude and how I approach my day.

Based on my brief moment of insanity, here’s what I came away with:

  • Approach each day ready for the possibilities, by starting with a positive attitude, it will dictate how you approach things. An attitude of excitement and confidence, rather than feeling defeated and hopeless.
  • Be content with what I do have. Although having goals is a good thing, I also want to spend time in the present. Enjoy and appreciate the things I do have. I’m grateful that I have health, and freedom to practice any religion or way of life I choose. I have a job and there are endless possibilities that they can lead me to. Sure this is not where I’d like to end up, but if I’m not paying attention to my footsteps, how will I know where I’m going.
  • Take time to relax and enjoy. Even if it’s something as simple as my lunch, or observing people than come into my work, people watching can be a lot of fun.
  • Remember that I have control over my attitude, no one else can dictate how I feel about certain things. By recognizing that I have control, I will not give that up to someone else.

You can be the Master of your own Universe, don’t let other people dictate how your day will go. Well at least don’t give them the control to do it!

Master of the Universe

Are you Plugged In!!

Ever have that strange feeling that you’re plugged into the Universe?

You have a thought, then you find out others are thinking it too?

You think about someone and then they call you?

Ever since I’ve beenThe Daily Love following The Daily Love (thank you, you know who you are) I’ve felt more plugged in. Many of the times I write a new post, my inspiration comes from reading a post on there. Well today’s no different. I was taking a break to write in my journal, yup I said I have a journal, don’t judge; then again if you do I don’t care.  Ok let me stay on topic before I go off on a weird tangent. I read an article titled Weird Relationships and Loving what is by Liz DiAlto that was aligned with what I had just written in my journal. One of the lines she said that got me thinking was:

How can I love you all exactly as you are, be there for you in the moments we share and let you go when we hang up the phone, close out emails, and log off Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?


 

I had previously seen somewhere that it’s a good practice to be able to tap into your emotions, come to think of it I had probably read that on the Daily Love too. In another entry a few days ago I had made a note to be conscious of my inner feelings and emotions, to allow myself to feel. Instead of taking my emotions as invalid, to take them as an indicator of what’s going on inside my body. In that entry I also talked about allowing myself to take credit for things I do well, and to not admonish myself too badly for the things I don’t do well. In a way I wanted to use positive thought to put myself in a better state. If memory serves me right, that was learning to focus on positive reinforcement, instead of the negative voice in your head. I already have an EGO that tries to make me think little of myself (in this instance the EGO is the small voice who tells you you can’t …)

This train of thought followed up my previous post about Going All In, to give my work, life and relationships my all. To recognize that everything I do will require work, there’s no easy button to get the outcomes I desire.

In essence, by learning to plug into what I’m feeling, I can be more honest with myself. Instead of pushing certain emotions to the back of my mind because they don’t confirm to a certain view. Learn to listen to them, after-all those emotions are how my heart feels. Although I’m talking about tapping into my emotions, what I’m not saying is to be like a flag in the wind, to be blown to an fro with every slight breeze. By incorporating aspects of my mantra, 1. Don’t take things personally 2. Don’t make assumptions 3. Always do my best. This also allows me to also tap into what others around me are doing.

From the Article  Weird Relationships and Loving what is by Liz DiAlto, if for some reason you didn’t follow that link, here are her strategies:

1. Stop judging how we feel by first allowing ourselves to feel it instead of pretending we don’t. There is no should or should not when it comes to feeling – it’s all valid.

2. Notice the difference between OUR FEELINGS and the way other people’s reactions to our business make us feel. Meaning, if you feel something that isn’t “normal” or “common” by societal or cultural standards – don’t let the reaction of others make you feel wrong. Again, there is no right or wrong when it comes to feeling.

3. Communicate openly and freely, remembering that the true connections in our lives will make it through honesty and openness, in fact they will thrive in this kind of environment.

Life is complicated, I hope this brings some peace and clarity to the muddiness. I hope this finds everyone in good spirits, and if you’re not perhaps this could be a light in your dark day. After-all even a dim candle makes a difference in a dark room, don’t credit me for that one, I’m pretty sure someone much smarter first said it.

Plugged In

 

I’m Ready to go ALL IN!!

All In

The last post I wrote really had me thinking about my past. Not to worry I’m not in a regret mode, but I feel this immense sense of clarity and I thought I’d share it. In case you didn’t ready my last post, here’s an excerpt from a article written by Mike Rowe:

 “A Fan Asks Mike Rowe For Life Advice…”

Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Mike RoweGet yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.
Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you. Good luck – Mike Rowe

As I mentioned earlier, this has been on my mind for the past few days. Today even though I had a long day, and I was outside basically roasting in the sun. By the time I left work I was super excited and happy, and I had no idea why. I think I’m in the beginning stages of letting go. Letting go of the notion that I must search for the “perfect job” or “perfect relationship”. What I’m doing isn’t bad, many people would be happy with the jobs I have. I was finally starting to listen to what Mike said, to stop wasting time looking for the perfect job, and to work hard at what I already have. I’ve always known that intrinsic motivation is the best factor to job satisfaction. I should know, I conducted my own original research for my Undergraduate degree. Complete with interviews, I went the qualitative research method, I didn’t opt for surveys, it didn’t tell me enough about peoples motivation. Anyway I’ve done the research, so by now I should know how to motivate myself, but yet I struggled for years. The good news is that I’m at a stage where I’m doing things differently.

Aside from my career, I’ve also been thinking about relationship, that’s actually what I wanted to study, but my Academic Advisor din’t sign off on that one. As with my job I’m starting to let go of the notion of finding the “perfect” relationship, while I’m not talking about settling for who ever comes along first. What I’m talking about is being willing to put in the work with someone who’s willing to work on a relationship. The bad part is that I’m now realizing that my ex was quite willing to do that. It’s a bit sad that I didn’t realize it at the time. I’m not going to beat myself up about that anymore, I’ve learnt so much during the past year. I’m more in touch with others around me, and I’m letting go of many of by wrong beliefs I held on to, and I’m not sure if I would have accomplished that with my previous path. While it hurts, I also feel that the growth that has come from that experience is really valuable.

What the future holds, only time will tell. What I do know is that I’m willing to go ALL IN now. I’m Jumping inwilling to put in the work to get the kind of future I want. Settling isn’t in my DNA, I’m too much of a perfectionist for that, but I am willing to make several concessions. Life is a constant ebb and flow, sure there are things out there that are perfect, but that’s not everyday life. Even the most beautiful flower dies, and is reborn again. I have to be willing to let go, and in letting go I can open myself up to all that life has to offer.

How about you, how can letting go and jumping ALL IN change your life? Are you still struggling to find that “perfect …” What’s keeping you from getting it? Perhaps it’s time to change your perspective!! Have a blessed day, and I hope my Positive Vibes can emanate throughout the universe and find you where you live. I feel that I have plenty to go around today.