How You See the Glass

There are some people who no matter how much sunshine and rainbows you try to rain down upon them, will always see the potential impending doom and plan accordingly.

Perhaps these are the people that would fair best during a zombie apocalypse, for they have already thought through to the direst of outcomes and have stockpiled numerous resources so as not to be caught unawares?

These are people who have already visualized the outcome and are mentally and physically prepared for any eventuality.

See, this is me – looking at the positive of a situation. Looking at the possible benefit of someone being a Negative Nancy, or a Dooom-and-Gloomer.

Shakespeare says in Julius Caesar that; “Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste of death but once.”

This is the true downfall of those that worry about what is to befall them, which is that ‘death’ happens many times.

By worrying about all the things that go wrong you suffer before it’s even necessary to do so, sometimes even bringing on that which you worry about upon yourself.

Like the time I went to an event all by myself, worrying that I wouldn’t connect, feel comfortable, or have the ability to enjoy myself.

I entered the event with this fear, so I felt disconnected, uncomfortable, and didn’t enjoy myself – creating and manifesting the very thing that I was afraid of.

Additionally, I demonstrated a lack of faith, trust, and confidence in myself by perceiving this solo adventure of mine through a negative lens.

I didn’t trust myself to make positive connections, to be able to attract like-minded people to me, to find comfort in the friends and companions that I’d inevitably run into.

It’s been a while since I mingled in a social setting that I arrived at solo. I was out of practice and let doubts and insecurity be the prominent voices in my head.

So, perhaps another element of having the ability to see a situation from a positive lens is having faith, trust, and confidence in yourself and your abilities?

And, also, a growth mindset – because, as humans, we will mess up. We will fall. We will fail.

Just like I did in my solo outing.

Even though I let my sense of disease run me off to retreat back home, I returned home with a really full heart – recognizing that, while I was uncomfortable, I am still loved and celebrated.

I may have felt disconnected – I wasn’t

My discomfiture didn’t make anyone think less of me, matter-of-fact, I was seen and understood without judgment.

Next time I arrive solo at an event I don’t think I’ll be knocked off balance quite so easily.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

Introducing My Inner Voice

I’ve gotten used to the voice in my head, the mean girl who tells me I’m not good enough.

Not thin enough.

Not smart enough.

Not financially stable enough.

Not pretty enough.

Not feminine enough.

Not enough.

There has been a perpetual bar in my mind that I’ve tried to elevate myself beyond by working hard.

The voice has shown up as tough love to push me beyond my comfort zones.

So, in some ways the inner mean girl has provided motivation and drive to be as good as those around me, those I perceived to be thinner, smarter, financially more stable, prettier, and more feminine than me.

She also had me do squats in the shower because I’d seen the cellulite on my legs as I’d washed.

She had me pulling and tugging on my body to diminish the size of my hips and thighs as I looked in the mirror.

She had me doing extra cardio because I’d not fit into the pants I’d worn regularly just a month ago.

She had me stay in an abusive relationship because when he said I wouldn’t do better than him she said that’s what I deserved.

The inner mean girl that pushed me to earn my master’s degree also had me believing that I was not enough.

As I have become aware of how my inner mean girl has limited and restricted me I’ve made efforts to be an observer of these thoughts and *flick* them away.

I wanted to uproot these thoughts that had become a part of my belief system in determining how I felt about myself.

While this strategy worked for a while, recently she has just gotten louder and more demanding.

So I sat with her and acknowledged her.

I acknowledged how her efforts were her attempt to protect me and keep me safe, but that her voice doesn’t serve me any longer.

That in many ways the inner mean girl hurt and restricted me.

She had me placing limitations around myself, not only on what I deserved but on what felt I was supposed to look like.

It’s time to invite other voices.

Ones that speak to me with love, compassion, and affection.

Ones that echo and reinforce the truth of my enoughness

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

It’s Just a Detour

There have been many endings in my life that initially felt cataclysmic.

Not getting into the college I’d dreamed of attending.

Break-ups with lovers that I’d believed would last forever.

Jobs I’d applied for that seemed a perfect fit passed me over.

All things I wrapped my hope and vision of my future around that prematurely ended leaving me devastated and lost.

However, once I got on the other side of these endings and found myself somewhere new I realized that none of these endings were roadblocks, they were detours.

So, now I’ve learned to see endings as new opportunities.

This doesn’t diminish the pain that endings can bring, but it does provide some comfort as I work through the accompanying feelings that tend to come with an unexpected detour toward embracing optimism and curiosity.

Perhaps one path has reached its natural end, but I’ve just been shown that another path awaits me, even if only one step is illuminated before me at a time.

I’m good at planning and dreaming of the route I’d like my life to follow.

Letting go of my attachment to these plans has been vital as I’ve found myself at detours that brought me miracles I was only able to create because of the endings.

Now I can celebrate new beginnings and the possibilities that they bring all because of an unexpected detour.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend 🖤

Give Yourself Permission

Photo by Klara Kulikova on Unsplash

Give yourself permission to let go.

When I think of letting go, friend, I think of two ways in which one can release.

Some things we grasp hold tightly because we know once we let go, once we stop trying, grasping, or clinging – whatever is in our grasp will disappear or leave.

So we hold on with a white knuckle grip and clenched teeth and we fight, often finding honor in the willingness to fight so hard and suffer in our relentlessness.

Instead, though, what we are actually doing is diverting energy, attention, and focus onto something that should be released. Something we should let go of in order to free space and make room for something else.

There is no honor or nobility in the white-knuckling, only blind stubbornness.

When we cling to ideas, dreams, or people after we’ve outgrown them because we’re afraid of letting go, of what comes next, we are cheating ourselves of our next evolution.

So, first, there are things that must be released in order to purge them. Other times we must release in order to flow. We must stop trying to control, fight, manage or manipulate and – instead – ride the momentum.

Sometimes there are things that need to be eradicated, dismissed, or erased because they do not serve us and who we are becoming.

And sometimes we just need to let go of control and let it be the momentum that drives us forward, the wind that fills our sails, the current that takes us downstream.

This is the type of release that creates space to flow with what comes easily while holding the rudder to avoid pitfalls and the river bank – but first we must push off the dock.

This is the release that allows the kite to dance on the wind while holding the kite string – but first, we must let go of the kite.

This requires the wisdom and understanding that we do not direct the current or the way in which the wind blows, but we do have to decide and then allow ourselves to be carried and guided.

So, give yourself permission to let go.

Always,
Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

To Bloom

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unplash

Someone recently asked me about a past experience, one that for a long time I had carried a great deal of shame about, one in which I often sat in judgment.

I thought that I should have done something differently or known better.

It struck me that to sit in shame or judgment robs me of appreciating the person that the wounds grew me into.

For it is often our darkest moments that remove the layers of programming and expectation and reveal to us who we are and what we want.

It is when we sit in the discomfort and take the close look through the cracks at what lies within that shows us where we need to make the space for growth.

Just as a flower to reach its full potential requires fertilizer in order to bloom, so do we.

We need the shit.

Not to wallow in it or regret it, but to take the nutrients necessary in order to become unmade.

To burst through the seed state and grow into what we are meant to be.

The first thing a seed has to do is burst open, then it needs to take root in order for it to grow and bloom.

But, first, it requires some shit.

A flower doesn’t judge itself for this, nor should we.

But instead, celebrate the opportunity to bloom.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

Supposed To

We tether ourselves to so many things.

I have found my hands grasped so firmly to the many ‘mistakes’ I’ve committed, the times I’ve left the path of supposed-to… the path that brought me here.

This realization struck me that, as much as I’ve tried to cast off the expectations of others, there are so many supposed-tos still deeply embedded and ingrained.

Ideas that I’ve tethered myself to in a way that has resulted in almost imperceptible guilt and shame.

Imperceptible because I’d become so accustomed to carrying it, so used to the burden that I’d normalized it.

Until I consciously untethered myself and allowed the release.

I do not have to regret anything that has happened.

Not failed relationships.

Not the times I ignored my intuition.

Not the times that I didn’t use my voice.

Nor when I had to backtrack and start over.

And definitely not the family I’ve built.

I do not have to hold onto shame, sit in judgment of myself, or wish that things had been different.

I have not messed up.

I have not missed out.

I am learning and growing.

I am new.

I have worked hard on myself and have been transformed through all the seasons of change.

That bears repeating.

I have been transformed through and because of all the seasons and I will not fear the winter for it is an essential part of life, an essential component of growth and growing.

Life is growing my soul to its beautiful fulfillment and everything that I have gone through and experienced is part of what has made me strong, compassionate, and wise.

I do not regret the path that led me here or any of the discomfort, for it is all evidence that something new is unfolding within and I am becoming more and more who I was always meant to be.

As the caterpillar transitions to the butterfly, it may mourn the loss of its caterpillar ways.

It may question the process as it transforms to mush and experiences the necessary discomfort of becoming, but this is necessary to take on wings.

When you have wings you don’t should on them.

You fly.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

Emotions Deserve Space

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Friend, have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’re bargaining with your emotions or feel as though whatever you’re feeling doesn’t deserve space?

Late last week I was angry, sad, and hurt.

I told myself that I had no business experiencing these emotions and that I was being crazy.

Then I flicked those thoughts away and gave myself permission to allow the emotions to be what they were without judgment.

That shift allowed those feelings a swift passage and gave me the perspective and peace necessary to handle the emotions with grace.

Once I accepted my feelings, acknowledged them, and gave them space they lost their weight and power.

I was able to take control of my emotions, by welcoming them and allowing myself time to sit with them and process them.

As I was able to do this my anger, sadness, and hurt faded away.

Emotions are just indicator lights, and when we ignore them, stuff them down, or put on blinders they just become bigger problems. Research has shown that the suppression of emotions results in anxiety, depression, and creates psychological distress and symptoms such as heart disease, intestinal problems, headaches, insomnia, and autoimmune disorders.

Also, our emotions and feelings urge us to check in with ourselves and help us to learn from our mistakes. Without them we’d keep repeating the same behavior patterns and experience the same repercussions, forever locked in a downward spiral when we ignore them we deny ourselves the growth that comes from strong emotions.

Our emotions cannot be talked away or beaten down because our brains tell us that they are wrong, illogical, or – in my case – crazy.

Emotions are not right or wrong and cannot be chosen, as they are natural biological responses from our bodies.

They just are what they are, and we – my friend – are allowed to feel them.

Our power comes when we sit with our emotions and allow them space. When we process them and set to learning whatever it is our feelings are telling us, instead of being ruled by them.

Most people are ruled by their emotions without any awareness that this is happening. But once you realize the power of emotions, simply acknowledging your own can help greatly

Hiliary Jacobs Hendel

Until I allowed myself to do this, to sit and allow my emotions space, I was stuck within my head and missing the value that comes when emotions are tended to and used wisely.

Emotions can give us information on a situation that is affecting us and prompt us to make necessary shifts to ensure that our needs are met if we allow them to.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

The Weight of Thoughts

Clear Your Mind

Your thoughts are not reality, they are just thoughts.

How often do we get stuck in that place, though, trapped in the mire of our thoughts believing them to be real?

We create ourselves with our own imaginary worlds.

This is the weight, the gravity, and the importance of our thoughts.

Our thoughts, when we think them again and again and again, start to become beliefs.

These beliefs shape the lens through which we view the world, often looking for evidence to support what we’ve learned to believe about ourselves.

I’ve been guilty of this, particularly in my romantic relationships.

First, I’ve selected partners who – often – are emotionally or physically unavailable.

This inability on their part to choose me fully has confirmed a belief that I’ve had about myself that I am unlovable and not worthy of being chosen.

Secondly, when the relationship is, as it is destined, ended it again confirmed that belief about myself that I would never be fully loved, that there was something implicitly wrong with me that prevented me from being chosen.

It was a terrible cycle that was all self-created out of false beliefs that only existed within my mind.

I wrote my story of what I thought was possible based on what I believed was true of myself and acted accordingly in my selection of partners.

Every rejection, infidelity, lie, or disappointment experienced was a result of my own participation in creating that narrative.

When my last mentally and emotionally abusive relationship ended it became very clear to me that I was experiencing a pattern and that, while what I suffered at the hands of others was inexcusable, I had to accept responsibility for my role.

There was one common denominator in each of these relationships and that was me.

My negative thought cycle had trapped me in the belief that I wouldn’t be loved or chosen, so I dated people that affirmed this belief about myself.

This was a hard pill to swallow, my friend. That I alone was responsible for the pain and suffering experienced through my relationships through my choosing.

Once I recognized my role, friend, I could start making the necessary changes to alter the life that I was creating for myself that was rooted in my thoughts.

It is the quality of my thoughts that creates the quality of my life.

So, I needed to start thinking better thoughts.

This began for me with learning to dismiss the lies that are born of doubt, anxiety, and insecurity.

I will literally imagine myself flicking these thoughts out of my mind bubble and not giving these negative thoughts any power to assert themselves into a belief system.

I actively choose to focus my thoughts – instead – on that, I am loved, that I am worthwhile, that I matter, and that I am chosen.

There is so much power in drawing these types of conclusions about myself because it serves to change the reality that I create for myself because, in truth, I am the creator.

I decided, just as you do, what thoughts to give power to in creating my beliefs and defining my life and how I experience it

and it all starts in my thoughts.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

The Mind Trap

Of the 95% of people who believe that they are self-aware, only 10% of people actually are.

On my own journey of wellness, introspection, and self-awareness I remember hearing this quote by Tasha Eurich in a TED talk.

Her findings came down to one very important distinction between those who really were self-aware and those who were not; the question one asks when faced with adversity.

Those who believe that they are self-aware and those who actually are do take time for introspection. It’s important to look within, this is something no one is going to argue against.

However, introspection doesn’t result in happiness.

More often than not it can cause stress, depression, a loss of control because we’re asking ourselves the wrong question.

When you ask the wrong question you get stuck in the mind trap.

Personally, I call the mind trap my inner mean girl. I know someone else that calls it Becky.

When hardships happen, whatever they may be, and you attempt to understand the why or the meaning behind it you get stuck in a mental prison.

Asking why is the wrong question, one in which there will never be a satisfactory answer.

The more you search for one, the more you fixate until you wind up inventing answers to fit your narrative.

For example, you may suffer a break-up.

In this scenario, if you ask yourself why, why did this happen? You may find yourself answering this question by saying it must be because there is something wrong with you and that you’re unlovable.

Asking why leads you away from the truth and clouds your self-perception.

There is nothing wrong with you and you’re not unlovable, but this invented answer may fit the narrative you’ve created for yourself and results in getting stuck in a mind trap.

Instead, of asking why, ask WHAT.

Introspection that asks this question results in actionable steps. This is the type of question that can produce answers and direction.

After a break-up instead of asking yourself why questions that result in a clouded self-perception, ask what questions; What do I need for healing right now?

What can I learn from this relationship?

What patterns did I see in my last relationship and how has this pattern shown up before?

What have I been struggling to let go of?

What do I need to take responsibility for?

What do I want in my next relationship?

Asking these types of questions leads you closer to your truth and directs you to the type of future you want to live, instead of trapping you in the review mirror of why.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

Meet Her

She’s strong and capable,

has built a life of which she’s proud.

She’s happy, loved, appreciated.

She feels like magic,

a unicorn in human skin.

A star resting on the earth.

If you wish to earn her,

You must meet her.

Find her soul, capture her there.

Not with grasping or pleading,

wooing or preening.

No, by being your own type of magic.

Strong and capable,

proud of the life you’ve built.

Happy, loved, appreciated.

A pegasus in man form.

A sun blazing in a darkened sky,

never threatened by the star.

She’s growing and blooming,

has invested in her worth.

There are times she feels she’s flying,

barely contained within her flesh.

If you wish to stay with her,

You must meet her.

Be her equal or surpass her

in your growing and your blooming,

your investment in your worth.

Take flight with her.

Never trying to contain or restrain,

but by loving with an open hand

and letting her stay free.