This photo is for an extra credit assignment about Health Psychology.
(My mother watching the sunset in the Bahamas; photographed by me)
I am so eclectic to the point that it is really overwhelming for me some days. I have no one set or style of thinking, loving, creating, exploring. I see beauty is everything. A piece of me can vibe with any scene, place, lifestyle. I can see myself doing almost anything in life and I will be okay with it as long as I am living from my heart space. I always challenge myself to keep love as the priority in whatever I do. Sometimes I confuse myself. I’m all over the place. I suck at decision-making. I can admit that I still don’t really know who I am, because everyday when I wake up I feel that I am looking with new eyes. Through undefined eyes. I see from every perspective. Which is why I can feel such deep empathy for so many other beings. I feel that I am a mess sometimes. I look at others and wonder how they can be so stern in their decisions. It’s because they know exactly what they want, and I don’t! I want nothing, yet I want everything. I am a contradiction. The concept of polarity chills me to the bones because it resonates so deeply. I am channeling this inner indecisiveness as fuel to confidently explore all that I can in this short life and to impact as many people as super-humanly possible. I have accepted that I have no definition. If you talk to five different people that have met me, they might all say different things about me. But one thing that they will all say in common is that I love hard. I am a being of love. And on the days that I don’t feel it as much, I will still challenge and remind myself that before I was anything, I was loved. And I hope that everyone I encounter during my navigation through life will feel that. It is a process and a challenge, but it is one that I am committing myself to. I feel this sense of responsibility to share these feelings. If I leave anything here, no matter what I do, I want it to be love. And that’s the only thing I am sure of at this point in my life.
Loving yourself takes work, but it initially starts with a simple decision. Often times, we look for validation outside of ourselves. We want so badly to be liked and loved by others that we are willing to compromise who we really are for this acceptance. When you rely on outside sources for your own validation, this can lead to you never truly discovering your own uniqueness and what makes your existence in this world special. Not loving yourself can also mean settling for less- consciously or subconsciously. I often see individuals settling with certain partners, jobs, or group of friends that aren’t beneficial to their journey. They don’t realize how deep they can tap into their potential. When you don’t love yourself, it becomes easier for others and society to control and manipulate you. We all have a divine purpose for being here and we owe it to ourselves to discover it. If we are all here just to live out other’s expectations, we’re not living life to the fullest. Loving yourself is the most basic and crucial part to living a beautiful and purposeful life.
Do not ignore your mission by not loving yourself for who you really are. At first it may seem difficult because it is unfamiliar and others may react differently to your changes. When this happens, things that were there all along are just revealing itself to you. Your purpose was always there but it was clouded by fear and expectations, You are shedding away false perceptions of you and getting closer to what really matters. The process of becoming you again and loving you is very precious. With time and commitment to the process, you will become more and more comfortable with this part of you- your true self.
Since I can remember, I’ve always felt like I was different. I could never quite put my finger on it, but I never felt like I belonged. I wasn’t comfortable around groups of people, with all of those different energies. I never truly related to them…we didn’t laugh at the same things, wear the same clothes, or have similar interests and ideas. I felt like no one ever really knew me for who I was. I had intentions that no one could read, but I wanted them to. I cared so much about others opinions that I wanted to prove myself to them. I wanted to show them that I am normal and that I could be their friend. Now, looking back, I realize that this was the beginning of my own ignorance to self-love. I didn’t feel the love in me, so I wanted to feel the love in others. I was a people pleaser. I adapted my personality based on the crowd I was around. I didn’t want to stand out. I just wanted everyone to be comfortable around me. Years of not catering to my needs and ignoring who I was lead to a bit of an identity crisis. I was all over the place. I was on a constant search for distractions and I would let anybody and anything do it. I gave away all of my power in my desperate attempt to create a false identity. It got so out of control that I eventually crashed.
The crash, or rock bottom, is something I will always be grateful for because it ultimately plunged me into the ongoing journey or self-discovery and self-love. Not to say that there was just one, clean cut crash (I crash very frequently) but this crash led to more aggressive changes and the implementation of discipline to get out of this limbo. I had to force myself off of social media for a few months, to detox from all of the distractions until I gained the ability to to see clearly. I am a mutable sign by nature, so I am very prone to “giving in”. We are sometimes too flexible. There’s nothing wrong with mutability as long as you are grounded in who you are, but I wasn’t. I let my surroundings define me and I realized just how uncool that was after it got very intense. There are endless things to discover about yourself and the world around you, but it can be viewed from your essence. Once you’re grounded in your essence, you can try on different shoes while still being able to come back to yours every time. We are always changing and that’s a part of the beauty of life, but our purpose is solid and a constant aspect that we should be true to. Learning that loving yourself was possible changed my perspective on life. It was the first step I had to take that led me into discovering the limitless of life.
Let me just say that self love definitely requires plenty of work, and any kind of real work requires discipline. It takes making a choice everyday to discover you. Now there is a difference between truly loving yourself and blindly loving yourself. Blinding loving yourself can lead to a superiority complex and a feeling of never having to improve. Blind love is a comfort zone and an illusion. There is always room for improvement, and blind love tells you that there isn’t. This settling mentality can lead to you neglecting your self work and living in an easy place. In any strong relationship the presence of trust is mandatory. Trust is built when there are challenges and, just like how a friend has to gain your trust by proving themselves in a hard time, you must also gain this trust for yourself. You can hang out with someone when things are simple- watch TV, go out for fro-yo, etc. But a true friend is someone that pulls through for you when circumstances becomes challenging. Overcoming these challenges is what ultimately strengthens bonds. You must strengthen the bond with yourself to love yourself greatly and getting through personal battles will help to build it.
Don’t get too comfortable. Consistently challenge yourself. Overcoming the challenges will lead to trust.
Benefits of loving yourself:
Loving yourself allows for you to love others better. You want to enable those that you care about to feel the same love flowing through you, so your spirit becomes contagious. You do not reflect insecurities off of others because there are none within yourself. You can have honest interactions with others because you are honest with yourself. When you are not acting from your essence everything is an illusion- a false simulation of reality that you created out of fear/insecurity/lack of love. Real relationships with others are not co-dependent. Sometimes when we don’t fully love ourselves yet, we look to others to love us for us. Being with someone to fill a void is using them and that’s not what true love is about. Self loving fills this sense of emptiness and allows for healthier interactions with others.
When you IN love yourself, you are aware of your self worth and are more prone to designing a life that you know you deserve. You have more focus because you know what you want. You are able to say “no” more to all that doesn’t serve you. You can reject job opportunities, romantic prospects and certain lifestyles if not relevant to your worth. When you love yourself, you do more of what you really want and need.
When you love yourself, you treat living things with kindness and respect. Those who have not yet discovered the love from within, inflict pain on others. Hurt people, hurt people/animals/the planet.
When in tuned with self-love, you do things that are better for your health. You protect your temple because you know how special it is. You honor your mind, body and spirit. You do not let just anything into your temple that could damage or disrupt its flow.
As you are loving yourself, you are continuing to build confidence everyday. You know the importance of alone time, and in this alone time is when you learn new things about yourself. You plan for the near future and set out to achieve your goals confidently.
When you are comfortable in silence, you are on your way to harnessing the great power within.
When you love yourself, you let go of the need of attachments. You don’t need anyone or anything. Everything special in your life is a complement to your journey, an asset that you are grateful for but know could change at any given moment in time.
In true self-love, evil spirits and negativity may attempt to bring you down, but will never succeed. Self-love is the most powerful tool within that we all have access to. Anything can feed off of fear, but great love and confidence makes it look like a tiny speck on the road.
When immersed in self-love every challenge is a stepping stone or opportunity for improvement. Struggles are opportunities, mistakes are to be learned from to make you stronger. You are not too hard on yourself when faced with challenges because you know that it’s all a part of the game. Whatever comes out of it will make you better if played well 😉 Because you love yourself, everything will always be okay. Even in struggle, things are still falling into place.
If you are a human being, you have probably felt some anxiety at some point in your life. Because the future is always unknown, it is natural to anticipate what will happen next. However, anxiety attacks are an unnecessary by-product of anxiety that a lot of people struggle with. I grew up with anxiety and, starting around 6th grade, started suffering from anxiety attacks. I was nervous about getting older- my body changing, switching schools, and new responsibilities. My first anxiety attack put me in a hospital. After that, most of my anxiety came from fearing having another attack- it was a fear or fear. I entered a cycle that seemed impossible to get out of because I was enslaved at the thought of having another anxiety attack. So of course, if I felt the symptoms of what I recognized as an attack coming on, it felt like there was nothing I could do to stop it. Anxiety attacks were ruling my life. They were taking away from moments that should of been filled with happiness and joy. Anxiety was a dark cloud that followed me everywhere, threatening me that it would attack again. I was a little girl that was becoming debilitated by anxiety. I saw a lot of doctors and therapists and none of them really helped. Some would recommend the paper bag technique when hyperventilating, deep breathing, and going to your happy place but none of them ever spoke upon shifting my outlook on how I viewed anxiety attacks. All it takes is a shift in your mindset to stop anxiety attacks. All battles must be overcome starting form within.
I recently stumbled upon a website called ‘Panic Away’ when looking up ways to overcome my fear of flying. They talked about how anxiety is not a bad or dangerous thing, it is simply a discomfort. I watched a very helpful video that demonstrated a woman going through an anxiety attack and the different stages that she went through to control it. Most don’t believe me when I say you can get rid anxiety attacks forever in minutes, or less. I have not had anxiety attack (it’s been about 6 months) since implementing these simple steps.
Let it happen. Feel the anxiety fill up your body and recognize it for what it is- something uncomfortable that you are experiencing that is completely harmless. Observe the different feelings occurring throughout your body because of the presence of anxiety. Tell yourself things like “my palms are sweaty because I am experiencing anxiety” and “my heart is beating out of my chest because of anxiety”. Immerse yourself in the moment. What makes anxiety worse is when we resist new bodily feelings, resistance causes panic. There is a burst of adrenaline traveling through the body when it experiences anxiety, so the body’s reaction is its wait of stabilizing you. It is a survival instinct. Accept it, be grateful for it and don’t let it scare you.
Challenge yourself. Know your own strength and that you can handle much more than what anxiety is presenting. Challenge anxiety to bring you more of these uncomfortable feelings. Ask anxiety for more! We sometimes do not realize how capable and phenomenal our bodies are. We can push ourselves to climb mountain tops and women go through birthing another human being. When you push yourself beyond limits, not only will it prove to you your own strength and resilience, but it will make anxiety seem like a tiny hurdle in the long run. I know that you can handle it 😉
Release and let it go. Accept that different feelings are a part of life. Because life is filled with so many changes and exciting things, there will probably be some moments where you will feel anxious. That anxiety should take nothing away from your confidence. In fact, you can use anxiety to propel you forward even further. You can be an alchemist and transform anxiety into a healthy and productive energy. Anxiety is normal, but you do not have to go through anxiety or panic attacks. When you feel one coming on, you have the power to control it or let it control you. Live in the moment. If you experience anxiety, accept it…when it goes away, release it and don’t look back.
Panic Away: http://www.panicaway.com/
Ever feel like you have no purpose? Like you are a waste of space? Ever wake up lacking inspiration to even get out of bed? Most people have had these feelings before, but just because you feel them, does not mean that they should be validated. Life is filled with challenges and we sometimes do not realize that even our thoughts and feelings can be testing us. Why do we get tested? To get better. I’m writing to remind you of just how great you really are.
1. You are here. Alive. Pushing on. You woke up today. Your heart is pumping blood. You are breathing in oxygen. That within itself is a huge blessing many of us overlook. Waking up to a new day is waking up to endless new possibilities that the universe believes you are deserving to explore. What a great gift it is, that you are worthy enough to receive.
2. There are beings here who love you. Your existence lifts up someone’s spirit. Whether it’s a family member, friend, tree, stranger at the library, pet, child, lover. Someone here has been impacted by you, and that is reason enough to feel good about yourself.
3. You are doing your best. Stay focused and things will make sense with time.
4. You have great purpose beyond the surface of how things may currently seem. You have the opportunity everyday to tune into your divine purpose and make choices that will allow for growth and betterment. Even if you haven’t done it yet, if you are reading this now, it means that you can.
5. You have survived through things you never thought you could survive through. You are strong and that strength has inspired someone (even yourself).
6. You have made a ton of mistakes and were smart enough to learn lessons from them. The lessons you learned is great knowledge that can help you move forward into taking on the new challenges life brings and now you have the opportunity to make better choices next time. That is growth.
7. You have the opportunity to learn something new everyday. The universe is expanding which means there are never ending opportunities for discovery.
8. There is no one in this universe like you. Your gifts, vision, and purpose are all unique. You are your own person with your own mind. This journey is solely yours and you are the only one flying this spaceship. You have the power to manifest the magic that calls unto you. You have been given this responsibility because you can handle it. You are here for a reason..never forger that.
9. Your existence alone has shifted the universe. You have your place in this space that no one else occupies. Your existence is powerful.
10. You have still been given the gift of a new moment. Even if you feel like you may have wasted time and are not as far along as you would like to be. A new moment means new opportunities to create new beginnings. The universe is constantly letting you know that it is not too late.
If you do not matter, do you really think that you would be here? Have you been showered with these gifts and treasures because you are undeserving? You are on a beautiful and rewarding journey, and that does not go unnoticed. You can let go of victimizing ways of thinking. Change your perspective and change your life. You have the ability harness the great power within to manifest your dreams into reality.
You are worthy. Remind yourself everyday.
This past month has been monumental for me in so many ways. It seemed like a lot of major events were happening all at once. I am getting laid off from my job this week, I have been dealing with emotionally draining people, my next door neighborhood recently passed away and I have hurt loved ones out of my own frustration and confusion. I started to lose myself again. Things were so non-stop and I didn’t really make time in my schedule to just sit alone in silence. I didn’t give myself the necessary space to be me. Recently, things have slowed down a bit and I am reconnecting with my center. Yesterday was my first full day back from a lovely vacation and I didn’t have anything to do, so I sat in silence. The longer I sat, the more material I had to reflect on. The longer I sat, the more intense the emotions were that surfaced. From the greatest depths of my soul, things revealed itself. Clarity. Everything began to connect in my mind. I realized the great significance of all these occurrences in my life. I didn’t realize how fast I was going until I actually had the chance to slow down.
Now that I have had time to reflect, I must recognize the meaning or lesson behind this experience and simply let it go. I refuse to feel guilt, regret, or dwell in the past. It has happened and I recognize its rightful place in the past. One of the most unhealthy things we do to ourselves is hang on to the past and dwell on what no longer serves us. I am feeling nothing but gratitude to be entering this new stage of growth in my life. I will not stunt my growth by hanging on. When you do this, you compromise your potential to be bigger- think bigger, be bigger. I must rid my mind and temple of unhealthy perspectives, regret, guilt and insecurity. These are all things that the conditioned mind wants to grasp on to, but I feel confident tuning into the greater parts of me (my center). The conditioned mind represents the small me. The mind represents my potential. My soul represents my absolute and magnificent power to be GREAT. Like any detox, the experience may be draining and trying, because of the intensity of detachment. But this is the necessary stuff that makes us stronger in the long run. I know that the struggle is temporary and it will get me closer to love.
“Let go of feelings of regret, Let the past have its place behind you. Move on swiftly into the magic of a new moment, a new day, a new beginning. Let go of fear.” -Me
Tabula rasa. Clean slate. The full moon is occurring right now and mercury is also in retrograde. A lot is currently resurfacing in my life, they are the things I am being reminded of that truly fascinate me. These resurfacing gifts are my current purposes. I am going to enter this new phase nurturing them, feeding them and allowing them to grow. I will not abandon them. I will enter this phase without fear of the mandatory release- the illusions that cause confusion and conflict. I will enter this new phase boldly and creatively. I will make choices that will elevate my spirit. I will treat my body well. I will exchange gifts of love and knowledge with others. I will keep past knowledge close, but I will refuse to look back. I will transcend negative, small feelings and thoughts into positive reinforcement and love for myself. When I acted small, I let go of the bigger picture. This great, beautiful and blessed journey is my life and I refuse to undermine its capacities by living small. I am going beyond. Boundaries are merely conventions.
Reflect. Detox. Restart.