It was two years and nine days ago that I wrote my last blog post. It has been an interesting, introspective, and enriching two years. You know the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” That’s exactly what I attempted to do. And I’m excited to share some of these inspirations with the hope that it inspires at least one of you beautiful souls to give yourselves a break 🙂 Each one of these inspirations has a story behind it and I’ll be sharing my journey in subsequent posts.
- Take a Break from the World and Love Yourself First – Having never been single for more than a few months in my adult life, I took the last two years to fall in love again with none other than MYSELF! Giving yourself unconditionally to someone else without expecting anything in return is a romantic idea but hardly sustainable. Especially, if you do it at the expense of not giving yourself much attention. If you don’t love yourself, how could you possibly love someone else?
MY STORY: My Relationship Status is “In an Uncomplicated Relationship with Myself” BTW – I’m not prescribing single-hood. I just love myself a little more than I did before.
- Choose Joy – This was my mantra for 2014. I made a conscious decision to CHOOSE JOY! Whenever I was faced with a trying situation, an emotionally draining experience, a dilemma, a difficult decision, I asked myself, “what will bring me joy?”. And without over-thinking it, I just did it! This mantra has been my insurance policy against any negative emotions that brewed within me. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else in the world, but yourself.
MY STORY: Adopted a stray cat from Florida; went on an impromptu three-week Coast-to-Coast trip to the US, flew half-way across the world for a weekend just because I was missing old friends back home, bought an apartment in a neighbourhood that I LOVE; made amazing memories and continue to do so….
- Walk Away (For a Bit) – from any situation that doesn’t make you happy. We’re humans and are programmed to react impulsively to our emotions, particularly the negative ones. We have this innate need to FIX an undesirable situation. More often than not, our impulsive reactions lead to unproductive and regretful results. Try to walk away from the situation (or person) for however long it takes you to calm your mind. Meditate, take deep breaths, go for a walk, heck – even play your favourite game on your smart phone. Come back to deal with it with a (relatively) calm mind.
MY STORY: Saved myself from giving up on a precious friendship. I still struggle with walking away from situations and it’s still a work in progress but I’m hopeful about the prospects. Just being aware of the turmoil caused by negative emotions has helped me a great deal in altering my impulsive reactions, even if, by a bit.
- Open Up your Heart – The more you let in, the more you connect with your inner-self. Whether you believe in a higher entity or not, the universe brings situations and people into your life for a reason. Trust the universe and let it play itself out to know its true value in your life. Be curious, make conversations, ask questions, be genuinely concerned and let people in. Life is beautiful when you experience it with a curiosity of a child.
MY STORY: “Picked up” 😉 an amazing woman at a local bar who is now a dear friend, confidante, big sister that has played a huge role in boosting my self-esteem. I also found that my curiosity and genuine concern has helped me enjoy more meaningful relationships with my friends (old and new) and family. They now see a side of me they didn’t know existed.
- Pause. Take A Break and Just Be with Yourself – The constant dings of emails, pings of instant messages, buzzing of our smartphones, Facebook notifications, twitter chatter and all things instantly gratifying, take us away from the “present”. We are never alone. There is no time what so ever to just BE….in the moment….take in the surroundings. We are always ON. Even our phones have to be updated and restarted every once in a while. Why don’t we give ourselves the time to “update our software and reboot”? How often do we ask ourselves “How am I doing…How do I FEEL?” without over-thinking it? Trust the universe and just BE. It’s Okay. It will be Okay.
MY STORY: I went on a Facebook detox for a couple months to drown the “noise” so I could listen to myself. I constantly check-in with myself and pause even if it is only for as little as 90 seconds. I’m more assertive in asking friends and family to just “LET ME BE” – it’s difficult at first because those that care for you want to make sure you’re okay. Somehow the need for solitude is considered as a sign of weakness. In reality, it probably is a very important source of emotional strength – almost a necessity, albeit in healthy doses.
I’ve only recently started on this journey to allow myself to feel. Each one of these inspirations are a work in progress but I’m excited about their prospects to help me live a fulfilled and content life. Remember, it’s not the destination but the journey of getting to know yourself bit by bit every day that is ever so exciting. It will most definitely be frustrating, challenging and will even bring you down at times. But give yourself a break. It’s Okay. Really. 😀
Thank you for passing along your guidance and sharing some personal experiences. The Dalai Lama has written:
1. ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’
2. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.
3. We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.
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It’s always such a pleasure to read your comments Dave. My perspective on “tragedy” is that we need these incidents to make us who we are intended to be. Instead of thinking of these incidents as “tragic”, focusing on the negatives that continue festering negativity, we can try to focus on the good memories and lessons we’ve learned. It’s taken me a while to consciously change my perspective but it’s been a worthwhile exercise.
Happy Holidays Dave! 🙂
bhavna i am feeling the joy that , u r so brave and loving towards everything which is so positive, which the universe is giving in abundance ,but some don’t know how to take it , i am impressed by these ” if u love yourself then only u can love someone” its so true keep it up my child i am very proud of take care.
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