There are times when I'll hook into someone else's opinion of me. I'll imagine what they must see, the role they've cast me in, the identity I take on, the category I get filed into, and whether I am regarded highly, poorly, or with total irrelevance. If I'm not mindful, I can carry this with me throughout my day. I can feel really good about myself or really shitty depending on the judgments I perceive. It's tempting and quite typical to gather a self-opinion in this manner. Yet, the way other people relate to you - how they see you or value you - says a lot more about them than it ever has to about you. Allowing the possible opinion of another to determine who you are and what you can be is to give your personal power away to a temporary illusion.
There is a world within you that is beyond human judgment and categorical thinking; a place of infinite magical potential; a well of unconditional and regenerative love. It is where you come from, your first identity. It knows the truth of your being. It is the source of your power. And it is where you can always go to remember who you really are.
Resentment is a heavy weight that builds no muscle. When harbored for too long, it drains you of your power and can halt your momentum. You've got purposeful things to do. You've got important places to be. You choose what to carry with you. And the easiest way to travel is to travel light.
"Forgiveness is not about letting anyone get away with their bad choices but about choosing to create your own happiness."-Kyle Gray
Spectrum Cable called me about 10 times in a week. I knew it was going to be a sales call, one in which a bored telemarketer reads from a script, trying to get me to upgrade my Internet-only service and buy something I don't need. I didn't want to deal with the scenario but after enough calls I finally answered, trying my best to actually connect to the human being on the line, even if they came across more like a robot. After making it clear I had no desire to get cable or a landline, I figured the call was over. But then she started up with another "Did you know..." and I stopped her before she could finish. "I don't want anything else! Unless I'm going to pay less for Internet, I'm really not interested." What I wanted was to get off the phone. I think we both did. The whole scenario just felt so fake and programmed. Before we could get off the call however, she finished that "did you know" sentence. And what I didn't know? Spectrum was giving their Internet customers free access to 1000's of streaming movies and TV shows. That's all she wanted to tell me. They were giving me a gift. Thanks, Spectrum.
I hung up feeling a bit foolish and embarrassed. It made me realize how often I anticipate the negative. It made me think- what if life keeps trying to give you gifts but you and your cynicism- your fearful expectations- keep swatting them away? What if there was something good here for you? What if you always just expected something good?
It takes real inner strength to love so boldly. To be vulnerable, authentic, and true. How very impressive it is to unapologetically wear your heart on your sleeve, to brazenly display it on your petals, to not hide it in the face of possible rejection. To be that unabashed and open? Wow. It takes real courage to lead with love. This flower gets it.
People may tell you that the world you live in- the way you perceive the world around you - just isn't reality. The things you see, feel into, or believe in are not real.
What they actually mean is that you threaten their concept of reality. People will judge and negate that which they fear and are unable to understand. The truth is that we all have different levels of sensitivity. We sense and perceive the world around us as it appears to us. And because of that, we may not see the same things. But it's all fine. There's room for all of us. We all serve different purposes and we can all peacefully coexist. Those who see a purple sky and those who couldn't ever imagine it not being blue.
Today I will look in the mirror without criticizing my appearance; wishing this or that was smaller/bigger/tighter. I will not reject any reflection of this holy body, the current home of my soul. I will release myself from the clutches of popular opinion, remembering that trends are ever-changing, that standards can be optional, and that perspective is merely a choice. I will say goodbye to old habits of self-criticism. I will welcome the euphoria of self-approval and the personal power that can only come from self-appreciation. I will recognize the purpose in my uniqueness and the miraculous magic of the human form.
And I will revel in my freedom.
Sometimes I forget that there is no one else out there preventing me from feeling how I want to feel. I am the storehouse of my resentments, the holder of my anger, the keeper of my judgments, the defender of my limitations, and the perpetuator of my dissatisfaction. I am the guardian of my beliefs, the thinker of my thoughts, the director of my attention, the curator of my perceptions, the authority on my actions, and the one who wields the power of my will. I am the one who chooses. I am the only one responsible for my happiness.
Sometimes I forget just how much is up to me.
Possible Q's: Why would I try to do what so many other people are doing and have already done? Does the world really need another___?
Pertinent A's: Yes, there may be others on a similar path, with a similar style, all sharing a similar picture of success, but there is no one else in the world that is exactly like you. No one else has lived your unique combination of experiences and can bring to your endeavors exactly what you bring. No two people are the same.
If you are pulled by joyful curiosity, genuine interest, and heart-felt desire, then there must be a reason for it. Even if you don't know what it is yet. Trust it and move forward at your own natural pace, in your own natural way. Each of us has a variety of roles to play, messages to share, people to reach, and services to provide. We're all interconnected, all a part of a much larger incomprehensible picture. So, how can you, in your limited human awareness, ever really know what the world actually needs?
Maybe it needs just the thing you've been holding back from it.
I am not what happened to me in the past. I am not what that person said I was. I am not who I used to be. These things may have been relevant once upon a time, they may have applied before, but they no longer get to define me.
I get to define me.
I am a constant evolution, a perceiving, deciding, and acting point of consciousness. I change, I grow, I become.
I choose who and how I want to be.
Your art is your art. If anyone harshly criticizes you or attempts to invalidate you or your work, don't worry. They're just giving you a free tour of their personal prison. They're just showing you around the place, pointing out the various chains and shackles that keep them restrained. Speak a silent prayer for their freedom, turn around, and then walk out the door. Their torture chamber doesn't have to be yours. You never have to stay.
What good is this now inspiring me to do? What expression of love is this now inspiring me to be?
We all have the ability to positively affect the environment around us. We get stuck in upsetting news or events when we feel powerless, but our power always lies in our ability to alter our energetic expression. To focus our attention toward solution. To see beyond current circumstances. To have new conversations. To ask new questions. To create space for new possibilities. To take actions from a place of love, compassion, and hope. To encourage others to do the same. May what upsets you in the world, be what inspires you to change it.
Don't take things so personally. How people react to you is never about you. It's always about them. You don't know what mental/emotional turmoil they've been going through. You don't know what insecurities and fears they have within, which you may be reflecting back. You don't know what judgments and criticisms they hold themselves -and therefore everyone else- to. Just be authentic, honest, respectful, compassionate and KIND. We are all doing the best we can from our levels of awareness. We are all connected in this crazy playground/prison of illusion and projection. And we all just want to feel safe and free.
Maybe my way isn't the only way. Maybe what I was thinking isn't even true. Maybe I can free myself from this mindset. Maybe there's another point of view. Maybe I can feel better about this situation. Maybe I can use a different voice. Maybe this flower's just a popcorn kernel. Maybe I can make another choice.
Who or what outside of me have I been allowing to define me? To choose my identity? To limit my expression? To restrict what I believe is possible? To determine what I am here to do or be?
Today is a good day to ask those questions. And an even better one for consciously choosing to let go of whatever it is that may be holding you back.
While I was walking Remy this morning, a man drove by us and called out "Heyyyy baby!" Then he stuck his head out the window and made a series of kissing noises as his car sped down the street. At first I was mildly flattered by a stranger finding me so attractive at 9 AM on a Sunday that he felt the need to shout out to me from a moving vehicle and risk his safety in the process. Then, I was angry at being cat-called and objectified in such a manner- how dare you!?! But ultimately, my reaction became one of genuine delight and slight ego deflation as I looked down at Remy and realized that he wasn't actually talking to me... but instead to my exceptionally adorable dog who struts around like she's queen of the neighborhood.
There was a beautiful plant that lived on my front steps. It was something I had inherited from the previous tenant but over the past few years I had adopted it and treated it as my own. It was in a bright blue pot which was the perfect compliment to the various succulents planted within it, as the colors were all quite vibrant including a particularly gorgeous bright red. I would charge my crystals in its soil during full moons. Even though I have little knowledge about plants or gardening, I really enjoyed watching it grow. It was the most eye pleasing spot on an otherwise uninteresting porch. It made me happy to see it.
This morning I came outside to find that this plant was gone. My first thought was "who the hell steals a plant?!" Maybe it was some intoxicated asshole thinking he or she was funny. Maybe it was someone who believes they have so little in their life that they need to take from others. And that sounds like a miserable existence. That sounds like punishment enough.
And while I'm sad that this beautiful object is gone, in truth it was never mine in the first place. Maybe nothing ever really is. I just got to enjoy it for awhile and give it some love. And in return, it gave me a little morning lesson in non-attachment. And forgiveness. So thank you, plant. I really hope your new "owner" treats you kindly.
Words create worlds. Pay attention to what you think and say. The words we use to describe ourselves and our surroundings are powerful. The words we use are often indicators of what we believe is possible. And we are always co-creating our lives and magnetically attracting experiences based on what we truly believe. You want to see something, you will! For better or for worse. Words can be excellent clues and useful tools. Because perception is everything. The words that we release from our brains and let loose from our mouths declare to an always responsive universe what we desire to see more of.
I used to say jokingly "the fantasy is always better than the reality." And that was really true for me. I didn't want it be but it was. Then I decided to start saying "reality is better than any fantasy ever was or could ever be." And before I knew it, that became true. We can lock ourselves up in tiny prisons or we can free ourselves into unlimited possibilities. Lucky us. It's our choice!
I grew up hearing “you are what you do.” And while I always believed that to an extent, it also makes me think: what about the not so good things I’ve done? Like the stuff I did out of ignorance or lower levels of awareness, when I didn’t know any better? The moments where I was such a judgmental bitch to myself and therefore to the people around me? The times I closed my heart to others out of fear? All the bad, the embarrassing, and the regrettable... am I that??
The answer from my higher guidance: Do you still want to be?
The best part of having self-awareness -the beauty of being able to look back - is in remembering that all that we’ve been before has gotten us to this moment now. And in this moment, we always have a new opportunity to know better, to do better, and in a sense, to be better. New days, new leaves, new turnings.
When we think we already know everything, the world can become really small... and boring. We've already got all the answers so we stop asking questions. Yet, it's the questions- the curiosities, the explorations, and the discoveries about what we don't know- that make life fun and exciting.
Try looking at the people and the circumstances of your life from a new angle. Ask some new questions, expect new answers. Be open to what you may not have seen before. Allow yourself to be surprised by what you don't know.
Wonder isn't just for the naive and immature. It's a way to find the magic even in the mundane.