Any will do! ❤
Ever and always some of the best advice on the planet…
Behavior or actions generally come with – what I perceive as – “pre-existing conditions.” There’s:
. . .Past experiences
The stresses of our current lives
Our mood(s) at any given moment, and. . .
Whatever beliefs and conditioning we have had over time.
That’s a LOT. . .
So just as with us, another person’s behavior(s) and actions(s) aren’t because of you, about you, or even your fault. Most of the time it’s all that other “pre-existing” stuff that gets in the way…
“You have no power over me” is one of the most incredible phrases you will ever have in your arsenal, and it’s one you should say in your mind often. No one has the right, nor the ability, to control you, your emotions, your thoughts, your attitudes, your behaviors…or your day! Only YOU have that power, so don’t knowingly give it away by letting their “stuff” creep in.
Definitely easier said than done but it truly is like having peace in your pocket – peace is in your possession at ALL times.
- Failure is NEVER the end. In fact, without failure, we might very well miss out on what we are meant to do and meant to learn. Embrace mistakes and endings, and recognize them as the begging of something great.
- Things don’t change just because you want them to / say they will. If you want change, you must take action – life isn’t going to drop what we need at our feet most of the time. We have to work hard, set intentions, and put actions into play. Period
- ALWAYS go above and beyond. Promise what you will, and over deliver on those promises. Your name is on your work, so give a shit and make it count.
- Teach others (without being condescending.) Your knowledge and experiences are valuable, not only to you, but to others who will come after. Sharing the wealth in this way benefits everyone.
- Question before jumping to conclusions. As human beings, we all often fall into the ass-of-you-and-me trap. It’s important to step back and recognize that what we *think* may be the case, may be the farthest thing from. What someone SAYS is gospel, may be in fact be a figment of another’s imagination (or poor googling!)
- Make peace with your past. Tough one, for sure! Do what you can to make peace with your past, and those in it – this might mean ongoing help to overcome the habits the past has instilled within you, and that’s okay. Just make sure you work on it – no one deserves to be confined to past challenges. There is hope, and there’s always room to break free!
- Turn. Your. Brain. OFF! Some of us overthink (which can be disastrous –> irrational brain on overdrive!) and some of us conceptualize (read: think about ways to do this or that, but never take the plunge and ACT. As with #2, you have to DO in order to initiate change – things aren’t going to materialize for you while you sit and ponder!)
- NEVER, EVER compare yourself to others. PERIOD. If you can’t help yourself, compare you to you yesterday – that is the only person you need to concern yourself with. You may see good, bad, or ugly in others…and you can rest assured that the flip side of any of those also exists (you just aren’t privy.) The point being, you have no idea what another’s true reality is, so don’t’ make yourself crazy trying to pit yourself and your circumstances against it.
Many years – moons ago, it seems – I was introduced to the concept of “mindfulness.” I’d been practicing mindfulness most of my life without realizing it…and I hadn’t realized, because I’d not always *quite* had the hang of it. Still, I was vastly more spiritual than I had words to explain, and my ever-wandering mind, and proclivity for all thing magical, led me – both knowingly and not – down the path.
After at least a decade and a half of Alexander Technique, Craniosacral and Somatic work, EMDR, Brainspotting, Martial Arts, and countless spiritual endeavors, I fumble a little bit less. . . But I’m still learning, and have leagues yet to go – lifetime pursuit, as so many things are.
But it isn’t required that we are necessarily graceful with it. Fluidity comes with consistency, and mindfulness is very much a way of life. It is therefore a quotidian ritual of sorts that we evolve with, and as a result of – to expect mastery instantly is almost an injustice, as the (sometimes clumsy!) journey is what facilitates learning at the deepest levels. It’s not unlike meditation – widely known to be a challenge at first – as it becomes smoother with time.
Life these days feels intensely hectic – I want to say more so than ever but I’ve only know this Earth, and time, for 38 years! The influx (and imposition – *cough* *cough* social media!) of technology has created a reality in which “connectivity” is at the ultimate high. 24/7, to be exact. There are many blessings born of such advances, but there are also massive changes afoot – ones which I daresay are reprogramming human beings at the most fundamental level.
We are all born with a magical capacity – ALL of us. We all have the ability to tap into the same natural resources that have allowed us to survive as a species from the beginning of time. But it feels frighteningly apparent that even children – generally more adept at awareness than overly-conditioned adults – are also losing the ability.
It isn’t just about looking down at a phone while crossing the street – awareness out the window and then some! It’s also in losing the ability to “read” others – the read the non-verbal cues, to FEEL, to SENSE… Children drown nearly as much in the virtual world these days, to the degree that even THEY don’t see the full picture anymore…
The good news? That extra-sensory ability never truly goes away. What’s happening is more that we are – byproduct of a civilized, modern society – conditioned OUT of our natural abilities. Our senses become duller because who needs to be aware of danger when getting dinner involves takeout, or benign shopping aisles?!
Oh, and that “6th” one? It gets completely shrouded by all the noise. Sadly, modern man somehow thinks a 6th sense is actually supernatural. Ever notice that animals have it? Right…well. . . *reminder* : we ARE animals. We have it too. Just —> noise, noise, noise!
The practice of mindfulness brings back the precise moment in time in which we find ourselves. For me, it is seeing each letter as I type my words, hearing myself speak them as they form, seeing the pause of my fingertips, hearing the music that is playing in the background…
Human beings have always projected ahead, and reflected on the past – for instance, planning a hunt to gather food, and drawing the hunt on the walls of a cave after the fact. But nowadays, that practice is so multi-fold that stress tends to weasel its way in to the process, leaving us frazzled and forgetful of the moment we are actually IN.
When we DO take a deep breath…and take the moment in…our heart rate actually slows down with us. Our very life force, how about that?
Mindfulness is the place in which perspective is purest, in which our emotions no longer control us (this is a wonderful practice for anger and the anxiety-prone), in which our innate magical abilities awaken.
It can have other great effects too – we might actually enjoy our food, eat less instead of devouring (I’m guilty of that!) It gives stress a swift kick for a time too (something we all need!) Mindfulness can catch us in the act of judging, or just before an argument that we needn’t have… It helps us to become better all around.
Mindfulness is like the free gift of wizardry! We have the power to create, to subdue, to awaken, to affect, to manifest, and to see. Our feelings are deeper, our heart unfolds, and suddenly. . ? It’s like we are truly alive.
At a time of the year when life is particularly stressful – and focused on the superficial in many ways – take a moment (or, better…SEVERAL) and relax into your breath.
The magic will do the rest.
Wavering in truth not only gives reason for others to distrust you, but a shadow of doubt within your own mind – one falsehood is one too many. Maintaining honesty in all your endeavors is to live with integrity.
Air on the side of kindness. Because we cannot know another person’s battles – even when it feels hard to do – take a deep breath, and find some compassion. Even a little will do. If that is not available, let go completely – better to move on than to allow someone to bring you down. Life is challenging enough than to allow a small thing to derail your happiness and peace of mind…for any amount of time.
Be courageous, because no-thing is impossible. There will be whisperings of discouragement, but forge ahead, and follow your passion – for in so doing, you follow your truth. You can achieve anything you set your mind to. ANYthing.
Make no mistake about it…when I lift, I lift heavy…and I go hard. I will always smile and laugh, and say hello to friends, but I don’t go to the gym to socialize. I don’t go to make a point, or make a scene, or waste my time.
I go to work.
For most of us (much to the sometimes incomprehension of others), working out isn’t just about the physical – we aim to achieve a level of physical fitness, absolutely. But a huge part of it is done for our minds, our spirit, and our emotional wellbeing. Working out is an incredibly effective “release” of stresses that we all carry with us each day.
I am waiting on hearing about the date for a promotion in Taekwondo, and it’s been weighing on me somewhat. The date has fluctuated a few times, leaving many of us in limbo. We (many of us, at least) train with the expectation of achieving and being better with each day – so technically, you could throw a test at us and we should be prepared, 2nd degree black belt or otherwise.
But I moved and am having to train solo right now…so the not knowing, and needing to plan around it has me a wee bit frazzled. In this case, one of the best things to do is continue with my regular workouts – it keeps me fit and flexible…and I don’t just mean in my body!
While I am eager to start a new discipline (for various reasons, including injuries, Taekwondo is no longer as ideal for me), I want to stay focused on what I need to know to ensure it is done properly, and to the best of my ability. As a result, I am deliberately holding off on a new Martial Art until my goal has been achieved.
That said…I NEED something. I need to have something beyond hauling iron (which I love, of course!) I like to do activities that are different and challenging – run of the mill has never been my thing. And so I snooped around and, rather to my delight, found an Aerial Yoga studio not too far away (some call it Anti-Gravity Yoga.)
I’ve tried a few varieties of Yoga and never found my “click.” Is it good for me? 1,000%. But none were the right fit… Knowing the benefits in flexibility, for one thing, I was always a little bit sad I didn’t take to it. Then again, where I’m from, it tends to be a “trendy” thing, and perhaps that turned me off too. It was more about the leggings you had on, and the place you had in the room (as if it was claimed as your own in stone.) Not for me, and totally defeating the purpose of the practice.
Well…I went into Aerial Yoga (done with a fabric hammock) with an open mind, and fell in love immediately. I signed up for another class already and I can’t wait to go back. The ladies – literally ranging from tween to 50’s – were LOVELY , and it was just the hour and a half of peace and inner reflection I needed (plus some physical challenges and PHENOMENAL stretches!)
I had the most wonderful time and it is a happy reminder that we NEED activity, and we should do it for US.
For that second reason only, we should also have a ball doing it! It doesn’t have to be treacherous or miserable.
If the fit isn’t there, that’s OKAY! There are so many disciplines – in Yoga, in Martial Arts, in dance, in lifting… SO many options, surely there is something that will give you a lift (no pun intended!) each day. That’s what it is about at the end of the day!