Posts Tagged ‘choices’

"Shells"

“Shells” by Lina Way

“Masquerades disclose the reality of souls. As long as no one sees who we are, we can tell the most intimate details of our life. I sometimes muse over this sketch of a story about a man afflicted by one of those personal tragedies born of extreme shyness who one day, while wearing a mask I don’t know where, told another mask all the most personal, most secret, most unthinkable things that could be told about his tragic and serene life. And since no outward detail would give him away, he having disguised even his voice, and since he didn’t take careful note of whoever had listened to him, he could enjoy the ample sensation of knowing that somewhere in the world there was someone who knew him as not even his closest and finest friend did. When he walked down the street he would ask himself if this person, or that one, or that person over there might not be the one to whom he’d once, wearing a mask, told his most private life. Thus would be born in him a new interest in each person, since each person might be his only, unknown confidant.”
― Fernando Pessoa

interestingly so, it is sometimes said that the four greatest Portuguese poets of modern times are Fernando Pessoa. The statement is possible since Pessoa, whose name means ‘person’ in Portuguese, had three alter egos who wrote in styles completely different from his own. In fact Pessoa wrote under dozens of names, but Alberto Caeiro,Ricardo Reis and Álvaro de Campos were – their creator claimed – full-fledged individuals who wrote things that he himself would never or could never write. He dubbed them ‘heteronyms’ rather than pseudonyms, since they were not false names but “other names”, belonging to distinct literary personalities. Not only were their styles different; they thought differently, they had different religious and political views, different aesthetic sensibilities, different social temperaments. And each produced a large body of poetry. Álvaro de Campos and Ricardo Reis also signed dozens of pages of prose. Who is better that Fernando Pessoa can understand the concept of “wearing a mask”…

We are all to a certain degree, if we are willing to admit to it or not, are wearing masks, hiding in our “shells”, afraid to show our true selves. Is it the society pressuring us to oblige and fit in, our our own minds what to be accepted?.. Yes, many try to “stand up” to majority of the society by being accepted in minority part of the society, which is still trying to be accepted in this or that “popular” club…

Why can’t we be just ourselves? isn’t that the ultimate freedom to be YOU, not to try pleasing coworkers, friends, family, loved ones (especially loved ones, they love to abuse their right they have in our hearts 🙂 ) why can’t we say that this we love, and this we hate and be perceived by our circle as just truthful person, not a “crazy nut”?!.. Why can’t we all as human society accept that each and every person has its own free will and just be ourselves, not hide behind “masks” and “shells”…?…

carrot egg and coffee
A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.
Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.
After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.
Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. “What’s the point,grandmother?”
Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity–boiling water–but each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter.
“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
Think of this: Which am I?
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?
Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

Sade

I am waiting to get my car serviced and i am listening to Sade songs, and i must confess: I am obsessed with Sade.

I’m also a huge fan of her music…and I believe in love.

To get a glimpse into the many faces of love, we can look to Sade’s music, specifically to some of her deeply moving lyrics. There’s a resonance that is quintessentially Sade; she’s deep, sincere and soulful.

Over the years, I’ve gleaned many nuggets of truth about life and love through Sade’s music. These are a few things I’ve learned about love from my most favorite lines in her songs.

“I want to cook you a soup that warms your soul.” ~ King of Sorrow

Love is nourishing. Deep down, we all want a love that touches the very depth of our soul. We also yearn to give a part of us that will touch the hearts of our partner/lover/friend. To nourish is to share a part of ourselves with our beloved in a way that says, “Let my love feed your soul.”

“When you’re on the outside baby and you can’t get in, I will show you you’re so much better than you know. And when you’re lost, and you’re alone, and you can’t get back again, I will find you, darling and I’ll bring you home.” ~ By Your Side

Love is a guiding light. When we forget who we are, love is the gentle reminder that we are bigger than our troubles. It’s the light that leads us back to the deeper truth within.

“If someone has to lose, I don’t want to play.” ~ Somebody Already Broke My Heart

Love is fair. In the game of love, many of us play not to lose instead of playing to win. No one has to lose if both parties are clear on what they desire to experience in the relationship. Love can be win/win. Honesty, clarity is important, than you do not hurt other, and yourself will not get hurt. Lets not make love a game… it is not fair to play with feelings…

“I suppose I could just walk away. Will I disappoint my future if I stay?” ~ King of Sorrow

Love is an active choice. We often overlook the present and future cost of staying in a relationship that has run its course. We can choose to love our future selves by honoring where we are now. Not making a choice is still making a choice, so choosing to move your life forward requires a commitment to making powerful decisions for yourself and your life.

“If I tell you how I feel, will you keep bringing out the best in me?” ~The Sweetest Taboo

Love is vulnerable. Being vulnerable is like dancing naked in the rain. For a relationship to flourish we must be willing to tell the truth about our shortcomings and our mistakes; those things that make us human. It’s about being able to take ownership for those things we don’t necessarily like about ourselves. Being transparent cultivates trust and openness, which creates a deeper and more meaningful relationship. If we holding back, and not allowing another in our soul, it will destroy love in another and will lead nowhere. It is the hardest choice to be vulnerable in relationship, but that is love when you hope that person will love you enough not to break you.

“We have seen some suffering baby. It has not always been perfect. Darling we know it, whatever may come, we can get through it, as if it’s just begun.” ~ All About Our Love

Love is supportive. Just as the seasons pass, there will be peaks and valleys in all of our relationships. Loved ones will get sick, some will pass on, the economy will change and so will our life circumstances. Being supportive is more than just lending an ear; it’s opening ourselves up in all of our capacities whether it be financial, emotional or spiritual support. It’s extending ourselves in a way that cultivates well-being and healing.

“You forgive those who have trespassed against you. You know tenderness comes from pain.” ~ It’s Only Love That Gets You Through

Love is healing. Forgiveness is the catalyst to healing our pain. Holding on to grudges or past hurts allows wounds to stay open, and forgiveness can end the emotional suffering we put ourselves through. Forgiveness is that pathway to peace of mind and peace of heart.

“In my heart, your love has found the safest hiding place…. Your love’s in a sacred place.” ~ The Safest Place

Love is a sanctuary. When we feel battered and broken, we can find comfort and healing in the presence of a dear friend or our beloved. We can hold the space for our loved ones to get through difficult times. When we do this, we deepen our love and compassion for one another.

“Call on me baby, if there’s anything I can do for you. Please call on me baby, help me to see you through.” ~ Still In Love With You (Thin Lizzy Cover)

Love is complete. When a relationship ends, it doesn’t have to end with both parties feeling depleted or diminished in any way. We can speak to the deeper truth of our humanity and end things peacefully. We can speak our truth(s) and stay true to our higher selves; completing the relationship in integrity.

“Your kisses ring—round and round and round my head, touching the very part of me—it’s making my soul sing.” ~ Your Love Is King

Love is freeing. As ever expanding beings, we all have a deep desire to be fully self expressed, whether we’re in love or not. When we’re free, we free up those around us. When we have souls singing together, it invites us to dance with life…and who doesn’t want to be a part of that?

What’s your favorite Sade song and what does it mean to you?

love pic

Yes, love is painful. But as C. S. Lewis suggests, we can respond to any relationship with either a closed, hellish heart, or an open, heavenly heart. If you keep your heart open, that same pain can become a purifying pain, a strengthening pain. If we choose forgiveness over bitterness, that pain can heal instead of hurt. Instead of a pain that divides, it can be a pain that binds

Here is some rules that I came up with using my past life experience…

1. When it arrives, cherish it.

2. Whatever you accept, you will get

3. Understand that love is a mirror—it will show us who we are if we allow it to.

4. Only we can make ourselves happy, it is not the other person’s responsibility.

5. Don’t say words with the intent to hurt.

6. Accept and forgive easily.

7. Don’t be scared to disagree, it is healthy.

8. Never be too busy for each other.

9. Do not punish.

10. Accept honest criticism, it is good for us.

11. Admit when you are wrong, quickly.

12. Support each other when the going gets tough.

13. Live in the moment—be present.

14. Leave the past where it belongs.

15. Leave drama out of it.

16) Don’t try to control

17. Allow a small amount of jealousy.

18. Don’t use comparisons.

19. Celebrate differences.

20. Communicate openly and honestly.

21. Listen very carefully.

22. Don’t judge.

23. Don’t manipulate to get results.

24. Learn and grow.

25. Don’t try to change each other.

26. Don’t condemn each other’s family and friends.

27. Lines, flaws and imperfections are beautiful.

28. Trust your instincts, but don’t be paranoid.

29. Don’t compromise your morals and values and don’t expect them to either.

30. Instead of power, aim for balance.

31. Space is needed to breathe and to grow.

32. Accept that you are both unique—never compare.

33. Have fun, laugh and play—a lot.

34. Be each other’s best friend.

35. Don’t play mind games.

36. Do not carelessly throw away love.

37. Don’t waste energy with negative thoughts.

38. Compliment often.

39. Discover each other.

40. Be attentive and understand what’s not said.

41. Do at least one romantic and thoughtful thing every day.

42. Take picnics and sleep under the stars.

43. Don’t just speak about it, show love.

44. Walk together, cook together, bathe together, read together.

45. Do not be afraid, love requires surrender.

46. Be loyal and faithful.

47. Trust.

48. Be grateful.

49. Fluidity is good, accept change.

50. Don’t sleep on a fight.

51. Don’t cling to it, know when to let go.

52. Discover what turns you both on and explore it.

53. Make love, but also f*ck (regularly).

54. Give and receive without measure.

55. Never gamble with what you can’t afford to lose.

learning what love is

learning what love is

Love feels unsafe.

To the little girl within me, love is unsafe.

To her, love means hurt.

Love means pain, trauma, inconsistency, insanity, and conditions.

Love was fucked up, twisted, and tied so deep into their self-hatred, that it came out wrapped in violence, rather than gentleness and warmth. Bitterness, rather than compassion and understanding. Jealousy and resentment, rather than supportive holding and cheerleading.

The love wasn’t hers, it was theirs—it had the potential to change any moment. And generally, it did. No matter how hard my inner girl or inner teen tried, things stayed the same.

Why—and how—would they be any different, now?

I remember the first time I got told about unconditional love, about years ago:

“You don’t have to do anything for someone to love you?”

I laughed, thinking it was a joke.

When I realized it wasn’t, I felt a sudden sorrow—a deep grief—for myself.

How did I not know this?

My relationship with love had been ‘wrong’ my whole life.

An innately wise part of myself always understood unconditional love existed—as a kid, I remember watching other parents and children, knowing somewhere deep inside that what I experienced at home wasn’t the only way. Somehow I knew, beneath my wounding and fear, that things wouldn’t always be this way.

What I was experiencing was only a chapter, or two, of my Love Story.

As I’ve begun healing my youth and early adulthood, my relationship with love—towards myself and others—is rapidly changing.

I’m learning what love actually is.

But I’m in the messy stage.

My defenses, fears, past hurts, and insecurities, feel more tender and in-my-face, than ever—I can’t step round, look past, or dive through my wounding, anymore.

My need to feel safe, feels more important than any other need I have, so it governs almost everything I do.

I struggle to trust people. To believe or trust the love and time they give me, and that they—or it—won’t disappear, feels terrifying, and almost impossible, even though part of me knows it isn’t, and it won’t.

I worry that love I receive will also disappear when the person really sees me and witnesses my imperfections, so I make sure I only share the imperfections I feel safe sharing. Even though I love others for, and with, theirs, and that mine just make me human.

I notice there’s always a desire to rip apart any love or support given, by finding reasons or supposed ‘proof’ that the love wasn’t really genuine—“they were just saying that…they probably felt like they had to”—even though this habit only brings hurt, and I know it’s generally not true. And even if it is, or they were, it’s not my place to take it on.

alone

I take risks, show myself, and share my needs or vulnerabilities—or my authentic rawness and openness—and then freak-out by reading into people’s every move or every word. I close up, building an imaginary “wall”, or disappear for a few days/weeks, convinced I was ‘too much’. Sometimes I find myself laughing, because the theories my inner critic comes up with in these moments are so well thought out, convincing, and hilarious. Other times I find myself unable to laugh or find solid ground beneath the fear and self-judgment, worrying that what I’m believing, is definitely true.

My fear of abandonment feel so great, and so sensitive, that I avoid situations in which there is potential for abandonment—I end up avoiding and declining a lot. Sometimes the fear, or potential risk, of not feeling safe, is one I want—or feel able to—work with and compassionately notice. Other times it isn’t. This part of my relationship with love and trust and people, breaks my heart the most.

I feel like I stranger to myself and my previous life. I almost constantly feel slightly, or completely, disconnected or alone. Even though I’m not.

I let a friend in, become close, and then freak-out with fear of the close connection, and fear that I will be really seen. Sometimes I stay but keep a certain distance, to ensure I feel safe. Other times, I’ve fled out of fear they wouldn’t love me if they continued to get to know me.

I don’t value my love enough—I don’t value that my love is a gift itself.
Every time someone still shows up despite me not having ‘done’ anything, or regardless of whether I believed I was loveable the last time we hung out, or whether I’d shown my imperfections, or how many other times they’ve showed up before, a little piece of my unconditional love puzzle is put into place.

As I continue to discover just how twisted my Love Story has been until now, I continue to notice how deeply this impacts the way I love myself—the way I parent myself.I’m almost constantly noticing or realizing something different, something new.

Couple months back it suddenly hit me that I was only loving myself when I was doing or achieving things. I hadn’t realized that that part of the relationship I have with being able to be loved by others, was also the relationship I have towards being able to love myself.

I wrote this note to myself and stuck it on the wall, with the desire to love myself regardless of whether I’m doing or not doing.

I can love myself just for being.

I’m trying to trust that as this new kind of love—unconditional love—, as well as the forgiveness and acceptance it brings, begins to ripple inside myself, it’ll begin to ripple through the beliefs I have about others love for me, too—that they can love me for just being, also.

And that the people around me have been loving me this way regardless of whether I’ve been able to see it and believe it, or not.

I often feel frustrated with my process—the way that my fear and wounding has such a strong hold, and it feels like it’s taking so fucking long to ease or shift—because I long to feel able to be connected and held, rather than scared and un-seen.

When I look closely, though, things are so far from where they once were. And in my heart, I know this messiness and my wounding being so vividly here, is the beginning of truly healing.

And that can’t help but excite me and leave my worry gently soothed.

head-vs-heart

Dear Heart,

I have a vein to pick with you, as I’m feeling pretty insecure and unsafe about a few things.

As you know I cut you out of my life for years because your desires were too big for me to handle and I was not strong enough to support and manifest them.

However after a painful game of tug of war, your strength eventually outweighed mine.

I surrendered respectfully and we re-connected. I listened to your every wish and did what you asked, as much as it broke my ego from every direction. I became your servant and your organizer and everyone thought I was mad for the choices I made.

I left my relationship, my career, I moved, I travelled.

I shocked everyone! I felt love again, true passion. I found my creativity, I found myself.

Things have been great. Now you want change again? You’re teasing me with dreams of far away places as I close my eyes to rest. You whisper in my ear as I’m waking up. You want me to uproot and explore again.

Why? Don’t you think about the future? Do you even have a plan?

If you are all about love, then why do you make me do things that hurt?

Why do you draw me towards people and then ask me to let go? Don’t you realize this breaks their heart? And mine too? It breaks you!

Why do you inflict so much pain on yourself?

Heart, sometimes I wish you were content with clothes, cooking and children like the other women. Don’t you realize people think we’re lost, reckless, crazy?

Heart, you’re too wild for me. But I promised I’d always listen to you. Please just tell me everything is going to be okay.

Yours truly,

Head x

***

Darling Head,

I know it seemed like my desires were too much for you to handle, but they were never too big, you just allowed fear to make the final decision every time until we eventually disconnected.

You see Head, all I see from down here are opportunities to experience love and to grow. This requires change, movement. Either we’re moving deeper into something, or moving on from something.

I’m here to push you out of your comfort zone.

The pain is the cracking open as I become vulnerable, expand to my absolute limits of love, learn to accept love in, or let it achingly pour out.

Love is constantly connecting us to and moving us on from people and experiences. Some connections last a lifetime, others last only a moment. It’s painful to accept that some things don’t last forever.

There is beauty in this pain.

Let other people think we are lost. The truth is, their hearts may be just as wild, they just haven’t been brave enough to really listen. The laws of the heart are too divine for us to understand, they are beyond time and space, they exist only in the moment, they don’t need a plan, they are the plan.

If we continue to be fearless and move with the flow of love, I promise you—everything is going to be okay.

Love,

Heart x

(ref. Annalise McLean)

San Francisco, Pier39

San Francisco, Pier39

This statue i saw during my San Francisco trip, in some small art gallery near Pier39.

Somehow this statue had an interesting effect on me. Very rarely i meet pieces of art that touch my soul. For example, Da Vinci “Mona Lisa” was a complete disappointment to me… i guess i would have to agree, that the point of art is to “comfort disturbed and to disturb the comfortable…”

The emotions in this statue are incredible. Yes, many visual art forms with families, couples and babies are “cute”, but they never really touched my heart, they all were missing something for me, and i never considered them “cute”, but this particular statue somehow is different to me, it feels different…

This particular art piece, radiates pure and unconditional love in my opinion. And not because there is mother and a baby, but the way a male figure barely touches the female, at the same time having the look in his face that any woman wants to be looked like at, pure love.

We all, looking for one thing in life, love.

But not just anyone can allow love in…

“If we listen to our intellect,

we’d never have a love affair.

We’d never have friendship.

We’d never go into business,

because we’d be too cynical.

Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got

to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down”

             ~ Annie Dillard

love hug relationship

love hug relationship

In the depths of our souls we all yearn for love and connection with others.

That yearning reflects a basic, even biological, human need. Infants thrive physically only when they feel deeply loved and cherished. As adults, we experience wrenching, soul-level loneliness when we don’t have love and meaningful connection in our lives, yet all too frequently we don’t have these things.

Not with our parents or siblings, not with a mate, not even with a best friend.

We all intuitively know that the highest experience in life is the sharing of love. However, we often confuse the idea of sharing love with the idea of getting love.

We try to get love when we feel empty inside and can share love only when we learn to first fill ourselves with love. We cannot share that which we do not have within. The wounded part of us seeks constantly to get love and avoid pain, resulting in an inability to share love.

The Fears that Underlie the Fears of Intimacy and Commitment

Why are love, connection and intimacy so elusive?

We sit enraptured at movies that depict two people experiencing the delight of falling in love. We thrill at their discovery of each other, their laughter, their uninhibited joy.

We love to read stories about deep friendship, about people committed to truly caring about each other over the long haul.

And we yearn for these experiences in our own lives.

Yet when we have a chance to have love, the story is a little different.

This is because, as much as we want love, we often want to avoid that which we fear even more. We don’t feel safe enough in ourselves to risk loving another.

Two major fears get in our way and undermine our wonderful new connection with someone, or even prevent that connection from ever occurring:

• Fear of rejection: the loss of another’s love through anger, emotional withdrawal, physical withdrawal or death.

• Fear of engulfment: the loss of self through being controlled, consumed, invaded, suffocated, dominated and swallowed up by another.

These fears stem from childhood experiences and from defining our worth externally through others’ approval, rather than internally through spiritual eyes of truth.

We will be unable to share our love to the fullest extent until we heal these fears of loss of others and of loss of self. We will be unable to create the safe relationship space in which to share love and a safe world in which to live until we learn how to create safety within.

Until these fears are healed, we will react defensively whenever they are triggered.

What do you do when your fears of rejection are activated? Do you withdraw, comply, get angry, mean or sarcastic? Do you defend, explain or teach?

Most of us have learned many controlling behaviors to protect ourselves from experiencing our fears. However when we react in our different defensive ways, the result will be the same—our reactive behavior will trigger our partner’s own fears of rejection or engulfment.

Now both of us are acting out of fear.

Together we have created an unsafe relationship space where love and intimacy will gradually erode. And that is why in my opinion so many unhappily married, or later divorced people.

The Unsafe Relationship Space

What do I mean by the term “relationship space”? How is a “relationship space” different from a “relationship”?

A relationship space is the environment in which the relationship is occurring. It is the energy created by the two people involved.

I think of this environment, this relationship space, as an actual entity that both people are responsible for creating.

It can be a safe relationship space, which is open, warm and inviting, or it can be an unsafe relationship space, which is hard, dark, unforgiving and full of fear.

The kind of environment in which our relationship takes place is crucial to its success—or failure.

Many of us have spent much time in unsafe relationship spaces. In fact, some of us have never experienced a safe relationship space because many, if not most of us, have not learned to stay open when our fears of being rejected or controlled are triggered.

If, when these fears are activated, we focus on who is at fault or who started it, we perpetuate an unsafe relationship space. Blaming another for our fears (and for our own reactive, unloving behavior) makes the relationship space more unsafe than ever.

Both people in the relationship end up feeling badly, each of us believing that our pain is the result of the other person’s behavior.

We feel victimized, helpless, stuck and disconnected from our partner. We desperately want the other person to see what they are doing that (we think) is causing our pain.

We think that if the other person only understands this, they will change—and we exhaust ourselves trying to figure out how to make them understand.

Over time, being in an unsafe relationship space creates distance between the people involved. When we have not created a safe space in which to speak our complete, heartfelt truth about ourselves, the joy between us gradually dies.

And the more we hold back our innermost feelings and experiences, the shallower our connection becomes.

Our intimacy crumbles.

In friendships, marriages and work relationships, our joy, aliveness and creativity get lost as we each give up parts of ourselves in an attempt to feel safe.

In romantic relationships, passion dries up. Superficiality, boredom, fighting and apathy take its place.

We try valiantly to figure out what went wrong. But too often we ask, “What am I doing wrong?” or “What are you doing wrong?” rather than inquiring into the health of the relationship space itself.

Only when we look at the relationship space will we see what we are each doing to create the unsafe space. The dual fears of losing the other through rejection and losing ourselves through being swallowed up by the other are the underlying cause of our unloving, reactive behavior.

These fears are deeply rooted. They cannot be healed or overcome by getting someone else’s love.

Creating a Safe Relationship Space

The way out of the unsafe relationship system is for each person to develop a strong loving adult self, capable of handling the fears of rejection and engulfment without protecting. This means learning to not take rejection personally and learning to set loving limits.

The key to doing this is learning how to create a safe inner space where we can work with and overcome our fears of rejection and engulfment. This is a process, not an event—a compassionate process of learning to love ourselves rather than abandon ourselves.

Only when you have achieved inner safety can you create a safe relationship space.

You can gradually learned to stop attacking or withdrawing and take loving care of yourself whenever your fears surface. You can learn to create inner safety when you feel threatened, rather than trying to get others to make you feel safe from your fears.

Any two people who are willing to learn to create their own inner sense of safety can also learn to create a safe relationship space where their intimacy and passion will flourish and their love will endure ❤

Image

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“Be yourself. If you water yourself down to please people or to fit in or to not offend anyone, you lose the power, the passion, the freedom and the joy of being uniquely you. It’s much easier to love yourself when you are being yourself.” – Dan Coppersmith

“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” – unknown

Many people I talk with feel that they have no joy in their life. They feel obligated to do so many things that they don’t have time for themselves and the things they really want to do.

As a result, people feel drained, anxious, and resentful. With so many outside forces competing for their time, energy and financial resources, is it really any wonder they feel this way? So what do we do? How can we remain balanced among this sea of obligations and commitments?

The answer is to live consciously. By looking at each decision we are making and by asking ourselves, “Is this really what I want to be doing? Is this really what is right for me?” And then by making sure our actions stay in alignment with our true intentions.

Saying yes when we mean no often causes us not to trust ourselves. It damages our confidence and lowers our self-esteem. We stop trusting ourselves, and that is usually the beginning of all the self-esteem issues and low self confidence.

So why do we do it?

From a young age, we are conditioned to act in certain ways in order to feel loved and accepted. This is the beginning of our loss of personal power and authenticity. A simple example is when our parents tell us what is bad or good, like it is bed to draw on the walls with crayon, but it is good to clean dishes after we eat… and so on. When we born, we are not aware of what is good or what is bad. Yes, conditions and family in which we grow up build us and our personality, but we also can create our own persona as we like later in conscious life.

In order to create change we will need to recondition our beliefs by discovering what is really true for us. Recently, with all life changes, i decided to go to therapy and figure out who i really am. Sometimes we get lost in life, in responsibilities and in other people, usually our loved ones. But who we really are sometimes is more important, and to figure that out sometimes we need guidance. I always felt that i knew exactly who i am and what i want in life, but now i feel lost a little… it is like a juggle, you learn how to juggle with two oranges and then life all of a sudden throws in 3 more, and you need to learn how to juggle 5, and not lose yourself in the process. Because you, are the most important! Your happiness, your piece of mind, without you – what is the point of your life?!

These are the questions I ask myself to become aware of any patterns and beliefs that no longer work for me. Once you become aware of these beliefs, you can simply begin to consciously change them.

Ask yourself: “Why am I doing this? Is it because…”

  • I will feel guilty if I don’t?
  • Everyone else is doing it, so I should too?
  • I want others to think I am a nice person?
  • I want to feel accepted?
  • I don’t feel good enough about myself to do what is really right for me?
  • I have trouble saying “no” or being myself around certain people?

If you have said “yes” to any of the above questions you are cheating yourself out of the things that bring you happiness and joy!

I came across post called “12 things happy people do differently” by Marc

#1 Express Gratitude

*When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciate in value

* If we aren’t thankful for what we already have, we will have a hard time ever being happy

#2 Cultivate Optimism

* People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.

#3 Avoid over-thinking and social comparison

* Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous

* The only person you should compare to is yourself before now

#4 Practice acts of kindness

* Selfishness helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside

#5 Nurture social relationships

* The happiest people on the planet ate the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships

#6 Develop strategies for coping

* It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsal, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal

#7 Learn to forgive

* Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being

#8 Increase flow experience

* Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still

* It is when you are focused on what you are doing that you become one with task

* Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus

#9 Savor life’s joys

* Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy

#10 Commit to your goals

* Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere

#11 Practice Spirituality

* When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us

* We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever

#12 Take care of your body

* Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.

The next time you hear yourself saying, I love to garden…but I don’t have time or I love to golf…but I’m too busy remember you can choose differently. You can choose to believe you are valuable; what is right for you does matter, and that your happiness is a priority.

Your life is the culmination of each decision you make every moment (whether you are aware of what you are choosing or not). Begin to understand the intention behind every action you take and make a conscious decision to do only what is right for you. Gather the courage each moment and say “no” to anything or anyone that doesn’t allow you to be yourself, or to live in alignment with your dreams.

What will you choose? Will you choose to stay in power by acting with the knowledge that you are responsible for every action in your life? Or will you continue to give your power away in order to feel valued and accepted in the eyes of another?

The choice is ONLY ours to make.

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I feel like i am standing at the road fork and i am not sure which route to take, which chance to take and should i even take it?! Life is all about taking chances. That leap of faith into the unknown. It terrifies us all, but where will we ever go in life if we don’t take a chance? The hardest part is finding a balance, knowing when to take the chance and when to take a step back. Knowing when to keep pushing forward in persistence versus when to just let go. It’s a balance of head and heart, of thoughts and feelings, of doing what’s “right” or doing what you “want/need” to do. It’s about not taking a chance and living with the regret that you’ll never know what might have been. Or taking the chance, risking it all, truly living life, and then accepting the often difficult path where that chance may lead. It is part of being a grown up human being, it is the other side of a medal, making decisions and choices, and standing strong when the results come in place.

“Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it.” – Chinese proverb

There are too many people in this world who live mediocre lives because they simply avoid taking risks. At the same time successful people tend to be the biggest risk takers ever.

Bill Gates was taking a risk when he dropped out of college to start a business!

Galileo was taking a risk when he directly challenged the church by stating the earth revolved around the sun!

The founding fathers of the United States of America where all taking risks by signing their name on the Declaration of Independence!

The challenge is that if you do not take a chance, you will never know if something could have been… a relationship, an opportunity or other positive life change. Nothing happens until you take a risk and make a stance to go after what you believe in. You need to risk something, whether it be your money, reputation, or your beliefs in order to move forward in life.

The good news is while you may lose when taking risks there are 2 sides to every coin. You may also win by taking risks.

In fact, if you are consistently taking risks in life you will eventually come out ahead. It is inescapable, even if you are the most unlucky person with the lowest intelligence ever, you can’t lose everything that you go after.

Thomas Edison failed to create the light bulb 10,000 times before he succeeded! He only needed to succeed once to become one of the richest men in the country and one of the most famous inventors of all time.

Similarly, you only need to succeed once to start a new life for yourself. Think about that. If you are a singer, painter, actor, or whatever it may seem difficult to get discovered. But you only need to get discovered once to change your life.

If you know what you are doing and you go after your dreams you will probably end up falling flat on your face quite a few times. When you do and people criticize your mistakes it may seem that taking risks is not the way to get ahead and that you are better off playing it safe.

But for those who do not just play it safe and who keep taking chances (and for those who learn from their past mistakes) you will eventually have to come out ahead. Sometimes being right on one big risk can be all you need to change your life forever.

So, never forget to keep taking chances and keep learning from them. If you do then life is sure to be more entertaining and more worthwhile then if you just sit on the sidelines and watch others pass you by.

Discover your wants and needs…

  • ask yourself what makes you happy
  • decide where your responsibilities and commitments lie vs. your freedom to choose what you ‘want’
  • decide what your priorities are – we all have desires, but how do they fit in with your priorities and responsibilities?
  • think about your long term and short term desired outcomes and how taking certain chances can help you achieve those outcomes

No matter where we want to take a chance, relationship or dream, it is worth taking a chance, it is worth seeing if that is the best thing you could have done, and you will never have regrets! Imagine, if you want to be a Hollywood actor for example, you need to risk and take chances by sending out your resume, by trying to go to as many castings and taking every chance you get to get “discovered” – you only need ONE chance! and you can get it anytime, any moment, you might not even expect it and one little chance can turn out to be the best result ever, and make all your dreams come true. And in relationship, if you in love, if you feel in your heart that this is the best person for you – why not take a chance on them? Why not just listen to your heart and feel it, and act on that incredible feeling of love and just be with that person. No i am not talking about running off into a sunset with every pretty girl/boy, but everyone knows what i mean, everyone had that in their lives, but not everyone listened to their heart and took chance. Sometimes you just know “this person is for me”, you just know, but if we do not listen to our heart and start thinking and turning on logic and brain – yes we will never take a chance in love. Love is no logic, brain cannot apprehend what heart can, that is why we have both, sometimes we just have to listen to our heart and act only on it. if we turn on logic – it will kill it, it will break it brick by brick. Maybe logic is more developed in this age, but i love to listen to love stories of our grandparents where they followed their heart, took chances in love and stayed together for years to come… so maybe they were right, in the way they followed the path of love and took a gamble in life?!… They took chance in love, they followed their heart and soul, and they stayed together for lifetime, our generation – picks a perfect match – and the divorce rate is higher than ever…I believe we all have a chance in life and in love, but it is our choice to take that chance or to pass on it, and regret it every moment later in life. Life will pass, and other choices will come but the thought of regret and “what if…” will always be there…

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”– T. S. Eliot

Creative risk taking is essential to success in any goal where the stakes are high. Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is thoughtless caution which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity. – Gary Ryan Blair

Because if you’re prepared and you know what it takes, it’s not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there. – Mark Cuban

The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That’s the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead! – General George S. Patton

Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when the person looks back-she will hear her heart – Paulo Coelho

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world—an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control—that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the condition of the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it’s based on being more like a plant than like a jewel—something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility. – Martha Nussbaum

The most important thing to remember is this: to be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become. – W. E. B. Du Bois

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough. – Marissa Mayer

The universe has no restrictions. You place restrictions on the universe with your expectations. – Deepak Chopra

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs