Regression

I am human.  No matter how motivated or strong I may be, from time to time, my emotions get the better of me.  I take pride in the progress I’ve made so far toward my personal growth.  I am in control and have a plan that I am consciously sticking too.  But, a few days back, one of my closest friends sent me a text msg claiming that my ex-husband posted pictures of his newborn son and his family.  I already knew deep down that he had moved on and was well aware that his life continued without even a hiccup.  But, the reality of seeing it with my own eyes struck a sensitive chord.

My initial reaction was to smile from ear to ear as I looked upon his beautiful, cute little round face.  He is so perfect with his tiny nose, round eyes, and a head full of hair.  My heart felt such joy as I looked at their happy family and wished them nothing but health and prosperity.  Then as I continued to gaze over the picture a shadow of doubt was cast in my mind.  Doubt quickly set in and a flood of emotions came into my soul making me question whether I had made the right decision or not.   I completely regressed.

All the progress I made emotionally to help heal my soul reverted back to my early stages of pre-growth.  I went right back to how I felt before I had the courage to move on and be content with my decision.  As I started to regress I realized there were things that I could do to help me get over this.  I needed to focus and give myself some tough love.  I always look for sympathy and victimize myself with situations that have nothing to do with me.  In this case, after regressing to my old ways of feeling bad I realized I was not going to allow myself to repeat the same patterns of dealing with how I felt.  This time, I was going to give myself some tough love, no more Ms. Nice Girl.  I’ve been way to nice on myself in the past and that in turn would hinder my progress and in fact, would sometimes even push me backward.  This time, the strong me took over and consciously admitted some hard facts and recited some affirmations.

  • So what if he moved on, that’s a fact, you already knew this.
  • So what if he has a child, you’re not ready to have a family now.
  • You chose to leave because the life you were leading was not making you happy.
  • The life you left behind was not your true identity.
  • The type of person you were while in that relationship was detrimental to your success and personal development.
  • You didn’t like who you were and acted like while being married to your ex.
  • You are so much happier and satisfied with who you are now.
  • You are clairvoyant and focused on creating your life’s purpose for this world.
  • You have a deeper connection with God and your soul and do not need material things to keep you happy.
  • You have realized what is most important to you in this world.
  • You are finally free, free of any guilt or doubt that may have transpired from your past decisions.

After giving myself a little tough love, I reaffirmed all my current beliefs.  I needed to dedicate some much needed time to all the positives in my life.  I prayed and meditated.  I prayed to give thanks, ask for strength and to repent for my sins.  I expressed my gratefulness for all that I have and that I am.  Finally, I meditated to validate with my inner being that the path I am on now, is exactly where I need to be.  I now know that I was meant to see that picture.  The universe wanted me to see it, to help me realize that I did in fact, make the right decision.

Time to reflect:

Do you regress?  Is is caused by something that is out of your control?  Do you find yourself immediately regressing into old habits even after you’ve made such good progress?  Catching yourself regress is the first step toward fixing the problem.  Then try doing something different to help you cope with the regression.  Give yourself some tough love or be extra nice if you’re usually hard on yourself.  Do something different to help you react differently.  By consciously being aware that you are dealing with the SAME OLD FEELINGS but handling it DIFFERENTLY is going to really do wonders for your emotional development.  You will see that you can choose how you want to react.  Soon, you will be aware of the many other options for handling your problems other than simply resorting to old behavioural patterns.  

Un-conditioning

Growing up, did you ever wish that your parents handled things differently?  Maybe you wished they taught or guided you better.  Or that they set a better example when it came to handling life situations.  As I entered my adult years and developed an identity separate from that of my family’s, I realized there were a lot of things that I didn’t agree with.  Some of the values, beliefs, norms, traditions and cultural expectations I was taught didn’t mesh well with my own understanding of life.  So, I set out to understand my true identity on a deeper level through meditation and prayer.  I began to understand that I was a composition of my family’s teachings and genetic coding.  As I meditated more, I realized that I could control, change and manipulate anything about myself that I really wanted too.  What I am born with I may not be able to change, such as my DNA, but what I was taught, I could definitely change.

I was conditioned to believe that we are all a product of our environment.  I used to believe that how we were raised completely determined our identities.  But, boy was I wrong about that!  In fact, I am so happy that I was wrong.  How do I know that I was wrong?  Simple, by choosing to UN-CONDITION myself.  I was able to do this in my adult years after learning about the power of conditioning, through courses I took on psychology while in University.  I particularly loved Pavlov’s Theory.  As I left university and started my married life and began dealing with real life problems as an adult, I realized I didn’t like the person I believed I was.  I didn’t like what I stood for, what I fell for, and where I was headed.  Something had to change immediately.  So I did.  I changed everything about myself by admitting to myself that who I was raised to be, is not the same person that I actually am and want to be.  I was able to do this by first analyzing my “then” identity make up.

My identity make up contained the teachings and experiences of both my parents.  My parents are polar opposites.  My mom is an extremist with emotions and quite predictable.  When she gets angry or upset it consumes her and she doesn’t know how to handle her emotions.  In fact, she allows her emotions to take control and lacks awareness, empathy and becomes extremely defensive.  She actively looks for others to blame for her decisions and cannot handle stress.  My dad on the other hand has a sensitive soul and is very spontaneous.  He has compassion, empathy, sympathy and love for everyone and everything.  He is the most patient and positive person I have ever met in my life.  He doesn’t allow his emotions to be phased by anything.  The world could crash beneath his very feet, yet he still holds his composure.  My dad will take the weight of the entire world on his shoulders.  And then there is me, the combination of these two polar opposite personalities.

So, now that I am aware of my make up, I can finally control and manipulate those things.  I am conscious of the traits that I was born with and the traits that I learned over the years.  I am conscious of the positive traits that I want to give attention too and aware of negative traits that I want to lessen.  By determining the difference between the things I can and cannot change I take responsibility for my actions.  I can now catch myself when I start acting like my mom during stressful situations.  Or when I start doing more for others than myself like my dad.  Moreover, by putting more attention on my positive traits I can create an identity that is composed of my teachings, my own un-conditioning and my actual genetic coding.

Everything that I grew up believing about my personality was not true.  I was angry at my parents for teaching me ways to handle problems that I didn’t like or agree with.  I was conditioned into believing certain things about myself and felt hopeless that I couldn’t control or change those things instilled in me through years of training and practice.  I now know that I am in control of my life more than I can even imagine.  I can choose to behave any way I want to by giving notice to the things I want to change.  I can condition or un-condition myself any way I want to.  I can change the negative qualities I have and I can concentrate more on my positive traits and follow through with actions to help expose that positivity.  Through my un-conditioning I was able to learn what life is all about; learning to trust yourself and your true identity, which you CREATE, not what you just accept as was created for you.

Time to reflect:

Do you feel like what you were taught and raised to believe doesn’t mesh with your vision?  Do you feel sometimes your identity is totally different from that of your parents?  If you notice negative traits that were passed down from your family,  you have the ability to change and control that.  If you notice positive traits that were passed down, you can concentrate your attention on that.  Whatever it is that you want to do you can condition yourself to do.  Whatever negativity that you want to change, that you were raised to accept, you can un-condition yourself to do as well.  Don’t just accept things for what they are.  Challenge them and yourself.  See if you can change yourself into the identity that you really believe is supposed to represent you.   

New year, new rules

A very happy new year to everyone!  I just got used to writing 2013 and now I can’t believe that it’s 2014.  Boy, does time fly or what?  But with the new year comes an important transitional time in everyones lives.  It’s a chance to create new goals, dreams, wishes, and rules.

To be honest though, how many times have we come to this phase in our lives all to fall back into our old habits only a few weeks or months later?  Well this time around I am not going to allow this to happen.  What I have come to realize is I tend to like and try too many things all at the same time.  When I follow my natural instincts it takes me on multidimensional levels that I can’t even keep up with.  I get lost in my pursuit of information and then lose track of the progress I make because I am so consumed with too many subjects.

I have decided to set two very specific rules for myself this year.  Why two?  Because I feel the old me always took on way more than I could chew.  The old me would always be the strong starter but weak finisher.  The new year is bringing about a new me with new rules.

Rule # 1 – Set deadlines for my goals and hold myself accountable for my choices, whether good or bad.  

I am constantly dreaming, wishing, planning, researching and aspiring to do amazing things.  However, a goal is nothing but a dream and a wish if there is no set deadline.  That is the honest truth.  Before I can start achieving results and analyze my progress I have to know what I am comparing myself too.  I can’t compare myself to others because we have different sets of dreams and wishes.  But, I can compare my results and analyze them based on the deadlines I set.  If I don’t set a deadline how will I know if I achieved anything or not?  If I’m constantly and aimlessly shooting for things but don’t have a finish point how will I ever know if I even made my dreams come true.  So this years rule # 1 for me is to set deadlines while holding myself accountable for all the choices that lead up to my goal.

Rule # 2 – Be consistent and focused on one thing at a time and finish what I started.

Again, being a Jill of All Trades and Master of None I tend to chew more than I can bite.  I start many things but lose focus and tend to leave many of my wishes unfulfilled.  This year is going to be all about setting my goals, being focused and consistent with following through with the appropriate actions to help achieve those goals and finally finishing what I started.  I plan to do this by tackling one goal at a time.  I have been planning a lot and with all great visions 80% of ones work needs to be dedicated toward planning.  But I am done planning and am ready for the remaining 20%, which is the implementation phase of my goals.  I will remain focused on doing exactly that and hopefully all my dreams will come to fruition in the near future.

I don’t believe I’m being unrealistic and nor do I believe I have set out to do the unachievable. I am setting real rules that I know I can follow.  I am setting up realistic scenarios to help encourage my progress.  I am very satisfied and content with my decisions and I am looking forward to this year being one of the best I have experienced so far.

Time to reflect:

If you are like me and you set too many resolutions and goals in the beginning of the year and then fail to achieve more than 80% of them, try applying this tool in your life.  Pick only one or two rules you want to set for yourself.  By focusing your attention and simplifying things for yourself, you allow yourself the opportunity to actually achieve your resolution.  It’s great to have a positive attitude going into the new year.  But maintaining that same positivity throughout the year is a difficult task if you try too much at once.  So try to simplify things in your already complicated life and choose one or two things that you know you have a high success rate of achieving and build your year from that.  As the year goes on and you achieve your desired goals, set new ones (again by simplifying) and start a new resolution mid year.  Keep doing this and you will see that by 2015, you will have achieved way more than you even set out to do.  Good luck!

mindbodysoul

“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.”  ~ Denis Waitley

Humanity

There is nothing humane about the current state of our world.  In my quest toward self discovery I always found and made time to research controversial subjects.  What I learned so far has left my soul feeling rather weak and distraught.  My soul actually weeps for mankind, our earth, this universe and all its creatures and spiritual beings.  I am coming to the sad realization that as we, humans, evolve, we are losing our humanity.  I feel the need to express my sadness and share my thoughts with the world.  All I know is this, I believe in humanity and I believe we can change but it has to start by first acknowledging some key truths.

We are becoming zombies to the corporate world and will quite possibly rename our planet Earth Inc. one day.  We put more focus, time and energy in turning out a profit than helping our neighbouring countries fight poverty, disease and lack of education.  We evolved into greedy creatures that would rather keep more for ourselves than to share with those less fortunate.  We take more pride in our superficial materialistic accomplishments than doing a simple good deed for this world and our fellow man.  We are becoming creatures that do not value the essence of life.  We kill animals to put “fancy” clothes on our backs, shoes on our feet or fragrances on our skin.  We kill animals for gourmet meals.  We kill animals, just because we can!

We sit around as individuals feeling a sense of entitlement for our own lives as though this world or universe owes us something.  Whereas, we should be the ones who owe the universe for providing abundance all around.  Our universe provides us with life, water, air, food, nourishment, beauty, endless opportunities and natural resources, space and an unknown frontier, joy, peace, and the ability to live amongst a multitude of creatures without harm (for the most part and in favour of humans).  Yet, as humans, we are growing into creatures that only take and take and never give back.  This is becoming the norm and becoming what is acceptable and we don’t even sit back and question these morals!

We live in a time where technology can vastly improve the world, yet we are deliberately using it to create fear, hate, separation, war, poverty, and a plethora of evil doings.  We use technology to hurt animals and one another through genetic engineering.  We use technology to create disease and spread it worldwide instead of stopping, preventing and curing it.  We use technology to deliberately affect mother nature.  We purposely put chemicals in our soil, water, foods, animals, and in the air to experiment with population control.  We use our technology and mankind’s  genius to create massive weather tampering devices to affect the conditions of the earth to serve an agenda.

We don’t care if we see millions of men, women and children die because of stereotyping and generalization and we don’t bother to fix the problems of misinformation and discrimination.  We take pride in abusing our natural resources and depleting them through over consumption.  We do not consciously try to look for ways to fix these problems, instead we find more ways to keep mankind ignorant about solutions and brainwashed into believing that behaving this way is actually good for you.  We do not take the time to educate one another and spread the message of love through all our media outlets.  Media should cover stories that address the problems of this world, instead it glamorizes frivolous wants and false needs of a population with misconstrued priorities.

There are a lot of negative things to say about the lack of humanity we are showing these days.  I am a part of this massive problem and do not want to be anymore.  I feel like a speck in this vast universe and helpless to fix any of these problems.  I realize I can only start where I know change can occur, and that is right here with me.  I can change myself, even if I cannot change this world.  I can change the humanity within me to reach out and spread love.  I feel compassion and I feel something in me that makes me believe in humanities goodness.  It is my mission to prove that humanity still exists amongst us.  I witness the kind acts of strangers and see how nations help one another in times of natural disasters, war and duress.  I believe there are far more good than bad spiritual beings in this universe and I will prove that fact, simply, by being and doing good.

mindbodysoul

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Natural is the way to go

For the past few years I have been on a health kick.  Dealing with the pressures of society to maintain health, youth and my image forced me to think of ways I could deal with this.  The internet is plagued with information on surgery and unnatural ways of healing and changing yourself and your image.  You have cancer, use chemotherapy to kill your cells.  You’re overweight, don’t exercise instead take diet pills.  You don’t have hair, get extensions or plugs.  You don’t have breasts, go buy and insert them.  You don’t have a butt, get injections.  You have wrinkles, freeze your face and inject it with unnatural compounds.  There is a surgery or evasive treatment for almost everything out there now.  Not only that, but most of us are unfairly pressured into believing that, in order to maintain health and youth, we all have to eventually resort to this unnatural way of living.  The general population is then made to feel inadequate and inferior to others while being compared unrealistically to societal standards based on extreme and unnatural enhancements.

Women and men have spent thousands upon thousands trying to perfect their image.  We can all stand to go for a tune up now and then.  We all want to and deserve to look our best.   However, at what cost?  The amount of money one could save by doing things naturally is astonishing.  The personal health risks one takes while experimenting with foreign objects in his/her body is mind blowing.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not judging nor am I being critical of anyone who has undergone surgery to correct their image.  We all have a right to choose how we want to live and we are the rulers of our own body and image.  Furthermore, there are certain diseases or health issues that require surgery or evasive treatments because it is the absolute last resort and the only way to cure it.  I myself have even considered rhinoplasty for years but just can’t seem to convince myself to go ahead with it.  I personally feel that a person should educate him/herself on alternative, natural or holistic treatments before resorting to evasive treatments.

Many people are not educated enough on natural remedies or natural beauty products that could help you retain youth while keeping you healthy internally as well.  We live in a time where we are all looking for a quick fix.  We have an endless amount of resources for unnatural ways to change, but very few resources for natural cures and remedies.  But, in order to be truly healthy, youthful and energetic we need to maintain our health internally and externally.  Going natural is NOT a quick fix.  The biggest let down for most people looking for a quick fix while trying things naturally is the expectation of immediate results.

But, if we are all taught about natural ways to heal, fix and correct from a young age, we learn to develop positive habits that reinforce health and youth.  The problem is most people are not provided with enough guidance about products or specific natural plants, foods and formations such as sand, rocks, stones, and etc. that help with the aging process.  How do you think people 3000 or 4000 years ago maintained health naturally?  They didn’t have large pharmaceutical companies shoving pills or cosmetic surgeons sucking out fat or injecting the body with chemicals.  They must’ve done things naturally that still worked.  How else could the human race have evolved to where we are now?

In the very near future, I will dedicate a few blogs specifically related to natural remedies.  They will outline some key natural ingredients that the human body requires to maintain good health.  I will also outline alternative medication or ways to solve common problems such as the cold or skin disorders and etc.  Hopefully, by writing and sharing enough information I can help others avoid resorting to unnatural ways of curing their problems and thus help change their perception on quick fixes and what it really means to be healthy.

Time to reflect:

Do you feel pressure from all around to be a certain image?  Have you considered going under the knife or doing something evasive to correct a problem you currently have?  Body image is a delicate subject and everyone has insecurities.  We all want to change certain things about ourselves but how far are we willing to go?  Look at what you wish to fix and instead of resorting to a quick fix, try looking for alternative ways to improve those qualities you feel you lack.  For instance, if you have dry skin, look for natural products to help relieve dry skin without using lotions with chemicals.  Once we start being truly healthy, our minds will also become healthy and not be consumed by the pressures of society to do things unnaturally.  

mindbodysoul

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~ Buddha 

Budgeting

I was brought up in a meager household.  My parents were raised back home and came from the poor and middle classes.  We lived on welfare for most of my childhood and adolescence but eventually became a family of entrepreneurs and led ourselves to comfortable living.  My family believed in hard work and enjoying life.  But we also valued sharing and giving back to those less fortunate since we lived and understood it.

I spent a good portion of my adult life living comfortably and sometimes even lavishly.  The moment I started working and earning my own money I developed a sense of entitlement and believed I was in control.  Growing up and having no money to all of the sudden having some form of financial freedom boded well for me at first.  I was able to save money because I hadn’t develop a habit of spending.  But then out of nowhere I became reckless.  I started changing because I didn’t truly understand the value of money.

Once I got engaged and was trying to save for my wedding I began living frivolously with my money.  I spent thousands upon thousands on material things that fulfilled temporary joy.  It made me feel confident and in control.  By spending within my means I justified my bad habit as, “oh I deserve to treat myself” or “you only do this once.”  But once I got married, my spending habit amplified.  I became a crazed woman with my husbands credit card ready to go on a spending spree on the daily and spending beyond my means.  I became something so far from what I used to be.  I didn’t have a budget or limitation, so I just spent to fill a void in my life.

Since my divorce my life changed drastically.  I went from never repeating the same clothes, let alone bras or panties, twice, to being completely broke and in debt.  The financial shock left me feeling defeated and confused.  I didn’t like who I became when I had all that money, but I also wasn’t satisfied with being broke or just living comfortably.  I realized the value of money because I lost it.  I realized the value in budgeting and using money wisely and investing it correctly.  After a few years I regained my independence by first working in the corporate world and then establishing a few businesses.  I have come a long way, but have a lot more to accomplish.  

The most important thing I learned about money is, budgeting.  I developed the ability to cut my spending habit exponentially all while saving.  I was forced to figure out ways to maintain some of the luxuries I became accustomed too.  I have a motto, “always maintain and gain”.  I couldn’t just give up everything I got used too, but, I also couldn’t afford everything I was used too.  I had to figure out a way to keep what I had and build from that.  So, I taught myself how to do whatever I used to pay someone else to do.

For instance, being a girl I got used to getting manicures, pedicures, waxing, dying and cutting my hair and performing all other beauty regiments.  I used to spend hundreds possibly even thousands a month to pay someone else to do these things for me, but my situation forced me to learn to do it all myself (YouTube is amazing) and even naturally.  This saved me a ton of money and refined my personal skills.  Also, by not purchasing new clothes and shoes I was able to make use of the stuff I already had and only wore once or twice before.  I also spent less money eating out, thus, helping me get back in shape because I cut out excess fatty foods.  Finally, I cut some of my social habits such as partying, drinking and smoking which saved me hundreds a month.  I learned to do all of the things I wanted to do while budgeting myself and still saving a little for a rainy day.

Time to reflect:

Are you good with money?  Do you spend within or beyond your means?  We all like to indulge but are your indulgences borderline obsessive and compulsive?  Do you know how to budget your money?  Do you like who you are when you spend money?  Ask yourself these questions as you go out and spend your hard earned money.  Think about what you’re giving up in order to gain.  If you are trying to change your ways of spending, consciously figure out where your money is going.  Once you know where and how you’re spending your money, learn to budget yourself.  Find alternate ways to maintain your activities without spending the same amount or possibly even doing it for free.  

mindbodysoul

“Soon gotten, soon spent; ill gotten, ill spent.” ~ John Heywood

Mistakes = Guidance

I have made my share of mistakes.  I am far from perfect and will never deny my faults.  In fact, I take pride in most (not all) of my mistakes.  Number one reason why is because I have no regrets.  The mistakes I made were because of what I wanted and chose during those times.  The second reason being, I actually use my mistakes as my guiding light which paves the way for how I aspire to live now and in my future.

Growing up I was the oldest child of a first generation immigrant family.  We all lived based on trial and error.  I never really had the appropriate guidance that I wish I had.  I was often the guinea pig in the family, whereby my parents made all their mistakes with me versus my younger brother.  I was the first generation high school, college and university student and graduate.  I was deprived of the freedom and opportunities my brother was offered through school and extra curricular activities which helped develop and refine certain skills and passions he had.  I experimented outside of my cultural norms and developed relationships with various people from various backgrounds and predominantly used their experiences as my guidance.

Naturally this way of living affected my personal choices and I made poor decisions based on misinformation and lack of direction.  This affected all my relationships, ie. family, friends and coworkers.  I would put myself in one way relationships where I would give far more than get back, emotionally speaking.  I would choose to be in relationships as a means to complete myself when in fact I should’ve been focusing on my self development to achieve completion.  I would make poor choices which affected my education thus, delaying my educational growth.  Finally, my work and financial progress was affected because of my self defeating attitude.

So now I look back and feel blessed because I value those mistakes I once made.  All my past mistakes  have helped me see what I no longer want, need, or desire versus what I actually deserve.  I am able to clearly see what does and does not serve my purpose.  My past paves a way that steers clear of what I once used to be.  I use my memories and feelings from those moments to help decide how I wish to handle my new dilemmas or decisions differently than before.  I owe it to my past because it helped me understand that I deserve to be the best I can be now and going forward.

Finally, I use my mistakes as guidance for others who share similar journeys.  Anyone suffering from an identity crisis, a broken heart, or if you’re feeling lost within your inner world can learn from my mistakes.  I want others to avoid making similar mistakes to help gain time.  Time is limited and if I can help save you even one extra minute and help guide you, then again those mistakes have served their purpose.  So ultimately, even if we do not find guidance through a role model or in the form of a person helping or directing us, we can at least take comfort in knowing we do have a guiding light.  That guiding light is known as our mistakes.

Time to reflect:

Look back at your past mistakes and catch yourself to see if you’re repeating the same mistakes.  It’s time you look at those mistakes differently and use them as your light.  Use your mistakes as a beacon to guide you toward what you actually want and deserve.  Your mistakes should help eliminate options that don’t necessarily work for you or teach you how to apply things differently.  Practice looking at your faults this way and turn yourself into your own life coach.  

mindbodysoul

“Our greatest mistakes, if we look at them, and digest them, and interact with them, and learn from them… they can be the greatest moments of our lives.” 
~ Dan Pearce

Temporary highs

I got to a point in my life where I was tired of all the temporary highs.  The reason I only experienced temporary highs was because my gratitude for everything was short lived.  Every time I gained something new or experienced something exciting I felt a momentary high of bliss and joy.  Everything felt like it was in perfect harmony.  My desires, wants, needs and expectations were all met at that exact moment so I felt a great high.  However, that same high came crashing down very quickly.

I could never seem to maintain that elated feeling of happiness and bliss.  This was because I was conditioned to believe that happiness isn’t supposed to last.  This misinformation was the leading cause of all my burn outs and crashes.  I lived a life chasing moment after moment never being satisfied with the stillness that occurred after an event or incident.

I was always moving on to the next thing in pursuit of happiness, failing to see the importance of basking in the ambience of feeling good from the previous or current event.  It was always during the hallow chase that my high would dissipate into nothingness and leave me feeling empty and useless.  It left me feeling unfulfilled.  I needed to change this horrid feeling and fast.

I changed by consciously forcing myself to take an extra 10 mins to focus on the good from the current event I was occupied with (I know this might not seem like a long time or it might not seem like it makes a difference but applying this regularly drastically impacts life).  Rather than instinctively jump to the next situation, I made the effort to remind myself of how I felt.  If I felt good, I would allow myself to concentrate on that feeling for an 10 extra minutes because I know I wouldn’t make the time otherwise.  By doing this, it prevented me from starting something new immediately, it prolonged the blissful sensations and kept me feeling content and fulfilled for a longer period of time.  My time spent was now being redirected to feeling good and allowing those feelings to be and last.

It’s important to remember that gratitude is attitude.  By changing our attitude in our pursuit for happiness and taking the time to feel grateful we allow those temporary highs to become more permanent or longer lasting highs.  By being grateful for the event/situation at hand and allowing ourselves to consciously focus on feeling good longer, we build up our tolerance for happiness.  We realize that we can remain happy longer all thanks to how we perceive that happiness.

Time to reflect:

Do you face temporary highs because you’re constantly chasing after the next thing that will make you happy?  How long does the high last?  A day, a few hours, or maybe even a few minutes?  Try to practice consciously focusing on feeling good or the high you get from whatever it is you’re doing.  If your instinct is to naturally feel bad as soon as the good feeling is experienced or is over, then consciously try focusing on feeling good for an extra 10 minutes on top of what you already felt or did.  By doing this, you are conditioning yourself to prolong your “high” and ultimately feel happier for much longer.  

mindbodysoul

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy”.
~  Guillaume Apollinaire 

Opportunities

I have been studying the wealthy for some time now.  I aspire to be wealthy eventually, so naturally I started following successful people and working toward goals that will help me achieve this.  By studying the wealthy I was able to notice that many rich and successful people maintain their wealth because of opportunities.  Many people believe that the rich are simply born into wealth, which is accurate to a certain degree.  The general misconception here is that the rich are always rich.  The reality is that the rich actually maintain their wealth.  How do they do this?  They stay rich because of opportunities.

Did you ever notice that the rich and wealthy hardly pay retail?  Average people love  a bargain sale, and so do the rich.  The rich are able to seize financial opportunities because of their connections and their financial position.  For instance, we all hear how a super wealthy person is able to buy a $6 million wedding ring.  Now that is outrageous.  Who has the means and ability to actually pay that price?  The reality that we don’t see is that, that very same person who bought that ring actually paid $500,000.  The fact is, the ring was sold at a “player” price.  In this situation both parties were able to seize opportunities.  The opportunity rose for the jeweller to sell a valuable ring to a successful and rich person.  This brought about publicity and popularity for that said store.  This was a brilliant marketing strategy for both parties.  The successful person seized the opportunity to purchase a high end custom ring at a fraction of the price simply by using his popularity and influence.  This allows the wealthy person to maintain his wealth by seizing the chance to save money while purchasing something of high value.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to come across opportunities specifically like this.  But, the reality is we all get opportunities all the time, even if it’s something small, and it’s up to us to see and seize it.  It is up to us as individuals to seize those chances we get to be treated like true “players”.  For instance, you may not have the financial sources or right connections to attend a conference, but then an opportunity arises where you can attend for free as a student, intern or colleague.  Sure it may not seem all that glamorous in the moment because you won’t be sitting right next to the keynote speaker, and you may even feel a little inadequate because you didn’t pay for it, but nonetheless you still get to attend.

For a significant portion of my life I was unable to read the many signs and opportunities that life threw my way.  My eyes, ears, heart and mind were closed off to all the wondrous things this world offered.  Recently, however, I was able to seize an opportunity and gain a lot by doing so.  I was able to attend “Simply Meditation” which is normally a $250 mediation workshop, all for free.  My friend, who is a meditation teacher and life coach, recently launched her business.  Her connections led her to meet some very inspirational people.  Specifically, she met an Atma Kriya yoga Guru who lives in the States.  She was able to fly her to Canada and conduct a weekend workshop.  I was unable to attend the workshop because of my financial situation.  However, my friend suggested that she would personally teach me the course instead of the Guru for free since I couldn’t attend.  My first instinct was to say no way, I am not going to learn something half-assed.  But, this time I tried to look at it as, “Hey I’m getting to learn the technical skills I need for absolutely free, so what do I have to lose?”

This simple shift in my attitude helped me gain so much more than what I expected.  I got to rekindle my friendship with my friend.  We caught up on old times.  I then learned all the technical skills one on one and was able to ask questions to help clarify my doubts.  I also got connected directly to the Guru and was invited to attend another meditation workshop, which she would be conducting, again for free.   Had I chosen to act like how I always did in the past, I would never have learned what I learned.  Also, I would never have made the connection that I did.  Because I took the chance, I was able to retain information that would’ve cost me up to $500, for free and like a true “player”.  These are the opportunities I am talking about.  These are the chances that we all come across from time to time that we fail to recognize.  Take chances that you normally wouldn’t see the value in and you’ll surprise yourself.  By practicing seizing opportunities you will see an abundance of opportunities throughout life.  Going forward, there will never be an opportunity too small or too big that I will not seize!  I will be treated like a true “player” in every situation.

Time to reflect:

Take a few minutes to evaluate your life.  Go back and see how many opportunities you missed out on simply because you weren’t receptive to the signs.  Did you ever have a chance to do something but you chose not do it because you felt it wasn’t good enough or didn’t meet your exact expectations?  If that’s the case, think about what you would’ve done differently.  Would you have attended that show, conference or date?  Then visualize what other opportunities you may have opened up simply because you seized that chance.  By doing this you are forcing yourself to look at things through a new set of eyes.  Practice doing this and next time an opportunity prsents itself look at both scenarios.  Outline what you will gain and lose by seizing versus not seizing.  Concentrate more on what you will miss out on by not seizing the opportunity.  Think about every new chance as your last chance and you will soon see the value in seizing every opportunity that comes your way.  

mindbodysoul

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

Consciously living healthy

Over the past few years I’ve been gravitating toward subjects related to health and wellness.  I particularly had an interest in holistic medicine, meditation, yoga, raw food diets, healthy living, self healing, and consciousness; just to name a few.  Around the time of my quarter life crisis, I realized that I was quickly approaching my 30s.  So, I went on a frenzy to gather any and all information that would help me age gracefully.  Living in a society where women are constantly judged on their appearance and pressured to stay looking young by any means, made my paranoia, with aging, grow exponentially.  I wanted to target specific areas that I was having trouble with.

For the past 5 years I’ve been trying to live healthy, but failed to maintain that lifestyle.  Today, I have made a conscious decision.  I am going to live a healthier life by consciously changing my habits and lifestyle.  This is a bold statement considering I have a lot of bad habits that, some would say, are hypocritical of living a healthy lifestyle.  I binge eat and prefer junk over healthy food, I drink and smoke, and finally I don’t get proper sleep or exercise.  But, if I aspire to accomplish this conscious choice, I have to declare my intention and follow through with the appropriate actions.

The first step to consciously living healthier is to acknowledge the flaws.  I know personally, I lack a proper diet and don’t exercise regularly.  I have wrinkles, grey hair, hair and bone density loss because of stress and my constant binge eating, drinking and smoking and lack of sleep and proper exercise.

Becoming aware of the problem will force you to do something about it.  The very fact that you are consciously aware of your problem creates a moral obligation to change yourself.  Once you’ve acknowledged the flaws honestly, you then have to choose what to do and how you can change those flaws.  I personally gathered information on raw food diets in an attempt to eat healthier.  I researched specific at home workout routines targeting my weak areas to avoid paying costly membership fees at the gym.  I then researched holistic and natural remedies  to help improve my overall wellness without it costing an arm and a leg and resulting in evasive surgery.

The next thing is to stay true to yourself and try what works for you.  We’re constantly surrounded by people on Facebook or Instagram taking millions of pictures of their weight loss or success.  It’s easy to get mixed up in the hype of doing what every body else does.  So, you have to consciously choose who to follow as your role model.  Choose someone with similar features or body type as you, or someone who dealt with similar bad habits as you and overcame them.  Follow those who are striving for similar goals as you.  By doing this you can learn their techniques and apply it to yourself the best way that suits and helps you achieve results.  Remember, you were born original don’t die a copy.  Don’t copy others, make up your own rules by learning from others while making it work for you.  By applying these techniques you finally get to address the problem, face it, come up with a plan to fix it and then follow through with actions that ultimately help change it.

Here is a list of things I am consciously choosing to work on in my life:

  • Eating healthier – focus on raw food diets, avoid foods that contain GMO’s, avoid junk food and consciously choose a healthier option by making my own smoothies and meals
  • Exercising regularly – work out 3 times a week and incorporate one activity such as yoga, pilates, kick boxing, or etc. in addition to working out
  • Cutting out my bad habits – stop drinking alcohol, only on rare occasions, cut out smoking, only on weekends never during the week, eat smaller portions more times throughout the day to avoid binge eating at night
  • Using natural remedies to improve my health – use red palm oil for hair loss and reducing greys, ginger to improve blood flow and increase hair growth, add silica, cinnamon, lemon and honey in tea and other foods to help build my immune system, use almond and castor oil for my dry skin and to naturally reduce wrinkles, do facial yoga and try acupuncture to improve blood flow to the face for a natural facelift, incorporate meditation in my daily life to naturally reduce stress without resorting to western medicine (ie. pills)

Time to reflect:

Have you consciously chosen to do something?  Maybe you too are trying to live a healthier life.  Are you on a budget and looking to not spend a ton of money to change?  Are you looking to cut out some of your bad habits or maybe incorporate new good habits?  Whatever you wish to achieve, once you’ve chosen to consciously do something, take the time to reflect on what that something is.  Be honest with yourself and stay true to who you are.  Focus on the areas you are concerned with and research your options.  Look for role models with similar goals as you so you don’t get caught up in the hype of achieving results not intended for you.  Once you’ve consciously chosen to do what you want, following through with the appropriate actions to achieve your results becomes very easy.  Do you have any tips for living a healthier lifestyle?  If you do, please share!

mindbodysoul

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear”. ~ Buddha