Anxiety and Relationships

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Anxiety has the power to suffocate every relationship you try to have. Especially romantic relationships. The constant worry and need for validation is relentless. The questions and unnecessary trust issues are so damaging, and obviously can be quite confusing to everyone involved. When an anxiety attack hits it’s like you’re on a water slide of awareness with tunnel vision on whatever triggered you. It can feel completely uncontrollable, making you feel desperate to tell whoever experiences you “on anxiety”.. “please, just let this blow over so I can go back to my normal state.” It’s embarrassing to say the least and if you’re lucky like me, you have a few people that know this about you and can ride the wave. You can only hope to find someone romantically that will stand by your side and stay with you through all of your self doubt. I know if things don’t work out that I can love over and over again…but finding a match and them staying with you and choosing you in spite of your most obvious flaw.. that’s true romance to me

Anxiety is the devil on my shoulder, I’ve realized. It basically whispers into my ear and sends me visions of potentially heart breaking scenarios which then repeat in my head over and over again. It’s ridiculous, and sometimes even when I am able to logically tell myself it’s not what’s really going on or going to happen to me.. I’ll still have to verbalize it and potentially cause awkwardness between myself and someone I care about. Someone who I don’t want to think I’m crazy because of the intense side effects of anxiety and how frequent my triggers are. If only it were actually an easy thing to ward off and ignore. It rushes over my body like a blazing heat with emotions that come slapping me in the face. The overwhelm takes next to no time, and the tears come shortly after. That’s obviously not everyone’s experience when they’re severely triggered, but it is mine. It’s effected all of my relationships due to being nervous that I had nothing interesting to talk about, me not feeling confident in my appearance, feeling scared I’ll be judged, things that trigger my trust in the person, etc. My romantic relations ships are usually very quick to boil, in both good and bad ways. I think where I am in my life today, I’m finally ready for an “adult” relationship- if a 28 year old, currently unemployed, love sick fool who is still child like in many ways, could even use the term. Previously, and undoubtedly continually from here on out, anxiety has literally sucked the life out of all of my romantic relationships. I’m clingy, need validation and lots of affection, reassurance… I may ask them something more than once making it seem like I really don’t trust them. I have intense self doubt that comes in waves. Trust me, I know none of these are exactly award winning girlfriend qualities. I just can’t seem to shake them all the time.

There are women and men all over the world that are creating problems in their relationship where there doesn’t need to be, probably by over-asking and over-wondering. Sometimes we all just need to take a step back and realize that a lot of good things in life need their time to evolve. Big things don’t happen all at once, most times. I personally, whether it’s because of my anxiety or just because of my nature, wish that love worked easily. Like a choice, a quick choice. Now because that’s completely unrealistic and nobody just decides to love and choose someone, the uncertainty of any relationship, the sheer act of it just continuing, drives me kind of mental. I can’t go with the flow, I’ve learned. Which is so key and also a huge part of my personality in other ways (talk about irony). I may be at the apex of another relationship in my late 20s, though I’d say this is the first healthy and slow moving one I’ve ever had, but I know that everything happens as it should. If we don’t last, I’ll learn and move on.

The thing about a lot of anxiety, is that it all comes down to self love. I’m not sure whether it’s from our pasts, how people have treated us or just from or own self image, but we definitely all suffer with self love, in some way at least. If you have anxiety you know the whirlwind of intrusive thoughts that you just can’t seem to navigate yourself out of. It literally can consume your being until it passes, disregarding whatever situation you’re in or who you’re with. It is all encompassing. I have had it my whole life and have sought out different ways to cope such as medications (which mind you never lasted long-term as I couldn’t sleep on some and some made my anxiety worse), to seeing a therapist- which is super pricey, to just doing inner work and plain old avoidance. It’s been the dark cloud looming over my life from day 1. I’d love to be one of the people that ends up with a partner long term who can go through life with you, but I feel like that might be a pipe dream even though I’m still young and know what I want. This is the #1 issue between me and my dreams as it effects everything I do and sometimes what I say. It leaves me and anyone I try to be with exhausted from the frequency of the attacks. Even being aware of your triggers and trying your best to cope doesn’t always make it less difficult for the person that’s trying to have you in their life. It can even get redundant…. like, cool, you know you have this huge issue, but it’s still effecting me!

I sometimes feel like I’m doomed to wander the planet alone forever. Or with many different men. I only want one… but is there one that can handle the difficulties anxiety brings to the table..again and again and again? One can only hope, right? I’m not sure if hyper-focus is a side effect of anxiety but I definitely suffer from it. You’d think it would be able to be honed into something positive, and it has little spurts of positive focus.. but a lot of the time it’s just anxious focus on what I can be losing. It’s exhausting. For myself and everyone around me that has to listen to me vent about it over and over again until what I’m afraid of losing has left me. Cliche. Same story every time. I keep trying to tell myself to have blind faith in relationships and if I keep believing things will work out and stay in a positive state of mind that I can make it happen- the healthy relationship that I’ve been longing for since forever. Unfortunately the devil on my shoulder is always ready to pounce on me when I’m feeling peace of mind. Which in turn makes me question the person I’m in a relationship with…about really obscene things like love and the future and their feelings for me, deal breakers, if they’ve been faithful.. it’s just a cycle of me being cool and collected -confident I’d dare say – to me feeling in a frenzy of a panic and needing answers asap! Again, exhausting.

After an intense weekend of pure pms anxiety that almost left me single again, I’ve gotten my head out of my ass and realized I need more than ever to continually implement the lists and goals that I have for myself to live a healthier lifestyle. Every ounce of happiness trickles down from there. It always has and it always will. Actually doing it, and quieting your mind when you’re bombarded with intrusive thoughts and worries can be very, very difficult. I’ve started and stopped so many times over the years. There are many forces at play to take your energy down and keep you at a low vibration, when we’re meant to be vibrating at a pure level of love. Again, self love comes into play. When will we love ourselves enough to take care of what we need to so that we can leave the door open for respect and true love?

With no real sense of how my life could be if I was able to manage my anxiety better, I still hope that I will have my dreams come true. An undying bond with a man who cares very deeply for me, who doesn’t run away when I push him. A healthy relationship that grows both partners into their best selves, with a calm sense of happiness & security. A girl can dream and dream I shall. Anxiety and relationships- what a doozy. I encourage you to never stop pushing through. To never give up on the notion that love is the most amazing thing in the world- no matter how long it lasts. Never regret loving someone regardless of the pain it may have caused, it’s precious and sacred and you should feel proud you gave that to someone. There will always be more love and if we’re lucky, with the right relationship, there will always be forgiveness for what the relationship has endured due to severe anxiety. The right person will be patient, although they may not understand, they will know your true nature and keep that in their minds as you’re going through the motions. I hope I’ve found that but only time can tell. Other than that- let’s work on loving ourselves. Our true authentic selves, because we’re wonderful, YES, even with anxiety!

Keep truckin’, I’ll be right there with you.

You Deserve Love

 

 

 

 

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Life is better with Art Therapy.

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December of 2016 hit me with the biggest and scariest bout of depression I’ve had in many years, maybe ever. To the point where I literally had to be at people’s houses all the time so that I wasn’t alone. Being left alone at your lowest, while already dealing with negative intrusive thoughts when you aren’t in a bout of depression seemed counter productive as I just wanted the feeling of dread to go away. I felt like something was ripped from my being, like an addict gone cold turkey and not by choice. Luckily I was able to work from home as I was updating a Surgical Alumni Database for a hospital in my city at the time. My boss was so nice about it, too. Which was very much appreciated. I suffered a loss and even though I knew it would only be a temporary pain, I also knew how unhealthy my attachment was…clearly. The depression lasted a few months, heavily. Thankfully there was a light at the end of this tunnel of dread, and that light was art. Some time in December I was obsessing over the loss and feeling confused as to why I could never keep a hold of anything when I decided to turn off the sad music, and paint a scene from somewhere I was supposed to visit later in 2017 (the plan that went out the window as quick as it came in.) It was the Northern Lights here in Canada. This is what came out my first time painting….northernlightsIt wasn’t the best painting I’d ever seen, but it definitely wasn’t the worst. In fact, I was pretty impressed with myself. It ignited a fire within me that had been blown out for years. Sure, I would blog here and there, write in my journals, I made a few quilts… but creating art really excited me. Finally, I was able to regain my strength to be alone again. I really enjoy being solitary, so this was such a relief to say the least! My family got me an easel for Christmas and I’ve been painting canvases recreating images I’ve found online ever since. Some of them are really simple but cool, some probably aren’t that great… but it’s the process that matters. The act of doing, creating, and releasing. Focusing my energy into these little projects saved me. It was literally the only thing that would ease my intensely obsessive thoughts and feelings. Thank god for art. I even got my StepMom back into it! It’s gotten me through some of my toughest times, and I’ve gotten some pretty good poems & journal entries from channeling my moods through it. My life has made a complete turn around, as it does! I’m in a happy state of being and have pretty great things happening for me. I’ll upload some more of my paintings as I continue to post. It feels like it all played out so perfectly with these creative outlets, and my leaving social media- I feel more authentically me. It’s fantastic. I hope you all have outlets for your depression and anxiety if you’re coping with either. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, always something positive waiting on the other side of the storm….remember that!

Use your creativity to tap into your innate power for growth and healing!

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Bye Bye Social Media!

So you might read the title for this entry and think, hey Jamie.. blogs are totally a form of social media! In a way, absolutely, but I like the fact that I can control my anonymity on this platform. As you can safely assume.. I’ve deleted my social media accounts. No more Instagram, no more Facebook. Let me explain..

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You see, I have anxiety, a worried mind, and am also a very private person. For years I had shared my thoughts, photos, videos, and felt compelled to upload something every day. It felt like a second world where expressing yourself was instantly acknowledged, unless people decided not to give you that “like” on your post. Last year just before I had my 28th birthday, I had an epiphany. I was no longer interested in sharing anything with over 100 people  I never saw, actually talked to…or had any real interest in. Facebook was just a way for me to be guilted into fake internet “friendships” which consisted most times of no communication whatsoever, just to “keep connected”. I realised that staying connected to most of these people and my past was the last thing I wanted as I am trying to move into the next phase of my life. Old boyfriends would contact me, people I didn’t want to see would invite me to events.. it was like you were cornered. So many people are either addicted to lurking people’s lives, or sharing their own. It’s stealing our attention from our every day lives. No longer letting us take in a moment and enjoy it- but encouraging us to regurgitate it for everyone to see. Which a lot of times leads to people manufacturing and trying to recreate moments that have already happened…making it a lot less sincere. I cherish the little things in life, the little sometimes unnoticeable moments that make encounters with people or nature fascinating, so you can see how this would make me feel anxious. It also creates an enormous arena for secrecy. The cheating and sexually savage lifestyle this has created and perpetuated makes me sick. I’m not the boasting type and I’ve become completely creeped out at the evil beast social media has become. Turning everyone into narcissists or insecure mental cases. I was definitely one of the insecure mental cases. I would find myself comparing my looks to other girls, feeling embarrassed about my anxiety, and feeling uninteresting. The fact that people knew I was an anxious homebody most of the time and didn’t post every place I went or the people I hung out with on the daily, didn’t help either. I remember one post I had made after a while of not posting anything about my social outings, got a comment from an old “friend” saying something along the lines of “Wow you actually went somewhere!”. This irked me to my core. Firstly, I hadn’t even talked to him in God knows how long, so it’s shocking he would have the nerve to comment on my social life. Secondly, he was being completely condescending which is just a disgusting way to talk to anybody, nevermind the embarrassment I felt knowing everyone was going to see what he wrote. Lastly… this is saying something huge on how we are all perceived based on what we post and share on social media. I knew that if he believed this about me enough to comment on it, there had to be many others on my 100+ friends list that perceived me the same. I have a pretty great life as far as I’m concerned and because my daily experiences weren’t uploaded for my “friends list” to see… it was assumed I had no experiences. This scared me as much as it pissed me off. I’d go to parties and it’s like I should know everything about what’s going on in these people’s lives because they plastered it all over their pages. They barely asked me what was up with me, as they assumed it wasn’t much due to the lack of content on my page. I didn’t check theirs enough to keep up with them, I started to less and less once I noticed the shift in my energy when I was logged on. I felt bad about myself, and as much of a busy body as these sites made me, I really genuinely didn’t give a shit what people were posting. I went through a stage for months recently only posting great music I had heard until finally I realized nobody cared about that and this wasn’t a world I wanted to be a part of anymore. I didn’t want to pause my life to make sure I got that great shot of myself, or a moment, or my fucking food, just to fit in. It started to make me sick seeing this happen all around me. To go to parties where they spent more time taking multiple group shots and selfies all night than connecting with each other. I remember a birthday party where I was trying to play nice and got in a group shot I didn’t even want to be in (I hate getting pictures taken), they took literally 15 different shots and were about to take more from another angle… at that point I said “really guys, haven’t we taken enough?”… and got a simple “shut up, Jamie” from one of my “girlfriends” there. Disgusting, to say the least. She made me cry. Yes, I cried because I’m a big baby and it was rude. Plus I was honestly just completely overwhelmed that this is what life has come to with so many people. Especially girl cliques! Be into the social media lifestyle or be an outsider, basically. I deleted them about a month ago on a whim, with no regrets and no turning back. If I had to see another fucking selfie from girls starving for attention from anyone, or read another poor me post, I was going to lose my mind. It was making me hate everyone and see nothing but negative, self-indulgent intentions. It steals our genuine reactions to people’s great news or traumas. The interactions we used to have one on one or at least in person to share our lives are taken from us. People already know what’s going on, they’ve already reacted to it all alone with their faces in front of a screen. It’s all plays for attention, validation, and a clever way to collect all of your personal data. The privacy issues left me unsettled as well.. the apps were way too invasive. When I tuned into my physical, emotional and mental responses to being logged on, I realized I didn’t want the attention or validation. I needed neither. I have my family, my boyfriend and a couple best friends on my phone and that’s the only social outlet I needed. The weight that’s off my shoulders is unquestionable. It was 100% the right move on my part. No more posts and pictures in the back of my mind and less needless insecurity about my life. I feel free. I have a lot more to say on the topic but that’ll be for another post, another time. I wonder how many people on here are also turning away from other social media platforms. I wonder how many people (if any read this) will be thinking I’m an idiot for deleting Instagram and Facebook- because everyone has it! How would I survive without it!?
Easily, and happily.

Really consider if it’s a positive outlet for you and if it’s actually serving you. I’m sure for lots of people it’s a great source of communication and expression! For me, though, it became an unhealthy waste of time. Can you tell how frustrated it makes me! Clearly it was a step in a very positive direction… Time to focus on myself and let the necessary people and circumstances fall by the way side. Good Riddance! 🙂

 

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The Winds Of Change

 

sometimesinthewindsofchangeWhen you feel the winds of change a blowin’, do not look back in fear or confusion. Jump into new time lines with all your might and giver’! If you feel like certain areas in your life are starting to flow into a happy state where things are unfolding one positive happenstance at a time- embrace it! The universe is clearly telling you you’re on the right path and it will reward you beautifully if you just take notice and let it happen. When you do, it’ll feel exciting, you’ll get those butteflies in your tummy that you’ve probably missed just trying to get through each day. It’ll bring back your inspiration, the inspiration to follow your hearts truest desires. It may even make you feel like your dreams are absolutely coming true.. or at least have the possibility to. Isn’t that great? Knowing in your gut that life’s positive possibilities are being tossed all about your energy field!? See them, go towards them… grab them.. they’re yours! Maybe you’ve manifested these wonderful things happening in your life… maybe you’ve been praying every night to whatever God you believe in, maybe you’ve been building up some stellar karma and the universe is granting you some compensation, whatever it is that brought you to this magical phase is a blessing. Never stop believing that you can have what you want. Regardless of your current situation, the winds of change blow just around the corner.

Do what you need to, for yourself.

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It’s been about forever since my last post and that’s because there has been so much change, as usual, consuming my mind. Today, my energy is being used to get done things I need to, for myself. Sitting down at my computer and having my morning tea is one of them. In doing this it gives me time to think about what I want for my day, if anything. Right now I’m focusing on what priorities I want for myself since these changes. I’m currently unemployed since my ex-boss threw me away like yesterday’s trash and got a new replaceable housekeeper. I miss the daycare kids and the productivity of cleaning everyday , but I know it was for the best and that everything works out as it needs to. I met a new guy at the beginning of the year that’s really helped me change my life. Regain my perspectives. When you’re single and looking for love on the internet, odds are most of the people you communicate with are either going to be duds or seriously damaging to your ego. Either way, I lucked out and got out of a serious short -term mental rut. This summer has been mostly spent with my love, being homebodies. I’ve yet to get a tan or find another job but I’ve been putting my mind back together in order to rearrange my life and mold it again. Which is actually kind of exciting. I may not be living the life people think I should be – the job, living independently, paying off my debts, being a social butterfly while I’m still young… but I’m living my life, according to me, according to my needs. MY needs. Nurturing my personal growth regardless of what judgement that’s caused me has always been my best decision. You could say I’m a seasoned traveler of my own mind and decisions that have created my life so far. With no set-in-stone for the rest of my life routine, I remain a mood driven contemplative being. More to come, thanks for reading!

-Do what you need to, for yourself. 

Do. Make. Create.

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To create is to bring something into existence.

Everyone has untapped creative potential dwelling within them. We are creative creatures equipped with an unmatched imagination. We have the ability to make, do and create. Some of the world’s most influential people have been creatives; artists, musicians, engineers, scientists, writers, actors, dancers, designers, innovators, business entrepreneurs, etc. These are the minds that create change. When you let go and surrender to your imagination, that’s when the magic really happens.

There’s a deliciousness in being able to express your inner feelings. As humans, we crave expression naturally. It’s in everything we do. From which clothes we choose to wear each day, the way we wear our hair, how we decorate our personal space, the songs we choose to listen to on our way to work or school, to the backgrounds on our cellphones.

Creation and expression is sharing your perspective and opening people’s minds to what’s inside yours. It’s important to explore the depths of your mind to see what interests you and how you want to express it because creativity is an outlet. There’s nothing like the feeling of getting something out of you, a collage, a poem, a letter, singing your heart out – it’s a nice release. There’s an awareness that creatives possess that allows them to tap into energies and visions and bring them to life.   

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✩ 8 Types of Creative Intelligence with examples✩ :

1. Social and Interpersonal – Discuss, exchange ideas, and build relationships.
2. Musical – Attend concerts, play an instrument, hum melodies, sing with others, enjoy rhythms.
3. Spatial – Paint, draw, design web pages, design rooms, make cards, create logos, map out routes, mind mapping.
4. Boldily-Kinesthetic – Play sports, enjoy movement, walk on tours, notice body language.
5. Logical-Mathematical – Solve problems, balance checkbooks, create schedules, budget money.
6. Intrapersonal – Keep a personal journal, read alone, meditate, study to answer personal questions.
7. Naturalistic – Collect specimens, garden, follow animal footprints, photograph landscapes.
8. Verbal-Linguistic – Tell stories, write essays, participate in interviews, converse easily with peers.

 

✩ Here are some things you can do to stimulate your creativity✩ :

1. Listen to music –  ♫ your favourite songs, songs that make you feel, or music you’ve never listened to before.
2. Go for a walk in nature – fresh air and some greenery can be inspiring!
3. Keep a journal and pen with you – to write down ideas and thoughts that you can use later.
4. Read – tapping into the minds of others can ignite useful ideas.
5. Trust your instincts – don’t think about the outcome or other people’s opinions.
6. Take more chances – putting yourself out there can empower you and get your creative juices flowing!
7. Turn off the T.V.- get rid of distractions and sit with your thoughts, really dive into the treasures awaiting you.
8. Physical Exercise – stimulates cognitive creativity.
9. Day Dream – use your imagination more.
10. Stop doubting your ability to be creative – just do what comes to you naturally, there’s no right or wrong.


✩ Some positive benefits of creativity✩ :

  • Create balance and order
  • Give a sense of control over the external world
  • Make something positive out of a loss, bad experience or depression
  • Maintain your sense of integrity
  • Help resolve conflicts
  • Make thought and feeling clear
  • A greater sense of well-being and personal growth

Dive into your creativity and see what you can do, you’ll be glad you did! xox

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Since new developments are the products of a creative mind, we must therefore stimulate and encourage that type of mind in every way possible.
-George Washington Carver

It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery 

I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative.Bill Hicks 

Defeat Your Demons

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It’s safe to say that each of us has a demon or two we struggle to deal with. Whether it be worrying about your weight, regrets and bad choices, not feeling good enough, or things you can’t change from the past, everyone goes through it. Some people are just better at hiding it than others. Over thinking and worrying feed these demons. It’s probably the hardest thing to stop yourself from doing, especially if you’re like me and naturally worry about everything and have anxiety. It is possible though, and eventually those same haunting thoughts will just be whispers that you can tune out. Honestly, just know that you’re a human who is here for a reason and completely amazing in your own way. You’re made perfect and everything in life happens for a reason. When you get to a certain point in your path you’ll have one of those “so that’s why I had to go through that, to get here” moments. They feel great, and in those moments we truly feel victorious.  Letting go is worth the struggle so believe in yourself and that everything will  be okay, because it will be!

Here’s my quick-tip advice for defeating your demons:

You can’t be afraid..

You have to be honest with yourself..

You have to forgive yourself for the things you can’t change..

You have to praise yourself and recognize your strengths – give yourself a break!

It’s okay to avoid situations and people that bring out this negative thought pattern..

Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep – know that you’re fierce!

Basically, be happy regardless of the devil on your shoulder, and make your life beautiful.

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“You struggle with your demons, then you conquer them.”

Inhale positivity and exhale the bullshit. xox

100 Things I’d Teach My Daughter.

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If I ever had a baby girl, these are some things I’d definitely want to teach her. I feel as though parents are the north stars of the lives of their children. They should guide their kids towards a wholesome life, knowing responsibility, and some tips on what to expect each year of their lives. They’re supposed to relate to their kids and be curious about them, letting them in on their own experiences and how to deal with things.

Here’s a list of 100 things I’ve pasted from: http://lisajobaker.com/2013/09/100-things-i-want-to-teach-my-daughter/

100 Things I Want to Teach My Daughter

  1. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of body.
  2. The benefit of the doubt is sometimes the best gift we can give our friends.
  3. There will always be mean girls – that doesn’t mean we find a tower and Rapunzel ourselves away from the world.
  4. Your daddy has loved you better and longer than any boy ever will.
  5. Your brothers will teach you how boys should treat you.
  6. You’re always welcome in my wardrobe.
  7. The world needs your point of view.
  8. Food is a joy.
  9. Your body is strong and capable of more than you can imagine right now.
  10. Ice cream is a love language.

  11. Cook, decorate, clean, organize because you love to, not because someone tells you you’re meant to.
  12. Music makes everything better.
  13. Dance – especially when you’re doing the laundry.
  14. You’ll never be too old for me to rock you.
  15. Nothing you tell me will ever make me want to stop hearing from you.
  16. We need your story.
  17. No prayer request is ever too small, too silly or too embarrassing to share.
  18. Washing your face every night is the best kind of beauty routine.
  19. Sunscreen – you got my British genes.
  20. Mr. Darcy and popcorn make for a perfect evening.

  21. Blue eyes really do melt hearts.
  22. Betty Crocker’s chocolate fudge is the best in the world.
  23. A good movie can change how you understand someone else.
  24. Words can build bridges between people.
  25. Home is not where we live but who we love.
  26. Gumboot dancing.
  27. Your name means “life” and you’ve lived up to every letter.
  28. Mom guilt is for the birds.
  29. You taught me how to feel beautiful.
  30. Staying up late to read a good book is never time wasted.

  31. Good girls aren’t boring.
  32. A great mascara is always worth the investment.
  33. 4pm high tea is one of the best parts of being part South African.
  34. The “mommy wars” are a myth; we’re all in this together.
  35. The best way never to worry about anyone gossiping about you is never to gossip about anybody.
  36. Saying sorry first is a sign of strength not a weakness.
  37. I’m on your side; especially on the days when it doesn’t feel like it.
  38. Your body is yours. A delicious gift to be shared with your husband. I promise it’s worth waiting to unwrap together.
  39. Sex for the first time will require a beautiful sense of humor and a partner who’s in it for life.
  40. The movies lie. Passion isn’t a contorted exercise on a marble staircase, it’s doing the dishes together and lying with your feet touching in bed at the end of a long day.

  41. Marriage is an act of courage, commitment and sacrifice. It’s also the most fun you’ll ever have with your best friend.
  42. The best love stories are often boring and don’t end with a mad dash through the airport.
  43. Always fight fair. But don’t be afraid to fight.
  44. Long hair requires a really good conditioner.
  45. God says He has made all things beautiful – that includes you, my love – no matter how you feel about your body
  46. Fashion is not my forte; I look forward to learning from you.
  47. love the curves you and your brothers added to my body.
  48. A good cryis great therapy.
  49. Bad hair days are inevitable.
  50. A strong man is never threatened by a strong woman.

  51. Go big even if it means failing big. Especially then.
  52. Be the friend you wish you had.
  53. Travel.
  54. You can’t control what others think about you. Let it go.
  55. A first kiss should be toasted, treasured, savored.
  56. I will be your best friend. But I will be your mother more.
  57. Your dad will teach you about music. He has the best eclectic taste.
  58. You can’t go wrong with Christa Wells
  59. Stop for sunsets.
  60. Prince Charming isn’t a fairytale, he’s a myth

  61. Daughters teach us about our mothers. You gave me back my mom.
  62. Jesus loves you for you. Not for your ability to bear children.
  63. Husbands need a wife. Not another mom.
  64. It’s true what they say about childbirth and then some.
  65. Love waits.
  66. Patience is never wasted.
  67. Don’t just Instagram your life. Live it.
  68. Dad will be the one helping you with math homework.
  69. Don’t be afraid of a broken heart.
  70. The only thing holding you back from making a difference in the world will be yourself.

  71. South African pancakes are better than American ones.
  72. Girlfriends are the best kind of free therapy there is.
  73. Don’t be afraid to be foolish.
  74. Real life is always better than online.
  75. A good friend loves at all times. Period.
  76. Read everything written by Madeleine L’Engle.
  77. Eating too much nerds candy will be something your teeth make you regret in your thirties.
  78. I’m more interested in your growth than your happiness.
  79. I will earthquake wide open when you hurt. And I will always come when you call.
  80. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t do it, wear it or say it.

  81. Challenge yourself.
  82. Walk across the Charles Bridge in Prague.
  83. Learn at least one other language.
  84. Cross-cultural marriage is much harder than you can ever imagine when you first fall in love. But worth it.
  85. Homesickness never gets easier.
  86. But Dramamine is the perfect cure for motion sickness on 18 hour flights.
  87. We need each other.
  88. Bad haircuts grow out eventually.
  89. You will love again.
  90. The painful truth is always easier than a messy lie.

  91. Jesus loves you, this I know. In my heart, my bones, my soul.
  92. There’s no such thing as perfect.
  93. You can always come home.
  94. Nothing will make me love you less.
  95. Nothing will make me love you more.
  96. The mirror is not the boss of you.
  97. You’re the most brave when you’re the most scared and keep going anyway.
  98. Womanhood is a gift.
  99. I’m never tired of being your mother.
  100. You will always be my baby girl.

Aren’t these precious!?
I love them, and the fact that women write lists like these makes me happy. There would be no love like the love of a Mother, I think, and I hope if I become one, I’ll be a good one.

xox

-Expectation-

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The minute you give somebody the benefit of the doubt a little too much, is the minute that you set yourself up for failure. William Shakespeare said it right when he said, and I quote “expectation is the root of all heartache”. We assume people will treat us the way we treat them because it’s natural. (Don’t worry eternal optimist, there are still good hearted people out there that have every intention of treating you properly and not letting you down.)

The point is, there are tons of folks who just don’t care, or at least act as if they don’t. The worst part is that for some of us, these people disappointing us are the closest ones to us. Our family and friends. If you’re putting in effort and aren’t getting the same in return I strongly suggest taking a step back, evaluating the situation and giving yourself a break.

Don’t expect so much from people. In fact it’s probably better to expect nothing at all. Even saying that, as true as it may be, bothers me. Shouldn’t we all be caring about each other and making an effort not to disappoint people? It seems easy to me. if somebody you care about is checking up on you, why not check right back up on them? Selfish people are the worst. You put yourself out there, feed their ego, and are left empty. Why? Well, it’s simple. They don’t care enough to ask about what’s going on with you. Some people need to be left alone, I feel, because no matter how much you expect from somebody – no matter what role they may play in your life – sometimes they just aren’t capable of giving you what you need.

Communication is a great way to avoid disappointment. Unfortunitely a lot of people don’t understand the concept of common courtesy or simply caring about a loved one. It’s a travesty if I’ve ever heard of one, but it’s something we’ve all got to deal with. There are always going to be people who don’t treat others as they wish to be treated, and that’s okay, that’s life. Truth is, half of them probably don’t even realize they’re acting this way. A lot of people get caught up in their lives, their kids, their jobs, their unhappy/happy existence to reach out or reciprocate in any real form of communication.

Forgive them anyway. All you have control over is how you treat people and the knowledge of what is worth being upset over. Sleep tight at the end of the day when you know your heart is in the right place. Pray (if you believe in doing so) that these people will have a moment of clarity and change their ways.

Otherwise, keep smiling and live on. Oh, and don’t expect too much from people.

Cheers! xox

In my expressive opinion…

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Last weeks’ assignment was creating word webs from one core word, mine being LIFE.
Choosing three of the words that stuck out to me most; Conscious, Warning, and Purpose. 

In this week’s assignment we had to expand on these thought provoking words.
Here is my submission:

I’m the kind of being that’s just fine hanging out in my room and contemplating life. Lazy? A lot of people would think so, to me, I am just more philosophical than most get the opportunity to be. Growing up we are told that yes we need an education and that in turn it will help us get a great job. We are taught this while being completely consumed and distracted by Disney, our little social lives, feeling hormones, seeing movies and shows that brainwash us into thinking life is a magical fairy tale and we will all live happily ever after. Where is the logic in this? I realize kids need entertainment and the stories of Disney are lovely and heartwarming, but where is the actual preparation for real life? School isn’t it. It keeps us caged and teaches us how we either fit or don’t fit into certain social situations. I’ve retained basically nothing I’ve learned in school, and haven’t necessarily had to use any of it either. I can’t help but ponder often, what is the point?  What is the grand scheme of things and why is it all pointing towards working for a company for their profit. The main thing we benefit from working full time jobs is survival. We meet deadlines and pay bills and shop, we keep up with the Joneses and everything our elders have played out before us. “We were meant to live for so much more, have we lost ourselves?” . This is a great line, it screams the truth of our kind. Born with these brains so curious and tangible yet we grow up to wear stiff clothing and give our time to chase after money. We are capable of such intelligence and yet we waste our time scrapping by than searching for truths. The truth seekers are shamed now. Why? Why is it such a battle, this life? There is no clear warning growing up that you’ll have to basically settle and be miserable just to have that house, that new car, those designer clothes. It’s all a wash, in my opinion. We’re too focused on outer worldly possessions than the fascinating world of human beings. Why aren’t we all studying ourselves, why isn’t this planet, full of the same creatures, all living the same? Why aren’t we striving for that? Instead we strive for differences. Embracing individuality should not take away from our interconnectedness. I can’t believe I was born into this world. I love planet earth, and I love human beings, but I hate what we have become. This illusion we have created. I’m a lazy nobody in a lot of eyes. To me, though, I am a philosophical angel. Hear me preach. Read my words and feel that they are also your own. We are all twisted and confused, but we deny ourselves change. I can’t blame people though, after all it is our survival. So, what can we do? You all will settle, and I’ll write about it.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Does this ever even cross your mind? Are you too consumed by your lifestyle? Do you feel pressures from our social constructs? I am dying to know every person’s thoughts. I feel like making some sort of video documentary with people I know, and even strangers, expressing their thoughts on this very subject.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and keep your minds open!

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Life Word Web

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Bonjour Earthlings; 
This week’s Expressive Writing Assignment is all about instant word webs. Writing one core word and expanding it into 10 chains to make 100 words. I felt like sharing mine because I’m sure other people have similar thought patterns and can appreciate my own. (Also because I don’t get to post all of them in the assignment, just my top few… but they’re all so relevant!) 

The core word I decided to stem from was LIFE. 
Take a look at the words and see how they all connect. 

LIFE-money-choices-survival-education-purpose-chase-struggle-warning-love

LIFE-family-connection-help-selfish-unity-lies-control-helpless-happiness

LIFE-pregnancy-sex-sin-lust-protection-judgement-prepare-alien-human

LIFE-beautiful-luck-belief-creation-prayer-paradigm-illuminati-government-trust

LIFE-animals-plants-drugs-hallucinations-expansion-conscious-mind-thought

LIFE-woman-man-baby-elder-age-program-senses-feelings-desensitized

LIFE-soul-sacred-secrets-breathe-language-symbols-decode-understand-explain

LIFE-geometry-numbers-math-universe-planets-stars-nebulae-milky way-solar system

LIFE-philosophy-poetry-depth-integrity-knowledge-thirst-cravings-fulfillment

LIFE-water-earth-air-fire-elements-magic-pagan-goddess-ruler

 

These types of instant thought based word webs can reveal your inner world.
If you’re the type that likes to get inside your own head and look further into topics that peak your interest, this could be a good exercise for you to try!

Happy Halloween Everyone xox

You don’t ever …

You don’t ever have to apologize for feeling sad. You aren’t being too sensitive. You aren’t imagining things or being overdramatic. You’re being true to yourself by honoring your emotions, and that is never something you have to feel ashamed of. Whether you have a need that isn’t being met, an old wound that’s been reopened, a person in your life who is making you feel small, a painful memory of something from the past, or an emptiness from the loss of someone you care about — there is always something underlying our sadness, and whatever it is, it’s important and valid. Whatever it is, it deserves to be expressed and felt.

Daniell Koepke

Throughout my 24 years of life I’ve been told I’m “too sensitive” too many times to count, by multiple people. It seems like some sick joke the universe is constantly pushing on me when people state that they know me well, know my sensitivity well, and yet do not treat me accordingly. To me, that makes little to no sense. It basically, in my opinion, makes the fact that you’re stating I’m too sensitive moot. 

Shouldn’t we be, while being true to ourselves, treating those we care about with respect and consciously avoid their buttons/ weaknesses? I just feel like it’s a limb of love that people too often neglect.

It’s the same with communication within relationships. It’s just like having a backbone. Regardless if you think others approve or understand of your feelings, you have every right to express them. In fact you’d be doing yourself a disservice not expressing them openly. Being sensitive doesn’t mean you always have to freak out when something triggers you, but you can definitely get your point across, need to get your point across. Sometimes people just can’t grasp how much something can bother you. Worst of times, they just don’t care. 

Be aware of these types of people that enjoy pushing your buttons. Stay clear of those who do it and deny it when you confront them. They are the seeping evil the universe has yet to destroy. Know that you’re untouchable and roll with it. Try not to let these other flesh sacks of organs, blood and experiences sway your behavior. None of them are worth it and you have to look in the mirror everyday and say “Yep, I’m rad.” 

Weed out the people that don’t care about your feelings & hold on to those who do. Don’t take for granted somebody simply asking you about your life. Don’t chase after people who only want you to boost their ego- it’s toxic to your soul! 

Sensitive or not, you ARE rad. You’re the most radical thing this universe has conjured up yet! Believe that and you will shine. Live that and you’ll feel unbreakable! 

I believe in you. I believe in sensitivity and awareness, and I do not believe it’s a negative attribute for a human being to possess. 

Embrace yourself, honey. Feel the power of being so aware, noticing body language, feeling like your senses are heightened. Have no shame in not being a cold hearted robot!

Sensitives Unite! 

 

Coming Full Circle

I feel as if I’ve come full circle. If only for a brief moment. 

I’m sitting here, full from a delicious filet minion dinner from the Keg (It was my Uncle’s birthday today), reflecting on things that I’m unconditionally grateful for. Here’s two.

My grades are 100% so far for my expressive writing class, and I’ve got to say that feels damn good. There’s a steady flow of self doubt that runs through my thoughts every time I go to write, but once I hush it and focus, the outcome is usually pleasing. My teacher commented that my last assignment was written exceptionally well. It was a piece about an even that has happened to us that we hold special. Mine was a past lover and my open minded experiences, how they changed and effected my life. It feels funny to time travel through memories like that, through feelings, and write them down again as if to relive them. I guess that’s what writing can be a lot of times though, reliving the past. 

Another thing I’m grateful for is that in taking this chance to take this class and get my creative and scholarly juices flowing a bit, I was able to be thought of for a cool experience – to write an article for a cocktail festival in B.C called the Art of the Cocktail! It was my first time writing such a piece and it was a lot of fun researching and throwing it all together. It was also my first time being edited and that in itself was pretty unnerving. It made me wonder if all writers that go through editors feel as if some of their work is stolen from them because I wont lie, I kind of did. Nevertheless I am thrilled to know that a small piece I wrote will actually be published. MY words, published for people to actually tangibly read! How exciting. Since I’ve been writing poetry & my thoughts since the age of 10 – this, to me, is coming full circle. Possibly the start of me coming into my own and my self actualization which I wrote about earlier this summer. 

Here’s the unedited version of my article, before the fat was trimmed:

Cocktails – Timeless Elegance. 

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Cocktails have always been, in the drink world, a sophisticated classic. Women everywhere look forward to those nights out with their girlfriends after a hard day’s work to sip their favourite mixed drinks out of their classy glasses with assorted fruity accessories. It’s more than just a drink, it’s a statement. They’re sexy elegance can be seen from across any room. The cocktail itself is always composed of a few key ingredients; different kinds of alcohol, sugars, bitters, and nowadays many exciting new additions that have created modern cocktails you can read about today!

 It is widely known to be an American invention but the drink actually made it’s start in London in the 18th Century. The first British book of Cocktail Recipes was published in 1869 by William Terrington, called William Terrington’s Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks. Although it was said to be a man’s drink in those days, there were women eager to drink these concoctions as well. Cathrine Gilbert Murdock, author of Domesticating Drink: Women, Men, and Alcohol in America, 1870-1940, argues that women’s at-home drinking contributed greatly to the trend of alcohol consumption in the twentieth century. She noted that it was the cocktail that “legitimized as no other beverage could alcohol consumption in the home.”

 Old Hollywood and it’s first motion picture actors that played well-to-do women usually had cocktails integrated into their everyday lives on screen. In the 1950 movie All About Eve, Bette Davis’ character Margo Channing mentions cocktails in this line: “I’ll admit I may have seen better days…but I’m still not to be had for the price of a cocktail, like a salted peanut.” Women, though very sassy, were always portrayed as having a sophisticated air about them, and the image of the cocktail enhanced that. From the French 75 in Casablanca, to Cosmopolitans on Sex and the City, cocktails still play an important role on film and will forever be the essence of class and femininity.

 We should embrace being women in 2013, and what better way to celebrate than with a delicious cocktail! You can find many drink recipes online for any occasion or season but fall has something special in the air, doesn’t it? Why not try these fun mixes : A Spiced Caramel Apple Cocktail, a Hot Cider Toddy, or a Fig Sidecar! There’s nothing wrong with indulging yourself in a tasty drink and saying “I am woman, hear me roar!” 

Cheers!
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Yep, I am grateful….

What are you thankful for?

Don’t neglect reflecting on such things, it’s a healthy reminder!

A Little Preface

As I wrote in one of my first blogs on this journey, I am taking an expressive writing class online. It started Friday and I’ve read some of one of the books I plan to use for reference. It’s called Writing Down the Bones. It’s wonderful, so far. There is a piece of the preface I felt like sharing, which is actually part of another person’s book that the author quotes.

Let these words sink in.

” It is my sincere wish that this book be taught in all public and private schools, that students learn how to do writing practice, that they come to know themselves, feel joy in expression, trust what they think. Once you connect with your mind, you are who you are and you’re free.

A long time ago I read Jack Kerouac’s essentials for prose. Four of them, in particular, have provided me with heart for the path:

Accept loss forever

Be submissive to everything, open, listening

No fear or shame in the dignity of your experience, language, and knowledge

Be in love with your life

Believe me, you, too, can find your place inside the huge terrain of writing. No one is so odd as to be left out. Now, please, go. Write your asses off. ”

I’m left inspired.

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The Wonderful World Of Kissing

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KISSING

is all I can think about lately.

Getting lost in somebody’s eyes,

body flushed with hormones.

Touching, teasing, tongue love.

That’s what I want.

Goosebumps, short breath, tingles running through my chest.

Mouth love.

THE BENEFITS OF KISSING:

1) Kissing increases your emotional connection.

To kiss somebody is to have the pivilege to touch them so intimately that your entire being feels it. The connection it can create can be intense and moving. In a relationship the connection can be kept up with frequent kissing, deep kissing. It’s so essential to bonding with somebody you love.

2) Kissing is a stress buster.

Kissing naturally decreases our levels of stress and sadness. It increases the levels of oxytocin in the brain which is linked to feelings of happiness. After something stressful happens to you, a good kiss (or kisses) is the best way to forget about your problems and feel like it’ll all be okay.

3) Kissing burns calories!

Okay, so it’s only about 2 calories per minute according to the internet, but it’s still something. Have a super long makeout session and burn those calories, one kiss at a time!

4) Kissing is a natural pain killer.

Just like kissing is a stress reliever it also is a natural pain killer. It releases amazing things naturally in our body such as oxytocin, dopamine, and phenylethylamine. Dopamine is greatly responsible for feelings of happiness and motivation to do pleasurable activities! Endorphines are known to relieve pain in the body and can also cause feelings of euphoria. Phenylethylamine, which is also found in chocolate, is said to influence attention and mood. Basically kissing is the best medicine!

5) Oh, the pheromones!

Pheromones are chemical messages sent between members of the same species and is said to play a huge part in human attraction. There is an organ called the vomeronasal organ located between the mouth and nose that can detect people’s pheromones. They are thought to signal sexual arousal and increase attraction towards appropriate partners.

I love that so much about human interaction & attraction is non verbal. 

Haptic communication is a form of this non verbal communication. According to Wikipedia, Haptic communication is a form of nonverbal communication and the way by which people and other animals communicate via touching. Touch, or the haptic sense, is extremely important for humans; as well as providing information about surfaces and textures it is a component of nonverbal communication ininterpersonal relationships, and vital in conveying physical intimacy. There are six different kinds of “touch”. These include: positive, playful, control, ritualistic, task-related and unintentional. It can be both sexual (kissing is one such example that is sometimes sexual) and platonic (such as hugging or tickling). Touch is the earliest sense to develop in the fetus. Human babies have been observed to have enormous difficulty surviving if they do not possess a sense of touch, even if they retain sight and hearing.

So, we need kissing to survive, basically. I won’t argue with that!

Go kiss somebody.

Music Enhances Our Lives

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I can’t remember a time in my life without music. Where it hasn’t played some big role in whatever phase I was going though at the time. It went from Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson and Jody Watley cassette tapes, to Mariah Carey, N’Sync, Backstreet Boys & the Spice Girls cd’s , to my highschool angry at the world phase which consisted of a lot of System of A down, Slipknot, & whatever little rock punk groups were cool at the time, to being of age to get into clubs & getting really into rap and house music. Now I’m 24, and my musical taste is all over the place. I can find a deep appreciation for any song that moves me regardless of it’s genre. I rarely listen to slow music, though, it makes me cry really easily (yes I’m a softy!).

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Would you agree that music has power? Each song is like a spell on our emotions. The lyrics flow through our head, touch our heart and come out our mouths like we were reading our diary aloud or having a conversation with somebody we wouldn’t necessarily have in reality but wish we could. There’s nothing like a good song that makes you feel something. It can be a fast song that makes you want to shake your hips, a sexy song that makes you feel frisky or a slow song that pulls on your heart strings. When you’re in love, every song makes you think of your partner and when you’re pissed, every song is your anthem! It makes any party a good time & every heartache understood. Nothing feels better (ok, I’ll probably say that statement about a lot of things!) than completely losing yourself in the music. 

“Certain kinds of music have the power to pull an inner curtain aside, so to speak, so that we become temporarily aware of parts of ourselves which are usually inaccessible. What is experienced in these moments is rather like a message or a movie from me to me – a non-conscious film clip made conscious through the music.”

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Music has healing properties, as I’m sure we’ve all experienced personally. It can lower stress levels and steady heart rate. It can help us find closure in situations and maybe even find the courage to make certain life decisions. The powerful connection a song can create between people is nothing short of magical. It has the ability to pull you closer to a person or the thought of a person more than anything else in life.

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Here are 10 benefits  of listening to music from http://english.eastday.com/e/top10/u1a5573540.html

1- Effective therapy for pain
Overall, music does have positive effects on pain management. Music can help reduce both the sensation and distress of both chronic pain and postoperative pain.

Listening to music can reduce chronic pain from a range of painful conditions, including osteoarthritis, disc problems and rheumatoid arthritis, by up to 21% and depression by up to 25%, according to a paper in the latest UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Music therapy is increasingly used in hospitals to reduce the need for medication during childbirth, to decrease postoperative pain and complement the use of anesthesia during surgery.

There are several theories about how music positively affects perceived pain:

– Music serves as a distractor
– Music may give the patient a sense of control
– Music causes the body to release endorphins to counteract pain
– Slow music relaxes person by slowing their breathing and heartbeat

2- Reducing blood pressure
By playing recordings of relaxing music every morning and evening, people with high blood pressure can train themselves to lower their blood pressure – and keep it low. According to research reported at the American Society of Hypertension meeting in New Orleans, listening to just 30 minutes of classical, Celtic or raga music every day may significantly reduce high blood pressure.

3- Medicine for the heart
Music is good for your heart. Research shows that it is musical tempo, rather than style. Italian and British researchers32 recruited young men and women, half of whom were trained musicians. The participants slipped on head phones and listened to six styles of music, including rap and classical pieces, with random two-minute pauses. As the participants kicked back and listened, the researchers monitored their breathing, heart rates and blood pressure. The participants had faster heart and breathing rates when they listened to lively music. When the musical slowed, so did their heart and breathing rates. Some results were surprising. During the musical pauses, heart and breathing rates normalized or reached more optimal levels. Whether or not a person liked the style of music did not matter. The tempo, or pace, of the music had the greatest effect on relaxation. 

4- Speeds Post-Stroke Recovery
A daily dose of one’s favorite pop melodies, classical music or jazz can speed recovery from debilitating strokes, according to the latest research. When stroke patients in Finland listened to music for a couple of hours each day, verbal memory and attention span improved significantly compared to patients who received no musical stimulation, or who listened only to stories read out loud, the study reports.

5- Chronic headaches & migraine remedy
Music can help migraine and chronic headache sufferers reduce the intensity, frequency, and duration of the headaches.

6- Music boosts immunity
Music can boost the immune function. Scientists explain that a particular type of music can create a positive and profound emotional experience, which leads to secretion of immune-boosting hormones. This helps contribute to a reduction in the factors responsible for illness. Listening to music or singing can also decrease levels of stress-related hormone cortisol. Higher levels of cortisol can lead to a decreased immune response.

7- Music enhances intelligence, learning and IQ
The idea that music makes you smarter received considerable attention from scientists and the media. Listening to music or playing an instrument can actually make you learn better. And research confirms this. 

8- Music improves memory performance
The power of music to affect memory is quite intriguing. Mozart’s music and baroque music, with a 60 beats per minute beat pattern, activates the left and right brain. The simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes learning and retention of information. The information being studied activates the left brain while the music activates the right brain. Also, activities which engage both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, cause the brain to be more capable of processing information.

9- Music improves concentration and attention
Easy listening music or relaxing classics improves the duration and intensity of concentration in all age groups and ability levels. It’s not clear what type of music is better, or what kind of musical structure is necessary to help, but many studies have shown significant effects.

10- Music improves body movement and coordination
Music reduces muscle tension and improves body movement and coordination. Music may play an important role in developing, maintaining and restoring physical functioning in the rehabilitation of persons with movement disorders. 

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In short, music enhances our quality of life.
I hope it touches you daily. xox

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5 Reasons You Should Make Time for Cuddling

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As a huge softy I can say that cuddling is essential to any relationship I have because let’s face it, nothing feels better than being held close by somebody you love! It makes you feel comfy yet it has the power to give you butterflies. It feels so good it’s almost magical! Yes I said magical! It’s important that you and your main squeeze share physical and non verbal communication with each other. It’ll bring you closer and it just feels amazing.

Here are 5 reasons you should make cuddling a priority:

1) Cuddle because it feels good.  

Cuddling releases oxytocin, which is also known as the feel-good hormone. It increases that overall happy feeling and can also release endorphins, which is the chemical released after a good workout or when you eat chocolate which contributes to that great feeling.

2) Cuddling makes you feel sexy.

The most obvious benefit to cuddling is getting close to your partner in the physical sense. There is also the release of dopamine, which is an excitatory hormone that increases sexual desire.

3) Cuddling reduces blood pressure.

“Hugging, kissing, or more physical acts of touch increases oxytocin levels, which is a ‘bonding’ hormone—this chemical reaction can help to reduce blood pressure, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease, but it can also help to reduce stress and anxiety,”

4) Cuddling bonds women with babies and partners.

According to Dr. Fran Walfish, celebrity doctor and author, cuddling is healthy for people because of the obvious factor of emotional attachment. “Oxytocin is a neuropeptide that is closely linked to childbirth and breastfeeding, and a recent study shows that it has a biological role in bonding between mother and baby,” she says.  “The study, led by Lane Strathearn, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, shows that women raised with insecure attachment themselves are more likely to have difficulty forming secure attachments with their children (and partners).”   It’s healthy to want to be close. “Too little or too much is not good. Observe and explore your own personal comfort zone. You will be a better communicator with your partner on how much feels good and when it gets too close for comfort,” Walfish says. “Your goal is to find a balance between your comfort zone and needs along with your partner’s.

5) Cuddling helps you communicate better.

“Most people want to feel understood, and communication is the vehicle by which they transmit understanding and empathy. Non-verbal communication can be a very powerful way to say to your partner, ‘I get you,'” he says. “Cuddling is a way of saying, ‘I know how you feel.’ It allows to feel known by our partner in ways that words can’t convey.”

Now throw a movie on, grab a blanket and some pillows, coax your girlfriend or boyfriend into laying down with you… and cuddle your hearts out! xox
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30 Questions

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I wrote a blog recently called Be a Loner, Get to Know Yourself. In it I posted 30 questions to ask yourself! Here are my answers, enjoy!

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.

– I am still afraid of the dark

– I have a problem saying no to chocolate

– I teeter totter between wanting to lose my ego and being completely neurotic

– I wish any of us knew what we were really doing here on earth (because I know it’s not just for material gain and employment)

– I really love animals (OK…mostly the cute ones)

– I am easily moved and brought to tears

– I am as happy getting egg salad sanwiches made for me as a night out at the Keg

– I’ve always had extremely vivid dreams

– I am always in my head, thinking about life

– I get a high from being there for people and talking things out with them

– I love to sing (alone, of course!)

– I wish there was a way to be successful in life without chasing after money

– I used to want to be a Marine Biologist when I was little

– I’ve taken gymnastics, jazz and tap dance classes when I was little

– I love when guys cry

– I’ve always written in journals or little diaries

– my nana is my favourite person

– I’ve felt deep love multiple times

– I’ve always felt I was born in the wrong generation

– I thirst for truth.

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

The Dark
– ever since I can remember I’ve felt extremely uncomfortable in the dark, as if something or somebody would suddenly appear where I was. I to this day still feel very vulnerable in the dark and my eyes trick me into seeing things. Since I’m an open minded person I always start to think about other dimensions and things that could be around that our eyes can’t process. (I know, I sound crazy)

People Dying
– Probably coming from a broken home since I was a baby and not having a steady home in my angry teenage years, I have this irrational fear of people dying. Particularly boyfriends. I worry that they’ll get hit by a car or something… it’s an odd one I still have issues with lol

Chasing Money
– I am so uncomfortable with the thought of being miserable and doing what you may not want, every single day of your life just to chase after money. Because of this it’s extremely hard for me to live an average independent life. I know we need money and we need all of these things in life to take steps to having a house and a family etc… but like I said I just think there’s more to life and I have this gut feeling that this is such shallow living that I can’t seem to shake. It effects my social anxiety, and it effects my entire world.

3. Describe your relationship with your parents.

My relationship with my mother is better than is ever has been. I have only lived with her a couple years of out my life as I was mainly raised by my father. Our relationship used to be very strained because of this and it’s taken me 24 years to let it go. This year I had a falling out with a best friend that pushed me to fix things with with my mom. We can now say I love you and actually get along without me feeling bitter about the past.

My father and I are so alike emotionally that it’s made us butt heads most of my life. I was daddy’s little girl until I got older and became an angry teenager. I think our relationship has evolved quite nicely. It’s turned from me being bitter to me growing up and being able to see the big picture. I am now able to understand the why’s of my past. We have some of my favourite conversations about life now. I guess as we grow up we all can connect the dots and have a deeper understanding for our parents.

I also have step parents but I rarely talk to them, though I do like them.

4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

– do better in school because you’re capable

– focus on figuring out what you want out of life

– don’t try those drugs so soon

– don’t be in such a hurry to have sex

– don’t for one second think this highschool love is going to last

– you’re a lot more interesting than you give yourself credit for

– why did you like to dress like a guy Jamie, why?!

– maybe dying your hair pink, green, blue, purple, black… wasn’t your wisest of decisions

– spend more quality time with your family, you miss out on special memories when you stay behind just to sneak your boyfriend over

– realize if you don’t make money your main priority in life, you’re friggen doomed.

5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

– writing

– chocolate

– mending my friendship with my best friend

– reality tv

– living with my Aunt, Uncle and Nana

6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

I think the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced is moving out on my own (& with boyfriends). I’m excellent at keeping a home, terrible at being financially responsible (in the sense that my social anxiety makes it hard for me to find the right job and keep it) I’ve often thought I would be the perfect housewife… sadly the time we live in really frowns on that.

7. What is your dream job, and why?

My dream job would be a therapist (or a writer!) I LOVE to talk to people and hear about their problems. I feel as if I can connect to people and relate very easily. It’s a high for sure.

8. What are 5 passions you have?

– thinking about life, trying to figure it all out

– making people feel good about themselves

– writing, though it comes in and out depending on inspiration

– to be better (though acting on it is a whole different story)

– finding my happiness

9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

– anybody who’s said a quote that resonates with me because they inspire me

– my mom and dad influenced me to be creative & in owning their own businesses have taught me that success is possible on your own terms.

– my younger sisters because they’re so outgoing

– my nana has influenced me to love myself because she’s always loved me a lot

– my open minded friends have influenced me over the years with feeling like I was part of a family, part of something bigger than myself. I had a lot of my first experiences with them and they were there for me when I really needed it.

– Sailor Moon made me feel like I was magical like her

– Kat from 10 things I hate about you was a strong loner female character that took no shit… I love her character in that movie.

I’m reaching now.. I have no idea who else would have influenced me.

10. Describe your most embarrasing moment.

in 2009 I took a trip to Cuba with my good friend Tiffany. One morning while we were there I met up with 3 guys we had met, to take a bus into town to rent mopeds. We picked them up to ride back to the resort and as soon as we got them we rent around the corner to fill up our gas tanks. I had never driven a moped/ motorcycle before so I was new to how the gas and brake worked on it and as I was about to pull away from the gas pump and follow my friends  back to the road, I revved the gas way too much and drove straight into the huge window of the gas station!! The window didn’t break and only one of the mirrors broke on the moped, but everyone gathered around me and I was pretty traumatized. Even though I ended up getting really badly bruised for the rest of our vacation I still hopped back on the seat and rode that sucker home 🙂 crazy story!!

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

– when you’re talking and you can tell people aren’t listening

– when people lie about stupid things, or at all

– being ignored

– when things aren’t organized

– making plans I don’t know I want to keep

– running into people I know or have known

– talking on the phone

– people that have messy houses

– when people are selfish

– being too hot or too cold

– “not having anything to wear”

– writers block

– when people put things back in the fridge or cupboard even though it’s empty (OK that’s 13 things lol)

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.

Trolling for jobs to apply to online, hanging out with my nana, contemplating life, writing, sometimes exercising, watching tv, getting excited for food & trying to figure out my purpose.  Riviting, I know!

13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

– words are my weakness, I get my feelings hurt easily

– chocolate

– seeing the good in bad people

– social anxiety

– I can get awkward and innapropriate

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.

– I am a good listener

– I think I have a knack for writing

– I am an honest person

– I try to be there for people

– I’m very creative

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

I think if I were an animal I would be a cat. They’re majestic and psychic and beautiful and lazy. I believe myself to be at least a little of all of these things.

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

– falling in love

– renting and driving that moped in Cuba

– paying my way to go on a cruise

– changing my reality (& home) to suit my needs so many times in my life

– learning to like myself

17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

playing guitar and singing

18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

the falling out I had this year with my best friend.

19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

Somewhere with a warm climate because life is better when you can feel the sun.

20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.

Going to Disney World with my grandparents.
The first time I french kissed a boy.
wanting to be a singer and dancer.

21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
I would be invisible and therefore life would be great. That, or psychic. I would watch and listen to people.

22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

– 5 years, probably still living with my family and working.
– 10 years, hopefully I’ll have found a man I am in love with and have some sort of educational degree/ certificate under my belt.
– 15 years, hopefully I am living with said man, making a future for ourselves

23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.

-I love to write because it helps get things out of me and I enjoy blogging because I get to share it.

– I love to sing because it releases my emotions

– I love to dance because it feels good

– thinking about existence (do these count!)

-finding, taking and editing pictures

24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.

It’s complicated. My mother and father split up when I was a baby and my father raised me. I saw my mom some weekends and also visited with my grand parents. Now I live with my grandmother, my aunt and my uncle. I keep in touch with the rest of my family and see them here and there.

25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?

I think Joe Rogan. We’d have pub style food, drinks and talk about existence and everything else.

26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?

Beyond a doubt that our lives are based around pieces of trees we call money.

27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?

I think I would have to say my eyes. They’re the window to my soul!

28. What is your love language?

Kissing.

29. What do you think people misundertand most about you?

My social anxiety. People can’t understand why I don’t have a steady job and sometimes don’t work for long periods of time. I often look really selfish when I need time alone and become distant from people for a while. I look like a lazy selfish jerk, I’m pretty sure.

30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

– being there for people

– the times I think I’m funny

– my face

– how easy I was to talk to

– how much I love love

– my optimism

– my kindness

– my generosity (when I have money to do so)

– the way I made people feel

– my writing

30 Questions xox

Kindness Matters

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Have you always felt like you were different in some way? Maybe that you were born in the wrong generation? Do your ideals not match the world we’re currently living in?

You’re not alone. There is a vast majority of people that feel special, like they’re living outside of today’s culture and have their own thoughts of how we should be living. Have you noticed that society gets colder and colder as years go on? Sure people are becoming more accepting to race & sexual orientation… but are we really treating each other much better?

I’m an 80’s baby, so I can’t pretend to know how life felt for generations before me, but I can imagine. I can imagine how sophisticated it must have felt in the 20’s for women in their classy flapper dresses going to their dapper parties and social gatherings. How great it must have felt in the 50’s to be a picture-perfect homemaker and housewife. The liberation of free love and expansive consciousness in the 60’s. I wonder if the women and men of those times truly knew the significance of their generations. I ache to go back in time and visit each of them, be each of them. I feel like we all have bits and pieces of those times inside of us. We are living in the age of technology, but what else will -we- be remembered for I wonder? It’s too bad it wont be for a shift in conscious kindness.

No matter what generation you’re born in, I consider you special if you see the importance of treating people with kindness. It transcends time. I’ve been scolded for being “too nice”. A part of my personality which I am extremely proud of. I find it sad that instead of praising the gentle souls of the world, they get ridiculed for not being hard and cynical like others. It’s a shame! The past can be our greatest teacher, but I feel we’re a bunch of slow learners…have we learned nothing, 2013 years into life? Is THIS really as far as we’ve emotionally evolved?

Do you consider yourself a kind person, or has time jaded you? I hope you can find the strength and necessity in kindness. It will open your life to feelings of fulfillment and courage. It has the power to help and connect people, making us feel less alone in a world full of humans that’s losing it’s humanity. You are different, and special, and unique if you are truly caring and compassionate. You are full of power with these attributes, please don’t forget that! Try to practice kindness everyday, not just to the humans and creatures of the earth, but to yourself as well. Love yourself and you will better love others. Use your heart to mold the life you want by the way you go about things and treat people. If  you feel you were born in the wrong generation, pull ideals from the past and put them to practice for yourself, if you can. Imagination and heart can change everything.

Be supportive, encouraging, compassionate, caring, interested, loving, thankful and courageous!!

I wish  you peace and love!

xox

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Be a Loner, Get To Know Yourself

Save time for yourself.

Learn to be a loner, and love it.

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It’s great to have friends, don’t get me wrong, but as you get older you don’t need to be defined and confined by them. It’s healthy to do things alone and spend time with yourself.

How else will we really get to know ourselves?

Getting to know ourselves should be really important to each of us. I feel as if we attach ourselves to possessions, titles and people and deem that our “self”. What we “have”. I don’t think half of us really take the time to know ourselves inside and out. I don’t believe people really take the time to look into every nook and cranny of our thoughts and feelings. Personally… it excites me to spend time alone. Nothing is more comfortable!

Just for fun, here are 30 questions you can ask yourself to open up your “you-ness”. Writing down and reading your answers might give you some insight to yourself that you never payed attention to.

(Questions borrowed from http://rachili.blogspot.ca/2012/03/30-questions-to-get-to-know-yourself.html)

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrasing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14. Describe 5 strengths you have.
15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What is your love language?
29. What do you think people misundertand most about you?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

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Of course there’s more to know about yourself than these 30 questions can tell, but you get the gist of how fun it can be to question yourself. This process can be very helpful emotionally too! Knowing yourself in and out can make the actions and words of others effect you less… doesn’t that sound dreamy!!?

Make time for yourself in your busy life. Think things out.
Be involved in your evolution of self!

May your hearts define you!  xox

Quote of the Day

“I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life. They seek position, marriage, reputation, outward success of money, and remain unhappy and neurotic even when they have attained what they were seeking. Such people are usually confined within too narrow a spiritual horizon. Their life has not sufficient content, sufficient meaning. If they are enabled to develop into more spacious personalities, the neurosis generally disappears.”

Carl Jung

Unsatisfying Friendships

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We’ve all been in situations where we are inately aware of somebody’s shallowness. Their lack of interest in anything but themselves. The “friends” who love to talk about themselves but never offer an ear to anybody else. The leaders of the pack. The one’s who are always right. The one’s who don’t share anything with you. The people who become uncomfortable with anything deeper than small talk.

I’ve never been the friend that people wished I was, I don’t think. I enjoy my space and alone time far too much to be a friend that you’d see a few times a week. That’s just not me, and unfortunitely that’s the kind of friend most people want. The kind that is always around. I think having a good heart and a concern for people is being a good friend, whether you’re always physically around or not. I find genuinely caring about people’s lives has become almost a bad habit, though. Asking people questions who have no interest in sharing with you is disheartening after you start to notice that people are confused by the very nature of your questions. Isn’t it normal to want to know about people’s lives? Sorry… I don’t -really- care about that movie you saw last week, but I do care about how your days are going, how you’re feeling about life lately. How your relationships are going and what you think about the future. I can’t help but get deep and I think that scares a lot of people away because of it’s intense nature. A lot of people are used to being social with people who don’t get too deep as a way to escape their lives. I’m sure some people are thinking… you really think I wan’t to talk about this right now?… but I’ll admit it, I’m almost terrible at small talk. I’m sure I come off nosy but I am really just curiously caring, at least those are the intentions behind my actions.

Here are some tips to spot a bad friend. Some of these are situational of course, but it’s a good reminder of what you don’t deserve. 

-they don’t share anything with you and you are forever stuck in small-talk-land

-they never ask you anything about your life

-they put you down infront of other people to make themselves look good

-they judge you and your experiences 

-they expect you to be there for them but they have no interest in being there for you

-they talk about you behind your back

-ignore you when you’re in a group of people

-self centered ; only want to talk about themselves and have you be interested in every detail of their life, never reciprocating; the conversation is completely one sided

-opportunists that use you for your money, generosity, or somebody just to keep around as another “fan” of theirs, and using you to get into social situations

-clingy friends, that won’t leave you alone, plan your every move with them and get insanely jealous when you have other people you like to spend your time with – nobody likes to be suffocated

-people that do ask you every detail about your life, but only want to know to use it against you for gossip

-if you’re a girl… guy friends that pretend to be your friend to get into your pants… that’s a bad friend. 

-the friends who join in on other people poking fun at you, so they feel included. (because making fun of people is SO cool, right?)

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When people are mean spirited, there’s always a reason for it. Sometimes it may not even reflect on you and it’s completely their own issue they’re trying to project onto you. It’s unfortunate but if you’re blessed enough to have a few good friends you can always count on, that’s winning in my eyes!!

People will always disappoint you, so be picky. Only give your heart to people you feel deserve it, the rest don’t care.

xox

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Positive Affirmations

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Positive Affirmations can be crucial to our happiness and success.

In my opinion, there is nothing more powerful than encouraging and loving words. To build somebody up and attempt to touch their heart is extremely selfless. This is something we should practice as often as we can because it feels incredible. I think it really says something about a person’s character to be able to build somebody up no matter their own circumstances.

I watched a movie recently that really pulled on my heart strings. It’s called The Help, and it’s based around strong southern black women that are caretakers and housekeepers. One of the women looks after a little girl who’s mother isn’t very kind and tries her best to let her know she is loved. Her positive affirmations melted my heart and brought tears to my eyes. They were “you is kind, you is smart, you is important.”

Take that in..

3 short statements that beeline straight to the core of the heart.

Affirmations are not only beneficial to give to others, they are also important to tell yourself. As silly as it may seem, to look in the mirror and talk to yourself sweetly is powerful. We must always love ourselves and know that we are doing the best we can. Even if you can’t bring yourself to literally talk to yourself, at least think it. While you’re walking, driving, about to embark on a new adventure or coming into a scary situation, tell yourself that you’ve got this. That you’re worth something. That you’re special and unique. That people like you, that you’re a good person. I feel positive affirmations can help with anxiety, too. Self doubt is a creeper in the night and it will cling onto any little feeling of weakness you may have. It’s dangerous and YOU don’t need it!

Everybody needs encouragement and everybody loves a compliment.

Be a sweet spirit for people to be around & emit love!!

Affirmations, give em’ a go. You’ll be glad you did. xox 

-Check out this page for 100 affirmations for different situations!!
http://www.prolificliving.com/blog/2012/08/27/100-positive-affirmations/

How to Deal with Anxiety

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Simple words I need to start taking to heart and living by!

I’d say this is the most important and most difficult part of my journey. I have a social anxiety disorder, so you can imagine that my record of dealing with things is a messy one. There’s a lot of crying, some yelling, and a lot of avoidance. My nerves seem to be a retardant to dealing with things and people properly. (ha!) Whether you can relate to my anxiety or just have a hard time dealing and reacting to certain situations, there are steps we can take to better our experiences.

If we took a moment, just a moment, to step back from a situation and think before we reacted we would probably have the ability to deal a whole lot better!

Here are some helpful tips to put into action when you find yourself in a situation where you feel you’re going to react negatively :

1) Take a couple deep breaths
-slow down your heart rate and ease yourself out (when we’re stressed we tend to have fast paced shallow breaths which can cause even more stress.)

2) Believe in yourself
-a lot of times we tend to not know how to deal with a situation because of self doubt.
-trust yourself and your ability (you can do this!)

3) Stop Comparing
-do NOT compare anything about yourself to other people.
-nobody has your mind body and soul and therefore every single person’s experiences & dealing mechanisms will be uniquely different.

4) Think about the big picture
-how you react to a situation in the moment can determine your future (a falling out with a person, a job, a dream etc.)
-attempt to take yourself out of the moment and picture the outcome of your reaction.
-visualization can be very effective in achieving your goals 🙂

5) Stick up for yourself, but genuinely, not because of your ego
-sometimes people need to be put in their place if they’re effecting you negatively
-try to refrain from saying things you may later regret, but make sure your feelings are known… otherwise you’re doing yourself a disservice.

6) Remove yourself from the situation
-leave the situation and in some cases, kick these people causing you grief out of your life. (applicable depending on the situation, of course)

7) Kill them with kindness
-if these are situations and people that are inevitably going to be crossing your path, leave a smile on your face and be the bigger person.
-it’s such a powerful feeling to not let things get to you, or at least not let people know.

8) Think about all of the positives in your life
-know that you have other things in life to make you happy, friends, family, a support system…. this person or situation doesn’t define you and although it may make you rage, don’t let your reaction define you, either.

Self control is the essence of truly dealing. 

Push through it all, to get to where you want to be. It’s all up to you. (and me!)

xox

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Forgiveness and Letting Go

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Has something been weighing you down? Can’t let go of what your co-worker said about you? A friend, a family member, your girlfriend or boyfriend disappointing you?

It’s easy to let our emotions get the best of us. Hey, it’s really easy to let our ego convince us we’re just in holding that grudge of ours. This is natural, but it doesn’t have to be the way you live your life from here on out.

Grudges are a terrible pest for two important reasons. Firstly, holding grudges is bad for your health. It’s a little reminder in the back of your head that somebody did you wrong and you’re not willing to let it go. It can make you physically ill, depressed and can make you cold to people. Secondly, when you don’t let go of something, you are essentially giving it power. The power to eat away at you. To stay in the back of your mind taping on your thoughts and reminding you how people aren’t trustworthy.

You may think holding a grudge is a way to protect yourself, to really “stick it” to whoever wronged you. The truth is, though, that you’re only hurting yourself in the end. Forgiving somebody or a situation isn’t about saying what happened was OK. It’s not even about trusting that person again. Forgiveness is about letting go of the hurt the person or situation has placed on your heart. It’s a commitment to yourself that you are no longer going to carry around a torch for what happened and to stop putting this situation on a negative pedestal.

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Time is your biggest friend. It gives you the opportunity to step back from a situation and dissect it. If you’re an understanding person you’ll be able to see all sides of the story. Even the side where somebody else may think what happened was your fault. The ability to redirect your thoughts from blame to understanding will be a great help in many different situations that life throws your way.

Please remember:
-people always have a reason for what they do and say
-forgiveness is understanding and letting go
-forgiveness is healthy and makes you stronger. 

Take back control of your emotions, you’ll be glad you did.

xox

Being forgiving makes you a more positive force in the universe. 
Be a peacemaker. 

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To err is human; to forgive, divine.
Alexander Pope 

Are You Perfect?

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Like most of us, I’ve often found myself caught up in judging people over the years. Whether the judgements themselves be just or not, it’s mean spirited and bad for the soul. We’ve deemed it fun and socially acceptable. The truth is exactly what this picture states… “when you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” The fact that we think it’s okay to put others down for choices they made or for circumstances somebody has found themselves in, is disgusting. We are all put here, to do the same monotonous tasks everyday, and as long as we stay true to the status quo we’ll be considered “normal”. The second somebody has trouble, or isn’t progressing the exact same way as everyone “should”, they’re judged and ridiculed. Where is the humanity in this? Where is the compassion? Are we ruling out reason? There is always a reason why things are the way they are. If you’re the type of person who overlooks the details, there’s got to be something getting you down within your own life. A person who is happy with themselves and their life has no reason to put anybody else down. (Well, no -good- reason.)

I ask you, what feels better…judgement or understanding? I chose understanding.

The next time you go to judge somebody make sure you can look in the mirror at the end of the day and say there is absolutely nothing wrong with me, I always make perfect decisions. If you can’t, I suggest you practice some understanding and compassion.

You’ll be a better person for it!

I like Wikipedia’s definition of compassion;

Compassion is the understanding or empathy for the suffering of others.
Compassion is often regarded as emotional in nature, and there is an aspect of compassion which regards a quantitative dimension, such that individual’s compassion is often given a property of “depth,” “vigour,” or “passion.” More involved than simple empathy, compassion commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another’s suffering. It is often, though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in the social context as altruism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion

Tomorrow, and everyday, practice compassion.

xox

The Goal Is Self Actualization

“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
― Joseph Campbell

Who would have thought that I’d get insight from a trash tv show? I’m watching Big Brother After Dark and one of the contestants, Howard, was talking to a girl on the show about how she doesn’t know exactly what she wants from life yet. He said something that clicked.

“Don’t curse the process.”

Cursing the process is what so many of us do, and it’s why we haven’t gotten anywhere yet. We don’t want to take the necessary, time consuming steps  to succeed in a goal. It’s for a number of reasons: fear of success, looking at how much farther you have to go instead of how far you’ve come, wanting immediate gratification, sheer laziness, etc. The process should be celebrated. I so envy those people who have always known exactly which life path they wanted to follow and had no issues taking every step to get there. It takes focus, drive, determination, encouragement, a good support system, and a keen sense of the money figure you want to live on.

Even in saying that I am adding to the issue. Along with my list above of possible reasons to avoid the process… comparing yours to anyone else’s is setting up a huge roadblock for yourself. Your journey is nobody else’s. Nobody else’s to speculate on or judge. Life can be very circumstantial. Sometimes there needs to be a smorgasbord of events that need to happen along the way before you are ready to wake up. The best advice to get is to quit worrying about everyone else’s status and really focus on your own.

Here is Maslow’s Heirarchy of Human Needs. It’s a great example of the process.

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Self Actualization, according to Wikipedia, is the motive to realize one’s full potential. Expressing one’s creativity, quest for spiritual enlightenment, pursuit of knowledge, and the desire to give to society. Like the pyramid above states… the most basic level of human needs must be met before the journey upwards to self actualization can move on.

Where are you on your journey?

I’m just getting started, again, and it’s a pretty great feeling.
24, no real responsibilities…once again the world is in the palm of my hand.
I registered for an expressive writing class online at George Brown yesterday. This is my first academic yearning in a long time. One of many I hope. Writing has always been an amazing outlet for me so why not incorporate it in my journey on a more serious level? It’s just one class… but the fact that I’m going after it says so much about the endless possibilities we can go after if we’re in the right circumstances.

What steps are you taking? Make them for yourself. As small or as big as you can handle.
You’ll be glad you did.

Ravishing.

engage me in enchantment
be ravishing in kindness
attack the negative with a strong pull
accept everything infront of you
surrender to golden opportunities
keep it coming
light my flame
melt me down and take me in
-get me-

Jamie Wild

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A Cat Mother’s Note…

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Earlier this year I moved out of my place and was unable to bring my 2 cats with me. It was a huge sacrifice to make but it had to be done. Any cat mom knows the connection  you have with your pets and how they become a huge part of your life! So, I was browsing through my documents on my laptop and came across this letter I wrote to my cats…. it’s sweet and funny that I even wrote it so I thought in the spirit of blogging, I’d share it with you! 
(Yes I realize cats can’t read, and no I didn’t print it out and physically place it near them… I just wrote it to get my feelings out into the universe in hopes they could feel my love miles away.)

 

Jersey and Jade,
you were both my heart. I loved you both more than I can express. Every morning you were at my bed waking me up with your cute meows and Jade walking all over us while Jersey patiently sits at the edge of the bottom of the bedpost. You guys made mommy feel very loved and fulfilled. I hope you knew how much I loved you by the time we spent together and how I looked into your eyes. I always tried to send you vibrations of love and tried to be as closely connected to both of you individually as I possibly could. You didn’t know this but most humans aren’t around as much as I was, and it made me that much closer to you because I was. You’re both angels. You blessed mommy more than anything else could have. You’re beautiful. Both of you, inside and out. Your coats were so perfect for your different personalities. Jade you were so masculine girl, affectionate and fiesty yet loving. & Jersey you were the littlest pumpkin ever, you never seemed to grow.. your little white paws made me so happy. You and I used to talk, you know. I would ask you questions and you would meow back at me. Nothing will ever compare to either of you and the place in my heart for you is where you will always live. I hope you were happy living with me even though we moved around a lot. I wanted to be with you for the rest of our lives but some humans get really bad reactions from fur and I couldn’t bring you where my next move was. I hope you both always remember me and always love me, because I will love you forever. Same with Lilian. You are all my precious babies and you meant the world to me. Nothing in this life has ever made me want to be alive more than the love of you cats. So thank you for making this girl feel like she had meaning in the world and to a couple of lives & souls. You will always live in my heart, for as long as it beats and my mind still remembers- you’re my precious babies & I love you more than anything.
Love Jamie Lynn Wild, your mommy

 

Let’s be honest, I definitely don’t lack cheese 🙂 
Cat lovers – unite!

Be The Change.

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Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
A task that may seem easier said than done. If we could change one little thing in our everyday life I think it could make a big personal impact. Don’t do nothing just because you don’t think you can’t do something. You can always do something. A simple smile given to a stranger on the street can make both parties feel great. You never really know what people are going through, and I feel like making people happy, in any small way, is a great justice to the injustice in the world.

Throwing somebody a smile is like sticking a sword in the heart of hatred.

Social media has made it easier and easier for bullies and opinionated brats to voice their hateful words. It’s sad. Is it because they don’t have enough love in their own lives, or because they think being mean spirited is cool? You know what IS cool? Being kind to people. Giving people an ear, a shoulder- even if it’s just over the internet. Being supportive and encouraging is so cool.

Somehow society has lost it’s way. We’ve all become strangers in a more technologically open atmosphere and we’ve all fallen into  the media’s idea of what’s cool or funny at one point or another. I think being the change is recognizing what’s right and wrong and living in a positive light. There’s no doubt that trying to be nice all the time is going to get you scrutinized… people feed off of negativity, but at the end of the day it’s the right thing to do.

Be there for people. Open your hearts. Share your thoughts, connect on a deeper level than small talk, and never forget to be appreciative. Being appreciative more and expecting less from people will make you realize you can depend on yourself for happiness, and because you’ll be less effected by others, you’ll be more capable of being a source for others happiness.

Doesn’t that sound nice? Think about it.

A Beautiful Reminder…

I shared this from a friend’s Facebook today. Its a pretty little piece of writing that I absolutely love! We’re all finding ourselves. The process probably never really stops. It cries out for the good in man in saying that we’re all essentially the same. It reminds us that nothing is as scary as we make it out to be. It compels us to feel less alone. It’s beautiful.

Where did you get the title for your blog?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX1PwkgwsG0

Echo & The Bunnymen – The Killing Moon

 

I chose Fate Up Against Your Will because it was an inspiring line in the song above. A song which resonates with me deeply. It’s been in movies and it’s one of those songs that you can picture playing at certain moments in your own life. 

Wouldn’t that be great? To have songs that move you just start playing while you’re in the middle of a moment?  

I digress. The meaning behind this blog  is pretty self explanatory. It’s moving towards what moves you – your fate – against your will, which may be lazy or feeling like you’re unworthy. I chose it because it feels powerful and encouraging. Two words we can really hone in on  to push ourselves in life. 

Being in your 20’s isn’t easy. It’s  a crucial point in your life to really discover yourself and realize you have less limits and more potential than you let yourself believe. Maybe writing about it will help me come into my self actualization. Maybe reading will help you, too. We’re all in this together though, any age, any gender. We’re all dealing with this flow of energy we call life, and we should really try to remain positive. For me, all hope is not lost, and I’m on the verge of reclaiming my power. 

Why not blog about it?

Seriously though…. please click on that link and take a listen to that song. It’s fantastic. 

Walking Alone

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Walking alone has always freaked me out. Unless I have somewhere to be, that I’m intentionally walking to, I have never felt comfortable with the idea of aimlessly walking for walking’s sake. Besides it tying in with my anxiety and feeling like people’s eyes are on me, it’s a silly thing to freak me out… and it’s definitely not pointless. 

Walking alone, is an intentional act of a)getting exercise, b)clearing your head, reflecting and figuring things out, and c)creating a trust with yourself. 

In general it contributes to a healthier lifestyle. Don’t we all strive for this? Grab your sneakers and your ipod and get excited about your walking routine. 
It’s a simple task, just get out and do it. 
You’ll be glad you did. 

Meditation and it’s benefits.

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Let’s face it – in our lives, busy or not, our mind can become cluttered with unnecessary thoughts. It becomes consumed with images, comments, memories, to do’s, self doubt, social media, television shows, food… the list goes on! 

A great way to clear your head and take a mini “mental vacation” is to meditate. 

Did you know the benefits of this quiet act goes far beyond simply clearing your head!? It’s also fantastic for your entire body and well being! 

How do you properly meditate, you ask? Well, you simply sit somewhere quiet, legs crossed, hands resting on your knees with your index fingers connecting with your thumbs, breathing slowly and intentionally… releasing thoughts and connecting with your spirit. If you can’t exactly clear your head why not reflect and give yourself positive affirmations? You know, that voice inside your head, well you can control it if you really want to. Quit letting it tear you down and start building yourself up with quiet intentions!!

I’ll break the benefits down into 3 sections : Physiological, Psychological, and Spiritual. When I say spiritual, I do not mean that I seek to be equal to god, or assume I can “transcend”. I simply mean it opens you up to pay attention and connect to whatever faith you flow with 🙂 

 

PHYSIOLOGICAL:
-enhances the immune system
-reduces anxiety attacks
-helps with weight loss
-leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation
-helps ease emotional distress
-can help headaches and migraines
-improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing
-relaxes our nervous system
-can produce lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity 

etc…

PSYCHOLOGICAL:
-builds self confidence
-helps increase serotonin levels which influence moods and behaviors 
-helps with focus and concentration
-increases creativity
-keeps you in a healthy perspective
-develop will power
-increase feelings of rejuvenation and vitality 
-decreases tendencies to worry
-helps increase your ability to empathize and rationalize
-increase productivity

etc…

SPIRITUAL:
-provides peace of mind and happiness
-can help you discover your purpose
-increased self-actualization
-bring the mind, body, and spirit into harmony
-can help you have a deeper connection with God (or whatever faith you flow with)
-discovering the power you possess beyond the ego
-creates a deeper understanding of yourself and others

etc…

So you see the effects of meditation are nothing short of wonderful, almost necessary.
If you can set aside 20 minutes a day, even less if that doesn’t work for you.. I know you will begin to see the benefits almost immediately. The simple act of intentional breathing melts away the day’s stress, if only for a few minutes.

I urge you to try this and open yourself to the healing of meditation. Do it for yourself, you’ll be happy you tried! 

Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit.
-Jeremy Taylor

 

Routines

Every day, people all over the world accomplish the same routine on a daily basis.

This is something I’ve always struggled with. Having to be somewhere at a certain time, for a certain length of time, whether I wanted to be or not.

Yes, in essence routine is essential to life. A fact I can hardly run from anymore.

Being unemployed and moving out of my apartment and back in with my family was the biggest blessing in disguise I’ve gotten this year. I now have time to get fit, to read, reflect and relax. Time to figure out essentially what I’d like to do, what I am capable of, and how far in life I want to go.

Pushing myself has never actually happened. Well, for the right reasons. I can see myself now, back when I was 18… pushing myself to walk alone or take that bus (which gives me great anxiety), to go see that cute guy that wanted to hangout with me. Pushing myself into something academic or productive…. well, that’s always been another story. It’s always been my comfort over diligence. A regret of mine, no doubt.

I’m happy to say that instead of wallowing in this regret, I’ve come to see that life has so many opportunities for change and growth. We just have to really open our eyes to them.

The average person wakes  up at the same time, showers, cleans their face, brushes their teeth and are on their productive way out into society…but what about us “lost” folk? I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s woken up days and just sat. Simply sat, gaining weight, losing sight, and not being productive. Part of it is sheer laziness, “oh I don’t have to do anything so I might as well do nothing”. Part of it is not knowing where to start with all of the activities that could be filling up my spare time… and part of it is knowing how amazing I can be and just backing down from it. I’m not sure why that is, but I know it’s got to stop.

Yesterday I made the command decision to stop feeling complacent and start acting. Start doing, start actually applying myself to life, to actually live. I’ve been cooped up in my comfort zone, so wrapped up in blankets, to really blossom into the amazing woman I am.

Something as simple as a routine can really effect how you see yourself and how each of your days go. Why not wake up feeling prepared? Feeling ready to take on your day. Even if you have to plan out little tasks for yourself to accomplish, once you succeed in doing them.. you’ll start to remember what it feels like to make yourself proud.

Jobs will come, time will continue to move on… and you’ll grow. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to grow, to find that routine that suits you, just as long as you do it!

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