Monday, 29 January 2018

Appreciation vs. Expectation (Written version of my Speech)

One of the best Life Lessons I learned was from Comedian Kyle Cease. He's been a Comedian for over 20 years but the past few years he's switched to Personal Development events instead.

What makes Kyle different than other speakers, is that all of his content on stage is spontaneous instead of planned out. His goal is to help others let go of their old story so they can use their gifts to their full potential.

Kyle randomly chooses people from the audience who raise their hand, and they come up on stage and do a mini therapy-type session with him.

At one point in the event "Evolving Out Loud" Kyle asked a few people to line up on either side of the auditorium. On his left were people that wanted to share something or ask a question, but it would be okay with them if they didn't get a turn.

Then he asked a few people to line up on the right side aisle. People who were desperate to talk with him and it would be the end of the world if they did not get a turn.

The difference in energy from the different sides just blew my mind!

Kyle started with the first person to his left, on the appreciation side. The man had something nice to say about what was talked about earlier that day and made everyone smile and feel good.

Then Kyle walked over to his right, and the lady was upset with him because she had traveled there and spent money and she still was not feeling any better. She was expecting of him the impossible and he felt like he was in trouble. They talked it through and eventually she started to shift her mindset to a different possibility, that she was responsible for her own happiness and that her breakthrough would come in a different way then she expected.

After that was the other side's turn, he walked all the way over to that side and was greeted with a grateful hug and a lady who said that she was there to hold space for others and that she had gotten so much already out of the event but applying the lessons other people were getting on stage, to her own life.

Last but not least he made his way over to the expectations side and was taken aback by a lady seemed angry at the world for injustice, and she was explaining about the cause she was fighting for. Her energy actually pushed Kyle backwards, I'll never forget as he backed up away from her because it seemed a scary place to be.

He explained to her how loving the world, works far better than fighting the world and that an energy of love would invite others to co-create with her to make change in the world, instead of scaring people away by her anger and negativity.

I learned that the energy I was giving off when I was desperate for others to love me or make me happy or insisting that I would be the one to make them happy, was actually repelling them. When I interacted with my teens I especially noticed it. My fearful energy made them want to hide in their rooms, but the energy of appreciation and being okay with whatever transpired, made them feel more open with me.

Now I often ask myself, what kind of energy am I'm bringing to the table? Am I only inviting those who want to join me in focusing on what was wrong? I'm not perfect but I'm becoming more aware. 

The life lesson here was for me to be responsible for my own happiness and not have my happiness depend on what others do or say, and to make sure I am bringing the energy of appreciation to my relationships instead of expectation.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Rising in Love vs. Falling in Love (Written in 2016)

People have been trying to figure out love and relationships since the beginning of time. I don’t expect or claim to have it all figured out but I am trying to process my journey through writing. I understand that love is one of life’s great mysteries, but I really need to get to the bottom of my daddy issues if I’m going to break through the codependent tendencies that I have.

I'm pretty sure, at least I'm trying to convince myself, that I never want to fall in love again. Not because it hurts but because it means to lose my footing, to not stand on my own two feet, to always need a hand. It doesn’t allow me to live fully because of the dependency. It creates expectations, misunderstandings and has an inevitable end.

Maybe in a way, relationships do help reveal my issues, it seems a different side of myself comes out with each person I connect with. It’s like I recognize myself in others. The concept of mirrors in relationships fascinate me. I like the picture in my mind of the mirror because it shows how we are separate and not one with another person. Mirrors show us the good and bad about ourselves, it also helps me not internalize criticism because that is just another's mirror. Seeing others as friends instead of someone to have expectations of, has opened up a whole new world.

I can handle the hurt, the reason I don’t want to fall in love again is because it doesn’t work for me. I am a free spirit, an open person. I don’t follow society’s rules. I admit to being wrong a lot in the past but being wrong is an important step in the process of finding answers. I simply can’t stay unconscious. My kids depend on me to be aware enough to connect instead of attach.

As a codependent, the lines have been easily blurred when someone meets a need that I had or especially when I meet another's need and they love me for it. It makes me feel good to be needed and that has been my definition of love towards my kids and towards romantic interests, but it no longer is. I’m tired of not having a say in my life and living under the burden of having to appear perfect.

It easier to be lazy and to give up the responsibility of meeting my own needs. I've pretty much been giving away my power and deceiving myself, that happiness was something that only someone else could give me. I'm learning that the fear of abandonment has no power when self-care takes priority. Doing what others want so that they'll love me is ridiculous.

I want to rise in love instead of fall in love.

Consciously love, being aware that I am always responsible to meet my own needs and that self-care comes first, before reaching out to heal or connect with others.

Rising in love to meet my kids without running from my childhood triggers, to love them in a real way with boundaries so that the time spent is quality, instead of detached emotionally. Not depending on my kids to fulfill my emotional needs or to live the childhood I wish I had. To let them learn through mistakes instead of being so over-protective and letting my fears hold them back.

I don’t want pass fear on from one generation to the next. I will not only stand against the current pushing me so strongly, but I will swim against the current. The only way to live and learn is to be allowed the freedom to make mistakes. Until now I never had that freedom. It was stolen from me and I just kept on going with the current. Conscious love is the highest healing frequency of all.

Putting all my eggs in one basket is not the way I want to live anymore, not only is it impossible for one person to meet all my needs, but each person I connect with teaches me something different. Nobody else shares all the same interests I do, so if I learn something and want to share it, there is usually a particular person that comes to mind. In addition to that, becoming my own best friend means that I don't have to share every little thing with another person so that I would be special to someone, or they would be my rock, I can keep some things to myself.

I am choosing to take the responsibility to heal myself instead of looking to others for healing. I still believe that addiction is the lack of connection and I seem to have taken that a step further by making connection my addiction to escape dealing with my childhood emotional issues. I'm redirecting that focus by spending time with and getting to know my own soul so that I can cultivate healthy relationships with my family and friends.

This shift is a drastic change from looking for "the one" who would meet all my needs or even looking at all. It is a focus on making myself so happy that I vibrate on a level that attracts others who are also emotionally healthy. I am here to love others with an open hand, they are free to come and go in my life on their journey and I wish them well when they move on.

The secret of attraction is to love yourself ~ Deepak Chopra

I had my list of what I was looking for in a relationship and my list hasn't changed. The only thing that has changed is who I am expecting to meet those needs. I am now fully aware that it is my job to take care of myself by nurturing, comforting, supporting, validating, accepting, desiring and discovering who I am. I can always feel safe and cared for, even when I feel alone.

From now on I choose friendship instead of falling in love. That elusive high is not worth feeling like crap when I'm not in love. Not only is it a half-life, but it is only a temporary fix. I want to always be living fully.

Friendship is sharing my soul in the moment with another instead of giving them my soul and asking them to take care of it. Rising in love is strong and holds space for others because it withholds criticism. I want others to feel free to share what's really there, instead of being afraid of judgement or feeling like they have to be perfect.

I want to give my kids the gift of not having to be perfect, to be real instead of fake. I want them to know that tears are okay, and that being vulnerable is the highest form of strength. I hope they learn to not fight against the negative but to sit with it to learn what it has to teach.

Becoming aware that the reason that I try so hard to make others happy, is because I was raised that my survival depended on it. To not make my Dad happy resulted in physical pain, I was trained like a dog. Awareness is the only thing that is allowing my brain to be reprogrammed.

Noticing my reactions and labeling them, telling myself the truth in those situations, calms my anxiety. I am not my thoughts or my feelings, I am awareness, my soul has endless love and wisdom. Asking myself what do I want in situations instead of being a pushover is slowly allowing me to get to know myself. I'm connecting more to my soul by establishing personal boundaries.

Instead of surviving each day I am creating my life, attracting what I imagine and feel and reclaiming the power that was stolen from me and the power I've been to giving others ever since.

Being myself instead of a chameleon, opens up a whole new world of possibilities. There is nothing more attractive than someone who is REAL and not afraid to lose another person. From now on I will let others be disappointed in me and let them be responsible for their own happiness. That is not my burden to bear anymore.

I want to enjoy the time others choose to spend with me instead of chasing attention or running from triggers. My security comes from within. I don't want to limit who I can love. Yes boundaries are essential with who I Choose to interact with, I can still love though, even if either of us has chosen to move on. For example, I wish my Dad well on his journey, even though I am not in his life. I used to have high expectations of him but now I See him from a place of compassion. He is not me, he is not my identity, I don't need his love in order to love myself.

Communicating needs is saying "this is me" as opposed to being needy and saying "you are me" That is the main place that "falling" in love was tripping me up. We are not half that needs a better half. Love is not a limited resource, it is abundant. Exclusivity does not create value, appreciation does.

My kids are not me either, they have their own path to walk, their own interests and their own way of seeing and interacting with people. I want to appreciate each person that the universe brings across my path, they are someone to share and connect with, a mirror and a teacher.

The difference between friends and more than friends is sharing instead of attaching. Attaching is having unrealistic expectations and thinking that love means to be needed or to need another. Sharing means I am already complete on my own and my self-love overflows to others. This also can be applied to my kids. Attaching to them by projecting my fears or imposing my desires is not healthy.

My Dad wanted to own me, I was only good enough if I met his expectations. If I continue on the path of always trying to measure up and earn the love of another, then I'll be stuck in my childhood forever.

Owning is not love. I never want to own or be owned again, and that is why I choose to never fall in love again. Society's definition of love is not my definition of love. I believe that love is acceptance and freedom.

Yes, humans crave connection but I can get connection in healthier ways than focusing so hard to be good enough to love. I am already worthy and I don't need another's love. I choose to connect to my soul and love myself every day, that is my top priority and everything I need will be attracted into my life by the vibrations that I manifest.

Yes, the heart does want what it wants, but that does not mean I have to give my power away to another. They say you can't choose who you love, you just love. That's true and there's nothing wrong with love. There is however, something wrong with placing the responsibility of loving me, in another's hands. That job is mine and mine alone. If others love me, that's great - but I don't need them to love me, and they can move on whenever they choose with my full blessing.

I don’t need my kids to love me either. I can say no and still be a kind person. We all deserve to have a turn getting our way. I feel like I’m in the process of breaking the spell of obedience on the movie Ella Enchanted, where she has to do everything that everyone asks her to do.

I am here to give love to everyone and to share connection (not attach) with those who have built trust by treating me with kindness. Boundaries in relationships are the most important thing.

"Boundaries are not division, they are respect.
It is, here is what is okay for me, and here is what's not" ~ Brene Brown.

“Boundaries are necessary for a successful relationship. Most relationships are aborted in the boundary-defining stage. Not because people demanded what they needed. But because they didn’t, then got resentful about it” ~ Karen Marie Moning

Abandonment and being misunderstood are no longer my biggest fears because I realize that I'm the only one who will ever understand me and am now aware that to fear loss, drains my power. I've figured out what makes me happy to be alive, apart from someone else's love and attention.

For so long I've been afraid to face my issues, the pain of my past turned me inward, distracting myself with other's lives. I refuse to say asleep, living in denial, trying to numb the pain. By feeling compassion for my parents, and comforting my inner child through the triggers I face daily,


I am not defective. I am a deep soul, leading the way with a torch in hand, creating a path so others can find a way to joy. I will face my demons alone, so I can figure things out, find my strength, learn who I am, find freedom, become more assertive and have the time to reflect. I am shedding my skin, releasing the person I thought I was.

I want to greet my kids with joy when they walk into the room because that is what is vibrating out from my heart, not with criticism because I haven't silenced my own inner critic. I see how self-love is essential to being a good mother and friend.

Genuine friendship is authentic with no agenda, all delusion is gone. No more projecting my desires onto another person. Time to see and appreciate others for who they are, not who they are to me. I am a recovering codependent who has become aware. I realize this is all easier said than done but being aware what is happening is step one.

Relationships don't need a time frame or a label, all we have is this moment, even though some moments are so great that we wish they could last forever. The only constant in life is that everything changes. Raising children is a constant process of letting go, helping them learn to be a caretaker and provider.

Of course there are emotions in relationships but another person cannot be our salvation. The key is enjoying the moment and accepting that the feeling cannot be bottled up. Relationships are like plants that need water or they'll die, there are many flowers in the garden though, so just because one died because another didn't water it, doesn't mean that there won't be another equally beautiful flower waiting to bloom. We are the not the plant, our survival does not depend on which one blooms or dies. It may just not be the right time for a particular flower to bloom.

The highest form of love is friendship, it is loving with an open hand. If I want water in my hand, and I close my fist tight over it, all the water is drained out, but if I keep my hand cupped open, it allows the water to remain. That is how relationships are stifled, by wanting to possess another. Love and energy needs to have freedom to flow, to try and contain it has the opposite result.

I am a vast ocean, not limited to these waves, allowing all of life's positive and negative energies to surge through me so I'm not at war with half of life. Finding peace through awareness and acceptance. Be and let others be with no blame. Looking for the good and feeling appreciation, knowing it is reflected back.

Conscious breathing is my anchor.

What I wrote 1 year after my brother Nate died (Written May 2017)

So many tears especially these last few weeks... one cannot compare grief, we all feel it deeply even if we put on a smile for others or distract ourselves between being hit with grief again. They say the only way to heal is to feel, and grief is the price we pay for love.

I hear both Aline and Nate through various ways, thoughts of comfort, specific messages in dreams, songs, flickering lights or electronics, and seeing repeated numbers, that they're okay and are still a part of my life and I'm not alone because they are my guardian angel.

Aline channeled her energy through various animals like the snowy owl, a butterfly and a kitten, Nate likes putting certain things with his name across my path, usually with a song so I know for sure, overheard conversations with Aline's name, telepathic conversations with Nate in my mind, countless synchronicities I wish I'd written down but I can't remember them now because they were for that moment.

Their soul and love lives on and they will always be a part of my life, they always comfort me when I'm sad and make me laugh when I'm having a good day. I feel them around, not constantly but often.

I was at an event recently where Wilma Derkson was speaking, she is the mother of Candice who was murdered as a teen in Winnipeg years ago. She had so many insights about how to deal with grief, I've read her book, and I took some notes:

When you get stuck, see a psychologist or grief counselor.

Grief is like a river and visualize little boats of forgiveness and compassion.

Art is very important to some whether it's through making sculptures or colouring mandalas, it's a way to process.

There is always blame, guilt and truth confusion, usually we don't do blame well, often blaming someone close to us or ourselves instead of realizing the responsibility is not ours, even though it's natural to think would, could or should.

We get angry or resist at least 14x per day, we must forgive ourselves and others each time to find inner peace, visualizing little paper boats, acceptance of what is transforms us from victim to survivor.

Have a conversation with yourself, either aloud or on paper, question your thoughts if they're true, often we convince ourselves of things not true.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Say it the way you want it

Be careful what you say (especially to yourself) because your subconscious mind is always listening.

It’s your subconscious that stores all your beliefs, the ones that limit you as well as the ones that move you forward.

Say it the way you want it to be, because the subconscious mind is only about 7 years old, and only hears the action, it doesn’t hear the “don’t” (example: don’t feel bad, or this isn’t hard – it hears bad and hard.)

Change your limiting self talk to:

"I'm learning how to _____"

"I'm getting better every day"

Fake it till you make it, actors can do it, so can you!

Use your imagination. FEEL what it would feel like AS IF you were the way you wanted to be, act AS IF you already were the person you want to be.

My favorite affirmations are "I am loved" and "I am worthy"

Emotions are the glue that hold false beliefs together.

Anger: Boundaries

Sadness: Attachments

Fear: Fight or flight (protecting) Freeze

Guilt: Gone off your path (or usually someone else’s path)

Question if a negative thought or belief is true (it's usually not)

Take a minute to tell your inner child the truth.

All (lasting) Learning, Behavior and Change is Unconscious.

You don't have to think about how to drive, you just do it, unconsciously. That is the way we live our lives, on autopilot, not actually making a conscious choice each time we do something.

Hypnotherapy is nothing like what you think it is. It's just that state of mind, right before you drift off to sleep and can remember or direct your dream. It feels just like a guided meditation.

It's at that state where your subconscious can be re-directed and re-framed for healing and success. It's when the conscious and subconscious mind communicate.

You're fully conscious and can talk the entire session and can open your eyes and end it at any time. You are in complete control over what you choose to think about.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

You're Safe Now

You’re safe now.

Your old coping mechanisms are not serving you anymore. They are holding you back. You don’t need them anymore to protect you.

Acceptance is a better way to live life.

The devil is not behind every bush, there is not somebody always watching and reading your mind who will punish you if you think a bad thought.

Nobody will physically hurt you if you accidently do or say the wrong thing. Others are not keeping track to punish you later or shove it back in your face to justify abusive behavior.

You didn’t know that you could tell someone and escape; you didn’t know you had the power to change things for those you love. It’s okay, you did the best you could with what you knew.

Nobody can forbid your best friend to talk to you. You are free to talk with whoever you like. You are not a bad influence, you are LIGHT. They were just afraid of your freedom to question everything.

Walking into a room will not produce anger in an authority figure. They won't say you’re a bad person because you haven’t measured up to their expectations of perfection and that you need to work harder and not waste time.

You don’t have to disassociate to escape your feelings, it is safe to focus on what you’re doing. You don’t have to remain hyper-vigilant thinking of the worst case scenario and prepared for another’s drastic mood change or something bad happening.

Everybody is not watching you, waiting for you to mess up so they can judge you. They don’t even notice what you’re wearing or if your hair is messy. They’re not talking behind your back that you’re not smart enough or that you’re not cool enough to be friends with them. If someone does that, it’s really all about them and not at all about you.

You don’t have to worry about what to say at a social event, you just have to listen and only give advice when they ask for it. Your opinion matters too, even if you don’t get a chance to get a word in edgewise.

It’s okay if others don’t agree with you, it doesn’t mean that they won’t like you anymore. Healthy people can agree to disagree and remain friends.

A misunderstanding does not mean the relationship is over. They are not obsessing about it and have most likely forgotten. You don’t have to apologize for everything.

It’s okay to be silly and have fun. Fun is not bad or wrong. You have a kind heart that not everyone understands, just keep shining and give others the freedom to come out of their shells too. It’s okay to not be perfect; there is so much beauty in imperfection.

It’s okay if someone is coming over or you were invited to a social event. You do belong, keep breathing, they won’t notice that you’re focused on breathing. Your responses to their conversation will not be overanalyzed. When someone doesn't understand you, it's not rejection; they just are not at the same place on their journey.

Care about what others are sharing with you about themselves instead of caring so much if they’ll accept you. You accept you, you are awesome. They think you’re awesome too. Everyone wants to be heard and understood, give them the gift of attention instead of staying in your little world of safety.

Loss is part of life, accidents happen. Everything changes, everyone comes and goes. Now that you hold them with an open hand, you don’t have to constantly worry that something bad is going to happen to those you love. It’s going to be okay regardless, and the good memories you made together are yours to keep forever. Continue being grateful for the good.

It is not your fault when someone else is in a bad mood. Everyone is responsible for their own feelings. You are smart enough to make your own decisions, mistakes are a part of life and each mistake is your teacher.

They only told you that you needed their advice so they could control you. Learn to recognize abuse. Nobody has the power to mind control you anymore. You are an adult, you are safe now. They have zero power over you. Nobody owns you. You don’t need permission to live, you can choose the life you want. Be an example of really living to those who look up to you.

It is not your job to rescue adults who choose to live under oppression. They don’t need you. Your courage to leave will help them more than staying because of an unhealthy emotional attachment.

It’s safe to tell the truth about and expose people who keep harming others. If they didn’t want a bad reputation, they should not have hurt people. Their negative energy can’t bring you down anymore, now that you’ve learned to vibrate higher and remove yourself from toxicity. Their rejection cannot affect you anymore because you now know how to accept and love yourself.

Your sadness will not overwhelm you, your anger is like flowing water, but on it travels little paper boats of acceptance and compassion. It’s okay to not have your shit together all the time, life is both the highs and the lows. Fighting feelings only makes them stronger, don't give them your energy. It's okay to feel bad. Those feelings are temporary.

You don’t have to keep running, you don’t have to distract yourself with entertainment or being busy or obsessing about other people’s lives. It’s safe to be here in the moment, alone with yourself.

Awareness that your thoughts and emotions are not you, has given you freedom and power. You are divine and can manifest whatever you feel.

You are learning how to take care of yourself every day so life doesn’t get overwhelming. You no longer need to search for a home, for love. What you need was inside you all along.

Monday, 6 June 2016

The Ego vs. Our True Self

“When I connect with my true self, I understand life. When I believe what the ego says, I get lost and fall apart.”

I used to wonder what people meant when they said they were trying to “find themselves” and I recently went down that path. First looking outside of myself, seeing where I fit in this world. I thought how others viewed me, would define who I was. The life lesson came from understanding the difference between the ego and my true self.

I struggle with social anxiety and have to remind myself that I don’t need to be afraid of other people, I’ll be okay no matter what they think of me. I don’t have to talk or act the same way as the last time I came in contact with them or over-analyze what they might think of me. I’m learning to be aware of my fears and talk myself out of them, shifting my focus to love instead of fear. The ego is entirely based on fear. It traps people in the story of their past.

The ego is a fairly new concept for me. Of course I had heard the word, I just didn’t understand it. The ego is a person’s sense of self-importance, your social mask, your titles and roles. The ego is an illusion of the mind. I’ve been learning how to recognize it. I think that it’s something very important to have a basic knowledge of.

The ego tells us that we need to make others think we are important. It is something we all have to live with but we don’t have to believe what it has to say, because it’s not who we are. Deep down below all the labels, roles, social masks and expectations, we can find our true selves. Our very existence in this world makes us beautiful, valuable and amazing.

Even though a different part of my personality comes out, depending on the person I’m spending time with, I’m still being true to myself. All of the roles I play are true because I am limitless. My true self cannot be defined and it trumps the ego. I can reinvent myself every day if I want.

Never confuse self-love with the ego. The two are entirely different. The ego requires a person to think they are better than others and will put others down in order to keep that perception. Self-love means you are your own best friend and that you are able to give that gift to others indirectly, by inspiring them to do the same for themselves.

People seem to need to feed the ego by identifying and bragging about where they fit in life, with a certain group, as if where they are from makes them more important. I feel that every human being on the planet has equal worth and that the world belongs to all of humanity.

“There's no race, no religion, no class system, no color, nothing, no sexual orientation, that makes us better than anyone else. We are all deserving of love.” ~ Sandra Bullock

All suffering is ego-created and caused by resistance. The ego will always be there, but it doesn’t have to rule our lives. The key is to carefully be aware of the thoughts circling your mind instead of getting lost in the thoughts themselves. Happiness is slowing down and listening to the conversations in your head without believing them.

When you hear the ego start to cut yourself or others down, or trick you with scare tactics, address it immediately “I know you’re trying to protect me from a future pain that you think is coming. I appreciate your desire to protect me but I will not dwell in fear” If you can remember to do this, your true self will prevail over the ego. Yes you can allow feelings to wash over you like a wave, as long as you recognize that it’s temporary, accepting instead of fighting it, knowing that life can be tough, but so are you. You are resilient.

There is a counter force to the ego. It allows you to overcome all of the ego’s fear and anxiety. It is your true self. Maybe you have caught glimpses of it? It is different for all people, but they are the same, in that for a brief moment, we catch a glimpse of our true selves and the ego disappears completely. In that moment there is no fear or worry, there is only you: infinite, kind, beautiful you. Perhaps it is while riding a bike or driving down the road with your favorite music, maybe you were on the treadmill or taking a walk outside and you felt: This is it. This is my peace, my happiness. Centered and grounded.

In addition to recognizing and overcoming the ego, we must embrace our true selves. Seek out those moments where you feel alive, create more of those moments. When you feel that sense of calm infinite peace in your soul, capture that feeling and dwell on it often. Stop living in the painful shadows of your past and allow your true self to begin guiding your life.

When the ego is in charge we will be caught thinking about the same things over and over, consumed by negative emotions, focused on anxieties, fears and doubts. When the ego is in charge our worth is dependent on external things, a partner, friends, career, family, outward appearance, home etc. When the ego is in charge, validation from others will be a desperate need and we’ll be easily bruised when people let us down and life doesn’t go our way.

Believing the ego means you get your identity from others, it means a second-hand life. The moment you realize you don’t need to depend on others and that you have your own intelligence, you can look within. When someone says something about you, don’t internalize those words, to be hurt implies you believe what they said. When you stop believing negative self-talk from the ego, you’ll also stop believing hurtful things that others say about you. You won’t need their acceptance or understanding if you truly accept and love yourself.

When our true self is in charge, we accept ourselves, others and circumstances completely, our preferences and desires bubble up from within us, not from external influences like society and the expectations of others. When our true self is in charge we feel in the flow and lose ourselves in our hobbies, connect with nature, a sunrise, a starry night, or quotes that resonate. Life feels effortless, and we feel free and empowered to live a beautiful life, our purpose in life is to follow our heart’s song and share our unique gifts with others.

Forgetting our true self comes from seeing through the eyes of the ego. This is why there is so much unhappiness. But those negative feelings are sometimes the reason for the awakening of the desire to return home to who we really are.

To be fair, it is incredibly challenging to dismiss the allure of the ego and be led by your true self, but even if you manage to connect with this deeper part of yourself a few minutes a day, your life will improve in a beautiful way. The smaller you make the ego, the easier it is to escape your prison cell and find freedom. When the ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind and beautiful. Even a teaspoon worth of love, wisdom or courage coming from your true self is a thousand times more powerful than negative messages coming from the ego. Try to remember this, beautiful soul.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

An Empty Cup of Self-Love

If you were raised in a culture similar to my own, you were probably taught to put others before yourself, and not give much consideration to your own needs. Self-denial and self-sacrifice were two of the main values taught in my childhood. Those values brought the deep pain of being a martyr, with little understanding of what love really is. Love is more about acceptance than sacrifice.

A few days ago, I was driving with my teenage daughter, discussing relationships with her friends and possibilities of making more friends. There are so many young people wearing masks because they’re afraid of rejection and so desperately want approval. We talked about the analogy of the cup of self-love. I told her that relationships do not mean, going from person to person asking them to fill your cup for you or expecting they will guess what kind of drink you like. Helping others can only happen after we fill our own cup. The self-love that I’m talking about is simple, it shows you that you love and accept yourself, just the way you are. Imperfectly perfect, and worthy of love.

Every toxic belief out there, teaches us fear instead of love and that it's wrong to become too familiar with who we are. As long as we are convinced that we need something from the external, we will always be lacking. If you want to be happy, start appreciating yourself and others instead of expecting perfection from yourself and others. “I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival” ~Audre Lorde.

The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. You are the only one who will understand and love you for who you really are. You'll never find a mind-reader who can guess exactly what you need and give it to you, even if they wish they could. This means getting to know yourself, the gifts and desires that are uniquely yours and choosing to take care of yourself like a Mom takes care of her young children. Making sure you get enough sleep, healthy food, time outside for fresh air, sunshine and exercise, and a routine that includes free time to do what you enjoy doing. It also includes taking several deep breaths when life gets overwhelming.

To fill your cup every day, means getting in the habit of self-care and being aware of your thoughts instead of have them run on autopilot. Don't believe every thought that travels through your mind. Anxious thoughts can overwhelm your ability to have healthy relationships. Be honest with yourself and others about what you need, instead of sacrificing everything unnecessarily. This means incorporating healthy boundaries to maintain a balance of empathy, compassion and vulnerability.

The concept of becoming your own best friend at first seems foreign, but it feels like coming home. People laugh at the idea of talking to yourself silently, but everyone does it. Thoughts that flow through our minds are not ours, they are just ideas that we’ve been exposed to. The mind does what minds do best, it comes up with random thoughts. We can heal ourselves if we become aware of the negative self-talk of the worrier, the critic, the victim and the perfectionist. The thoughts about ourselves, that we mistakenly believe are ours, are things we would never say to an innocent child. That’s what we are, an innocent child, worthy of love and compassion.

In order to let go of something, you first need to pick it up. Our defenses are trying to protect us and we must identify the voice of the negative thoughts. What is said to a child becomes their inner voice, and in cases of verbal abuse, we have to do the work to reprogram our mind with truth. Finally believing that I’m worthy has been a turning point in my depression, and I've learned the habit of replacing negative thoughts about myself to positive affirmations.

Falling in love with yourself is the best thing you'll ever do. Some people don’t know how it feels to have a full cup of self-love and don’t understand how to fill it. People who struggle with their own worthiness, have a lack of self-love because they find it hard to believe they are deserving of love. Our automatic response to abandonment becomes “was I not good enough for them to stay and love me?” We don’t hold the cards to anyone’s feelings or judgments, if they reject us, that is about them, not us. One of my favorite quotes is: “To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own” ~ Jack Kornfield.

For as long as I can remember I have been searching for a best friend, for someone else to fill the gaping hole in my heart, to love me no matter how much I mess up. I am the person that I’ve been searching for. I’m not my worst enemy any more. I’ll always be there for me. My thoughts and feelings are not me. I am simply awareness. I watch myself and others with compassion and it brings me inner peace. When I feel down and my first response is to look to someone else to make me feel better, I realize what’s happening and look within instead, I ask myself what I need. I breathe and accept to recharge.

The other person in whatever relationship (family member, friend or lover) needs to feel free, nobody should own another or be owned. We are not a half that needs another half to be complete, we already are complete. Every relationship has give and take and sacrifice but it should never cause us to lose ourselves, to give everything in order to earn the love of another. A person who is afraid of abandonment, eventually turns relationships into a negative, self-fulfilling prophecy. “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are. ~ Anais Nin. 

"The key to life is acceptance. Stop pretending to be someone you're not, you are a vast open ocean of awareness, in which all the movements of life: success and failure, happiness and sadness, joy and pain, certainty and doubt, all of life's energies are all deeply allowed to move through you. In our false self, we've pushed away life's energies and fell into the idea of opposites and reject the negative or dark aspect and only seek the positive. It is so exhausting being at war with half of life. Life is all of those things, good and bad waves. Never forget that depression is an invitation of Deep Rest, remember who you are now, a vast ocean of waves to welcome and accept. Stop the exhaustion of fighting negative feelings and find peace in acceptance. Let it be, accept others choices, accept your thoughts and let them pass through you." ~ Jeff Foster

I’ll leave you with something I learned while grieving the death of my siblings (Aline 1990~2015 from Cystic Fibrosis, and Nathaniel 1994~2016 from Suicide.) It has helped me get and stay out of the dark hole of grief and depression. I imagine sitting at a train station, watching the trains arrive and depart. My awareness is the station and my thoughts and feelings are the trains. If I’m not mindful, I will hop on a train to who knows where. But the moment I realize I am on the train, I choose to leave the train and stay at the station, just watching the thoughts and feelings go by, without judgment, but with compassion and acceptance instead.