Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Is Being Right More Important than Being Understanding?

I’m of the belief that everything in our lives is a learning experience. However, it’s up to us how quickly the lesson is learned, if at all. With that in mind, I believe I’m in the process of learning a very valuable lesson.
For months I’ve been confronted with situations where the only rational explanation for what keeps happening is that each person involved is seeing things very differently than me. Given how very differently each person perceived each situation, is it fair to say then that one person is wrong and the other right? Could it be that each person is right AND wrong?

This business of “perspective” is the foundation from which our lives are formed. Perspective is the way we as individuals view the world, which ultimately dictates the decisions we make. Through our perspective we create our lives. We decide what type of lifestyle is acceptable. What dreams we deem attainable. What jokes we find funny. What type of people we like to be around and how we get along with others, among many other things.

Knowing how important perspective is, I’m beginning to see how UNIMPORTANT proving I’m right is. I’m fully aware that saying I’m right, is saying that the other person is wrong. And, since at numerous times in my life I’ve been accused of being wrong, I know exactly how that feels. I’m left thinking, how could I be wrong? I lay out my case in my head, and to others that will agree with me, only to confirm how right I am. It’s a very difficult space to be in: when you’re 100% convinced you’re right.

I’ve been thinking about this because not only have I been faced with such a dilemma, but others in my circle have too, as I suspect everyone in the world has at one point. If we can for one moment put aside that need to be right, then recognize that the person is not wrong but instead it’s just their perspective--based on the life they’ve lived, then we can move to a more important place, LOVE.

Being right is not more important than being LOVING, CARING AND UNDERSTANDING. Love is how each and every relationship should be handled. Love is Kind. Love is Patient. Love is Understanding. If we ever hurt another human being to the point of tears, it is our duty to be compassionate and open our heart to this person, pushing aside ALL PRIDE!

Luckily for me, the people in my life that caused me to shed tears over perspective have come around. And for that I am thankful!! Recently, someone in my family was incredibly hurt by someone’s perspective. This was a very valuable lesson for me. Forcing the need to be right is not only wrong, but CRUEL.  I’m constantly preaching about self-love, but, by no means does this mean forgetting about giving love and showing love to those that matter most in our life.

Call to action this week is this: I believe if we listen closely we'll know exactly what lesson we’re in the midst of. Listen, learn and move on.
Till Next Time!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Like A Bird Set Free

Once upon a time I was going to be a singer. As a little girl, through my teenage years and through early adulthood I dreamed of a career in music. There was nothing I loved more than music, but I especially loved good vocals and good lyrics (this was my first insight into a passion I was yet to discover—writing).
My love for music led to a girl group with a couple of my friends, which led to ultimately meeting my husband—an amazing singer and music producer. But that’s where the dream stalls forever.  Though I loved singing and I spent hours upon hours in my room singing, there was one thing that came between me and my dream--Self-sabotage.

I allowed my negative talk to stop me from singing my song, from pursuing the dream in my heart. All I wanted was to sing, and to sing well. I didn’t even care if I made it famous, I just wanted to sing. But the more love I felt for singing, the more doubt I poured into myself. I would constantly say that I couldn’t sing. I would declare it to the world and felt sorry for myself for it. I hated that I was given this passion for singing yet I couldn’t fulfill it. How unfair, I thought.

After a while I laid the dream to rest and I went on with my life. Along the way I discovered another passion, writing. Looking back, I was able to see how writing had always been a part of my life, but I was too busy paying attention to how unfair life was (giving me a passion I couldn’t fulfill). But something interesting happened. The more I started falling in love with writing, a familiar voice emerged and I started self-sabotaging this dream too. Things like, “I’m not good enough.” “I can’t write. Look at this, I did it again! Another typo.” “CAN I SPELL?” I mean on an on… It was so bad that when I first joined social media I wouldn’t write anything because I was afraid I was going to say it “wrong.”  It was like I didn’t know how to talk. Suddenly every choice of word seemed like the wrong one. This way of thinking almost stopped me in my tracks again, stalling yet another dream.

Thankfully, I picked up on this destructive behavior and decided, NOPE! Not again. I will not do this to myself again. And I went for it. I began writing posts on social media, and if I made a mistake I didn’t care. Then I began to blog. Then I finished my first young adult novel More Than Words Can Say, a fantasy novel based loosely on that experience of joining a girl group and meeting an enigmatic music producer. Since then I’ve written two other novels, one that will be released this year!
Recently I’ve been obsessed with Sia’s new album Alive and her song "Bird Set Free". The lyrics speak to me in a special way:
“And I don't care if I sing off key
I find myself in my melodies
I sing for love, I sing for me
I shout it out like a bird set free”

These lyrics inspire me because I can relate. Many times we allow our imperfections to stop us from chasing that thing that lights us up. But if we could just see that no one is perfect, even those that we deem as such, we wouldn’t let our insecurities prevent us from doing what we love. I allowed my insecurities to stop me once, but never again.

So if I don’t use a properly placed comma. Or if I accidentally use the wrong word. Or if I don’t use quotation marks correctly, I don’t care. This is me. I’m not perfect and I’m okay with that. I write because it makes me happy. I feel closer to the real me when I write. I write with love, I write for me. I'll shout it out like a bird set free!
Have a listen to Bird Set Free
Till Next Time!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How I Transformed My Body with Light

One of the most important teachings of heard on the topic of healing is "adding light to darkness". 

When I first heard this phrase I didn’t really get it. Don't get me wrong, I understood the concept, however, I didn’t really know how to apply it to all areas of my life. As time went on I began to understand it more and more, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized the magic that occurs when this method is applied to our lives.  

Like most women, I’ve spent most of my life obsessing over my body. For years I dwelled over every pound and beat myself up over everything I ate. I thought I was overweight, which caused me to be insecure. I cried many times over the distorted self-image I'd created.

Learning to view life with a positive mindset meant I had to make some major changes. Over the last few years I started shifting my perspective about my body, food and exercise. By doing so, I shifted my outlook on food and exercise from one of wanting to be skinny to one of wanting to be healthy (adding light to darkness).

Before I knew it this method of adding light to darkness trickled into this area of my life, transforming me forever. I began to get curious about exercise and discovered that when it comes to working-out it’s all about me, and what works for me. Exercising is not a one-size-fits-all. Before this, I felt awful when I wouldn’t complete my workouts because I was bored, or simply wasn’t enjoying myself. Still, because I wanted to be strong and flexible and healthy I kept searching for a workout routine that I enjoyed, which ultimately led me to Yoga and now Pilates.  Then, my curiosity for learning about nutrition began to expand tremendously. It was no longer just about not eating bread for a month to see the pounds drop, it was about what was going to make me really healthy. What foods could provide the best nutrition for my body? (adding light to darkness)

By adding light to darkness I have transformed in that I no longer think about my body or food in negative ways. I work-out because I want to. I eat healthy because I want to. Because at the end of the day it makes me feel great when I do. By no means does this mean that I work out five days a week or that I don’t have my favorite red-velvet cupcake. All this means is that by adding light to a once dark area of my life I’ve been able to overcome a very difficult area of my life. I’m more comfortable in my own skin. I can now tell the difference between being overweight and needing/wanting to be toned. The negative thoughts that played in my head like a broken record no longer govern my life. I am a work-in-progress and I can see that for what it is, nothing more nothing less.
Taken March 2011 when I thought I was FAT
Adding light to a dark area of our life can be easier than we think; but only if we’re willing to work at it. Sometimes we stay in the darkness because it’s all we know, it's become habit to think the thoughts we think. But the truth is there’s no better way to live than to live in the light. Our quality of life will be better once we step into it.

How did my enlightenment physically change me? Well it's funny, once I started viewing nutrition and exercise differently, I began to eat better and exercise more. This led to shedding some pounds, which led to some toning, which led to some flattening of the belly. Because I noticed all the positive changes I was making, I was able to notice how my body was also changing for the better. In the past, any change would have gone unnoticed.  I've said it before, but I'll say it again, FOCUS IS EVERYTHING.
Taken May 2016 with my Grandson

As you can see my one thought of “I want to be healthy” shifted my entire thought process, which ultimately liberated me from a lifetime of self-mental abuse on my body image. So call to action this week is for you to take notice of any area of your life that’s consumed by darkness and begin to add light, start with a candle light if that’s all you can give. What’s important is that you take that first step to light up your world.