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What If That Voice in Your Head is a Bully?

Take a seat and grab a shovel. That internal false bully is going down.

You are the biggest bully you will ever meet. You are the worst critic, and the most relentless accuser of your own faults. You are your worst nightmare and it’s time you face the truth.

The most underrated and undeniable voice in your head is yours. The voice that speaks to you all day, everyday ever since you developed an ear for self talk holds you back like no other voice in the world.

Do you ever catch yourself wondering why someone did that thing to you two years ago? Or maybe why you hesitated to take that job offer that would’ve changed your life? Do you hear yourself finding excuse after excuse for why you can’t beat that bad habit? Or perhaps you settle that you’re f*cked up that way and there’s no changing that?

Sometimes the voice in your head tells you that you are ok but the rest of the world cannot understand you or take you seriously. The voice continues on and on giving reasons and emotional back up for the less than positive thoughts you have about yourself and others.

And so the bully has your ear, and the bully is so convinced with victim hood, falsehood and repetitive criticism that you find yourself unable to move; for no better reason than you believing that you are stuck.

The cure to the bully in our minds is not drowning it out, or trying to prove it right or wrong. The best thing we can do is recognize that bully. Surely some criticism and some control is necessary for a healthy heart and mind, but recognize the patterns and the pit holes.

Some of my bully’s patterns and pot holes for example are an on again off again imposter feeling, thoughts of inadequacy, an immense fear of rejection and a general baseline of being an outcast. Now can my bully support those claims? Yes and no. Because if you twist any situation, story or limitation in a certain way, then you can get to the conclusion you want anyway, a method known as confirmation bias.

Your bully just like mine hides behind confirmation bias.

Make peace with that bully no matter how and why you got here today. Your life ought to be lived without the constant undertone of “NO, I Can’t” in your head. Make sure that you locate the processes, and the claims behind your negative thoughts. Catch that bias that guides your life and simply think twice when the reason why you WON’T do something is embedded in self sabotaging habits.

Good luck boys and girls, CONQUER the bully in you and then you can deter the bullies outside.

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Need a lift? This Is Written for You

I love writing these tributes because those are the get me ups and the hand me downs of experience. Those are the words we wish we hear when we are sad, down and confused. So I hope my dearest reader that as you skim through this post, you find yourself somewhere between the lines, cuddled by the words and my hope at bringing you some joy perhaps when you are struggling to find it on your own. I hope that if you are looking for a sign, you find it here, a sign that you deserve the life you wish to live.

This is for the ones who crawl out of bed to a life they aren’t excited about, but do so anyway because they believe in showing up and taking life as it comes. This is for those who put others first because they know that they are capable of mending their pains later. I hope that you read this and feel some comfort that what you are doing is enough, that you are enough and overflowing. I hope you know that when thoughts of inadequacy choose to stay the night, then you are allowed to ask them to leave at the break of dawn. Those thoughts are homeless and forsaken and so they dwell with whomever gives them a bed and an ear. You have done what you must, and you are not supposed to spread your self thin. You have made it this far, and this far is always an achievement.

I hope that you give yourself a break, a real one, one where you get to heal and feel renewed. I hope that you learn not just how to stop the pain, but how to induce true happiness.

Let the hard life come, let it hit as hard as it possibly can, nothing knocks down a mountain. Live by example and try everything, you are graced by a world that doesn’t watch too closely. If you stumble and fall, get up; that is the point, that is what the world cares about. The world watches the ones who rise despite its harshness, and it nourishes those who have battled through mud and dirt to bud out into the sun.

This is for the fallers, the ones who take a hit but look up and out trying to get up and not get knocked down again. This is for the bloomers in winter and the outrageously beautiful in the dark. This is for you my friend, whenever you need it, and whenever you look up. Consider every word here a rope thrown out to you, consider them buoys helping to keep you afloat over treacherous waters. There is no point in drowning, there is no need for holding your breath.

Allow yourself to be lifted, allow yourself the joy and treat every good thing as a sign. Gain some perspective and deem yourself worthy of a brilliant life.

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Learning From Nature: The Master and The Mistress of Time

lonely woman walking in forest

Learning from Nature: Foliage

A leaf falls to the ground and I look at it. The more I look at the tree the more leaves fall off. I cannot help but think that maybe my stare is forcing this tree’s nakedness. Melancholy takes over. Then, I find myself mourning over a loss that only I alone perceive as such.

Later, I catch myself hurling my feelings, my own sympathies and tragedies onto the tree that does not suffer like me. In reality, I’ve hurled emotions at people near and far, finding suffering everywhere. Except, now I see that I am the mother of that suffering. I birthed it out of an unquiet mind and a spineless fear of the unknown.

The Questioning

How often do we beat ourselves up over not more than a thought? How often do we spare everyone else but ourselves from punishment? What is the programing behind it? What is that fear?

Signs of Life

We go about calling ourselves and our fears by new names. Since once something has a name to it it becomes slightly more familiar, and our weariness of it diminishes. We swallow pills and smoke cigarettes, we drink alcohols and green teas, making sure that we mix it up. Then, we go on diets and detoxes.

We try to clean ourselves of sorrow and shame. However, our toxins keep building and we see nothing else but the need to rise above it and abolish every uneasiness and dirty thing about us. We do it alone, and then we do it together, because having company helps us feel less alone, as though life will spare us some change and give us some benefit.The more of us the merrier and at least we get to have some fun and somebody to talk to.

Living gets serious and then it gets old, we get sick of it and it gets sick of us and we cringe at the thought of doing it all over again. So, we change and hope to fix ourselves and everything around us. We dwell on thoughts and we get too close to some truths that are convincing enough and others absolutely dubious.

Learning about truth from nature

The truth at the end is that we are just passing through; empty handed at first and empty handed at last. You can either find an immense freedom in that or a life sentence of questioning and resistance. What happens before we awaken? and what happens after we go for our eternal sleep? We learn from nature that both must not burden us. Humans already live life carrying burdens and labels in hopes of being of value or creating it, in a world so much bigger and stronger than us.

And so the tree stays still, and though I wish it could break fee of its roots and come crashing to the ground mourning its leaves and its lost colors, it does not move. It lives to withstand yet another winter and it hopes to blossom yet another spring as it stays still and lives, well rooted despite my emotions. Perhaps a lesson is to be learned here, yet again maybe my mind needs to stay pre-occupied.

I must find a name for this tree. It is a master of time or a sign of the times, it doesn’t move, but I do.

I make my steps across the new path, little do I realize that I also left a part of myself with the fallen leaves. This crash course of learning from nature reminds me there are storms to be weathered and suns to be bathed under; life awaits and I keep on.

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The Love That Loses

Do you ever think about your past loves, your ex(s)? Do you wish you could say something to them now? Do you ever wonder how it is even possible not to feel the slightest attraction to somebody you once considered heaven sent? Our hearts beat on and on but not for the same people….until they do…or do they?

Remember the tears and the open wounds of breaking up with them? Is there a person who comes to mind as you read this? A person who for some reason no body else compared to, neither when you were together nor when you left. This is a post about love, not the kind that wins but the love that loses. This kind of love lived and thrived but it had no means to continue, and with its end came hindsight and lessons; this love showed us what we wanted, how we wanted it and why. The only problem was that we did not want that love with those who were giving it to us, and us to them.

This is a post for the people we loved beyond everything and above everyone for some time. Despite the reasons and the clear ends to the days we shared, something remains; a sense of familiarity and gratitude.

Ariana Grande said it, but it ought to be said here too. Thank You. And then the next one came, and the one after and after until today. The love we thought broke and shattered whatever was left, seemed to come together again in another form, less rigid and wiser.

What is the most humane way to let past loves go?

Forgive, learn and appreciate the experience. Appreciate the love that was shared, the care that was exchanged and the words that somehow extinguished fears of that time. Think about the pain but don’t expect something in return. Pain comes and goes and nobody gets rewarded externally for living through it. Pain allows itself the highest honor in our memories of past loves; which is why when we think about past relationships we can think of little else other than the hurt we experienced and hurled back. To let go we must first let go of the pain and then permit the rest to stay. Let the pain go, but keep the love and sculpt it in a way that suits you today.

We are who we are today as lovers because of the experiences we shared and unfortunately because of the pain too. So greet your ex in the street if you see them and if you can still find the love for them somewhere inside. Greet your ex if they made you better in one way or another and if the time you shared together brought you out of some darkness and into some light.

We do not do life and love alone. We live and we love with others until we all teach each other lessons both painful and joyful. Life must be brought out on the good side of things. So don’t stay in that dull tunnel of regret and blame, look up and find your way out broken and bruised but with one hell of a heart beat.

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Losing The Weight But Not The Fat

Shedding the dead weight is not something we learn to love but ought to. Shedding the skin that held us together in times of distress or in times of love is not a practice we identify with so easily.

Think of it this way; our armors wear thin with time, sometimes we don’t need them at all and sometimes we take a few good hits and our skin feels as though it will never heal the same. So we carry our scars and our pains, we look at the blemishes and the bruises hoping to forget and possibly forgive. But why forget when you can heal and learn to create something new. Hopefully letting that scar tissue die off and peel away on its own.

The journey of letting go is one of faith, one of honor to our wounds and of pride in our strides whether they landed us in ditches or on top of the world. We all fall and we all crash, our flight is not always the smoothest and our landing sometimes isn’t so hard. There really isn’t just one way of living, but there is a great way to learning.

Look at the snake in all of its glory and all of its shameless length. The beauty in the snake being itself is its unabashed practice of shedding dead skin.

My dearest reader, as I feel a slight sadness about shedding some of my skin today I hope that you look yourself in the mirror and wonder about your dead weight, where does it lay exactly. Where do you hide the things you don’t want to face and what happens if you do face them slowly? What if you shed one thing at a time; have you any idea how brilliant it is to feel weightless?

So celebrate the weightlessness that lives within us and our conscious ability to make decisions. Let’s all learn to locate our points of pressure and try to diffuse them. Let us shed skin, hair, and people, let us claw at the fabric of our imagination and leave only what matters; only what allows us to become bigger, and what serves our ability to glow.

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How Do Millennials Overcome the Generational Stereotype?

We are the generation of nostalgia, we are the gate keepers remembering what used to be and gazing towards what will become. It continues to be surreal how we are all trying to cope with the world within our reach.

We are the generation that played outside and disregarded scraped knees. We were fascinated with toys and with beautiful Disney stories. We had the balance; we knew what used to be before technology found a home in our pockets.

Funny enough we are the ones rushing to watch the remakes of our favorite childhood movies, we are the first in line waiting for amusement park rides, and we are apparently the childless couples who instead of honeymooning on remote islands, go to Disney Land to play with Mickey.

Our biggest problems with our superiors, parents and governments is that they cannot understand the duality of our generational identity. We are children at heart, and are trying to redefine adult life not for us only but for the generations that come after us. The younger ones that resemble their parents and grandparents with little to nothing. We are thrust into a world that does not realize where it is headed, lead by old men who cannot wrap their little dinosaur hands around the meager resources that remain. And so we leave our desk jobs, and we leave tradition. We try to fix what can be fixed and live with less. Minimalism and not growing any roots anywhere we go are symptoms of our modern economy. The generation that embraces meditation, yoga and clean eating, a generation that hopes to learn from others and include everyone.

Or at least that’s what we think we are.

Except, we are the generation that also voted for someone like Trump, and we are the generation that cannot deal with life without an AI sidekick. We are the generation that was so bored and lost that a lot of us fought in wars and still are included in wars, both real and virtual, way over our heads.

The point from this is that we can all wear rose colored glasses, and drink Chai Tea Lattes (which literally translates to tea tea by the way), we can avoid gluten at all costs and stop using plastic. We can go off the grid or count our followers until eternity. Nothing will help us except understanding that we are not a stand alone generation. We are not a separate kind of humans unlike any other.

We would love to boast and say that we are immensely different and that we will change the world. But, truth is every generation changes the world, and at any point there is an old lady and a little girl on opposite poles of the earth doing something incredible for humanity, and they don’t even have to speak English.

Understanding the value of the old and the opportunity dwelling in the new is a skill, one that many of us who champion our generation for being so unique disregard.

Well So What?

So what, if we remember how wonderful it used to be to have a technology free childhood? So what if we can afford to live so differently today than our parents could in their day? What can we learn from all that?

What can you learn from what you’ve known, and how can you transform it and bring something better to the table?

In short, only one deduction remains; the value of our generation must be our contribution, it must be the honing of new skills. We must learn to mediate between our memories and nostalgias and actively prepare a better tomorrow.

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12 Sets to Quiet that Scary Brain of Yours

The set of 12 was coming to an end, and my lungs felt like deflated balloons. I don’t smoke, AT ALL. But damn, my breathing was so off. I sat on one of the black benches, with some threads ripped at the sides, I stared into the mirror into my red face, and under the white lights, despite the pressure inside my mind and the sore muscles in my legs I felt strong. REALLY F*CKING STRONG.

We all have a relationship with our bodies, some toxic, other obsessive, some great and some nonexistent. One thing that gives us an incredible foundation to our relationship with our bodies is movement. Movement helps us understand that the brain can chatter a lot, it can distract the hell out of us and can put us off course; the brain alone makes up stories; and worst of all it could tell us that we are weak, not good enough or strong enough. Our thoughts are so influenced by our circumstances and if we really let them go out and play, they start to multiply and create more rational and irrational reasons for said sob story. Which is why we need good habits like Movement that are cornerstones in our days, regardless how the day goes, we move anyway.

Be careful, one good recipe for a mental health DISASTER is sitting on our butts all day, doing something (or nothing) and letting our brains run loose.

That is where movement comes in.

Movement whichever form of it you choose whether it is dancing, working out in the gym or on your living room floor, or simply taking a walk during lunch break helps put our thoughts in check. Why? When we allow our bodies to take charge for at least 30 minutes a day, our bodies’ cortisol (stress hormone) levels drop and our endorphins (friendly good hormones) get a good boost to shut the door on the negative thoughts and feelings. Do this enough and your muscles get used to the movements, and your brain learns to incorporate them into whatever story it wants to tell itself. Here is an example

BEFORE

Today is a bad day, There is so much traffic and I feel so tired from sitting all day. I have a headache and my friends bailed on our outing. END of story, your spirit is down, you go to bed after downing a likely unhealthy beverage because why bother? You are that Guy\Girl. You are somebody who doesn’t care.

AFTER

Today is an OK day. It wasn’t great, there was so much traffic and I felt tired sitting all day. I went and did my workout however, and then I realized that my friends had cancelled our plans. Its a good time to get some well-needed good food and rest because I SHOWED UP today. I feel strong and go figure, I no longer get those annoying headaches from staring at the screen all day.

Movement does wonders. and allowing our brains a break from thinking is a must! Let it get busy counting repetitions and sets, or let it focus on getting that target you set for yourself. Don’t allow it to run wild on toxic habits.

Try it and find out for yourself, after all, bad habits are hard to break but good habits are equally difficult to stop as well. So choose your habits wisely!