In case you didn’t know, it is not always sunshine and daffodils when it comes to constantly evolving into a better person and striving to remain as positive as possible.
**Warning** This is going to be a very blunt post. Although it will get around to the inspiration a little later…It’s time to get real for a sec.
** This is also quite a long post. Rest assured everything that is said here is necessary. Plus there’s a video at the end. Think of it as a prize for those of you who make it all the way to the bottom. 🙂
Discovering The Deeper Levels:
This personal and spiritual development journey can be a drag sometimes. The more I feel I’ve grown, the more I find I need to grow. I’m ultimately on this journey to become a better person, make more of a positive influence on the world, and find true happiness. With that, I am constantly working on myself.
My mother put it very cleverly once when I became frustrated by how far I’ve come, yet I seem to keep uncovering more layers that require healing and renovations. She said, “You thought you were doing heavy cleaning but in actuality it was only a light dusting.” All I could do was laugh hysterically. Exactly. That was exactly how I felt.
I work hard to uncover and transform past hurts or limiting beliefs from my childhood that have wreaked havoc on my adult life. When I’m successful at doing this, I ride a wave of blissful accomplishment, until that is, I’m stopped in my tracks by yet another, and many times even more destructive, old dusty issue that has reared its ugly head now that the top layer is finally gone. This cycle can be quite tiring! It truly knocks the wind out of me at times. As my mom’s metaphor suggests, it takes persistence and a bit more elbow grease to be able to get past the light dusting and accomplish the heavy cleaning.
It all comes down to how bad you want it. At least I picked up the duster, right? And the good news is, I keep picking it up. No matter how long it takes and how hard it gets I am determined to get my insides as clean and healed as possible.
“The challenge is not to be perfect, it’s to be whole. It’s a toxic desire to try to be perfect.” – Jane Fonda
Even still, this journey can turn out to be a maze at times.
I’ve noticed that no matter the amount of my progression, I somehow feel it necessary to participate in a healthy dose of self-sabotage. I feel it’s only right to stop myself in my tracks when I’m doing so well with everything. After all, things can’t be THAT good all the time, right?
Participating in all these positive activities everyday becomes annoying sometimes. Who feels like proclaiming positive affirmations, reading positive quotes, listening to positive people and being creatively productive all day, everyday! Sometimes it’s just too much. Sometimes I have to just sleep in late, skip the meditation and complain about a few things in order to feel normal again. Isn’t that what REAL people do anyway? I’m real! Nobody has time for all this positivity stuff ALL the time! Life happens and I have to be real with it…. Right?
In all seriousness, it’s all about perspective. It’s funny how I can get tired of being positive. Did I get tired of constantly being negative, judgmental and stagnant all the time? Eventually, yes. That’s when I started this journey. I wanted more out of life and now I’m getting it. It’s all about having the right perspective, because yes life does happen. When your head and heart are in the right place “life” won’t knock you so far off the track that you forget that there are still reasons to be grateful no matter how bad things may seem, or that there are always learning and growth opportunities in each setback or challenge.
Speaking of perspective, I’ve realized that it’s quite important. After spending some time entertaining self-sabotage, my attention automatically shifts and remains on everything that’s wrong. My thoughts become so locked on the negative that I feel justified in complaining about everything. I feel that I not only should have the right to complain but that people should listen, understand and agree! Don’t they see?! Things just aren’t right, and I deserve better, and until I get it I should be allowed the time and energy to sulk about it. It’s only right!
In essence, all that I’ve described here is my indulgence in pure nonsense. Perspective is everything. What I feel may be wrong with my life, could be a life of bliss for someone in a much worse predicament. To be fair, we all dabble in it. We’re human. The key is not to become consumed with the negative thoughts and feelings, instead learn how to swiftly dismiss and forgive them.
“When you’ve mastered your mind, you’ve mastered your life.” – The Secret
The balance between positive and negative is most certainly not in the middle. To succeed in life and find true happiness, one must definitely ingest more positivity than not. The trick is to immerse yourself in as much positivity as you can stand and simply accept the rest. Acceptance is one of the first steps in being able to forgive and eventually dismiss the undesired thoughts, feelings and experiences in life. Accept where you are. Accept who you are. Accept how far you have to go. Fighting or judging it is only stirring up more negativity around it, enhancing the undesired experience. Accept it, no matter how ugly, forgive it, and move forward.
In order to start this process, the first step is to get some lifelines. Lifelines are exactly what they sound like. They pull you up out of the water when you’re drowning. When you feel stressed, depressed, angry, hopeless, stuck or like you’re spiraling downward out of control, you have to be able to reach out and grab something that will snap you back into bliss and happiness…. or if you can’t get that far…. at least peace. When choosing your lifelines they should always be free and easily accessible. There should be no excuse as to why you can’t benefit from them exactly when you need to. You may even have to have an emergency set of lifelines. They come in handy when your regular lifelines just don’t do it for you.
My current lifelines are nature, music and writing. One of these 3 things can instantly bring me joy, peace, bliss and happiness when I need it.
If you’ve read some of my previous posts you know how much I love nature. I can’t help but be grateful for life while sitting in the park, feeling the breeze through my hair, the sun on my skin and the love in my heart. I experience undisturbed serenity that cannot be explained. I instantly feel blissful, peaceful and grateful. There is something about fresh air, trees, and the raw beauty of nature that just makes the world a better place. I’m blessed to be able to tap into this bliss simply by walking across the street from my home whenever I want. 🙂
Music is an instant energy shifter for me. There is something about the beat of my favorite song that just makes my body move. I love it. I especially love my “Feel Good Music” playlist. It’s a list of my favorite uplifting and empowering songs from some of my favorite artists. That has bliss written all over it.
I think it’s important for everyone to have a handful of songs they can pull from when they need a positive energy shift. It’s definitely beneficial to be connected to more than just the random nonsense on the radio. True growth and maturity happens when one can be turned on by more than just the lustful and romantic love songs that many are inundated with on a daily basis. This only causes people to continuously search outward for pleasure and love. It’s necessary to be filled with songs that make you feel good about YOU, all by yourself…not because you’re with someone else or because you have been able to achieve the look of your favorite artist in their latest music video. It’s important to be able to groove to tunes that inspire you simply because you deserve to love and be happy with yourself, right now, exactly where you are in life. A good way to truly be happy, no matter how bad things look, is to also infuse yourself with songs that remind you that things WILL get better if you just KEEP THE FAITH. All of these types of songs are just as important as breathing. They give life. They ignite love. Make sure you are inhaling the right tunes! Get high on life! Get high on you!
My third lifeline is writing. Writing is my release. It’s my intimate connection with God. Sometimes during my self-sabotage days, I’ll create an aversion to writing. I won’t even journal. I just won’t feel like it. That’s called resistance. Anytime we are moving forward in positive change our ego starts to freak out. In order to successfully change, it becomes necessary to fight against our mind and body to move forward. Honestly, sometimes I lose the fight. When my mind and body rise up against my progress, I’ll sit down and let them do their thing. My mind will even go as far as telling me I don’t like to write. I’ll listen to other writers and authors say, “I must write, for my sanity” and I’ll feel like I don’t relate. Let me tell you right now, that’s ridiculous! I MUST WRITE. Even if it doesn’t sound good or make any sense. I must get it out. Writing also connects me to the divinity and wisdom within me. If I’m perplexed by something, as soon as I expend my energy writing out my vent, clarity comes. I can literally end a sentence with the answer to the beginning. Writing is my medicine, my relief, my release, my prayer. It’s definitely a line of life for me.
Now that you see what my lifelines do for me, I beg of you, find and use yours as often as necessary. You’ll love yourself for it.
Sometimes the lifelines you have set up just won’t work. There are exceptions to every rule. There are times when your mind, body and spirit just won’t respond to all the things you think will make you feel better. It’s ok. That’s where the emergency set of lifelines step in. My emergency backup has been positive friends and influences in my life. I think it’s important to have at least two positive people around. I say two because you even need a backup to the backup to ensure you’re always covered.
At a time when none of my lifelines worked and I felt overwhelmed by everything, I was able to basically “cry on a friend’s shoulder” and feed from her positive energy. She reminded me to just be. If I was mad at the world for the moment, so be it. That’s that acceptance piece I mentioned earlier. If you can just allow yourself to be “off” for the moment, not expecting yourself to be superhuman 24/7, it takes the pressure and shame off of being negative. The worse thing you can do is beat up on yourself for feeling bad (I’ve been known to be a pro at this). It’s like picking at a fresh wound, it only makes things worse. To ensure you don’t end up with a long lasting scar, simply accept the bad mood for what it is. Once you embrace what is and allow yourself to completely release all of the pent up feelings, clarity and peace will come. It makes for a much smoother process.
My positive friend also reminded me to tap back into my daily positive activities. I’ll list those in a minute. More than anything, the feeling that I remembered most after our call was just being affiliated with someone positive, nonjudgmental, and understanding. She just let me cry, accepted me with all my mess, and offered sound, simple wisdom to help lift my spirits. I got off the call feeling better, just from interacting with positivity. Yes, she also reminded me of important things that helped in the following days, but her positive energy reached passed my mind and lifted my spirit before anything else. That is priceless and I will be forever grateful.
My back up to the back up is the yin to the yang. I have another friend who grabs me by the collar, stops my tears and yanks me back to happy. lol. She also offers sound advice that always reminds me of the principles that I already know and happen to be currently breaking by having the meltdown. Sometimes I try to fight the abrupt process because, like I said before, I feel justified in my complaints. But in the end I’m grateful to be stopped in my tracks because it’s less time spent wallowing and more time laughing, if at nothing else, my antics.
It’s definitely beneficial to have the lifelines and people you need for the times and moods you need them. The important thing is to have them. To be without them is dangerous.
Positive reinforcement practices are just as important as the rest. If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent most of your life being negative and judgmental without even knowing it. I was a complex kind. I was quite the optimist. But in reality, I complained about anything, judged everything and focused on the worst. Like I said, I wasn’t aware of these traits. These were the effects of my subconscious. In my conscious mind I thought I had it all together! The dangerous part is that the subconscious rules 90 – 95% of what we do. So not until we realize that and consciously work toward healing and uplifting the subconscious are we able to truly make positive change. The challenge is, the subconscious is stubborn. It would rather not change its comfy position. After all, it’s been there for years!
In order to adjust the subconscious so that it serves us better, we must constantly convince it of our ideal lives so it can let go of our past lives. For this reason, repetition is important in affecting the subconscious. The easiest way to repeat something is to do it everyday. We are familiar with daily repetitive action. Most of us live on automatic. It’s only when the automatic internal beliefs are uplifting and empowering that we are able to obtain consistent joy, success, and peace throughout our lives. It only makes sense that the inside matches the outside.
My goal is to have a constant stream of all of the above. I have definitely started the process of adjusting my subconscious. It believes the stories I tell it of my ideal life sometimes. But other times it remembers all too well its comfortable position in my past. Luckily, I’m on the path to constant goodness and reaping the benefits along the way that I previously only dreamed about.
That path consists of positive repetitive actions. Some of the actions that I practice on a regular basis are meditation, plugging into spiritual leaders, visualization practices, mirror work, and reading positive texts (no, not cell phone texts, positive reading material).
Meditation is important for connecting to Spirit and quieting the mind. Many times our minds become manic. Because the mind is so important to the reality creation process (“Thoughts become things.” – The Secret), we must learn to calm and quiet the mind so it can more easily be channeled in a positive, productive manner. If you are looking for answers to your prayer, you must practice listening instead of steadily offering up requests. Meditation is the art of listening.
I think it’s important to plug into several spiritual leaders. It’s good to get a fresh perspective on important lessons. It keeps you interested, engaged and growing. That is the key to progression. Never forget, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Unknown. Don’t under estimate the power of the spiritual world. The more you understand it, the more you’ll benefit from it and have an easier, more fulfilled experience on earth.
Visualization is key because pictures are the language of the subconscious. The pictures and movies that we play in our minds are what the subconscious believes. So if you take the time to show your subconscious pictures of your ideal life, it will start to believe you and in turn begin to make manifest those pictures into your reality. This is where the concept of vision boards comes from.
I have also been introduced to Mind Movies, a video version of vision boards that includes positive affirmations, music and pictures. Mind Movies are awesome. Watching them engages your emotions and gets your energy moving while looking at the appropriate pictures. I use them often and, on top of them reminding me of the components of my ideal life, they immediately shift my energy into one of joy.
When you create the combination of positive emotions and feelings with the ideal thoughts and pictures in your mind, you have created a win/win situation. Doing the mental and emotional work sets the universe in motion to make your dreams come true. Connecting with Spirit in meditation helps you to calm down, slow down and listen to what the universe is offering so that you can ultimately make the right decisions. You are the creator of your world, so you must learn how to connect the dots to create the desired outcome. This is why all of these steps and actions are important.
Mirror work is also imperative because it is simply self-esteem building. How can you create your life if you don’t even believe you’re capable of creating a craft? Many times, in stating positive affirmations or studying our visualization tools we are projecting our thoughts and feelings outward. Even when writing, although it’s intimate, it’s still focusing our attention outward. Looking in the mirror and telling yourself how great you are turns your focus inward. It creates a boomerang effect for all of the positive energy that you project into the world and reminds your conscious and subconscious mind that the power, success, and beauty really do belong to that person in the mirror! It’s a very important part of the process. Try it. You’ll like it.
Reading positive texts are simply reinforcements of everything. I like to have positivity coming from all directions. It guarantees I’m getting it one way or another. I have daily teachings from The Secret as a widget on the desktop of my laptop. This is the option for lazy people like me. All I have to do is turn my computer on and along with my beach background I’m seeing a positive message everyday. I also get positive emails sent to me constantly just by signing up with certain websites (mainly spiritual and positive leaders). I also read scriptures as well as personal and spiritual development books. I try to get my eyes on anything that’s uplifting and empowering.
The Round Up:
So as you can see, even with all of the positivity I engage in, I still have setbacks. The good news is, I have a lot of reinforcements to help me bounce back when I need to. The even better news is, I am truly finding hope within. 🙂
I used to search outwardly for vices to help ease my pain. I was the first one to say, “Let’s get a drink” if my girlfriends or I was having a bad day. It was the fastest way to a good time, in my opinion. But now I am truly learning to find happiness and peace within, including my physical reinforcements. You may say nature, music, positive friends, texts, spiritual leaders, etc. are all outward remedies as well. The difference is, I manifested each one as I needed them. After pulling away from everything I once thought I knew and taking the time to truly search myself, I found the desire to create these reinforcements in my life (ones that truly make me happy and fulfill my unique needs). I took the time to become hyper-aware of my feelings and thoughts so that I could consciously draw bliss into my life. It’s a beautiful process!
And let’s not get it twisted. I still enjoy drinks! Now, they simply enhance a good time, when everything is already alright, instead of stepping in to solve (really only temporarily mask) my problems.
I know all of this is a lot, but I had to get it out! Thanks for sticking with me and I hope it helps!
The moral of the story is, as you encounter the inevitable struggles, setbacks, and potholes on your everlasting journey, always remember there is still hope! You may feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. You can always put the bag of bricks down and pick up a ray of hope and inspiration that massage your shoulders instead of burdening them.
As promised, here is a great video that explains exactly why its important to pay as much attention to your inner-self as your physical body. Enjoy!
If you need help with any of the topics discussed here, check out the Abundant Living Resources in the column to the right of this post.
Share your thoughts in the comments: What hangups have you come across in your journey? What are some of your lifelines or daily practices?
Peace, Love & Progression,