Getting Back to Basics

Well I must say, I am in a really amazing place right now! I hope it’s contagious 🙂

I have taken a step back from the chaos of the past six months and it has given me great clarity.

I can see now how easy it can be to lose sight of where we are headed in life. Even when you think you have it all figured out, life has a way of derailing you down a path you never planned.

Sometimes it is a complete dead end and you end up having to track back through the mud and the muck of past lessons you have not quite mastered.

Other times it is simply a detour…you get lost along the way for a bit, but eventually you begin to recognize old patterns and you manage to follow the breadcrumbs right to where you were meant to be.

I wouldn’t say I hit a dead end…it was more like I picked up the wrong trail of breadcrumbs for a while, went in circles for a bit, but eventually ended up back where I needed to be.

It was a humbling experience.

I thought I was an expert at positive thinking. There was no way I would ever fall back into feeling negative all the time! I was wrong, but it was a good reality check for me. I discovered a lot of areas in my life that I still needed to work on and old self defeating behaviors that I thought I had mastered.

I learned that I still have a tendency to take on more than I can handle sometimes and that I have a very  hard time admitting that to anyone…especially myself.  For me, failure in any form is perhaps the feeling I hate the most. Rejection is right up there with it, but that is easier to swallow because it is more like an incompatibility than something you didn’t succeed in. When I interview for a job and I don’t get the position or I go out with someone new and it doesn’t go quite well, I simply chalk it up to not being the  right fit. Failure on the other hand carries all the weight of the expectations associated with the goal you did not reach or the relationship that didn’t work out. Moments of failure are like poison to my normal routine of positive thinking.

It is easy to stay positive when everything in your life is going great, but the real challenge is finding a way to do it when everything seems to be falling apart. But once you do, you will find strength you never knew you had and  discover all the  power to change your circumstance within you.  You are no longer filled with anger and sadness, because you are too preoccupied with finding ways to better your life and the life of those around you.

After this recent reflection, I have a greater appreciation for my life and all of the people in it, regardless of their role. I believe that everyone enters our lives for a reason. Some may treat us poorly, but in most cases those people are the catalyst for some major growth.  I think that is why forgiveness is so freeing. When we place all the blame for our circumstances on others, we carry around the weight of all the pain we associate with them. Replaying significant moments over and over in our mind, stirring up old negative feelings, until it completely prevents us from ever moving forward.

But when we forgive, it is like purging the mind. We are able to look back on those moments with gratitude because we know the role they played in helping us become the person we are today.

Sure it is easier to sit around and bellyache about the painful things that have happened to you in the past, but you are only wasting the small amount of time we have on this earth. Nothing will ever change until you step up and take charge of your own life.

It is not the fault of previous lovers that you are afraid of love or the fault of your parents that you are insecure. It is yours.

Your life went on after those experiences and every day you had a choice as to whether or not to try and move forward and you didn’t. So year after year, you not only carry the weight of the past, but you add to it. Until one day, you begin to accept your fears as simply being a part of who you are. They become an excuse for you to take the easy way out and just settle for your life instead of creating it.

And that is all fine and good if you are happy, but are you? I mean really happy? Or are you just settling for the life you think you have to live?

I know it sounds a little harsh, but it’s true. It would be very easy to blame my mother for all of my insecurities, abandonment issues and fears of failure. And I am pretty sure most would agree she played a role, but that was then and this is now.

Recently, I asked myself those questions. I took a long hard look at every aspect of my life and made myself answer honestly.

And I am not ashamed to admit that my answer was NO for a lot of them. And that was okay because I took it as a challenge. I moved my energy from feeling bad about the less desirable aspects of my life to figuring out what it was that bothered me and finding a way to turn things around.

The difference it has made in me has been transformative and still expanding every day.

I am not saying I won’t run into another detour, but let’s hope this time I make a few less circles around the trail!

 

I Just Love My Family!

One of my intentions for this year was to be better about staying in contact with my family and friends and to hopefully reconnect with those I may have lost touch with over the years.

This past Christmas, one of my aunts decided to get the family together because it has been a really long time and I mean a really long time. Not everyone was able to make it, but those of us that did had such a great time. After dinner we all sat around and recalled stories of the past. We laughed and laughed. For anyone who has been following along or has had a chance to read my memoir, you can only imagine the stories we had to tell. We have all been through a lot in our lives and managed to turn out pretty darn well 🙂

I felt amazing (and a little sad) when I left. I don’t know how to explain it, but something about sharing space with my kin again lit a fire inside of me. It’s like I didn’t realize how much I missed them because we had all grown so far apart. Being together again seemed to erase the gaps between us. I kept thinking to myself how much I love my family and how blessed I am to have been broken from the same mold. This moment was my inspiration to be a better friend, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin…you get the point.

I launched this intention on 12/26/15.

Ever since then the universe keeps sending me opportunity after opportunity to do so. I have reconnected with friends I have not spoken with since high-school and family members I thought I would never hear from again. I’ve had a nice visit to PA to see my godparents and a surprise visit from my step dad, his wife and my step brother, All of whom I have not been able to spend time with in years!

I have talked with my family more in the last two months than I have in the last 10 years! It’s amazing.

Crazy stuff will happen too, like just today I was thinking about someone and before I had a chance to contact them, I was on the phone with them through someone else and they were at the house of yet another person I had been meaning to call. It was so great!

So much of my issue before was that I simply forget, not because I don’t care, just because I have so much going on at any given time that instead of acting on something right when I think of it, I will think, “I’ll do it later” and then I forget. I have been trying to make a better effort to act on those impulses as they happen if possible.

I find, I have less to plan to do, because I just do it as it pops in my mind. And time and time again I find that I am getting more of what I need to get done than I used to. It’s very possible that all those years of over thinking may have been a bit counter productive on my part…haha

Yesterday, I thought of two people I needed to send thank you cards to and instead of putting it on a list (my normal go to), I just did it. Now it’s done and I can move on to the next thing.

Abraham Hicks talks a lot about the Art of Allowing; making peace with all things where they are. Love yourself and those around you for who you/they are in this very moment.

“It means allowing yourself to love your kids, your spouse, your friends, your family even if they don’t do what you want/think they should. It means allowing other people to make their own choices (and live out the consequential experience of those choices) for themselves.”

For example, sure maybe you would like to lose 20 lbs. Does it serve you to spend your time worrying about how that is going to happen or dwelling on the fact that you have 20 lbs to lose? I think most would agree that the answer is no. Instead try allowing yourself to be happy with who you are first. Then take the steps needed not as a remedy to fixing your situation, but rather as something you are doing to improve the great person you already are. Sounds cheesy I know, but trust me it works.

I am speaking from my own personal experience. I have about 20 lbs that I would like to lose and I used to waste a lot of thought getting down on myself about it. I made a switch in my thinking and now I don’t see it as 20lbs I need to lose in order to be happy. I have made peace with where I am and keep focused on my positive attributes. Anything I do to improve myself is because I want to do exactly that, improve myself, not fix myself.

And do you know that I go to the gym 5-6 days a week, I eat the right foods and I drink more than the amount of water I need to. That may not sound like a huge overhaul to you, but anyone that knows me, knows that I have never gone to the gym regularly and getting me to drink one glass of water a day was a challenge. For me this is a huge shift and I am enjoying every minute of it. 🙂

No one in my life is perfect and neither am I, but I love them and myself anyway. It allows me to be free to appreciate without judgement or wasted energy.

How boring the world would be if we were all perfect.

 

The Responsibility is Yours

Do you feel as if other people are always the ones messing up your positive vortex?

Abraham Hicks would say that is impossible. It is your negative expectation that is the cause. What you expect from someone it usually what you are going to receive from them. It’s like you are replying the same sad story over and over again in your mind and by doing this you are giving power to that negative vibration. Therefore pulling more and more of it to you.

“You need to forget that you don’t jive in order to jive” – Abraham Hicks

Abraham’s advice is to simply start over, to retrain your way of thinking about that person.

Get a notebook and make a list of the positive aspects of that person to help you move past the negative aspects that you keep focusing on.

Learn how to activate a different part of them in you.

If you truly care about someone, I think it is worth the time.

I find this to be very good advice, given my recent situation.

I was hurt, but that is no reason to keep replaying all the pain over and over in my mind. Justifying to myself why my feelings of disappointment are valid.

There is no room to grow from that place and chances are if someone has been in your life for a long time there is a reason they are there.

Sure relationships and friendships change over time, but it is our responsibility to adjust to them if we truly value the presence of this person in our life.

I am working, so making a list of positive aspects of this person will have to wait until later, but in the meantime I have a plan.

Each time a negative thought or recollection comes to mind about this person today, I will intentionally try to think of a positive time I had with them or a nice thing they have done for me in the past.

If I keep expecting this person to let me down or take advantage of me, they will just keep doing it because that is the vibration I am putting out.

It will be interesting to see the change in them when I begin to expect positive behavior from them rather than negative.

It’s worth a shot right?!

 

Image courtesy of Rawich at FreeDigitalPhotos.net