Turn Off The Noise

It’s been 47 days since I’ve written a post. Life has been SO so so insane. It’s been a whirlwind since I left Chicago. Well, actually since I started packing which was shortly after my last post. I packed up all my stuff, and on August 22, 2014, got in my car and drove to Boston stopping in Columbus and D.C. on the way. It’s been 5 weeks of craziness. New city, new apartment, new roommates, new job, new everything. The first few weeks were so hectic I didn’t have a second to just stop and absorb it all. And now I am finally at a point where I am slowing down and taking it all in.

Moving to a new city is a big deal. There is so much to explore, so much to learn. New commute to work. New places to eat. New people to meet.

I’ve learned a great deal about myself in these few weeks. I’ve learned how much I truly and genuinely enjoy my alone time. I’ve learned how much I appreciate the quiet. I’ve not only learned to love silence, but I also need it in my life.

People can be so afraid of solitude. So afraid of silence. Sometimes we wrap ourselves up with business and meaningless noise just so we don’t have to be alone with our thoughts, alone with ourselves. But I know these things are vital to my happiness and my sanity.

Life can be so busy, but it’s so important to take the time to slow down and go within, to listen to those thoughts, to reflect on your life, to just be you.

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Live The Life You Want To Live

The American life is interesting.

It’s not always great.

It’s not always bad.

But it is interesting.

We have so much freedom in America. Or at least it seems we do. Or at least we do in comparison to other countries. We have the right to free speech– which really is the most amazing thing. I am forever grateful for this right.

Americans are also given the right to the pursuit of happiness. But, I think this really throws people for a loop. Why? Well, it’s not the right to happiness, but rather, the right to the pursuit of happiness. What does this mean?

I think it means that we have the right to chase after happiness– to go for the gold, to be ambitious, to try and get what we want.

So, is that problematic? Not exactly. Not in and of itself, no. But I do think it throws people off, so to speak, because this chase– this consistent need to achieve and gain something– keeps us in a constant state of motion where we are always after the next goal. We haven’t even stopped to enjoy the kill before we are off attacking our next prey.

I think this is why happiness alludes so many Americans. I speak to America because I am an American and I am not knowledgable enough about other countries and cultures to speak about their levels of happiness and contentment.

I think we all need to stop for a second, or at least slow down, and ask ourselves, “What exactly does the life I want to live look like?” Not the life someone else has or wants– not the life society, the media, or our parents tell us we should want– but the life we actually desire. Maybe that life doesn’t include a million dollars. Is that okay? Fuck yeah, you better believe it is. I think ambition goes a long way, but pure joy that comes from within goes a lot further.

Some people are going to be happy with corporate or office jobs. Other people are going to be happy teaching in a classroom. Some will be happy as painters, writers, and musicians. Some people will be happy working retail or cleaning houses. The point is that we need to do what will make our lives truly content by doing what is naturally calling to us. This is what that freedom– that right that is given to us– could mean. It’s possible that your calling will mean you become a PhD or a CEO. And that’s awesome. But if your calling is to be a mechanic, a stay-at-home mom, or an aspiring artist, then that’s equally awesome.

This same calling can be attributed to all parts of our lives– not just our careers and jobs. It’s in everything. It’s in how you look, what your hobbies are, how you keep your house, etc. You can observe and notice what other people are doing, but ultimately, you need only take what works for you and leave the rest. Be yourself. Be wholly and unabashedly you. And then love every teensy-weensy part of it.

We are all one and we are all in this together. No one is better. No one is worse. We are all equal. Don’t compete for what other people want– just go after what you truly and genuinely want for yourself. Find your calling from within and you can find joy in this life.

Namaste. Xo

Acceptance

I accept myself 100%. I am troubled sometimes, yes, but I am learning. My eyes are closed sometimes, yes, but mostly they are open. I have setbacks, yes, but everyday, hour, and moment is a chance to start over. I am starting over. I have strong emotions, yes, but this makes me genuine, passionate, and expressive, and I am learning to express them in healthy ways. This is beauty. I have expectations sometimes, yes, but I am learning to let them go. I worry and have anxiety sometimes, yes, but I am learning to breathe in the present moment. The here and now. I have needs, yes, but I am learning to express them. I still need other people, yes, but it is becoming less and less because I am learning to give myself what I need. My vibration goes negative sometimes, yes, but I am learning to realign it to a more positive vibration. I still get sad sometimes, yes, but I am learning to be happier. I still have more to learn, yes, but I am learning to recognize my improvements and give myself some credit. I don’t have to be perfect because I am perfect just the way I am. I still put my star in other people’s hands sometime, yes, but I am learning to take it back and keep it in my own hands. I reject my experiences sometimes, yes, but I know that Karma has agreements with my soul that have already been made and that I need to accept all of my experiences. I forget to trust the Universe sometimes, yes, but I know that I can trust it and that it’s always taking care of me.

I am lucky.

I am grateful.

I am love.

I am lucky.

I am grateful.

I am love.

Cheers, tears, and self-love,

-A Xo

I’m a Yogi

yogi

I’m a yogi. A true, genuine, loving, compassionate, happy, friendly yogi. And I love every second of it.

Yoga has been one of the most, if not the most, beneficial thing in my life– physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. It has given me more than anything has ever give me. Time, space, appreciation, love, clarity, meditation, physique, happiness, trust, strength, gratitude. These are all things yoga has given me.

I love my yoga mat. It’s just a simple, red-orange one. It’s nothing fancy. Most of the times I put a towel over it because I don’t want to get tons of sweat on it, but I love that yoga mat like it’s a part of me. I love it like it’s a family member. I can picture it right now hanging over my closet door.

My favorite type of yoga is hot vinyasa yoga. I love the flow. I love the concentration. I love the breathing. I love the energy. I love the heat. I’ve never felt more cleansed, satisfied, full of love, and full of life as I have when I’ve finished a hot yoga class.

I am doing a hot yoga teacher training this summer and I cannot wait! I could not be more pumped about it. I am looking forward to deepening my practice, learning more about yoga, and becoming a bigger part of the yogi community. I plan on sharing everything I learn here. I think the benefits would surprise you, so if you haven’t had a chance to try yoga yet, do it now. It’s worth it. Trust me!

Namaste.

Cheers, tears, and self-love,

-A Xo

Patience as a Value

Patience1

Patience.

Does anyone really have it?

Yes, of course. They must! I, unfortunately, have found patience to be one of the most difficult things to possess. It’s hard to conjure up, it’s hard to keep once I do have it, and it’s hard to recognize that I’m being impatient in the first place.

But yet, it’s so important.

And why exactly is it so important?

It’s important because it contributes to happiness and inner peace. I think a lack of patience can lead to anxiety and unhappy feelings. And, really, why are we always in such a rush anyway? Why don’t we accept more things as they are? If things were supposed to be moving faster, then… wouldn’t they be moving faster?

My biggest problem with patience comes when I want something to happen. Nothing can move fast enough and I will impatiently wait for this “thing” to happen. And you know what? That “thing” happens and nothing really changes. Being impatient is like waiting for the future, and while you wait for the future, you miss the present moment, the here and now, your true life.

What is life if not your present moment? Sure, we have memories of the past, and we think about the future, but are those real-life? Not really. Your real life is the moment that is happening right this second in front of you. My life right now is writing this article. Your life right now is reading this article. Nothing else really matters. If you can enjoy this very moment, then you can be happy. And if you live every moment that way, then wouldn’t you always be happy?

It sounds so easy, and I know it gets easier and easier the more you practice, but I don’t think it starts off that way. I do think, though, that there is a direct link between patience and happiness. Being patient means that you can see the value of your present moment and you’re not just looking forward to the next thing. When that next thing does happen, great! But being impatient means stressing and over-thinking, distracting yourself from your reality. And that’s where unhappiness begins.

So, how do we cultivate patience? I think it’s about always staying in the present moment, in the here and now. Make every moment count. Make every interaction matter. Be thankful for each and every moment you have and really live each and everyone of them. That’s your reality. That’s your happiness.

Start by believing it. Try meditating on positive statements such as: I am patient. I am a patient person. I can be patient. I have patience. I have the power to be patient. I am patient. 

Pitch it out there and the Universe will hear you.

Cheers, tears, and self-love,

-A xo

p.s. The here and now, baby!

 

We’re Alright

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This morning my soul faced a pretty big test.

What do I mean by this? Well, what I mean is that I experienced some anxiety this morning, and I was faced with the challenge of understanding the emotion, and more importantly, not freaking out about it.

Anxiety has always been a part of me. I’ve gotten so much better at handling it these past 6-7 years. I’ve practiced and practiced. And still, it just comes. Usually, I can identify what is causing it, which I think is really important. It’s not a blame-game, it’s merely an understanding of what might be triggering the feeling. Today, I knew exactly what was causing my anxiety. It was the need to make a big decision, a decision that has all sorts of consequences. One of the key things I did to handle my anxiety was to ask myself this: Can you honestly say that you are okay with all consequences (good and bad) that can arise?

I had to take some time to really think about it. I believe this part is the test of my soul. Patience is not easy. Giving myself time to think and process is not easy, but sometimes I just have to sit with the emotion long enough to come to a conclusion. How did I know I was ready? Well, there was an absence of the anxiety. At least, mostly. If I were to be completely honest with myself (which I could be) then I can admit that there is still some, but enough has been cleared away that I was able to make a clear-enough-headed decision. Some of the other questions I asked myself during my soul test were 1. What is your truth? 2. What exactly are you looking to get out of this? These were important questions for me at this time.

Ultimately, after my anxiety had resided and I was confident that I can deal with all and any consequences that may follow, I was able to make my decision. I took some time to think about it and as I did, I remembered that I am a WARRIOR. A warrior who can handle anything thrown at me. I don’t break easily. I don’t bend easily (though that is not to say I don’t bend at all). I am not perfect, but I am strong. And I am even stronger than I think. I can handle pain. I can handle hurt. I can handle anxiety and anything else that comes my way.

I am the master of my universe and I determine what happens in my life. I decide what I want my life to look like. My feelings come, and I don’t control that, but when they are here, I am able to recognize and wholly accept them. And when I do that, then I am able to control my life. They fade away as I sit with them. The negative emotions, the tough times– these are opportunities for me to ask myself questions and ultimately learn and grow. I don’t believe in mistakes, only opportunities to learn.

What did I learn from this? I learned that the topic in which my big decision surrounded gives me some anxiety. I can accept and understand that. What else did I learn? I learned that I can handle and control this anxiety. I learned that my anxiety can pass, and it always will. I learned that my strength will always endure, no matter what. My soul will make sure of that. My ego may not always remember, but my soul certainly does. It is there for me, and I am grateful for it.

And with that, I practice gratitude. I am thankful for everything in my life, the good and the bad. I am thankful that I can breathe and think and process and feel. I am thankful that through my anxiety, I can gain so much wisdom. If I didn’t get anxiety, would I have as many opportunities to learn? (Don’t answer that, rhetorical question!)

 

Happy!

You know that song “Happy” by Pharell Williams?

Well, check out this video of him tearing up when watching people dance to his song. It’s so beautiful.

I have heard this song so many times by now, but seriously, every time it comes on the radio, I don’t change the channel. I listen. I think of the music video of people dancing. And you know what? It makes me feel happy. It really does.

I think Pharell’s song brings me happiness because positivity is contagious. Positive attracts positive. The more positive energy you put out, the more positive energy you receive. It’s such a wonderful thing. It feels so good to be happy. It’s a choice I’ve made. I want to be happy. I want others to be happy. I want YOU to be happy. I really do. It makes me happy just to even think that way. You can’t see it, but I’m [creepily] smiling at my computer screen as I write this. Ooh, there was a little giggle. It feels so good to be this positive.

Why don’t you join me in this happiness?

smile today

Handling Emotions

stronger than you think

Emotions can be really tough sometimes, especially the negative ones. If you’re feeling sad, angry, anxious, hurt, or upset, read this article and learn how to put the emotion in perspective, so that you can handle it and be your happiest self.

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-handle-negative-emotions.html