Forgive Me.

Forgiveness.

Acceptance.

What do these things look like?

Sometimes I look back at my past and think to myself, If only I had made a different decision… 

But, this is not acceptance, nor is it forgiveness.

I give myself permission to make poor decisions sometimes.

That’s one way of looking at it. A friend of mine gave me another way.

Instead of wishing I had done things differently, I can tell myself: The version of me who made that decision didn’t know everything that I know now, but she had my best intention in mind and was doing the best she could with what she had to work with.

Respect yourself enough to know that you have always done the best you could at all times in your life.

Cheers, tears, and self-love,

A

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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

I Love My Soul.

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 1.19.55 PMEveryday I ask myself: What do I love about you?

The past couple of months I’ve come up with all sorts of things. Recently, however, I’ve noticed a recurring theme. My soul is f’n kickass. That’s right. I have the coolest, most badass, rocking, awesome, inspirational soul in the world. She’s the best and I love her. (Note: I am referring to her as a female, but that’s only because I am a female. I don’t actually believe my soul has a gender.)

My soul never, ever lets me down. She knows exactly what I need. She will never abandon me. She knows what experiences I need in order to heal and grow. She makes sure that I stay safe, happy, and always learning. My soul is the most dependable and reliable source of energy, growth, and wisdom.

My soul is incredibly intuitive. She’s always been– even when I was a kid. She only lets me feel fear that is real. I don’t have unnecessary fear, but when something is unsafe, I feel an intuitive pull that guides me to a better place. I am so thankful for my intuition. My intuition helps me make the best decisions. I always follow my intuition, my heart– my soul.

I never reject my experiences because I know my soul would never put me in a situation that I didn’t need to be in. I know that Karma has led me to wherever I go. I believe that the lessons I learn are exactly the lessons I need to learn, and that through any challenge I face, there is something for me to gain. I search for these opportunities to grow, and I am rewarded with strength and development. How lucky I am to have a soul that helps me do this.

My soul has endless, boundless, unconditional, unabashed love for me. She reminds me everyday that I am made of pure, divine, unconditional love, and that I have an open heart that is also full and full and FULL of love. I can feel this love every minute of every day. For this I am lucky.

My soul reminds me that while I crave human connection and have boundless love for everyone and everything, I also have all the love I’d ever need right here in my own little heart. My soul will never abandon me, and I will never abandon myself, and because of this, I could never, ever show others how to abandon me either. The love I have in my heart is enough to fill a thousand, thousand hearts and more. I could never stop loving. It will just flow and flow and flow out of me. The gratitude I feel for this is grand. Grand and whole and endless.

With this gratitude, this love, and this energy, I send love, love, and more love out to the rest of the world. I shine my light of love onto everyone. Please join me in my love, for it is pure, divine, and unconditional. And it feels so, so good.

Namaste, ya’ll.

-A Xo

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!)

 

To Thine Own Self Be True

…and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

– Shakespeare, Hamlet

I have heard people argue about the true meaning of this quote. That’s not what this is about. This post is about being true to yourself in the most basic sense. 

What does it mean to be true to yourself? I think it means to be who you are– exactly the way you are. That does not mean that you cannot strive to be a better person (e.g., random acts of kindness, learning a new skill, practicing gratitude). What this means is that you allow yourself to stop trying to be someone different.

If you are quiet or shy, don’t tell yourself you should be loud and outgoing. 

If you are super tall and enjoy reading books, don’t tell yourself you should be super short and going out all the time. 

If you have brown hair and brown eyes, don’t tell yourself you should be blonde with blue eyes.

If you are feeling sad at this moment, don’t tell yourself you should be happy at this moment.

Allow yourself to just be you.

And include all the complicated imperfections that make you YOU

Be who you are because who you are is fabulous. Telling yourself to be different creates an internal struggle. You don’t need that. Talk positively to and about yourself. Yourself will appreciate the kindness and respect you are showing. Treat yourself the way you would treat your wife, husband, son, daughter, or friend. Tell yourself, I love you. Seriously, try it. It will make you smile. I promise. At the very least, you will giggle a little. 

Happy Friday!

xoxo

 

 

Of All The Things I’ve Learned

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I have a secret to tell.

2014 is my 30th year.

That’s right. I am turning 30 this year. And do you know what? The last couple of years, as I’d been nearing 30, I’d been freaking out. (Why??) But guess what? Now, I have accepted it. In fact, I am happy about it.

Why do people feel bad about their ages anyway? The only thing I can come up with is that as we age we get closer to death. Why else would we be so worried about getting older? But, the way I see it is that death is a part of life. I don’t say this to be morbid. I say it because it’s truth. And of all the things I’ve learned, accepting truth (facts as facts) is one of the most important. It’s about letting go of control. Happy people don’t try to control the things they cannot. It’s a futile, uphill battle. It’s smarter not to try. Death and aging are facts of life, and these are things we cannot control. So, instead of fighting it, accept it. And that’s what I have done. Not only have I accepted 30, I LOVE that I am turning 30! It’s great!

One of the reasons is because I have learned so many important things in my [almost] 30 years.  Here’s a few. 

I, you, we all need to:

1.  Smile, a lot. 

2. Love, love, love, love

3. Forgive. Then forget. 

4. Expect a little less. 

5. Listen. No, really listen

Be yourself. Because you’re awesome. Just. The. Way. You. Are.

xoxoxo

-A 

 

My Truest Words: I Love Myself

I’ve recently discovered one of the most obvious yet overlooked truths. And it’s so, so simple.

I need to love myself. 

And you need to love yourself. 

If there’s nothing else I do in my lifetime, I need to love myself. It’s not even just accepting myself. It’s actual LOVE.

In my past, I have always found things about myself that I do not like. I can be so shy. I can be pretty awkward. I have this stupid double chin. I have a big nose. I am envious. I am selfish. I am emotional. 

But what good does it do to focus on all that negativity? I am pretty sure none. 

So now, I’ve begun this adventure of self-love. I want to be someone that makes me happy. I want to truly be present. I want to be at peace with myself. I need to love who I am– exactly the way that I am. 

I’ve started to leave little notes around my desk at work. A few reminders of just how great I really am. “You are enough!” “You have enough!” “You are AMAZEBALLS!” “I LOVE YOU!”

Then there are a few other ones such as, “You are feeling exactly the way you are supposed to be feeling right now.” “Be true to yourself.” “Sit up straight!” “What’s next?” “Appreciate the value that different perspectives can offer you.” “Practice gratitude.” “You must fall apart to understand what it means when you are whole.”

What I am trying to say, really, though, is that you have to love yourself to be happy. When negative thoughts attack, which they inevitably will, the best practice is to remind yourself how much you love yourself, and just how awesome you really are. I am new to this, but I really think it’s working. So now, for the first time I am going to practice saying all those negative things I said about myself above in a positive light. Here goes nothing:

I can be shy, but when I am quiet I am observing and listening. I can be awkward, but I have character and can usually make people laugh. I LOVE my double chin! I love my big Jewish nose! I get envious, but who the heck doesn’t? I am selfish and I probably should be sometimes. I am emotional passionate. 

I am also funny and outgoing in the right settings. I am musical and I am a talented songwriter. I care about everything. I have extreme, extreme love for my boyfriend, my brother, and my mom. I am physically fit and I eat pretty well. I am a good cook and I have read lots of books. I have some really, really great friends. I am a world traveler! I have lived in Japan and I have traveled China. I have been to the Peace Dome in Hiroshima and the Great Wall of China in Beijing. I have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, and I recently applied for a PhD degree. (We’ll see what happens with that one!) I am a pretty special person.

And so are you. So now stop focusing on the negative and start finding the positive. Remember, gratitude leads to happiness and gratitude for yourself is the most important one. 

I love you!