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A Prayer for the Planet

Last night, I prayed for the safety of those in the path of Hurricane Irma and the wildfires of the Pacific Northwest. 

Last night, I prayed that this be a wake up call for mankind to change their ways in how we treat this planet. 

Tonight, I pray that same prayer. 

Tomorrow, I pray that same prayer. 

Everyday, I pray that mankind stops working endlessly to kill ourselves, to kill innocent organisms, and to kill Mother Earth.

Releasing Old Stories

I don’t know about you, but this is something loooong overdue for me. For years, I have been greatly effected by the past – and when I see years, I mean since I was about 16. In lesson four of Heatherash Amara’s Warrior Goddess Training, we are asked to work through an exercise of rewriting our stories and history into one that is seen as a blessing. The stories I am about to tell you are ones that have eaten at my confidence, pride, self-love, and inner most core of my being. These are stories I don’t tell very often. These are stories that are causing me to cringe at the thought of even recalling the past. So, here it goes… (note: names have been emitted to protect individuals)

Story #1: I am a picky individual. I have chosen to be this way in order to prevent myself from inducing anxiety over also being a caring, empathetic individual. By doing this, I am able to skip over any related awkward confrontations, conversations or circumstances that a particular situation may bring. However, around the age of 15/16, my friends were particularly on my case about not being ‘open-minded’ and giving prospective relationships a chance. In my defense, I knew these prospects were never going to last and I wanted to avoid that awkward pitfall of a relationship where I had invested time into for really no good reason. Going against myself, I agreed to give this guy a chance for the sake of my friend’s argument. Just as I had expected, this would turn out to be one of the worst decisions of my life. We were together just shy of three years. Over the course of this time, he turned me against every single one of my friends and every single member of my family… and vice versa. One night in particular, he looked at my dad (while I was cooking a 5 hour meal) and told him that “he could have had any girl who he wanted, but he chose me.” This started what I like to call ‘World War III’ in my family. As the night would go on, my sister stormed out of the house, my dad kicked him out, and my mother stood in between my father and I in fear that there would be a physical confrontation. Stupidly, I remained in this relationship for about another year – just enough time for him to talk to multiple girls on Facebook and ditch me (both in school and out of school) to hangout with a younger girl that happened to be in his Home Ec class. After the final breakup, rebuilding my life took a lot of time and energy. I was back to square one. Fortunately, I made some really great friendships in the process that truly helped me get back on my feet and figure out who I was again.

 Story #2: I was stronger, better, and more myself a couple of years after this. I spent that time to be with myself and to repair relationships with my friends and family. And although this next story doesn’t affect me as much as the others, it still adds to those deep open wounds I’ve been trying to heal. It was the summer before I went away to college, I had been working a lot and kept my social life very busy. In all honesty, it was one of my favorite summers – softball, close friends, and late nights around the campfire. And then something began to happen… another guy with a long, complicated history started to surface. He had helped me further get over what had happened a couple of years prior, but really I did not see anything in particular going to happen between us… until it did. It was a fun, flirtatious summer until he decided to get cold feet. So as fall approached, so did the inevitable rupture of whatever we had between us. Small talk, hurtful comments, and a lack of time together was all seeming too familiar. Then, I was off to my first day on a new job. It was 6:30 am and I was heading down a country road when all of a sudden, a deer appeared out of nowhere. One bruised side, headache, and a totaled car later, and I was sitting on the sidewalk of the nearest gas station trying to call someone who would be awake to come pick me up. Funny thing is, I never even considered calling him. Something funnier, he never even asked if I was ok. In fact, when I went to drop off his dad’s birthday cake later that day, he walked out on me never to be seen again. Now for the kicker, the next day, I get a call from his sister-in-law to find out that he had been sleeping with the 7-month pregnant chick that lived across the street. Fortunately, I pride myself in being a prude, so this didn’t affect me in the way it would most people. Instead, I just felt the sting of coming in second place again.

Story #3: Wowzers! Ready for more of this roller coaster?! Next up was a three and half-year relationship – a relationship that was great right out of the gate, but after that first year, I should have called it quits. This one wasn’t a Sociopath (like story #1) or a man baby (like story #2). No, this was a classic case of a purebred Narcissist. My thoughts and feelings were irrelevant or irrational. My decisions were never the right ones. I was ugly if I wore lipstick and I was ugly if I curled my hair. I wasn’t ever allowed to speak of our relationship, and his pathological lying friend was always coming up with stories that inevitably lead us into tearful fights. His exes and girls who liked him were always welcome to hangout… even when I wasn’t there. He could drunkenly hit on my gay best friend and grab my other best friend’s boob, and he could completely ignore me without any remorse. I was only allowed to see him when it was convenient for him or when he was simply bored. If I didn’t do exactly everything as he said, there was a major problem. Needless to say, this narcissist drained my empath like an energy-sucking vampire. Funny thing is, the breakup was easy. I never thought twice about it, and I have never missed him. In fact, I have finally been able to breathe.

Are you seeing a trend? Funny how romantic relationships can play such a huge role in our self-esteem. I have always been a strong, hard-headed, powerhouse of a woman to make sure that these things never happened, but yet, they still did. In all honesty, this is all I’ve ever known when it comes to dating. I have no idea what a normal relationship looks like. And the problem is that my walls are soooo high, so when I finally take them down for someone, instances like these occur.

Now, there are other things in my life that have happened that greatly affect my well-being and sense of self. A lot of these revolve around my elementary school days. Kids are mean and bullying is no joke. However, these instances laid dormant until the bigger, traumatizing stories occurred. So today, I am left trying to love this person that I see i the mirror. This person who doesn’t have a thigh gap because her anti-depressants made her gain weight over the last two years. This person who constantly pushes others to love themselves for who they are, but never feels like she will be good enough to come out of second place for someone. This person that, against all odds, continues to fight for peace of mind for not only herself, but everyone else in this world. So, with that being said, lets’ switch those stories into positive ones…

Story #1: My first real relationship came a little bit later in life when friends were trying their best to be supportive and helpful. Although it didn’t work out, it taught me how important it is to maintain healthy relationships with those closest to you. It also taught me that in my gut, I know what is best for me – just follow that feeling.

Story #2: Recovery, healing, and self-love is crucial to maintaining happiness. People will come in and out of your life to test this, to test your strength, and to help you grow. Their actions do not define who you are; instead, they define who that person truly is or what they need to heal inside.

 Story #3: Not all things are as they seem. In our life’s journey, we are presented with opportunities and circumstances that help us to identify areas in our life that need attention in that moment. This time, mine was about practicing self-love. I needed to retreat within to bring back out that radiant being so that I could unleash light upon this world. In doing so, I found my life’s purpose and an amazingly supportive community that fills my heart daily.

Overview of Self

WOW. Lesson three of Warrior Goddess Training has a lot of information and a lot of activities to really get down to the nitty gritty of everything that makes you, well you. Because of this, I have broken down this lesson into individual posts. To me, it only makes sense that I fully absorb all this information and truly reflect on the questions being asked in order to get the most out of this powerhouse of a book. So, onward!

This exercise asks that we take each particular section one at a time by reading and feeling our answers, but do not think! These sections pertain to the overall percentage of how we feel we rank within each section currently. It must be noted, as well, that as I sit here, both my ankle and stomach have been fickle all day, as well as, having a few serious personal matters on my mind. So, here are my rankings:

Mental:               Clarity/Peace = 60 %                           Chatter/Confusion = 40 %

Energetic:          Brightness/Fullness = 70 %               Dimness/Contraction = 30 %

Emotional:         Fluidity/Openness = 85 %                  Stagnation/Being Triggered = 15 %

Physical:             Acceptance/Love = 35 %                     Rejection/Judgment = 65 %

Now, we are asked to do this again. However, this time, we are to envision ourselves five years ago (or more, if needed). This puts me back to the summer of 2012 in the middle of softball season where I had just lost a bunch of weight, was active, in the sun almost everyday, and not too many serious issues pertaining to my personal life… I was also 19. Here’s how I ranked:

Mental:               Clarity/Peace = 90 %                           Chatter/Confusion = 10 %

Energetic:          Brightness/Fullness = 90 %               Dimness/Contraction = 10 %

Emotional:         Fluidity/Openness = 80 %                  Stagnation/Being Triggered = 20 %

Physical:             Acceptance/Love = 60 %                     Rejection/Judgment = 40 %

Looking at these two charts, I am amazed at what five years can bring and at how different the age of 19 looks from 24. Then, I was still at my first job, still in college, and more carefree than I ever have been. Now, I have two college degrees, have been promoted to a career position I have always wanted, purchased my “first” car, but I am almost as unhappy as ever. It seems to me that we have these dreams and these goals and these aspirations, but once we achieve them, we’re not as happy or content as we once thought we would be. I think it is important to note that we live in such a busy, judgmental society that constantly reinforces “the way we should live” that we completely lose touch with how we truly want to live. It even appears that my 19-year-old self could teach my 24-year-old self a few lessons when it was once thought to be the other way around. Growing up IS a trap because society makes it so. If there’s one thing I have learned from this exercise, it is to not lose that childlike wonder in every part of my life.

Sacred Full-Being Cleaning

Next stop on the Warrior Goddess Training lessons: Sacred Full-Being Cleaning. Let’s be honest, we ALL need to practice this. Everyday we are hit with negativity, pessimism, false news, blunt opinions, and judgmental beings – so much so that we even start to think and act in similar ways. How do we sort through all this junk and remain true to our own truths? Well, Heatherash Amara, author of Warrior Goddess Training, has some questions and exercises in lesson three for just that…

  • Notice the chatter that fills your mind. What are the themes that you hear most? Over the last few months, I have been able to pinpoint the themes that fill my head the most and ultimately lead to episodes of anxiety and depression. These come down to two core concepts: not having a lifeline and never being good enough. 
    1. Not having a lifeline: I have always said that I would lay my life down for what I believe in, especially if it meant that the world could continue you living on. Those that know me know that this thought typically revolves around restoring Mother Earth to her former glory. However, I feel the exact same way about taking on the burdens of others so that no living soul has to feel the hurt and pain that this world can induce. I would sacrifice my own happiness to carry the crosses of others. Unfortunately, these feeling and passions come with a price – my happiness, of course. And I am by no means, Jesus, but I often like to compare my feelings to the solitary confinement He undoubtedly experienced so that others can somewhat understand what I mean by not having a lifeline. Simply put, I have yet to find that person or thing that provides me with an outlet to release stress and feelings so that I can keep marching forward with my life’s purpose at 100% battery.
    2. Never being good enough: Do you ever feel like you always come in second place? Or that no matter what you do, you always fall short? Or that there is always someone or something better than you? Yeah, me too. Unfortunately, these thoughts and feelings all too often plague my mind. Physically – I see that I’m not skinny enough or tall enough or fast enough or have the straightest teeth. I see that there is always someone else that is prettier than me or funnier than me or more charismatic than me, so why should anyone even pay me the time of day? Mentally – I think I have too many deep wounds for anyone to even try to take on. I think my ideals and morals in life are too far-fetched for those who summon up the courage to approach my resting b*tch face. I think that the ones who do actually talk to me will end up being just like everyone else… toxic and abusive. And honestly, I think these thoughts and feelings all began when I started the world of sports. Yeah, you’ll sometimes hear that you made a great play or that you did a good job, but mostly you hear what you could do to be better – as if your best wasn’t already good enough. Then came toxic relationships and people who jump at the chance to use and abuse a caring soul.

On the bright side, at least I know exactly where these thoughts and feelings come from… and for that, I am grateful.

  • How often do you have stretches of silence and mental quiet? Honestly, almost never. There are times that I “zone out” or stare off into space and usually these are times where my brain all but completely shuts down, but these are very infrequent happenings. They typically occur during points of exhaustion after a workout or a long meeting or even after a night of not sleeping well. Mostly, however, I experience mental quiet when I am meditating. So, it is crucial for me to take time out of my week, if not my day, to meditate and enjoy just simply being.
  • How clogged or free-flowing is your energetic being? Do you feel energetically bright or dim? How stagnant or volatile is your emotional body? Do you overreact to situations? Recently, my energetic being has been rather clogged. As mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been dealing with a lot of old wounds that I am wrestling to heal; however, I try to make the majority of my life free-flowing so that I can be a light source for not only myself, but everyone else as well. Therefore, at my best, I have people around me say that my aura is vibrant and glowing; and for the most part, they’re right! I never want to leave a soul feeling drained; I always want to leave those around me feeling hopeful and recharged. Now, when it comes to myself, I’m not as loving and giving, so this is partially why I feel clogged and dim right now. I’m working to make myself be that vibrant and glowing being for everyone, especially myself.
  • How much fluidity and openness do you have emotionally? Are you able to release emotions cleanly and move on? Up until the past 2 or 3 years, I would say no. I was un-diagnosed for anxiety; I was irritable and reacted quickly; and I held grudges. Now, I am much better off. I am able to decipher which feelings are more impulsive and likely to fade and which are ones I need to recognize. Unfortunately, when situations arise that poke at old wounds, it is incredibly hard and agonizing to release the emotions and move on. These old wounds mostly revolve around toxic relationships and trust issues. If anything even remotely resembles one of those past traumas, I completely shut down. Depression and anxiety turn up to 11 and healing comes to a halt. 
  • Do you love and respect your physical body, or do you mentally judge your physical form? As mentioned in the first question, I am terribly judgmental of myself. I don’t want to be this way by any means, but I still have those voices of my past in my head. Toxic relationships, being bullied in elementary school, judgmental family members with word vomit, unrealistic societal standards all lead up to body dysmorphia and a toxic relationship with my own self.
  • How do you feel about your weight? Are you accepting of your body, or are you unsatisfied? As mentioned before, completely unsatisfied. There were a couple summers in a row where I completely overworked myself, barely ate, and barely slept. During this time, I lost around 30 pounds. I felt great when I looked in the mirror knowing I had done that, but I still wanted to lose more and I was physically hurting from lack of proper care. My friends became worried for my safety and eventually I was able to become content with myself before something worse happened. Over the last two years, I packed on almost 50 pounds from my anxiety/depression medication. Now, I am working hard to try to lose that weight so that my doctor can become more content with my health. I guess the question I’m trying to find the answer to is if there is even a happy medium and how do you achieve that if so?
  • Do you feel at peace or judgmental about your age or appearance? And again, as mentioned before, I am obviously more judgmental of my appearance than I want to be. I’m still in this process of attaining a good self-love regimen. My age, on the other hand, I love. I know I am in my golden years and I am just hoping that I can get out of these mini funks and not take it for granted! I have such a huge dream list to experience and achieve while I have the mobility to do so. Although, I do wish that older generations would not be so critical of the younger. We may do things differently, but we work hard and we have such beautiful visions to lead this world out of darkness and into a time of peace and harmony for all living creatures.

Silver Linings

The sun doesn’t always shine,

But the rain always nourishes.

The grass isn’t always green,

But the seed continues to breathe.

The snow doesn’t always fall,

But the freeze creates rebirth.

The flowers don’t always bloom,

But the bees always pollinate.

Everything doesn’t always survive,

But the earth continues to rotate.

The future isn’t something promised,

But nature will always find a way.

Creator always finds a way;

You, too, will find a way. ❤

– sb –