Good Vibes 101

When’s the last time you sat down and thought about nothing? Like actually nothing… As in, listen to your breath and forget about what you should be doing, or that thing that happened yesterday. Have you ever actually taken the time to meditate? To feel yourself sitting in a chair with the energy and weight of the universe holding you in place, allowing your mind to feel the release from the everyday hustle.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been taking time out of my day to meditate.  I thought that starting rituals would increase my vibe for the day.  I wake up, drink my lemon/ginger tea, diffuse some oils, light the candle in my salt candle holder, and breathe.  This has done wonders for the way I approach my day.  But this morning was different.  I did all of the things I usually do, but my mood was guiding me toward something new.  I had the uncontrollable urge to throw on some vinyl and listed to music. After sifting through my box of records, I found the Fleetwood Mac album that I was gravitating toward.

As I started up the music, I had an equally irrepressible urge to let go and dance to the music; to feel Stevie Nicks’ voice radiating through my entire body.  It was liberating!

While my morning rituals do start me off with a good vibe for the day, I realized today that I had just been going through the motions.  I needed to deviate from my routine in order to find the breath of frankincense-filled air I was looking for.

Take some time out of your day to throw the proverbial wrench into your daily routine. Find something your soul is naturally gravitating toward and choose the path you wouldn’t normally take today. You never know what you’ll find.

If Nobody Told You… I Will.

I sometimes have a small, stray thundercloud that follows me around.  It makes me act a little sad, a little impatient, and maybe a little angry at trivial things.  This thundercloud feeds on anxiety and apprehensiveness. It amplifies sadness and uncertainty.  It tends to rain on those around me who didn’t realize they needed an umbrella.  It floods my head with thoughts that are not my own, and sends residual uneasiness into the lives of those I care about the most. I really don’t want to feed the thundercloud any longer, but sometimes it’s easier to weather the storm than it is to reach through and try to find the sunshine.

Living with this storm is a challenge.  It’s the first thing that comes to mind in the morning, and the very thing that initiates sleepless nights.

Sound familiar?

If so- if you are feeling lonely, unworthy, or getting eaten alive by the hole that lives in the pit of your stomach, then hear me out.  If nobody told you today, I will.  I will put my arms around you and tell you what needs to be said.

You are worth it. You are valued. You are loved.

Don’t give up. There is sunshine behind the clouds.

Write that down and repeat it to yourself until you believe it.

Because it’s true.

Balancing Act

For the past few years, I really thought my journey through this life was orbiting around service to others– Specifically by shifting my energy toward helping people be better in every situation.  During the work day, I would try to stay calm during stressful situations in order to keep a positive energy in the space.  I would remain understanding whenever other people were voicing their thoughts.  I tried to do everything I could to help others learn a lesson during every encounter.

Throughout this time, I tried my best to take my own energy by the reigns.  Through mediation, journaling, diffusing oils, and drinking A LOT of herbal tea, I have continued down my own path to self-realization.  While this journey takes a lifetime, the sooner I found solace within myself, the sooner I found life’s obstacles getting less and less relevant to my happiness.

However, I have started to see these two things clash here and there.  Sometimes I am talking to someone and no matter what I say or how I act, they are still so filled with negative energy that there is no stopping them.  It was really starting to throw me out of kilter.  This is when I made the decision to categorize these situations as they come.  It became: “If you are not serving me or using this situation to make yourself better or to help me become better, then Scram. Go away. Scat.”

I don’t mean treat everyone as they treat you initially because sometimes first impressions can be rocky.  You may want to reach out and shake somebody right off the bat (see Be Patient Please).  You will soon see whether or not this can become a teachable moment.  If you see a window to help make that person better, go for it; but if the windows and doors are bolted shut, then you’re better off trying the next house.

In Training

During an easy four-mile, post-pasta dinner (last night) run this morning, I looked down at my half marathon shirt. On the left sleeve, it reads In Training.  I started to think to myself, what exactly am I In Training for?  Another 13.1 at the beginning of the year was the obvious answer.  However, there is so much more behind that.

I woke up on this chilly morning– bloated from a heavy dinner, not wanting to pull myself out of my warm bed.  My husband was going to meet a buddy at the gym, so I decided to make myself go against my wishes to spend my day off lounging around.  I walked into the gym, stepped on the treadmill, and started to run.

My legs started to burn and my hips tightened with every step.  Though with this muscle reaction came clarity.  Enter the love/hate relationship with running.  With the initial pain and discomfort comes a breath of fresh air.  Not only am I training for several races over the next few months, I am training my mind to accept the clarity and fresh air it needs to make it through the overwhelming times.  I am in training for patience;  I am training for persistence, and I am training for dedication to the things that make me happy despite the discomfort along the way.

 

“Because Why?”— Getting to the Root Of Your Problems

Most of us are familiar with the ever popular “Because Why?” banter that often occurs during conversations with young children. No matter how deeply you try to explain something, they always want to know more. While it is flattering that they think we know all of the answers, their persistent curiosity can end up being slightly irritating after awhile. Why can’t they just accept a definite answer and move on with the day? A very interesting question— which leads me to another: Why do we only accept a definite answer and move on with the day? Getting to the root of your problems can be easier than you think.

Even the most positive, happy, and successful people have challenging days; the ones when you feel like you’re in a rut and you can’t find the way out. Now and then, challenging days can result in a bit of a bad mood.We’ve all been there— a bunch of silly “bad” things happen which lead you to feel frustrated. You then take it out on someone else, leading you to feel remorse because you realize the other person literally had nothing to do with your flat tire or that you spilled coffee all over your white shirt. These are the moments when we need to take a step back and channel our inner 4-year-old:

“I’m angry with you.” Because Why? “Because my day is ruined.” Because Why? “Because I was late to work.” Because Why? “Because I woke up late.” Because Why? Because I was up late.” Because Why? “Because I was searching online.” Because Why? “Because I was looking for other income options.” Because Why? “Because I’m living paycheck to paycheck and need some relief.”

Therefore, you’re angry because of your current financial situation, not because Bob in the cubicle next to you was tapping his pencil too loudly. Take the time to find the root of your problem as opposed to letting trivial things build up and create a massive breakdown that doesn’t result in addressing the real issue.

You get what you give

I’ve talked before about how difficult it can be to remain kind and positive towards another person whenever they are not being pleasant in return.  It is so easy to throw back what they are dishing out, so to speak.  “You get what you give” is a phrase often thrown around in these situations.  It is said that if you aren’t handling your impatience or anger in a way that is positive, or you’re taking those emotions out on another person who isn’t necessarily responsible for the emotions you’re feeling, you “deserve” to be treated badly in return.  While it might feel good in the moment to give it back to them, it’s not the answer.

I was raised Catholic, and still practice a lot of those teachings today, but I also put a lot of emphasis on the Universe and the energy that exists within and around every living thing (I’m still trying to figure out how it all fits together, myself).  Anyways, I always think about the energy I am giving off, as well as trying to grab the negative energy of other things and emerge it in positive energy.  I’ve read a lot about it and I strongly believe that energy attracts energy; Whether it is negative or positive.

I had a situation a few days ago where I was pretty bummed out and not quite feeling myself, and in turn, my energy wasn’t nearly as high as it usually is.  I thought that the Universe was against me and that nothing could have gone worse; everything seemed to go wrong that morning when I was trying to leave for work, I had a very challenging day once I got there, and nothing seemed to be going my way.  I was thinking to myself, “What the heck is going on? Why is this day so bad?”  As soon as I said that, I realized that my energy was so negative and it was attracting more bad energy. Ew! No wonder nothing seemed right, I was being a big negative energy ball.  As I was driving home this morning from taking my car to the shop (another rough patch last week), I was listening to the radio in car I am borrowing.  At first I was feeling out of place in a different car with different seats and different radio stations, etc. But I was clicking through the pre-set buttons and came across a Christian radio station.  At that moment the host was talking about the following passage:

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” -Luke 6:38

This really resonated with me after the week I was having.  Not only are we able to give gifts through tangible things or charity work, but this also coincides with exchanging energy with others.  What you give will come back to you; maybe not right away, but the good energy you give to others will make it’s way back.  This past week, I was a perfect example of how negative energy will come back to you like an angry boomerang.  As soon as I realized this, I was instantly regretting being that way because I was absolutely passing that along to others.  If someone walks away from me feeling worse than when they walked up, my job was not done.

If you’re struggling with “bad days” or when it feels like the world is weighing so heavily on your heart, take a step back and look at the energy you are surrounded with.  Perception is everything.  Replace the negative energy with positive and see what happens.  Is this an easy thing to do? No. It can be extremely difficult, especially if you’re feeling very low.  Sometimes it feels like there is nothing good about how your life is, or the good things you can think of seem trivial compared to the bad stuff; but you have to stay focused. Trust me! You can turn a bad day around so easily by simply holding your head a little higher while walking through it.

Be Patient. Please.

I’ve worked in a customer service/ retail environment for many years; Needless to say, I’ve seen many different people, and experienced almost every type of situation you can imagine.  I’ve been yelled at, had products thrown back at me, and had to deal with people storming away from what could have been a simple conversation with a very simple solution.  Of all the people skills I have acquired during these years, the one I find most important and the one I continue to polish day after day, is patience.  Being patient and compassionate toward the person who is shouting at you can be extremely trying at times. I have had situations where I had to bite my tongue so hard, I thought it may need sewn back on.  Sometimes someone is standing in front of me talking in circles and yelling and I just can not wrap my head around how this person is not understanding what I am explaining to them or how they are not considering any side of the situation other than their own.  These are the times when I have to back up and remember that not everyone is able to handle conflict or a break in routine the same way as me.  Say there’s a series of hypothetical How to be a Good Person magazine.  You may have read all the way up to Volume 14, sweet! The person in front of you may only be on the second volume.  You may have a better understanding of the current situation because you remember something you read in Volume 9, you apply that knowledge, and you are able to move through a conflict or trying moment more smoothly.  What you have to remember is that you can’t get angry or impatient with the other person because they haven’t read that far yet; they haven’t learned the lesson as of yet to get them through as easily.  “They say” that there is a lesson in every situation and I truly believe that; but we have to remember that we may not always be the one who the lesson is meant for- sometimes we are the vehicle for the lesson to be learned by someone else. Those times when someone is standing in front of you spouting nonsense out of ignorance or misunderstanding, the times when you want to grab their shoulders and shake them to try and make them understand what you’re saying, those are the times when you have to remember the way to handle the conflict (because you remember taking notes on this in Volume 10). This is the time you can share your notes with that person and maybe they’ll be able to apply it next time.  It is difficult- extremely difficult– to hold back what you want to say and instead speak with compassion and patience.  We can’t make the world better by spreading what is making it worse.  Be the light to someone who is walking through darkness, be the vehicle for the lesson they’re meant to learn today to make them think twice next time before reacting the way they have in the past.  It may be what they need to pick up the next volume.

What’s your problem?

There are times in my life where I have an experience that seems totally unrelated to anything of value, but then I later come to realize that there was a lesson there even if it was buried way deep down.  A few nights ago for example, I was laying in bed tossing and turning; trying to get comfortable when I realized that the wax melter in my room was bothering me.  It has a light bulb on the inside that happened to be shining right through the side hole and directly onto my closed eyelid- obviously causing a disturbance that it hadn’t before (it has been there for months; get over it, Me).  Anyways, I rolled over and stuffed my face into the pillow to shade myself from the beaming rays of lightbulb that had overcome me.  This clearly wasn’t the answer because I was now asking for a stiff neck in the morning, and/or suffocation from the pillow.  So I roll over, tired and grumpy at this point, and I throw my forearm over my eyes; again, in the market for a neck cramp with a side of shoulder pain.  Finally, after moments of discomfort and exhaustion from the day, I had had enough of the light. So I crawl out from underneath my heated blanket and soft sheets and turn the light off; knowing all along that it was the reason behind my brief fit of insomnia.

After that night, I thought about the problematic light and my wheels started to turn; why didn’t I just get off my butt and turn the dang light off to start with? — I knew it was the problem, and instead of turning it off and drifting off to slumber-land, I tried every other lackadaisical option I could think of in order to try and find a way around the real problem because I was just too lazy to address it directly.  This has been a theme of mine over the past few years; If there was a shortcut, I took it. If there was a way around it, I’d find it. Most of this came from having too much on my plate and I was trying so hard to get everything done that I ultimately ended up with a bunch of half attempts.  What I’m getting at is that if you have a problem (most of us can think of at least one) chances are there is an immediate answer to that problem, it just may not be the one we want to hear.  It might be too hard, or too far away, or causes us to leave our warm beds (aka the Comfort Zone), but the answer is almost always there staring us right in our closed eyes.

If you really want to address the problem you have, you’ll do it.  If your problem is that you need $100 for bills, you will make that money appear before the grace period ends- borrow it, sell that bag you spent way too much on and never carry, pick up a few extra hours at work– either way, you’ll make the money appear by addressing the problem directly even if it’s not exactly the way you wanted to do it.  If you hate your job, go find another one– I’ve done it! It is difficult, especially if you’re financially strapped (see example above), or if you really like the people you work with and you felt like THE WORST when you walked in to your super nice boss and told them you’re exploring other options.  Happiness doesn’t have an age limit, it’s never too late.  Everything is a puzzle that can be figured out if you get up and turn the light off already.