Hence, we don’t succeed in the same way, at the same time.
Hence, not everyone appreciates the same view.
“What’s different about me this year in comparison to who I was last year?”, I ask myself.
Well, I think I’m pretty much the same. I just think I’m more daring now. Daring in ways I wasn’t before. Daring and more comfy in my own skin. Daring and more at peace with uncertainty. Daring and more at ease with owning my mistakes. Daring and more confident with my personal standards and desires. Daring and more trusting in life. Daring and more tender in my relationships.
Stepping onto this phase of my life feels like a warm, thick familiar coffee. You look forward to it. It’s homey in its own special way. It also feels like a prize you know you so well deserved.
As usual, animal spirit guides would appear and have the most profound conversations with me. This time it was a white female wolf who answered my inquiry. She said,
“That’s true – but only partly true. I ask you, if there is a mirror in front of you but you choose not to look, would you still see your reflection? Does the type of mirror affect how you see yourself? Let’s say you choose to look at a mirror which reflects an angle of your face or your body that you don’t like, won’t this make you conclude that you’re ultimately unlikable and generally unattractive?
This is a world of mirrors, yes, but not all are created equal. You must use your own power of discernment. There are no right or wrong mirrors to look at. But there is one thing that determines whether this world of mirrors serves you or not – Intention.
Your intention determines whether you choose to look at a mirror or not, your intention determines which mirrors to look at, your intention determines which parts of yourself you want to shed a light on and magnify.
This is not to immerse yourself in self-denial at the expense of your own growth. But to use the power of focus to grow that which is life-affirming and noteworthy in yourself, in your life.
Why choose to look at a distorted, or worse, a broken mirror?”
We should give our best not because everything equally matters individually and collectively.
What matters in the face of life, in the face of death – is that we show up fully in each given moment – to who we have become, but more importantly to who we claim ourselves to be.
I don’t think Source brought all things to existence merely to know itself and expand. *As I was stroking my furry bestfriend’s head, Munchkin, I knew that Source created everything ultimately because of love.
No, not to learn how to love itself, neither to love out of generosity. But to love that which is a part of itself but also outside of itself. To love without purpose other than the experience of loving. To experience love in its many different forms. To deepen our capacity for love.
Because having the opportunity to love is worth creating universes/multiverses for. It’s so good there’s nothing like it. It’s worth going through eternity for.
*I wrote this post with Munchkin beside me 🙂
When it seems as though life wants to break us down – the truth is, life wants us to break free. To crack open. To release our grip from the edge. To let go of the only thing that has supported our existence so far – the illusion of control.
When it feels like life has grabbed all that’s left of us and we end up feeling powerless to stand up again and proceed – life is actually just teaching us how to trust, how to open our hearts fully and how to accept more help, more grace, more love.
But we can always be brave if we choose to. Brave to feel our own emotions, brave to admit the truth, brave to trust, brave to follow where our spirit is leading us into, brave to fight and persevere, brave to go beyond the limits we’re used to and brave to create new rules to live by.
Doing the brave thing may not always be the right thing to do – if by right means getting the outcome that we desire. But I can’t remember anything I made out of bravery that I end up regretting. Maybe it’s not doing the right thing, but doing the brave thing, that has only enabled us to break through. Maybe the rest doesn’t matter after all.
Our consumerist culture has made us feel like an object, too. We’re just a part of the display. We don’t have our own power. Our unique ideas and preferences don’t have value. There is no other way. Everything’s been done. We are not in charge.
This learned perspective bleeds into all aspects of our lives. It makes us feel powerless over our work, our relationships, our finances, world events – even over our own past, our own thoughts, emotions and habits.
An antidote to everyday helplessness has always been this: To be creative. To create. To play. To express ourselves. To make something personally meaningful to us. To make something that makes us happy. To just keep doing it. To do it no matter what. This enables us to take our power back.
Everyone is an artist. We are all powerful creators. We just gotta get down and do the work. Make it happen.
Once you stop to breathe and unload – all the creative solutions and all the help that you need arise to the surface like magic.
I have a tendency to burn myself out, and I believe anybody who cares enough about something has a tendency to lose herself/himself in it. I have such a huge propensity towards burning out that I have been clinically depressed once because of it.
I’ve learned about self-care since then, but time and time again, I still struggle with remembering and/or finding new approaches on how not to go there again. Lately I found myself more stressed out than usual, not yet to the brink of burn-out but, my self-awareness has enabled me to spot the early signs. I didn’t know what to do; I didn’t know how to keep myself from going into that familiar downward spiral.
Until I made the decision to hit “Pause”. Until I decided to take a full day’s rest.
I took a nap. I spent my time on play and creativity, meaning, doing things that free my mind and nourish my spirit. I set the intention to put my to-dos backstage. I knew they could wait. I knew my well-being mattered more.
That one day of rest did serve me and the people I care about. My 2-week old cough subsided. I spent quality time with my family (including my pets of course!) again. I finally got to enjoy my alone time again. I felt satisfied. My weekend has been full and energizing.
I was also in a better mood when I got back to work. I didn’t feel the usual tendency to push myself to do more and cramp as many things as possible in one day. Instead, I intentionally identified my priorities. I structured my tasks in a way that won’t end up depleting my energy and creativity.
There are many articles and books dedicated on how to avoid and how to recover from burn-out due to work and any other demanding aspect of life. But based on my personal experiences, none of those would make a difference if we don’t take the action that matters the most – that is, to hit “Pause” to breathe, to unload, to intentionally meet our own needs, to honor our own pace. Again, creative solutions and all the help that we need arise to the surface once we do. I hope that you find the strength and courage to hit “Pause”, too. ❤