Hold your head up.
The world unfolds for you.
Own your rightful place.
“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.
On the other hand, if you warm yourself up first, get your focus right and allow yourself to reach your natural optimal pace, you become more equipped to stay in the game longer – and even get better as you go. As the journey progresses, you may even surpass a lot of those who started at top speed, those who were initially ahead of you.
As the saying goes, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.” You’re here for the long haul. You’re here to evolve.
It’s not just about how fast you go, at the end of the day it’s about the quality of the journey you create. Is it pleasant to you for the most part or does it feel more like torture? Are you enjoying the sights and sounds? The insights you get? The ways you’re growing? The company of the people you share experiences with?
Do you have the soul-space to be fully present in each moment and savor the last drop of it or do you keep on wishing it’s over?
How do you think the people around you perceive you and your journey? Do you think they feel inspired just by looking at how you go through it and by who you are becoming because of it? Or do you end up discouraging them before they even begin embarking on their own?
These questions are as important as the ones we ask ourselves everytime we’re plotting our course and defining our goals.
Our intentions frame the choices we make, and the choices we make end up creating the kind of life we live.
Get clear with your intentions. Set your own pace. Build yourself to last – and have a good time!
Circumstances don’t change. It’s us who do.
Circumstances remain the same because all probabilities co-exist at the same time – what could happen already has, already is. Our focus determines which reality we experience. Pivot a bit in a different direction and our whole perspective changes. It could even feel like a completely different world at times.
When we feel like circumstances have changed it’s because we have changed.
It’s the will and the effort that we’ve put onto ourselves that transform our life.
Look back a few years from now, a few months from now, even a few weeks, days, hours and minutes from now – and identify which fears you have tamed, mastered, overcame. Really scan your body, your memories for those things that used to make you feel suneasy, terrified, anything that has kept you from doing certain things you’ve wanted to do.
List those fears that are your fears no more.
I see those as stepping stones. Some even feel like mountain ranges, volcanoes, and even heavenly bodies crashing into earth.
No matter how big or small we perceive them to be, how life-changing they may have been, they have taken us this far in our journey. They are our warrior trophies.
It’s not only a good way of reflecting how much we have grown but also a good way of reframing our perspective towards fear itself. By having this new outlook, it becomes possible to look at fear not as something to be avoided at all cost but as something to be curious about.
Fear has the key to the next level of our journey. It leads us to the door of our further expansion.
Some of the fears I have overcame were:
Fear of saying “No”. Fear of saying I don’t want this certain (insert situation, relationship, habit, way of living, etc.) anymore. Knowing well the consequences and still stepping on the brakes. Against all odds, choosing my own well-being and integrity.
Confronting the truth of another person. Facing the fact that the person I loved, admired, trusted, good friends with may actually be unhealthy for me. Accepting their humanity and letting my ideations of them go.
Taking chances (fear of rejection and heartache). Going for some of my biggest dreams. Embracing the possibility that I can manifest the career that I wanted. Making the first move to make a loving partnership happen. Going for the things that I deeply wanted with the risk of getting rejected and beaten. Going for them, anyway.
Putting my art (and inevitably, myself) out there (again, fear of rejection and embarrasment). Believing that me and my art have a place in this world, that we are meant to be seen. That somewhere out there, there are those who will be entertained and/or inspired by what we are aching to offer.
Being alone (and not “making it”). Yes, even the most introverted person like me can still have fears of being alone. I love solitude so much and I need it like a fish needs to be in the water. Despite the fact, I used to have this existential fear – that I’m sure most of us can resonate with – of uncertainty whether I can really be autonomous over my life. You know what I did? I embraced that fear. I ended codependent relationships, stopped chasing things that were obviously running away from me, I traveled solo, I built my path with my bare hands and feet – tried and failed, tried and failed – and then tried and succeeded.
This approach has helped me a lot! It’s handy especially during those times when I feel like a total loser, like I’m not really going anywhere and I’m just running in place. Fear has a powerful way of holding us hostage in our own life, in our own mind. But by flipping the switch of our perspective, we can turn fear from being our worst foe into our greatest ally.
May your fears lead you the way to your own alignment.
“How can I feel more in control of my days? How can I feel like my days – including weekdays – are mine again? How can I bring back my regular everyday bliss from when I still had full control of my schedule?”
This morning when I woke up, I got my answer.
It’s to make more time for Play. By play, I mean, it could be anything at all that we simply do because it’s fun and it allows us to be creative. It lets our mind wander and expand. For one person it could be spending time with animals, for another it could be working out in the gym – for me, it’s thinking on a blank sheet – it’s both drawing and writing, although I tend to write more often these days.
Today since I woke up 30 minutes earlier than usual, I started taking my power back. I started writing at 5 am – before I proceed with my usual daily grind.
Ironic because what playing actually offers us is the space to lose control – yet it’s also the very thing that makes us feel more in control of our life.
Perhaps after all this time we are just spiritual kids inside us. We just want to explore, create and have
some a lot of fun!
Even before I started writing this piece, just the thought of writing already lifted my spirits up.
I started feeling more hopeful about my day, knowing that it’s not just another day to spend living for other people’s dreams and fulfillment.
In fact, it’s mine – I create it – just like all the days past and all the days to come. Everything else in my life is just there to support me in living life the way I want to – including my day job (and not the other way around).
Having difficulty saying “No”? Tired of feeling guilty? Overcommitted but unfulfilled? Do yourself and everyone a favor – get your priorities straight!
I didn’t know I’ll thank myself later for it, when I declined someone’s invitation to join a trip. I knew it would be nice to go, and I’d definitely would want to spend time with the people there. However, this was tugging at my sleeve – the truth that I’ve already made up my mind on which to prioritize. My weekends have already been blocked off.
A few days later, after declining the said invitation, my grandmother mentioned a trip she has been planning with the rest of the family on the day the other trip was supposed to take place. I felt an opening inside, and a smile couldn’t help but slip off my lips – I said “Yes” in a heartbeat.
It’s the only kind of “Yes” that we deserve. That “Yes” that we don’t think twice for; that “Yes” that resonates with all of our being.
When we get our priorities straight, knowing when to say “No” and actually saying it will be a bit easier. Likewise, by doing so, we are opening up ourselves more to those opporunities that would really bring us joy. Less guilt, less stress, more fun and fulfillment!