I love my life right now. My child is healthy, happy and full of smiles. I am fully engaged in my work. I am meeting great people every day. I am incredibly positive about the future. But every now and then something ugly from my past tries to creep in and pull my quintessential happy rug out from underneath me. I had to note how I respond to this. I want to remain in a happy place.
I think we have two options in life when it comes to our overall outlook on things; it’s pretty plain and simple. We can live in the past stuck in the present stagnant or we can be in the present with our eyes wide to the future. The main difference, is basically are we living with regret of our life choices, or are we living actively making choices for our future. The proverbial cliché comes to mind of the glass being half full or half empty, but I say a better analogy is better stated are we filling up our cups or just emptying them.
Life filled with optimism and hope, means that we continually filling up our lives or ‘cups’ with all kinds of good. This kind of overall mental well-being acts like a pump primer for more good things. Simply being grateful for what you have and dedicated on what your moving towards naturally is going to attract more positive interactions with friends and family, people at work, and in the areas of your life that have other social aspects. The more good you put out essentially means the more good you attract your way.
Life filled over analyzing the past, picking apart every detail of a tragedy or down turn in life essentially is emptying the cup. The amount of energy that being negative and thinking negatively it takes is unbelievable and this behavior causes a serious physical, emotion and spiritual drain, literally and figuratively. Mental anguish is exhausting entirely. It’s just a drain on our limited resources to be a social and productive member of our work places, families and communities.
I have not always been sunny side up. I have had my share of dark times. I look back in my life at look at the times that I was abandoned by my parents, let down by people who were supposed to care for me, bullied by my peers, not making a team, not landing that job, not accelerating in a work place, and it all makes me exactly who I am. Perfectly equipped with all of the experience necessary to not repeat my failures and not completely empathy my cup festering over the things in life that don’t go my way.
Instead I look at the disappointments life deals me and I feel a sense of peace knowing that every moment brings me closer to being the person I am meant to be, to do the things I am meant to do. I am not entirely sure of what that looks like, however I am fully grateful that the more that I make great choices, and the more happy I am on the inside with all that I have (namely being what I need right now) the more opportunities I create for myself. It’s like a turbine of inner positive motivation, simply propelling me forward.
Filling the cup, so that you can drink from it as often as you need is difficult. Being positive and eager in uncertainty is a inner battle. It’s human nature to want to anticipate surprises and anticipate risks. It’s actually inherent to survival of our species. It is so much easier to let the cup drain. This is why a lot of us are walking around stuck in the past, stuck in a moment, stuck with a bad attitude or a dismal outlook. But if you put in the hard work and make a mental note to practice gratitude, self-evaluation, moments of joy, moments of laughter, and moments of happiness, the overall sense of inner quiet and inner peace and true joy creates more of this in your life, happiness brings abundance in all of the things that you need.
My pathways to avoiding being an emptier of my cup and seriously loving my life a lot more inlcude;
- Practice my spirituality. Meditate and
- Engage with friends, groups and family members.
- Reading. Getting lost in another world.
- Seek balance in work/family/life.
- Count everything that I am grateful for, every time I am down.
- Do something juvenile; colour, run, make a fort.
So December 21, 2012 has arrived. I am still alive to blog about it.
The Mayans are hopefully having a chuckle over the fact that the second stone tablet never made it into the history books. Or maybe it was just a theoretical end of the world. Maybe just maybe we will wake up tomorrow and few major issues will start to resolve themselves.
Looking back in the last year, a lot has happened to me personally, but a lot has also happened in my country and around the world. There is so much on both scales. I don’t even know that I am emotionally capable of unpacking it all and still writing a cohesive blog post.
I will say that I have a small list of what I hope changes for people on an individual level, which I hope might affect change on a larger scale.
After all it is all the combined small things that collectively are able to make miracles happen.
1)Forgive. Forgiveness is so important and powerful. Forgive yourself first and foremost and forgive all of those that hurt you. It does not mean you must forget. It means that you accept a person or a situation or a circumstance as it is, and move forward. Hang ups never help anyone.
2)Help. Help yourself by constructing positive habits, relationships and positive environments. Give a hand up, not a hand out, every time you can and not just for a tax receipt. True charity is almost entirely anonymous.
3)Be grateful. Let the positive overpower the negative. Be grateful for all of the things you do have, instead of complaining about what you don’t have. Shower yourself with feeling empowered by all that you have, and not all that you perceive that you lack.
4)Love. Love yourself, love your family, friends and humanity. Love doesn’t expect anything. Love is simply gentle acts of kindness, consideration, and empathy. With a little more love in the world and a little less anger or hate we can and will change the state of the world.
5)Live. Live life to the fullest. Live like there might not be a tomorrow, because frankly every missed opportunity to experience life is a tragedy. Do what you want to do. Do what you need to do. Make time for people you care about. Breath the air into your lungs and feel the ground move under your feet. Get out of the bubble you put yourself in and live, experience life with the community, with your networks, through your daily lives.
Happy start of a new world everyone!
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
This is a message I sent to someone I know very well but I share it with the world because it is a universal message.
One people, one world, one love.
Strength is admitting where you were weak. Courage is doing what you should even when it hurts or you are faced with fear. Faith is knowing the difference between destiny and choice. And love is strength, courage and faith. And loving (and forgiving) and having understanding for your enemies and those who wrong you is divine. Stop avoiding your inner self, (face hurt and fear and move forward). Be strong, courageous and faithful and loving and don’t just tell yourself you are. Show it to everyone you encounter. Positive thoughts, actions and words. (We all have the power to do great things for ourselves and humanity- we all just need the conviction to get out of our own way).
Be smart, brave and kind in this world people. It’s not always easy, but one love.
Community Voices: A Stakeholder’s Action Plan with the Office of African Nova Scotia Affairs.
With New Year’s Day brought about a new me. Not in some magical way that the clock made me a different person after midnight but I used the hype to reinvent my view of myself. I am worth it.
So to start I did an early morning relationship inventory after a horrid evening. My math did not add up. For a seemingly not-hideous educated and professional person, I always sell myself short in the love department. I think many other people do as well. Maybe someone reading is too. But why?
On the very last day of the year, I found out just a bit more about myself. I need more than a superficial attraction. I need someone who I can have a conversation with. I need someone who can pick out a decent movie or stay in and play cards and drink some wine or a few beers and listen to some great music. Maybe show up for dinner on time…bring something…and shower and dress yourself..not too much to ask, right? Wrong. Apparently it was in my last relationship. On the eve of the last day of the year my partner of 6 months showed up empty handed, in joggers, and with a bad attitude. No romance for me, can you say bed before 10:00 pm?
Now I am not completely dissing being cozy around a companion, but of all nights, NYE at home is a night to live it up in or out? Bring a lill Casanova to woe your lady? Have some wine and a dance in the kitchen at the stroke of midnight? Or if you dare your joggers, you better have some junkfood and movies in hand with a big bad smile. I own outfits for events, I have not even penciled in yet. I can whip up something up sexy stylish and home-wear-worthy that’s not my two piece flannel polka dot tuxedo anytime I see the apple of my eye. This girl -right here, is prepared. I can dress for success whenever the occasion calls for it for many reasons. Mostly because it’s one of the oldest forms of self-expression, furthermore it helps me feel good about myself and that helps me feel overall confidence. Who doesn’t want a confident, assertive, and well groomed person by their side?
Having studied persuasion, I have this ability to talk myself into believing or rejecting just about anything I set my mind on. But I should not have too when it comes to my mate and neither should anyone else. When we try to manipulate the image of our other when we tell others about it (weather we are venting or boasting) we need to be as honest as we can be. No persuasion required. I mean who wants to gush to the women in their lives; “He showed up late, under-dressed and without liquor, chocolate or …anything to show for himself”.
Actually I started writing this before my advanced communications theory class last night, and my quintessential brilliant yet slightly crazy prof put it this way… we offer our narratives about our others as tragedy, comedies, romantic and something else I can’t yet decipher from my sparse bullet points (who wants to write when you’re trying to observe brilliance? When I started dating him it was romantic…when things went up and down (this happened often) it was like a tragedy, and now in hindsight it was a comedy. I mean I can’t believe that I actually entertained the idea of a life with someone who thinks NYE attire is jogging pants? When I reflect on this fact, I find myself asking the bigger question; what this is the best combination of similarity and difference in mates?
At least in the beginning year, it should be interesting, engaging, and mutually beneficial- and no I am not talking about my next PR initiative- I’m talking about taking dating to the next level with someone you could share a life with. It should be natural and easy and not so much work in the start. Its about enjoying getting to know each other and making quality time to make it last over time that takes the real work. Partners should bring out the best and encourage you. So remember if the ‘other’ is not lovely tell your mother…. ladies keep reminding ourselves; we are worth it. The difference between alone and lonely could be the difference in your happy ever after.