Raise Your Vibration!

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In a world full of so many distractions, it can become difficult to stay conscious of your mind, body, and spirit.  Constant running, going and doing has left us feeling irritated, incomplete, flustered and alone.

This morning I saw a post by the inspirational April Adams, who has helped me over the past several months through her book, online advice, and messages of hope.

“If you’re tired of being overwhelmed by feeling other people’s stuff, clear your own stuff (traumas, fears, triggers…) Then you won’t resonate with the lower frequencies anymore and it won’t bother you like it did. Go forth and be free.”

This got me thinking; how can we be free?

Raising your vibration is the first step to clearing your mind and connecting with your higher self.  Enlightenment and connecting with my own spirituality has completely changed my life, perspective, and overall happiness.  This is a new concept for many people, but in a world of hustle and bustle, it’s important for me to share the simple ways that you, too, can live a more peaceful, free life.

Live beautifully.  Enjoying the simple things in the world around me has made my life so much fuller.  I started becoming more conscious of my surroundings while living in New York City, where life seemed to pass by quicker than I could enjoy it.  Amidst getting pushed through the city sidewalks and squeezing into a sweaty subway, I found solace in Central Park, beauty in buildings, and peace by the river.  Slowing down and observing the world may be difficult, but there is beauty all around us.

Become conscious of your thoughts.  I can easily fall into old thinking patterns.  When someone annoys me or life doesn’t go my way, I become grouchy, negative and selfish.  It has become much easier for me to catch myself when I’m thinking negatively about other people and situations; instead, I try and think with compassion.  This is not easy, but there’s a power in positive thinking.  If you continue to think negatively, negative things will come your way.  If you think, “today will be horrible” or “I’m going to miss the train,” chances are, those things will happen to you.  Alternatively, if you start your day with a positive mind, positive things will come your way.

Meditate.  This one can be difficult, but once you are able to sit still and focus on your breath, you’ll discover that the benefits are huge.  I never understood meditation or why I should do it until the first time I felt the “tinglies.”  This can be a bit tricky to explain!  I used to look to people, chemicals, or activities to feel a physical and mental sense of peace, but once I found it in meditation and a connection to my higher self, I didn’t want to stop!  Once I truly learned how to meditate, an overwhelming sense of warmth and comfort came over me.  I finally understood what it meant to connect to my higher self!  Meditation is how I start every day, but I often meditate before bed, at the park during lunch, or sometimes I simply close my eyes on the train to re-center myself on my daily commute.

Make a gratitude list.  I never go a day without writing down what I am grateful for.  I’ve had many stressful situations over the past couple of weeks; I’m looking for a new apartment, I’ve experienced job changes, and to top it off, I have my own personal issues.  Sometimes it feels like the walls are crashing down on me.  However, there’s much more to be grateful for than to be upset about.  I write down simple joys, from my morning coffee to a meaningful conversation that I had with a friend.  Once you start writing down your gratitudes, you’ll realize there’s much more to be thankful for than to be discouraged about.

Focus on physical health.  This includes eating right, drinking plenty of water, avoiding toxins and staying active.  I didn’t realize how negatively alcohol, caffeine, lack of sleep, and diet impacted my life.  I used to “push through” the day, not listening to my body when I was hungry and jittery.  The first step to being mindful is to pay attention to what your body is telling you!

If you want to read more about awakening, enlightenment and consciousness, I recommend taking a look at Conscious Life News.  There are some wonderful resources to help guide you along your own spiritual journey!

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Introverting as a Verb

It’s been a quiet, peaceful, beautiful week here in Boston.  So peaceful, that I have wondered if I should feel ashamed for being so happy being alone.

I recently discovered an amazing INTJ group for women on Facebook, full of hilarious, interesting, like-minded women.  Lately I have been feeling isolated from the outside world; not because I am unhappy or that something is wrong, but because I have been feeling a strong sense of serenity in my own spirituality, and it’s been difficult for me to interact with those who are interrupting that zen.

Yes, this may be a little selfish… but I am doing the best I can to protect my peace.  Anxiety has been a life-long battle, and while I am learning new coping skills to deal with life’s challenges, sometimes I just want to be alone, go to the shore, and settle in with a good book.

What a blessing it is to have people who understand!  From topics relating to our fixations on certain people, our emphatic abilities to feeling happy as loners, this group has brightened my day.  I don’t feel so alone!  In fact, I feel more connected and hopeful than I have in a while.  I’ve spent much of my life thinking I was different, but so have a lot of others, too.  They just don’t always talk about it.

Over the past year I’ve written a lot about my mindfulness and minimalism journey, which has lead me to connecting with new people, developing meaningful relationships but also has isolated me from the materialistic world of consumerism, greed and “more.”  A lot of the “more, more, more” mentality has lead me to depression, as it’s difficult for me to keep up and relate to those who care so much about the external factors in life.

As I connect with other INTJ women who feel the same way as I do, I’ve laughed, felt comfort, and a sense of peace.  One woman said one of the best things I have heard in a while, in response to my post sharing that I’m feeling like a loner:

“I’m introverting a lot at the moment and I’m rather pleased about it.”  

There’s a beauty in not feeling alone, even when you want to be by yourself!

So, with a new soundtrack to life and hope for tomorrow, I’ll put my headphones on and find joy my own introverting.  Life is all about balance- so there’s no need to feel ashamed for just wanting some alone time.  I’m sure I’ll poke out my head and be social sometime soon.

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Single isn’t a Stigma

There are so many books, authors and blogs about finding love.  I’ve read many inspiring pieces from mothers, business women, and leaders.  Each time I take away important lessons, but I continue asking myself one question:

Where are the stories of women who are happy being single?

Where are the women who enjoy serenity by the shore, a cool breeze on a summer evening, a day at the library or writing in a cafe? Why does society insist we always need someone by our side?  Why do we have to be “career women” to fill the “void” of a partner?”  Why must we continue to put on a mask to cover up who we really are?

Why can’t we just be happy being where we are and with what we have in life?

Maybe not all of us are searching for happiness on the outside.  I struggle to relate to the mom bloggers, the articles about finding the perfect mate, and the books about “leaning in.” Success is not dependent on who you are with, what you do for work or what you own- success is within your soul.

Over the past decade I have searched for success in all the wrong places.  “Maybe living here will fix me,” or “maybe being with him is the answer.”  Maybe, just maybe, if I grew out my hair, had that apartment, wore those shoes, I would be happy.

No… no.   None of those things filled my soul.

A couple of weeks after moving to Boston I spent my birthday and Christmas by myself.  I moved here thinking I had a companion, but he wasn’t who I thought he was and I decided to end things and venture out on my own.  I wrote about my Cat Lady Christmas, being happy as a Bachelorette, finding pieces of New York in Boston and relating to Holly Golightly.

The look on people’s faces were always the same after I told them about my holiday- sympathy, surprise, and sadness.  Apparently, it’s expected that you must be home for the holidays and that you must have a lover to enjoy your life.  Quite frankly, I have heard enough stories of unhappy marriages, family drama and holiday stress to know that I am doing something right.  My holiday was just lovely- and it was peaceful.

I have peace inside myself.  Eight months later, my sentiments haven’t changed.  I haven’t met a new guy, I haven’t felt I am missing out on life, and I haven’t stopped ordering guilt-free takeout.

What if the new normal is being happy being single?

I have met many amazing, inspiring friends during my time in Boston.  However, my happiness doesn’t depend on them.  I would much rather live a life of quality over quantity and serenity over a social life.  As a writer, this is easy to say, but I truly mean in my heart when I say:

You, too, can be happy on your own.

I want to help other women to feel confident being in their own skin, going on that solo adventure, moving to an unfamiliar city and ditching their designer mask to wear what makes them comfortable.

It has taken me several cities, many mistakes and relentless relationship attempts to get here, but I know I can finally say: single isn’t a stigma.

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