Self Acceptance, Not Self Improvement

Life has been a bit of a rollercoaster the past two weeks.

Maybe it was the eclipse.  Maybe it was because I was rushing around to find a new apartment for September, or because I slipped and hurt my chin.  It could have been misplacing my phone for three days and feeling completely disconnected, or because of my work uncertainty.  I realized I’ve been moving too fast, forgetting what is important- the moment.

I got off-center and realized that my life was dependent on what was happening on the outside, not the inside.  Yet, the good far outweighed the bad.

My mother visited, my phone was returned to me by a kind stranger, I found a steady gig for a couple of weeks and I got to see Lionel Richie in concert.  Still, I had a strange, uneasy feeling.  Despite learning to communicate with the world through other methods than my phone, and despite finding a wonderful, zen place to move into, I kept thinking- “what’s next?”

Then, I stopped.  I wasn’t focusing on the moment and all that I had to be grateful for.   So, I made a gratitude list and meditated.   I revisited a few of my old blog posts and connected with nature.

Last night I met a dear friend for dinner.  She always is full of wisdom and helps to ground me, especially in moments where I feel completely lost.  She is the person in Boston I would call in an emergency, and I know she would be right there for me.

Upon telling her all about my adventures, mishaps and good fortune these past two weeks, she said something very wise:

“Your journey is about self acceptance, not self improvement. You are okay exactly how you are.”

Her words made me stop and think.  Yes.  She told me to be kind to myself.  She told me that I am okay even when I feel criticized, ashamed, uncomfortable.  

Honor the uncomfortable feeling, then give yourself a warm pat on the back.  “Self, I am okay.  I am safe.  I am loved.”

We are so quick to forget all of our blessings and to focus on the future.  The past two weeks have been an amazing reminder for me to reset, write down my gratitudes, and love a very special person: myself.  


Take Time to Just Be

I love a new week!  With feelings of optimism and peace, I am looking forward to what each day brings- and I’m not worried about the unknown.

Every Monday I enjoy getting coffee, going to the park and embracing the beauty around me.  As I thought about what I have planned for the day and the week ahead, I stopped and remembered the importance of going with the flow.  Often times we can get so caught up in our own plans that we don’t recognize the messages the universe sends about other plans and opportunities.

These past few months have given me many opportunities to practice being more mindful- with many uncertainties about what lies ahead, it’s been crucial for me to enjoy the moment and take time to just be.

Just last week I was feeling a little unsettled about my routine, but after enjoying a day at the beach and meditating on my intentions, I received a phone call about a new opportunity.  It just goes to show that worrying didn’t serve me- having faith, putting in the work and going with the flow was all I needed.

While there’s still uncertainty, I’ve let go of fear.  I’ve been through transitions before, and life has always worked itself out in the end.  Taking time to connect, recharge, and care for yourself is so important when going through changes- even though we may want to control every outcome.  Instead of wasting my energy feeling nervous, I’m enjoying this time of peace, walks by the harbor, and grounding myself in nature.  The universe already knows what is in store for me, so I’ll embrace the moment and welcome the next opportunity that comes my way.

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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