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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Choosing Grace, Not Aggression

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“I want peace. I want to see if somewhere there isn’t something left in life of charm and grace.” -Margaret Mitchell

Life sure is funny.  Just when I was beginning to feel strong standing on my own two feet, the universe threw me a curve ball to test (and strengthen) my skills and strength.

This past weekend was challenging.  Despite the joy I was experiencing, the wonderful community I have found and my own practice of self care, outside forces triggered past pain and emotions- and this scared me.  Instead of self destructing as I have in the past, I took a deep breath, sat on a bench and called a friend.

Setting healthy boundaries has been a huge part of my own happiness and recovery, as I have experienced insecurities, pain and fear due to the messages I have received throughout my life.  This includes family members, teachers, peers, boyfriends and even public figures.  I have consistently questioned my worth, second guessed myself and backed down when I began to achieve some form of success.  I had no confidence- if what I was doing wasn’t “perfect” it wasn’t worth doing.  My self esteem and foundation were always a bit rocky, but old feelings of fear crept up on me when someone’s criticism and judgment set me off out of nowhere.

The defensive Kristin came back- and it was extremely uncomfortable.

I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder toward people who try to dominate me, thus acting out and being overly defensive and aggressive.  I have held on tightly to this defense mechanism through the years, only to realize how awful it made me feel.  I remembered traumatic experiences- bullying, sexist messages, abandonment and physical abuse.  I have kept all of this inside for years.  Had I been acting out for decades without realizing it?  Yes, I had.  It just took me thirty-some years to learn it.

After speaking with friends about traumas I suppressed (and failed to recognize as abuse- I thought it was all my fault), I am grateful for these triggers.  Old feelings of shame came to the forefront, and I was able to meditate on these uneasy feelings.  So, as always, I walked to the water for solace.

Water brings me such peace.  It is the closest way for me to connect with my higher power, so on Sunday I meditated on a rock and prayed for the courage and grace to get through the day.

I received just that- strength and hope.  I faced the day with grace, not aggression, and everything worked out just fine.  I tried not to let the negative messages affect my mood, so after leaving the pond I turned my negative energy into productivity.  Since art and writing has always brought me peace, I decided to stock up on art supplies to paint inspirational messages for my friends.  I’ve received endless love, compassion and hope from the friends I have made in Boston, so instead of living in my one-woman pity party, I decided to give the love back to those who have helped me.

As I go about my Monday, I will remember the feeling of peace and serenity I experienced by Spy Pond.  When I walk with grace, the world is a little lighter, a little freer.  If you’re also experiencing some aggravation, try a meditation to bring you back to center.  Remember, your true home is within you- everything outside of yourself is not in your control- but you can control how you react.  Once you’re able to manage outside factors with grace, not aggression, you will feel better- I promise.

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