Categories
empowerment self discovery

Free to Be: Going On Your Own Path

There comes a day when you stop letting the outside world trick you into thinking there is only one way to life, security, happiness, and success.

~

A lovely friend of mine, a neurologist in Cambridge, described the city perfectly to me once:

“Cambridge: where everyone thinks they’re a ‘renegade.'”

I had only been in Boston for a few months, so I hadn’t yet gotten an impression of the people or the culture.  However, I liked this idea, and I certainly loved Cambridge.

Although I used to wish I had taken a traditional path (or at least a “laid out” one) I realize now through listening to others that it wouldn’t have been right for me.  I have spent the past 11 years trying to “fit” the mold; city to city, job to job, relationship to relationship.  It was a struggle trying to fit this square peg in a round hole.

I had simply assumed by speaking with her, the grounded and successful woman she is, that she must have had an easier path than mine. That things came naturally to her.  That she followed her heart when making her career choice.  However, upon knowing her better, I learned that it wasn’t her choice to become a doctor; it was her father’s.

I met this woman April of 2017, and she played an instrumental role helping me learn I am enough.  She said to me, over and over, that I am fine just as I am.

I didn’t realize what she meant until now.


As my life came together, fell apart, and came back together time and time again back in the summer of 2017, my friend (who I just visited in NYC) also reminded me of how strong I am.  Although I felt hopeless at times, she saw the light in me.  She recognized my strengths.  She helped me see my own light; and in turn, I have been able to do the same for her.

It’s interesting how we can get down on ourselves so easily, yet we are much stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

Now, let’s go back to the idea of a “renegade.”

This made me laugh.

However, much of our society blindly follows the unwritten rules the “patriarchy” laid out years ago, without question.

I can’t imagine living an existence where I don’t question these rules.

As I began to step into my authentic self, I stood up to “the man.” I have ignored their sexist comments. I have ignored people telling me I can’t do things. I have been independent.

Perhaps this does make me a “renegade.”


Over the years I thought about what society wanted me to do; or at least, what those around me expected.  I thought that if I got an advanced degree, a certain job, or had impressive credentials, I would please others.

But why did I care about pleasing the patriarchy?

I wasn’t pleasing myself.

As I have let the ideas of what other people “expect” from me, I realize that I wasn’t doing anyone any good.  I wasn’t happy in relationships or jobs where I couldn’t be myself.  I wasn’t succeeding in roles that didn’t align with my talents.  I felt anxiety in environments I forced myself to be in.

As my spiritual practice and confidence grows, the more I realize that manmade rules are simply tricks to give others power.

We have all the power we need within ourselves.

The more fearlessly honest I am, the more gifts have appeared in my life.  I’ve been published in places I never dreamed to see my work, I’ve received heartfelt letters from readers who didn’t know who else to turn to, and I’ve gotten the opportunity (and blessing) to find inner peace, joy, and empowerment through my authenticity.

I used to water down my personality to “fit in.”  That didn’t serve anyone.  Today, I refuse to play a role in society; I will live my truth.

I came to this earth for a reason; and that reason wasn’t to follow the patriarchy, let someone scare me into doing things their way, or let others take my power.

My reason was to help others realize they, too, can fearlessly spread their wings and fly.

So, that is what I will continue to do. ✨

Categories
conscious living

Significance of the Winter Solstice

16406931_10104750855464578_667538181502204567_n

It’s officially winter!

Winter Solstice marks an important turning point for all of us; it’s the start of a new cycle and powerful time for reflection, intention setting, and spiritual growth.  As the year comes to an end, so do many old habits, regrets, fears, and pain.  It’s a time to let go, to look within, and find clarity within one’s soul.

I have more good news- Mercury Retrograde is coming to an end!  

Unlike many who prefer warmer temperatures, I absolutely love winter; it’s a peaceful time of self-care, soul-cleansing, and hope.  It’s no surprise, either- I came into this world on a snowy winter evening at 9:08PM (12/22!).  My birthdate explains my affinity for even numbers and patterns, too.

Winter represents a more feminine, inward energy; it’s a wonderful time to tap into your intuition, compassion, and heart.  Where is your soul guiding you?  Now is the time to listen; your heart always knows the way.  Listen to the signs and go with your gut. ❤

Now is a powerful time for us to focus on self-care, to pay attention to our dreams, and set goals for 2018.  Whether or not you’re a fan of the cold weather, cuddle up in a warm blanket, make a cup of cocoa, and enjoy the positive energy that the new season brings.  It’s going to be a wonderful year ahead.

16473348_10104750855259988_5323831816111578232_n

 

Categories
conscious living

A Saturday in Boston

11

It finally feels like Spring is around the corner! It has been a beautiful New England weekend; birds are chirping, the sun is out and the snow is melting.

Since it was so lovely outside, I went on a little excursion yesterday to explore the city. I did a little thrift shopping in Davis Square, grabbed a coffee and took the train to Kendall / MIT to walk along the Charles River. I decided to head across the bridge for some views and new angles of Boston and Cambridge.

16807538_10104806857396258_4306143297850110656_n

Longfellow Bridge

Walking south across the bridge is picture-perfect with its views of Beacon Hill, the Back Bay and Cambridge. It’s an easy .3 mile stroll (1,767 feet) and great for running, biking, walking and photo opportunities.

16730440_10104806888773378_4454539967846227586_n

Beacon Hill

After making it across the Longfellow Bridge I approached Beacon Hill, a beautiful neighborhood with historic brick homes on steep hills, old lamp posts and true New England feel. I walked along the Charles Street shopping district and window shopped, admiring the boutiques, architecture and historic charm.

16807827_10104806945280138_2074988418706271027_n

Boston Common / Public Garden

Charles Street ends right at the entrance of Boston Common, which was the first public park in the United States. It’s beautiful during the winter, with a frozen-over pond where swan boats float during summer months. I can’t wait for warm days in the park!

1

Newbury Street / Back Bay

In every city I have lived, there’s always that one street the captures my heart; from its Victorian-style buildings to its upscale shops, Newbury Street reminds me of the other neighborhoods I love (San Francisco’s Union and Chestnut Streets, Chicago’s Armitage Ave in Lincoln Park, New York’s Greenwich Village) and flock to for its shopping, cafes and architecture. My favorite shops on Newbury are Tiffany’s (window shopping only, for now!), Kate Spade, Nordstrom Rack and Alex and Ani.

Now that the weather is warming up, I’ve been much more motivated to go on weekend adventures, get outside and finally learn new areas of the city. I put in over six miles yesterday, and it feels great to finally get back on track and out of the winter hibernation funk!

me-bridge

Categories
self discovery

What Makes Us Happy?

12593549_10103779312005458_8252122255678028058_o

Lately I have been thinking a lot about what “happiness” looks like. When do we know that we have “made it?” When have we finally reached our potential? Are we ever really settled?

Do I have the ability to be content with where I am at right now?

I discovered a five-day course at Harvard called “The Surprising Psychology of Everyday Life.” Lead by Adam Mastroianni, the course is described:

“Who’s happier: lottery winners or paraplegics? The answer––like many insights from psychology––will surprise you. This course, taught by a psychology grad student and stand-up comedian, pulls together psychology’s most fascinating findings to answer some of life’s deepest questions: what makes us happy, why can’t we all agree, and are we really in control of our own thoughts?”

Thursday’s topic is Harvard Psychology Professor Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness, which is a book I discovered a few years ago. In my quest to live a more peaceful, meaningful life, I’ve often questioned and wondered what truly would make me happy. Yesterday I found an interested photo of a dog and a human while scrolling through Instagram, which perfectly illustrated how complex we are as human beings. I then thought, “I think I’ve got it.”

I will be happiest when I stop and enjoy the moment. When I am aware of my surroundings. When I push away negative thoughts. When I stop dwelling on the past and worrying about the future.

When I just am.

15965757_10104660110408398_7623746471092038008_n

I look forward to sharing what I learn at the course, revisiting Stumbling on Happiness, and continually improving my overall joy and contentment.

Categories
self discovery

Save Your Energy

16807702_10104806857401248_6038659783385993504_n

It’s a snowy Saturday here in Boston! Although it’s been bitter cold for a couple of weeks, yesterday was the first real “snow day,” and I had the unreliable MBTA system to prove it.

After waiting for the 77 Harvard bus for 45 minutes yesterday morning, my toes felt like they were going to fall off and my nose was frozen. Shivering on Massachusetts Avenue, I empathetically looked around at all of the other commuters. “This sucks terribly, but we’re all in the same boat,” I thought.

In the past I may have wasted my energy on getting upset, anxious or even snapping at the bus driver when they finally arrived- but I didn’t. I was bundled, had my music, and emailed my boss to let him know I was running behind.

Yes, it was that easy.

It’s natural to default to that irritated, selfish state when things aren’t going your way- we all do it. Over the past few months I’ve been conscious of honing my energy on what matters; my work, being mindful of my current activity, listening more when having a conversation, and taking in each moment to pay attention to what is happening around me.

I started to do everything one step at a time. One minute, one hour, one day.

Even if you’re terribly late, standing in the freezing cold or your path seems to have gone off course, just remember to take in the moment and enjoy it- for you won’t get that moment back.

15826645_10104647589275848_6477163093816313468_n
Making the most of this New England winter, one bundled day at a time.