It's important to honor and acknowledge your past, to tease lessons from the stories that make you, you. But at some point the past becomes a crutch, something to fall back on when you're uncomfortable in the present or fearful of the future.
While loneliness and isolation do not always lead to violence, and while they are not the only causes of violence, they are often a contributing factor to it. Learning how to transform isolation, in ourselves and others, thus can help facilitate not only inner peace but also social stability.
We are trained to be grateful for getting the things we want, but we can and need to become equally grateful for the things that we don't get, and the wonderful and unexpected opportunities and gifts that those absences bestow upon us.
Remember, the greatest form of brainwashing is simply repetition. For some people, the repetition is within their own inner talk and thus, over and over, the negative is reinforced again and again. You can choose to stop that today, and I urge you to do so.
We're all put here with different personalities, passions and skills. If you feel called to make art, then you were put here to make art. If you feel called to write, record, build, design, speak or explore, then you were put here to do just that.
Second-guessing and doubting ourselves can be deadly. It kills our enthusiasm for embarking on a big project, getting involved in a new relationship, and the list goes on. When doubting yourself rears its ugly head, here are ways to put down the monster.
To achieve self-actualization, when you conquer one thing, you must move on to the next. Self-actualization does not require any tricks or tools. To reach this level, you need only to accept who you are and then take the steps necessary to becoming the best version of you that you can be.
What follows is not a trick question: Would you rather feel exhilarated, grateful, humble, inspired, resolute, compassionate, and content -- or fearful, sad, worthless, jealous, angry, overwhelmed, and bored?
There is a tremendous difference between waiting for a 100 percent perfect moment, and making 100 percent of the opportunity given to you. That difference starts well before any opportunity comes along. It starts with you believing in yourself.
Your state of overall wellness is directly tied to how you handle (or refuse to handle) questions like your self-worth, the real meaning for your life, your reason for being or your role in the universe.
If you're struggling -- if you're feeling out of, or the need for, control -- it's less likely that something's wrong with the object of your desires, and more likely that there's something you've been unwilling to give up in order get what it is you say you want.
Are you looking to be a happier, more productive, more successful person? Then the best advice is to spend less effort trying to locate your "authentic" self, in the manner that so many supposed self-help experts prescribe. Instead, learn to embrace the notion of the self as flexible.
Each time a parenting challenge has levied what could have been a knock-out punch to my sanity, I have grabbed that phrase like an oxygen mask and strapped it over my face. And it has worked. It raises that all-important question, "What do I need to learn here?"
Amongst my friends, being happy isn't enough. Being successful doesn't cut it. Being in a loving relationship is but part of the plan. They want to leave a mark on the world. It is one of the reasons I love them.
Meditation doesn't have to be stuffy and/or elitist. We get to be who we are -- that's the whole (terrifying) point. We are so richly overflowing with treasure, each of us. Once we get up offa' our things and begin experiencing that, we begin reclaiming our treasure.
I wanted to share this gift with you -- the gift of honesty, accountability and reflection in the hopes that it will remind you that you are not defined or limited by past chapters. Your "story" is in development, and one chapter should lead to another.
I don't want to be anyone but me. I don't want to be prettier or cooler or something I'm not. I just want to be a better, more accurate version of myself. I know who I am. I know what I could be. It's time to make it happen.