Self-improvement is a process, not a race. I keep forgetting that and my subconscious becomes so opportunistic that I end up reverting to old ways of thinking and being. Trusting in the progress we make as people who are trying to make better decisions in life requires us to be brave enough to trust ourselves even when the unexpected or the uncontrollable occur. Let mistakes happen. Tap into that raw emotion that rises up, analyze those old habits, accept why you gave into them, then take that experience and do better. It’s not easy and it’s not a race. Let’s give ourselves permission to explore and adapt to the process of self-improvement.
Learning to be more mindful about the areas in my life that need rest is still a fairly new experience. Do you still have that “daily grind” mentality, where you must work hard whenever your workdays are and ignore yourself anytime your mind, body, or spirit is screaming “I NEED A BREAK!!” ? It’s important to have discipline in life, but I think too many of us think discipline means working hard without recognizing what you need. The labor laws of our society shouldn’t dictate how much rest we deserve; we should be deciding that.
Then again, some of us feel guilty when we’re resting for too long. I get antsy and restless every time I don’t write on my blog, give myself a break from the novel, or take a step back from an article. To me, that means I’m lacking mindfulness when it comes to rest. My brain needs time to rest so I can write again. My soul needs peace so I’ll be inspired to write. My body needs rest even if I am sitting at my desk or in my bed a good part of the day. All of our needs in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual sense deserve a moment of rejuvenation. I know some of us may give ourselves a day or two of rest and still feel like we didn’t get enough. All the more reason to see the day you scheduled as the rest day as a practice. It takes time to learn what exactly you need to help give your mind, body, and soul an energetic reset.
These sources can help you get started:
If you’re an empath or hypersensitive person, read this article to learn about grounding techniques that help prevent breakdowns.
If you’d like help thinking about how you can cleanse your living space and empower yourself, read this article.
If you struggle to see what you have in life that could possibly make your situation better when there’s so much you don’t have, read this article.
A lot of the hatred, heartbreak, and loss recently may persuade some of us to hide away or run away. I woke up feeling that way, then decided to do an ancestral and karmic oracle reading. I used The Shaman’s Oracle deck to speak with my ancestors who communicated an awesome message of resilience reminding me that fear can be hurtful and paralyzing, which is all the more reason to set boundaries and take time to retreat so you can reflect on the truth of the situation, but there’s no need to forget your own strength. There are traditions in the past many tried to oppress, but they still live on. There are those who cultivated their skills in the midst of being afraid and became prolific figures in history and in modern times. Right now we have so many protests, petitions, and other forms of speaking out against injustice and unfairness. While fighting for integrity and acknowledging our fear, we shouldn’t forget our power and our right to live because that is how our freedom lives on.
It’s appalling that there are people to this day who believe some lives are less valued than others, but those same people are ignorant of the fact that they don’t have authority over another’s life. What fear teaches us when we see those same people do wicked things to others is to be cautious as we forge our own path. Sometimes a brash and outspoken rebellion isn’t as significant as a patient strategy that can abolish oppression for the long-term. Acknowledging our fear and being thoughtful of what is and isn’t in our control is what maintains freedom because then our fear doesn’t become a card the oppressor can play whenever they want.
I hope this isn’t being interpreted as a suggestion to be passive and tolerant of injustice, but rather as encouragement on the establishment of autonomy, keeping our power. There is hope, but if your heart is angry and seeking revenge, the hardest blow you can land is striving to live your best life. The people who take the oppressive route are clowns refusing to reflect on their own pain and insecurity, which is not our responsibility, but theirs. All the more reason to make sure we speak out about accountability and continue the fight for integrity without losing our will to live or abandoning our gratitude for life.
The way this message was told to me started with the dancer of fear (acknowledging fear and pain, cautious and resilient), then the ancestor of boundaries (setting boundaries, respecting yourself), then the shaman of tradition (deep memories, ancestral wisdom, remembering the past), then the ancestor of skill (utilizing skills and powers to daily life) and lastly the ancestor of hope (strength to achieve goals for the long term, even during adversity).
The stones on top of the cards are two malachite (the green ones), two Botswana agate, and in the middle is lodelite.
In the past, I have burdened myself with future outcomes, whether they’re hypothetical or have a high probability of happening and this has only brought distress in my life. It became so apparent that I think like this that other people exploited it to have me do what they wanted rather than have my best interest at heart. It’s heartbreaking to me how competitive our society can be. It’s admirable to have resilience and enough self-control to reach achievements and all, but it should be pointed out more often that our need for validation from others or the things we have is basically asking them to manhandle us with puppet strings. What’s even worse is that this kind of behavior is reinforced constantly, encouraging us to let shallow outsiders or materialistic means determine our worth.
Chess is one of my favorite games. I like strategy games because your plan is only as good as your result, but no matter what happens, you learn something. Even when I lose, I find it thrilling. It’s still annoying, but it’s always exciting to learn something new. When I play chess, usually against a computer telling me that every other move I make is a “mistake” (and then often win later lol), I get to swallow the harsh reality that you can’t control everything, but if you learn to merge adaptability with backup plans, success has a higher chance of finding you.
I am aesthete who loves it when emotions take the lead, but logical strategy games are really grounding for me. Playing games that demand my attention and intellectual power prove to me that I can achieve some pretty stellar focus (which is a triumph for someone with ADHD). The main function of grounding is to help you live in the present and increase confidence in who you are, so yeah. That happens when I play chess.
I just wanted to share that since this whole week has been emotionally stressful for me, but there are moments when I look back and realize how emotionally resilient I am thanks to my logic balancing things out. I’m sure many people have moments like this and we should definitely appreciate them more. You’re stronger than you know.
I really hate it when I disappear for a week or so at a time and I am sorry for that. It really comes down to the way my energy has been distributed. The part-time job (which really is a measely 4-5 hours 3 times a week) drains me. And it’s not necessarily the job itself, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a high sensitivity to how and where I give my energy. I find it’s very similar to how introverts are drained by people and extroverts are drained by loneliness, but for me it’s being drained combined with a lack of fulfillment.
Yesterday, I gave myself a rest day. I decided to read more of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and came across a passage that reminded me of the major arcana “The World” in tarot, which then led to an idea about my own novel and that led to a quick study into Christian gnosticism, which then inspired a backstory for my antagonist and protragonist. I could spend an entire day diving into literature, history, religion, philosophy, and any other river of knowledge because it literally quenches the thirst I need for feeling fulfilled.
As I wrote on my tumblr, this is all I am. I consider my “art” basically anything I write, compose, sing, draw, or any creative project I get into. Everything else is self-explanatory. I can’t handle being caged in like it seems at the moment. But I’m not caged. I have plenty of resources that I am and should be using to build the life I want (and really, it’s a life I already have; I’m just building upon it every day). Just need to take my own advice from my article, “The ‘Lack Mentality’ is Killing Us” :
“None of us like being inconsiderate with our resources or insensitive to those who are trying to support us, but it just doesn’t seem to be enough. The lack mentality encourages the emptiness that no one asked for. It’s just there. One thing to remember is that the emptiness you struggle with developed over time. This means, decreasing that emptiness will happen over time…Stop expecting the resources and support given to provide instant gratification,”
So, each time I go to the part-time job and decide to work more and more hours there instead of trusting myself to provide my own income through my work, that emptiness expands a little more. The mental and emotional fatigue comes from feeling hollow and uninspired. I plan to change that and use every resource to do so. It will take patience, because it won’t be instant, but I’m so damn sure it’ll be worth it. Financial responsibility and dream building is a tough tug-of-war for many of us, but you certainly feel more alive when you let the dreams win. We forget sometimes that our dreams can manifest into a real lifestyle that monetizes itself.
For those who read and check up on me, thank you for the support. You’ll hear more of my work very, very soon.
There are so many delusions out there that want us to believe that certain experiences, especially healing and success, can be achieved instantly. I’m not saying some instantaneous things happen in life, but too many of us think that the lack of an instantaneous event is a type of curse or punishment for whatever reason. The development of gaining any kind of achievement is a process; I like to call it practice.
Reminding myself that I am in a state of practice is an encouraging way to remain teachable. Being teachable also increased my gratitude for the resources that mentor me by simply existing. My practice is a natural patience that helps me to progress towards my achievements and give me time to appreciate where I am in the present moment. This practice isn’t always a peaceful flow (which is obvious because without disruption in life, what’s the point?) and I’m grateful for the unknown elements and the unexpected obstacles. Well, I’m not instantly grateful. I get irritated still. I rant and rave. I jump on a social media platform and express frustration or make it into a poem, song, short story, etc. and that’s when it happens. In the friction of my frustration with the obstacle and the unknown, I create a spectacular new opportunity for myself. That is inspiration and acting on that inspiration is a practice.
Practice is not about perfection. The unknown and unexpected make things wonderfully messy and bring disastrous intrigue that make my heart race and my mind fluster. I anchor myself with a pen on paper, my finger gliding over a keyboard, a graphite pencil on a sketchbook, or with sound soaring from my throat. The practice is merging these instantaneous inspirations into long-term investments. Manifestation.
I adore being in a state of practice. It gives me permission to be human and just bleed.
“This is not your average list of cleansing techniques. You’re not going to be told that these techniques are going to help you “get rid of all the negativity and toxicity in your life.” You’re not going to be offered products that can take care of everything that’s a problem in your life. This is a list of cleansing techniques that also empowers you. We are taking the time to know ourselves, know our environment, and invest in our confidence.”
You need to remind others and yourself that you have the ability and the resources to do great things and enjoy life. Pursue your joy, damn it! This is a hard thing to do because this isn’t what many of us are raised to do or learn. Just as fear alerts you to what you find dangerous, joy alerts you to what sparks excitement in your life.
I had to get that out because I’m sick of us limiting ourselves, damn it. If you’re tired of humanity being self-destructive, then stop self-destructing!
I’m not trying to make this sound like an easy thing. I’m choosing to contribute to the forces that encourage the accessibility to possibility.
You know what brought me a little joy today? Recycling my candle jars and putting herbs in them! And then sharing that with others! Boom! Because being a witch makes me joyful.
Become your joy. It is possible. This isn’t forced positivity; it’s anti-self-depreciation. I’m not going to tolerate self-destructive behavior on this platform.