I got to travel out of town after months of staying in my home and it was so, so, so fantastic! Experiences with friends and observing different spaces inspired me so much. This pandemic…this year, really, has been depriving us from certain things one way or another, hasn’t it? I’m grateful for those of us who prioritize safety and care for others during this time because that will bring us all a step closer to experiencing the world in person again. I’m also grateful for the interconnectedness the internet gives us too, but virtual reality is not reality. Many of us are past expecting things to “go back to normal”, accepting that new cycles come and old ways pass on. The changes have been difficult to adapt to, but I must agree that the “new normal” is making so many of us embrace being more realistic, pragmatic, and open. We’re letting go of expectation and convenience to enhance our autonomy even when it challenges the status quo or makes closed-minded people erupt over what and who they can’t control.
We are learning the difference between being confident and being self-righteous. We are learning the difference between having conviction and being entitled. We are learning to be authentically bold rather than complacent or compliant. It’s a necessary development full of loss, heartache, and separation. As you pursue your truth, you will let go of what is false to you and lose far more than you expected or ever wanted. It’s amazing how expensive developing the true self is.
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.
Holding high standards for ourselves eventually lead to us saying somthing along the lines of, “I’m just not good enough.” I just wrote about that in my VPD. I’m so sick of those thoughts. They make me angry, not at myself, but I do go down memory lane and remember what led to me being this way towards myself and others sometimes.
Forgiveness is overrated and underrated. It’s the most bittersweet thing we can give ourselves and we can practice doing that more often by recognizing and accepting our flaws. Additionally, we can remember that accepting our flaws doesn’t mean our flaws define us entirely.
My VPD I’m posting on Vocal today is about transitioning from being a confident editor who’s really good at brainstorming to an anxious writer being too hard on themselves. I’m going to challenge myself today, and if you’d like to join me as a fellow perfectionist go ahead, to direct my inner critic solely on the story and not let it branch off into other territory such as my identity, intelligence, or anything else that’s personal. The goal with the second draft is to refine the story and just do my best as a hardworking and vulnerable writer. I treasure my vulnerability. I treasure my flaws. If I were talking to a friend, I wouldn’t want them to be down on themselves because of mistakes they made while working on their life’s passion. Recognizing areas that need improvement is better than being delusional. I’m going to trust myself to do better and be better without tearing myself down.
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.
I ran into this video on TikTok by GaryVee and the message was really neat.
Validation is a very tricky scenario. There are elements of what validation is in my prose poem Earth Magic; where how you grow up and who you’re around influences the way you feel about yourself. When we seek validation, there’s always that great risk of not being grounded; your roots end up being pulled one way and the other then you end up not having any foundation. Being uprooted from any situation can be traumatizing, the precursor to an existential crisis. Unfortunately, the solution we’re introduced to for the pain and uncertainty is seeking more validation even though that may have been what uprooted us in the first place. We depend on external sources to confirm or deny who we are and simultaneously mistrust our internal sources, our intuition, our self-esteem, our ability to self-reflect.
Internal and external conflict is such a powerful tool in writing because it’s so human. An inner monologue could contrast what other events are happening around the character, which brings suspense and tension. We go through this all the time. What’s going on within isn’t in alignment with what’s going on around us. The popular kids Garyvee talked about may have not aligned with the pressure that comes with popularity, but they would ignore or repress what’s going on internally to continue being fed the validation externally. Validation like this can be very problematic psychologically, but there’s another side to validation that is much more fulfilling.
Many people think inner peace is a façade because it appears to be near impossible. So why even try to achieve it? I think inner peace at its core is an acceptance of the internal and external tensions along with an acceptance of what can and can’t be controlled. Validation from others is something that you feed. If you want validation from your parents, you’ll feed it by doing whatever they tell you to do or what you think they’d expect from you. If you want validation from peers and coworkers, you will change your behavior or even hide your true behavior. The energy put into feeding the influence validation has on you can be shifted to validation of the self that eventually finds the external sources that are in alignment with who you are. This can happen with even small things, like personal interests; I don’t like mainstream pop music, but if I want validation from peers who like mainstream pop, I’ll listen to it until my ears bleed. The truth is, I like rock and heavy metal. The peers who like mainstream pop may no longer be in alignment with me because of my interests, but now they know who I am and they’ll either want to understand me more or distance themselves. Either way, I now have the opportunity to connect with fellow metal heads and we can now garner a reciprocal validation, but even if validation from the metal heads doesn’t happen, my love for metal will be enough for me. I accept I can’t control my peers or other metal heads; I can control what I listen to and can chose to enjoy it as much as I want.
Validation has a close association with “liking” or “loving” something or someone. That’s why I think it’s a tricky concept that is best simplified when you focus on self-acceptance first and go from there. That way, you’ll never be in poverty even if “likes” become an actual currency. This is what “grounding” really is.
There’s a Black Mirror episode about this. It’s called “Nosedive”, season three, episode one. Please watch it. It’s perfect.
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.
I am in LOVE with an audiobook right now: “You’re A Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero. I’m sorry if you’re reading this as someone who is up to their ears with self-help books, but as someone who has swam through various self-help books hoping to find something that has scratched me where I itched, I promise you…this one’s a keeper.
I wrote an article called “The ‘Lack Mentality’ is Killing Us”, which was inspired by my own lack mentality and the lack mentality from the people around me. Misery became our currency, when really it’s what I called “a slow, subtle suicide,” (Authentikei 2018). The main points of my article were:
Dropping expectations will help you more in the long run. (This doesn’t mean lower your expectations. It means let go of the unrealistic ones that stress you out and don’t force yourself to be positive. Instead, face your reality objectively.)
You are not worthless, useless, shameful, or horrible. You have value that supersedes your monetary and/or social status.
If the dis-ease is present, face it. You do not deserve to suffer.
Taking care of your needs is a process. There is no get-rich-quick or solve-all-problems solution, but every step you take towards what you need is evidence of hope.
Replace satisfying those impulsive acts with appreciating what you have and investing in that by applying what you have to your reality.
Listening to Jen Sincero’s book has made
me ecstatic. While listening to the audiobook, I would be yelling “YES!
FINALLY SOMEONE GETS IT!” out loud. I’ve already disturbed some family
members, especially those who overheard the narrator saying “you’re one
powerful motherfucker” while I was listening to it in the car, but
Sincero’s book is ANYTHING but disturbing. It’s a fucking wake-up call. It’s
something I’ve wanted to scream for so long. It’s made me wake up over things I
thought I understood but really didn’t.
I’d like to share a few of her quotes that have hit me HARD so far:
“The walls of your comfort zone are lovingly decorated with your lifelong collection of favorite excuses.”
“What comes out of your mouth comes into your life.”
“Time wasted rationalizing the mediocre could be time spent creating the magnificent.”
“When you don’t investigate what’s going on with your words, thoughts, and beliefs, you risk stumbling through life on autopilot.”
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”
“There is no lack of things to be grateful for if you remember to pay attention.”
“You can choose to be a victim to your circumstances or take responsibility for how you choose to perceive them.”
There is such a big difference between agreeing with these statements and actually living these statements. I would add so many more, but I’ll end up copying and pasting the whole book. Her book reminds me of the last paragraph in the “Poor Application of Support and Resources” section of my article:
“Challenge the Illusion:
Challenge the lack mentality with a mentality of abundance and gratitude. What
do you have and how can you apply that to help you in the present moment? If
you find it doesn’t satisfy all of your problems, address how what you have
helps with one or a few of the issues. That counts.”
I want to address a slight difference between myself and Sincero. When I wrote this article, I was still perceiving money and being rich in general as something that wasn’t that important in life (even though I do financial abundance spells almost every month). I was fine with receiving money, but I never felt comfortable loving money. Loving money was the equivalent of greed. Yeah, it’s not. Sincero describes money as not just our currency that makes the world go round, but it’s also a type of energy flowing throughout the universe reminding us we have a right to be wealthy and enjoy it. You’ll only be greedy if you choose to be greedy. Some of us have very generous and philanthropic ideas that we would love to make into reality if we had the funding. Sincero encourages the reader throughout to constantly keep in mind of all the awesomeness you can do with money (which doesn’t all have to be philanthropic, by the way. Treat yourself is definitely a thing too and can be harmless act without being greedy).
So when I look back at my article, yes her and I address the “lack mentality” in very similar ways, but I must say, she’s taken it a step further and exalted the abandonment of the “lack mentality” to a place of complete badassery.
I have to share one more quote from her:
“Your heart is the most powerful muscle in your body. Do what it says.”
Seriously, either buy or listen to this book right now.