Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Culture of Thoughts

The mind is a powerful tool that most of us take for granted in today's society. In a culture where instant gratification comes at the tips of our fingertips, sometimes it is nice just to think for a second about the power of our thoughts- what would we be able to accomplish just by thinking?

                                                          a lot.

Throughout the course of the day I cannot count the times where a thought- created by fear, anxiety or worry- has plagued my mind. And with a quick squint of the nose and a low moan, I do my best to push that worry out of the way. But am I just filing these thoughts away into a locked file cabinet only for that shelf to one day expire and flood this fortitude I have built up in my mind? I surely hope not.

But what I am hoping to accomplish (and I hope to accomplish this sooner than later) is the ability to take these negative thoughts, to accept them and understand where they have come from, and dismiss them. Negative thoughts are inescapable in a world moving at such a fast and unforgiving pace, and really

   it is okay to feel them. It is okay to feel sad, angry, depressed and hurt.

                            But we cannot stay this way forever. As cliche as it sounds, life is way too short, way too wonderful to substitute hurt with happiness.

So instead of simply pushing these fears and negative feelings away, instead I hope to accept them as who I am and then reconfigure my way of thinking into something positive and beneficial to my soul. I am also trying to use the "s" word less often (that's stressed and not the other "s" word you are probably thinking about) because I mean, not everything in life is stressful. The word has now become too reflexive in my everyday life and because of that, it is now not a product of my mind but a product of my being. I don't want to be a stressful person, I only want to have stressful moments that I know I can overcome.

"You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select what clothes you're gonna wear every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control."

The mind is a powerful tool

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Little Things

Enjoying the welcoming of winter with warm knits and dark lips. Happy holidays everyone xo,

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

From Where I Last Left Off

Sometimes beginnings are the hardest to write. I mean I must admit, it took me several minutes to contemplate how I should begin this post mainly due to
                                                 a) I'm bad at new beginnings &
                                                         b) I was testing out whether or not my nail polish was dry enough to start typing. 

So far, the latter has been holding up- I have yet to smudge my brand new painted white nails- but I guess the first part still holds some truth to it.

I always write about new beginnings (refer to multiple past posts about working to change my life, starting a new health habit etc.) and many times, I find myself feeling so incredibly guilty for not sticking with that change. But who came blame me? In a constant obsession need to reflect on my life, reevaluate its meaning and then rework it to fit my goals and aspirations, I most often face this internal struggle to find happiness and be content with where I am. Questions like-
  • Do I really want to teach? Can I even do this? (This is usually accompanied with flashbacks of poor teaching experiences or future anxieties worse than coming to class with only your underwear on)
  • Will I ever be ready to move out? And more importantly, will be family be alright without me? 
  • Will I ever just be content with my body? (Although, to tell you the truth I am 95% of the time okay with my handles of love)
  • Will I ever find a way to not be so angry? To be so self-criticizing? 
  • Am I happy?
-reoccur greatly in my mind, and I truthfully wonder if I will ever find an answer to these questions. Maybe I will...and then maybe I won't. But what I have now come to realize is my problem is not found in these questions but in the mere fact that I can never seem to be happy with where I am. In the present moment. Now.

I took a course in OISE that talked about meditation and mindfulnessness and in actuality, I learned a great deal about myself over the course of a few months. To begin we first had to complete a survey asking us different questions like:
  1. How often do you put your earphones on and not pay attention to what is going on around you?
  2. How often do you think about what you're eating, while you eat?
  3. How much time do you spend thinking about the past or the future? 
The answers didn't really surprise me as I knew that for much of my life, I was always either worried about the future or fretting over past mistakes. I also realized that I almost always wear headphones and that when I eat food, I eat like a monster truck. But, what I did learn was something very valuable for me as a learner: The value of being in the present.

The present is:

                                                     Being here. Don't worry about what is yet to come.
                                                 Don't feel guilty about things you have to do. Be what may.
                                                       Appreciate what you have now instead of idealizing what you may have.
                                                                        See happiness as a way of life, not a destination.

This all isn't to say that you shouldn't prepare for the future or to keep constantly try to reinvent yourself, but instead it's about understanding the need to take the time to be happy now, exactly where you are as exactly where you should be. Whether that's working to pay yourself out of debt, travelling the world, being unsure of your career. It's okay to always want to start new beginnings but if you keep trying to start something new, then you can never appreciate the "now." 

Thus, instead of building new beginnings, build the who you are right now. 
                              Don't be constructive. Allow yourself, who you are today, to be
                      the building blocks of your future self. See your "today" self as someone important too.

So as I conclude this post and seeing as my nails are now nice and dry, think about instead of always writing a new beginning to your life...pick up where you last left off. There is a great quote that comes from Eat, Pray, Love that really sheds light on this belief and is something I'd like to leave you with:

"The other problem with all this swinging through the vines of thought is that you are never where you are. You are always digging in the past or poking at the future, but rarely do you rest in this moment. It's something like the habit of my dear friend Susan, who-whenever she sees a beautiful place- exclaims in her near panic, 'It's so beautiful! I want to come back here someday!' and it takes all of my persuasive powers to try to to convince her that she is already here. If you're looking for union with the divine, this kind of forward/backward whirling is a problem. There's a reason they call God a presence- because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find Him, and now is the only time."