SINGLE and STRONG
Strong comes in many forms. I think being vulnerable is being strong. Being honest is strong. Being in your own power is strong. And no one else has to approve.
Yes, we care about what our love ones think about us- that is natural human behavior. But we don’t have to follow what they believe is best for us. Recognizing what we want and what is best for our self is strong. Holding boundaries for what we believe and what makes us happy is strong. Sometimes society, friends, and family can give us messages about our single-hood, “Are you dating anyone?”; “Did you bring a date”; “I didn’t want you to feel like the third wheel” (“Um why don’t you let me make that decision”). I am sure there are many other comments or questions you can add.
First of all, see that those questions, comments, and thoughts are theirs, not yours. You don’t have to take that on- let them keep it. You don’t need to get down because of someone else’s belief. You can have your own. You can stand in, and if you need to find, your power within. You can be positive and confident in who you are and what you stand for in this life.
Statistics show that the amount of people who choose to be single have steadily been on the rise. You don’t need to have a partner to pursue dreams, take the next step in your career, volunteer for something you feel passionate, take that trip, buy that place, or attend that wedding. Guess what- it is about your happiness!- not your parent’s, not your grandparent’s, not your friends’, and not your colleagues. It is about you and making yourself happy. You are the one who can make yourself happy. There is so much out there in the world to experience and you can choose what you want for you! It may just take some mindfulness, belief, and knowing how to be in the moment!
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like
It's a new year!
It's a new year! Time for new beginnings. Time to look forward after reflecting at the end of the year. Time to feel like you can do what you didn't do last year. Am I right? For some of you at least?
This can bring excitement and this can also bring nervousness. Or anxiety. Anxiety about not accomplishing what you wanted to last year. Anxiety about saying you did not accomplish what you said you were going to complete. ANXIETY! AAAahhhhhhhhhh! I wonder what it would be like if you moved into that anxious feeling rather than fight that feeling. I wonder what it would be like if you gave yourself a few moments to feel that churning in your stomach or see those swirling thoughts, but stayed, yes stayed there, in that moment. I bet the feelings will subside and those thoughts may calm down a bit. You can only go down from here. We aren't used to doing that. We want to hide, run, medicate, and make it go away. Funny thing, us humans, how we can literally make ourselves feel nervous and uneasy by our own thoughts and feelings.
I challenge you! The next time you start to feel those feelings of anxiousness, close your eyes or focus on something and b-r-e-a-t-h-e, slow, in, slow, out, at least 3 to 5 times. The next time you start to feel like you have a storm in your brain look around the room and pick out the colors of the rainbow (ROY G BIV= red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). You never know what can be at the end of that rainbow...
lead us to love
I am attending an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy conference. And it really speaks to me and how I have viewed life for a very long time. I just always felt in the minority. Why can't we all just get along? We are all the same. No matter what you look like, where you were born, what religion you believe, etc... we all have lungs to breathe, hearts to pump our blood, eyes to see, hands to touch, mouths to eat and talk. We all have feelings and thoughts. We, human beings use language to represent most things in our lives; from objects, to thoughts, to ideas, to feelings. That language lets us communicate. We also have non-verbal language. We are cooperative in nature. We look for acceptance and we look for reciprocity. People want to help each other and people want to be a part of a group. It's human nature!
Our mind creates defenses from the experiences we have that stops us from being altruistic. And it's the language, that represents those defenses, from those experiences, that flow through our mind. And that language can't see beyond itself. Literal language is static. Literal language is limiting. Literal language is not flexible. And we are using that language to give ourselves messages-good and bad. We also use that language to compare ourselves.
Do you know we are the only species that can elicit a memory at a moment's notice? Like, when I hear a song by Santana; I think about the fun Saturday afternoons when I my sister and I were little, in the first house my parents bought, and my parents would blast the music and clean the house. Now, cleaning the house wasn't fun, but dancing around with my family after my dad waxed the old wooden floors and he would play drum beats on the wooden book shelves, that was fun! Of course, not so pleasant memories can be elicited from a sound, sight, taste, touch, or smell too. We can also hear messages in our heads at a moments notice. However, we don't have to listen to that message and make it our leader. We can accept that we hear that message, from that experience, but we don't have to wear it and make it who we are. We can watch that message float on by so we can keep moving forward in the direction of what we want. We can watch that message float on by so we can do what is in our heart. We can watch that message float on by so we can have compassion- compassion for our fellow people and compassion for our self. This will lead us to less suffering. This will lead us to love. This will lead us to acceptance. This will lead us to peace.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change. Courage the change the things I can. And wisdom to know the difference." -Reinhold Niebuhr
This is only a part of the saying this theologian wrote back in the 30's or 40's. He also goes on to write, "Living one day at a time. Living one moment at a time. Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.".
Now, you don't have to be religious or believe in God to read and think about this message and possibly take this into your life. This is part of what we can call mindfulness in this day and age,in my own opinion. And if you do believe in God you can take his words as they are written from a theologian.
Mindfulness is an ancient concept that arises from various religious and spiritual traditions and ideas. Mindfulness is being studying, accepted, and supported by research in the more modern fields of psychology in our western world.
Simply put, mindfulness is being open in the present moment without judgement. Sounds easier said then done! It is a "practice" and it is intentional. We can be mindful during eating, sitting, walking, on your own, and with a group of people. Some learn to meditate. And in a society that we are constantly judging ourselves and others you are asked to suspend that judgement of your thoughts, pasts and present. It is a practice of accepting "what is".
The benefits of mindfulness are described in a paper from the American Psychological Association publication, Psychotherapy, written by Daphne M. Davis and Jeffrey A. Hayes and titled, "What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness? A Practice Review of Psychotherapy-Related Research". (2011, Vol. 48, No. 2, 198 –208): "Emotion Regulation, Decreased reactivity and increased response flexibility, Interpersonal skills, Intrapersonal skills." Mindfulness has proven to decrease stress, depression and anxiety and can improve social connectiveness and self-esteem.
I don't know about you but I love those benefits!
Here is an easy to read article from UCLA to further your knowledge if you are interested:
Feel free to leave a comment! Come on, try it- Breathe in the moment now~Stacey
We can work together to bring some mindfulness into your life. Contact me for a brief consultation.