“The way your lips
Brush up against mine
Makes me feel
Touching a side of me
No one has ever known
Figuring me out
Piece by piece
I can’t explain how it feels
To be remembered
After so many years
Of being overlooked
Like the first gentle rain
After a harsh snowy winter
Or a light peeking in
Through a dewy cobweb
Whatever you do
Look beyond my fears
And love what’s been lost
What’s been forgotten
Help me to remember
How much I’m loved”
– Nina Elise
Alone. Alone. Alone. A word so greatly feared by many. A word that shakes people to their core, afraid to leave even the worst of situations, all because they are so terrified of being alone.
Alone. It can mean many different things to different people. Unloved or unwanted after a breakup. Not good enough to women wanting to get married and start a family. Or even worse, the fear of failing, with no one there to pick you up.
But what is alone, really? Is it the worst thing that could happen to us? Or possibly even the best? No one ever tells us how amazing “alone” can be. It can be a night of no pressure, no rush, just you and a dusty book that’s been sitting on your shelf, waiting to be read. Sitting down and watching that movie you’ve always wanted to see. Space. Freedom. Cooking late at night, just because you are hungry. Exploring your city, or having the time to pick up a new hobby. Dancing to your favorite music in your living room, waiting for that batch of cookies to be done baking, to be eaten all. by. you. Alone.
Now does it seem so bad? the biggest tragedy in life is wasting it by dwelling on something you think you are. You are not alone. You have yourself. You have this entire WORLD to explore, with endless amounts of adventures, waiting for you to find.
It think it is vital that people experience being “alone” – feel it, grow from it, learn to love it. And most importantly, learn to fall in love with yourself – because by being alone, you realize You are enough. Sometimes, whether you are with a crowd of people or sitting at home by yourself, you can feel overwhelmingly alone. So why not embrace it? All it takes it some courage – courage to spend time with the best person of all – YOU. And you may just find that you were never so alone, after all.
With the whirlwind of the past few months, I have slowly been changing. In the past, I had locked myself up, thrown away the key, and allowed my true self to stay snuggled deep inside. I stayed within the confines of my own comfort zone, wanting to go forward, but never knowing exactly how to do it. There was constant conflict going inside, and an unsettling feeling that just wouldn’t go away. Unhappiness drove me to a breaking point, until I finally listened to my heart.
Once I finally did that, I felt free. I started doing things that felt right, listening to my intuition and not fighting every little thing in my life. I learned to slow down, and not always rush to something deemed more important than the moment I was in. I had way more energy, and I started to love being around people. I stopped worrying about what others thought of me, and my only concern shifted to how I could impact others in a positive way. Standing back and observing, it was almost like watching a flower bud grow, slowly opening up to a beautiful flower.
I always think of the quote from A Course in Miracles that says,
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
I spent a lot of my life attaching myself to others, blaming others for how I felt, blaming myself for my own misconstrued perception of who I thought I was, or judging other people. Always wondering why someone couldn’t love me, or why they didn’t like me. Looking back, I realize that I was always going after something or someone to save me from my unhappiness. I was so concerned with these problems outside of myself, and I never stopped to take a look inside.
Once I started looking inward – I was able to come to terms with my life. I could take responsibility for how I felt, how I perceived others, and what type of life I could live. I started tearing down these barriers inside, and only then did I realize that I was the only one dimming my light. I had created this life of constant let downs and failures, and I was the only one that could fix it.
The only control you have 100% of in life is your thoughts and your actions. You can’t control how other people treat you, if tomorrow you will be fired from your job, or even lose a loved one. But you can control how you view others, and you can also control how you view yourself. Once you realize this, it is the most terrifying yet empowering feeling you could ever have. So look to others with love – look at yourself with love – and listen to that intuition deep down, telling you to be yourself with no reservation. You know it’s there. And if you ever forget, remember to break down those barriers, and let your light shine through.
This past week, I flew out to Costa Rica on an adventure. I went to School of the World in Jaco, a place where you can be productive while on vacation. I decided to take spanish lessons and yoga classes, 2 of my top interests at the moment. I went, thinking I was going to improve my spanish and maybe deepen my yoga practice; however, what I got out of this trip was something I never expected. I learned to slow down, for the first time in my life. I met people who had such a sense of adventure, a joy for life. And it touched a very deep part of me that I have not been faithful to, a part that has been buried deep for so long. Hearing others stories of travel, seeing their dreams, their desires, learning their reason for travel, their life stories… it was beautiful. So many people coming from all over the world to one place, all for the same reason – to experience. To experience adventure, the beauty and love of other countries, a change in their lives… And it opened my eyes to the present. To allow myself to slow down, to not always rush around.
I have always listened to that voice, urging me to rush, to not stop and be in the moment. And there is that other voice, that always tells me to slow down. to be patient. to relax. and that loud voice of anxiousness has always, always won. Always afraid to let go, to let that silence overcome me. To sit still for 2 seconds, afraid of what thoughts might come crashing in. Afraid of that space, the space that allows one to be present and enjoy life. But not anymore. I have felt this shift happening within me the past few weeks; that gut feeling that things are changing, that I am changing. I am feeling more at peace, allowing myself to enjoy things I would always brush off and not care about. And that loud voice, telling me to always be on the go… it is scared. it is scared that it won’t be listened to anymore, lost in the silence it so greatly fears. And I am embracing it, slowly, cautiously catching glimpses of the peace that comes with just being.
As I lay on my yoga mat tonight in Shavasana, concentrating on my Ujjayi Breath, I chant the mantra **”I choose to enjoy this present moment. I choose to enjoy this present moment.” Hearing the breath come in and out of my nose, through my throat… Letting go of all tension in my face, my arms, my legs, I feel the energy running through my body. I am aware of the sounds around me, yet am somehow stepping out of my mind, aware of myself, my thoughts and how my body feels. And I realize, that I am present. It is so peaceful, yet so startling – I knew that this is how every person should feel – beautiful, at peace, an overwhelming feeling of love. It was just a quick glimpse in a short time, but it brought me such joy. It was like something shifted in me – I let go of having to be in control of every move and thought, focusing only on the sensation of my body and the sounds around me. I just WAS. I wasn’t a body, I wasn’t my thoughts… I was everything, and I was all around. I didn’t want to stop being in that moment – it was so refreshing, so new, so relaxing. Like taking a hot shower after a long day, or taking off your shoes after being on your feet all day. Relief. Something your body welcomes, that calm, that release of stress – it craves it, never wanting that feeling to go away.
Being present is hard. It is like learning a new way to live, a new way to breathe, a new way to run… learning a new language, to excel at a sport, to improve your posture. It will take time, but practice will make you better. Just sticking with it, and knowing that at your core being, you are love and joy. You are here, but are just bogged down with the thoughts of everyday life. So slow down. Focus on your breath. Develop a mantra. Take a few seconds to be aware of the present moment in the middle of your day.
You never know when your last moment on earth will be, so will it really matter if you are a few minutes late? Will it matter if that car cut you off? And does it make sense to worry about things that will most likely never happen? No, not really. Most everything can wait. And if you don’t know, just like anyone else on this earth does not know when their time is up, you might as well be enjoying the present moment while you are here. So take a longer detour, enjoy things you would normally pass by, be a few minutes late to work. Be here. Be aware. Others will pick up on your presence – and in the words of Marianne Williamson, “…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
**I choose to enjoy this present moment mantra comes from the book of meditations, Expand this Moment, by John Selby. It is a simple meditation that you can say at any time in the day to bring you centered and back to the present moment (kind of like a coffee break for the mind :))
– “I choose” – enables you to assume control over your own mind
– “to enjoy” – specifies where you aim your attention – at enjoyment
– “this moment” – aims your attention at the immediate sensory events happening inside and around you right now
I have been listening to a lot of (Esther) Abraham Hicks lately – her voice is so soothing, and I love what she has to say! She is so positive and just makes so much SENSE. Some people might think what she does is a little out there, but I think what she does it pretty cool. I think we have all come to this earth with a purpose, and no matter how crazy it may sound or look to others, you should always be open about who you are. We are all given a gift – some may seem more obvious than others, but we all have one. For those that have trouble finding their “gift” or “passion” – don’t give up! The best advice I can give is to just let go. Stop looking for your passion. Start doing things you enjoy. Meet people, have fun. Be yourself! By allowing yourself to be free, free of what others think of you, free of others (and your own) expectations, you begin living the life you are supposed to live. You might lose friends, your lifestyle, the image you have built up – but that is life. Things change, people change – we are all limitless beings, meant to grow and evolve.
Just look at Esther Hicks – she describes Abraham as an “infinite intelligence” that speaks through her. Others might find that weird, but her teachings are so full of love (and sometimes humor). Same goes to Theresa Caputo from the long island medium show on TLC – she is able to communicate with the dead, which she does to give others a sense of peace after their loved ones have passed. Both of these women are examples of having a unique gift – gifts they could have labeled as “crazy” or weird”, but instead, accepted who they were and ran with it. And look at how many lives they have touched! It is quite beautiful, no?
Personally, I don’t know what my passion is. I know I like to help others. I like to make them smile. I like to make people think and get them to open their minds. I like be active, I like to bake. I love to read, do yoga, learn. So what am I doing with this? I stopped fighting. I stopped listening to that voice in my head that told me I would never be good at anything. Would never fulfill my purpose. And I realized that I couldn’t do what I was meant to do on this earth if I continued to be the way I was. I needed to continuously be reading, learning, challenging myself, my beliefs. I had to grow and evolve so I could be the best I could be.
If I am not being true to myself, living a life I am not happy about, how could I truly find my purpose? Would it just knock on my front door and say “HEY! I am your purpose. You can stop looking now.” No. Because you need to go through events in your life to shape you into what you need to be. How unfulfilling would it be for an artist to have a piece of clay in front of them – touch it – and their sculpture just appear? All of that work, that creativity, the satisfaction of creating something so beautiful – never happened. And that’s how life is, too. You must mold it, shape it, take what you have to create what you want. Sometimes your “sculpture” may not turn out the way you want it to, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great. You are always learning, taking in every bit that will affect your life. Nothing is useless – you can use every single piece of information and experience in your life to create the person you came here to be. So sit down, take your life into your own hands, and make something beautiful.