The original title of this post was “It’s OK to be Sad.” However, after a brief text conversation with a friend, it felt more adequate to leave the emotion open-ended. We are all born with the ability to feel. The verb definition of feel is to experience. For the intents and purposes of this post, the feel I refer to is the experience of emotions. Culturally and socially, we are taught that certain emotions are more acceptable to feel than others. It is necessary to recognize that all emotions are valid, and that giving ourselves (and each other) permission to go through the motions of feeling what we need to is of paramount importance for our own health and for the health of our relationships.
When I realized what Become Your Own Bliss evolved into, it was a set of notes that served as reminders for me to come back to center, I felt the pressure to deny the inklings to feel certain emotions. I did my very best to overcome sadness, anger, and rage before they even set in. The way I processed the aforementioned emotions was to immediately invalidate them. I told myself that I had no reason to feel sad, angry, or livid.
The problem with intentionally numbing myself was that when it came time for me to have to process negative emotions, I was stunted. It’s prevalent in societal conditioning that people who are happy and joyful are the favorable ones. Life is so sad and the people who can hold the happy torch come out ahead. Yes, happiness, joy, and bliss are beautiful. They are experiences that we all strive toward, although using those emotions as a mental/spiritual litmus test to determine how life is going, misses the point more often than not.
I often have to remind myself that it’s perfectly OK and necessary to experience the other side of the bliss coin. I would be completely remiss in the process of savoring the goodness that happens in life if I continued to ignore everything else.
Whatever you’re going through, it’s important that you feel your way through it as a part of the process. Give yourself permission. Don’t judge it. Move through it then come out of it better, with more clarity.
In my book, Become Your Own Bliss, I reach back into my formative years to share the roots of my personality with my readers. Much of what I practiced in writing that book was literally the revisiting of painful experiences, then exploiting them in hopes of uplifting my readers. It wasn’t easy but it was so worth it, and I was terrified in the process. On the days I questioned my efforts, I referred to a sentiment my late maternal grandmother, to whom BYOB was dedicated, lovingly imprinted into my impressionable, young head.
“Be kind, be good, and be brave,” she told me.
Be brave. Two tiny and insignificant words when they are alone, but together, they changed my world. I made a few decisions recently that were difficult and painful, but in the name of courage and moving forward, they were necessary. The photograph is of my beloved grandmother, holding me as an infant. I have been alive longer than the time we spent on this earth together, but I feel her still.
I know that she grew up in a generation when women were silenced and not seen. She wanted to become a journalist but women weren’t allowed to utilize the written word and their voices in her time. I believe I inherited her desire and drive to move the world forward with words and thoughts. I often refer to my Mama’s instructions. I remember her as loving and kind. She gave the best hugs and in her own way, she was fierce, even in her practice of religion. Her quality of kindness hasn’t touched my life since I lost her.
She is the reason I have to fight through the noise to move forward. The noise in societal pressure, the noise in my head, the noise that can get in the way. I do my work for her, and for those who aren’t able to.
Anyone who is lost in the process is released with love.
Fresh starts, love, and growth all evoke freedom; it’s only fitting that I open up to everything that word encompasses as my theme for 2016. I’m ready for more big changes and blissing out even when I’m in the midst of chaos.
When I first realized that the word bliss resonated with me in a way that no other word affected me, the statement I most often read that term used within was “Ignorance is bliss.” by Thomas Gray.
As I dove deeper into this word that stuck a chord with my soul, I realized that the extremely popular notion of making bliss synonymous with a lack of knowledge is a way people justify denial of their own emotions. On a broader scale, social issues are ignored because it doesn’t feel good to live with knowing all of the injustice and cruelty that is so prevalent in the world we live in. On a personal level, I have been told to mind my own business because paying attention makes me a negative person.
I am still learning to walk the tightrope that exists between choosing to be proactive when shedding light on social and environmental situations whilst choosing to become my own bliss in every other instance. I have come to this conclusion. When ignorance is a conscious choice, it is based on laziness, not simply the desire to be happy.
Ignorance is NOT Bliss. It is Laziness.
Learning that one’s thoughts are not random occurrences; that every person of sound body and mind has complete control over their own thoughts and ideas are what differentiates sentient beings from, say, rocks.
Every person has the choice to face a situation s/he encounters head-on; situations that do not sit well with the soul, it is a responsibility to act and enlighten accordingly. Too many people turn their heads and do the easy thing that is to simply go on about their lives never acknowledging the undesirable topic or mentality because it’s easier to.
Progress exists because courage outweighed comfort.
When we, as the human race continually choose to turn our backs on one another, the helpless in this world, animals, and the environment, we are deliberately delaying progress that could mean life or death for future generations.
This means talking about the uncomfortable issues. Healing societal wounds that need to be dressed by understanding, love and compassion.
This means going above and beyond the realm of our own tendencies to lean into the comfort that lies within our feebleness, and embracing the active good that we can do for one another and this world. Once humanity allows itself to continue to kick the can down the road for someone else to fix, hope for progress and hope for a better world will cease to exist.
I realize that making efforts to break certain people open past their own experiences catalyzes eye-rolling and distance between myself and others. That’s a price I’m willing to pay. You may not like my perspective, what I write, or the discomfort my words bring you, but at the very least, I will get you to think. I served my purpose.
What are YOU passionate about?
What gifts do YOU possess to help elevate and enlighten those around you?
What have you been wanting to talk about/get off your chest but have been afraid to?
Turning 30 years old has been something I’ve been looking forward to since the beginning of my 20’s. Many cling to the notion that age is nothing than a number, but for some reason, this birthday feels profoundly different. I’ve heard many dread this year (especially the childless and unmarried), but from what I’ve seen, those same people have grown into their own and are enjoying life on a different level. Like most things in life, perspective is EVERYTHING.
…someone tells you they have cancer.
…someone loses someone they love.
…someone experiences a pain that is unfathomable and beyond your realm of understanding and experience,
DO NOT say “Everything happens for a reason.” If they’re too polite to say it out loud, I’m fairly certain they’re mentally screaming in your face and telling you to go fuck yourself.
It’s instinct. When a person sees someone in pain or with grief, the immediate instinct is to take it upon her/himself to ease the individual’s suffering. Well-meaning and innocent as these statements may be, they’re incredibly patronizing. I realize that the last 3 sentences on this list are along the same vein. People who have experienced any degree of grief in their lives may or may not need these reminders. Some may receive sentiments as condescending.
- Everything happens for a reason.
- Be strong.
- Time heals all wounds.
- This, too, shall pass.
- It will get easier.
When dealing with someone who is grieving, remember, let that person know s/he is loved. Allow them space. Be kinder than usual.
One good rule of thumb is to treat people you love and care about as though you love and care about them, before shit hits the fan in their personal lives. Don’t hesitate to be encouraging, without waiting for tragedy to strike first. Spread love, always, and it’s bound to come back to you.
Love your body. It’ll be the only one you’ll ever have to wear.
The Summer Solstice is upon us, and although most of you have experienced maddeningly hot temperatures, this means that summer is officially upon us. Can you believe that 2015 is halfway over? I can’t. This year has flown by. As I look back on the notes I took in January regarding the Annual theme I set for this year was Manifesting, and so far, so good.
One thing I do need to work on is loving my body more, and not just in terms of self-care, but also how I react to myself mentally and emotionally in the mirror. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve struggled with body dysmorphia for most of my adult life. I was also bulimic for over a decade. Although I no longer binge and purge (I’ve healed my relationship with food), I still don’t see myself clearly, and only very recently have I been able to love the image I see in the mirror and in photographs regardless of how they may appear.
I will only be living in this gorgeous Florida beach town for a few more months, and while I’m still here, I plan to enjoy the shit out of wearing my bikini while I head to the beach as a practice of self-love. I’ll be writing more about health, fitness, and holism in the coming months. I’ve been on an incredibly challenging and rewarding journey in terms of body image in the past 2 years, and the project I’ve taken on excites me like no other. I’ll write more about it soon.
In the meantime, love your body in every way you can. Enjoy the sunshine and the breeze, wherever you may be.
What are your summer plans?
How do you plan to honor your body this season?
What does a girl who has everything her heart desires give herself as a gift? An organic, vegan, raw cleanse.
Detoxing was the only thing I could think of to give my body for my upcoming 30th birthday.
Today is the first day of my 4 Week vegan organic detox cleanse by Raw Green Organics, and I gotta tell ya, I. FEEL.AMAZING!
I’ve done juice fasts, coconut water fasts, raw food cleanses and the like, and the one thing I experienced in common with those cleanses is that on the first day, I felt like absolute garbage. The stuff that gets stuck to the bottom of your shoe when you aren’t watching where you were stepping? THAT bad.
Not with the RawJuvenate Complete Detox System!
When I was 25, I left college. I had taken my sweet time working on my associate’s degree at Valencia College, where I learned so much about myself and the world around me. Growing within the world of academia was an indulgence because I loved to learn. The process of learning in the arena of higher education was something I was good at, but I had better ideas about my future. I wanted to start companies; make some money. I wanted to start these business ventures by figuring out the way to build them from the bottom up in ways that perhaps were never explored before.
Shortly after I made my decision to take a break from my studies, I walked into a bookstore because I was craving guidance. What better place to find guidance about life choices than a bookstore? I made a major life decision and what followed the peace was insecurity. I exhaled a tiny request from the Universe: “Was I right about leaving college?”
The first book I laid my eyes upon was The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg (an intensely unique soul I am grateful and humbled to call my friend). I read the book from cover to cover and within those pages, I found relief. I was relieved to read about a plethora of successful founders who opted to forego post-secondary education. I felt as though I had stumbled upon my ilk. Of course, I have yet to experience the astronomical success the interviewees within the book have created for themselves, but I felt as though I was given permission by the Universe by way of Mr. Ellsberg, to move forward in the way my instincts were guiding me.
I was on my way to entrepreneurial success.
It’s been nearly 5 years since my break from college, and I am feeling the itch to return. I find myself referring to moments and lessons during college that have enriched my life. Sure, I’ve learned much by failing on my own and living forward – both have been instrumental in my growth as a person, writer, and coach.
When I was 19, my mom gave me a simple life suggestion.
“People have an average of 3 careers in their lifetime in order to avoid burnout.”
That bulb has been shining brightly within the realm of my consciousness ever since.
I have been feeling myself being drawn towards social issues that ignite and highlight the injustices that run so rampant today. With the advent of social media and 24-hour news cycle, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the plight of the oppressed. I work in teaching people to go within to seek their bliss, and I find myself applying my own lessons on a daily basis because learning about the human tendency to righteously victimize one another with no sense of accountability or remorse is something that keeps my inner Hulk wanting to smash.
How can I help?
What can I do?
My answers to these questions lie in my determination to further my own education both as an act of self-enrichment, but also as a way to better serve the human race. I am well aware of the talents and capabilities I possess, and if I do not expand my abilities, I will not only do myself and my future children a great disservice, but I will also cheat those I could potentially be a voice for.
I had a close call recently, and it was the strangest thing. My compact sedan was seconds away from being t-boned by a moving truck, and I knew that had the driver struck my car, I would have ceased to exist. The strange part is that when I felt moments away from death, I wasn’t fearful. I thought my death was imminent and I was at peace. I thought of my family.
To summarize, I was making a left turn on my way home from Target. The light was green, and the oncoming traffic was steady. There was a short break, and this oncoming truck had his right blinker on. There was a gap, and I took the turn. Up until a couple of days ago, I never trusted people’s blinkers. In a split second, I floored into my turn, and the truck didn’t seem to slow down (I don’t think the driver could have).
Before you tell yourself a joke about an Asian woman driving, I’d like the point out that the latest vehicular accident death statistic is around 3,200 people who perish per day in car crashes (statistics from Assosication for Safe International Road Travel).
I was shaken and surprised that there was no loud crash, no shredded car, and that I was still breathing. I really did think I was going to die. And in that moment, I felt the weight of everything I always wanted to do but have never done. I wondered what I had been waiting for. I was so grateful. I inhaled deeply and savored the sensation of air filling my lungs.
I remembered that it had been a while since I did something that scared me.
That I couldn’t remember the last time I watched a sunset, or a sunrise for that matter.
I don’t enjoy selfies enough.
I have to get these books out.
I must serve more people. Who can I help?
I must love more people and animals and flowers.
I gotta plant more trees.
I’m leaving Florida; I should surf while I’m here.
I must become a billionaire so that I can save animals and parts of this planet.
The list goes on. I’ll take it one day at a time, make an impact in the space I occupy and serve those who are open to me.