Have you ever had a moment when something in your life seemed to come full circle? An event occurs that reminds you of a previous point in your life? Something helps you to take a moment to reflect on your journey between that previous point and now? I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Everything that happens to us is by divine intervention, both the good and bad. The universe wants only good for us, but the bad comes as an opportunity for growth and also by our own actions, due to free will.
All in all, I believe that there is a path that we are destined to take. We are all put here for a reason, our ultimate life, and we are meant to leave the earth better when we depart. We are intended to share our gifts and talents with the world, in order to make it a better place. Our path becomes harder to find through all of the challenges we must overcome. We are taught to fear change and taking risks by our parents, although well meaning. Our society often mocks and picks apart those that try to follow their own path. It can sometimes seem impossible to find our purpose, but that is part of the journey of life.
Things come full circle in our lives to show us our progress. If we are able to pay attention, these occurrences will often happen just as we are feeling discouraged or questioning a recent risk we have taken. Or maybe we have taken a completely wrong turn and it is a sign to get back on our paths. An instance of coming full circle that occurred in my life happened this weekend. I had the opportunity to see one of my favorite artists, The Tallest Man on Earth, in concert. I had wanted to see him live for years and had actually planned a trip to see him in another state a few months ago, but was unable to make it to the show. When I saw that he would be in my city, I knew that I had to get a ticket.
It was such an incredible experience for me. One of his songs, Love is All, in particular is very special to me. His album The Wild Hunt and that song really saved me in one of the darkest times of my life. It was during that time I was struggling to make sense of my world. I didn’t know where I should go next and became increasingly depressed and worried that I had made a wrong turn along the way. I felt so alone and like I couldn’t really confide in anyone. Amongst all of this, my grandmother died.
This was the grandmother that I had a very serious argument with a few months prior. I was very frustrated and upset with her and struggled to just forgive and let it go, something that is not typical for me. For my birthday she sent me a beautiful ring and a note saying that she loved me. I had intentions to call her and make up, but stuck in my stubborn nature and anxious ways, I put it off. Two weeks after my birthday, she passed away unexpectedly. The amount of guilt and sadness I felt after hearing this news was almost too much to bear. How could I let something so silly keep me from enjoying a relationship with my grandmother, how could I let her pass without telling her one last time how much she meant to me?
I remember driving with my family around that Mississippi town; a place that was such a cheerful part of my childhood. We drove down the beach, heading to have dinner. I played Love is All on repeat through my headphones, hoping no one could see my tears in the darkness of the car. I made a silent promise to myself that I would not allow my anxiety to hold me back anymore. I wouldn’t allow myself to hide away from both people and opportunities. I would do my best to forgive and show love every day, because life is short and impermanent. It was time to forgive myself. Two months later, I found myself moving into my new apartment with complete strangers in Richmond and embarking on my new journey.
Last night, while listening to Kristian belt out Love is All, I stood there and sang along. I felt such emotion; I had to hold back tears. I was here and I had made it. I am walking proudly on my path. I have embraced so many things since that time over two years ago. The progress I have made towards connecting to both myself and the world is incredible. I had finally forgiven myself. I still stumble and occasionally stray from my path, but I have come so far and that is reason enough to keep going. In that moment felt such joy and love. I knew immediately that I am heading in the right direction.
This morning, I let our dog out to the backyard. As I went to retrieve her a few minutes later; something laying on our welcome mat caught my eye. There was a beautiful lone feather sitting right in the middle of our mat. I looked around and saw no birds or signs of other feathers. This struck me as odd because I rarely see birds in our backyard, due to my rather rambunctious pit bull. This feather had also appeared in the few minutes that I had retreated back inside. As I have said before, there are no coincidences. I immediately looked up the meaning of feathers and smiled to myself as I read the symbolism.
Finding a feather is often associated with angels. It takes on different meanings in different cultures, but all agree that it is often a sign that our angels are near and watching over us. It is also a sign of the connection between man and God. In Native American culture, the hawk feather symbolizes strength, guardianship and farsightedness. I took this as a sign that I am on the right path. I felt incredible joy and gratitude for everything in my life. I am so thankful for all I have and the path I took to get here. This world is truly a miraculous place when we take a moment to appreciate the magic of it all.
If you find that something in your life is coming full circle, take a moment to reflect on your journey. What changes have you made? How have you grown? Is there something your past is trying to communicate with you? This could simply be a sign to stop and celebrate all we have accomplished. Often it can be the sign of the completion of one cycle in our lives and the beginning of another. Even if we are not completely where we want to be at this moment, we mustn’t forget to enjoy the ride and appreciate how far we have come.
Thank you for reading, I will see you soon.
An important thing to consider when trying to achieve our best life is how we are fueling ourselves during the journey. If everything in our world is energy, then supplying our bodies with low energy nutrition can really make achieving our best lives an uphill battle. Healthy eating, and more importantly finding ways to adapt healthy eating to my somewhat lazy lifestyle, is one of my passions. I love to find simple ways to add good nutrition into my day in small ways that can add up big in the end.
I’m going to take you through my day and easy ways I sneak in healthier options and set myself up for great days. I’m not going to lead you on and say that I always begin my days like this, more often than not I’m running late because I slept in, but this routine always leads to my absolute best days. I am more productive, have more energy, and am much more positive throughout the day. I suggest trying it out for a few days and seeing how you feel, especially if there is something big happening soon when you'll need the extra positivity, say a job interview or maybe an important exam.
A good day begins with getting enough sleep. Our bodies use our sleeping hours to help repair and prepare our bodies for the upcoming day. It is important to aim for 7-9 hours each night. Really try to be in bed by 10, 11 at the latest. I know this seems lame and a lot of younger people like to stay up later. I was very much a night owl until the past year, but I’ve found going to bed earlier and getting up with the sun really makes my days better and has helped tremendously with my overall well being.
I usually get up around 6 for work, but my body naturally wakes up at about 7:30. I know, it’s hard to embrace these habits of what is considered an “older” person thing to do, but I swear you will feel so much better both mentally and physically. When we sleep, our body eliminates toxins and these can often be found on our tongues in the morning. Yeah, that white film on your tongue, it’s full of toxins so it’s best to get rid of that before eating or drinking anything. I use a copper Ayurvedic tongue scraper then follow this with oil pulling with coconut oil. I usually oil pull while I’m busy doing other things because it can be a little boring if not. I use this time to pack my lunch, make tea, or pick out my clothes for the day.
After oil pulling, I drink warm lemon water. The lemon water clears out toxins and helps to kick start our metabolism. Drinking water in the morning is vital, aim for one or two glasses, bonus points if you add chia seeds to your water. After water, try to fit in a little bit of exercise. Exercising in the morning on an empty stomach helps to wake up your body and metabolism. Again, fueling your metabolism is an easy way to help with weight loss. Rather than skipping breakfast to avoid calories, work on fueling your metabolism and eating a filling meal in order to avoid snacking throughout the day.
Easy morning exercises I like are walking my dog for a mile around the neighborhood, a morning yoga routine from YouTube, or the five Tibetan rites. The five Tibetan rites are AWESOME and can give you a little bit of an energetic high, much more effective than coffee. Walking your dog, if you have one, is a great way to get some early morning vitamin D, greet your neighbors, and let your dog benefit from some exercise too. It’s a win-win… win if you count sharing your positive vibes with your neighbors too.
Then the supplements and breakfast, it’s time to fuel your body to set you up for your awesome day. The supplements I currently use are a multi vitamin, maca, and vitex berry. In a previous post I discussed that I stopped taking birth control a few months ago because I felt like it was doing more harm than good to my body. I have been using maca and vitex to help rebalance my hormones and help with the side effects of coming off of birth control, like missing periods and painful cystic acne. I have had wonderful results with these two supplements. It’s important to remember to check out the sources of the supplements. Only buy responsibly sourced supplements from trustworthy companies. Don’t just grab random things off the shelf; this is your body and health. Do some research.
For breakfast, it’s important to eat something filling. Try to aim for fiber and protein so that you don’t have cravings for the rest of the day. I have a few favorite to go breakfasts that are easy and fill me up. A grapefruit, avocado on toast (avoid white bread like the plague), overnight oats, or chia pudding are great options that are quick and easy to make. Eggs are another great option; I only eat eggs from local farms that I buy directly from at my local farmers market. Eggs that are bought at the super market can’t really be trusted and animals that come from factory farms are never treated well. Cage free doesn’t really mean much these days. I then drink an organic, vegan protein shake. I’m a vegetarian and I find that this is the best way to ensure I’m getting enough protein each day. This takes less than a minute to make and I can usually drink it on my way into work. Easy and keeps me full to avoid snacking.
So that is my morning routine. Somewhere in there I find time to shower, brush my teeth, and make myself presentable for the day. I think routines in the morning are good to have in order to set yourself up to have a good day. No one likes racing around the house trying to find the keys and making it to work 10 minutes late for the third time this week. I love to sleep in and loath the sound of my alarm clock just like the next person, but I’ve found getting up 20 minutes early in order for things to go smoothly in the morning really is much better.
In order to save ourselves from my tangent, I’m going to finish this post up with a few of my favorite sneaky tips to be healthy without spending tons or money or sacrificing too much time or effort.
1. I would highly recommend cutting out soda from your diet. It’s full of sugar and chemicals that can be very damaging to our bodies. Diet sodas are even worse than regular, as artificial sweeteners have been found to be both carcinogenic and a cause for strong sugar cravings. Something to try instead is kombucha. The taste takes some getting used to, but there are some delicious flavors out there. My favorite is bucha’s grapefruit sage and blood orange. Seriously, they are awesome and so refreshing on a hot day.
2. Try to eat healthier snacks when you get a hunger pang during the day. Hummus has really increased in popularity and although it is a great choice for healthier eating, the pita chips used to eat hummus are not. Substitute sliced cucumbers and carrots instead of pita. It’s a good way to get the same crunch, but sneak in a serving or two of veggies.
3. It’s incredibly important to get enough water throughout the day. I know tons of people that say that they don’t like the taste of water, that it’s boring, yada yada yada. A delicious way to spice up your water is to infuse it with some fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, lemon, really any fruit can be added to water to add a little sweetness and flavor. Try adding your favorite fruit to your water bottle and refrigerating overnight. My favorite is a mix of cucumber, lemon slices, and mint.
4. I’m not a big drinker, but I enjoy the occasional cocktail. It’s difficult to drink without feeling the weight of all the sugar and calories of those delicious drinks. An easy way I like to add some health and less guilt to a summer cocktail is to use watermelon. Cut watermelon into chunks then put it in the freezer. It should be ready to go in about two hours. Toss it in the blender with a little bit of tequila (my preferred mix) or vodka and blend. It’s seriously delicious, easy, and adds some nutrients to your drink. Also, with the hydrating effects of the watermelon, no hangovers!
Okay, I’ll wrap this up. Finding easy ways to add some heath and better options to my day is a passion of mine and I could rant on and on. If you like these types of posts and would like to see more, please let me know. You can also follow me on twitter for more tips like these in the future (link at the top of my home page).
As always, thank you for your support. I hope everyone has a wonderful, healthier week. I’m sending positive vibes your way!
So, it’s been a month since my last post. That is definitely not within my once a week standards I have promised, but honestly I’ve been a little all over the place lately and I needed to some time for self reflection.
I often struggle with the concept of posting and sharing my world with anyone to see. I love to write and share my stories with whoever happens to stumble into my little corner of the internet. I love seeing all of my awesome viewers from around the world; I literally become emotional over it at times. It truly means the world to me that my rants and attempts to help others have been accepted rather than resulting in me being booted from the internet and blogging world as I half expected. It is seriously a dream come true on its own and I’m so so grateful.
On the other hand, I am a very private person. I do not share my inner world with many. I often keep people at an arms distance, even those that I have known for most of my life. I’m very self critical and self conscious, which causes me to endlessly overanalyze every experience and interaction. After posting and sharing, I immediately go into freak out mode and have to hide away from the internet, usually retreating to my bed to hide under the covers. It’s a tough thing to overcome and some days are better than others for me. This past month, I wasn’t able to overcome those obstacles. Mix all of this in with my summertime laziness and I couldn’t resist hiding away from the internet for a while.
Have you ever sat down and analyzed the parts of you that make us who you are? Every so often I like to take time to sit down with myself and contemplate where I am in life, who I am as a person, and where I want to be heading. Lately I can’t help but feel a little isolated from the world. The familiar angsty feelings of high school and feeling like sometimes no one really gets me began to creep in. I wondered if my traits that held me back in life were truly part of me or walls I have put up at some point in my life in order to protect myself.
In order to figure this out, I took to the internet and decided to take a personality test. I had taken one during a summer camp in high school, but I decided that maybe this would be the key to figuring out where I fit in the world in a way. I took multiple tests because I did not want there to be any errors, but found the www.16personalities.com website to be the most informing. The results were in. I tested in as an INFP.
As I read the description of the INFP personality, a wave of relief came over me. It kind of felt nice to feel a little understood. I pored over the articles explaining my personality’s strengths and weaknesses. It was pretty accurate, minus a few minor details, and made me feel a little less crazy than I have been feeling as of late.
Reading through the strengths and weaknesses I saw the titles of “idealistic”, “open minded”, and “seek and value harmony” as a few of the strengths titles and had to toot my own horn for a minute. Then looking at the weaknesses I saw, “takes things personally” and “difficult to get to know” and had to acknowledge these things as a part of myself too. I thought back to many times when my friendships had ended because I just couldn’t really let that other person in and felt a tinge of sadness.
It’s an odd thing to really confront and analyze the parts of ourselves that make us tick. Truthfully, I have really learned to love myself over the years. I love my quirks and parts of me that make me my ridiculous self. But there are times in life when we must also address those things that hold us back. When we find that we aren’t happy or fulfilled in certain aspects of our lives and know that it is our own doing. I don’t think that the personality test should be considered a “be all end all” of how things will go for you. I like to see it as a blue print and a way to recognize my strengths and weaknesses. Strengths should be utilized and weaknesses should be challenged.
There is an old Cherokee folk story often called Two Wolves. In the story it is explained that inside each of us there is a white and black wolf fighting. The white wolf symbolizes joy, peace, and love. The black wolf symbolizes greed, envy, and anger. In the short version it is explained that the battle rages on endlessly, but the one that wins is the “one that you feed”. I think this is a great way to look at things, but not perfect. In the longer version it is explained that they both must be fed correctly. If the white one is only fed, the black wolf will still be lurking and waiting for its chance to attack the white wolf. If we feed them both, however, we begin to recognize that the black wolf has wonderful qualities such as courage and tenacity, qualities that the white wolf lacks. If we can acknowledge and give attention to both sides of ourselves, the war will cease and peace will prevail.
I really love this story and the way it beautifully explains the battles we face every day. Yes, we all have our strengths that help us along in life, but let us not forget our weaknesses. It is our weaknesses which keep us growing and challenge us each day. Let us not forget that being challenged and overcoming these obstacles is what life is all about. Never become too comfortable with your strengths, but never allow yourself to become too down about your weaknesses.
Love you all. See you next week, I promise.