Excerpt from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

“They say that before entering the ocean, the river trembles with fear. It looks back at the entire path it’s traveled, the summits, the mountains, the long and sinewy wide open path through jungles and villages, and it sees in front of it an ocean so vast, that entering it would mean to forever disappear. But there’s no other way, the river can’t return. Nobody can return. Going back is impossible in existence. The river needs to accept its nature and enter the ocean. Only by entering the ocean will the fear dilute, because only then will the river know that it’s not about disappearing into the ocean, instead it’s about becoming the ocean (Gibran).”

I encountered this today. These words resonated with me and represent where I am in my life now. We experience this cycle of fear, acceptance, and courage. At times, living with heightened awareness/engagement hurts more than avoiding does, but engaging is living. No one promised us it would be easy. May we put on our helmets because life is not fair. It’s extremely tough and I think it’s that way to show us how strong we really are!

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When you hear a song and you’re like, “Damn. YES!!”

This was definitely me after hearing this Taylor Swift’s “The Man” for the first time. If you haven’t heard it, I encourage you to listen. I connected to the truth it conveys. I felt her rawness. It is an important song! And this Forbes article emphasizes. We need to be more transparent about our feelings and these issues. This song has a message with so much substance we can’t ignore. How can we be our best with these double standards? We’ve made progress, but still have a ways to go. We can focus on our goals and our self esteem, but we can’t deny reputation carries some serious weight on this planet!

Gratitude

Quick post today. This is a reminder to reflect on and appreciate the beautiful elements of life.

What gives you serenity?

For example, I’m thankful for my boyfriend, family, friends, home/community, job, and the arts for adding peace and joy to my life!

Immersion

My boyfriend and I were talking about how we wanted to increase the time we spend doing activities that provide us the benefits of meditation, mindfulness, and flow state.

Playing piano is his strongest form of moving meditation and I tap into flow while working from home when the time just flies by!

Striking a balance among these states is my safe place, but we all have different comfort zones and emotional needs. Overall, I find when I reflect on concepts like these, I alter my habits and become a better, more authentic me.

Putting up healthy walls

My authentic self values transparency and proximity, so establishing boundaries can be difficult for me. But people can be even more difficult. They can be unfair and just plain evil. Their negative energy and hurtful behavior (usually caused by their insecurities) can make you feel like you’re not good enough. This is the ugly side of humanity.

How do we make lemonade with those lemons?

Well, it takes time and effort, but working on setting boundaries with dysfunctional people helps us to be happier and healthier. Here are my thoughts…

1. Be selective. Try to avoid those “toxic” individuals. It is okay for you to choose and remind yourself, “I’m not going to hang with Pam because being around her is just not good for me.” Sorry to the Pams out there that are good people!

2. If you know it is safe to give someone another chance, explain how they made you feel and what you want your relationship to be like instead. Then, determine if they agree with those terms and if so, proceed with caution. Some people do make mistakes and learn from them.

3. Know abuse is never okay. It is not simply a mistake. It is a very unsafe situation and huge problem. Someone that loves you in a healthy way for both parties will want to keep you safe and will keep this in mind. You don’t owe anyone anything. You call the shots in your life.

Remember no one has any right to hurt you or your feelings. You don’t have to keep that mess your life. At times, you can solve a problem. At times, they are the problem and you can’t change people that don’t want and work to change. Set boundaries when you need to because you need to love and protect yourself more than anyone else loves and protects you. You are your #1! This may seem impossible. It is a huge undertaking. However, this is self-respect. We all need to always have it and strive to have it if we don’t. Our hearts are infinite. Valuing ourselves doesn’t make us love others any less than we do now.