An irony of human life is that we all possess a higher purpose, yet many of us have no idea what it is. Have you ever asked yourself, “What is my purpose here? Am I meant to do more with my life than take care of myself?” So how do you discover your higher purpose?
Tapping into Your Innate Wisdom and Humanity
If you can look at yourself in a mirror, then you can tap into your innate wisdom and humanity. Things that propel us, what I call accelerators like hope, faith, confidence, and optimism, will help. Your purpose will be your gateway to engagement and motivation and the overarching driver for action. It will give you the energy to move forward and free you to make your unique contributions in the world. And remember, when you act with higher purpose, things will generally turn out better.
Ultimately, purpose is the connection between what we do and why we do it. If you're struggling to find your purpose, you might want to think about answering some questions. The New Year is a great time to pick up a journal, light a candle, and write down some of your thoughts about purpose.
To Find Your Purpose, Ask Yourself These Questions:
What do I love doing and what am I passionate about?
When do I feel most alive?
What are my natural talents and skills?
What do others say are my special abilities and qualities?
What values am I most committed to and when do I feel best about myself?
Find Your North Star and Keep It in Your Heart
Aside from the sun, navigators believe the most important star in the sky is the North Star. It’s a humble star, not shining very brightly but always there and reliable. If you find yourself lost on a clear night without a compass, the North Star can be your best friend. Metaphorically, the North Star represents our higher purpose. It leads us to take action and make our own lives and the lives of those around us better. But if you are not keeping your purpose consciously close to your mind and heart, it is easy to get lost. Getting lost in our accelerating and disruptive world is not hard to do.
Conscious people are driven by fundamental, undeniable principles. These principles are deeply ingrained in us, shaped over a lifetime of development and introspection. They serve as a moral compass, an internal guidance system that has honesty and fairness as its magnetic north. At its heart is being a grounded and conscious person. To follow your North Star, you need to be vigilant and aware of the changes around you.
At some point, all of us face conflicts between who we are and what we do. This is a wandering moment—a time when you need to pause and engage in an internal conversation about who you want to be in the world. The more conscious you are, the easier it is to remember your purpose and manage through these contradictions.
Intentions Lead to Actions
To bring your purpose alive, you must translate it into deliberate action. Intentions can be both positive and negative. Regardless, they influence everything we do. Positive intentions are kindness, service, or excellence. They add value to peoples’ lives. Greed, jealousy, envy, and fear fuel our negative intentions. When people are driven by these ghosts, we are often selfish, spiteful, protective, or detached. The goal is to know the inner truth that drives you.
Even when we think they are hidden, our intentions can be seen or felt by others. That’s why we need to be aware of our own intent before we act, and check ourselves for any lurking hijackers that can produce unwanted consequences. Sometimes we step up with good intentions and even then, bad things can happen – like perfectionists who are motivated to get it all right, but whose behavior can feel too controlling to others. Or a hard-driving parent, committed to their child’s success, but who spends too much time in critical mode, dashing their child’s self-confidence.
When you assert yourself and challenge the status quo, or change something, you are telling the world that you are taking personal responsibility for your life and actions. So own your intentions, speak your truth, keep agreements, and practice integrity. Your right intentions will lead to right actions and help you to find and follow your higher purpose!
Every day there is something we see or hear about that breaks our heart, angers us, and makes hope feel like a million miles away. Things can feel hopeless when you look at the world and feel that you have zero control over anything that happens. The world can feel like a place of self-destruction with no where to hide. Social news feeds and the media thrive on the latest terrible thing that has happened. We are getting informed, but a flood of that negative energetic information can really take a toll on us mentally, physically, emotionally and even spiritually.
How do you find peace in a world that is just nothing but chaos, killing, hate, prejudice, ignorance...?
You find the good. It's still out there.
Balance is essential to having a peaceful existence. If you're weighted down by heavy topics, you need to be lifted up by positive things that also occur every day in the world.
I find peace in nature. I take a walk in a forest and gaze up at the tall trees with thick trunks. The smell of fir trees in the air. I breathe in deeply, in and out. I see the animals and insects in their natural habitat. I squint as the sun beams stream down through the tree branches and feel the warmth and also a cool breeze pass me by. In that moment, I am present and taking in what I am experiencing.
I'm not thinking about how so many forests are being torn down and developed. I'm not allowing negative thoughts of other places to bring down the place I am presently in. I allow myself to feel grateful for this forest and all it has. I take off my shoes and feel the earth beneath my feet and ground myself as I energetically feel in sync with Mother Earth's heart beat. The beat of life itself.
There is a time and place to be informed about the very real and important things happening in this world. I do not ask you to be blind and pretend it isn't reality, because it most definitely is. I'm suggesting to find a healthy balance.
Listen to a baby's laughter. So innocent, so precious. Know that you can be someone to help the next generations thrive. Yes, one person can do great things. You don't have to be famous, have a lot of money, power, authority, recognition to do things that can impact the world in a wonderful way.
Most everyone is familiar with the powerful quote by Mahatma Gandhi, "We must be the change we with to see in the world." I've always been a big fan of inspirational quotes, because they are reminders to awaken our purpose. I'm going to share several more quotes with you now.
"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." - Jane Goodall
"We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better." - J.K. Rowling
"Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone's face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in the world and the life to come." - Henri Nouwen
Chaos doesn't just exist in the world around us though, does it? Many times this chaos is in our own personal lives. When you already have stress you are trying to manage, taking on the stress of the world too is not healthy. In fact, it can cause serious health risks.
One thing that helps me is to dip my toes into the chaos without diving in head first. I don't watch the news. It's depressing and I've never felt happier after watching it; therefore, it doesn't uplift my life. People have said, "But, then you don't know what's happening!" Sure I do. I skim headlines. If you're on social media, you can't escape it. Instead of opening every news article and spending time feeling angry, sad, or hopeless - I read the title and get the information that I need. Now, of course, there are times that I do want to read more about something and get in-depth information and that is 100% okay! But, not every day. Not even every week for me personally. You have to find your own balance.
After seeing the headlines and then seeing a photo or two I wish I hadn't on my news feeds (please people stop posting photos or auto-play videos with horrific images!), I then make sure to fill myself with something positive. I think about my family and the love we share. I begin listing things I am grateful for and allow that love to fill me inside out. I think about the people out there actually making a positive difference and try to do my own part.
I've found that many times the people that are so upset with the world are sometimes the ones that do absolutely nothing to help better it. They are trapped in this negative space and energy and all they do is share more bad news and talk with anger about every single thing. It's a rarity to see anything positive on their posts. Even their comments on other people's posts are the sour apple in the mix. Always argumentative or has to stir up CHAOS. Because when you live only in chaos, you begin to become chaos yourself and that's what you're then sharing with others. That's not helping the world, that is adding to the negativity you're so angry about in the first place.
Sometimes, we just have to WAKE UP and force ourselves to find the good and be the good. It's there. It exists. It's what keeps me going every single day knowing that there IS love in this world. There ARE people who are trying to make a positive difference.
If you feel stuck in a negative mind space, you can train your subconscious brain to have a different default thinking than it does now. Mantras help with this. Also known as affirmations. It's a positive, uplifting thought that is to be repeated many times throughout the day until it becomes an inner truth and self belief. Mantras can pull you back into your center and help to ease your mind. Words have POWER. Thoughts have POWER. Mantras help retrain our minds to have a different belief system. One where your mind can be put to ease and where underneath it's not all doom and gloom.
Stay focused on how you can add value to the world each and every day. In Ayurveda, it is called Dharma, and it means life purpose. Every one of us has our own unique mission in life, the reason we are each here. We have an individual gift to be shared with others. It's the script written on our souls.
In moments of chaos, cling to your purpose in life. If you are unsure of your unique life purpose, you can always do life coaching which can assist you with clearly seeing the part of you that has always been there, and will never leave. One purpose you can always focus on is to be and to spread unconditional love.
Remember that the outer world is a mirror to our inner world. When events occur that are beyond our control, we can use tools to remain rooted in our center and remain at peace.
I am awakened to the belief that being "too busy" can be a way to keep you at a lower vibration. If you don't have time for anything anymore, are you really making time for the things that truly matter? When we believe and live a life of scrambling from one thing to the next thing, we are like a hamster spinning inside a wheel. Sure, he's going fast, but where is he really going? If you removed the hamster from that wheel, and he simply walked - taking a break here and there - he would actually get much farther faster.
Internally we can become addicted to being busy. We have to keep moving or else, we die? Or, we're not successful? Or, we will have too much time for idle thought? There are actually root reasons for staying busy and if you're one of these people, I encourage you to dig deeper. I'm not pointing fingers, since not too long ago I lived a life of being so busy I could barely breathe. I was exhausted, yet kept going even though I told myself I had to stop! I actually believed I was trying to stop, but yet I kept finding new ways to be busy. As I weaned off - I believe it's like a drug - I would find myself still looking for things and then lying to myself saying, "But, that won't take too much time! I can do it!" I then had to face the ugly truth and learn how to do things differently.
Some things I just had to let go of. Things that took too much of my time, drained my energy, and provided nothing (or barely anything) in return. At first, I fought it. "I can still do it. I'll just do it less. It doesn't really take that much of my time!" The funny thing is that the things you don't think take much time, once you remove them from your life - you see that they actually take up a whole lot more time than you could have ever imagined. It's like being blinded... you see what you want to see, while others are on the sidelines waiting and waiting and waiting...for just SOME time with you.
Why was I so busy? It was a mixture of things. (1) I enjoyed feeling like I was being successful in life - being remembered for something - not "wasting" my time here on Earth. (2) I didn't know what to do with idle time. I wanted to spend more time with my fiance', yet I would agree or sign up for something that would prevent that from happening. (3) It kept my brain active from having to think about the "tough" things in life or things that I really needed to do.
Sometimes we can keep ourselves from our own happiness. Did I feel like I didn't deserve it? Did I worry I would fail? When I dug deeper, I realized there was a lot hanging out inside of me blocking me from not only my true purpose, but my true happiness. The first step to changing was learning to say one word: "NO!" and truly desiring for my priorities to be the people and things that actually matter!
Stop agreeing to attend event event, do project after project, lose another weekend doing something that pulls you away from what matters. As I began this, my time started to open up and at first I didn't know what to do with it! Like I said earlier, I started to find new things. Amy (my fiance') had to push some tough love on me to help awaken me to the lies I was telling myself. "But, I can do this in my free time, and it won't impede on anything else," I'd say. Finally, after her being firm several times (and meaning it), I stopped.
At first, I felt a bit resentful. "Hey! It's my life... why can't I do this? I've always wanted to..." Then, the truth hit me. HARD. What am I really accomplishing? I was the hamster. Sure, I accomplished many things, but certainly not enough for the time and energy I was putting into it all - not to mention, the time I was away from what really mattered - the memories LOST. I had to start looking at everything I do and see what actually serves a greater purpose in my life.
These are 5 examples of how I narrowed things down:
1. Day job? Check. That is very important. I love my job and it helps me financially to keep a roof over my head and food on the table.
2. Acting? No. That was too much time and energy and also too much ego-focus of "self" for me personally.
3. Writing? Check. It is fulfilling and I only write in phases and it doesn't take time from my personal life.
4. Reiki, Angel Cards, my Spiritual Side? Check. This is super important for myself and I limit what services I provide to others. I keep a safe space and balance. It allows growth in my life.
5. Having an acting studio? No. It took way too much of my time and energy and I could not balance it along with the other things in my life.
I then told myself that I want my weekends to be free. I want Amy and I to have time to do things together, even if that involves staying home in bed and just talking about anything and everything. Quality, precious time that means more than anything else to me. With this extra time, I was able to start being a true PARTNER in the relationship. I have helped more around the house in the past 6 months than I had in 3 years. My main focus now is FAMILY. And now we're able to start adding to ours.
At the end of my life, I had to think about what I wanted it to look like. What did I want to look back on to remember? Did I spend my time living my best life with those I love, or did I spend it fulfilling my own needs and desires to the point of exhaustion.
Exhaustion. I sure was every bit of that word. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually EXHAUSTED. Now? I feel different. I'm relaxed, calm, and more patient with people and situations. I'm a lot less stressed and worried and I look forward to being with those I love. I'm able to actually make plans with friends and do things I hadn't done in years.
Am I less successful? Not in the slightest. Now, if I want to accomplish something, I think it through and ask myself what is it really worth?
Recently, I started something new that I had wanted to do for a couple of years. What did I do differently? I hired other people to do it. Now, I sit back, relax and watch that project being created while keeping my free time. Long ago I heard the words, "Work SMARTER, not HARDER" and I couldn't agree more. If I wasn't in a place to pay for that to be done, I wouldn't have chosen to do it. Why? Because when you FINALLY slow down and just STOP - you are changing your life in a way that you will not understand until you fully accept it.
It's not an easy task to wean off the "busy" drug, but it's worth it. You'll fight it. You'll try to add things back. I encourage you to stop and allow yourself to take a deep breath, relax, and just watch the world pass by without you running along with it. Jump out of that hamster wheel, and make REAL progress. Progress that matters.
With much love, light, and gratitude,
P.S. I laugh more now than I have in YEARS. :)
Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar?
1. Every time you call your mother, she is complaining about something in her life. When you try to give her constructive feedback to help her out, she believes it's not her, but everyone else that's against her and causing her constant strife. 80% of her stories are made up in her head and she is paranoid that every one is out to get her. You're the only one she trusts. If you ever turn against her, she says she might as well die. Every call is filled with negativity and when you hang up, you feel exhausted.
2. Your friend Tom always needs a favor. In fact, you have many text messages from him that start off with, "Hey! I need a favor..." Most favors include time away from your family and missing out on relaxing weekends by helping out Tom. Sometimes the favor may be to borrow your truck, a ladder, or even $50. Your items may even be returned damaged and the money you never see again. When you see a text from Tom, you feel exhausted.
3. Your sister Denise thinks you are her personal therapist. When she invites you over for some wine and "girl talk" that quickly turns into a counseling session with you listening to her talk about dating issues for 4 hours. During the week, she will call you to tell you that she thinks she found "the one" - then, the following week her heart is broken. She relies on you to pick up the pieces of her life and put them back together. Now when you think of Pinot Grigio mixed with Denise, you feel exhausted.
4. Your son Travis is involved in many school activities, including 3 sports: basketball, football, wrestling. He is also working towards his black belt in Karate. Even though he is 16, he doesn't want to drive, so you drive him to every game, practice, meet up, etc. You even have championships that take you out of state and summers filled with training and sports camps. You have told Travis that it would be good for him to take responsibility and start driving himself, or find a ride with a friend, but he insists that it has to be you! "Lucky charm" is what he calls you. When you think of driving Travis to one more game, you feel exhausted.
5. Your boss has promised a nice raise at the end of the year. Since January, he has piled on 3x the workload than you're used to. You've had to work overtime, skipping lunches, even some weekend days. He recently fired several people and now you are doing their jobs too! Your stress levels keep getting higher which filters into your life when you get home with your wife and 2 kids. When you think about going to work on Monday, you feel exhausted.
These are 5 examples of people in your life that could well fit the term: Emotional Vampires (a.k.a. Energy Vampires). People that suck your energy dry while you're with them. They leave you emotionally & mentally exhausted. If you're an EMPATH this is much worse as you will even feel the emotions attached to these people which can range from anger to anxiety to depression.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." - Albert Einstein
If you continue the same cycle hoping for a change, you probably won't get what you're hoping for. Let's face it, many people won't change in their life, especially if they do not see themselves at fault. They don't see how they are being selfish, throwing baggage on you, being unfair, asking too much of you...
For people to really change, they must (A) take a hard look at themselves and WANT to change, or (B) they are forced to - though that doesn't always have the best end result.
Instead of waiting for them to change and feeling helpless, you must make a change. When others "make" us feel guilty, we take that as truth and feel the guilt; therefore, we continue abiding by what they want us to do for them. Whether it's be their therapist, driver, worker, or constant shoulder to cry on, you keep on with this pattern even though it's affecting your own life.
YOU HAVE A CHOICE
Healthy relationships are not built upon one dominant person controlling the other. It doesn't matter who the other person is, you have the choice whether to continue putting up with what they do to you, or limit your time with them. In some extreme cases, it's best to even remove yourself completely from this toxic person.
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When it comes to family, at times we can feel trapped. You may think, "No, I wouldn't choose these people as my friend, but we are family and family has to stick together." Depending on the toxicity of the relationship, you do not have to keep family interwoven into your life.
The most important thing to do for yourself is set BOUNDARIES.
It's good to imagine a protective bubble around yourself that emotional vampires cannot penetrate. Envision your energy remaining 100% contained within your bubble. Even if they try to puncture your bubble, or surround your bubble, you are safe. You have set boundaries. You have removed the feeling of guilt for things you are not guilty of. You know your worth and you deserve better relationships with people who lift you higher, not push you down nor use you.
With the 5 scenarios above, I'm going to write my version of how to implement a new course of action to protect your own emotional/mental health.
1. You don't have to answer the phone every time mom calls. She might throw more guilt at you about not talking to her enough, but you're a busy person and have your own life. When you do answer the phone, try to limit the call to 5-10 minutes. Take more control of the conversation to tell her about positive things in your life. If she keeps interrupting, tell her, "I would like a conversation with you, but it's hard for me to say anything without being interrupted. I am going to have to hang up now." Then, HANG UP. You're not being disrespectful of your mother, you're being respectful of yourself.
2. The next time Tom asks for a favor, say "No." If he asks to borrow your truck, tell him you'd rather not put extra miles on it. If he asks to borrow a ladder, be honest that the last time he borrowed it, it came back with a dent. If he wants money, tell him you no longer give out personal loans. The more you put up a boundary with Tom, the sooner he will find a new person to ask his favors of. Also - you don't have to answer Tom's text messages as soon as he writes them. You should never be at the beckon call of toxic, emotional vampires.
3. One thing I love about boundaries, is us being honest. The next time Denise asks for a girls night out, set rules. Tell Denise that she has 5 minutes to talk about her dating life, but then afterwards, if she mentions men, you will leave. Let her know that you are her sister, not her therapist. While you care greatly about her and her life, the constant dating conversations are very draining for you. You'd like to talk about other things, like your own life. Let her know that you miss your bond and want to share things evenly. You feel that she doesn't even know what's up in your life anymore. If she doesn't "get it" and still continues talking about herself and the next hot date or heart break, get up and leave. You're not being mean. If she can't respect you, you need to respect yourself. Denise is in a negative pattern that only she can get herself out of. It's not your monkey, not your circus.
4. First, let your son know how proud of him you are. This is the time to tell him that your job as a mother is to prepare him for adulthood and it's important for him to find alternate transportation. If there is a practice or game coming up in the next week, tell him you cannot drive him, and he needs to find another way. Offer to teach him to drive and if he refuses, try to gently find out the root of his fear. Let him know that you can't drive him around forever. He will start college in a year and you can't be his personal chauffeur. Even if he tries to guilt you with those puppy dog eyes, stand your ground. If you don't, you're enabling his behavior.
5. It's time to have that talk with your boss. Schedule a time to sit down with them. First, let them know how much you enjoy working for them and want to continue. Next, let them know about all of the changes that have happened in your workflow. Don't point a finger; instead, tell them that you realize they probably aren't aware of the significant changes - then list them all out. Let them know it is very difficult to balance your work and home life now. Hopefully, your boss will appreciate the honesty and make things right. Sometimes at work, we are the ones afraid to speak up and quietly suffer while the upper management doesn't know how we feel until we tell them. If your boss reacts by silencing you and invalidating your points and feelings, it's time to start looking for a new job. Many times, you'll find a better one that even pays better. The Universe/God doesn't want you to suffer, but have abundance!
I felt it was timely to write this as I feel many of you are dealing with someone who is sucking your energy dry. I want you to know that your upmost priority is your own emotional/mental stability. Set boundaries, make the choice to respect yourself, and another helpful tool is to listen to positive affirmations.
When you feel exhausted, take a salt bath or salt scrub shower to shed another person's negative energy off of you. Also, there are some crystals that help protect you from Negative energy:
1. Black Tourmaline
2. Black Onyx
4. Smokey Quartz
I also recommend smudging yourself by burning sage, palo santo, or sweet grass and circling your body from above the head all the way to under your feet.
Feel free to leave a comment about your own experience and how you are going to make a change!
Time for another Free Meditation. A popular notion many people have is a "pauper" mentality. They worry about finances, penny-pinch, complain about how little they have, don't believe they will get much of a raise, etc. When it comes to manifesting...they will continue to not only have financial issues, but it can be even worse - car breaks down, extra bills in the mail, laptop crashes...
Money needs to be your friend, not foe. Be grateful for the money you have and the money that is coming to you easily. You have to REALLY believe that you deserve money, that you have stable finances, that you will have more than enough.
When I first started with abundance manifestation, I started getting checks in the mail that I had no idea about. My bank account would be more than I thought it would be. I would get a good raise, then a better job with better pay. I never worry about money. That doesn't mean I go out and buy everything! I still have a responsible budget, yet I always have more than enough.
If you have a battle with money - I encourage you to listen to this meditation every day for at least 7 days and let me know what happens.
Today, I felt to pull a card for all of us. Micah has a message today about TIME... and that feels very "timely" indeed.
When you think about what time really is, you realize it is a series of cycles to measure time. Cycles of the sun, moon...cycles of age...summer, winter, childhood, adulthood...
We are constantly shifting cycles, in constant transition. But, in order for a successful shift to occur, we must go through the entire cycle.
When we get stuck in the past or future, we can find ourselves wishing and wasting away our time - we lose the present moment! Life can change in a single moment.
How many of us wish we had been more "present" in our past and feel like we missed moments or have foggy memories? I know for myself, when my Papa passed away in 2008, all I could think about was how I wish I had visited him more. But the more I focused on that (something I could not change) what was I doing? Wasting more moments.
Am I telling you not to dream about the future? Not to grieve the past? Of course not. I'm advising not to get STUCK. When you stay in one thought for too long, it can turn into an obsession, and then you cannot move forward and shift into the next cycle.
Around 2012, I was speaking to an therapist/author who was teaching me about "Living in the Now." I was clueless and felt a bit "slow" with understanding what she meant. We would be talking and she'd stay, you left the now! You're back in the past. I'd catch myself and thought... my goodness, am I not allowed to think about the past or future? I was in hard-core training and realized at the end I had to rewire my brain.
I was going through a rough time and even talking about what happened earlier that day was not living in the now, but dwelling on the past. You see, I was STUCK. I was always thinking about what HAD happened. I didn't stay in the present moment or even look to the future. I had to break myself down like a wild mustang.
Finally, I got it! Once I got it, I was able to stay present-minded and could then look back and forward, but not get "stuck" there - dwelling on it. It really does waste your "now" moments. You can get so blind-sided by it that years later you find yourself not even remembering moments well because you weren't all "there" to experience them. Your mind was drifting elsewhere.
Being stuck also can increase negative emotions. If you're stuck in a place of anger, a part of you remains angry. Why does that matter? Because it affects your health.
When you're angry, the adrenal glands flood the body with stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. The brain shunts blood away from the gut and towards the muscles in preparation for physical exertion. Heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increase, the body temperature rises and the skin perspires.
Anger can cause short and long-term health issues, including: headache, digestion problems, insomnia, increased anxiety and depression, high blood pressure, skin problems (such as eczema), heart attack, and stroke.
This is something we are doing to ourselves by remaining stuck in these past situations and not gaining healing, closure, finding peace, and allowing ourselves to live in the present moment - the NOW. What happened before is not your NOW.
"But, my thoughts don't make me feel angry, Tristan. I just feel sad..."
Every emotion does something to the body whether for positive or negative. You can guess which does what by knowing positive emotions (happiness, joy, excitement) - compared to negative emotions (anger, sadness, stress, guilt).
When you're sad, your heart literally hurts. You can actually die from a broken heart - it's not just an old saying. If you stay stuck in sadness for too long, you are at a higher-than-average risk for developing a disorder called cardiomyopathy, or "broken heart syndrome." This is well played out in the older film Somewhere in Time. And, yes, it breaks my heart watching it!
On the upside for some, crying is part of healing and can actually help you feel better (but, this doesn't happen for everyone). A study published in the Journal of Research in Personality in 2011 found that people with mood disorders (like anxiety or depression) are less likely to experience the positive benefits of crying.
I want you to fully realize that grieving is IMPORTANT. I am not telling you not to grieve. I'm not telling you not to get angry. What I am saying is not to get STUCK.
We know when we get stuck and can't move past something. It is when our thoughts can't move forward. When it's been over a year and you still think about your ex every day. When it's been 5 years, and you're still broken daily from the loss of your Father. It's when your thoughts keep you from living your best life. When you don't move forward and the world moves forward without you.
Now, back to TIME. The present moment is the only thing where there is no time. It is the point between the past and the future. It is always there and everything that happens, happens in the present moment.
Being present-minded is truly the key to staying healthy and happy. It helps you fight anxiety, cut down on your worrying and rumination, and keeps you grounded and connected to yourself and everything around you.
This way of life is not just some "trend" or "fad", it's backed by science. Being present and exerting our ability to be MINDFUL not only makes us happier, it can also help us deal with pain more effectively, reduce our stress and decrease its impact on our on health. It can also improve our ability to cope with negative emotions like fear and anger.
How to be Present and Live in the Moment
To get to this healthy balance, try to keep these guidelines in mind:
Of course, following these guidelines is easier said than done, but it will get easier with practice!
How to Live in the Moment but Plan for the Future
It might seem complicated to figure out this delicate balance, but it’s not as complex as it seems.
When we engage in mindfulness, we are not ignoring or denying thoughts of the past or future, we are simply choosing not to dwell on them. It’s okay to acknowledge and label our past and future-focused thoughts, categorize them, and be aware of their importance.
When we are aware and present, we don’t need to worry about getting caught up in thoughts of our past or anxiety about our future—we can revisit our past and anticipate what is to come without losing ourselves.
This is how manifestation works:
When I was around 21 years old (the year 2000), I made a website. It had a guestbook where strangers could leave a comment and "sign" it. One day, a young woman left a message that said, "I have been on this site for hours now and I feel like I already know you." The signature was: Vampriss98. Years later I can find this funny. :)
I emailed this person back and found out that she lived in Tucson, AZ - a place that I lived for 1 year in High School and loved it. We talked for a few months online, then fell out of touch.
When I turned 22, I worked for Delta Air Lines and could fly anywhere for free - I miss those days!!! I decided to fly to Tucson to see some old friends from my Junior year of High School. I had been feeling depressed in Atlanta, and the trip to Tucson brought me sense of joy.
When I went back home to Georgia, I packed my belongings, put in my notice at work, and was ready to hit the road! My grandmother kept me company on my road trip to Tucson to start my new life.
Fast-forward 1 month: I was reunited with dear friends and scored a nice job at AOL/Time Warner (remember AOL?). One of the friends I hung out with again was my ex-girlfriend from High School. We realized that she was friends with "Vampriss98" and she invited her to a party at her house.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting out on the patio, playing Cranium - a board game. I had seen photos of this "vampriss" so I was familiar with her.
Later into the night, I looked up and saw her at the patio doors. Her smile lit up the world, it felt. My jaw loosened and my heart beat quickened. There was something about her, beyond just hormones.
We talked for hours that night. It was very natural and just easy for us to go from one topic to the next. I couldn't tell if she had felt anything or not, but knew she was in a relationship... and so was I.
We had a thick barrier between us to be anything but friends, as we are both loyal & faithful people.
Vampriss98 has a name, and it is Amy.
Amy and I stayed friends, though at times, it did feel like an emotional relationship. The young woman I was dating ended up cheating on me, and I took her back eventually. It wasn't the best idea knowing now what would happen, but it had to happen.
I moved back to Atlanta and my girlfriend came with me. I was losing touch with Amy. After some time, my relationship ended. More time passed on, then Amy called me one day. The person she was with had been cheating on her.
It was a strange thing for us to have such a connection, but to remain faithful, and the ones we were faithful to were unfaithful with us. But, we did the right thing!
My hopes sparked thinking this could be the time for Amy and I to be together. I flew out to Tucson and met Amy at a nightclub we used to attend weekly for 80s night. We reconnected easily and the night felt incredible, until the moment I leaned in to kiss her.
She backed away and told me that she had started seeing someone just a couple of weeks prior. In my head, I thought NOOOOOOO this can't be! This is our chance! Our moment!
I walked her to her car, then flew back to Atlanta. We talked more on the phone until eventually Amy told me our relationship, though not physical, felt like emotional cheating.
We didn't speak for 8 years.
During that time, I would tell this story, and always say I was "Chasing Amy" - like the title of that 90s film. In my mind I had seen us together, I felt it, I believed it, but now we couldn't be in each other's lives.
While I moved on, even getting married, I would still think about Amy - even dream about her. I couldn't shake the memory of her and the impact of her presence in my life.
When 8 years approached, I saw Amy on Facebook and realized she had finally graduated and became a doctor. Even when we were in our early 20s, she was in school full-time working towards this, while also working at the hospital at the same time.
I was very proud of her and wrote a simple congratulations message... then, was hesitant to press send, but found the courage to do so.
I didn't hear back from her for several months, until I received a message with two words: Thank you.
It was a moment where I was happy to hear from her, yet it felt like a kick in the gut to only get such a simple reply. I ran with it. I messaged her back catching her up on my life, then with all bravery, I sent her a friend request.
By this time, I was getting a divorce. I had been separated already for almost a year. I was finally seeing the light at the end of that very, very dark tunnel in my life.
Months later, I noticed that Amy had accepted my friend request. Then one night, she called me. She already had a drink or two, which I'm sure helped her nerves to speak to me again after so long.
It was like time never had distance between us.
We picked up right where we left off and talked for hours. She was still with the same person she had been with, but they were having problems. I was much older and wiser, and knew I wanted to have Amy as a friend, so I sincerely gave her advice to help her relationship. I had seen plenty of counselors with my ex wife. From deep inside, I hoped Amy's relationship could be restored if it was best for her.
Then, the unexpected happened. Her partner left. Amy was now the one going through hell. The snowball effect hit her hard with one bad thing happening after another. My heart broke for her. I was there as her friend on the phone, listening to her, and offering a virtual shoulder to cry on. We talked at least once a day, growing closer.
The summer arrived and by the end of August, I flew to Portland. I was very nervous to see Amy again. Our conversation has hinted at flirtation and she even admitted to her feelings for me in the past, and how she also couldn't stop thinking about me over those 8 years. We had remained connected in spirit.
My heart raced as I knocked on her front door. I heard her from inside yell out, "What?!" from her excitement. She opened the door, and my eyes saw the face of the woman of my dreams - literally. I walked inside and we embraced, it was warm and comforting. Then, Amy pulled away from the embrace and kissed me.
I was no longer chasing Amy... I was now with Amy. 13 years after we first spoke.
3 months later after my 1st trip to Portland, Amy flew out to Atlanta and we took a long road trip to my new home.
It's now been almost 6 years, and I reside in the Pacific Northwest with Amy - my fiance', two chihuahuas (Glitter & Daisy), and step-cat (Jackson). My dream became a reality.
It wasn't in "my" time, but it was the "right" time.
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." - Buddha
You have trouble sitting still when talking to someone
Your mind is constantly racing
Too busy to find time to sit down and do nothing
You have ADD / ADHD
You don't feel capable of meditating
You're constantly under stress
You have trouble getting to sleep
Do any of these sound like you? If so, meditation may appear to be a practice that feels like something you'll never be able to accomplish. I'm here to tell you: You CAN Meditate and this is a gift you deserve.
Finding the gift of meditation is something that can help change your life and literally rewire your brain.
I don't believe you have to follow rigid rules of meditation. In fact, I think that's what holds so many people back from even attempting it. Just know, that meditation is about "showing up" and creating a practice, something that works for you. Something that you can continually improve on at your own pace.
Rome wasn't built in a day (as they say), and quieting yourself takes work, and PRACTICE.
Here are several tips to help you start (or enhance) your meditation journey:
1. Count - Close your eyes. Sit up straight (where you are is fine). Smile. Take a deep breath in through your nose and silently count to ONE. Slowly let that breath out through your nose and silently say TWO. Repeat this until you get to TEN.
Start over each time your mind wanders and you lose count.
2. Take a walk - Meditation doesn't have to be motionless. Walking meditation is a form of meditation in action. You simply focus on walking. Go outside and take a walk and just have the actual walk be your focus. Don't pick up your phone and text people or use this time to call someone. No! Simply walk and take in the beauty around you (wherever you are, there is always beauty to be found).
Here is a guided meditation you can try:
3. Animal Time - Simply spending a few minutes petting an animal can be a very relaxing and calming activity, especially when it's done mindfully (when you're focusing on the activity rather than while you're doing something else). There is a two-pronged effect whereby your touch calms the animal and at the same time, releases feel-good endorphins in you, reducing your heart rate.
Don't have a cat, dog, or horse to pet? Even spending a few minutes watching fish swim will help you feel less anxious and less stress. Research has shown that your body actually goes through physical changes that make a difference in your mood. The level of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is lowered. And the production of serotonin, a chemical associated with well-being, is increased.
4. Watch or Listen - Personally, I use guided meditations 50% of the time. It helps to focus my mind and I think of them as "personal trainers" for meditation. It's very important to find someone where their voice resonates with you. You can use the free meditations I provide on this website - click here for free guided meditations. I also have two people I listen to the most and both are on Spotify.
Since I practice the Law of Attraction, both of these meditations focus on that principal. Glenn Harrold - Law of Attraction is one that I thoroughly enjoy. He is British and his soothing voice allows me to go to the depth of within to a very calming place. Another is Rapid Hypnosis Success - Law of Attraction & Abundance Hypnosis. This one has over 16 hours of guided meditations. Her voice is soothing and I love the nature sounds in the background. The last one on Spotify I follow is a playlist simply called Guided Meditation (almost 20 hours worth).
Another thing I do is listen to music, but not just any music. Typically, when I meditate I want soothing sounds or voices only, not lyrics to a song being sung. I have a Native Flutes playlist and Tai Chi playlist that is also flute music.
Spotify and YouTube are my go-to's to find music that is calming. On YouTube I listen to music that will even focus on a certain chakra. I am mindful, focus on my breathing and the music/guided voice I am hearing. I also wear a sleep mask to tune out the light, headphones to cancel exterior noise (and hear binaural beats), and can even envision myself someone else, including another galaxy.
5. 60 seconds. 90 seconds. 180 seconds - Don't think that you have to sit and meditate for at least 20 minutes for it to count. To start out, sit and meditate 60 seconds at a time. Once the mind calms for 60 seconds, move to 90 seconds. Then to 180 seconds, and so on.
6. Say "Thank You" - Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions that we can experience. Gratitude changed my life and it's something I practice every single day. It's a way to step outside of yourself for a bit and a great way to slow down.
Simply sit down and say "Thank you." It doesn't matter if you say it out loud or silently. Just say it. Then say it again. And again. Really feel and mean those words.
Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen." - Bodhidharma
Do you have a favorite song? If so, what makes it your favorite? Is it the lyrics, the singer, the music, the way it makes you feel...or, all of the above?
Music is an amazing part of our world and something I would truly miss if I never heard it again. While I have many favorite songs, my top pick is a song called Let Go by Frou Frou.
Why? Beyond her voice, the music, and the feeling...it is the memory. A memory that takes me back and now makes me feel GRATEFUL.
Once upon a time, I felt stuck in an unhealthy marriage. It would feel so toxic at times that I would drive to the park in the neighborhood and sit in my car alone. I would listen to this song on repeat. The song was exactly how I felt and what I wanted. It kept telling me to just let go...it would be okay...and that there is beauty in the breakdown.
So...I finally let go. And...I had a breakdown. The breakdown didn't feel so beautiful. In fact, it felt ugly. It felt painful. But as I rode that wave of anger, fear, and total loss...the more strength I found in myself again.
The beauty I realized isn't during the breakdown. The beauty comes from withstanding the breakdown and making it to the other side. A ship making it out of a tumultuous storm, being toppled over and over, sure of its demise. But then the ship sails into the calm waters as the sun rises yet again. There is beauty in the breakdown. The strength you find, the courage you possess, the determination to not give up.
To make it out alive and better than well. To now have a story to tell others, to help others, to console others...a story to remind you of lessons you've learned and to be there to tell you: YOU CAN DO IT no matter what comes your way in the future. Sometimes we can't keep holding on to situations or people that no longer serve us. It holds us down. It breaks us to the core. Is there anything in your life that you need to let go of? Free yourself. The other side is so so so worth it. #findyourpurpose
I am turning 40 next month. Over these years, an important lesson that I have learned is to trust your intuition...that gut feeling.
In my youth, I tended to ignore my gut because I wanted to do something or be with someone...and that control always led me down the wrong path.
Even when we first meet people, many times we can pick up their energy, their vibe...whether positive or negative. You may meet someone that your intuition tells you that should keep a distance from. But, what if this person is attractive, charming, says all of the right things to make you question your gut?
Your head then says, "they really do seem nice though...and what a great smile!" Or your heart steps in, "they have been through so much...they really need me to help them." NO, NO, NO.
When your intuition says NO, listen, or prepare for a negative situation to happen. That is plain and simple. You have to quiet your mind and heart and allow your intuition to lead the way. The gut feeling you get is trying to help you, it is coming from a higher source, your higher self. The more you listen, the more you stay on your correct path.
These side roads only take us off course and we then get lost, confused, scared, feel alone, depressed, anxious...those feelings can all be tied to side roads. When you feel emotions that do not really serve you, ask yourself what is the root of this feeling in that moment. What is it telling you? Is it tied to another person, situation, decision?
As one of Shakira's songs says, "my hips don't lie", my new song is, "my intuition doesn't lie." Play THAT on repeat.
Tristan Star is a certified Usui Ryoho & Karuna Ki Reiki Master, Angel Oracle Card Reader, and Law of Attraction Life Coach. Since 2013, he has practiced intention and manifestation methods with significant results. Tristan is also the designer behind Arcadia Jewelry Art.