It seems that the chaos in the world, both personal, and global, is not letting up. There is so much division, lack of civility, unexpected endings, health scares, fears – it can be overwhelming. The feeling can be, “enough already!”
There are two antidotes that can be very helpful right now. One is to look for the beauty in life. Even in the midst of ugliness, put your focus on what is beautiful. Maybe it’s the jacarandas in bloom, the vibrant green of the leaves in the trees, the fireflies on a warm summer night, the sunrise, or sunset, or maybe, it’s witnessing a tiny gesture of human kindness. No matter where you are in the world, there is something beautiful. Focus on that, let it elevate you. Let beauty heal you.
The other place to put your attention, is on what matters in your reality. It could be your health, your spirituality, your peace of mind, your family, etc.- what matters to you? After you become aware of your priorities, think about where have you been placing your mattering. Maybe, instead of focusing on what truly matters, you have allowed other people’s opinions of you, comparisons to what someone else is doing, or getting ahead matter most. If so, stop and acknowledge that. Recognize where you have misplaced value and put your focus back on what really matters to you.
Sometimes we forget what really matters until we’re up against a wall or something happens in our reality to make it clear. Notice it now before you create a crisis in order to become aware of it. And once you are aware of it, give it attention. Since it matters to you, let it matter verses just giving it lip service. If your health is a priority on your mattering list, give your body love and nourish it, rather than ignore its needs, getting mad when it can’t do what you want. Same with the people in your life; if they matter, show your appreciation and love verses taking them for granted. It’s the little things that add up – the messages of, “thinking about you” and the little courtesies and kindnesses.
Despite the chaos in the world, if you allow more beauty and focus on the truly important things that matter to you, you can weather any storm and retain some sanity and peace. Remember what Florence Welch sings, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”
Be the light in your reality.
Life is busy. The pace seems to be speeding up. Your sanity and peace are the priority. You can only do what you can do. You can’t beat yourself up if you have to postpone things, or if you have a list of things to do and they don’t all get done. At any moment, you may need to put aside your to-do’s and focus on self care instead. Calm that voice telling you that, “there’s not enough time, you can’t stop, it has to get done now,” etc. and do as I’ve stressed, put the oxygen mask on first. And that might mean that you may feel like you are falling behind in certain areas, but that’s an illusion. It’s not a race; you don’t have to prove how good you are by getting everything done in record time. You simply have to show up and do your best.
The irony is that the best way to show up, is by taking the time to slow down, and pause. Catch up to yourself. Take a breather. It’s summer, go outside, do something nice for yourself, give yourself permission to just be (yes I may sound like a broken record but I need you all to not only understand, but to actually implement times of beingness). Then you can more easily conquer your list one thing at a time, without stress, and without pressure.
The world needs you. You matter. Pause. Take care of yourself and allow a joyful summer.
As I write this, I have just found out that Anthony Bourdain committed suicide. That’s two well-known people in one week, and who knows how many countless others.
The thing I loved about Anthony Bourdain, was how he would shine a light on atrocities and injustices that the collective consciousness may not have known about, all the while, doing it over food; a seemingly benign topic, but one that could open the door to deeper, more philosophical issues. But for all that light he brought, he still battled his own inner darkness.
I do not claim to be any sort of expert on suicide; so instead, today we will talk about our own inner darknesses as a way to bring them to the light, so that we can be healed.
It is so important to acknowledge your shadow and your own inner demons. All the positive affirmations in the world won’t make a dent if your inner darkness has more weight. The biggest culprit to that darkness, is your negative ego.
The negative ego, while being a part of you, is just that- negative. It would destroy you if it could. The negative ego wants you to feel that you’re special, and it puts that specialness in the guise of telling you that you are more spiritual then others, more sensitive, that you are too sensitive for this world, or that you are so unique that nothing helps you and that your issue can’t be fixed. Specialness is a big tell that your negative ego is at play. Again, even if that specialness stems from how damaged you are; that you are more wounded then the next person.
Conversely, it tells you that you’re not enough, you’ll never be enough, you should just hide in the corner because nobody cares what you have to say, you’re less than others, and unworthy. It’s the nasty voice in our heads that whispers that our deepest fears will come true: we’ll be humiliated, punished, abandoned, etc. It guides us towards self-sabotage, flames our resistance, keeps us in fear, distracts us from positive actions, and likes to create problems where there are none.
That’s why it’s so important to learn to take your power back from it, and say things such as, “cancel clear,” when it says awful things or, “I refuse that thought,” and then replace it with a new, positive one. Sometimes I’ve even said, in a non-attached way and with no emotion, “Shut up, I’m not listening to you” when it gets too loud. If you engage it in a loud shouting match, then it’s won, so you need to be detached. The more cognizant you can be that that voice is your negative ego, and not your true self, the more empowered you’ll be in your life and the more you’ll be able to shine your light.
The last thing it wants is for you to shine. It wants you to stay suffocating in the darkness, so it might tell you that this blog doesn’t apply to you. And when you do start shining, it wants you to think that you are so special and better than everyone else. So stop giving it that power. Stop giving it the power to over-elevate, or diminish you.
Start to observe it, see what messages it uses to keep you stuck, and realize that’s not the truth. You have to be hyper vigilant with your thoughts so that you do not succumb to it’s call.
My friend Holly Higgins is brilliant at teaching how to recognize and overcome the negative ego. At the bottom is a link to her negative ego video, and she also has a blog post and PDF on that page for further reading. I cannot recommend it enough.
It’s time to end your codependence with your negative ego and to take your power back, so that you can create an empowered life, while diminishing your dark. Remember, nothing changes until you do.
Here’s a radical idea for you, total acceptance. Accepting everything that’s going on in your life, without judgment.
When you get angry about a situation and fight or resist it, you’re holding it in place. You’re not allowing the healing and the support you need.
How often do you criticize yourself for your anxiety, your weight, your emotions? What acceptance means is- “I’m ok even though I’m having a meltdown/panic attack/I’m angry.” It means, “I accept this as a part of me that is worthy of my love, without judgment.”
For example, one day I was having a panic attack. I was totally ungrounded and felt awful. I started trying to get out of the panic by condemning it- “I wish this would go away! Why am I panicking?!” Then I realized, what if, vs fighting this, I simply allow and accept that right now, I’m in a panic and that’s OK. Once I started giving myself permission to just “be” where I was, the panic began to dissipate. My non-judgment and total self-acceptance allowed a new reality, one of love and healing.
When you can step back from judging your behavior as bad or wrong and trying to change it, versus simply allowing that it exists, you give yourself the space to heal and transform. When you accept all of you, exactly as you are, you bring in a greater level of self-love.
The same holds true with others. Think of how much better our relationships would be if we accepted and allowed the other person to be who they truly are, vs trying to control them and mold them into what we want them to be. How do you know you’re controlling a person/situation? Again, you don’t accept what is. You want it to be your way. You don’t allow a possibility outside of what you feel is right and correct.
When you practice acceptance, true acceptance, you release from the outcome. You trust that everything is perfect in this moment. Once you fully accept the now, then you can bring forth the changes you desire.
Me, just sharing ways to make you the best you can be!