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Live FIERCELY.

Hi guys! It’s Tuesday Smile  In my Literature and Business course we recently were asked to read an excerpt from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and while there were definitely some good and interesting points discussed… it just didn’t do it for me. I’ve written some posts on this blog as motivational sources for both myself and my readers. I’m currently working on a side project also and have taken some of a couple of posts to make one big post which I’m sharing today on living fiercely and my personal vision of success and life purpose. These are my opinions and views, so take with you what works and leave what doesn’t. After all, everyone is different in terms of what motivates them.

Ready? Set go.

OK wait… first some tunes for reading. Please please don’t tell me I’m the only one who needs good jams.

Always be yourself, that’s what everyone says. In a world committed to beating the guy next to you, striving always to get ahead, to have the balls to go after your own dreams is a novel idea in and of itself. It’s a hard choice to keep up the pursuit of your dreams, goals, passions, hobbies, the things which light your soul on fire. However, a crucial one nonetheless.

What gets in the way? Why do people feel it’s necessary to just live inside the bubble society has created and continued to morph as the years go on. Why do we conform ourselves to the needs of society versus the needs of ourselves?

Self-limitation. Self-sabotage. Whatever term hits you the hardest – go with it. Boy is that a concept. It’s also something most people do on the regular, whether or not they are actually aware of it. It’s hard not to. We are brought up in a society that tells us as children that well, we are amazing and can do whatever we set our minds to. Which if you ask me, that’s great. But what’s not so great is that as kids get older the support and the “you’re the greatest” start to leave the scene, and rather quickly. We end up with young adults who are trying to find their life path and also simultaneously being bombarded from every angle with messages about how to be richer, prettier, skinnier, how to succeed, how not to succeed, what you’re doing wrong, why you’re not X/Y/Z, how to be “healthy”, and the list goes on and on. Then of course there are the more important things like actually being a responsible adult, having and maintaining a job, college, graduate school, starting a family, ect. It’s a lot of pressure, so it’s natural for people to be hard on themselves and doubt their abilities. Things cost money, it’s easy to question if something is worth it and subsequently talk yourself out of things. It seems safer to go with the flow of society rather than carving your own path. Safer doesn’t always equal easier.

What we are not taught? How to listen to our inner fire and let go of our inner critic. Now that’s a concept worth actually pursing.

The one thing I have learned over the years is that it’s best not to run from your demons. Running from the negative doesn’t typically create a positive. It creates a void, a void that most people don’t know how to work with. Instead, work without them, accept them, be at peace with them, and if you really must – use them… but, don’t let them use you.

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I think we tend to get so caught up in the past and the future that we forget we are actually living currently, in the now. It’s a constant challenge to keep the mind focused on the present moment and you might find yourself present one moment, and then thinking about next Tuesday three minutes later. It’s natural for the mind to shift, to oscillate between past, present, and future. Our brains have so much going on, so many functions, things to process, and information to relay to us. I think what’s essential however is to be content and happy with the now so that the reason our mind is wandering isn’t to escape the present moment.

How to be successful in your life? Accept that it’s worth it.

It’s worth it for fucks sake. Whatever the idea is that you have in your head, pursue it. What if you are successful? What if it makes you happy and in love with every.single.second of your life? If it doesn’t… well you tried and after all it’s all about experience. TRY IT. Take a chance, or two, or three. Go out on a limb and explore new things, new boundaries, new places. You might end up finding yourself in a place you’ve only ever dreamed of being. Explore your limits. Explore your comfort zone. Say YES. And then say yes again. Listen to your soul, your body, your desires and get after them. Set up your day to day in order to reach your goals. Nobody is going to get you there except for you.

One of the hardest parts about reaching a goal: allowing yourself to try. I’m not talking about the give it a week or a month of slowly and ever so casually working on a goal. I don’t mean give it a week, then fall off the wagon, then two weeks later get back on the wagon. I mean give it all you have. If you want something bad enough give yourself the true opportunity to reach that thing.

People underestimate the true amount of time, effort, hard work, and pure determination that go into reaching a goal. It’s easy to leave out the key pieces, to not go full throttle. It’s easy to quit and say “it’s just not for me” or “I’ll try again next year”. Stop limiting yourself. Stop limiting your life. Stop taking it easy when the going gets tough. Choose the hard way. Choose to create a better life. Choose to reach what it is you truly wish to reach.

Throughout my experiences one of the hardest things I’ve come to terms with is what I feel that I *should* be capable of. I would take ego, standards, and previous accomplishments and hold myself accountable to what I believed I needed to be doing. I felt I needed to be the best at competing, a straight-A student, working full-time, always performing better than any other individual at a given moment – all while keeping myself together. I tried to be invincible, like super-woman. For a period of time I was able to adapt to these extreme standards, but soon enough I started to show cracks. It’s quite difficult if not impossible to maintain near perfection in every realm of life at each given moment.

Where did I learn these beliefs? Why is it that I hold myself to standards set higher than a majority of my peers? But better yet, why is it that I’ve met other people who have similar if not identical lifestyle patterns? In my opinion, it’s about trying to prove ourselves as human beings. It’s about your worth as an individual.

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All in all accept yourself, continue to grow into who you are and be a better version of you not your neighbor. Find what makes you come alive as a person, what it is that has you thriving in life and do that thing. Don’t be the reason you didn’t reach your goals. Stop holding yourself back because of trying to be the best at everything versus trying to be the best at your thing.

You have innate value because you are alive. Accept that.

So decide what you want to do. What’s important. What you want to work on. Decide what defines you, your life. Be extremely stubborn about your goals but stay adaptable. Keep evolving, both internally and externally. Mentally, spiritually. Focus on your shit. But be aware that other people have their own shit. It’s not yours to fix. Just be capable of listening. Make your work ethic respectable. Be humble. Remember the game when the going gets tough because it will get tough. Understand your thoughts, your emotions, your needs. Accept them. Don’t let them control you. Work with them. Use your voice, collaborate, help others, be kind always. Tell people how much they mean to you. Love every single part of yourself. Surround yourself with people who support your most difficult dreams. Keep reflecting and adjust what needs adjusting but make sure it’s for you – know your vision. Take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. Let it go. Laugh. Don’t be so serious. Seriousness can come across as being an asshole. Figure out your shit. Don’t lie to yourself. Roll the dice and play the cards. Be capable of inspiring yourself. Know when it’s time to put your big girl pants on and know when it’s time to say fuck it. Be what you want to be.

xo, S

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Prioritizing needs + goals vs. ‘wants’

Hello there! Good morning and it’s Sunday funday 🙂

Today is a day full of all sorts of things including taking a few minutes (times like ten) to post on the blog. After this is done I’m getting ready for work and then after work it’s right to finishing up my genetics homework due Monday morning! Sunday’s are such an interesting day – a majority of people have the day off, but yet I find those who work it typically don’t overly mind doing so. Or maybe that’s just me. It’s probably just me. I don’t know it just seems logical because I don’t have class on Sunday and if I weren’t working I probably wouldn’t get much studying done anyways so I might as well just do a shift? It’s not like my job is overly challenging, I’m a barista for crying out loud. It’s fun. I get to play around with fancy espresso drinks and make sandwiches all day, which ultimately results in me smelling… well… not that good by the end of the day.

12142195_976074989120494_1805269812_n Current view. I’m ok with it 😉

Onto today’s topic – prioritizing needs and goals versus “wants”. First off, let’s establish what I am referring to by saying needs and goals and then what I think of as wants. This is probably fairly easy to guess but I want to make sure it’s clear for everyone. I”m not referencing the little things such as food, water, sleep, ect. I’m after the deeper stuff. Needs are the things which are physically and/or mentally/emotionally necessary or else overall wellbeing would be affected. Goals are the things which our innermost being wants to reach. They are the things which keep people driven and in pursuit. Goals are fire, fire to keep going. Goals are the things that our hearts feel complete by reaching. Goals help make us better versions of ourselves. Wants are the things which while maybe they would be nice to have/reach but aren’t necessarily in line with our truest self, or would require letting go of something more important in order to get them. Wants are what we think we need but in reality actually don’t. Wants can be ego, desire, envy. Wants aren’t based from internal “needs”, rather they are external “needs”.

How to know which is which? How to pursue the ones that will actually benefit you as a person? How to actually prioritize and pursue and not allow doubt, fear, or discomfort push you back towards going after the “wants” because, well, typically they are easier.

10727276_362500790581847_755764727_n (1) Hello, #accurate.

It’s no secret that this semester went nothing like planned for me. Nothing. Dropping from full-time to part-time. Adding a second job. Adding a second volunteer position. Leaving the lab I was volunteering/working in. Deciding that I was pursuing a career too specific because it was part of my nature (another post, too much to explain). Taking a step, more like 100 steps back to really look at my life and figure out what I actually NEED for my life. What’s important to me. What am I doing because it makes me happy vs. what am I doing because I think it makes me happy.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Needs // 1. Continue figure out my gut and physical health. 2. Sleep more, drink less coffee, stretch my hips out more, meditate. 3. Pursue the things in school which actually mean something to me versus just make me feel good because I can get an A. 4. Spending quality time with those I love because this helps center me and make everything seem ok.

Goals // 1. Start working in a different lab, one that fulfills my interests because I’m interested not because I think I should be based on my major. Lesson learned. 2. Spend more time with my volunteer positions because I genuinely enjoy them and they involve a community of like-minded people which is a positive influence on my wellbeing. 3. Be honest, nope, be more honest with the things that are in my life that shouldn’t be. Ditch those things, gracefully. Or to be even less concerned just say “bye”.

Wants // 1. I want to get (physically) stronger. I don’t need to. I’m strong. I’m not strong for a girl, for my size, or in comparison to x,y,z. I’m just strong. Could I be stronger? Yes. It is necessary that I am ? Nope. Will it make me a better person? No. This is a want. It’s not a need. It’s not a goal that will make me better. It’s a goal, but not one that should be at the top of the mountain in my case. This kind of belongs between categories because it is in line with my passion but it isn’t critical.  2. I would love to work more. I would love to have more money. But honestly, my mental health and school need to be my PRIORITIES. I’m still working, I’m in college, it could be worse and I don’t have it that bad. I can’t allow this to stress me out (although it totally will). 3. Controlling everything and having a plan for my life. It’s not possible, nor should it be. There are so many variables, ups and downs, factors outside of my control and striving to control everything will ultimately just make me more unhappy.

12142331_404469916417674_1453166683_n Time outside is helpful too. Afternoon walk along the railroad with a good friend ♥ Thanks, Lu.

All of this is really individual. It’s a lot of just gaining the right perspective, for you… and trying to avoid that comparison trap because that’s just a surefire way to get you anxious about your habits and lifestyle. Know where things stand in your life and accept that and allow it to be fulfilling – because honestly if you know what’s important TO YOU and all of your ducks are in a row working towards those things (those needs and goals) then you will ultimately feel fulfilled.

“Don’t sit and wait. Get out there, feel life. Touch the sun, and immerse in the sea.” – Rumi

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The act of self limitation

Hey guys! Back on the blog today with a post that will hopefully light a fire under some of you. That’s the goal.

First off… it’s Tuesday. My day so far has been on the productive side – breakfast and coffee, lifting session, genetics quiz, read a chapter for my genetics class tomorrow, created a playlist for my group ex class tonight, more coffee (with butta), fresh pressed blog post… All before 9:30am, I’m taking that and running with it. My last post was a brief check-in with you guys.. I talked about how my school schedule was all messed around last minute and that after some time with feeling like ‘what’s the point’ I got my sh*t together and jumped back on the bandwagon. Thumbs up to that. I’ll be completely honest here, I’m so glad I have a semi-easy semester. I found myself somewhat apprehensive to admit to that and have since said to myself “so what”, everyone, and I mean everyone, needs a break in the hecticness of life at one point or another. School isn’t easy, it’s worth it (for me), but that doesn’t automatically make it a walk in the park.

On a side note, my favorite part of school definitely is my ability to write the smallest, neatest notes. Insert all the sarcasm.

11939647_932341966852404_527046680_n Ancient MesoAmerica class. Lovely university requirements. It’s actually pretty neat though.

SOOOO, self limitation. Self sabotage. Working against yourself. Whatever wording I just listed hits you the hardest – go with it. Boy is that a concept. It’s also something most people do on the regular, whether or not they are actually aware of it. It’s hard not to. We are brought up in a society that tells us as children that well, we are amazing and can do whatever we set our minds to. Which if you ask me, that’s great. But what’s not so great is that as kids get older the support and the “you’re the greatest” start to leave the scene, and rather quickly. We end up with young adults who are trying to find their life path and also simultaneously being bombarded from every angle with messages about how to be richer, prettier, skinnier, how to succeed, how not to succeed, what you’re doing wrong, why you’re not X/Y/Z, how to be “healthy”, and the list goes on an on. Then of course there are the more important things like actually being a responsible adult, having and maintaining a job, college, graduate school, starting a family, ect. It’s a lot of pressure, so it’s natural for people to be hard on themselves and doubt their abilities. Things cost money, it’s easy to question if something is worth it and subsequently talk yourself out of things. It seems safer to go with the flow of society rather than carving you’re own path. Note I said ‘safer’ not ‘easier’.

What we are not taught? How to listen to our inner fire and let go of our inner critic. Now that’s a concept worth actually pursing.

98440793abf3767125091e02c2185440 Just incase YOU weren’t aware. 🙂

Lately I have found myself all up in negative Nancy’s space. For real though, when I say I was having an anxiety attack on a daily basis… I’m not kidding. It was bad. There was a lot of crying. There was a lot of questioning of “what the heck am I doing?!”, “why do I feel like this?”, “why can’t I be happy?” Then it hit me. I’m not happy because I don’t allow myself to be happy. I find myself just going through the motions, following directions, trying to please everybody. That right there, that isn’t living.

I’m not perfect. I have my issues. But the more I think about my life and where I’ve been and where I hope to go the more I realize that I need to be a proponent of my life, my goals, my dreams, and ultimately myself as a human being. I can’t be against them if I want to achieve them. Heads up Sarah, you can’t please everybody and quite frankly trying is probably going to drive you off the deep end.

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I quoted myself last night on Facebook:

“The one thing I have learned over the years is that it’s best not to run from your demons. Running from the negative doesn’t typically create a positive. It creates a void, a void that most people don’t know how to work with. Instead, work without them, accept them, be at peace with them, and if you really must – use them… but, don’t let them use you.” –me 🙂

I don’t know how to work with that void, and lately I’ve been trying to. I have been trying to work with that void since I got out of treatment in 2013. I kept telling myself that I could just drop that part of my life and pick myself up and be a’ok and good to keep on trucking. That’s not the case. Maybe it is for some people, and that’s fabulous, but maybe it’s not. Maybe you work with what you have and who you are. Pursue your goals, listen to your inner fire, but don’t run away from who you used to be or what you have done. It’s the past. It’s part of life. Accept, be at peace, move on. Work without it, don’t run away. Now, there is another take home message. Learning how to work without something without actively running from it. That folks, is being at peace.

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Everyone has their story, and each story is different. My story, the real short three sentence version is that I’m a work in progress and I’m learning to work with myself rather than against myself. I’m working on listening to my fire because that is what makes me thrive, even if that means doing things my own way against what society calls “normal”. As the above image says, “…my life has already almost slipped away from me…”, past-tense, but it has, and if I managed my way through that you damn well be sure I’m going to figure out a way to do things my way, and to keep following that fire.

We’re all different in our methods. But what is a shared truth: work with your fire, not against it.