Do not fear moving forward in the direction of your happiness. Plant your feet in the soil of adoration and stability. Be watered by those who appreciate both your petals and your thorns. May life’s simple pleasures become your joy. May your soul be filled with peace and laughter.
Do not fear love. Open your heart to new and endless possibilities. Be nurtured back to wholeness and celebrated for just being. Be reminded that there are no hoops that you have to jump through, no tests are necessary to prove your worthiness. For you are enough as is, star. Accept the complicity and the uniqueness that is you.
Do not be afraid to succeed. To have your gifts make room for you and have your talents expand. May the world be moved by every tremble in your voice, stroke of your paintbrush, word that you write and note that you play. May your activism invoke ancestors to help create new worlds, and may your teachings awake a sleeping nation.
Do not be afraid of your truth. Shed old skin until you are you again, and then… again. Proclaim loudly, “This is who I am and this is who I am not!” Stand in it unapologetically. Do not shrink in the faces of those who have yet to accept themselves. You will be their example. May you continue to evolve, learn, grow and love every part of you. Find balance between the dark and light, for the truth is always somewhere in the middle.
Gather your things, love. A new world awaits the fearless. There is no shame in starting over and no growth in comfort. Change is here and ready for your embrace. The past now has no place. You’ve been here many times before and survived the worst. It is time for your reward.
If you’ve always wanted to start the habit, here are five ways to start journaling and get you started:
1. What was difficult this week?
Addressing what was hard this week will shed light on the challenges in your life. Often these negative events cause repressed emotions that show up in monstrous ways. There is nothing healthier for your overall mental space than to let your words be your therapy and write about the challenges in your life. In doing so, you may come up with creative solutions you never knew existed—so give yourself the time and space to work through your problems as you navigate through them in the outside world.
2. What gave you joy this week?
Gratitude is a gateway to something truly beautiful. By pinpointing exactly what brought you joy and how it felt while engaging in an activity, you can bring more happiness and intention into your life by knowing what makes you feel the most alive. Understanding yourself and what lights you up is a path to a life well-lived.
3. How can you show up better next week?
In some regards, you may have failed at doing something this week. Flipping the script and changing your perspective to a more positive frame of mind can help you understand that failure teaches you lessons that will help you become a better individual. This is crucial when it comes to being aware of where you went wrong and how you can show up better for yourself in the coming weeks—life is, after all, a learning process.
4. What are new things you experienced this week?
If you experienced anything new this week, how did it make you feel? What is something that surprised you? Were you proud of yourself that you jumped out of your comfort zone and tried something new? Take careful note of these experiences, as they may unlock a key to something you never knew existed for your future self.
5. What new things do you want to experience next week?
One of my personal favorites when it comes to journaling is planning for the future, including things you want to manifest. While it’s not the best idea to hyper-focus on it, allowing yourself to dream and cultivate your future is an exercise that will bring you so much fulfillment and satisfaction when you see your wildest dreams come true. Having a vision is powerful—just don’t expect it to look exactly as you saw it because it may very well look even better than you saw it.
Journaling is not just a reflection of what’s around you but a reflection of how you’re feeling internally. It’s an intentional practice that gives you the time and space to not just open the door to a new world, but to change the story of your life if you don’t like the one you’re currently writing.
The term “Higher Consciousness” has been thrown around a lot recently. With the influx of spiritual teachers and coaches, this term has been becoming mainstream, and for good reason. With so much going on in the world, I think all of us are looking for meaning in our life.
I have studied self-development for years and read every book on the topic available. But it wasn’t clicking for me. I was trying to follow certain rules or force myself into spirituality because I wanted to be perfect at it. Who else is a recovering perfectionist?
It wasn’t until my life got turned upside down that I understood what spirituality actually meant and what attaining Higher Consciousness could look like in my own life. I realized it was so simple that I could throw away all the supposed “rules” I was placing on myself.
Now I want to pass this message on to you. I know that so many of us suffer from loneliness, depression, anxiety, etc. But the real reason humans are here is to enjoy life through exploration and love. Even if you can tap into this feeling of higher consciousness for a brief moment, you’ll realize just how impactful it is to your mental health.
Let’s first discuss what Higher Consciousness is not:
Believing that you are better than people.
Using spirituality for your own ego or self-image.
Thinking you need to go live in a monastery for the rest of your life.
Buying into the idea that you need to have a perfect daily routine to be spiritual.
Reading too many self-help books but not actually implementing the lessons.
Having to be from a certain religion to believe in it.
The beauty of Higher Consciousness is that any human on this planet can reach it. If you desire to tap into this higher energy and feel more fulfilled in life, you absolutely can.
Here’s what Higher Consciousness means:
Knowing that material things don’t bring genuine happiness.
Being grateful for life every single day.
Pursuing the people, events, and hobbies that bring you love and fulfillment.
Acknowledging that there may be tough moments in life, but the good ones always follow.
Seeing love in all the people and nature you interact with.
Believing in yourself and your purpose for life.
When you’re tapped into this higher consciousness, life just feels sweeter. It’s like you’re experiencing life on volume 10. The trivial day to day happenings don’t affect you as much. However scary the news is, you still will do everything in your power to live a life you love.
Of course, life will still throw curve balls at you and things may not go your way. No human on this planet can escape the unexpected. But when you’re tapped into this higher energy, you fully trust that life will work itself out. That the good times will come back around and that there’s lessons to be learned in the tough seasons.
Now you’re probably wondering, this all sounds great, but how do I actually achieve it? Well, there’s endless possibilities. The way to achieve it is just doing the things that make you feel more alive and more aligned with this state. But here are some ideas to get you started!
Ways to tap into Higher Consciousness:
Follow your passions and the things that excite you.
Start noticing the coincidences in your life and know that nothing is by chance.
Stop placing worth in your salary, cars, house, and other material things.
Deepen your relationships with the people in your life that you care about.
Don’t get caught up in the daily drama with other people or events.
Stop caring what other people think of you—their opinions won’t matter in a year from now.
When you get into a Higher Consciousness and notice just how amazing life truly is, your relationships will improve significantly. You will be happier and not fazed by small inconveniences.
But most importantly, your relationship to self will grow stronger everyday. You will be confident of your life’s purpose and you’ll make the most of the limited time you have here on Earth.
I remember when starting over felt like the heaviest burden in the world. An experience to dread. Something that made me feel like a failure sometimes, like I couldn’t get it right the first time around. It made me feel like I was losing my stability until I realized that starting over is one of the most liberating experiences ever. It’s sometimes essential. It’s sometimes what you don’t know you need. It’s sometimes the only way to move forward because when you start over, you have a chance to write a better story.
Your new life will cost you your old one; your new dreams and plans will force you to let go of your past and the things that didn’t work out for you. It will force you to release all that wasn’t serving you. Your new life will cost you old friends and meaningless attachments but it will reward you with the things that you actually desire. The things you were scared of doing. The people you were intimidated by. The risks you were too afraid to take.
Starting over means being brave enough to say goodbye to so many things and so many people because you’re choosing yourself instead of bending over backwards to please others. Starting over means living the life you were meant to live instead of following someone else’s dream or path. Starting over means you’re no longer stuck because you’re not afraid of changing everything around you for a better life.
Starting over means building a stronger foundation because now you have experience, now you know what makes something stand tall and what makes it fall apart. Starting over means writing a new story because now you’re wiser and you actually have something to say. You have an ending to look forward to and you know who you need in your story and who doesn’t really have a role anymore. Starting over means allowing yourself to be reborn again in the same lifetime, it means seeing life from a whole new angle and living the life you’ve always imagined. Starting over means you’re not giving up on yourself and you’re not settling either. It means you’re fighting for yourself and the life you were meant to live.
So please don’t let anyone make you feel like starting over means you’ve failed, because the real failure is staying stuck in a place you hate, living a life that doesn’t excite you, or being with someone who doesn’t love you. The real failure is choosing to live in the same environment that broke you instead of going out and creating a whole new one. Starting over doesn’t mean burning bridges or losing everyone you love, it simply means you’re crossing that bridge and moving on with nothing but love for what you left behind, but you know you can’t take it with you anymore.
Starting over means trusting that new beginnings will eventually lead to better endings and that you are capable of taking your life in a whole new direction because as painful as it can be, sometimes letting go of who you used to be and the life you used to live, can bring about the best experiences and the happiest of endings.
Every problem in life has a solution. Every problem in life can be dealt with. Every problem in life needs some time to be spoken about. And all it takes is the couragefrom within. All it takes is some resilience.
We’re all human beings, and yes, we all might have the ego within us that probably holds us back from finding possible solutions to our problems. The ego within us that stops us from giving in a little to others. The ego within us that refuses to give people a chance to be heard.
Not everything in life sucks. Yes, sometimesthings don’t happen the way we want it to be. Yes, sometimes things don’t happen when we want it to happen and that is okay. Things meant to be will eventually find their way back. All it takes is some time and effort. Time and time again, you need to remind yourself what you are capable of. You need to continue to persevere and you will eventually achieve what’s ideal for you and all that you’ve ever wanted.
We’re all human beings and we’re incredibly resilient. We all have dealt with pain at least at one point of time in life and we all have recovered. That’s because of the strength that we have within us that pushes us further and we don’t give up easily. We may not have achieved what we dreamt of when we were all much younger, but we may have achieved something we never thought of.
Eventually, we all would do fine with what we are faced with.
At this moment, even if life does not seem to be that good, trust the universe that the happier days of your life are just ahead of you. Even if you don’t believe right now, trust me, things will get better. And that’s because eventually everything will work out.
For most of us, we’ve had the unfortunate experience of being stuck in a circling vortex of negativity, self-doubt, frustration, and exhaustion. When caught in one of these spirals, it can feel impossible to break free.
Why is this?
One of the reasons could be that these feelings seem to compound on each other. Exhaustion can lead to negative thoughts. Thoughts such as “Why am I not good enough to do a thing?”, “Why can’t I keep up with my peers?”, “Can I do anything right?”, or “Why is this hard for me to do?”
These thoughts can deeply frustrate us, as we don’t want to be stuck thinking these things. These thoughts can also be heavy, stressful, or debilitating, thus exhausting us even more. You might see how a pattern can develop.
Another reason could be that we are innately programmed to give more attention to negative thoughts rather than positive ones. This is called Negativity Bias. As humans, we are inclined to attend to, learn from, and dwell on negative information more so than positive information. Negative events usually evoke a faster and more critical response. During our hunter-gatherer days, negative events posed a threat to our survival. They were burned into our brain so that we would learn from them.
So, how can we stop this spiral? How can we work against this Negativity Bias? How can we ultimately break this pattern once we are stuck in its cycling negative winds?
I want to share three helpful tips that I’ve learned about in regards to working our way out of negative thinking spirals.
Try to forgive yourself for spiralling. Forgiveness isn’t always easy. We might find shame and guilt present, wondering why it’s so hard for us to get out and see the brighter side. Try to hold yourself with love and self-compassion. As mentioned earlier, we’re working against thousands of years of mental conditioning. This is tough work. The fact that you’re here reading this shows you’ve already made the first and most pivotal steps. First, it shows that you are self-aware of your own negative thinking patterns. Second, it demonstrates you have a desire to change. Know that getting caught in these spirals is normal and is part of the human experience.
2.Savoring the Positives
Since our brain is cognitively wired to focus more on negative thoughts, we have to work towards reprogramming it to focus on more positive thoughts. This requires turning short-term positive moments and feelings into long-term memories. Next time something positive happens in your life, try to savour it as much as possible! Stick with the moment or feeling for as long as you can. Savouring a moment could look like extending a hug with your friend for a few more seconds, journaling your feelings after a really awesome experience, or recalling moments in your life where you felt truly loved. Notice the sensations and feelings in your body. The more you’re able to practice savoring these positives, the easier you might find it gets to pull yourself out of a spiral. This is reprogramming in action.
3.Challenging the Negatives
The goal here is to question the validity of negative thoughts. Quite often these negative thoughts happen so fast and automatically that we just believe them. We don’t even think to question them. Challenging these thoughts can be tricky, as it requires you to narrow down on certain negative thoughts while they are coming up. Practice asking yourself the following questions:
· Are these thoughts respectful to you?
· Are they useful to you?
· Is there any evidence that supports this thought?
· What evidence do I have that disproves this thought?
· Have I ever faced this situation before? How did it turn out?
It’s no picnic getting caught in negative thinking spirals. Though it may feel hopeless escaping these gloom-ridden hurricanes, there are tools that can help us. Just remember to have patience and compassion for yourself as you start navigating these winds. You’ve got this!
You’ve heard that healing is a continual process. In fact, it takes a lifetime. If you want the life you’ve always wanted, you’re going to have to do something different. You’ve heard it all before. The truth is, you’ve been working on your healing work for years on end and the results seem microscopic. You get temporary relief from the monotony of life, but some days are still marked by cascading anxiety, suffocating hopelessness, and dark holes of despair. You’re having trouble looking into the future and seeing better days. You’re exhausted from your efforts to heal.
You’re exhausted from trying to be better when it feels like no one else is working on their personal growth this hard. You forget that the body heals on its own. The process is aided by the nourishment you provide and through small challenges, not by pushing past the breaking point. Healing isn’t about being better than someone else. Healing is about living with, and liking yourself. Healing enables you to focus on the present moment rather than the past or even the future.
You’re frustrated with your healing work because you put too much pressure on yourself. You’re exhausted from your healing because you’re making work instead of allowing yourself to be supported through the process. You’re exhausted because you’re unkind to yourself. You are on the right track. You’re fine-tuning as time goes by. The goal of your healing is to be so free that it’s only a minor annoyance when others try to steal your peace. The goal of your healing work is to enjoy life regardless of what everyone else is doing. If you’re tired of healing and wondering why you should keep going, take a step back, slow down, and remember to live. I suspect you’re doing much better than you think.
You’re exhausted from your healing work because you’re looking for threats rather than opportunities. You’re exhausted from your healing work because you’re burying your vulnerability and masking your feelings. You’re exhausted from your healing work because you’ve been fighting instead of grieving. You’re exhausted from your healing work because you’re desperately trying to change yourself rather than accepting yourself as you are. Instead of realizing that traumatic events happened to you, and you protected yourself the best way you knew how—not that you are flawed.
You’re exhausted from your healing work because you’re still trying to show people you are worthy based on how fast you can heal. You’re exhausted from your healing work because you’ve put your life on hold to focus on healing rather than living through the process. You’re exhausted from your healing work because you’re still living in fear rather than recognizing that you’re safe now.
You don’t have to be a victim anymore. People have exerted their power and control on you for so long that you believe you’re trapped, but really you’re only trapped in your mind. Forget about what people will think. Forget about your ego. Forget about everything you think you’ll lose—it’s time to live.
Forget about the labels for a moment: empath, highly sensitive, too emotional, fragile, can’t take criticisms, emotionally unstable, and old soul. Forget about the image of being some fragile, helpless person who’s only here to serve others and get trampled on. The point of healing is to discover who you really are and want to be. Approach healing as self-discovery rather than another task.
Your healing is not a spectacle, nor is it a race or a performance. Your healing is not a marketing ploy. Your healing is yours. Sometimes your healing looks like rage and frustration. Other times your healing requires deep rest and moments of stillness. Your healing allows for grace, play, and laughing at yourself.
You don’t have to be flawless. You don’t have to achieve some level of wholeness or spiritual height before you begin to live. Look at the people wreaking havoc on your life; they still have friends, family, and even lovers who stay with them through their worst behaviour. But here you are, kind, loving, and compassionate, wondering if you’re deserving of a better life. The answer is unequivocally yes.
I know you’re exhausted. You’re allowed to be. You don’t need to do anything right now but rest. Gather yourself only when you’re ready. The point of your healing work is reaching for joy and peace just at your fingertips. Healing is worth it, and closer than you think.
Our pain is transformed the moment we become intimate with it, for our vulnerability lies in befriending the darkest places within us. Whilst the pain may seem foreign, it is because we are at a distance from it and must understand the cause of our primary wounds. You cannot be frightened of something when you are up close to it. For in becoming intimate with our repressed parts, we bring it to the surface and transform it into the wholeness of our true nature.
Consider this idea: when we face our wounds and shadows, we are no longer bound to them and discover the freedom of our true self. We do not set out to find our true self, as much as remember, the true self is confined beneath the rubble of the egoic self. Which is why it minimizes our true worth. Here’s the thing: our defenses, the very thing we put in place to protect us from trauma or emotional wounds, serve a purpose. They protect us from the pain but also create a barrier to experiencing our true nature.
Therefore, facing our wounds is choosing to move forward with our healing despite the pain of the past. It’s clear we cannot change the past, but we can change our memories of what happened. We can look for meaning within the context of our suffering to transform our pain. Otherwise, our true nature will remain concealed through our traumas and wounds. It requires ripping off the Bandaid and undertaking the process of healing and integration.
Consider this in your own life. If you experienced pain or trauma, you will keep them alive by creating a narrative around the pain. For example, people talk about becoming a ‘survivor’ after their tragedy or suffering. I’m not suggesting this is wrong, for the mind will do what is necessary to preserve life when suffering occurs. I’m proposing we stop identifying with these labels at some point because they are reinforced beliefs when we speak about them.
So, to become intimate with our true nature requires being vulnerable with our wounds and pain to the degree that we are ready. For some people, that might involve talking with a trusted friend about their pain. For others, it might be a greater commitment through therapy. We cannot force our healing any more than rushing an infant to walk when it is still crawling. This is why vulnerability is not a weakness; it is a strength. It is our guiding light of salvation for true freedom. In other words, we become intimate with our true nature through self-discovery and venturing into the sea of vulnerability.
You Are Not Broken, Wounded, Or Damaged
To take this idea a little further: Vulnerability is the gateway to true healing, when we are no longer chained to our pain and suffering. Yes, vulnerability is frightening because of the uncertainty. It might scare us to venture into the unknown, but if we don’t take the step, we remain trapped in our pain, recycling it into the present moment. We are not transforming our life but retraumatizing ourselves through our memories. Something has to give. We must give way to an aspect of ourselves to transform our suffering.
Are you getting the sense that your pain and suffering is not something to run away from but to move closer to? Could you allow yourself to venture into the darkest places of your unconscious? Yes, it will be terrifying but liberating not to be chained to a belief or emotion whose time has passed. We cannot live in the present moment and drag along the past like a worn-out childhood blanket. We must put on our grown-up pants and turn towards our pain so we become intimate with the darkest places within us. This is when healing occurs and the happiness we seek flows from being free of negativity.
To look at it another way: intimacy requires befriending our darkness where we discover our true being. Intimacy is getting to know our disowned parts instead of running away from it. Our task is to peel away the layers of hurt and acknowledge what lies beneath it. That is the key message here: We are not broken, wounded or damaged.We have merely disassociated with our true nature because of our core wounds and built defenses to keep us safe. But the defenses we build can only protect us so much. When the time has passed, it is not useful to keep holding onto painful memories and we ought to begin the healing process.
Stop Running From Your Pain
When I talk about deepening our understanding of our pain, I am referring to no longer being triggered by the memories that led to our wounds. It bears repeating once more: You cannot fear something you are intimate with. By moving closer to our pain, we befriend our wounds because we have listened to the messages they have to convey. We create a compassionate understanding of our emotions and peel away the layers of judgment underlying our wounds. We are no longer judging our feelings but allowing them to pass through us freely.
For example, in Tara Brach’s latest book titled: Trusting The Gold, she outlines a simple affirmation when we experience a negative emotion or judgment: “This too belongs.” Instead of castigating ourselves or pushing down the emotions of anger, resentment, criticism, or judgment, we silently affirm to ourselves: “This too belongs.” In doing so, we allow the emotion to communicate to us because there may be an important message we need to receive. But like many people, we ignore it, anesthetize it, or push it down, hoping it will go away; it never does. It is when we enter therapy and face our pain that we finally confront what we’ve been running away from our whole life.
Knowing this, I invite you to journal what vulnerability and intimacy mean to you. How do you show vulnerability in your relationship with others? How do you become intimate with your negative emotions and beliefs? Do you make time to listen to them and journal what they have to say? After all, when we are ready to face our vulnerability, we become intimate with our core nature, which is vested in love.