It Should Be a Crime

 

It makes me sad to see so many people in this generation spending precious hours of their time standing behind a cash register. Of course, this doesn’t apply to every customer service job, but it is certainly painful to see individuals staying inside for prolonged periods of time going to and fro between a stranger and a computer screen. And, myself being someone who has worked in customer service for several years, I have to agree it can be painful to be in this position as well.

I get it, it could be worse. Way worse, actually. But, ultimately, no human deserves to spend so much time away from the simplicity of the outdoors. No human deserves to spend hours of his time thinking about the sunlight while he checks out 50+grocery items for 50+ strangers. Capitalism steals joy. It steals simplicity.

It should be a crime.

 

Welcoming Sadness

Some days, I feel it incoming. I feel it sink me down into the Earth, but yet so far up in the sky (in my mind, at least). Other days, it hits me like a ton of bricks when I’m in a good mood–for no apparent reason. I find myself often resisting it. But, lately, I’ve been trying to say:

“Hello, again. Welcome.”

Sadness is an inevitable emotion.

That doesn’t mean we can’t try and look for ways to be happy (in fact, I encourage ways to increase feelings of joy through nature walks, healthier diets, and meditation). Nor does it mean that we should give up on our lives–it’s just that we are better off accepting the fact that sadness is going to make its appearance in our lives from time to time. Perhaps if we welcomed it more, we could hear what it’s trying to tell us. We sometimes need it to regularly open our hearts, to think about what’s truly important to us.

It’s okay to be sad. You are only human.

And still so beautiful.

 

 

It’s Okay to Be “Quiet”

To be quiet in the Western world is a challenge. Ever since I was in junior high, I have often been labeled as a  “quiet” person. While other kids seemed to light up the whole classroom with their jokes and stories, I was often the one sitting on the sidelines taking it all in. As I learned through social settings that being outgoing was considered more attractive than not saying much at all, I began to lose confidence in the person I was. Thankfully, I’ve learned a lot since then about myself and the world around me that I have healed a lot of that low self-esteem. I hope to comfort any other “quiet” people out there struggling with their self-image.

To begin my journey into self-love, let’s date back to my junior year of high school where I was nearing the end of a friendship with a best friend. Our personalities were somewhat compatible but had their rocky differences. She enjoyed talking for long periods of time, gossiping and spending a lot of time around other people for excitement. As for me, I liked to stay inside, read books, or just research topics that interested me on the internet. Overtime, she became upset with our differences and told me “You must be depressed, you never want to go out as much as me and you just like to hang out with your cat! You have no life!!” Granted, I did like to stay home more than she did, but I did had a life outside of my cat (lol). However, I ended our friendship not long after because I found this type of talk (and more, of course) emotionally-abusive. To this day, I am very grateful I found the courage to walk away.

After this friendship ended, I started becoming more self-aware and curious about the phenomena of being “quiet”. I began typing in questions on google like, “Why am I so quiet?” and “What’s wrong with me?” Long story short, I found a book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I have to admit, I have not read this book in a few years now so I cannot give direct quotes from it. However, this book changed my life. From what I can remember, the author’s theory (backed by anecdotal as well as scientific studies) was that the West encourages an outgoing persona to be associated with things like attractiveness and/or success. Therefore, when we look at quieter people who do not fit this ideal, there is a sort of societal rejection as if being this way is a sort of ailment. I also remember there was evidence that degrees of introversion and extroversion were based on levels of stimulation a person could handle (based on brain scans, etc.).Thinking back to how my old friend used to criticize me for being more reserved, I could see why she was very misunderstanding and why I felt so confused/insecure.

After reading this book, I got into the Myers-Briggs personality test (which I believe the book references) which helped me feel more secure in who I was as a person. If you are unfamiliar with Myers-Briggs, it is a very useful resource in understanding different personality types. It resonates a lot with the theory that there is a scale of introversion and extroversion based on levels of stimulation a person prefers. In this test, there are 16 personality types. For me, I tested as an INFP. I won’t get into that too much here, but you can go check it out on google if you’d like. It’s very spot on for a personality test!

The last thing I wanted to add is a cross-cultural reference. In the West, we value speaking over listening. In contrast, the Native Americans valued listening over speaking. They believed that everything done must have a purpose, including social interactions. Imagine today if less people felt pressured to talk and more people could relax in silences. Customer service employees may not feel so pressured to engage with strangers and perhaps those having a bad day could remain silent without shame. You feel me?

This isn’t to bash people who naturally enjoy talking more, but to shed light on this social issue which I believe is a form of misunderstanding in our society. All I ask is that we learn to accept people for who they are and for the unique flavors that they all come in.

Who’s with me?

 

 

 

 

Creating Peace in Times of Division

It seems like the heart of the world grows heavier with each passing day. Wars appear to be endless, economies grow weaker, and riots for change are becoming more prevalent. And with both US presidential candidates having dirt on their sleeves in one fashion or another, several citizens felt powerless in choosing a lesser of two evils in this last election. Our awareness of the growing corruption only increases the levels of cortisol that are on level “high” for many citizens in the U.S already. As a result, many of us are left wondering what we can do to change this society and if we can at all.

I used to be involved pretty heavily in the New-Age Movement for a little while. Unfortunately, I didn’t know at the time that much of the movement was designed to keep people in the dark about world issues. You’ll often hear the mentality, “Don’t give the bad things that happen attention. Don’t even acknowledge the negative, it only makes it grow. The reality you experience is all that there is.” This is only part of the truth.

From what I know now (opposed to many New-Age perspectives), there must be a balance between the Light and Dark. This means that we can’t just spend all of our time wishing happy thoughts and asking everybody to sing “Kum-Bah-Yah”. Just like the same with our own individual problems, we can’t continue to put lipstick on the pig when we know there is a deeper problem underneath. We have to be willing to acknowledge our inner turmoil and be willing to work past it. Or else, the underlying sickness simply grows. We become far from who we are at the core. The same is apparent in our external world as the illusion that everything has been “all good” is finally beginning to shatter.

Lying politicians, climate change, growing wars, unstable economies–all symptoms of a greater sickness on our globe. As humans inhabiting this Earth, the only way we can move forward is to stand up for peace in small and big ways–whether that be calling our local congressman on issues or coming together in groups to stand up for a cause (take the Dakota Access Pipeline situation, for example). Maybe even start gardening to avoid supporting larger food and grocery corporations interested in profit over the people. And the spiritual aspect can come in when people get together and pray, meditate, and/or set intentions for peace and awareness (the Native Americans asked everybody to send prayers–and look at how much support the issue has been getting!) Also, large groups of meditators seem to have a positive effect on crime in their local area.

The fact of the matter is that there needs to be a “take action” component (very downplayed out in the New-Age movement) to initiate peace as much as there needs to be a spiritual component. Truthfully, I’m not quite sure where we are headed from here, as we all know that we may be in deep sh**. But, despite it all, we all have a responsibility to continue to move towards a more peaceful planet. Please do not forget the saying, “Start local, go global”. We may feel small a lot of the time in terms of making changes, but showing yourself, your family, and your community you care goes a long way.

May you feel empowered on your journey in these tough times.

Blessings

 

No Longer Hide What’s Inside

We are so critical when we try to branch out of “ourselves” and let our hearts open–so worried about what others will think of us if we choose to do so. But in reality, we find it so brave and beautiful when somebody else does it first. 

We really are all brothers and sisters, inseparable at heart. Just different flavors of the God essence. Don’t be afraid to break the ice. 😉

Xoxo

Art Keeps Us Alive

Anything that is a way of channeling the creativity of oneself is an act of “art”. But, conveying yourself through art is not always simple. And when writing is your primary form of art, there is often a lot of judgment in the process. “Not good enough. Nobody would ever read this. I’m not making any sense. I shouldn’t have even picked up this pen.” As painful as writing can be sometimes, it’s worth it in the end. Essentially, whether or not anybody reads it, you have given yourself permission to create. Human beings–and their spirits–need to create. Without it, we can become lifeless, overly-anxious, depressed, immobile spirits. For artists in general, it is about letting our inner worlds come out.

I’m nearing the end of an awesome weekly women’s writing workshop I’ve been attending for a while. I’ve become connected to the people involved as well as gained personal inspiration as an artist. I think we have all learned to accept our unique writing styles (at least a little more than before) and to find joy in each other’s writing.  I have learned that writing is not just an expression of the self but an act of community. While it may seem like you are the only one there writing the piece in front of you–when you actually share it out loud to people around you (or through blog posts, etc), you often find that other people feel the same or at least find comfort in your words. And that is fulfilling.

Though I’ve always been a writer at heart, I’m new to being consistent with sharing my thoughts and feelings in a blog format. I express the thoughts in my head the best that I can. My intention is to inspire other people to believe in their creativity so that we can grow towards a more peaceful planet. I imagine a peaceful planet to be a world of acceptance in ourselves and others. We’re not there yet, clearly, but we always have another day to make things a little better. Writers, and artists of all sorts, I call on you to keep creating.

Xoxo

Blessings