One thing that I find absolutely admirable in others is the desire to want to be a better person, in any way. Whether it is a small improvement, or something on a larger scale, any improvement to self is a beautiful and worthy path. The act of simply desiring self-improvement, in any area, is proof that a person truly cherishes their journey and believes in a greater future for themselves. While there are many different approaches to begin a path of self-improvement, understand that the tools needed to succeed in any area are surprisingly constant. If you seek to improve yourself, take with you, and familiarize yourself with these 5 components of self-improvement.
You may have heard before that the only thing constant in life is change. Observing our own lives, we can all agree that this is true. We go through physical changes that give us obvious clues on how to react to change, but sometimes, mental and emotional changes don't provide such obvious clues. So what happens when it is time to let go of some things in the midst of our changes? How do we know that it is time to let go? Knowing when to let go of some things and welcome change is essential. Read on for four clues that let you know that it is time to let go!
Confession: Over the years, I may have grown into a "peace extremist". It's almost a scary way to think, because I wonder if I'd become addicted to protecting my peace at ALL costs. When I've truly mastered the art of protecting my peace at all costs, what would it look like? Well, admittedly, past efforts of protecting my peace have looked a bit whacky from far off. Waking up and getting rid of a car, tossing away almost my whole wardrobe (read all about it here), uprooting myself from my home in a day, going miles and miles for walks just to clear my mind (not recommended), loving someone from a distance, starting from scratch in my social life...it's nearly frightening to think that it could get more extreme than that. However truthfully, protecting your peace doesn't need to be so complicated at all. It can be the simple ways that you protect your peace which can have major impact.
With October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it's only right for us to bring light and focus to an issue that plagues so many. Domestic violence is one that does not discriminate, and can effect anyone at any time. Whether physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, verbal, or financial, none is more innocent than the other, and the fact remains...love shouldn't hurt!
While it is a major victory to escape a situation of domestic violence, the abuse can still hurt even after the abused person moves on. Often times, feelings of regret, shame, guilt, sadness, anger and more linger on. Luckily, there are a number of things that one can do to begin the healing process of past abuse, read on for four ways to do just that.
Everyone has one, wether we were born into it, or have to do a little soul searching to discover it. It's our calling, or purpose. Unfortunately, the system of the world that we live in does not always promote the discovery of our own life's purpose. We're presented with distractions and detours daily that help us serve someone else's purpose, while existing without being fully satisfied with our own lives. Those distractions give birth to small, intagible nuicances that blocks us from pursuing our own unique calling. What are they? Read on for the 6 major blocks that keep you from pursuing your purpose and how to get rid of them!
Rigidness. When we believe that we've caught on to our purpose(s) in life, we can sometimes become rigid along our path. We know what outcome we want, and we keep that image ingrained in our minds and drive away any other possibilities. The journey of life requires flexibility. Try letting go of expectations and how you "think" things should look, be, and come about. Your purpose isn't necessarily complicated, a big show, celebrity status, or society-approved thing, so take some pressure off of yourself. Be flexible, embrace the fact that your purpose is a journey and not a destination, and enjoy life. Always remember this.
You may have heard it said that your biggest critic and sometimes enemy is the person in the mirror. That statement couldn't be more than true. We move through society with more than enough ideas and things presented to us that urge us to criticize ourselves, think low of ourselves, and dislike ourselves. Picture yourself in a boxing ring with none other than yourself...yes, now you have a vivid representation of what it is like to be your own worst critic and enemy. Are you fighting yourself? In this article, discover four traits that are evidence of being at war with self!
Impatience With Self.
Patience is a thing that is tested in each person at one point in life. While impatience is normal, it takes peace with self to understand and acknowledge that our journey will require us to be patient with self. If you find that you beat yourself up, look at more of the bad side of your actions rather than the good, and are too often frustrated with the timing of things in your life, then you may lack patience with yourself. Try accentuating the positive, looking on the bright side, and trusting your journey.
Have you ever found yourself running into the same inconveniences and problems at no one else's fault other than your own? I know I've experienced this plenty of times! This is a perfect example of what it's like to experience the results of self-sabotage. Self-sabotage is when we block our own great efforts via subconscious effort. Why? It's sinply because of deep-seated fear, and clinging to comfort. Think about the ways in which you self-sabotage, write them down, and create new habits that will counteract those self-sabotaging actions.
Taking Steps That Are Just Too Big.
You may have found the urge to force yourself into major change quickly, or to take major leaps. While it's possible, sometimes, we are meant to take big leaps, but baby steps to our destination. If you find that you rarely follow through on the goals and expectations you've set for yourself, then this may be a clear indicator that you need to slow down, take things step by step, and remember that the race isn't won by the swift, but by those who endure. Persistence.
Have you ever considered that you may be forcing yourself to do something that your soul and natural design cares nothing about? If not, go back and look at the things that you keep trying to integrate into your lifestyle, but keep failing at. The truth is, weight lifting at a gym may look cool and ideal, but maybe your natural design only responds best to body weight or outdoor workouts. You may feel like you belong in a certain profession because of your educational background, or others' expectations of you, but maybe you've outgrown that path, and need to follow your natural design and divine path. Begin asking yourself questions about the things that you may be forcing onto yourself. Slow sown and take careful observation.
So you want to make some changes with yourself (or already have), or move in a new direction that others may not suspect. However, you didn't quite figure that criticism from others, sometimes even near and dear to you, would be a part of the deal. The truth is, criticism is not necessarily a thing that we can escape. People and opinions exist, and people have every right to their own opinions, whether you like it or not. But you may wonder why the good changes that you make are so unwelcomed by others. You thought they'd be optimistic about it just like you. Well, because that's not always the case, here are three reasons why your good changes are not always celebrated by others.
1. They're comfortable with past versions of you.
Some people can't quite process the changes you've made, but more importantly, they can't process how you've done it without their expectation, awareness, and permission. In essence, you're ruining the image that they have always held in their head of you. Past versions of you kept you predictable, and fitting just right in the puzzle of the mind's of others. Your change has thrown them off of their square and they likely feel like they no longer "have you right where they want you".
2. It makes them uncomfortable.
When you change, even for the better, it can make others uncomfortable for various reasons. You may be seen as a "challenge" or "threat" to them. In reality, you may only be an inspiration, but for people whose spirits are rebellious to changes that could better them, it can be difficult to process. Although this can make you feel guilty or uncomfortable, you can't use it as a reason to dim your light (something that most people do). Instead, be patient with others, loving, genuine, and give them the benefit of the doubt despite their reactions.
3. You No Longer Serve Their Ego.
Sometimes, the role that you play in others' lives serves them perfectly, even if it depletes you, or barely serves your own life. When you switch things up, you are no longer a source of supply, and that could destroy the sense of entitlement, comfort, and sometimes control that they may have (or feel that they have) with you. That, however, shouldn't be a major worry. You need to get used to and see the importance of self love before fulfilling some expectations of others that diminish your happiness, worth, and value.
As an old saying goes, what others think of you is none of your business. The only thing that you are responsible for is how you react to them. You can't allow the opinions and discouragement of others to bother you to the point of neglecting positive changes that may separate you from the crowd.
Balance is Everything! As we've entered the last quarter of 2016, I've witnessed that many people have come to reflect on their goals and new year's resolutions made at the beginning of 2016. Should we see any failure of goals and/or resolutions, we must understand that it isn't due to the "fact" that we aren't capable of making changes or improvements, but it is the fact that we lack the proper knowledge of how to do so. A major missing part of that knowledge is the knowledge of the power of simple consistency. Consistency is key, but consistency comes from inner and overstanding Balance. It is safe to say that balance is everything. Now, I have not perfected or mastered the concepts of balance, but I am aware of just how desperately it is needed in my own life (awareness is key), therefore my own observation and experience is currently my teacher.
It is not enough to hear and know that balance is everything; we need also to have a full innerstanding as to why balance is everything. As I was listening to India Arie's song "Come Back to The Middle" recently, I was reminded of balance and its importance. Balance allows us to restore and "come back to the middle", as Arie's song described on her debut album. Many of us lose our balance often because we cannot shake our habits of inconsistency, failing to plan, procrastination, squandering time, and acting without intention. When coming "back to the middle", we don't fall on either side of anything, but in the middle in perfect balance, understanding of both sides, knowledgeable and welcoming to all that each day has to offer.
Being in the middle allows us to weigh each thing that enters our life in equality, to be present, and to avoid the rush of life. I recently noticed in the middle of a hectic week that everything seemed to be a rush. I then noticed of course that my week hadn't honored balance. I have always known about balance and its importance, but knowing and acting are two totally different things which yield two totally different results.
Once we master consistency, effective planning, being productive, and acting with intention, we will then invite balance into our lives. Once balance comes into our lives, we progress and move forward, we are more relaxed, we are not rushed or playing catch-up, and we are not pulled hectically in different directions by life. Life then works with us, and all forms of imbalance cease and leave. Even inconsistent people, events, and relationships begin to cease.
As I invite even more balance into my life, I am grateful for the epiphanies and revelations of balance with the realization that we must take small steps towards mastery. Take small steps toward balance by developing consistency in daily life events. Balance truly is everything!
By: Saudia M.
Adult life! I often hear may adults confirm that the rush to become an adult that we all have experienced as kids is not all it is hyped up to be. Perhaps it is due to the responsibilities, the knowledge that holds us responsible, or the pressure to "act as an adult". Perhaps it is merely due to perception. How do we as adults perceive adulthood to be? As we allow various things to flood the perception of our adult lives, it makes for a world of confusion and misconception. While there are many misconceptions that we adapt as adults, I've pinpointed the five most prominent.
1. There is a such thing as "acting your age"
We've heard it before: "act your age, not your shoe size". And we are quickly reminded to retreat back into our adult demeanor. Certainly, toting a bottle is out of the question, but adults keep the silliest misconceptions about what it means to "act grown up". Despite their intuitions, their needs, and their interests, grown-ups can be seen forcibly trying to "dress the part", go where grown folks ideally go, and take on grown up interests to appear more "grown" at society's approval.
2. Money equates success.
With being an adult, responsibilities reach their height. Often times, these responsibilities involve finances, expenses, and bills. With this being true, it is understood why being more money-minded comes with being an adult. However, instead of equating a savvy financial lifestyle with successful money management, we tend to equate it with overall success.
3. There is a Module for Life.
As I entered the adult stages of life, I have witnessed myself and my peers stress out over what we think life is "supposed to" be like. As young adults progress through life, there is a tendency to believe that there is an example of a "perfect" and "in order" life that can allow us to measure our live's progress. Truth is, there isn't. We all walk different paths and serve very different purposes and therefore, our lives will differ from others.
4. Age Defines Wisdom.
I learned some time ago that some of the most simple lessons that we overlook can be taught by a person of any age. I've also learned that learning never stops. Wisdom is no gift that increases with age progression. Experience is the only thing that typically increases with age progression. Wisdom derives from perception and the ability to process the experience and react accordingly for one's own evolution and enlightenment.
5. Enjoyment Is Not a Priority.
"Those boring adults". I'm sure that's what the children think of us. Why? For some odd reason, we lock ourselves into a life void of enjoyment with the belief that it hinders our intelligence, professionalism, and productivity. We should consider enjoyment a priority in our lives. Life is truly for living, and can be a source of stress relief, enlightenment, and self-cultivation if we allow it to be.
With all of this being said, will you be coloring in your blanket fort later today or playing outdoors? Tell me about it in the comments section!
By: Saudia M.
As we mature in this life, experiences teach us to react differently to the situations that arise and the occurrences that we've seen time and time again. It's almost fair to say that if we stay the course of maturity, and effectively apply our "life lessons", that we can learn to live with and maintain peace. It is, without a doubt, a trait that shows spiritual maturity. For those who have only just reached that level of spiritual maturity, or those who may be looking in from the outside, it may be perceived that a "spiritually aware" life consists of a 24/7 natural high and the physical ability to "poof be gone" and transcend the b.s. that life can bring. Well, that's simply not the truth. Even in opting to maintain our maturity, and to live a life based on spiritual principles, there's still the urge to lose composure, give someone a few "choice words", or react in retaliation.
As a "spiritually aware" person, should you soak in b.s. with a smile? Be a pushover? Never voice your opinion? Not necessarily. I believe that it is sometimes necessary to repel negative energy to protect your own energy. Is it possible? Definitely! Find out with these 6 ways to "Do No Harm, But Take No Shit".
1. Mind Your Business
Plainly put, mind your business. Admittedly, it can be tempting to not mind your own business when bombarded with gossipers, events that strike society as "important", and even our beloved social media which encourages "in everyone's business" tendencies, but minding your business can preserve your energy and repel the bullshit. Minding your business offers less room for opinions, keeps you out of unnecessary confrontations, and keeps you less likely to step in some bullshit.
2. Make Peace a Priority.
You'd be surprised at how many people expect peace, but have not realized that it is given to those who honor it. Honoring peace brings it closer to you. One way to do that is by having peaceful intent. Once you set the intention to be a peaceful person, you realize that peace becomes both a priority and your responsibility. Opt to bring peace to situations, to be a peaceful individual, and to find peace in any storm.
3. Set Firm Standards.
Nothing invites the bullshit of others in more than weak and wavering standards. Setting and always holding to standards for every area of your life is one of the most powerful things that you can do. When your standards are specific and set, and they bend to accommodate the comfort of others, then people can come into your life and convince you to accept their b.s., too much will be demanded of you, and you will likely be mistreated. Avoid the b.s. by clearly communicating with yourself what you will and will not tolerate in any area of your life.
4. Know When to Say "No"
This ties in slightly to setting firm standards. Learning to say "No" is a simple, yet powerful skill. It draws the line between yourself and others who may try to tear you apart from your standards in order to get you to accept their b.s. Knowing when to say "no" deals with setting boundaries. In any association, partnership, or relationship, setting boundaries can be a healthy practice. Remembering the firm standards you've set can allow you to measure when boundaries are being pushed out too far. In the event that boundaries are being stretched, then a person can easily know when to say "no". Know when to say "no"m and actually mean it.
5. Apply the "Golden Rule"
Ultimately in this world, what you give is what you will get in one way or another. This is simply the Universal Law of Reciprocity. As the "Golden Rule" says, treat others how you'd want to be treated. When you want to keep the peace in your own life, your actions towards others should reflect that. Seeing yourself inside of everyone else will drastically change your attitude, perception, and actions towards them. If you haven't already, try it.