A few years back I had been very, very upset from an argument my husband and I had. I don’t remember the details of the argument, or why I was mad, I only remember the lessons I learned about how our energy is projected.
After the argument I was fuming and needed to calm down. I knew how I was feeling was unhealthy and I started thinking of what I could do to relax and get back to my normal state of mind. I remembered that there was a painting that I had been inspired by that I had noticed in the backdrop of a movie (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn). Because painting requires my undivided attention and is very therapeutic to me, that’s what I decided to do.
The painting was an abstract tribal painting. It was very cool and looked very expensive and I wanted to replicate this cool tribal look in my own style. The canvass was red and there was what looked like ancient symbols and shapes that had been painted on by finger. I painted the canvass a deep red with blended hues of orange and brown. I was beginning to calm down, but still found myself angry – so I carried on. Once the red paint was dry I started my tribal finger-painting experiment. I started in a random spot and added some thick wavy lines like I remembered seeing in the original painting. From there I added some shapes, a sideways eye, some more wavy lines, and then accented with dots throughout. I was now finished but not pleased at all. The painting didn’t look like what I was expecting – it looked amateur and cheap. Just then, something caught my eye… The sideways eye I had painted in particular. I looked at the painting and rotated it so the eye would be facing up and down. I took a step back and I was astonished at what I saw. It was a face! An ugly, angry, disturbing face looking right back at me. I had not intended to paint a face whatsoever and I was shocked at what I was seeing!
SERIOUS AH-HA MOMENT NO. 1: My angry energy was projected into the painting and with every stroke and I had created a mirror of my feelings at that moment in time.
SERIOUS AH-HA MOMENT NO. 2: The energy of the artist is always projected in the painting secretly reflecting the the artist’s thoughts and feelings in the picture. The inner-world of the person is always projected to the outer-world.
SERIOUS AH- HA MOMENT NO. 3: I couldn’t even bare to look at the painting. Now that I was calmed down and no longer angry, looking at the picture made me feel very uncomfortable. The mad energy had left me and was trapped in the painting. Just think of what would come if I held that anger inside? People do this all the time, they don’t release their feelings, they suppress them. I believe this is a huge part of what makes people sick.
SERIOUS AH-HA MOMENT NO. 4: Next time I want to paint a tribal painting I will watch the naked ladies on National Geographic for inspiration, I will be happy, and will listen to tribal music to set the exotic tribal mood. When I am feeling tribal, I will paint tribal.
At the time, I didn’t want to throw away the painting because of the ah-ha lessons I had experienced, but I couldn’t stand to look at it either, so I hid it away for the time being. I recently discovered it and told the story to some friends. Some of them commented that they thought it was cool. Others could feel the dark energy that encompassed it and asked me to turn the painting around. I personally don’t think it is a cool painting (I think it’s horrible and belongs in the crappy painting pile) and I can feel its darkness when I look at it. I have posted a picture of the painting below – what do you think about it? I have decided to get rid of it after today. It’s amazing how much energy we project into our environments when we carry strong emotional feelings. Next time you are really angry, or really happy – consider your surroundings that will be absorbing your projected energy is some way, shape or form.
I hope you connect with this video and make the decision to join me in the Green String Movement. It’s not easy to make life changes sometimes, especially if we’ve spent our life doing the opposite of what we are trying to achieve. But here’s the deal… it is possible to change but you have to really want it! I’m ready for a change! Are you? Just remember if you fall off your horse, jump back on that bad boy and keep going!
New Year’s resolutions don’t work – I know that, you know that… we all know that. It’s taken me 32 years but I actually came to my senses this year and made the firm decision not to waste any time on brainstorming, planning, implementation, tracking, cheating, relapsing, failing horribly, feeling like shit because I failed, self-talks to make me feel better, and then gradually going back to where I started. Nope. I’m not playing that game anymore! Instead, I gave my energy to designating a WORD OF THE YEAR! Yes, a single word that is assigned at the beginning of the year and will describe my year to come.
It’s strange because looking back I didn’t give much thought to what this year’s word would be. It was just there… It was obvious…. It made sense…. The word I designated for 2014 is AUTHENTIC. This word stays with me. It is something I think about often. It is something that I want to be. It is something I am learning. It is something that I am becoming.
It’s really interesting to watch the word Authentic unfold into my 2014. So much has changed in my life this year that truly supports the underlying meaning of the word and what it means to me. I started my first “group” based on the book The Art of Extreme Self Care in January. I was not sure what to expect and I am still finding myself surprised with each month’s challenges, but authenticity is at the core of this books teachings and I find myself growing in unexpected ways and discovering what I want from my life. I also started this blog which is helping me express my truth in writing for all to see and know – and in turn I am learning to let go of other people’s opinions and to own my story. I also made a decision to listen to my heart, and my life, and become a Life Coach which has been a pretty big game changer. I find comfort in knowing that it is the next logical step to following my path, but I also know deep down that it is only a small piece of what’s in store. In addition, my daily reading and studies have naturally gravitated towards books and lectures on authenticity (aside from The Art of Extreme Self Care). One book in particular, The Power of Vulnerability, Teachings on Authenticity, Connection and Courage, by Brené Brown, has been jam packed with encouraging insights, research and new information that I find mesmerizing. Here’s Brené’s definition of Authenticity. It’s pretty damn good.
Authenticity: The daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we actually are. Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries and to be vulnerable. Expressing compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of the strength and struggle. And nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough. Authenticity demands wholehearted living and loving even when it’s hard, even when we are wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we are afraid to let ourselves feel it. Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy and gratitude into our lives.
Authenticity Mantra:Don’t Shrink, Don’t Puff Up, Stand Your Sacred Ground
I’m not going to lie, being authentic has not been that easy for me. I usually put other people’s needs before mine, I don’t like disappointing, I want to feel accepted. But I am learning and I am determined. Authenticity is a choice that we have to make if we want to live fuller, richer, more enjoyable lives. It’s a choice to let ourselves be seen. It’s a choice to show up and keep it real. It’s a choice to be honest with others and ourselves. Authenticity is a collection of choices that we make every single day.
Would you consider yourself to be authentic? What does authenticity mean to you? What’s your word of the year? Do you hate New Year’s resolutions as much as I do? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Three years ago I weighed 216 voluptuous pounds and I was the most miserable person you had ever met. I had just given birth to my beautiful daughter and instead of fully enjoying her new arrival I wept in depression over the weight I had allowed myself to gain during pregnancy. There I was…. 216 pounds with 86 pounds to lose in order to get back to my pre pregnancy weight. And not only was my body grossly enlarged from what I had been beforehand, but there were rolls where there had never been, cellulite in places I didn’t even know I could get cellulite, and stretch marks were painted all over my stomach, hips, thighs and booty. I felt fat, ugly, and ashamed. LESSON UNO: The pregnant women and the moms in the parenting magazines were frauds! 5% (if that!) of women actually look like that while they are pregnant and after they have their baby. There is no such thing as a perfectly skinny woman after having a baby. AND if you do see one, it’s because the child was adopted! Plain and simple.
As soon as my stitches healed from my C-section I was outside speed walking laps around the neighborhood and as soon as I was able to I started jogging. That first jog is a painful memory. I remember feeling my entire body jiggle and bounce as each step pounded into the pavement. My breasts were ginormous from breast feeding and they hurt from lack of support in my sports bra. And within a few minutes I was completely winded unable to catch my breath. Again, the feeling of shame took over me as my eyes began to well with tears. I completely broke down on the side of the street and balled like a little girl 🙁 Working out was painful, extremely uncomfortable and I was so ashamed about how I felt, how I looked and what people may have thought of me for gaining all the weight I had gained.
LESSON DOS:For the first time in my life I was in “the other girl’s” shoes and I understood what it felt like to be overweight. I had grown up as one of those skinny bitches who ate whatever they wanted, never worked out and partied like a rock star. But those days were long gone… and now for the first time (so sadly) I realized what someone who is overweight might feel like; Depressed, defeated, exhausted, less than, and ashamed that I wasn’t like what society said I was supposed to look like.
At that time in my life I was a stay at home mom and so every day I hit up the gym forcing myself to run and figure out how to use the exercise equipment. After a few months I was seeing results, but not fast enough. Something had to be done and I was DESPERATE!! However, there were two words that spelled hope for me: PlasticSurgery. By month 10 post pregnancy I was in surgery for liposuction of the stomach, hips, upper and lower back, inner and outer thighs. I had tried signing up for arms too, but my doctor wouldn’t agree to it because it was too much at once. In all of my consultations the doctors and staff assured me that the procedure would be painless, with little to no bruising and that after the fact I would feel very sore like I was recovering from a hard workout. “This is going to be BREEZE! HOT BODY HERE I COME!” I thought.
Before the procedure I was given a couple of pills for sedation – for I would be completely awake and conscious during the entire procedure. I will save you the details of how disgusting it was, but let me just say it was horrible and soooooo-o-o-o-o freaking painful that I cried in agony throughout the entire operation. Painless my ass!LESSON TRESS: If you are removing any part of your body it is going to hurt like hell and you will be sore like mother fucker for a very long time.
After a few months the swelling had gone down dramatically and my new figure was taking its shape. I felt good, but not great like I had anticipated. There were lumps and dents in certain areas on my stomach and thighs where they had taken too much out or not enough. I consulted the doctor on three occasions when he pretty much gave me bullshit answers about water retention, swelling, etc., etc. LESSON CUATRO: I was STILL not happy after all that I had gone through. I started thinking about the fact that I had never been happy about my figure. Even when I was skinny I felt fat, dis-proportioned and displeased about my body. I would always find something to not like – my feet were too big, my stomach too chubby, my hips too wide, my arms not firm enough, my thighs too big… and so on. I realized that if I wanted to feel happy about my body then I was going to have to accept it just the way that it was and continue to move forward with a healthier lifestyle. I learned (and still am learning) to love myself just the way that I am – perfectly imperfect.
Almost a year later I was about 90% healed and I really wanted to participate in a 5k run to challenge myself and to carry out my healthy living plan, but I couldn’t find anyone to join me. So I just signed up and planned to do it by myself! I was intimidated, don’t get me wrong, but this was something I was set on doing. LESSON SINCO: If you really want to do something, just do it! If you wait around for someone else, you may be waiting forever… don’t let your life pass you by because you are scared to try something new. Just do it and chances are once you commit to your new venture it will encourage others to join you.
After having the plastic surgery I felt much better about working out and it motivated me to want to eat healthier, learn new healthy recipes, continue working out and challenging myself, learning new ways to work out like rock climbing and swimming. It’s like I had a jump-start into my new life. Heck, I even did a triathlon! LESSON SEIS: The good that came from my plastic surgery: confidence and a jump start into a new healthy living lifestyle.
Would I recommend plastic surgery to someone else? Absolutely! Not because of the direct results of “looking” better, but because so much more was gained from the experience. A new realistic understanding of my body, compassion for others with weight issues, priceless insight that I learned about loving and accepting myself, motivation to have healthier eating habits and to work out in different and exciting ways was some of the unexpected side effects of having the plastic surgery. New perspectives were gained that will forever shape the way I live now.
What do you think about plastic surgery? Would you get it? If you’ve already had a procedure do you recommend it? Why or why not? I look forward to hearing your comments below!
I recently broke up with a few friends (6 to be exact) and I have to say that it was very bitter-sweet. It was bitter because I knew I would miss out on future fun times that we would have spent together if we still were friends. The going out, the girl’s nights, the parties, the lunches, the meeting up after a long day of work for a cocktail… ahhhh reminisce… Don’t get me wrong, they will be missed for those reasons.
But I realized that those 6 friendships had no true substance, no depth and MOST importantly, those friends did not support my dream. It’s not that they had anything against my dream; it’s just that they didn’t get it… at all. They may have nodded in agreement and smiled when I told them my plans, but there was no true and sincere underlying support in our friendship. That’s when I decided that people in my life who do not truly support me and my vision do not need to be taking up space from those who do.
It wasn’t easy to do, especially since one of them I was friends with for a very long time. But over time each relationship has faded in its own unique way. I wasn’t rude about our break-up, and I didn’t actually say “Hey, you suck and I’m breaking up with you!” I just asked the universe to do it’s thang and put distance between us so that we can each go happily about on our way. I’m a meditator and a big time visualizer, so I also worked this into my daily routine for a couple of weeks and it worked well! I also found peace in knowing that we are each on our own unique journeys, that there are no wrong ways only different ways. And if I want to honor my path then this was something that had to be done.
It’s so important to take time to stop and evaluate our relationships with others. If you have people in your life that don’t support your dreams and best interests in life then how can there be room in your schedule for new friends that will? No company is better than bad company.
It’s not that I don’t plan to ever go out again after work for that cocktail, or have a party, or go to a girl’s night out, I just plan to do these things with people that I know truly support my vision and who share the same values. I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions about the friends in your life:
Do they know the names of my parents, significant other or pets?
Do our gatherings always include alcohol?
Do I do things that get me in trouble or put me in danger when I am with them?
Do they really understand me and my aspirations?
Do they volunteer to help me with things going on in my life?
Am I always taking the initiative to call them or make plans?
Do we have the same values?
Do they talk badly about other friends when we hang out?
So what do you think? Any breakups coming your way? Any tips on how you already broke up with a friend? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post in the comments section below.