Stop running from your pain.

“Suffering is not caused by pain but by resisting pain.” ~Unknown

Pain. Grief. Sadness.

We hate it, these are ugly words in our society. One of humans first basic instincts is to avoid being hurt, and since we all would like to avoid the breaking or losing of limbs on a daily basis it’s definitely safe to say avoiding pain, for the most part, is crucial for our survival.

I gratefully have never broken any bones. I have been in some pretty bad car accidents and got banged up a little but that’s about it. On the other hand, I could fill rivers with the tears I’ve cried over getting my heart broken,

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losing friends and loved ones,

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being uber disappointed when something I REALLY wanted didn’t work out.

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But I survived, and I THOUGHT I became stronger for it until I read the Invitation by Oriah.

The Invitation

After I got to this section I couldn’t even finish the book because I did some serious self-reflecting….. I realized I wasnt this strong enduring person like I thought I was, I was just numb, numb af. & I was negative because I thought that was the best way to guard myself. You can’t be disappointed if you don’t look forward to anything right?

We try to avoid pain by ignoring our emotions or dismissing them.

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We try to numb the pain with drugs and liquor.

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We isolate ourselves.

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We cut or burn ourselves, or engage in other kinds of self-harm.

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This is no way to live.

Pain, grief, sadness, are as a part of life and the overall life experience as much as the things that bring us joy. I remember when my sister died I just wanted to “get her funeral over with” to get out of that awkward uncomfortableness that comes when someone really close to you dies.

Let me be the one to tell you that you can spend every day hating every moment of pain you endure.

You can fight tooth and nail to escape the experience.

Yet, your resistance and anger will not lessen your pain.

If anything, your struggle will only increase it.

Each us will someday face the experience of unavoidable emotional, mental, or physical pain. Whether mild or excruciating, how we approach our physical suffering can change how we approach any discomfort in our lives.- Sarah Needles

Much like to you let your joy ride out or your happiness you have to let your negative emotions run their course as well.

When we fight the pain: judge it, try to push it away, avoid it, ignore it, it actually triggers other painful emotions, resulting in more emotional pain.” We also never learn healthy ways to cope. – Sheri Van Dijk, MSW

Sitting with our emotions simply means allowing them, resisting the urge to get rid of the pain and not judging ourselves for having these emotions.

Ways to Cope with pain: 

1. Observe your emotions.

Sit with your emotions by noting what you’re experiencing without judging yourself.

2. Validate your emotions.

Validating your emotions means accepting them. If you just lost someone or broke up with a boyfriend you have every reason to feel sad.

3. Focus on the present.

It’s also helpful to focus our attention on now and not wallowing in the experience. This prolongs the pain.

Understand that:

  • Resistance creates more pain
  • its okay to cry or be sad
  • Pain is unavoidable
  • Give yourself time
  • Let go of “control”
  • You need to suffer “consciously” (Observe your emotional pain, your anguish, and frustrations. Observe the constant stream of negative thoughts that run through your mind. The dreadful stories that keep feeding your pain, but choose not to identify yourself with them.)
  • Give time, time.
  • Spend time alone
  • Reach out for help if needed.

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Watch the Thinker

Because

YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS!

I know you guys have probably grown tired of me quoting Eckart Tolle but I cant stop because my life has improved so much from reading this book!

Tolle says something in his book about “watching the thinker” and its because most of us let our mind and thoughts take over and become so consumed in them we think we are our mind.

Ive got great news for you, you arent! Your mind is only one component that is you.  We have to watch our thoughts because they can breed so much negativity if we let it. For those of us that suffer from anxiety or depression, we know how one bad thought can send us into the abyss of worry and have us thinking about problems and issues that dont exist, what if’s, natural disaster scenarios, etc (having anxiety can get a little crazy sometimes).

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The trick is to separate yourself from your mind when that starts to happen and be more present in the moment. To “Watch the thinker”

“Watching the thinker is essentially a technique that allows you to maintain a very present state by stepping outside of your mind and watching all of its crazy fantasies and delusions.” – fredtracy 

I was trying to think of an analogy to explain it and the best I could think of was the glass half full and half empty scenario.

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The cup half full or half empty reveals your tendency to judge a situation as positive or negative.  If you see a glass half empty, you would tend to put a negative spin on the situation indicating you are focusing on the part of the glass that’s empty. Pessimistic.

If you see a glass half full, you would tend to put a positive, hopeful spin on the same situation, focusing on how much water there is in the glass as a plus.  After all, at least its not empty.  You have that much water to enjoy.   There is a presence of gratitude and motivation. Optimistic.


While its obviously better to be optimistic. What both of these people fail to see is the bigger picture. The watcher understands that the glass is neither half full or half empty it just is. The watcher knows not to get hung up on such trivial things because even though the glass is resting at whatever level its at now. Its overall capacity is greater than half full or half empty.

The watcher understands that the cups function is to be filled and to be emptied and to be filled again because that is the life and nature of a cup. So they would never waste time thinking so much about a cup being a cup! Its whole purpose it to hold ANY amount of water up to its brim.

 

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Think about it… Like REALLY think about it…

 

Unhappiness-thinking-quote-Eckhart-Tolle


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Are you happy being unhappy?

You probably had to reread that title a couple of different times because who could possibly be happy being unhappy? To be honest it’s more common than you think. So many of us blame our unhappiness on our life circumstances. “I dont have enough money, I didnt have good parents, I didnt have support growing up. If my spouse or family or friends would only do this then I would be happy. Once I get my degree Ill be happy”

Blah

Blah

Blah.

The only person that is in control of your happiness is you.

An article by Psychology Today states that people who are addicted to unhappiness tend to:

  • Find reasons to be miserable when life gets “too good.”
  • Prefer to play the victim role and blame others rather than take personal responsibility for their choices.
  • Compete with friends and colleagues to see who has it the hardest.
  • Have difficulty setting and achieving goals, or conversely achieve goals only to find that they can’t enjoy their success.
  • Struggle to bounce back when things don’t go their way.
  • Distract, escape or cope by using drugs, alcohol, sex, food, or other addictive or compulsive behaviors.
  • Stop taking care of their basic needs, such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep.
  • Feel enslaved to their emotions and powerless to change.
  • Feel dissatisfied even when life is going well.
  • Have dramatic, unfulfilling relationships.

Similarly, LonerWolf reports that:

People find it hard to let go of things that make them miserable because they also bring them some type of pleasure. It can come in many forms:

  • Sympathy: Our society and social etiquette encourages sympathy as a form of virtue. If you complain about being sick, about struggling with a personal problem, there’s always a sympathetic ear to listen and offer “you poor thing” and “awww”s that will make you feel special and indulge your egotistical need of acknowledgment and attention.
  • Desires and Expectations: This is attaching yourself to a misery now in order that your future desires will occur. For instance, you might have some ambition to achieve that is bringing you present miseries. So your expectations of the future are the things causing you problems in the present.  Things aren’t going the way you presumed they would.

I was inspired to write on this subject because I am reading the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and there is a section in the book entitled “All Problems are Illusions of the Mind” the book states that there are no problems, only situations to be dealt with now or to be left alone and accepted as part of the “isness” of the present moment until they change or can be dealt with. Problems are mind-made and they need time to survive.

A “problem” by most people’s standards is “an active relationship (a relationship that extends over a period of time) between a human being and a situation that triggers a negative emotion.

For example:

If you stub your toe and have an instant of pain, that’s not a problem. It’s an event.

It only becomes a problem when the pain lasts an extended period of time. Then you’ve probably broken your toe.

If you’re not in pain beyond that instant, then you don’t expend any effort to reducing the pain. You never look for a solution.

IF YOU ARE NOT ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR A SOLUTION YOU DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM. 

Im not saying complications and things dont arise but in the words of Eckart Tolle “challenges exist, but problems are mind-made. Challenges are something that can only be tackled in the present moment and require action.”

You’ll find that most unhappy people have a solution right in front of them but for whatever reason, they choose to obsess and worry about it instead (in comes the anxiety).

If you’re someone with a “problem” for every solution, you probably enjoy being unhappy.

 

You Are Not Your Mind.

In the English language, the brain and mind have almost become synonymous.

We are multilayered beings, we are so complex that even in all the years we have been on this earth we have yet to have a full understanding of ourselves and therefore we can never truly experience the world. The trick to living a fulfilled life is nurturing each layer of ourselves, the mind, body and the soul (consciousness). Merriam-Webster dictionary defines mind, body, and soul as:

Definition of mind

  1. 1:  recollection, memory keep that in mind time out of mind

  2. 2a :  the element or complex (see 1complex 1) of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and especially reasons.

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Definition of body

  1. 1a :  the main part of a plant or animal body especially as distinguished from limbs and head

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Definition of soul

  1. 1:  the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life

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An article by Loner Wolf states that “there’s a divine driving force guiding us all known as Spirit. Spirit uses the mind to create an identity (the “Self”) in order to aid our survival.

This “Self” (or ego) you possess, is composed of all the memories you have that you identify as belonging to “you,” e.g. your name, your nationality, your political/religious beliefs, your life ambitions, what you’ve grown to like and dislike, and all the personality characteristics that are the result of your environmental experiences or genetics.

Most people go through life believing that they are this story, believing that they are the thoughts they are thinking, instead of the essence that is experiencing those thoughts”.


The body, along with the mind (brain) will one day cease to exist (death). To attribute yourself solely to your mind is to say that when you die you lose yourself completely.  Some of us have become so obsessed with the ego that our mind becomes us because we can’t stop thinking. To put things into perspective:

” If our conscious experience of life was a cinema, most of us would be so absorbed in the movie that we would forget who was actually the person sitting in the chair watching that movie. It’s this subtle shift in awareness from being the movie to watching the movie that we can refer to as the Soul”.

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A person who identifies with, and believes themselves to be their passing thoughts and emotions, will suffer in life much more than a person who has found the centered of their being, their Soul.


 

New App Alert: FreeSpot

 

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“As the cost of college grows, research shows that so does the number of hungry and homeless students at colleges and universities across the country”. If you’re a college student reading this look around.

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We joke about the struggle a lot and complain about on campus food choices, etc. But did you realize that some of your peers may not even have sucky campus food as an option and may be going hungry every night?

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The sad reality is:

 

Daryl Holman wanted to be a part of the solution to this growing problem and developed FreeSpot, an app to help connect users to free resources.

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Creator: Daryl Holman

1.What was the inspiration behind starting this project?

Growing up middle class, there will be many things that will make you feel like you made it, but others that remind you the struggle is still real. So while my parents were able to provide a car for me, I had no money to eat lunch at school. Not qualifying for free and reduced lunch and my friend having a similar situation, we would literally hang out near the trash can in the lunchroom and stop people before they threw away their food because we saw so much food was going to waste. Fast forward to college, I would always keep an eye

Fast forward to college, I would always keep an eye out for events that were going on in the student center just to see which events listed there would be free food or seemed like there would be free food because I just didn’t have it at home.

 

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Whether it was the pantry they provided at school or any of the countless overpriced luncheons hosted on our campus, the story was the same; things some people were in desperate need of, others were letting go to waste. While stumbling upon a free meal or a couch on the side of the road when I had no money to purchase furniture made me happy in the moment, I never lost sight of finding a way to change the way we utilize the resources we have and learning to rethink what we do when we no longer need them.

2.Is creating an app complicated? What all went into taking the app from an idea to an actual application that can be downloaded in the app store?

Its actually still in development. So there’s still a lot on the horizon I still have yet to encounter but there’s many people in my network who have gone through it before who should help simplify the process.

3.Does your app rely on other people to donate or submit freebies in order for it to work? Or will someone there be doing research on free items?

It will include both, so FreeSpot definitely isn’t the first app or site that allows people to share things for free, but what my competition has failed to do is change the way people use their platforms.

Currently, what’s on the market is very need-based, so you look when you need something and you post when you have something that you either seriously don’t want to waste or its very annoying and you need it outside of your space. Through sponsorship, the plan is to utilize our partners to help encourage more frequent usage so sharing happens more often.

4.Is this app restricted to a particular group of people (ex. Low income?)

No restriction on users, I think everyone has something to offer to the people around them, yet at the same time something they could use from them as well.

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5. How will you determine if someone qualifies for the services?

All are qualified, all are encouraged. Lol

 did you/are you financing your app?

Personally and through the contributions of people in my network.

7.What are some of the apps best features?

I think the apps best feature is the network it allows you to build, the coolest features are top secret actually, I will release it closer to the release date but I promise they wont disappoint. Lol

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8.Why should people download this app?

I’m someone who loves sharing EVERYTHING and doing it at no cost. I think that energy is definitely apparent in the how things will operate so in short, it will be an app that puts no limits on building up our communities and the people in it.

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 can people who want to donate things for free get involved?

There’s a donate button on the website, and whatever contribution is made will definitely help with promotion and bringing resources to users but I’m also looking for businesses interested in contributing to the platform.

10. How exactly can a business get involved and contribute? 

By making a donation, becoming a strategic partner on an initiative or buying equity in the organization.


Want to Get Involved? 

You could be a part of a solution to a growing problem amongst our peers. Be sure to

FOLLOW FREESPOT:

On their website at 

For instant updates follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dwnloadFreeSpot

or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/downloadfreespot/

 


Thanks for Reading. 

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21 Day Detox for Mindfulness

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Lately, I have been really into holistic health and healing due to some stomach issues and my terrible non-existent appetite. From my reading, I came across something called mindfulness, and the mind-gut connection.

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Mindful.org

“Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful”.

Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. Some of the benefits from practicing mindfulness include:

  1. Stress reduction
  2. Helps you sleep better
  3. Facilitation of recovery
  4. Decreases depression

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If you suffer from anxiety or depression or are lucky enough to have both like me, this 21-day detox is for you. You may be wondering how does a gut detox and being present in the moment (mindfulness) correlate…..

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“Dr. Anthony Komaroff of Harvard Medical Schools explains that the answer is pretty simple: your brain and your gut are best buds. They’re in constant communication with each other, sending signals back and forth when your brain OR your stomach is distressed. Specifically, they’re connected through the Enteric Nervous System, or the ENS, which has over 100 million nerves running directly from your brain … to your stomach. So emotional distress can cause a distressed gut AND, strangely enough, a distressed gut can also cause emotional distress. It’s a two way street”.

-SYDNEY LEVIN, AOL.COM

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Have you ever “gone with your gut”? or got “butterflies” in your stomach when you were nervous? That’s because of your enteric nervous system (ENS) aka your second brain, and its hidden within the walls of your digestive system. Are you constantly sick? tired? in a bad mood? or flat out have been told you have a condition? ( I have IBS) If yes, the culprit may be in your gut.

Signs you have an unhealthy gut: 

♥ (I suffer from this symptom)
  • Digestive issues (bloating, gas, diarrhea) ♥
  • Anxiety ♥
  • Depression ♥
  • Mood Swings/Irritability ♥
  • Skin problems
  • Food allergies/sensitivities
  • Diabetes
  • Frequent infections ♥
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Poor memory and poor concentration ♥

I have tried talk therapy, I have tried medication (which has made things better), but now I think its time to up the ante. I will be doing this detox through an elimination diet and practicing mindfulness with the hope of bringing my body back in balance.


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For 21 days I will be abstaining from: 

  • Processed foods (sugar, white flour, etc)
  • Foods containing preservatives
  • Artificial sugars
  • Saturated and Trans Fat
  • Red meat
  • Pork
  • Dairy
  • Television
  • Social media (outside of what necessary to promote my blog and business- so no leisure timeline scrolling or lurking)

I will be beginning the detox (today 4/4/17) and starting with a water flush. I will only be drinking water and detox tea for a complete 24 hours. Once that’s finished for 6 days I will not be eating any meat, just vegetables, and bone broth. For the remainder of the time, I will introduce chicken and fish back into my diet.

I have added television and social media to the list because I think they are huge distractions. You have to be VERY careful of the things you watch and listen too. Its so important to guard your spirit and since I anticipate some initial discomfort as my body fights off its addiction to sugar and whatever else its addicted too I want to stay away from anything that may upset me or unsettle my spirit.

For 21 days I will be: 

  • Reading
  • Praying
  • Meditating
  • Only drinking water and tea
  • Exercising
  • Yoga

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After 21 Days Ill check back in with my progress.


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Words of Advice Series: Advice to my younger self.

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I wanted to start an advice series because who else better to advise you than people who have went through the same situation themselves? I asked my Facebook friends if they could give some advice to their younger selves what would it be and these were the responses I got:

 

FB advice 1

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Message!

 

FB advice 2

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Seriously. Im a firm believer in this. Picking my split ends makes me happy =)

 

Fb advice 3

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Dont ignore the signs, the feeling, the vibe, etc. If you start feeling like something isnt right… its probably because its not. Trust yourself, and your intuition. ALWAYS

 

FB Advice 4

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Because self-love really is the best love.

FB advice 5

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Because so many of us think happiness is a gift we get bestowed upon us on occasion instead of realizing that its something you have to work towards every day.

FB advice 6

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Seriously, because paying bills, making your own doctors appointments, and making yourself eat vegetables to stay “healthy” is no fucking fun AT ALL.

fb advice 7

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Don’t get so caught up on acquiring “things” put that energy and money into creating new experiences for yourself. And if you make some mistakes on the way, you’re young plenty of time to right your wrongs. Just live.

fb advice 8

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This one is spot on, didn’t seem like it at the time, and of course she wasn’t right about everything but she sure knew more than I gave her credit for. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache just listening to your mother!

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One of my biggest mistakes. If only I had taken advantage of all the free money I was given as a child. Smh

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FB advice 10

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Because sometimes being an adult is lit.

fb advice 11

 

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Be sure to stop and smell the roses. Dont be in a rush to go nowhere!

fb advice 12

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More “mother knows best” advice. Its so important to listen and take heed to the things older and wiser people tell us. It just may stop you from doing something you regret….

Fb advice 13

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If I could go back I would totally go to a community college first. If I had I probably wouldn’t be $85,000 knee-deep in student loan debt.

Soul ties are very real, dont let the world talk you into having casual sex because you put your entire spirit and wellbeing at risk.

FB advice 14

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My type A personality is cringing at the thought but the fact of the matter is sometimes things wont work out and most times its because God has something better in store for you.

FB advice 15

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Exactly.


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