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10thousandthingseternal

Balance, Happiness, Peace

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Reconnecting

I get pretty down in the colder months of the year. It’s getting better each year but it’s still not great. I often disconnect with myself, who I want to be, and the things I love. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my boyfriend, but maybe too much. Like I wrote in my last post I haven’t been hiking, weightlifting, or done anything I usually love to do. Struggling with this internal struggle I realized that maybe it’s time to practice Wu Wei. There is such a thing as trying too hard.

So the last few days I started reading a new book, spending time alone, playing games I like, and today I took my dogs on a walk in the woods. I wouldn’t quite call it hiking but with snow sill on the ground I thought it would be fine. They really enjoyed it as did I.

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It’s jut a little bit but I can feel myself getting better and returning to the person I really want to be. This is a short post but I feel good and I wanted to write about it.

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Self Talk

Sometimes it’s hard to believe in yourself.

Believing in myself is something I have struggled with since…forever. It’s not like I didn’t have the mom who told me “You can be anything!” I just never believed her. In the past, especially as a teenager, I clung onto the negative. I clung onto the words of the people who told me “No” or made me feel silly for asking questions. I did this for a long time, even into college. However, while in high school I was given a tool by my first counselor that would help me eventually overcome this. She told me about how children hear the negative and remember the negative for more than the positive. I’ve thought about this again and again and still think about it today. It reminds me to not cling to those negative words.

As life goes, however, I sometimes still fail at doing so.

Even with my newly discovered self have those days where I doubt myself and hear only the negative things people say. Of course this is normal. As the Tao says, sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down, but I’d like to make these days far and few between. In my opinion they still show up too often.

I’m going somewhere with this. Really.

Well I’ve noticed that even with all of my positivity (which is apparently not a word?) I’m still very very bad at self talk. You know, those conversations you have with yourself. For me they usually end up like this: “You’re not good enough. No matter what you do it’s never enough. You’re ugly. You’ll never accomplish any of your goals. What makes you think you can do that?” and it goes on…. Pretty bad…I know. But I’m aware that it’s terrible. Would you ever say this to anyone else? If you would, you’re not a very nice person, but most people wouldn’t. So why say these things about yourself?

I started thinking about it a while back and thought, “Maybe I’ve heard it so much from people that I started to believe it.” That makes sense. It’s does happen, but that’s not why I say these things to myself because nobody has ever said those things to me before. No one but me. So where does it come from? This is something I explored with my last counselor and we came to the conclusion that I’m somewhat a perfectionist and I hate failure. So, here how that works for me. I want to be the best at something but if there is someone better than me instead of working to reach the same level I give up before I can fail. So many time I’ve given up something because of the possibility of failing. That’s the short version of that.

Recently I’ve come upon a new source of confidence. My black belt.

Never in my life have a completed a long term goal. Ever. I’m not kidding. Whether it be related to school, riding, writing or fitness I’ve never reached the long term goals I set for myself. I’ve always wanted a black belt in something (I mean who doesn’t?). It shows your dedication, determination, strength, and discipline in that specific art. Even when I was a brown belt in Kung Fu I still had those thoughts that I would never be a black belt. I told myself I didn’t deserve it and reminded myself I’ve never finished anything that I’ve started. Then I got my black belt.

What do you know…I did it. I finally completed a long term goal.

“How long are you gonna live your life thinking everybody else is better than you?”

-Kimi ni Todoke

It’s not just completing the goal that gave me more confidence. You see, I also compare myself to literally everybody. When I go to the gym to workout I notice the women who are prettier, stronger, and more athletic than I am. I do the same thing when I go to a yoga class. The same thing at school. I especially did this with one of my best friends. I constantly put her on a pedestal. She’s one of the most amazing people I know, I still believe this. I feel like she’s perfect and can do anything. One thing I looked up to is her black belt. How cool! I always thought that. Now I have one too. Not only did obtain a goal (finally!) but I’ve done something that my best friend has done. This doesn’t sound like a deal but it really is. The fact that I’ve accomplished even one thing that she has accomplished makes me feel like I can do anything.

Anyway, I’m writing this on a not so great day. It’s not that my day was bad, it wasn’t, but emotionally, internally, It’s not a very good day. Especially for my self talk. So I’m writing this almost like letter to myself. I’m writing this to remind myself that I’m capable of doing anything. I can achieve my goals and I know this because I’ve done it. I am capable of finally getting the abs I’ve wanted! I can get A’s in all my classes. I can do the splits! (which I actually did for the first time today!)

It’s truly amazing the power of the brain. Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything. Just remember, having others believe in you is always nice but you must believe in yourself.

I’ll end it with one of my favorite quotes (actually from My Little Pony but it’s perfect):

“No matter how many times others tell you you’re great, all the praise in the world means nothing if you don’t feel it inside. Sometimes to feel good about yourself, you gotta let go of the past. That way, when the time comes to let your greatness fly, you’ll be able to light up the whole sky.”

-Spike

 

 

What I Seek

Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.

33

I’ve decided to write a little more about why I’m trying to blog more and what kind of journey I’m going on exactly. To start I’ll tell you more about myself, my life, and my dreams. For starters, I don’t have an especially sad story, but I’ve been through my own share of personal struggles and everything is relative.

Growing up I’ve always been very shy, and self-conscious. I harbored a lot of self hate and even now I constantly compare myself to those around me. This has stopped from doing many things I’ve wanted to do. In high school I was depressed and saw a counselor for a few years (till I left for college). It was a great help and I loved my counselor but I was still very young and at the time I didn’t realize that going to a counselor wasn’t going to fix all my problems.

In college I was still depressed. I hardly had any friends, was alone a lot and just struggled with the image I had of myself. I literally hated who I was. So, I started to see another counselor my third year of college. She was also amazing. She helped me through a few tough break ups but she also jump started my interest in Taoism. I started to learn that I could see a counselor and it would help but it could only help so much. I had to also help myself. You see your counselor maybe once or twice a week, well, what about all the days in between? That’s up to you. Finally, I realized this and started to work on myself through counseling and on my own.

My biggest goal was to be healthy and balanced. I needed to find a way to be emotionally healthy, mentally healthy, physically healthy, and socially healthy. At the times I was completely out of balance. I worked out all the time so I was physically healthy but in every other aspect I was lacking and with the help of my counselor I discovered a lot of this was due to the self hate and the amount of pressure I put on myself. This wasn’t about other people not liking me and not wanting to be my friend! No. This was about me not liking myself and believing I wasn’t good enough for anyone or to do anything worth while.

Well, after a few years of seeing my counselor she told me one day, with tears in her eyes, that I didn’t need her anymore. That’s not to say I was completely fixed, one hundred percent balanced or anything like that. It meant I was in a much better place than I was and I had the tools and drive to better myself on my own.13652932_10210056074988262_1239694355102842871_o

Today, I have more friends than I’ve ever had. I actually think I’m pretty cool and I have a lot more confidence. My journey is about the woman I am and the woman I want to be. I am by no means perfect. I’m far, far, far from perfect. I still struggle occasionally with body image, motivation, and self-love, but I’ve come a long way. I will never be perfect but I know I can be better. I still have ups and downs but they are far and few between, and less dramatic. These good and bad moments with myself are always going to happen because that’s what balance is. For something to be good something has to be bad. All I want is balance and happiness.

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Follow me on Instagram!!

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

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I often think about the quote “We don’t see things as they are; we seem them as we are.” -Talmund/Anaïs Nin. Well, if this is true then I’m awesome, because the people I surround myself with are incredible people. These are just a few of the great friends I have! Really words can’t describe what my friends mean to me. All of them. Including the ones I don’t see or talk to much. I just know some really really amazing, beautiful people.

The friends I’ve made in the last year are all a part of my journey. This may be biased on my part but sometimes I feel like they are more relevant to my life than many previous friends that I’ve had, but maybe these friends a result of my journey. I’ve changed a lot and the people I hang out with have changed. By this I mean, I really didn’t have many friends before. I was always shy, depressed, self conscious etc. You know the usual. Now, I’m completely different. I love my life and my friends are a part of what make it so amazing.

“Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”

-33

I do see myself in these people but I also see room for improvement, on my part. These people are driven, beautiful, inspiring, smart, and all of the other positive adjective you could use to describe these people, but it shows me where I still lack. My journey will never be over, not until I’m dead. So for now I use every moment, such as the night in this picture, to learn more about myself, about people, and how I can improve. I can’t wait! ❤

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Follow me on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/jl30stmars/

 

I’m Back

Wow! I haven’t written since last year! I sort of ran out of things to write! I say that but really I was just going on my own journey, discovering who I am and just really living it up. I’ve changed a lot since the beginning of 2016 and I must say I love who I have become. Recently I’ve looked back at the person I was and see how much I didn’t like that person. Now I love who I am! ❤ Everyday I work to make myself even better!

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I’ll post a few pictures but I have a lot to say, so for now think of it as a sneak peak. I’ll be posting every other day hopefully but at least once a week. Most of these posts will be about my amazing summer, my dogs and more about my journey. Hope you continued to read! I’m excited to write again.

Follow me on Instagram! That’s where you can see more pictures and more about the places I’ve been! 

https://www.instagram.com/jl30stmars/

 

Finding Balance Everywhere

“In pursuit of knowledge,

every day something is added.

In the practice of the Tao,

every day something is dropped.”

Tao Te Ching 48

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It’s been almost a week since I last posted! That’s mostly due to me being lazy and partly due to me not having much to say. Well I learned something more about Taoism over the last few days and that is the Yin Yang diet. Finding balance in your body through your food. It’s very interesting and I will share with you the links to some blogs I enjoyed reading on the subject at the bottom. So far I’ve learned that all foods are either Yin or Yang they can be extreme yin or extreme yang and in between as well. I have already given up alcohol and the next thing is sugars *cough* oreos *cough! I’m working on it! Anyway, it’s a very interesting subject! I also learned that people who practice Taoism can eat meat but you have to make sure it is raised properly. The negative emotions and negative energy of animals that lived their lives in cages or are taken to slaughter houses are in the food, so when you eat the food you are eating their fear. I agree and have already been one to make sure that my food is raised naturally.

I just got back from my trip to the grocery store buying yin and yang foods. It’s all very healthy natural stuff and I’m excited! The only problem is I’m not much of a cook so now I have to figure out what I am going to do with the food. If you have any suggestions please share!

Something else I just started today is downsizing. I’m starting with my wardrobe, I woke up and started going through my clothes. I have a LOT of clothes but as I went through them I realized that I actually wear pretty much everything. I have a small pile I’m going to do something with but the rest I actually wear! It’s just a start though I hope to continually downsize until I only have what I need.

“If you want to be given everything, give everything up.”

Tao Te Ching 22

IMG_20151027_171223[1]In other news the dogs and I went hiking, as usual, this week and we had fun until Toph ran off and got lost. We searched for her for a good thirty or forty minutes before finding her. I was so upset with her. They have lost hiking privileges until they can listen better so we are going back to basic training, for both of them. It’s going okay, Toph is stubborn though. Well, stubborn isn’t the right word…. she just doesn’t know anything. It’s hard for me to keep my patience but it’s good practice, I need patience.

I also want to briefly talk about my Martial Arts! In case you didn’t know I do Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi and I love it! Taoism is perfect for this and I’m excited to start bettering my martial arts through my Taoism and vice versa. I will write more about my martial arts in the coming months so please check back for that! I’m sooo excited about the start of my new journey I can’t wait to share my upcoming adventures!!!

Here are he links to the blogs I read on yin yang foods. Check it out!
Yin Yang Shopping List

Yin Yang Recipes

Yin Yang Food Chart

Also check out my Instagram for more pictures!

https://instagram.com/jl30stmars/

Lessons Learned

IMG_20151022_172750[1]The further I delve into the Tao the more the world amazes me. It seems I learn something new everyday, or at least every couple of days. Yesterday held yet another lesson for me , and it’s one that I hold dear.

The dogs and I hiked the three balds hike on Roan mountain, we finally made it all the way to the third bald it was a little over four miles round trip. The dogs were exhausted but they really enjoyed it. I had the chance to practice Tai Chi on top of a mountain today, it was hard. The ground was soft, uneven and the grass thick and tall so it grabbed your feet. It was perfect for practicing Tai Chi! While resting at the third bald and enjoying the amazing view from the top of the world a couple and their dog walked up. We had a conversation about hiking and about doing what you love. We agreed that all we wanted was to do what we loved. She said she was lucky enough to have a job she loves and is good at. That’s what I want too.

I didn’t think much of what we talked about until later that night at the Japanese Culture Society club meeting. We watched a movie called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”. It was a very enjoyable documentary and it taught me even more about doing what you loved. There are a couple of things Jiro said that stuck out to me but the one that hit home is the one I want to share most. Jiro said:

“When I was in school… I was a bad kid. Later, when I was invited to give a talk at the school, I wasn’t sure if I should tell the kids that they should study hard… or that it is okay to be a rebel. I wasn’t sure what advice to give the kids. Studying hard doesn’t guarantee you will become a respectable person. Even if you’re a bad kid… there are people like me who change. I thought that would be a good lesson to teach. But if I said that bad kids can succeed later on like I did… all the kids would start misbehaving which would be a problem. Always doing what you are told doesn’t mean you’ll succeed in life.”

I am one of those people who hates studying. I’m also bad at, mostly because I usually just don’t know how to study. It’s part of why I switched my major from Exercise Science to English. I loved exercise science but it was too much work for me and IIMG_20151022_171328[1] didn’t think I would ever get what I wanted out of it. I switched and I feel much better. I don’t have to study so much and I still do well and I have time to do all of this hiking with my dogs. Anyway, I think Jiro is right. Just because you get a four year degree in college doesn’t mean you will get a good job and it doesn’t mean you’ll get a job in what you learned. If you weren’t a good kid, got bad grades or broke the rules it doesn’t mean you can’t change and be successful.

Something else he said, which I also love is:

“Once you decide on your occupation… you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success… and is the key to being regarded honorably.”

I’ve learned about how in many Asian cultures you have something you are good at or that you like and you practice that one thing for the rest of your life and you try to become the best at that one thing. Jiro shows that in the documentary and with his words. I don’t know for sure yet what it is I want to do but once I decide, that is what I will do and I will do my best to become great.

This lesson reminds me of a part of the Tao Te Chin from Seventy – Four the last verse says:

“There is always and official executioner.

If you try to take his place,

It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood.

If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter,

you will only hurt your hand.”

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It’s short and sweet this time but still I learned a lot today!

Also, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is on Netflix if you are interested in watching!

Check out my Instagram for more photos from the hike! It was a beautiful day! http://instagram.com/jl30stmars/

Resentment is heavy…..Forgiveness is a little lighter

Today was an incredible day. Nothing particularly interesting, or different happened. I took the dogs on a walk, I went to class, I went to Tai Chi. That’s it. Still, it was incredible.

Lately I have been struggling with something. Actually, not just lately but my whole life I’ve struggles with this. Forgiveness. Ever since me and my boyfriend and I broke up a couple of months ago I’ve felt nothing but resentment for him and in case you don’t know, resentment is heavy. I wasn’t sure how to explain the feeling of hating him and wishing ill upon him but then I found this story “The Tao of Forgiveness”. In just the first few paragraphs I realized what those feelings felt like. They felt heavy. Plain and simple, heavy.

You see, hating someone, wishing ill upon someone is an active process, it’s a negative 61265_1573912317569_5287127_nprocess and it’s exhausting. I have wanted nothing more than to just forgive so that I could move on, but I couldn’t figure out how. I thought maybe if he apologized I could forgive him, but it wouldn’t happen. How exactly do you forgive someone who hasn’t asked for forgiveness? I turned to the Tao Te Ching searching for the answer and this is what I found:

“After a bitter quarrel, some resentment must remain.

What can one do about it?

Therefore the sage keeps his half of the bargain

But does not exact his due.

A man of Virtue performs his part,

But a man without Virtue requires others to fulfill their obligations.

The Tao of heaven is impartial.

It stays with god men all the time.”

Tao Te Ching Seventy – Nine

This is just what I needed. Nobody is obligated to give you anything in return for what you have given them. I tried so hard to make the relationship work, to make him happy and I supported him through everything, I was always there for him but I felt like I never got any of it in return. I felt like a burden, unwanted, annoying and not needed. I guess I expected too much.

Today in one of my classes we watched the movie “Smoke Signals” it was very good and I recommend anyone to go watch it. At the end of the movie a poem about forgiveness was read and when the movie was over we had a small discussion about it and one thing someone said stuck out to me. “It shows that even forgiveness is painful. You can forgive someone but still remember the pain that someone inflicted upon you.” How does the universe know just what I need to hear?

This is why resentment is heavy and forgiveness is a little lighter. Resentment is negative and active while forgiveness is positive BUT forgiveness is still active. In the story I read “The Tao of Forgiveness” it teaches that forgiveness is something we must practice everyday. We must let go of our “inflated sense of self-importance” that way we don’t have to carry around the weight of resentment. So the questions is: How does one achieve forgiveness?

I’ve always been hotheaded and stubborn. I’m a true fire sign that’s for sure, this also means I’m great at holding grudges. I could have taken this IMG_0864one to my grave if I wanted but I didn’t want that. I wanted to be free of this burden and forgive, I just didn’t know how. Well I will tell you how. Forgiveness will come in the most unexpected way. When you are truly ready to forgive it will happen. You cannot rush nature and sometimes feeling resentment is a part of how things go and forgiveness will come as long as you actively work for it. Today I achieved forgiveness.

After Tai Chi class, which my ex boyfriend also participates in, we walked to our cars. I had heard from a mutual friend he had been having car trouble and tonight he cannot start his car. He got to class just fine but now that we were leaving the car wouldn’t start. I sat in my car listening to the car trying to start but just not working. He tried again, and again, and again, and again. I contemplated offering him a ride home. Finally I drive my car around to him and ask him if he needs a ride home. He said yes.

The gesture probably seemed small to anyone watching but to me it was much bigger. I drove home, we talked a little, he mostly talked, he thanked me then we went out separate ways. When I got into my apartment I thought about what had happened, I was proud of myself, it was such a big thing for me and then I start crying. I don’t know what brought it on. I don’t know if it was relief or sadness or what, but I cried.

I have finally forgiven. I can finally move on and put this part of my life in the past.

“Yield and Overcome.”

“Why does everyone like the Tao so much at first?

Isn’t it because you find what you seek and are forgiven when you sin?

Therefore this is the greatest treasure of the        universe.”

Tao Te Ching Sixty – Two

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Here is a link to a blog that has written out the poem in “Smoke Signals”. Please take a look it also has the video so you can listen. It’s a great poem and it aided in my path to forgiveness.

How Do We Forgive Our Fathers?

Please check out my Instagram for more photos as well. Thank you for reading, this is a very personal entry and I hope somebody will benefit from reading it. If you have any questions or words of wisdom please feel free to comment!

https://instagram.com/jl30stmars/

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