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Validation as an Obstacle January 31, 2010

Posted by admin in : writing Tags:, , , , 1 comment so far

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Why do we find it necessary to seek validation? Why can’t we be good enough without the approval of another? These are questions I pondered, as a result of reading, “The Artist Way.” The book is about unblocking the creative channels that prevent us from taping in to the ultimate creative source. Who knew there was actually a road map to reveal the creative genius within? I’ve spent my entire life trying to convince my artistic friends that I wasn’t creative…that I was “left-brained” and not a forward non-linear right-brained artist.

I actually believed it because that’s what I was made to think of myself as a small child growing up on a farm in a strict Fundamentalist Independent Baptist environment. Girls were meant to be seen and not heard and had no place in a man’s life except to cook his meals and conceive his children. This is the kind of brain-washing that gets programmed in the physiology of the body, which takes deliberate effort to heal and reprogram. Being aware and recognizing the blocks in your life is the first step to overcoming them, but it takes effort and a commitment to the journey within and it’s not always easy.

After years of self-exploration, I came to understand that some of the social and cultural influences of my life were actually blocking me from living a healthy and fulfilling life so I was determined to set myself free from that which hampered the flow of creative energy. Through various exercises in The Artist Way, I discovered my need for validation as one of those obstacles because I use to say I didn’t care what anyone thought of me, but then I would turn around and let judgments and negative feedback of others influence how I lived my life. Measuring success by the validation of others was clearly not congruent nor aligned with my higher purpose and it was obviously preventing me from writing without second-guessing myself.

I was too caught up with how other people might feel about the things I had to say so I was actually writing with an intention not to hurt anyone’s feelings, which was ultimately preventing me from writing at all. In the process, I realized I would never get  the world’s stamp of approval, as we are all on different journeys with different perceptions and different influences and upbringing.

If every author wrote for someones approval, there wouldn’t be any books to read so I can only write for myself and let go of what other people might think because what happens if I successfully publish my book and still don’t have every one’s approval? Does that mean my book was a failure? No. I can’t judge my writing based on what other people think. I have to be authentic and write for me because I love to write and love to share my experience in hopes that others will learn something about their own authentic self and grow in a similar way.

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Accept the Ignorance and own the Anger January 18, 2010

Posted by admin in : Life 101, People, Relationships Tags:, , , , add a comment

I spoke to a good friend the other night and she was really upset with all the anger she was feeling towards her mom. She just wanted it to go away so she could be happy again and I could relate to what she was saying. It’s frustrating not being able to understand some of the choices or decisions people make in their life, but there’s nothing you can do about it because each person is on their own journey exploring life through his or her own eyes and only acting in accordance to what he or she knows. It may not make sense to you, but that’s life.

You will only exhaust yourself trying to understand so have faith that everything happens for a reason and everyone is interconnected and a part of the greater whole so every person and every being has its place in the world. If your consciousness expands and someone else’s doesn’t, whether it be a partner, a family member, a friend, or colleague, you probably won’t be able to connect with them in the same way, as we are only able to operate within the capacity of our past experiences and social and cultural upbringing. You simply can’t explain the way you see life and expect everyone to “get it” because we’re all in different places spiritually, physically, and emotionally. You can only love them for who they are and the path they are on and know they are doing the best they can with the tools they were given.

And you can’t take it personally because there’s a lot of ignorance out there and a lot of people sleep walking through life. Some people just don’t get it and will never get it…not in this lifetime any way and there’s nothing you can do about it so just accept what you’re feeling and be present with whatever arises. Every time I try and understand people and some of the choices they make, I get angry and I feel alone in my thoughts and beliefs and it makes me wish I never started down the spiritual path, but I would never go back…not for anything in the world.

I just have to honor my feelings as they come up and not label them as good or bad. Feelings are a part of life and we need to allow and accept all that is within us, which is why I laugh when someone asks how I’m doing and I say, “angry” and they look at me like I’m crazy. People think I’m always “happy,” but I’m human and I get downright mad at times and I’m not going to suppress my feelings and pretend they don’t exist because I know the anger or sadness or whatever I’m feeling will subside a lot sooner if I just allow myself to feel whatever it is I’m feeling.

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Developing a Home Yoga Practice January 14, 2010

Posted by admin in : Yoga Tags:, , , , add a comment

A home practice can empower you beyond measure, but the only way to truly understand the power behind it is to try it and see for yourself. Just make sure not to take on too much, too fast because often times we set good intentions to start something new and then never follow through with it because our goals were too too high or unrealistic.

The first hurdle I stumbled upon, as I set out to create a home practice was the time constraint. Getting up and doing yoga every morning  for 20 minutes wasn’t a realistic expectation for someone just beginning, but my ego was stuck in the more is better mentality and my unrealistic expectations made it just about impossible for me to practice every day. After years of struggling to understand why I couldn’t incorporate a daily routine in to my life, I decided to try and do it for just 5 minutes a day and not only did it work, I inevitably ended up practicing longer because once my body started to move, it didn’t want to stop and I was okay with it since it was my choice and not something I was forcing myself to do.

The second hurdle was locking myself in to a certain time frame. People say meditation and yoga practice should be done at the same time every day because our bodies demand routine and certain rest periods in between periods of activity in order to receive the full benefits of a spiritual practice. Well, it wasn’t initially realistic for me to lock down a specific time so I gave myself freedom to practice whenever I wanted.  I had to trust and listen to my own inner teacher as to what would work best for me and setting up a strict schedule in the beginning wasn’t best for my rebellious inner child.

The third hurdle I had to get past was thinking I wouldn’t get anything out of a shorter practice, as I was so conditioned to the all or nothing mentality. My ego kept creating excuses not to practice until I changed my frame of thinking. What I realized was that even 5 minutes a day was good for my body and mind and doing it a little each day was better than simply doing one long practice a week.

Good habits take time and patience to instill so be kind and gentle with yourself. Set realistic expectations, give yourself freedom and room to make mistakes, and let go of how it’s suppose to look. A home yoga practice is like brushing your teeth. It’s not something you think about or question, right? You do it because it keeps your teeth healthy and clean. It’s a minimal investment that will pay off for years to come so roll out your mat and have some fun!

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