Archive | January 2014

Twenty Inspiring Questions

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I subscribe to many personal development, self-help, inspirational e-mails provided by bloggers and people with amazing websites intended to help people help themselves have better lives.   My e-mail inboxes are filled with almost nothing but positive messages each and every day. I’m blessed!  

Today I woke up to a wonderful e-mail with this link:
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/20-inspiring-questions-help-you-find-your-dream-and-change-your-life.html?utm_source=Lifehack&utm_campaign=f276feb792-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_983e966a3e-f276feb792-414760829

It’s a list of twenty thought-provoking questions designed to help readers look deeper into their lives and selves and really come to understand themselves better. I am so motivated just reading them! I decided to answer them and share my answers with everyone interested! I encourage everyone interested to answer them even if you don’t want to share your answers publicly. They really got me thinking! 😀

The commentary in the parentheses below each question is provided by SCOTT CHRIST, the person who listed the questions.

1.) What beliefs do you carry that may be holding you back?

(It takes guts to call yourself out and question beliefs that just don’t seem right. We’re all ingrained with a set of learned behaviors that may be holding us back. It’s okay to question them and seek a better way. That’s a true sign of growth.)

One belief that I allow to often hold me back is the belief that “It’s not going to happen now” or “not likely to happen.”  For example, about applying for jobs, I know that there are many, many people who are more qualified than me for jobs. There are people with much more work experience and more advanced degrees who are much more likely to get certain jobs than I am.   I know that there are many jobs I would be so great at if I worked there but when considering applying for them, I often think about the many others who will also be applying who have advantages over me.

 Just because they have more experience and more advanced degrees doesn’t necessarily mean they will be better at the job than me. But an interviewer may assume that.  So while I have every intention of applying some day, I just keeping putting it off saying “later.”. 
I have to write a cover letter and fill out an application for each job. Sometimes this can be challenging and time consuming and I think what’s the point of doing this right at this moment when I can be doing something else and probably won’t get the job anyway. 
I also often think “What if I apply for a job right now and forget to add something valuable that I may remember later so I should just wait…”
These are very limiting beliefs and while there’s some truth to some parts, it’s also unreasonable and very destructive to think this way.  
We all have unique abilities, strengths, qualities, experiences, and our own gifts that add value to the workplace, relationships, and the world.   There’s always going to be someone more qualified than me and someone less qualified than me for certain jobs and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just a fact.  An interviewer or person reviewing my job application may just see something in me that s/he feels is worth giving a chance even if someone else seems more qualified. This goes for everyone. You may be less qualified in experience and academics but just as qualified or more in other ways, like your interpersonal skills or certain thoughts you have. This is even true for college applications.  I have known kids with excellent grades and attendance who were rejected by prestigious universities and others with less impressive grades who were accepted. It’s a combination of things that help get people where they want to be. Instead of focusing on how others are “better” in some ways, I should just focus on being the best me I can be in every way.
And there’s really no reason for me to procrastinate out of fear of forgetting certain valuable info. Because if that can happen now, it can happen later. As long as I’m thinking clearly and have the time, it’s best to fill out that app NOW and just pay careful attention to it. If I blow my chance, oh well! It’s not the end of the world! There will be many more opportunities for me!

2.) What’s your hobby?

(The things you love to do in your downtime can tell you a lot about how to find happiness in your life. Do the stuff you enjoy doing, and you’ll get closer to finding your true calling.)

I have quite a few that I absolutely love! One of those hobbies I have just become more and more interested in and feel myself becoming more creative with is photography! I have loved taking pictures all my life but now I’m very into it.  I use my bb10 phone and have great photo apps and I love finding quotes to go along with my photos.   I plan to get a camera one day when I get money. I also love writing poetic things and writing blog posts.    
I love reading too. I love personal development and philosophy readings and also novels.   Especially ones with profound messages.
I listen to music a lot and love collecting inspirational lyrics and quotes and applying them to real life situations and sharing them.

3.) What’s your talent?

( One thing that’s even more important than recognizing your hobbies is understanding your talents. What are you good at? If you asked five friends, what would they identify as your biggest assets? The answers can help you find your dream and change your life.)

I always felt that I have no talents because I never possessed any beautiful artistic skills or anything. I don’t draw good even when I try. I don’t sing well at all and have no natural “callings” that way. But there is one thing. It’s not an artistic skill but it’s very valuable.   I am extremely empathetic and understanding. I always have been but when I grew up, it developed so much deeper. I truly have an uncanny ability to understand people and situations even when I haven’t, myself, experienced the same things those people have and have never been in those specific situations. I don’t believe or claim to know exactly how someone else feels but I do have a very deep understanding which allows me to connect deeper with others and provide consolation and great support to people. I don’t negatively judge and try to get people to “snap out of it” or wonder how they can feel that way. I just know. I know how people can think and feel ways that I wouldn’t think or feel because of my strong empathy.   And I can draw on my own experiences to be even more understanding. 
Even when people have strongly opposing views to mine, I don’t agree but can still see how they can feel that way, even if I’m irked or angry! Lol
Empathy isn’t just about caring and being compassionate either.   It’s even deeper. It’s a deep understanding of someone else’s situation and experiences. It’s somewhat difficult to explain the depth of my empathy.   And I fear that people may think I’m overstepping my boundaries and claiming to know how they feel. But that’s not it at all.  
I don’t know. But I understand a certain way.
And empathy isn’t just about understanding and feeling people’s pain but also happiness and pleasure. I feel almost as if it’s happening to me.   I literally feel their pain & pleasure but I know it’s not exactly how they feel it since I’m not them.   If you win the multi-million dollar lotto, I will feel like I just did too. If you’re in a manic episode, it will rub off on me. If you’re in an accident even if I don’t know you, I will be shakin’ up almost as if I do know you.   I have thin psychological boundaries and unlike most people who just feel sorry or sad for someone or just curious and then go about their day, I feel as if I’m somehow involved, personally, to some degree, in your situation.  Even later.

  One day at 2:00 in the morning there was an ambulance outside my house for a neighbor and I had no idea what was going on or who it was for. My mom was mostly just curious, looking out the Window  but I felt distress, sorrow, and a desperate hope that it wasn’t something too horrific going on. I could just imagine how it would feel if I was in a situation like that.   I am a calm girl and don’t freak out or panic even when stuff is happening to me but I was expressing my deep concern.  My mom said it’s weird how I act over things that don’t involve me one bit.  It’s a true gift but it can be draining and painful and I had to learn to cope with this gift.

4.) Who do you like to work with?
(Think about the people who you work well with. Use your intuition to guide you toward similar people in your work environment.)

I love to work with fun people who are easy to get a long with and also like to do teamwork. Ones who handle difficulties well without wanting to engage in complicated arguments. I like people who want to build up and uplift others and not have negative competitions. And even if there’s like a competition for a promotion we both want, I would like us to still get along and not hold grudges and just wish each other well.

5.) Where do you enjoy working?

(What is the work setting where you’re most productive? Perhaps in group meetings? Or alone in your office? Try spending most of your time there. If you’re stuck in a job that puts you in a setting you don’t enjoy, speak up and tell your boss.)

I want a job working closely with others. I don’t mind an office job as long as parts of the day involve interacting with people.

6.) What are your passions?

( What makes you genuinely happy in life? Identify your passions, and then do everything in your power to spend timedoing the things you love. Then answer this:)

I love inspiring, helping, nurturing and uplifting people. That’s one reason I decided to have a blog. I also love sharing uplifting messages and I want to have a peer specialist or counseling job. I’m also passionate about Nature and love taking pictures of everything outside.   It’s so beautiful. I’m passionate about certain songs as well.

7.) How can you turn your passions into work?
(It’s one thing to pursue your passion as a hobby. It’s a whole different ballgame to do what you love and get paid for it. If you’re stuck in a job you hate, find a way to turn your passion into your career. If you want something badly enough, and are willing to take action and do the things that others aren’t willing to do, you’ll achieve whatever you want in your career and in your life.)

 Applying for jobs working with people and applying my people skills to my work!

8.) What inspires you? 
(Where do you find inspiration to drive you forward? Maybe it’s books, websites, friends, or family members. The point is, harness your preferred sources of inspiration every day.)

Books, blogs, websites, life itself, people, heartwarming stories, random acts of kindness, songs, quotes, photography, sunrises and sunsets, rain, snow, the sky, other aspects of Nature.   Heartache, pain, tears, and healing. Laughter and daylight. Nightfall. Cracks on the pavements, chipped paint, the darkness of night, breathing, my heartbeat….I find inspiration everywhere.

9.) How do you motivate yourself to take action?
(Being inspired is great. But if you don’t have a method and plan to motivate yourself to make positive change in your life, you’ll remain in the same place you’re in today.)

Inspiration is beautiful and I’m often inspired and it drives me to do many things. But I view inspiration itself as more of a feeling inside while motivation is more action associated. Inspiration can lead to motivation and help maintain it. I have random bursts of motivation that I can’t explain. They come out of nowhere then I start applying for jobs without holding back. But the motivation then wears off and I’m back to the problem I discussed in response to question #1. It’s great to be randomly and inexplicably motivated but since it’s not a conscious decision or habit, it likely won’t hold up. So it’s great to come up with a conscious plan to maintain general motivation. One thing that does motivate me is vividly imagining what I truly want and what it would be like to have that. I still have to make this a habit though because it’s not yet. Also sometimes I read things that get me pumped and motivated. Talk therapy sessions also help me get motivated.  

10.) What do you dream about?
(Dreams expose truths about our lives we often have trouble seeing. Keep a dream journal to record your subconscious thoughts. Whenever you wake up in the middle of a dream, write down exactly what occurred. Then analyze the dream the next day and look for signs and signals from your subconscious mind.)

My dreams are frequently about interacting with people, new friendships, and wisdom/life lessons. I have a lot of strange dreams, some ordinary ones that are just like an extension of my days, and I hardly ever have scary ones. But yeah, one common theme is people and connecting with them.

11.)  What have you overcome?
(Most of us have struggled mightily and overcome great obstacles. Don’t take this for granted. Thinking about the massive obstacles you’ve overcome already should convince you that you can accomplish anything you want in life.)

One thing I have overcome is succumbing to my crippling shyness. I have always been shy to the point of it being like a disability but not anymore. I’m still shy, just not as much and I open up much quicker.   Feeling shy isn’t my choice but I often now can choose to speak up even when I’m feeling very shy. As a child, I couldn’t do that. Even as a young college student it was hard. The more I interact with people, the less shy I become around those people and even in general. After I got a job at a store, I became much less shy.   It will never go completely away and some days I’m more shy than others but being around people, opening up, and interacting pushes me to be less shy. 

12.) How do you respond to what others say about you?

(You can choose to react negatively to what others say about you, or you can choose to ignore it. Even our friends and close family members can say and do things that are extremely hurtful. Words others say don’t define you though. Your actions and thoughts define you. Don’t ever forget that.)

When people compliment me, I accept those compliments very gratefully. When I am criticized constructively, I am also thankful for the helpful feedback and will use it effectively if it will be helpful. About uncalled for negative comments, I have learned to mostly just let them slide.   They’re not worth the time they demand. I used to often seek revenge on people who said bad things about/to me. I would say something back I knew would offend them, sometimes even trying to “get them” worse than they “got me.”. Lol!   I used to try to spread gossip about girls who did that to me.  My general love & compassion would take the back burner and my desire for revenge or to be right would become dominant.  But that accomplishes nothing worthwhile.   It’s ridiculous and I can’t believe I once engaged in that. To know me now, you would never know it. I have come a long way.  Love should always prevail. Now when someone unnecessarily criticizes me or expresses uncalled for negative views about me, I suck it up, wish the person the best, and move on. I won’t deny though that there are seldom occasions when I struggle to hold my tongue. But after practicing conscious lovingkindness for so long, I usually don’t even feel like coming back with retorts and little petty remarks to offend or anger. We can all rise above that.

13.)Why are you here?

(Want to know how to find your dream and change your life in one simple step? Then answer this question: What do you think your purpose is? It’s a deep question. But it’s an important one. You may not know the answer right now, and that’s okay. You’ll find it when you’re ready.)

I’m here because my mom gave birth to me and I never died.
 That’s all there is to it. I don’t believe in a “life purpose” or “ultimate purpose” or anything of that sort. I am here just because. Randomly.   Some people say and I have even said that “we create our own purpose” for living but I don’t even believe it. We create our happiness and things that make our own lives interesting, fun, and feeling like we have “reason” or “purpose” but I don’t believe that anything other than life itself gives me purpose.   If I say my “Life purpose” is to do something I’m passionate about then all of a sudden that thing is no longer something I’m passionate about OR I can no longer do that for some reason, maybe because I become permanently disabled or something, I would STILL have a purpose. Nothing outside of me gives me reason. I am the reason.   I, myself am purpose.

14.) Who do you admire?

(Seek inspiration in others whom you admire. Despite all the bad things going on in the world, there are still millions of heroes, dreamers, and leaders that can inspire all of us to live better.)

The people who always have my heart are ones who go out of their way to love & help others. I believe people in general are basically good and help people sometimes and most people care to a certain degree. But there are those more rare people who go above and beyond to help even strangers. Ones who are beyond compassionate and loving and just embrace everyone. I love people with hearts that are open books and they warmly welcome anyone who wants to come into their world.   They melt my heart.  I love animal lovers too who value their lives and believe they are worthy of love and compassion just like humans.  

15.) What are your weaknesses?
(Nobody’s perfect. And acknowledging thethings you need to get better at is a crucial step to find your dream and change your life.)

I’m horrible at math. Even simple basic math. I sometimes still struggle with feelings of worthlessness. I don’t have those thoughts and feelings as frequently and usually not as deeply as I used to but still have them occasionally. They used to be my life but not now.

16.) What are your goals?
(Think about what you aspire to accomplish in your life. These goals should drive your actions. Speaking of action…)

My number one goal is to be the best me I can be. For myself and everyone. Not to be a perfectionist but to be as loving, compassionate, accepting, tolerant, understanding, kind, and open-minded as possible.   To be the light in someone’s darkness, to inspire, uplift, encourage, and help empower.

17.) How do you plan on accomplishing your goals?
(Goals without a plan are meaningless. Once you figure out your goals, write down action steps that will help you achieve them. Most people don’t do this, and it can mean the difference between getting what you want and failing.)

Yeah well I won’t say that I agree that they’re necessarily “meaningless” but I do agree that a goal paired with an active plan is much more likely to be a success than a mere goal or empty plan alone. The goal is the first step and a great start! ;-D

I’m already doing a good job. And the more I am this way, the more it reinforces it. Sometimes I catch myself not being as kind as I can be and I remind myself that no matter what someone does that I don’t like, I can still be loving and kind to that person. If someone isn’t loving and kind towards me, I don’t have to sink to that level. Instead of focusing on someone else’s lack of kindness, I can just focus on my goal to be the best me I can be. Also, I share uplifting and inspirational things on social media outlets for anyone who may see and need a splash of sunlight.  

18.) What are you grateful for?

(Be thankful every single day. And show your gratitude to others too. Say, “Thank you.” Return acts of kindness. Be grateful for what you have.)

This life of mine which is the thing that allows me to experience all the other great blessings. And I’m thankful for everyone else’s life. Wow! How amazing it is to be alive!   To have a pulse, a heartbeat, a body that functions so well! :-O

19.) How can you make yourself better?
(We all have problems. But you can either give up and accept your circumstances or you can choose to find ways to improve. Are you unhappy with your body? Then learn how to eat better and form consistent exercise habits. Hate your job? Then start taking action to develop a new skill.)

Learn. Practice. Apply.   Keep an open mind. Pay attention. Formulate positive habits. Admit to myself, my weaknesses and when I’m wrong. 

20.) How can you make the world better?

(Last, but certainly not least, is figuring out your ultimate goal. How can you change the world? If you don’t know the answer just yet, combine all the answers above and you’ll have a much better idea. You have the power to do amazing things. Don’t take that for granted.)

This is a fantastic question because it provides the opportunity for deep thought. Contrary to what many people think “Making the world a better place” IS possible for even just one person to do. The world is a very large thing composed of many, many smaller things and aspects.   “Making the world a better place” can refer to any magnitude, whether  at a  local level or global level. You don’t have to be the president of some country or working in some international affairs organization to have a great impact. Working for the environment is amazing but you don’t have to necessarily do that to help either.  Just touching one individual life for the better, whether  animal or person makes one aspect of the world better. And not only is that, alone, an incredible thing but it’s possible for it to have a ripple effect and that one life consciously or unconsciously will go on to positively impact another…..
Right now, I don’t have the resources available to me, that I know of, to make the world a better place at a global, international, or national level. Maybe not even at a local level. But I can touch as many people as I can in small ways which can have a great impact on each life I impact for the better.  

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/20-inspiring-questions-help-you-find-your-dream-and-change-your-life.html?utm_source=Lifehack&utm_campaign=f276feb792-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_983e966a3e-f276feb792-414760829

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Every Woman Has A Name <3

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“I may not go down in history
I just want someone to remember me
I’ll probably never hold a brush
that paints a masterpeice
Probably never find a pen
that writes a symphony
But if I will love then I will find
That I have touched another life
And that’s something
Something worth leaving behind” ~ LeeAnn Womacku

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So, my love for Alice Cooper is no secret! Anyone who is my friend on Facebook, knows me in person, or has read my previous posts here, knows that I am deeply inspired by the man and his amazing ability to turn agony and the dark side of life into something beautiful through words and music. The man is my hero.
I loved him since I was a little girl. But back then his music to me was mostly all about fun and entertainment. When I grew into a young woman, his songs helped console me during my own emotional anguish and struggles with mental illness and loneliness. The older I got, the more I discovered the depth of inspiration his songs provoke in me and how great pain can contribute and lead to beautiful experiences and creations.  
Alice’s songs shed light on topics that many people don’t want to even think about.   Dark topics. Abuse.  Agonizing emotional pain and psychosis.  
He also sings of broken love and unrequited love. Many of his songs are inspired by his own life experiences.  
The song I have on my heart right now is, “Every Woman Has A Name” by Alice Cooper.

“You were so beautiful
Like a child so young and full of life
Seems a hundred years ago
You saw everything
So much more tragedy than good
You even watched the world grow cold
And even when your world was shakin’
Even when your breath was taken
Even when your blue eyes turned to gray
Small town debutantes and queens
Every woman has a name
Cocktail waitresses with dreams
Every woman has a name
And every girl whose love survives
A broken heart to stay alive
You signed your picture in the frame
Every woman has a name
You had your love affair
Some were perfect but most of them were pain
Seems a hundred years ago
It took you to the highest hill
Left you standing frozen in the rain
But you still feel the afterglow
And even when your world was shakin’
Even when your breath was taken
Even when your blue eyes turned to gray
Housewives cryin’ on the phone
Every woman has a name”

I love this beautiful song & the message. It’s so true! Every one of us is someone. We all have a story. A story that can deeply touch others with a positive impact. There will always be people who tell us or imply that we aren’t “good enough,” not “pretty enough, thin enough, successful enough….” There will be those who say we should live a certain way, think a certain way, feel a certain way, be a certain way or we are “less than” or “not worthy of…”. Some of these message are explicit and some are more subtle. But all are detrimental and hurtful.

The most important thing is to know your authentic self. Your inner self. What do you genuinely think, feel, believe, desire, need, crave, know? It’s more important to honor that than to give into the psychological abuse of others, society, and the media telling you how you “should” be.

It doesn’t matter if you are:

A Housewife, stay at home mom, single, career woman, waitress, rich girl, struggling financially, have an impressive job, have no job, homeless, have lots of skills and talents, just a few, or none, have lots of friends and family or no friends or family, small, thin, big-boned, overweight, curvy, struggling, broken, sick, disabled, limited, have clear radiant skin or not, feel loved or not, young, middle aged, or old, educated well or not, you are someone right NOW, always have been someone, always will be someone.
You don’t need anything or anyone more than yourself to have value, to be someone, to be beautiful, to love yourself. You don’t have to look a certain way or dress a certain way.   You don’t have to go to college or have lots of money, you don’t have to have any special skills or have the best of everything. The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they make the best of everything.   You don’t have to be anyone’s definition of perfect. You can make mistakes and Learn.

One of the biggest struggles of my life has often been devastating feelings of worthlessness and looking for self value in people & things outside of myself.  
I often believed if I had “a better job,” “lots of friends,” “better grades,” “more money,” “more people who like me,” “more accomplishments,” “a big, perfect house….” I would be better and be worthy of everything good. I looked to external factors to give me purpose, to make me beautiful, to make me someone. 

But that doesn’t work. People & things can contribute to my happiness but they can’t make me worthy or not worthy of good things.   They don’t give me purpose and a lack of them doesn’t equal a lack of purpose. I am someone with or without them.

I have to look within, into the deepest depths of me to know of my purpose, to see that I am, always have been, and always will be someone just by being me. And that goes for you and everyone.  

“Like the pine trees lining the winding road
I got a name, I got a name
Like the singing bird and the croaking toad
I got a name, I got a name
And I carry it with me like my daddy did
But I’m living the dream that he kept hid
Moving me down the highway
Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by” ~ Jim Croce

Your job doesn’t define you, your financial situation, your weaknesses, your illness, your friends, your disability, your limitations, your education, your grades in school, your quality of work, your weight and physical appearance, the pain you feel, the opinions of other people, your losses and failures, none of this is who you are. You may feel sometimes or often that these things define you but the true you is within.

“I’ve got a song, I’ve got a song
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, I go there proud” ~ Jim Croce

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No matter what heartbreak you have experienced, you can heal even if you’ll always have the scars and memories.

What are your values, virtues, loves, strengths, your inner truths? Honor them and don’t dwell on your shortcomings or less pleasant qualities or situations. Learn to love yourself, your true self unconditionally no matter what anyone else says or thinks about you. 

I know who I am. I am not perfect. I’m not the most beautiful woman in the world. But I’m one of them. Mary J. Blige.. (I think this is a great attitude for every girl to have, that you are one of the most beautiful women in the world, not just physically but personality too, know who you are and embrace your “flaws.”)

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“You know the future’s lookin’ brighter
Every morning’ when i get up
Don’t be thinkin’ ’bout what’s not enough, now baby
Just be thinkin’ ’bout what we got” ~ Eddie Money

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“Oh-oh, rich man, poor man, now
Really don’t mean all that much
Mama’s always told you, girl
That money can’t buy you love” ~ Eddie Money
“If you want, then start to laugh
If you must, then start to cry
Be yourself don’t hide” ~Enigma

“Don’t care what people say, just follow your own way.” ~ Enigma

Life is without meaning. 
You bring the meaning to it. 
The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. 
Being alive is the meaning.
– Joseph Campbell

“At one point you may realize you will never be good enough for some people; the question is, is that your problem or theirs?”

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. ~Malcolm S. Forbes

By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before. ~Edwin Elliot

Self Esteem begins here: anyone who does not like you is an idiot. Really -aren’t they? You are gorgeous, talented and fabulous. ~Chellie Campbell

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection. ~Buddha

Here is the links to Alice’s song:

Desktop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGKhy8gh_VI

Mobile: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PGKhy8gh_VI

Also, two of my other favorite songs who inspire me are Jim Croce & LeeAnn Womack. I quoted some of their lyrics above and here are the videos to their songs.

Jim Croce’s “I Got a Name”
a song about having a dream and being proud just for trying even if it’s never realized.

Desktop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06zOrHRh-gY&app=desktop

Mobile: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=06zOrHRh-gY&app=m

And LeeAnn Womack’s “Something Worth Leaving Behind”
A song about how we don’t have to be famous or extremely talented to be important, just loving people is enough.

Desktop :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqTT59h9aLg

Mobile: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=awawjH_CqOgX0

Xoxo Kim

P.s. I hope you will always remember and honor your own name and know your own value even when you’re struggling.

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Quiet Strength & Confidence

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“Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

A few days ago I wrote a blog post but never got around to posting it. It’s about how inner strength & self confidence aren’t always “loud” or “outright bold.”   It can be but isn’t always.   Not all strong, confident people are outgoing and not all of them speak up over every unpleasant incident. Sometimes strength is letting trivial things slide.   Sometimes strength is kindness and forgiveness and gentleness. Not all strong, confident people come off that way. Some people have more of a quiet strength and confidence about them and it’s no less of a strength or confidence.
Today I was looking up some quotes that are relevant to my post that I was going to post today and I found this!:

“You’re going to meet many people with domineering personalities: the loud, the obnoxious, those that noisily stake their claims in your territory and everywhere else they set foot on. This is the blueprint of a predator. Predators prey on gentleness, peace, calmness, sweetness and any positivity that they sniff out as weakness. Anything that is happy and at peace they mistake for weakness. It’s not your job to change these people, but it’s your job to show them that your peace and gentleness do not equate to weakness. I have always appeared to be fragile and delicate but the thing is, I am not fragile and I am not delicate. I am very gentle but I can show you that the gentle also possess a poison. I compare myself to silk. People mistake silk to be weak but a silk handkerchief can protect the wearer from a gunshot. There are many people who will want to befriend you if you fit the description of what they think is weak; predators want to have friends that they can dominate over because that makes them feel strong and important. The truth is that predators have no strength and no courage. It is you who are strong, and it is you who has courage. I have lost many a friend over the fact that when they attempt to rip me, they can’t. They accuse me of being deceiving; I am not deceiving, I am just made of silk. It is they who are stupid and wrongly take gentleness and fairness for weakness. There are many more predators in this world, so I want you to be made of silk. You are silk.”
C. JoyBell C.

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I couldn’t believe it because it’s so similar to my original post, in concept and in choice of words! It’s amazing. It’s uncanny! I have never read this before. Until now.  So I decided to revise my original post and share the above quote, which says it better than I originally did! 😉
In the summer I wrote about an incident I had at work with people being liars, backstabbers, and not caring about anyone but themselves, betraying and causing unnecessary trouble for me. I wrote about how I handled it and provided a list of of positive suggestions for how to cope with betrayal and other people’s negativity.  
My problem in the Summer cleared up but recently the same people have been being shady and sneaky again. I’m very trusting and forgiving in general and after the summer I wasn’t expecting this.

But I am not taking it personally. I know that when people take advantage of me and do/say things to me because they think they can get away with it because I’m quiet, it says more about them than it says about me.

When people take advantage of quiet, gentle, shy people, often, just because they think they can it shows who they are, not who the quiet person is.

For my whole life I have generally been a quiet, shy girl and I open up when I’m around people more often. And I have Often helped people over and over, even people who take advantage, until it seems there’s nothing left of me or for me. I have said “Yes” to others and “no” to myself so much it wore me out.  

There were days when my self esteem was low and I did not speak up for myself because I felt I deserved the mistreatment or I was afraid of what people would think of me. But many days that I don’t speak up, it’s not that but the fact that I’m a simple girl and don’t like to blow things out of proportion or have chaos where there doesn’t have to be any.

It’s not an indication that I’m weak or scared or a “pushover” like some people think. My mom often says I let people get over on me. And while that has been true in some cases, it’s most often not true now. No matter what I do or don’t do or say or don’t say and no matter what it looks like on the outside to others, if in my head I’m still at peace, still calm, still know my worth, still know they have the problem, not me, then no one got over on me.

But some things are not better left unsaid or forgotten. Some things really should be brought up and some people need to be confronted about certain issues in a calm, civil manner. So that’s what I did recently. I confronted one of the people forever dragging on and starting the nonsense.  I was friendly about it. I’m in no mood to make things worse for everyone or to be angry more than necessary.

These people are often very unreasonable, selfish, sneaky, and just negative and caring about absolutely no one but themselves.   They live and breathe the victim mentality and act as if they are more important than everyone else. So confronting them usually does nothing more than show that I speak up for myself.   Or they say that I am the wrong one for speaking up and not dropping it. When a person speaks up often no one thinks much of it but when someone who is typically quiet speaks up, it stands out and some people claim that the person is wrong and dragging something out or turning into a “bitch.”

But even when speaking up to someone gets me just about nowhere with the people,
At least I don’t let them get away with it without saying something.   I show me that I will speak up when necessary.

People suggested I get revenge on them. But I don’t get even. I get even more FABULOUS. I forgive and move forward and wish them the best.   

Shyness, quietness, extreme kindness, generosity, helpfulness, forgiveness, warmth, gentleness, letting trivial things go…are not necessarily weaknesses. In fact, some of those qualities can be great strengths.  

I help people because I want to, not because I’m fearful of saying no for some reason. I forgive because it’s better for all of us. I let frivolous issues slide because often I just really don’t care and sometimes I know just letting it go is better for everyone.  

Shyness, quietness, extreme kindness, and simplicity are a combination that looks, on the outside, as if someone is a pushover or not strong or confident. But I believe it’s what’s on the inside that matters.

“We may get knocked down on the outside, but the key to living in victory is to learn how to get up on the inside.”
Joel Osteen

I don’t generally let people disturb my inner peace. I don’t feel like they are getting over on me. So I’m still confident and strong. 

Along with my shyness and quietness and kindness, I’m also very simple. But in a good way. Lol. I’m easy going. So many things that get others fuming don’t even faze me.

Kindness and generosity and helping others can be used how we choose. We can choose to make it a weakness by taking it to the extreme until we are so worn out or we can choose a healthy balance of it. Helping others and being very kind but still being dedicated to self-care and saying “YES!” to ourselves enough.

I have struggled hard with where to draw the line with helping people who ask excessively and are sneaky and shady, causing trouble and confusion for me.

I want to help them still. I know they are people with desires and needs but I also know it’s not good to wear myself out to do so much for people who take advantage and intentionally cause trouble. And the more I help, the more they’ll ask and think they can get away with anything they want.  I have been struggling to determine when excessive kindness actually becomes a weakness. Predators treat us how we let them. When they see we constantly say “yes, yes, yes, and YES!” over and over to them even after they cause trouble, it reinforces their decision to keep asking for more, more, more…..and to keep causing the trouble.

In the summer I decided to help out and give still, to the people who did me wrong but mostly only when it doesn’t put me out too much and exhaust me and let them get away with way too much. But I went back to my old ways of giving and helping excessively to the point it wasn’t good for me. I like the people who do this to me and I want to help. I don’t think they’re bad people but they sure have very bad habits!  

But so do I, just different bad habits. And bad habits CAN be un-learned and replaced with healthy habits.

And then they pulled this again. So I decided to develop the habit of saying “Yes” to me more often and “no” to the predators and actually stick with it now.

Another thing I have struggled with before when people would take advantage of my quietness and kindness is feeling low about myself instead of realizing it’s their problem and not something fundamentally or intrinsically wrong with me.  

I have had thoughts like “If I were better she wouldn’t have done that to me….” and “Since she said that to me, there must really be something wrong with me…” and “A better person would not have had this done or said to her…”  “if only I were perfect….or loud…or outgoing….””Since she doesn’t like me, there really must be something wrong with me…”

But none of that’s true. No matter how great, beautiful, strong, amazing, kind, confident …someone is, certain people will say/do bad things to that person if they feel they can “get away with it” or if they are jealous of the person.

Through the years I have strengthened my confidence, my self esteem, and self love, and my own life philosophy.   I know what people do shows something about them, not me. Unless that person has helpful suggestions or constructive criticism for me to help me better myself, I can take what they say/do with a grain of salt and leave it at that.

But sometimes I still feel my confidence faltering. But I catch it before it gets worse. I remind myself that what people say/do to me, when it’s uncalled for, is their issue, not mine. That’s not to say I’m never wrong and never deserve criticism and that everyone who criticizes me is definitely wrong.   But when they are wrong and intentionally trying to cause trouble or just being excessively selfish not caring about anyone else, it’s them who are wrong.

So, remember if you’re quiet and shy and very kind and generous, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re weak.  You can use and view your qualities as strengths.

There’s nothing wrong with being shy or outgoing or quiet or outspoken or loud, being bold or having a more quiet, gentle kind of strength.   There’s nothing wrong with being very kind and helpful and selfless and there’s nothing wrong with being selfish to a certain extent and practicing a healthy dose of self-care.   Quiet doesn’t automatically mean weak and loud doesn’t automatically mean obnoxious or “bitchy.” We are all different and all are ok. It’s just that it’s not good to take advantage of anyone just because we think we can. We should all embrace our own unique qualities and traits while also embracing and building up other people’s.

Thank You so much for reading and if you have any thoughts to share, I would love to know.   
When do you think kindness becomes a “weakness” or is it never a “weakness?” Do you view helping predatory people less as a form of revenge or merely as self respect? Do you have any other thoughts on this topic? I would love to know! 😀

Xoxo Kim

Sunshine :-D

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 “My dear,
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back. 
Truly yours,
Albert Camus “

Hello Sweethearts!!!

Today is an extremely cold day, here in Philadelphia, PA, USA and many other places.   I heard that in some places it’s the coldest day in 102 years!   :-O
I love cold weather. I love all the four Seasons and when they’re in the process of changing.   But I keep thinking of all the people who don’t love cold weather, ones who are at a disadvantage when the temps drop dramatically. There are people who are devastated and in mortal danger when the weather is severely cold and bitter.
People and animals who live outside, people who struggle with certain mood disorders that exacerbate or appear throughout cold weather, ones with pain disorders which flare up in the cold…and just people who outright loathe cold weather like this.
I hope all of the homeless people are off the streets now and that everyone stays safely warm during this extreme coldness. I hope that everyone will find the strength & comfort needed to endure any pain that may be going on.

And if you need a little extra sunshine today, I would love to send you some!    :-D. And if you can, I hope you will send it along to someone else who may need it!
Here are some lovely quotes for you! 🙂

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.

John Ruskin

“Love, whether newly born, or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, thAt it overflows upon the outward world.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne 

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
Lewis Carroll

Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.
Yoko Ono

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”

[Meditations Divine and Moral]
Anne Bradstreet

Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

And

Remember, if there’s no stars or sun, shine your own light on the world!

Here’s a tip I read for staying warm:

Whenever coming inside from the freezing outdoors, remember to shiver and say “brrr.”

Lol I read it on “The Onion” silly newspaper. ;-p

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The Wound Is the Place where the light enters you

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“There stood Beethoven, gravely ill and totally deaf.  Eyes closed, he kept conducting the orchestra even after they had ceased their performance and the audience had risen to its feet in thunderous applause.  As a singer stepped from the choir to turn him around to see those whose shouts of bravo resonated throughout the convert hall, tears of elation filled his eyes.
Perhaps the worst loss a composer could experience had been the catalyst for a remarkable adaptive creativity that allowed him to transcend his tortures to become immersed in the thrill of conducting the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, the ‘Ode to Joy’ “
(Pearsall, Paul (2003). The Beethoven Factor: The New Positive Psychology of Hardiness Happiness, Healing, and Hope. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing, p.xi.)

Have you ever read this before now? It’s beautiful,isn’t it? I was introduced to this true, short and sweet story when I picked up the book, “The Joy of Appreciative Living” by Jacqueline Kelm. I seriously recommend this book! It is great! The author helps us develop and strengthen the habit of seeing the good in life. She provides steps to exercises that we can engage in to really ingrain the habit into our heads. It has great reviews and testimonies. But her steps should not be taken loosely if you want true effectiveness. We must work at in seriously and be dedicated. I believe it helps to not view this as a hassle or boring task just to get the results. It benefits to view it as a joyful journey that will eventually lead to greatness and evolution of the self.

The book, “The Joy of Appreciative Living,” has a forward by David Cooperrider and Mr. Cooperrider provides the above story about Beethoven. He explains that Beethoven became extremely successful “not only in spite of but because[emphasis added] of the way he related to his adversity.” He was able to rejoice in this moment and inspire all who experienced this with him and discovers his story. 
This is a great lesson to all of us. Any painful or difficult experience we endure can be used as the catalyst for positive change. Because of our pain, we can become even better, wiser, stronger, and more enlightened than we would be without that painful experience. Disabilities of any sort, health issues, losses, any difficult or painful situation can be used to our advantage if we allow it and work with it.
When we’re currently experiencing pain, we may not be able to see how this can possibly benefit us. But if we think back to previous painful situations that contribute in some ways to better us, we can keep hope and strength alive that this, too, will somehow be advantageous to us.
You can be creative with your situation and think of ways that this difficulty can actually be your strength and inspiration. Then work to make that happen.

Going out to intentionally look for pain is not the best idea someone can have.
But as long as we live, some kind of pain is probably inevitable for almost everyone. So let us take that pain and use it to evolve in any ways we can. We can build on ourselves and develop a greater sense of wholeness. Pain can help people be more empathetic and compassionate to others. It can help us acknowledge and appreciate the simple treasures of life.   It can provoke us to change our whole lives around for the better.
So if you are experiencing pain or any difficult struggles, keep in mind that even though it may not feel this way now, you can take that pain and run with it, own it, and be better for it.

Whenever I am hit with a severe episode of clinical depression I let that be my reminder of how much better I am than I used to be. I no longer contemplate killing myself when I’m severely depressed because I worked on myself intensively to better myself. And now when an episode hits, no matter how severe, throughout the episode, I generally have hope that it will end and I keep in mind how strong I have become.

It’s extremely painful but I am able to use it and view it in a positive way.

Own every step you take.
Let your pain make you better, not bitter.

Fifteen Happiness Killing Habits

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Here are some little habits that I believe get in the way of happiness & joy and cause unnecessary stress. I have done all of these and I think many or most people probably do a few of these every now and again. I think we should not make these things into serious habits and if they already are a bad habit for us, we can “unlearn” them. With practice, we can learn to avoid these happiness killers and cultivate positive habits instead.

1.) Overly comparing yourself with others
This is something so many of us do constantly.   I used to do this so much. We look at people around us, people on Facebook & blogs, coworkers, celebrities, peers, family members….and see how much “better” we think they have it. Everyone lives at their own pace and even some people who seem to “have it all”  are often unhappy and people with very little material objects & things can be very happy & fulfilled. If you catch yourself comparing yourself negatively to others, it may benefit you to stop and remind yourself of a few things that are going right for you and make that a habit until eventually the negative comparisons will mostly stop. Let us be inspired, motivated by, and in awe of other people’s successes and not jealous or depressed over them.  It’s better to focus on being better than your previous self, not better than someone else.  Dwelling on feeling low about your own life or self won’t help you. Change what you can if you really want to; it’s worth it! And accept what you can’t change!   Let you & your life be your own kind of beautiful! 

2.) Dwelling on or obsessing over what other people think 

It’s ok & healthy to care to a certain degree what others think of us but it should not be so important that it stresses us out or takes over our lives, making us deny or repress our true selves.  Everyone has good things & bad things, people who like them and people who don’t. It’s good to just focus on being our true selves no matter what.  What YOU think of you matters most! 🙂

3.) Putting happiness on hold until the “perfect” moment or until something big happens.

Often, we feel that we can’t or won’t be happy or we can’t celebrate life until….we have a better job, more money, lose five pounds, have kids, get married, graduate, get a work promotion, go on vacation, the weekend, next year…..and it’s ok to want and work for all of that but we should never let it take away right NOW.  Ordinary occurrences, days, & moments are just as important and are a true gift. Let’s not lose them for something “bigger & better.”
Wear your favorite earrings, your favorite clothes, buy yourself flowers, NOW!
 Celebrate NOW. Celebrate you.  Celebrate life itself.   Be happy NOW!.   ;-D

4.) holding onto grudges 

Almost everyone has been or will be hurt in some way by someone else. It may be a small way or in a significant, tragic, life-changing way. I don’t believe that forgiveness is always necessary but whether or not we completely forgive, we should not let what someone did to us, destroy us. We can let go or find ways to cope with the hostile feelings we have for people who hurt us and not dwell on the person or incident.   Forgiveness doesn’t have to mean believing what the person did is ok, it means we choose to no longer let it have a hold on us.
You don’t have to love or accept the person, just let go for yourself. And accept yourself!

5.) getting wrapped up in trivial arguments/not letting things slide 

Some things really have to be confronted but many things can be let go before anything even begins…maybe a rude comment made by someone, a stranger pushing you out of the way on a crowded bus, someone accusing you of being wrong about something trivial when you know you’re right, someone trying to start a frivolous argument with you….these things can often be brushed off and are often not even worthy of your attention.  Definitely stand up for yourself, express yourself, have a backbone but there’s no need to blow things out of proportion. Some things can be ignored so we can move forward and get on with our lives. 
It may appear to be a “weakness” on your part or like the other person got over on you but I believe just the opposite. When you can maintain your composure and keep calm in and out that is a true strength and no one got over on you! When you get all worked up and furious then someone got over on you. Even if you punch the person in the face or yell insults, you let your anger get the better of you.

6.) doing things for people just for “credit” or appearance or for something in return 

Being “fake” and acting kind & friendly to people just for a certain reputation or to get stuff out of it is likely to leave someone feeling unfulfilled. If you really just don’t care about being kind to people, helping others, maybe you can find something else you love instead of putting on a show. Doing something you don’t like, pretending to be someone you aren’t can make you feel hollow inside.   Emptiness is an unpleasant emotion. And as the saying goes, it’s better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not. It’s so true, imo.
I think we should help others because we genuinely want to even if no one knows and even if we don’t get tangible rewards out of it. Helping people is beautiful!   And helping animals too!

7.) being too concerned with money

It’s ok to want & work for money but it’s not the best thing in life, in my opinion anyway. There are more fulfilling things, like rewarding jobs helping people or ones that are fun and interesting, even if they are low paying jobs. We don’t have to be stacked to be happy! ;-D. We can do volunteer work or paid word that is truly rewarding. This is just my opinion. I think some people feel like they need money to be happy when if they look within themselves they’ll see it’s not so true. But if someone really is interested in money more than anything and has no problem with that and is fulfilled anyway, that’s ok! Whatever floats your boat! 
:-D. As long as you’re truly fulfilled!

8.) Dwelling on lack  & loss instead of abundance & gratitude 

We all lack something & will eventually lose something.   And we can dwell on that if we want to. But we also have so much to be grateful for and can dwell on that instead! 

“You can cling to your loss or learn to dance again.”
This can be difficult but it is possible with practice & a positive frame of mind. 

This quote helped me tremendously when my grief over the loss of my dog was overwhelming me, many months later. I think it may be a biblical/spiritual quote. I’m not religious or anything but I still find beauty and inspiration in some religious/spuritual stuff. I still have difficulty coping with the loss of my dog in April 2013. But it helps me to focus on what I do have.

You can work for more while still Acknowledging and appreciating what you currently have.

9.) being stuck in the past or obsessing over the future

Remembering & planning is good. But we are alive now and should not let our past imprison us either by regretting it frequently or mourning it and we don’t have to fear the unknown of the future or put happiness on hold for it.

10.) resisting the flow of life/reality

We should definitely work to make things better. But life will always be happy & sad, positive & negative, pleasant & unpleasant & joyful & painful. That can’t be changed. Not all bad can be eradicated. Some things just have to be accepted for peace of mind. We should in no way ignore or deny negativity or pain, just accept it and embrace it when it can’t be changed.

11.) taking life too seriously.

Some things just have to be laughed at, joked about, and let go. Everything doesn’t have to be a big thing to get angry over, stress over, break down over & held on to. Don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff! 😉

12.) perpetuating gossip/drama:
Even if you yourself aren’t into gossip & drama, as long as you live and interact with people, at one point or another you will probably encounter someone who spreads gossip about you or tries to bring drama to you one way or another. I see so frequently on Facebook, usually girl’s, posting statuses like “She’s talking shit about me again..blah blah blahhh…” & “Shut your mouth instead of blabbing stuff about my life….” & “People are talking so much about me and I’m tired of the drama….” & “I want to punch her in the face or bitch slap her….”.
Some of these girls probably really are innocent “victims” of someone gossiping and being dramatic and want nothing to do with it and are just venting  but when I see statuses like that I often think that many of these girls secretly like being the “victim” of it or engaging in it and they want everyone on their list to see that they have something going on in their lives. They often don’t post names but just allude to someone. If you really don’t like gossip & drama, I believe that it’s best not to even post statuses like that at all and either ignore the gossipers & drama queens or confront them in a calm civil manner & just focus on being a great person yourself. Even if you don’t post names, you’re still engaging in & perpetuating it. I don’t mind seeing these statuses at all, they have nothing to do with me and I can always block or “x” the person’s posts out if I want. People can post whatever they want on their account but my point is that negative girly gossip & drama can stress us out & in my opinion isn’t at all attractive or interesting. Those have to be some of the most boring statuses I have ever read. But some people really take pleasure in them. Whatever floats your boat! :-D. I’m not innocent of those posts, I have posted a couple some years ago on rare occasions and it brought me nothing good.

13.) Harboring excessive or delusional guilt: Sometimes we may feel guilty when our lives are going well and tragedy has struck somewhere else. But repressing our own gratitude will not help in any way. It’s ok to be happy even when others aren’t. We can have empathy & compassion for them and reach out to them while still embracing our own lives.  
We don’t have to be “in their faces” with how great it’s all going for us but we don’t have to feel guilty and repress our own happiness either. We can find a healthy balance when being around people who are suffering when we are not.
And if you unintentionally hurt someone and are truly sorry, forgive yourself even if that person doesn’t.   We all make some kind of mistakes.   And if you hurt someone intentionally, still, you deserve your own forgiveness. You can learn, realize you were wrong, and move forward with true intentions to not hurt people on purpose again. 
You cannot take responsibility for the entire world or everyone you know. Go easy on yourself.   You can’t do everything, cure everyone, or help everyone.   Just be the best you that you can be without trying for some objective sense of Perfection.   

14.) Obsessing over/attempting perfection :

No one can be perfect in everyone’s eyes and even if we could, we shouldn’t try, in my opinion. We should just consciously be our authentic selves. Perfection is actually subjective for the most part. What’s perfect to me may not be to you.   Why be my definition of perfect?   Or Society’s? Or your friends’, family’s, or lover’s? Making some compromises to be compatible with others is sometimes a very good thing but denying your whole true self or most of yourself for someone else is detrimental to you. You are just as important as anyone else.

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.
Harvey Fierstein 

15.) Treating yourself horribly/thinking/talking negatively in reference to yourself:  

Many people mistreat themselves terribly in ways they would never dream of treating others. They verbally abuse themselves frequently with words like “Stupid,” “fat,” “loser,” “no good,” and the list goes on…..

Would you call your best friend “fat” or your mom? Do you constantly call your friends “stupid” not just in a playful way but seriously to offend?   Probably not. And you shouldn’t do that to yourself!   You are no less than anyone else! Instead when you catch yourself calling yourself insults or thinking negatively about yourself whether it’s true or not, think of how you can work on yourself to change for the better.  If you really think you’re stupid see what you can do to not feel that way. And when you think of Negative words about yourself, then think of three or more positive qualities you possess. And if there’s ones you would like to have but feel that you don’t yet have them, think of ways you can work on yourself to develop or strengthen them. But don’t abuse yourself. 
I have worked hard to change certain ways and things I think about me. Years ago I constantly referred to myself as a “loser,” “piece of shit,” “worthless,” “taking up more space then I deserve in this world,” and I would frequently say and think things like “I would rather be dead!” or “If that ever happens I will die!” 
Now I do not say or think those things. Not even in jest. It’s not funny and even as a joke it may unconsciously bring me down.

Habits can be intentionally and unintentionally learned and ingrained.   And they can be un-learned with practice and conscious application.   It is definitely worth the work!

“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”
John Lennon 

If you have any you would like to share, you can post in the comments section! I would love to know! 😀

Thank You!!!!!!

Much love & happiness to you!

Xoxo Kim

Happy, Happy New Year 2014 Everyone <3

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“…time is the New Year’s bountiful blessing: three hundred sixty-five bright mornings and starlit evenings; fifty-two promising weeks; twelve transformative months full of beautiful possibilities; and four splendid seasons. A simply abundant year to be savored.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach (excerpt out of “Simple Abundance, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy) 

Hello loves!!!!

I hope 2014 will be a beautiful year for all of you!   2013 was good for me and I will make 2014 a great year too!

I believe I have the power within me to choose if I will have good days or bad days. I cannot always choose what happens to me but I can generally choose my reactions, my thoughts, emotions, and my attitude and not let negativity and pain drag me down.

I can make healthy, positive choices that will have great results!

This is something that can be learned, practiced, and applied.   Eventually it can become an ingrained, general habit.

Even when our physical environment is chaotic and full of craziness, we can maintain an inner calmness.

I realize this more than ever that bad things happening in a day, even bad things all day long do not have to result in a “bad day” or a very bad mood if I don’t want them to.   And even lots of “bad days” do not have to mean this is a “bad life.”  It’s all how I choose to look at it and no matter how many bad things occur, I can choose a Good day and A mood of Gratitude.  

Negative things will definitely affect me but I won’t let them keep me down for too long. I want to be impacted by things, good and bad, because I want to live in feeling and not numb. I want to take full advantage of being alive.

I don’t want to put up barriers or walls and not let the world in. I open myself up & welcome the universe into me. Life will always be good and bad, beautiful and ugly, pleasant, joyous, and sad. We can work to change things but the fact is that good & bad will always occur. 

2013 was great even though there was some sadness & pain.

One of the greatest things that happened this year is I was able to go the entire year without one serious suicidal thought or urge. Almost every day for nearly fourteen years, I have seriously(more than just a brief fleeting thought) thought about killing myself at least once a day. I have struggled with severe clinical depressive episodes  for many years with mini severe episodes and long-term, low grade/moderate depression in the middle of each severe episode.   

I am generally much better now because of the personal development, self-help techniques I practice everyday along with professional treatment.   I still struggle every now and then with severe depressive symptoms or episodes but it’s no longer, long term and I have brief, fleeting suicidal thoughts on rare occasions but I’m able to manage them before they get out of control.  And the thought of killing myself now seems so wrong and unnatural to me, even when I’m depressed, when it previously seemed so right, so natural for over a decade. It’s completely mind blowing to live every single day and actually want to live and to not be severely depressed day in and day out. 

I can’t get over it! I never get used to it. Like when someone is sick, like a sore throat or some other common physical illness and finally the sickness wears off and the person feels amazing and is conscious of not being ill but eventually that consciousness wears off and the person goes back to old ways not even thinking of not being sick because we’re always so used to not being sick. We take it for granted.  But I can never get used to wanting to live and not being depressed. It’s astounding everyday.  I’m always so conscious of not being depressed and not being suicidal. I feel it in everything I do.

And I will be the best me I can be for everyone and for myself and for the Universe. 

I am blessed.

I have developed and maintain a life philosophy that I have to turn to whenever things are difficult or painful. It’s a philosophy that says life is always a true gift no matter how painful or hard it is and that I can conquer whatever comes my way, and be happy again. And it’s all about love and compassion for everyone, life itself, and myself. Even when I fall and forget or ignore my life philosophy, it’s ingrained in me enough so I always come back to it. I may falter or fall but I will always get back up and stand firm. 

“You can be greater than anything that can happen to you.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

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The last week of 2013 was just beautiful. I got to spend Christmas Eve with my mom & sister then at night with my friends and some new people I have been blessed to meet that night.

I also met a group of men on Christmas Eve who were listening to Oldies music, my favorite! It was a warm & sunny day and a crisp, cold night. How perfect! The men were funny, sitting outside a house with “The Temptations ” blasting and I told them I love it and they told me. To “get out of here” and playfully told me I’m too young to know about Oldies music! Lol! Oldies music is my world! ;-D

I love meeting new people!

Then last night, New Year’s Eve, I spent the night with a few friends and my sister. We went to a Vegan restaurant.   It’s the first year ever in my whole entire life that I fell asleep before 12:00am and did not watch the ball drop or throw confetti to welcome the near year! I was exhausted!! Lol

Here are some happy thoughts for you this year:

“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” — Walt Disney

(be silly, cheerful, youthful….)

“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.” ~ 
Jack Kerouac

(even when your life can be better, it’s still a blessing, you still have so much good and there’s always hope for better things if you need them!)

“Enjoy the simple things.”

(don’t forget to bask in the beauty all around, the sunrise & Sunset, the beauty of the snow & rain, the flowers blooming, the crisp leaves, the feel of hot tea streaming down your throat, warm fluffy blankets, a place to live….the simple treasures are true blessings.)

“Stop focusing on how stressed you are and remember how blessed you are.”

(it’s ok to vent, complain, and acknowledge the negativity you have going on but it’s best not to dwell too much on that and instead focus on the good you also have. At any given moment we can think of a long list of reasons why our lives suck but at that same moment we can think of a long list of reasons why our lives are amazing.)

“Have no fear of Perfection, you’ll never reach it.” ~ Salvador Dall

(you can try to be your own kind of perfect but you’ll never be perfect in everyone’s eyes; no one will be. Some people fear success; maybe they fear being successful then losing it all so they never even try hard to begin with. So do the best you can for you! Forget about achieving some illusion of ultimate perfection. Have fun, be joyous, let go!!!)

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” ~ Nelson Mandela 

(it’s great to take chances even if you fear failure or rejection. It’s better to live, love, and lose than never open your heart up! The choice to do nothing out of fear is a a choice that holds you back.)

“If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.”

(it’s good to do little things to brighten someone’s day! A kind word, a friendly compliment, a warm smile, a pleasant surprise, an unexpected gift, express gratitude….)

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must but take the step.”

(take that first step! Even if it takes a while, keep going…..you’ll never ever get there without that first step.)

“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” ~Bil Keane

(we can use our past to learn and help guide us, and we can be hopeful for our bright future but let us not forget the true gift of NOW! Remembering the past and planning ahead is great but it’s not good to get too wrapped up into it. Now is important.)

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” ~T.S. Eliot

(don’t let your concept of the past or the future restrain you or hold you back! Whatever happened before now and whatever may happen later, doesn’t matter for how you can be now. You don’t have to bring old detrimental ways into the new year or a new day. And you don’t have to let fear of what is to come or what may come hinder you.)

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” ~Tom Peter

(yes!!! No matter how little of something there is, celebrate it! Gratitude & appreciation seems to bring more things to be grateful for and more things to appreciate!)

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

(Today, whether it’s the first day of the new year or not, is a day you can start over if you want, hold the pen to your own story, you are in charge of your life!)

Much, much love, happiness, joy, & blessings to you all!

Xoxo Kim 😀