Tag Archive | anxiety

Today

(A pretty picture I took today – April 14th, 2018 but when I publish it, it will probably say April 15th because it’s nearly 10:00pm now)

“By effort and heedfulness, discipline, and self-mastery, let the wise one make for oneself an island which no flood can overwhelm.”

Today, I got onto an elevator for work. I could have taken the stairs but chose the elevator. I was on the 4th floor of the apartment building. Going back down, I felt that the doors were taking longer than they’re supposed to to open and guess what?! I felt not one ounce of fear!! Not one little flash of fear, anxiety, panic, nothing!! And did not even feel a sense of panic coming on or anticipate it like I often do. This is incredible progress! This has to be my greatest accomplishment in this life, ever!

In case anyone reading this is confused or it seems like no big deal, here is some background info. about my experience with phobic fear:

F.E.A.R

It actually freaking happened

Welcome to rock bottom-the only way now is up

Serendipitous Strength

Phobia.

It’s a big, big thing! I suffered another terrible relapse recently and now I healed it again and can get on elevators myself with no fear! I have been working hard to heal this phobia. It doesn’t always take long to heal a relapse. Phobias are weak, even though they feel extremely powerful, and they lose their power very easily when properly faced again & again.

“Unlike many other mental health problems, phobias can be brought under manageable control or even totally destroyed, sometimes within hours. This is a far cry from some of the medium- to long-term work which is required for other mental health issues. So the good news is that phobias are relatively easy to deal with, providing you have the correct knowledge, support and treatment plan, along with a determined and proactive attitude. In life there are many REAL problems, which we all have to contend with, so my view is that we should conserve our energy to tackle those by ridding ourselves of the UNREAL threats, which are the hallmarks of a phobia.” ~Patricia Furness-Smith

The way I am recovering mostly, is exposure in combination with Buddhist philosophy (that can apply to anyone at all, not just Buddhist people – see Dhamma quote above). Even without the meditation part (which is also great!), I find Buddhist philosophy so very helpful in healing my fear (and in general!).

The reason that this is such a big accomplishment is not the amount of work it takes or the duration of treatment but the amount of courage & strength it takes to face it. It is hard!!

I am working on not just recovering but building my mindset in a way to see elevators as a safe place, a place of comfort, a space where I experience a feeling of being embraced in warmth & safety, security (i know security is an illusion but dont mind feeling secure in a place I once felt seemingly unbearable terror and panic). I don’t just want to tolerate them and don’t want them to just be a mundane thing or task I have to perform. I aspire to come to seeing them as an opportunity for a few moments of simple joy or pleasure.

I may not be recovered just yet or my recovery may be shaky and at risk for relapse again. It’s new and not quite ingrained yet. But it will be and then evolve into something more. I feel that Im already inclined to view elevators as a warm, cozy, safe place. Why not? They are safe for the most part. In there, alone, I am protected against the dangers of the world. I can feel that to some degree but not in great depth yet. Im working on it!

This is my goal!

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

Much love & light, always,

Xoxo Kim

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Phobia.

Roll With It – Steve Winwood

“When life is too much, roll with it, baby
Don’t stop and lose your touch, oh no, baby
Hard times knocking on your door
I’ll tell them you ain’t there no more
Get on through it, roll with it, baby
Luck’ll come and then slip away
You’ve gotta move, bring it back to stay
You just roll with it, baby
Come on and just roll with it, baby
You and me, roll with it, baby”

Recently, I chose to do something incredibly brave, to aid in my recovery. Every part of my body was telling me to run. There were all kinds of physical sensations all over my body, unpleasant ones, including light-headedness, fear, dry mouth, trembling sensations in my hands & legs, heart pounding…but some intuition deep inside was telling me to stay. The physical urge to run was much more easy to listen to and I was tempted. But I made up my mind. The intuition deep within is the wise voice, softer, gentler, just a whisper to “stay” next to that loud screaming “RUN” but definitely wiser. And I wont let the voice of fear drown the voice of wisdom.

So I chose to STAY.

I was standing before an elevator, alone, on the 2nd floor of a building. Right next to the elevator is a door to the stairs. I could have easily walked through the doorway to the stairs and walked down in less than a minute, which is what my intense fear was urging me to do.

But I chose to listen to that quiet but strong intuition telling me to empower myself, not my fear. For me to continuously avoid my fear (of small, closed in places, especially alone in elevators), at all costs, is to feed that fear. To give it power.

For me to face my fear, no matter how immense, no matter how suffocating, traumatic, terrible it is, is to loosen its grip on me, release me of its bondage and empower myself.

This is a fear so incredibly powerful, it knocks the wind out of me and weakens my body. I become lightheaded & disoriented and feel as if I may actually die. I have to face it & embrace it to conquer it. A cruel, twisted kind of irony to have to subject myself to the very thing that scares me most, but it is what it is.

I would have taken the stairs in this building anyway as it was only the 2nd floor but I saw this as an opportunity to evolve and I took it.

So I bravely stepped into that elevator and pushed the “1” button with my near trembling finger and watched in dismay as the doors closed on me, completely expunging my sense of control and actual control. The second the doors close, I am no longer in a position to choose. I cannot choose to run, to change my mind and take the stairs as I cant open an elevator on my own.

As the doors close, I instantly wonder if I have made a bad mistake. Maybe I should have run, taking the safe route, the easy way, the stairs. Sometimes, in buildings, we don’t have access to the stairs and I have no choice. But on this occasion, I had a choice and chose to lock myself in a big, mechanical box, alone.

But instead of completely breaking down, I stood strong and focused on my breath, each inhalation & exhalation and I became one with that breath. I felt the fear every few seconds, trying to get the best of me, that impending sense of panic threatening to overtake me, and acknowledged that fear then let it go. I felt it dissipate with each in breath & out breath. And before I knew it, there were the elevator doors wide open, inviting me to walk out into the rest of my day. Simple as that.

See, it’s really not so bad, is it?

But what if….

What if…the doors wouldn’t have opened?

What if…i would have been stuck in there all by myself?!

What if…the elevator malfunctioned and no one knew until way later or ever???

What if…one occasion it just doesn’t open and im stuck in there alone forever?!?!?!

What if….those incessant what ifs…relentless & plaguing…

After the doors close and sometimes even when Im not on an elevator but recently got out of one or will soon have to get inside one or sometimes just thinking about it, these are the thoughts that ensue. These what if’s…

But “what if…” doesn’t matter. What IS, is what does matter. And whatever is just is and that is that. I will breathe and focus and roll with it and endure until it’s over. And it will be over eventually, whatever “it” is.

After stepping off of the elevator, I planned to go right to another elevator and step inside, just to face my fear again.

And while it’s very helpful and wise and necessary to face our phobic fear again and again and again, there is such a thing as “too much, too soon” and “overdoing.” I know the value of breaks and rest and moderation and balance. Preserving energy and choosing wisely is a good thing. Generally, we have to keep facing this fear and not running. But a break when needed is also necessary. I felt that running directly to another elevator would have been more draining and detrimental than good. This may not always be the case but this moment, it was. Deep inside, I knew a rest is what I needed then, not more trauma.

Remember to keep going but also remember to rest when needed. Running, falling, once in a while is ok. Just keep getting back up!

Im not recovered. Not even halfway to recovery. And I may still have relapses and probably will before & even after full recovery. Who knows? But I discovered a place in me with a strong foundation that isn’t easy to be demolished and can be rebuilt even if it is.

Im not sorry to have encountered this struggle. I dont wish it never happened to me and dont necessarily wish it would just go away. Of course, I want this fear to heal and thats why im doing all this work. But i dont mind it. It’s a gift to have this opportunity to get better and have deeper empathy for others in similar situations. I see so much beauty in it.

Just last month, I think, my fear was so frequent, so intense, so debilitating, I became depressed and suicidal. I could hardly hold a toothbrush. I wanted to die just knowing that it’s possible to be trapped in an elevator alone. Just knowing it’s possible. Not even because it may happen. Just because it’s possible. My depression became an entity of its own and was not even just about the fear anymore.

Now here I am. Strong and still standing.

I want to share it because i believe we all have that strength to endure any battle and be even better for it. We all have the strength to see beauty in any struggle and to reach out to others in any way we can, to inspire and uplift, or just listen and understand.

The way to recover is to seize opportunities to practice no matter how difficult it is. It is very, very difficult but worth the struggle, the trauma, the pain, the terror.

Im not posting this to brag. Lol Im posting this because one night I was laying in my bed desperately longing to meet someone. A strong woman with some sort of severe phobia, preferably one similar to my own but any would do. I pined for a woman who faces her worst fear and lives to tell about it. A woman who conquered or conquers that fear. One who chose to rise above and lift others along the way.

I laid in my bed and fantasized and hoped so much to meet this strong, confident woman, either in person, in a book, or online and dreamed of being cloaked in her strength, enveloped in her compassion, lifted by her motivation, and empowered by her story. Inspired by her light.

I wanted to find blogs, books, stories… that chronicle her experiences.

I wanted to find this woman somewhere, anywhere, but couldn’t find her.

Then it hit me….

I can be this woman.

I am this woman.

I’m her.

So here I am, sharing my great fear and hoping to inspire, lift, help empower, and console someone who is struggling.

If you are someone who is struggling with a phobia/anxiety of any sort, maybe a social phobia/anxiety, or fear involving being on an airplane when you have to get on one(I have to get on elevators for work and feel your pain!), insects, or maybe a less common fear like fear of swallowing or fear of dolls, maybe a fear of dogs or noises… or any difficult situation, I embrace you in my love & am cheering you on. We all have different triggers but it’s that terrible, breathtaking panic & fear, outright terror, that we can all relate to.

Keep going. You got this!

Xoxo Kim❤

F.E.A.R

My therapist recently told me that we have a choice for how to handle fear. We can Fuck Everything and Run (lol!) or Face Everything and Recover. He said that both are ok but of course facing & recovering is more healthy and in the end will likely bring us the more desired results.

Recently, I encountered a scary situation. And I remembered my F.E.A.R choices. And I chose to……fuck everything and run. Lol!

The scary situation? Having to go into a building with an elevator.

In case you don’t know, I’m deathly afraid of being closed in small places alone, especially elevators – always have been and don’t know why – sometimes I actually feel like I’m going to die when I just think about it; I actually feel like death is around me, squeezing me, suffocating me. You can read more about my struggles & victories in these posts if you want!

It actually freaking happened

Serendipitous Strength

welcome to rock bottom – the only way is up

My choices? To suck it up and get on the elevator & know I have the courage & strength to handle it (going up I have to get on because the door to stairs is locked but coming back down, I can take the stairs), to take advantage of this opportunity for growth or to take the stairs and avoid that fear and the possibility of getting trapped on one by myself. And yes, I chose the second. :-/

Generally, I’m really good with facing my fear and even staying calm and getting inside the elevators alone. But this is the building where I recently got stuck in one, very briefly but still not pleasant(and I handled it so well, I must say!) and I just felt that I was in no mood for any nonsense that morning. Lol

It’s good for me to get onto elevators alone as much as I can so I can stregthen my courage & inner peace with them. I haven’t suffered any terrible relapse recently. But it’s possible that I can as I have before. Sometimes my heart still races a bit and my hands almost tremble when I get onto elevators alone but sometimes I’m very calm when I do. For a while, my phobic fear was pretty much gone, healed, recoverd. But I suffered a relapse a while ago and began to struggle again. Nowhere near as badly as before but still a bit of a struggle.

The morning I was in that building, I was struggling with the phobic fear and wasn’t up to facing it.

So when the elevator doors opened, I bolted and ran for the stairs.

I won’t make a habit of it. I will still choose to get into elevators alone and know I can handle whatever comes my way. I will remember my strength and progress and accomplishments. But there will also be moments I’ll give into weakness, forget my strength and courage and take the easy way, the way that doesn’t allow as much growth and an opportunity to strengthen my courage & virtue of patience. And that’s ok too!

We don’t always, always have to be strong and brave and inspiring and positive and perfect.

I’m generally very positive and mostly use social media for sharing inspirational and/or happy/positive things. But I also think it’s good to be genuine and share my not so inspiring experiences/choices. Like running away and not facing my fear.

I was disappointed that I couldn’t write a post about how I was brave and strong in the face of my phobic fear and how I handled it like a pro! Lol I was sorry I couldn’t use my own experience to try to inspire others or encourage someone to be brave, feel the fear and do it anyway. I could have written that post but it would be dishonest.

But then I remembered that sharing our weaknesses and less than pleasant aspects and experiences can be just as inspiring and just as encouraging and uplifting to others as sharing our strengths. There are others who run, make mistakes, have setbacks, do things that aren’t the best. And sharing this can help each other see that someone else understands and that it’s actually ok. We have permission to not always be positive and strong and brave. We have permission to falter. To stumble. To fall. We have permission to run once in a while. Just so long as it doesn’t become a habit or way of life, it’s all good! And if it does become an unhealthy habit, that’s ok, we can fix it. Habits can be reversed. Fall and get back up.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Or not.

Whatever you choose, I’m here cheering you on!

Virtual Hugs to you! ❤ (virtual hugs are good for all because even if you don’t like actual hugs, you’re not actually being touched. lol)

Xoxo Kim

Welcome to rock bottom -the only way now is UP

“Face to face, out in the heat

Hanging tough, staying hungry

They stack the odds still we take to the street

For the kill with the skill to survive”🐯

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Here is a post I wrote a couple days ago and just edited it a bit.

“Welcome to Rock Bottom

One day, after another routinely dreadful morning, I sat in my car looking at our office and thinking, ‘I DO NOT want to go in there. I hate my job. I can’t stand Frank. I don’t make enough money. I am so underutilized! Should I leave the company? Would I even be missed? What’s the point of all this anyway? Is this really my life? This can’t be my life.’ And there it was. I had finally reached it—I was at rock bottom. As I mentioned, I believe rock bottom is the moment when you finally find the power and the strength you’ve always been lacking to change your today and go on to create a better tomorrow. I knew I couldn’t get any lower, and at that moment, I realized that all of the training, coaching, reading, and inspiring I’d engaged in just a few years earlier had not disappeared completely. I started to sense something deep within. There was still a tiny spark of hope that things could get better. That internal spark was like a smothered flame that just needed a little air, and as soon as I realized the spark was there, it was as if someone poured kerosene on it. I started to think: ‘If my circumstances won’t change, maybe I can change the way I look at my circumstances, and maybe as a result, they actually WILL change.'”

These are wise words by Kevin Clayson, author of Flip the Gratitude Switch. I have experienced “rock bottom” before, just like he mentions here, where it’s like I just can’t get any lower, so desperate, plummeting to the lowest depths of my despair, until I can’t possibly sink any lower. Pulled deeper and deeper and deeper into some dark, seemingly endless abyss when finally I realize there is an end. And I have reached it.

What do we do when our world is crumbling on top of us, when everything shatters, when it’s hard to stand, so difficult just to live & breathe, and we are pulled so low we can’t go any lower?

We rise.

Usually when I have experienced this “rock bottom,” it’s with depression and sometimes when my chronic physical pain disorder is flaring up to what seems like unbearable levels and my body is wracked in physical agony beyond belief. The only way I can get lower when I’m like this, is to be put in the ground. I haven’t experienced these things in a long while. My physical pain disorder has been doing so well. I have been experiencing mild to no pain each & every day. Thanking my lucky stars! And I can’t even remember when I was last depressed! I’m so happy!

But it’s true, this morning I realized I have hit “rock bottom.” A different kind of rock bottom. Not depression of any kind or physical pain. But still I have found my self in a very low place in this life. Two months ago, I think it was, October, I wasn’t depressed or in physical pain but was in Hell everyday for a couple weeks. It ended for a while and now is back!🙊😱

This Hell I speak of is fear. Terror. Not just a bit of anxiety. Fullblown fear. It’s not fear in general but about a specific thing. As I mentioned here, in a post titled Serendipitous Strength, I used to be deathly afraid of being closed in small places that I can’t just get out of the second I want to, especially elevators and especially when I’m alone. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. Why is a mystery. As a child, I had breakdowns going on elevators even with my mom & dad.

I healed myself. It is an incredible accomplishment and awe-inspiring. The fact that I had a relapse doesn’t matter. It doesnt change how incredible it is. I healed this fear once and can and will heal it again.

I never worked on this fear specifically but during my personal development journey, my quest to find healing, working on myself to help heal my depression and cope with tmjd “cluster headaches” without realizing it, I was conquering my fear of being closed in. With my personal development plan I teach myself and train my brain to know I can handle and conquer anything. To know I will always be free no matter what position I’m in in this life. To know life is a gift no matter what. To see positivity and opportunity in any situation no matter how dreadful. I trained my brain with meditation and quotes and music and songs and writing to stay calm and composed for the most part, in any situation no matter what, no matter how painful physically or emotionally. (Out of my post Serendipitous Strength)

The #1 one thing that helps me with my fear is my Buddhist studies, not even just meditation but the writings I read even when I don’t put them into practice as intended. Just the reads are so powerful. All of these other things, quotes, songs, basic mindfulness…, helped me to a great extent, with depression & chronic pain and when I found Kadampa Buddhism, I found deeper healing and healing for this fear.

Somewhat recently, I suffered a relapse and my old fear returned to me with a vengeance. The second the elevator doors close and I’m on there alone, my first thought is “I’m screwed” and a sense of panic arises.

For work, I sometimes have to get on elevators. For about ten months I had to seven days a week, mostly by myself. Thankfully my fear was healed. But in a fraction of a second, while on an elevator, by myself, I suffered a relapse. I made the mistake of watching the numbers go up and waiting for the doors to open and you know when we watch & wait, a second feels like forever. I felt the doors took a second longer than usual to open and that’s all it took to bring that breath-taking fear crashing back into me. Flooded with terror, when the door finally opened, I stumbled into the hallway, trembling inside & out, legs like jelly, dizzy, panicked.

And my fear has been with me since then. I no longer have to be on an elevator every single day anymore and that may be part of the problem. I’m no longer accustomed to it and no longer have that chance to practice being calm on an elevator everyday. Now with those two things, the relapse & being out of touch with elevators, I nearly fall to pieces when I have to get on one by myself. I’m not scared anymore if I’m on an elevator with a dog or a human.

What if the elevator malfunctions while I’m on there myself and I’m trapped inside a box for who knows how long? My worst nightmare. I know I can handle it. My conviction is strong. But I don’t always feel that I can handle it. My conviction never falters. I know anyone can handle anything if we train our brain and adjust our attitude. But sometimes I focus too much on the feeling of not being able to handle it. And i fear if i get trapped, I will become a blubbering wreck and never recover. Two or more weeks away and when I think of it, my head is in turmoil.

(Photo not mine)

I am not someone who curses a lot out loud, in writing, or in my head. It’s not that I think it’s wrong. I love when people curse a lot. Lol It’s just not me. But early, this morning I was walking up a street thinking about how in a few weeks I will be required to get onto an elevator(the doors for staircases in some buildings open to get outside but are locked on the outside to get upstairs so elevators are generally required), most likely alone, and everyday for at least a week, and how I’m going to be living & breathing fear, I’m going to be a total wreck in my head, just like two months ago, and I just thought Fuck this shit. Seriously, fuck it. I am done. Not done with life or with work. I am done being conquered by this fear. So done. And I realized I have hit rock bottom two months ago and am still here now. And I remembered Mr. Clayson’s story about how rock bottom is our opportunity to rise above. I will rise above this fear. I will conquer it.

How? I’m not quite sure but I know I will. I will discipline my brain. And I have a few things in mind. More intensive Dharma practice & gratitude practice, The Work, rhythmic breathing, desensitization…

There is no place for this fear. I don’t want it and I won’t have it. I don’t have to accept it because it can be changed. Two months ago I found it difficult to focus on anything other than this fear. I spilled coffee all over because my hands were trembling, My legs were shaky and I was lightheaded. After getting off an elevator, it took me so long to recover, those mornings & nights. Outside I probably looked a bit shaken up but inside, I was wrecked. (I did face my fear and kept getting on elevators though, {BY MYSELF, ALONE!!!, ME!!! On an elevator ALONE!!! Whhhaaattt?! Holy guacamole!} which is a display of great strength & courage. I did what I had to do while not repressing my fear) I felt that I couldn’t even stand up straight each day.

This is unacceptable and I will change it. Whatever it takes. I will not avoid elevators and will not put up with this terror. And there’s no place for it in my world. It’s not welcome here and I do not have to accept it.

I healed my fear mostly with Buddhist philosophy. And I will again. This is the main thing that brought me so much deep healing and I know without a doubt, it will again. I just have to concentrate.

Recently, I received a Dorje Shugden Empowerment and I am totally counting on it (& my previous Empowerments) helping me cope with & heal this fear.

Om vajra wiki witrana söha.

OM AH RA PA TSA NA DHI

Just like Mr. Clayson shares in the excerpt above, it can feel like all our previous strength, wisdom, personal development is down the drain, but it’s not. Somewhere deep inside, there is strength, wisdom, courage even if it seems to be long gone or seems like we never had any to begin with.

What I am promoting here is not necessarily any specific techniques like gratitude, meditation, conscious breathing or philosophy like Buddhist philosophy, though I do generally promote those. Here, I am just suggesting that we rise above our fear, pain, struggles…and keep going. Keep moving up. Pro-act. Let’s not sink to the bottom and stay there. Do something. Whatever it takes. Whether it’s professional help, meditation, personal development books, exercise, gratitude practice…find something, do something, and just keep going.

(Photo not mine)

It can be done. I did this before and if you are reading this now, so can you. I was able to make the choice to face a fear so powerful that I feel it can drive me insane, like I will lose all sense of language and awareness…, face it & conquer it and completely overcome it. Whatever your issue is, grief, fear, depression, addiction of any sort or something that may seem less serious…you can face it and overcome it. It’s not the problem itself that is actually the problem; it’s how we attach to it, perceive it, view it, react to it…and we have a choice to change that.

“I choose to FIGHT BACK! I choose to RISE, not fall! I choose to LIVE, not die! And I know, I know that what’s within me is also WITHIN YOU.”

We can & we will.

I am here cheering you on right along with cheering myself on. I have a lot of work to do and it’s every bit worth it. Keep going.

“When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on!!”

Much love & light & strength to you,

Xoxo Kim❤

P.s Elevators are the worst invention in the history of ever!!! I have a few choice words for the inventor! Blahhh!!!

Inspiration❤

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This isn’t my photo! Just an inspiring quote I recently discovered! I haven’t been doing much for the last few days except working & meditating (and eating pita bread & hummus! Yum! 😍 ) 

I haven’t even been reading much which is extremely unusual for me! I have been engaging in meditation more instead. My meditations have been deeper and longer and more persistent than they used to be, over an hour for each one. I notice a significant difference each day than when I don’t meditate much. When I don’t meditate for a while, even when I’m very calm and peaceful and not anxious or depressed, I’m not as mindful of my inner peace and it doesn’t feel as deep as when I meditate even just once in the last two days. The feeling of tranquility, inner peace, calm, serenity…, is almost palpable. For me, the effects of meditation last two days. I noticed this because when I meditate just once one day and not again, I still feel the effects two days later, that smoothness, that seemingly indestructible inner calm. Two days later! Imagine the effects of meditating every single day! 😀  I have much experience with meditation but never made it a constant habit. I meditate off and on, stopping for a while then starting up then stopping, then again…which is better than nothing! 😀

I am not someone who experiences much anxiety or sleep problems but after losing my close friend unexpectedly to a heart attack, a year and a half ago, I experience anxiety and a sense of panic (not full blown panic attacks though) in ways I never used to before and I find meditation so very helpful. But we don’t have to have a specific problem or condition for meditation to be helpful. Even if we’re generally, naturally very peaceful and joyful, meditation can still be fantastic.

So I have been on a kind of retreat, not like a trip somewhere but not doing as much as usual (other than working) like reading, social media….

In Buddhism, sometimes we are encouraged to go on a retreat in our minds, even if we have to work. We still go to work and do things we have to but lay off other things for a while, like Internet. It energizes and calms us. This wasn’t my intention now; it just sort of happened that way.

Also, I recently heard on the radio that eating any kind of beans each and every day can add eight years to our life! Hummus is one example the person provided. I love hummus! Lol My mom thinks it sounds like a dirty word. 😂😍

I’ll have to look it up to learn more about that! Very interesting!  Today is the fifth day of my twelve days in a row of work! It’s not so bad. It is a bit busy! ‘Tis the season for ice cream, milkshakes, banana splits….😍

Thank you to everyone who wrote me comments! I will respond soon! I appreciate every comment, like, share…..😍

Much love & light,

Kim ❤

 

 

 

Our Hawaiian Paradise

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(me on the Wildwood beach this Summer)

In Orison Swett Marden’s book, Cheerfulness As a Life Power, you can read it online here,he shares an amazing excerpt I would love to share about being lighthearted, cheerful, and carefree. 

It’s old so there’s no copyright so it’s no cost to read online! I have the Kindle book. It’s not a very long book.  

IMG_14169587

Here it is:

“Our Hawaiian Paradise”

“A newspaper correspondent, Annie Laurie, has told us all about the new kind of American girls just added to our country: –

‘They are as straight as an arrow, and walk as queens walk in fairy stories; they have great braids of sleek, black hair, soft brown eyes, and gleaming white teeth; they can swim and ride and sing; and they are brown with a skin that shines like bronze…there isn’t a worried woman in Hawaii. The women there can’t worry. They don’t know how. They eat and sing and laugh, and see the sun and the moon set, and posses their souls in smiling peace. 
If a Hawaiian woman has a good dinner, she laughs and invites her friends to eat it with her; if she hasn’t a good dinner, she laughs and goes to sleep, – and forgets to be hungry. She doesn’t have to worry about what the people in the downstairs flat will think if they don’t see the butcher’s boy arrive on time. If she can earn the money, she buys a nice. new, glorified Mother Hubbard; and, if she can’t get it, she throws the old one into the surf and washes it out, puts a new wreath of fresh flowers in her hair, and starts out to enjoy the morning and the breezes thereof.
They are not earnest workers; they haven’t the slightest idea that they were put upon earth to reform the universe, – they’re just happy. They run across great stretches of clear, white sand, washed with resplendent purple waves, and, when the little brown babies roll in the surf, their brown mothers run after them, laughing and splashing like a lot of children. Or, perhaps we see them in gay cavalcades mounted upon garlanded ponies, adorned by white jasmine wreaths with roses and pinks. And here in this paradise of laughter and light hearts and gentle music, there’s absolutely nothing to do but to care for the children and old people and to swim or ride. You couldn’t start a ‘reform circle’ to save your life; there isn’t a jail in the place, nor a tenement quarter, and there are no outdoor pool. There isn’t a woman’s club in Honolulu, – not a club. There was a culture circle once for a few days; a Boston woman who went there for her health organized it, but it interfered with afternoon nap-time, so nobody came.’
When, hereafter, we talk about worrying women, we must take into account our Hawaiian sisters, if we will average up the amount of worry
per capita,in our nation.”

This is so beautiful and I get vivid images going through my head of these beautiful smiling women and their beautiful babies playing in the sand all day loving & living without a care in the world!

This is a beautiful inspiration to us all and how blessed we are to be able to encounter it!

If we are someone with a serious condition like an anxiety or depressive condition that requires professional or medical help, this most likely will not cure us but it can be a great supplement and reminder to let go of whatever is preventing cheerfulness and positivity in our heads. And if we don’t have a true mental health condition, we still likely experience anxiety or distress once in a while and this excerpt is a fantastic guide to help us cope and let go. 

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I love how the writer writes that these girls, if they don’t have a good dinner, just forget to be hungry. That’s so inspiring! They can complain about not having good food but instead they just go to sleep and wake up happy. And if she can’t get up enough money for what she wants, she just reuses the old and makes it beautiful!

Imagine if we do this often, forget to be hungry when our food sucks, reuse our old things if we can’t buy new ones and if they can’t be reused, just forget to want them until we can get them later! Instead of complaining about the weather, soak up whatever beauty we can in the weather we have. When we’re sick, instead of complaining, use the experience as a good excuse to nurture our selves more. We can seize every situation we are in and practice looking at the bright side, looking for any bit of good that we can!

Let’s remember to laugh in the sun, breathe in the sweet fragrance of the flowers, feel the soft air upon our skin, sing, and splash, and play! There’s no such thing as being “too old” as long as we’re alive. Forget the stress, the problems, the potential problems, the negativity & be happy now!

😀 ❤

Lottsa love to you!!

xoxi Kim ❤

It is the question that drives us

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“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’ll go there proud” ~ Jim Croce

Often, many of us think results are most important, getting, receiving, things working out in the end, the end result, succeeding the way we intended….and while those things can be important, I realize more and more that the most important thing is our drive, our intention, will, inspiration, motivation itself, not always just the results.

This is something that I think people who have suffered a serious physical illness/pain or severe depression may be able to understand better than people who have never experienced those things. But I think anyone can come to see my point, whether or not you agree.

When we are severely sick or deeply depressed, we can lose our appetite. Not just for food but for life. It’s like there’s nothing. Just nothingness and emptiness and numbness. For some of us, sometimes we don’t even want to win. Often, we don’t want to live or to die. Even wanting to die takes a kind of passion and energy. If you want to die, there’s a spark in you somewhere. Seize that spark and hang onto it like your life depends on it. It does. 

Take that little sliver of life still left in you and use it for the better. Apply it to something other than wanting to die. Even when it’s hard. Use that little spark to help others, help the environment, do volunteer work, create something, post words of wisdom to uplift or inspire someone else, keep pushing through the numbness and lifelessness and pain and do something, anything, for the better…

“Always have the highest bar for yourself. Wake up everyday and, no matter how crappy you feel, want to change something for the better. Do something that makes someone happy. Create something that inspires someone. Be someone’s light when they are hopeless.” – Dave Grohl

Just the fact that we have passion, interest is an amazing thing even if everything crumbles to seemingly irreparable pieces in the end. But often, people don’t think of this. We are too focused on the end, not the journey itself. 

I thought about this more last week while reading a text about the movie the “Matrix” and philosophy. The “Matrix” movie is deeply philosophical but many people don’t realize or care about that aspect. It’s just a fun, action packed thriller, probably, for the average person. But for those with philosophical minds and especially us philosophy phreaks, we see and love that it runs deeper than that.

In some ways, the story is extremely similar to the story of Socrates, the ancient philosopher who is said to have been put to death for challenging the common beliefs of society, shaking up the status quo. According to the ancient texts, Socrates was constantly nagging people, but with loving intentions, about the nature of things and beliefs that no one else questioned and just accepted as truth.

This led to him being executed, according to the old writings, mostly by Plato.

Check out some of Plato’s writings for free, here if you want:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13726/13726-h/13726-h.htm

Socrates is often considered to be arrogant, as he questions and questions until the poor person contradicts himself or makes a mistake, but he is completely humble. He backs people into corners and intimidates them. But only because he believes it’s important to think and question and own up to flaws in our reasoning and belief systems. He believes examination of how we live is more crucial than anything, for living a good life. 

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Socrates questions and intimidates and puts people in awkward situations where they contradict themselves, yet he admits that he knows absolutely nothing. That he knows nothing more than anyone else.

“Wisest is she who knows she does not know.”

He does this excessive questioning just for the sake of questioning and exploring. The fact that he believes he knows nothing but still badgers people like this knowing that he can’t possibly judge their answers as correct or incorrect since he doesn’t know himself, reveals that his quest is mostly to shed light on the fact that questioning itself, exploration, examination alone is crucial for a good life. (I wouldn’t recommend his way of going about it though, forcing people to stand there and answer when it’s annoying the piss out of them!)

Here’s an example of Socrates’ exasperating method of questioning:

Socrates: What is holy?

Euthyphro: Holiness is what all the gods love and its opposite is what all the gods hate, unholiness.

Socrates: Is what is holy holy because the gods approve it, or do they approve it because it is holy? 

And on and on. 

What a gadfly Socrates is! Lol But he does have a point, doesn’t he? And the fact that someone loves something is not essential to the thing’s nature. It’s not its nature. It’s accidental. If someone stops loving something, that something still is what it always was. I love Coca Cola, always have, always will but if I stop loving it, it’s still the same substance. Maybe it would be different if I were a goddess as opposed to the mere mortal that I am, and I love it?

In philosophy we have a specific definition for “accidental.” An accidental quality is simply a trait that is part of someone or something but not crucial to its essence or nature. My eye color for example. It doesn’t make me what I am. If it changes or was never what it is but a different color instead, I would still be the me that I now am. (at least I think so) In fact my eyes were always pure blue then when I was a teenager, they turned bright green mixed with blue! (I was freaked out…) But I’m still me. Hair color, size…are other examples of accidental qualities. And think of coffee with a flavor, say, raspberry, the raspberry flavoring is accidental, not essential. Coffee is coffee with or without raspberry flavor. Anyway here I am doing what I do best, getting carried away while writing and going off on a tangent! 
(in Philosophy, we speak/write of philosophers  as if they are alive even if they haven’t been alive in centuries, it’s just what we do! Lol)

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Coincidentally I was thinking about posting this topic on Sunday before the free hugging event and then I experienced something where I was able to apply it!

Sunday, May 3rd, was Global Free Hug Day! I got out of the house and to the park later than I planned and I couldn’t stay long. I decided to try LOVE park first! The famous Philadelphia park with the big LOVE statue that people all around the country or world come to visit and get weddings pics and other pictures and things in front of it! (I get to see it everyday if I want! Lol sorry, just had to brag! ;-D) 

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And it’s there that I experienced the most love out of the parks I visited! No one really stops to read signs often! I was with my mom and sister who did not want to participate so it was just me hugging and no one was really looking at me. Some people quickly glanced at my sign (which I think turned out beautifully even with my dreadful handwriting!) and looked away not really reading! It can be awkward looking at a stranger and reading something that stranger is holding. 

My mom told me i wasn’t  going to get any hugs! 😦 Because no one was walking near me and I couldn’t stay very long! Also, I’m not loud or very bold. So I wasn’t going to yell “free hugs!!!” like some people!! It took enough courage just to stand there with the sign! 😀 But I did! 

It was disappointing but I was reminded that all that matters is that I have the inspiration and motivation and courage to participate in free hug day! 
All we can really do is attempt! 

We can appreciate that we have the will, the desire, the motivation and inspiration, the love, the life in us, to do something.

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So at least I had the will, passion, and desire. That’s not to say people who don’t want to participate in free hug day don’t have passion, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but since I do like things like this, it’s great to have the motivation! And this goes for anything we have motivation to do.  This is just one example. 

As I mentioned in a somewhat recent post, I have been struggling hard with grief. We lost my close friend/coworker, Diane(she was 58 years old), a couple months ago, unexpectedly and I have been grieving since she died and always will but it was really hitting me hard for a while. So hard. The more days that would go by, the more difficult it would get. It’s worse now than when it first happened. For days and days the worst of it wouldn’t let up. It’s not depression, just raw agonizing grief that hurts so much I can hardly stand it.  And anxiety and fear, sometimes close to panic. This is the longest I have gone without seeing Diane, in the almost ten years I have known her. It feels extremely confusing. She was very loving, funny, and beautiful. 

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A couple days before global Free Hug day, I thought I had no strength to do much and while I still wanted to do hug day, I wasn’t sure how I could but I reminded myself it has the potential to help others. And if something can result in even a fraction of good for someone else, it is worth doing no matter how lifeless it feels or in pain I am.  I can keep on pushing through it all whether it’s grief and loss, depression, physical pain..even when it seems I have no strength or courage. 

But I did have the strength and motivation to do hug day and other things I thought I couldn’t do. And I told myself that’s all that matters! 

Anyway, I did get a couple hugs! Yay!! And some beautiful pics of the park! And I will post about Hug Day soon! The pics are on my other memory card and I’m having some problems with my phone and the cards and I want to include the pics! 😀

I am reminded of Nimo Patel’s “Planting Seeds” song about how all

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we can do is try then let go and whatever happens, happens and that’s it. 

Here are some of his lyrics. 

“…but the roots are always growin’ no matter if I’m there or never around…whatever grows will grow, whatever dies will die, whatever works will work, whatever flies will fly, whatever fails will fail, what’s meant to soar will soar, I am planting seeds, nothing more.” 

“It’s like your whole life you’ve been training for this moment 
And when the time comes you just disown it,
Meaning you just surrender don’t control it…”

“But now we’re learning when we let it go, it overflows 
With no credit to take cuz no credit is owned.”

“…but the real gold is joy, when life starts to flow
And when it does, you just smile, cuz now you know!” 

Here’s the video:

Mobile:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhcKIGCE_Pk

Desktop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=ZhcKIGCE_Pk

I wrote about this topic in my super long “Fear & Hunger” post a while ago.  

Check it out here if you want:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/fear-hunger/

And I am also reminded of another beautiful song I listened to for as long as I can remember and it often helped me with my depression when I was young, before I learned to cope well, and is still one of my favorite songs! It’s Jim Croce’s “I Got a Name.”

Here is the desktop video version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHVBzLGAIbU&app=desktop

Mobile:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hHVBzLGAIbU&app=m&persist_app=1

If you listen closely to the lyrics, you can hear the message. It’s about living and loving and being inspired in general no matter what happens or doesn’t.  It’s about living with a song in our hearts and if it doesn’t work out for us, let’s just be happy we tried. Intention, trying, the will and desire counts for something!

So let’s honor our drive, our motivation, our inspiration and desire. Our will. Let’s cherish it and be mindful of it. It’s good to win and succeed how we planned. But it’s even better to want to win and succeed. Wanting to win is everything, even if we are greatly disappointed in the end. We can still appreciate our desire and will. Let’s find our inner song and embrace it even if it seems to lead us nowhere. Just having a song in us is cause for celebration. 

I’m wishing you much love now & always!!

Xoxo Kim