Tag Archive | enlighten

Starry, Starry Night

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“Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frame-less heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget.” ~ Don McLean ❤

Recently there was this one night the sky seemed to be filled with more stars than usual. I have a camera that reaches the stars(my phone camera almost never can capture them) but my camera is lost and kind of broken(my dad broke it by cracking it against a table or something and it fell apart, sort of). I always hoped for a camera that can beautifully capture the night sky then last year I got one, not the best, probably, but an ok one. It’s in my house somewhere but I have no clue where. And it’s a small house! Lol I don’t yet have a way to get my pics online off the camera because the camera needs wifi or to put the pictures on a computer first. And my computer isn’t set up because it needs wifi to be set up.
So I carelessly tossed it aside.
I should be getting wifi soon, now I regret it.

I was in awe over the beauty of the starlit night! I kept trying to take pics with my phone and it kept only capturing one star, the brightest one.
Then in one picture, it got two stars.
I was thankful. Sometimes it can’t even capture one. But I wanted the whole sky full of stars to show up.
It was amazing! They were literally twinkling!
I kept imagining what that would look like in a picture and how I would love to have and share a picture like that!

I kept thinking “if only I was more careful with my camera!!”
And
“I really hope when I get a good camera or find mine, the sky looks like this again! “

It was a worse feeling than not having a camera at all because it was like a feeling of “being so close…” I have it and could have captured the stars but it’s lost because I was careless.

Like when playing a crane machine and it completely misses the desired object and it’s like “oh well.” but when it picks up the thing you want and then drops it before it makes it to the slot it’s like “omg! So close!! If only it would have held on a second later…!!” lol

I couldn’t shake the feeling. “If only….” and “I hope…” But it was the kind of restraining hope that holds me back, not an exhilarating kind.

And it’s not every night there’s that many stars! And big bright ones! All twinkling!
I really felt so strongly that I was missing out.

I went back out into the backyard to look up at the starry starry night and it took my breath away and I was reminded that that’s really all that matters. Experiencing the beauty, not capturing it.

I wasn’t missing anything.

While it’s amazing to get beautiful pictures of our experiences and the beauty all around us, sometimes the desire, activity, or opportunity to capture it can hold us back.

When we forget our phones, lose our cameras, our battery drains….and we can’t get a pic we can feel that we’re missing out, we can feel a sense of loss, a sense of a missed opportunity.
And sometimes we can get so wrapped up trying to get the “perfect picture” that we neglect to savor the moment itself.

Girls, haven’t you ever had a day where your makeup looked so perfect or your hair, better than usual and it kind of felt like a waste because you weren’t going anywhere or your plans did not work out? And in some way you almost wished you did not look so good? Because there’s like nowhere to go, no one to see it. Lol I know I’m not the only one!

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(this isn’t my picture, I don’t know the original source but it’s funny!)

That’s kind of like this experience. Like, damn, the sky looks so good! And I can’t capture it!

;-p

I heard on the radio a couple years ago that there’s a study that shows that many people feel that it’s more important to capture and get “proof” of the fun occasions and beauty they experience than actually experiencing it. According to the radio program, most teenagers who took the survey said they would prefer not to experience something amazing if they can’t get a pic than experience it and not get pictures! I don’t know how accurate this survey/s is/are since I just heard it briefly some years ago and did not hear all the info. But I know this phenomenon is definitely true for some people.

I have met people who felt this way and I have felt a touch of this myself on some occasions. Not that I would prefer not to experience something great if I can’t get a pic but feeling so disappointed and anxious if I couldn’t get one to the point I sometimes let the disappointment and anxiety ruin the moment.

Looking up at that starry, starry sky I was reminded that living is much more important than capturing or “proving.” Both are great but we can’t always have both. And why let disappointment ruin the actual moment?

I almost never let “picture taking” take away my focus or experience of what is happening. That is a common problem now in society, at least the one I live among. People are obsessed with capturing and showing the fun they’re having and beauty they’re witnessing and instead of living the moment, they pull out their phones/cameras and play with them, posing instead of being natural, looking into a phone or camera instead of each other. I believe I manage a healthy balance of capturing the moment but also living it. But my problem is when I can’t capture it in at least one pic, I have felt so very disappointed.

And it’s the same with the makeup, who cares if you’re not going anywhere or seeing anyone? Just bask in your own beauty, put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty.

(and meet me tonight in Atlantic City ;-D lol)

It’s worth it! We don’t need a special occasion or to show anything. Wear that clingy dress, the diamond earrings, use the expensive utensils and sparkling crystal wine glasses, buy yourself flowers….each moment we’re alive is a special occasion.

I’m thankful the sky showed me. Lol

Also, I choose to look at the bright side! At least I got the biggest, brightest star! Lol And it looked like it was a falling star after a while! It was like curving or something. Fantastic!

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So pretty!

This is definitely not an airplane (my sister insists that it is but I kept my eyes on it since it was a small speck hanging over the rooftops) or the moon. It somewhat resembles one but it’s a star, I’m sure of it.
I know what an airplane and what a star looks like(although one night I did mistake a traffic light for the moon so I guess you can’t be too sure of my judgment….but this I’m sure of!)

The moon was on the other side. And it stayed in one place all night, not moving, just sparkling, until it decided to curve like this. I kept running out to check on it all night. And took like one hundred pics. All shitty ones but I still like them.

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(this picture has two stars! I had to lighten the picture a lot to make them more visible. Very hard to see but they’re there!)

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I couldn’t imagine why I saved this picture and was about to delete it then I realized why! If you look closely you can see the shadow Of me standing on the tips off my toes desperately holding my phone up to the sky as high as I possibly can hoping to just get a few stars to show up! And also hoping the neighbors in the back wouldn’t think I’m some kind of creeper taking pictures through their windows. I promise it’s only the stars I was spying on. ;-D

It is a funny picture, kind of pathetic. Being this desperate but oh well….lol

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Don McLean – Starry, Starry Night

Mobile:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oxHnRfhDmrk

Desktop:

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

I hope you’re having a great day and a beautiful starry starry night!! ❤

😀

Xoxo Kim

Serendipitous Strength

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(that’s fake blood on my face for a haunted house attraction for Halloween)

I love funny and silly surveys for blogs and Facebook, like a list of weird, stupid, funny questions…would you rather be ridiculously rich financially but butt ugly physically or amazingly gorgeous, beautiful beyond belief physically but dirt poor financially? Would you rather eat hair or lick a toilet seat? Would you rather be in a dark, creepy room alone or in a well lit room with Michael Jackson? lol They’re funny questions. I would choose to be poor and beautiful. And I would lick the toilet seat over eating hair any day. Loose hair is disgusting. Aack! And I like Michael Jackson but not creepy dark rooms alone so I would choose the lit up room with him. ;-D

But anyway….i came across this question

Would you rather be buried alive or stabbed to death?

Horrible thought, right?!

But I find it enlightening. It provoked me even more to think about the strength deep within me that I accidentally found and accidentally developed.

I would choose to be buried alive.

Not so long ago, I couldn’t even imagine saying that. I just couldn’t imagine.

First of all, if I am buried alive, maybe I can find a way out or someone can find me before it’s too late. Being stabbed is so violent!
There are rare(at least I hope being buried alive is rare!!!) cases where someone has been buried alive and somehow escaped or was found before it was too late.

I used to have an extreme fear of being closed in with or without others there with me. Closed in anywhere. Even a large room or building. I would avoid closed in places like the plague. Then my fear got somewhat better when I was eighteen years old in college. In this one building I wasn’t aware that we were allowed to use the stairs. It turns out, we actually were but I never knew til a long while later. Everyday I had to go in that building I had to desperately hope there were others waiting to go on the elevator when I was because I couldn’t bring myself to go on alone. I used to go early and just linger around the hall waiting for someone who was going on. (creepy, right?! :-O lol) I never said that I was waiting. Just when I saw someone going on, I would too. If the person got off before the floor I was going to, I would get off too then walk up the steps to the floor I was going.

Then I met a girl. When I was 18 years old. One who had the same class and we got talking to each other and I found that she had the same problem!
One day I got to the elevator and she was waiting too! And she told me she’s seriously afraid of small places and won’t get on without someone else! What are the chances?! I was embarrassed at first and wouldn’t really tell people but I opened up about it when I met her.

We conquered our fear together. 😀

I always thought of this fear as a weakness and never met anyone else that I knew of who has it this bad, my dad is like this but his never seemed as bad. Everyone I knew could get on with no problem, it seemed.

And when I met her, I was sooo happy! Lol Also, we were both very shy until getting to know someone better but we both had no problem with public speaking because it’s just something we had to do for class. We both loved meeting people we never met but were often too shy to initiate socialization first. But somehow we found each other! I haven’t seen or talked to her in many, many years. But the impact is everlasting. ❤

After that, I got more used to going in small places, elevators with people and I was mostly only panicked when I was closed in alone. I often had nightmares of being closed in or trapped somewhere alone.
I couldn’t even stand walking by elevators or being in the same building with one. This was always the only thing that scared me about hospitals. I would shake walking through narrow staircases even with people. I felt like my body was turning to jelly.

One day when I was a teenager I had to get on an elevator alone. I was in the US Constitution Center at some event and the only way to leave the building was to get on an elevator. They said I had no choice. There was no one else around and the security guard said I had to get on the elevator so I did. I went into a serious panic and I pressed my fingernails into the skin over my hip bone and just kept scratching until it bled and the doors opened. I was so scared, that was just what I did, unconsciously.

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. I still struggle with this a bit sometimes, especially with severe physical pain. I’m much better at handling deep emotional pain than very severe physical pain. A certain level of physical pain that I experience occasionally can still seem too much to bear.

It’s at a frightening level and it’s not common that people ever feel it to this extent. Not even prescription pain pills can touch it.
But I work on myself constantly and even when I’m freaking out aggressively over a tmjd cluster headache, I still keep telling myself I will survive.
I was trying to heal my depression and cope with it and cope with those head attacks.

And much to my amazement this was helping me all along with my fear! My phobia(i wasn’t actually diagnosed with a phobia but it may have met the criteria, I don’t know for sure) wasn’t destroying my life because I was just able to mostly avoid small places but there were some occasions I couldn’t and had to be closed in somewhere.

Some people have a phobia where they can’t avoid the thing they fear or even if they can they can’t help but dwell on it constantly and it runs their lives. That was never me but there are occasions I embarrassed myself in public, especially as a kid, when I had to go on elevators or narrow staircases. And occasions I was extremely fearful knowing I had to go in a large building where there’s elevators. Somewhat recently I went on a job interview. I did not get the job but I had to go on an elevator by myself, they wouldn’t let me on the stairs going up, I asked, I was told no. I wanted to run out but I had the interview scheduled and I knew it wouldn’t be good to have them waiting and I never show up, years ago I would have been out the door so fast with the interview the last thing on my mind. So I reluctantly got on the elevator, alone, and while my heart started to speed a bit because of being closed in and for a few seconds I was overwhelmed in immense fear, like panic, I handled it so well. No panic. No breakdown. Just staying calm. It was so surprising. And just as much of an accomplishment as getting a job! Maybe more?
It wasn’t a happenstance. I worked to get to this point. (though unknowingly lol) I am so strong now. In so many ways.

Then leaving the building I had a choice to take the stairs or the elevator. Just a couple years ago I would have taken the stairs without a second thought. Even last year. But on the interview I made the CHIOCE to take the elevator alone to get more practice and was even more calm than the first occasion going up! What a great accomplishment for me!
It may not seem that big to some people but for someone like me, it is a tremendous thing.

Also I don’t like closing doors to small rooms even in my own house but in the bathroom there are parakeets flying around and we have to close the door. I was getting a shower one day and had to close the door. The handle is broke and I got locked in! I went into a bit of a panic. Not a full blown panic, but an intense fear, I guess you can say. Not how people with panic attacks do. Not that bad. But I was pulling the door and banging on it hoping someone would hear. No one did. But I calmed down and reminded myself. Life is beautiful no matter what. I have the sunlight streaming in the window, I have my senses, the parakeets, meditation, Buddhism and Stoicism ….the window is too small for me to fit through so that wasn’t an option. And it’s on the second floor, it wouldn’t be safe to jump. I don’t want broken bones or whatever. But just some years ago I would have jumped if I could, risking injuries. I was there for like 20 minutes before I finally got the door open.

A couple nights ago I went to the Philadelphia Eastern State Penitentiary with my sister and my dad for the Haunted attraction. It’s a real abandoned prison that is in a state of semi-ruin, almost 200 years old. It’s said by ghost investigators to be truly haunted all year. Lol It’s open all year but the rest of the year is just a prison exhibit to learn of its history, which is very interesting.

For the Halloween attraction every October, we get to walk through the dark prison inside and out in the courtyards when it’s at night, in groups. It has lights flashing, people screaming, monsters walking around, “prisoners” trying to attack us through their cells, monsters, all kinds of creepy, scary stuff. There’s lock down, the infirmary, night watch, an abandoned bus in a junkyard and other attractions we walk through. Things randomly and unexpectedly jump out at us, sometimes screaming and with weapons! There’s 3D things and people jumping through walls at us. They come right up to us with weapons holding them over our heads or up to our faces. Lol Isn’t it insane that people actually take pleasure in this? But something about a certain kind of fear is quite thrilling for people. Like amusement park rides and sky diving. And scary movies & books.
Also, I think our brains are not aware of the difference of what is real and what is not. Seeing, hearing horror in movies and things, the human brain cannot distinguish the difference. We know it’s not real but some part of our brain does not know and it has a negative/fearful effect on is, even later. That’s why too much fake horror isn’t good for us. I used to have a psychiatrist who told me that and I noticed it too when I read too many horror books close together. It has an unpleasant effect. He advised me to avoid fake horror all together. It’s not good for anyone and especially those prone to anxiety or depressive conditions.

It’s fun. And scary. I’m not afraid of monsters and ghosts and stuff but it’s kind of startling to have people looking all dead with blood all over them, screaming and with weapons jumping out in the dark at me with just an eerie glow around the prison.

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(inside the prison – imagine walking up this long hallway knowing at any moment something or someone can and probably will jump out at you. Lol creepy!)

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(it was the perfect night for a haunted house – or prison – because there was a full Moon or almost full Moon and I kept seeing it when we walked in and out of the prison into the courtyards)

They’re not allowed to touch us and we are not allowed to touch them. But this year they had something different where the bravest of the brave can wear a bright pink glow necklace they give us and this gives the monsters (the actors working in the prison) permission to touch us, grab us, snatch us, hold us back, separate us so we lose our groups, toss us into secret passageways, and do other terrible stuff. I haven’t been there in a couple years until a couple nights ago. So this was new to me.

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I love haunted houses and stuff but my one fear has always been being separated and ending up in a small, dark place alone. This still scares me. I fear dark places as well but not as much as small or closed in places.

But I decided to be brave that night and wear the necklace. I was abducted, strangled, held back, got my hair pulled, forced by two monster dentists to sit in a dentists chair so they can pull out all my teeth…they put the loud thing all the way to my mouth then I escaped!

I was almost forced into a small cell and into a weird tunnel but I ran screaming. And the monsters laughed at me. Lol

Most people did not take the necklaces and some who did decided to take them off and toss them so the monsters could no longer touch them. Even my dad took his off and hid it.

Chicken shits. Lol ;-D

I was one of the brave few who kept mine on throughout the entire prison, not once taking it off. Yay me! Lol Although at one point the thought occurred to me but I sucked it up and kept going.

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(me with my medal of honor lol)

It took nerve. Especially when most people were not wearing them so there was not many choices for the monsters and so the few of us who were wearing them were the ones who kept getting all the attention. At one point I was the only one wearing a necklace where I was and two monsters came up and said since I was the only one wearing one right there, I was the “chosen one.” I was snatched while everyone around me ran away, even my dad and sister (thanks everyone! Lol) and had my hand held under some device that came down and was supposed to pierce my hand but when it touched me it was just rubber. Lol

I knew I could have been dragged and possibly tossed into a secret, small, dark place alone. But I took the chance. I would have NEVER ever been able to make that choice, probably even a year ago.

The thing that really inspired me to take and wear the necklace is in the beginning a monster said “you came here for fear so get all the fear you can get…” encouraging us to take the glow necklace. This also inspires me in general, to take advantage of every opportunity in life to live to the fullest, whatever “the fullest” is to me at that moment. To soak up all I can, all the thrills, the beauty, and feeling there is to feel.

Being alive is an opportunity to take in everything we can, to feel. To live. To experience. To grow. To love. To make mistakes. To learn. To feel pain and beauty, sorrow and joy. Misery and happiness. To take full advantage of our senses.

I been to this prison for the Halloween attraction a couple occasions years ago. The first day I went for the haunted attraction I was hugging, holding hands with, and clinging to people I did not know. Lol It was my first year in college, I was eighteen years old, and I went as a group with other college students, all girls and one boy. The boy wanted us to go first because he said he was the only boy. But we told him no, since he’s the boy he had to be in the front.
Lol we were holding onto each other like our lives depended on it.

It’s one of my favorite memories. And after the event was over and we were walking up the dark street outside the prison, a drunk person jumped out at us and we all screamed. He wasn’t trying to scare us and just looked at us like we were all nuts.

Now, being buried alive would be way, way more terrifying than going on an elevator for less than a minute! And being locked in a room.
And way more horrifying than a fun tour through a haunted prison for Halloween.

But I know now that I would survive emotionally as long as I survived physically. I would go into a deep meditation and have my Buddhist and stoic principles and my life philosophy and inner Truth, my authentic Self to help guide me til I become physically free. I would still be frightened and panicked at some points. And maybe feel as if I can’t go on but I know I can. I have my life philosophy that I work on every single day without fail. I can survive anything as long as I stay alive. As long as I’m free in my mind, I am free. Truly free. You can be free too if you’re not already, with lots of hard work and practice. We don’t have to allow anything or anyone to restrain us.

If you work to heal one aspect of yourself you can be strengthening yourself in deep ways you don’t even realize in other aspects as well.

I want this for everyone. Whatever pain, physical or emotional, whatever fear or problems, I want us all to find a way to conquer it. A way to cope.

I never ever thought my fear of being closed in could be vanquished but it is. It’s also not completely cured. My heart still races in small or narrow places, sometimes I still think there’s no way I can be closed in alone and survive with my sanity intact, I still avoid closed in spaces for the most part, but I conquered it and can handle it now. ME! I can’t even believe it!

If you are ever in a situation you are 100% convinced without a doubt you can’t or won’t survive, remember, it feels that way, it’s not true. I never knew I can ever survive the depression and tmjd cluster-like headaches but somehow I did. I survive each one. My conviction was deep, that I couldn’t survive but I do survive and now my conviction is even deeper that I can and will survive whatever comes my way.

And you can too, whatever it is. It can get better. <333 ❤ Much love, hope, & strength to you.

Xoxo Kim

Ugly-beautiful

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“And she’s so pretty cause she will never be…
She’s so pretty to me, to me, to me.
It doesn’t matter what everybody sees.” ~ Jude
 
I’m reading a novel called “My Grandfather’s Eyes.” I don’t know which page I’m on since it’s a Kindle book on my phone and the Kindle books don’t always show a page number. I don’t even know how many pages are in the book. I’m not at the very beginning but not quite to the middle. I know because of the virtual line showing reading progress.

What I read up until now is thoroughly beautiful. The main character, Alexandra or Alex, is something like a psychopath. She’s around thirty-two years old. Alex has no concern, love, affection, care, empathy, or any positive emotion for anyone in the world except for one person, her best friend Lizzy. She loves Elizabeth, or Lizzy, more than anything and anyone else in the entire world and would even die for her if she had to to save Liz’s life. They were best friends since Kindergarten and Alex was always in love with Lizzy but never acted on her romantic interest in her.
Alex was born with a facial deformity, a bump on her forehead and dark moles, some of which are hairy, and grow darker and bigger across the side of her face as the years go on. Alex’s dad took her when she was a little girl, to a cosmetic surgeon to have them removed but Alex refused. She has always loved her moles.

Even as a young woman in college, she cherishes her deformity, she thinks they add to her beauty. But it has always hurt her how most other people would react to her for her whole life, even her own family, her own mom. Many just stare while others say cruel things to and about her.

What I read until now leaves me to believe, for now(i think later she may go on a killing spree or something but not sure), that Alex is more indifferent to people than vicious or cruel, although she does think about and desire killing certain people and she murders her own husband who she was never in love with but he truly loved her. The two loves of her life have always been reading and Lizzy.

She doesn’t care about other people’s pain, she shows no empathy or concern when others come to her with problems or when she witnesses someone suffering. Sometimes she just doesn’t care and sometimes she actually takes pleasure in it. She’s somewhat sadistic.  She has absolutely no regard for human life.

Except Liz’s life. She cries for her when she’s hurt or when she misses her.

Lizzy is a beautiful, thin girl, with long blonde hair, flawless in appearance except for one thing. In high school she made a mistake in chemistry class and burned her hand up her arm which caused severe damage and is now disfigured. She thinks it’s repulsive but Alex finds it beautiful in the same way she knows her own deformity is beautiful. Lizzy is aggressive and funny. She’s intelligent but doesn’t care to display her intelligence. She’s also a thief.

Alex’s facial deformity doesn’t and never has fazed Lizzy. And Lizzy defends Alex when people stare or say rude things. She even kisses Alex goodbye on her “ugliest” and biggest mole.

“As I try to read, there is one thought that overwhelms me: He did not look at my moles. I am sure of this. There is only one other person who does not see them. My Lizzy.” ~ Alex

This may just be the most beautiful line in the book. I just love how she says “does not see them” Instead of “does not look at them” or “does not have a problem with them…” It’s just they don’t see them. They look straight through and see her for her.

The book is Alex reminiscing and telling us about different stages of her life, flashing back and forth.  

What I find beautiful is that the author shows how beauty can be found in ugly things or ugly things can be beautiful themselves. There is beauty in pain and darkness, in sadness, and struggles. Sometimes we can overlook “ugliness” and see the beauty in it or we can actually see “ugly” things, themselves, as beautiful. Maybe something is beautiful because it’s sad or dark or unusual or different.

She loves reading so much that her decision for which university to attend is based on the beautiful library.

“…the Gothic Hall complete with turrets and gargoyles – where I will study English Literature. It is ugly-beautiful and will suit me very well. A fitting place in which to study the works of great authors. I feel the hairs bristle on the back of my neck with the excitement it generates in me.” ~ Alex

It’s beautiful because it’s ugly. It’s dark and aggressive and enthralling.

And even though Alex is like a psycho, her self-love is so very beautiful to me. She’s extremely arrogant but also has genuine love for all that she is in and out. She embraces her ugliness and flaws and refuses to conceal them for what others think and say.

Some people mistake self-love as conceit or arrogance but this character, Alex, with both traits, arrogance and genuine self love, is an embodiment of the sharp difference. Arrogance isn’t love. Someone can be arrogant or act arrogant but have no true love for herself and someone can love herself and not be arrogant. Alex is both. She even admits that she “wears her arrogance like a badge.” But she genuinely appreciates her own physical features and her personality traits. She’s an intellectual with no patience for simple, less intelligent minds and trivial drama.

I also like how Alex isn’t a very beautiful character on the inside but there’s so much beauty to be seen in her anyway. The novel isn’t about a sweet, loving, innocent girl who lives a life of goodness but happens to have a physical deformity where the author plays on our empathy to overlook her physical ugliness but see straight through to her obviously beautiful loving heart of gold and love her anyway.

That would be easy.

This? This is challenging because beneath her physical deformity lies a deformed or ugly heart as well. But it’s impossible not to see incredible traits in her anyway. Like her self love even though she was tormented for being deformed her whole life, her indestructible love for her best friend that she would do anything for even if it puts her out, her passion for literature, the way she appreciates and basks in the simple joys of living like lakes and quietude, the way she bursts out laughing uncontrollably for no reason when she meets the man she’ll eventually marry, her intelligence, and dedication to her goals. We see her humanness as well as her monstrous side. And there are little bits of beauty scattered throughout.

I have felt guilt and various other emotions reading this book. Guilt for judging and guilt for adoring a psycho’s positive qualities and even some of her ugliness. I love when novels provoke uncomfortable as well as beautiful and positive emotions in me, when they force us to question ourselves in awkward ways. I don’t promote what she does but I can’t overlook her beautiful qualities. 

It reminds me to be like that with real people who may not be my favorite, ones with qualities I don’t care much for. I don’t have to be their best friend or be head over heels in love with them but I can still work to see the beauty in them and appreciate it.

Here is a beautiful quote out of the book about her looking at herself in a mirror, by the main character, Alex:

“In the mirror, I see a woman sitting bolt upright in her chair, with her handbag on her lap. She has long mousy hair, parted in the middle, her scalp white in the harsh fluorescent light. There is a large, dark mass spreading across the side of her face. I think her elegantly middle-aged, sensuously beautiful. I cannot identify with her. I see her smile, first with her eyes, which remain young, and then with the whole of her face. We fuse together, and I feel an energy building inside me, so that my reflection seems to disturb the air in the room, like a breeze across the surface of a lake.  It is a lake I have visited many times in my dreams. We are luminous and powerful.”

This is in a hospital after Alex’s husband dies. No one knows she murdered or tried to murder him. She planned to kill him but after she did, she wasn’t prepared for the feeling that would hit her, the reality of his death. She wanted him dead but after hearing those words, it was hard to accept and come to terms with the fact that  her husband is dead, that she killed him. She wasn’t shattered and is ultimately happy with her choice to kill, but she felt awkward, uncomfortable at first. She started to dissociate. 
Like, feeling as if one part of herself is no longer connected to another. Like her body and her mind or inner self, disconnect. Some people feel as if they leave their body when they dissociate,  after a serious trauma like assault of some sort, for example.

People don’t choose true dissociation but this excerpt reminds me of how many of us often hold ourselves to greater standards than we hold others. We judge our bodies and self worth in ways we wouldn’t judge our sister or best friend. “I have rolls or stretch marks, or am not a size 2 or have scars or acne…or whatever…so I’m hideous, fat, worthless, no good, ugly, not beautiful….” But would you ever say or think that about someone close to you? Or even a stranger? Chances are, no! Try to look into a mirror and kind of dissociate, not like a mental illness or result of a traumatic experience but remain unbiased, not shadowed by self critical thoughts. Take a good look at yourself and pretend you aren’t you. 

Look at your beauty with new eyes, with a stranger’s eyes. If you weren’t you and not so judgmental, if you weren’t brainwashed by the media or society’s concept of beautiful perfection, would you think you are ugly, horrible, not beautiful? Would you think you’re beautiful? Now take the beauty you see and feel and know, and become you again, the whole you, let you and the person in the mirror fuse together. Love one another as the whole that is you.

This book is already so thought-provoking and inspiring.

But….

I read some reviews and I think there may be some violence later in the book, maybe violent sexual scenes. Sometimes I don’t read much about a book, reviews or even the basic description, before reading. I like to go into it completely unbiased, not knowing. Sometimes I read a few reviews and for this I did and a couple said something about there being some “uncalled for sexual violence” or something like that, in the book that does nothing for the story but be disturbing. I read so many books and reviews though that I don’t always remember which reviews are for which books. For all I know those reviews are for another book!  I can tolerate extreme violence in books if the book is really good or has a deeper message other than just violence for thrill. It doesn’t thrill me.

 I felt drawn to this book immediately but then read something that contributed to me deciding not to buy it. And I think it’s the reviews that said there’s uncalled for horrific violence. But then I bought it anyway because what I did read about it in other reviews, the love she has for her Lizzy is so beautiful and it pulled me in and I also love the title. Yes I do judge books by their covers. Lol And even if that’s true that there’s unnecessary violence later, I’m happy I did buy it because of the deep insights I have already come to know just by reading what I did. But I can’t actually recommend the book without knowing the rest, especially if it has scenes that can trigger distress in someone who may have experienced trauma of some sort. Empathy while reading a book is one thing for a person who never experienced serious trauma but for someone who has, it can be completely  different, like the person is reliving it, the body can be like literally living it over, causing severe distress and pain. So I am careful recommending books without warnings.

“My moles continue to grow and darken. I take less care to hide the bump on my head, and I wonder whether my deformities will eventually take me over. I am impatient with them, wishing they would stabilize. I think I notice people staring more, and imagine they are whispering to each other but I decide that I will not try to hide myself away. It will be easier if the people who are alienated by such things have the chance to avoid me, and I reason that those who are indifferent to them will not care.” ~ Alex

I love this and completely agree. I would never want friends or people who like me only because they don’t know something about me that if they found out later they would reject me for it, whatever it may be. We don’t have to like everything about a person we like but we can accept, tolerate, or overlook it and love the person as a whole. I don’t necessarily want someone to like every single thing about me, like all of my opinions or anything, and I won’t conceal something just to have them like me or not reject me. It’s like an asshole repellent,if you show your ugliness or controversial views or something right off, you weed out the assholes and the true ones are still standing by your side. Or if you’re the asshole and people are going to reject you for it then they can back off and the ones who don’t mind asshole-ness will still be there. 
I don’t always like people’s opinions but I often appreciate the courage it takes them to stand up for whatever it is and the passion that drives them.

I am what I am whether I conceal it or not and whether someone likes it or not. So why deny or repress it? Instead I will give people the chance to know me and embrace me or know me and reject me.

My love for fiction has deepened dramatically over the last year and one thing I love about it is how the novels can teach us even
 deeper empathy and greater compassion and understanding for real people and real life situations. We can’t always see or know why people do the things they do and it can be easy to judge and direct hostility towards them without any ounce of empathy or understanding but in books, authors bring their characters alive, stripping them raw, so we can hear their every thought and know their motives and intentions, and we can then, have compassion even more and understanding for the characters. We can extend that to real people and situations.

Understanding and empathy do not necessarily entail or require encouragement of or promoting something. I can understand and be empathetic of a person doing something wrong or not good but not promote or encourage it. I love when authors challenge us. This author is clearly brilliant, not just in writing but her deep understanding of life.

The girl’s wedding day is on June 25th in the book and that’s today for real! Lol what a coincidence that I read that today!

Is that something only I would be thrilled over? 

;-D
I hear that a lot “only you, Kim!” or “only you would think or notice that, only you would laugh at that…!”

Xoxo Kim

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton

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Twenty Inspiring Questions

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

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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Gratitude Meditation <3

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“While there is time let’s go out and feel everything” ~ Steve Winwood

I have been meditating more regularly than usual and have been doing more gratitude meditations, usually at night before sleep.

It has a serious, positive effect on me. Not just while I’m meditating but all day when I wake up. Even with less sleep I feel more energized, more alive, more awake, and aware.   And more grateful.  

During my meditations, I have been overwhelmed with powerful emotions coming over me, flooding into my consciousness.   One emotion which has been so strong is grief.   Grief over my dog who died in April this year of old age, grief over broken friendships, grief over people who died, grief over the years I “lost” to depression, grief over people I once knew and let slip away, grief over years gone away, into the light of yesterday…

I’m not exactly sure why this is. I know meditation has the tendency to bring about strong emotions which we have pent up inside, emotions we repress or deny. But I haven’t been denying my grief for the most part.  I have grieved so hard over my losses, not denying them.  But grief over a loss, especially a permanent one, is not easy for me to handle. There sometimes comes a point where my grief reaches a pinnacle so great, it’s too painful to bear so I do try to repress it, not deny it but just push it aside.  Maybe my meditation practices are bringing to the surface of my consciousness, the remnants of initial grief I kept locked away.

It’s possible to repress things or have thoughts or feelings without even realizing at a conscious level.  The experience of my grief flooding back to me during meditation is not bad, it’s good.  It allows me to experience and release.  It is painful though.

Also, I have been gaining some fascinating and deep insights about creativity, beauty, open-mindedness, and seeing various things in different ways, at different angles.   I feel even more empathetic and compassionate than ever.  More creative and enlightened, like the beginning of some awakening that’s difficult to put into words.

Everyday I acknowledge gratitude and being alive.  Sometimes I just think of things I’m thankful to have and the fact that I’m alive.  On other occasions I actually feel gratitude seeping into me at a deep level, flooding the cells of my body, tingling and sinking into the marrow of my bones, just flooding over me. 
And I feel so alive, absolutely fully alive.
Sometimes this feeling comes on out of nowhere, other moments I can tap into it intentionally.  And other occasions I feel ungrateful and not appreciative. Or numb, trudging around in a sense of stagnant drudgery. 

I don’t have to just be happy to feel so alive.   I have felt this in moments of grief and pain, anger, and heartbreak. Life is full of happiness and joy and also pain and heartache. So if we’re alive and fully receptive, we will experience it all.  And it’s beautiful to feel so utterly alive.

I want to pull in and embrace every emotion and feeling that comes to me, snatch it up and hold it close while I can, even the painful ones, as they are an indication of life.  So life-affirming.

I want to feel everything while I can.

I want to take full advantage of the gift of life, my blessing of being alive and conscious.

Since practicing these meditations more regularly I have been feeling the deep gratitude feeling more frequently each day, not just acknowledging things I have to be grateful for, but the feeling of gratitude living and breathing, dwelling in my cells, venturing through my veins and each artery, and each breath of my heart.  The gratitude and life that breathes in me.  The gratitude that floods my existence, caresses my very essence.

It’s so different than the depression & despair that generally consumed me for years.

How often do you truly feel alive? So alive that you can feel every sensation in your body and notice every thing outside of you? All the colors, feelings, textures, lights…of your external environment, the tingling in your toes and fingertips…so alive on a deeper level than what we usually feel everyday..

Even in monotonous moments and routine environments?

“I will live while I can, I will have my ever after” ~ Steve Winwood

“We go so fast, why don’t we make it last
Life is glowing inside you and me
Please take my hand, right here where I stand
Won’t you come out and dance with me
Come see with me, oh, come see” ~ Steve Winwood

One very interesting thing is I have been feeling somewhat distracted during meditation the last few nights. I usually do not have this problem too often but I have been, lately, so I have been doing, let’s say, “half-assed” jobs at meditating and still seeing incredible results. So imagine what I’m capable of when I get over my distraction and give it my all!  

I have been struggling for a few days with not feeling very grateful as much as I possibly can. I have been having annoying technology problems with my phone that won’t allow me to do things that I do every day.   Also, I just found out a man I have known for some years and talked to frequently, recently died, of a possible drug overdose and I am so sad.  He was so friendly and outgoing and kind.  He struggled off and on with alcohol and other drug addiction and attempted to get help on multiple occasions.   But we lost this battle and it’s devastating.  And my heart goes out to everyone impacted by this tragic loss.

And to everyone affected in any way by any kind of addiction. It is a devastating and heartbreaking struggle.

It’s often easy to feel and express gratitude when things are going well.   But what about when it seems that everything is going wrong, all wrong, when we have a heavy heart, a broken heart, when the world seems to be crumbling on top of us?   When we lose and lose again, sinking so low it feels we can’t go lower, then we do?  That may be when we need gratitude the most.  Maybe we won’t feel it purely but we can feel and express it to some degree if we try and practice.
It is possible to feel a slither of gratitude even in the midst of pain and anger.  And that slither can be enough to keep us going.

I wrote this.

(Much of it is inspired by 

Mobile: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0R52DePavMo 
Comp. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R52DePavMo

which is created by Angela Carole Brown and is a brief meditation video for gratitude affirmations.)

I live in gratitude.

I breathe gratitude. 

I am grateful everyday that I live and breathe.

Every day that I have a creative idea, a revelation, learn something new, and am able to let go of old limiting beliefs, I am grateful.
Every day that I face my fears or overcome obstacles, I am grateful.
Every moment that I am given awareness of the simplest of beauties, the opportunity to experience profound joy, and feel genuine happiness, I am grateful.
Every day that  I stumble upon hidden treasures, I am grateful. 
Every moment that I am enlightened and discover insights, I am grateful.
Every day that my heart feels compassion, understanding, patience, and peace, I am grateful. 
Every day that I act upon love and compassion, I am grateful.
Every day that I Encounter and engage with another living being, I am grateful.
Every day that I am
Hugged, kissed, and loved, I am grateful.
Everyday that I 
Laugh or make someone laugh
Inspire and am inspired
Hear of someone’s life being saved
Change someone’s life or someone changes mine, I am grateful
Every day I love, live, and breathe, I am grateful.
Every day my heart pumps, I am grateful.
Every day I witness, hear about, receive, or engage in an act of kindness, I am grateful.
Ever day my heart is overwhelmed in anger, pain, frustration, negativity, bitterness, and grief, I am grateful 
Every moment that I act out in anger, I am grateful
Every moment that my heart is broken, I am grateful. 
Each challenge, painful situation, every loss, setback, and failure provides opportunity to learn, to evolve, to get stronger, to become more aware, more compassionate of myself and others, to develop deeper empathy and I am grateful.
Everyday that that I am
Humbled by a mistake, a thing learned, a person who teaches me…I am grateful.
Everyday I am faced with
Seemingly unbearable pain, and struggles
I am grateful
Every day for Lessons learned, I am grateful
Every day that 
I am Strengthened by pain, I am grateful
Every day for moments of 
Quiet and reflection, I am grateful
Every day for stillness and calm within, without, I am grateful.

Every single day, 
At every single moment
I am grateful.
Forever grateful.
Thank you

This is Angela Carole Brown’s page.

 http://www.angelacarolebrown.com/GLOBALYOGA.htm

Please check out her gratitude meditation youtube video. It’s so beautiful.
This is only seven minutes and forty-three seconds long. 
Mobile:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0R52DePavMo

Non mobile:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R52DePavMo

It’s so inspirational and when practiced everyday can be life changing for the better!

She explains how gratitude even for unpleasant experiences is the way to go. A life with some pain and challenges is better than an “effortless ” life, as she says. Because we become stronger, wiser, more empathetic and compassionate, and learn many valuable lessons.

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

Much love & gratitude to you all!
And thank you for reading! 😀

Xoxo Kim

“We must live while we can and we’ll drink our cup of laughter
The finer things keep shining through
The way my soul gets lost in you
The finer things I feel in me
The golden dance life could be

I’ve been sad and have walked bitter streets alone
Come morning, there’s a good wind to blow me home
So time is a river rolling into nowhere
I will live while I can, I will have my ever after

The finer things keep shining through
The way my soul gets lost in you
The finer things I feel in me
The golden dance life could be” ~Steve Winwood