Tag Archive | skills

Befriending our emotions

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“Life isn’t about learning how to weather the storm. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”~Vivian Greene

I read a novel, which I posted about last week, called “First Do No Evil” by Dr. Carey Baldwin, medical doctor and author, wife, mother, and with quite a few advanced degrees! She writes mystery books. The books are part of a series but can also be read individually. They’re mostly about doctors, usually a thirty something year old woman with a painful past who is now in some sort of trouble, like being stalked or the target of murder/homicide attempt, who meets a man who tries to help her and they begin to fall in love. The books are full of mystery, adventure, and romance. The characters are of substance and the stories are fascinating, page turners. Dr. Baldwin, the author of this book, former clinical psychologist, and now a family medical doctor, is a hopeless romantic and a genius! So her novels include romance along with the thrilling mystery and adventure.  Her books are intended for adults, not appropriate for teenages, as they contain explicit sexual scenes and adult language/content, and physical violence, even murder. Some romance novels are hallow, with no depth, not much of a plot, but these ones are not like that. They are full of beauty and amazing life lessons. 

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Here is one such lesson: 

“Above the clunking of snow chains, at last, Danny heard his phone. Grabbing it, he checked the display. It was the captain. His breathing grew ragged, and the hairs on the back of his neck lifted. Fear can do funny things to a man. It can paralyze his diaphragm and vocal cords so he can hardly breathe, so he can’t even manage to scream for help; or it can pump his muscles so full of adrenaline he can fend off an army of aliens. Fear can be a man’s worst enemy, or his best friend. Danny knew he had a choice. 
He chose friend.” 

This is a fantastic reminder of how seemingly negative or unpleasant emotions can serve a purpose if we allow them to. 

Guilt – can trigger us to make things right – it can inspire us to say sorry if we wronged someone, tell the truth, and avoid doing things to hurt others and be more mindful of our actions.

Anger – can fuel us or break us. When we get super angry about a certain issue or at a certain person, anger can trigger us to reach out to do something. Reach out not in a destructive way but in a productive way to help or to try to make things better. If we are angry about a political cause, for example, we can reach out in compassion and love to help, not give into the fury and react in a hostile way. Love and compassion can inspire us to act and so can anger and fury when we use it in a constructive way. 

Sadness – When we are sad, we can reach out to help or uplift others in similar situations. Our own sadness can deepen our empathy.  

Grief and loss– grief can help us in a similar way and can inspire us to build our lives into something better, we can become like new, use our grief to push us forward and rebuild ourselves while also reaching out in love and empathy to console others. 

Disappointment/sense of failure/frustration – teach us lessons and motivate us to work even harder. We can acquire/develop more skills along the way and use our experiences to help others. 

Pain of any kind can be our catalyst for positive change in general and can deepen our wisdom and strength and empathy. Pain can bring us to ruin and then we can take that ruin and become even better. Sometimes after experiencing severe pain of any sort, we can change our lives to be better in general than even before that pain. 

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Jealousy – When we feel jealous that someone has something we don’t, that jealousy can inspire us to work harder for what we want or to work on ourselves to accept how we are instead of wanting what we cannot have. It can also provoke us to look within and see what is going on, to see what we feel is lacking or why we feel that way. Then we can become even better/stronger than before. 

Fear/panic – fear can pump us to act or trigger us to collapse and we can choose which to allow.

Unpleasant seeming emotions can inspire and motivate us to create, to build, to reach out, to survive. 

Depression, anxiety, chronic pain, illness…anything that seems negative or unpleasant can be our friend, our teacher, our motivation. 

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Think about your unpleasant emotions. How have they helped you? How can they help you now and in the future? How can you use them to your advantage instead of letting them drag you down?  What can they teach you? Tapping into the wisdom of each experience and emotion is a skill that we can develop to be better. 

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~Let pain make you better, not bitter.~

I’m wishing you much love and light today and always. I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever you are! ❤

Xoxo Kim 😀

How To Find Your Power

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“I could sneer, I could glare say that
Life is so unfair and the one who Made it, made it ’cause her breasts
Were really big” ~ Jill Sobule

I have never been starstruck or celebrity crazed. I’m not into TV, the personal lives of celebrities just because they are famous, their drama or the drama people bring to them. I find it appalling that people chase them around with cameras, seriously invading their personal space, nearly getting them into accidents, stalking them, stalking and taking pictures of their kids!!!, verbally bash them out of jealousy, and all the other nonsense. The fact that they’re famous and knew this would likely occur does not make it ok or make the barbarians any less responsible for their dangerous and annoying actions. Not all famous people necessarily want to be famous. Some want to do whatever the job is and just have to accept the popularity that comes along with it. Some probably want to be actors, singers, and other things that will potentially make them famous, but not the fame itself, still wanting to live a life not being known and heckled by everyone who looks at them out in public. Fame is just a byproduct of certain jobs. Some like it. Some don’t.  But whether or not they chose or want the fame doesn’t justify other people’s reckless and negative actions towards them when it’s interfering directly with their lives.
I don’t believe celebrities are generally any more or any less intelligent or wise than those in the general population. 
They just have the ability to reach many more people and affect people at greater magnitudes because of it, usually.
When they have wisdom and a message and a cause and a story, they can reach millions upon millions of people.

But we who aren’t famous can still impact a number of lives somehow. And just reaching one, touching one heart for the better is amazing.
I don’t care that they’re rich. That’s the life they chose. They work for it. I can probably be rich too if I were determined, dedicated, skilled, and motivated enough to do what it takes and also desired a job that happens to have a mind-blowing paycheck come along with it. But I’m not. And I don’t care. The kind of job I want won’t make me financially rich and it doesn’t matter to me. It’s the satisfaction and value to others that the job will bring that I’m desiring.

Many people argue that celebrities don’t deserve the money just for acting or whatever. While that may be true, the point is, it’s the job they chose and most of us can choose the job we want as long as we have the appropriate skills and ability and motivation. Not all of us want to be actors or are driven or talented enough to be even if we wanted. Maybe our calling just doesn’t happen to bring with it such money. If you’re fortunate enough to strongly, passionately desire something,whatever it may be, have the skills it takes to obtain and maintain it and become financially rich, all the power to you!

And if you have all that but don’t get financially rich for it, still all the power to you! What really matters is if you’re fulfilled and living how you want!
I don’t see that it’s necessarily unfair in a way, that they get so much money, more than I have and more than other jobs.  Because we can all choose to seek well-paying jobs if we have the skills. We won’t always get the job quickly, it may take a while, just like some celebrities struggle for a while before a big break and sometimes even after. And if we don’t have the skills, it’s not unfair. Some people are talented and geniuses at some things and not others. Some people have natural talents while some don’t. Some people have disabilities, illnesses, obstacles that others don’t. It’s just the way the world works. Many people have so much more than me. More money, more skills, more knowledge, more wisdom, more friends, more experience ….and many have less. That goes for most of us. It is what it is. 
I think some people with certain jobs deserve just as much money as celebrities, and appreciation they don’t always receive, police officers, doctors, and others who save lives and risk their own.
I don’t think it’s the celebrities’ fault though that they don’t get paid like that and they do.

We can make a choice to take what we have and do the best we can while letting others also do that even if they seem to have better circumstances. 
We can “bloom where we’re planted” while  encouraging one another, celebrate each other, cheer each other on, celebrity or not. We’re all in this together. We can allow the success, happiness, accomplishments, and fortunes of other people to inspire us, motivate us, and guide us instead of letting it depress us or make us bitter or jealous.
It’s true some people have it easier but no matter what obstacles stand in our way, we can prevail somehow. And even the most successful and happy, joyful people can encounter problems, pain, and stress.

Famous and rich people are not gods, not invincible, not necessarily people to look up to merely because they are celebrities, not people to hold to greater standards than other people and criticize harder when they fall, in my opinion, not people to hold grudges against or not takes seriously merely because of their celebrity status.
I know some people disagree and think they’re morally obligated to be responsible and send positive messages to others. It would be great if they do but I don’t think they’re really obligated. It’s great if we all set positive examples for each other. But it’s usually not our obligation. 
 But some are worthy of being looked up to as positive examples just like some non celebs.
Rich and famous people are susceptible to pain, death, tragedy, illness, breakups, bankruptcy, bullying, abuse, breakdowns, loss, eating disorders, substance abuse, grief, mental health conditions, stress, discrimination, being detested, suicide, accidents, overdoses, being stalked, attacked, killed, assaulted….just like the rest of us.

And rich and famous people can also share deep wisdom and inspire us, and bring light & love to our world. Just like people who aren’t famous or financially rich.

“I don’t wanna get bitter like you
Like you, with the darts in your eyes
Like you, with disdain for mankind
I was charmed, now I wonder” ~ Jill Sobule

I just found now, a celebrity who has quickly won my heart. Yup, I’m in love. 
Her name is Selena Gomez. 

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And the fact that she’s a famous person isn’t what inspires me. But if she were not famous I probably would not have the opportunity I now have been blessed with, to know her beauty.
I was doing self discovery/authentic self/art journaling activities, cutting out things in random old magazines when I came across something about Selena Gomez. I heard/read her name on various occasions but never really knew anything about her, never cared to, really. Just that she’s famous. I was never sure what she’s famous for, what she looks like, or anything else.
I do love reading celebrity personal interviews sometimes, no matter who they are, because I get a feel for the person’s true personality and we all know how much I love people. I’m just not more interested in celebrities than other people because of their status. 
I love looking at pretty girls in magazines and getting hair, makeup, clothing style….ideas and see lots of gorgeous faces and beautiful bodies all throughout the magazines but I don’t always read about celebrities, just look and cut stuff out for arts and crafts activities.
I saw this page in a magazine with incredibly inspiring phrases and I was thrilled! I was about to cut them out and glue them into my journal when I saw one that says “Support Your Girls.” I assumed it was about boobs and a great bra and looking pretty. And I thought wow can’t go wrong with that one! Until I read the phrase underneath which reads “I love my girl friends more than I’ve loved any of my boyfriends….
I realized it’s Selena Gomez who said that. And what she has to say is beyond amazing.
She loves her best girls and other girls she knows of, even ones she never met personally. Her friends love and support her and  stand by her always, including when the men she has been romantically involved with did not. She loves women who empower other women. Taylor Swift is one of those girls she loves who empowers other girls. And this other girl Demi. 
I love Taylor Swift also. She’s all for love and seems like a total sap like mee!!
Selena Gomez wants girls and women to stop comparing negatively, stop the competitions with fashion, best friends, and lovers and betrayal and just love one another, empower each other, support each other unconditionally.
 “My wish is that girls would love girls more.” 
Selena even loves girls who don’t love her back! Talk about amazing! She wants the best even for women who don’t return the love.
 “I’m going to support her whether she likes me or not because I think she’s doing great things.” She says this of a girl, Lorde, she never met but truly adores. This girl, Lorde, doesn’t like Selena, according to Selena, at least when this interview was going on, March 2014, I think.

Some day I will see her and we’ll be cool.

So sweet! I have loved girls and wanted to be friends with certain girls who did not feel the same about me. I would be thinking “we would be perfect BFF’s, soul sisters, she just doesn’t know it yet!”
Lol!
Have you ever met a girl and think you two would just be amazing friends but she doesn’t seem to think so? It can be painful but we can still love and empower one another even if we’re not or don’t want to be friends with each other. We don’t have to wish to see each other crumble or see each other fail even if we don’t like each other. Girls who don’t like me back still have my love.
There are also girls I would not want to be friends with but still send my love and well wishes.
I never felt that romantic love is necessarily more important than platonic love. It’s different but not more important to me. I don’t believe romantic relationships are more worthy of special recognition than platonic friendships no matter what the gender of the people are. I love all love.


I agree that it’s best for women to build each other up, not tear each other down. 

“Wise women don’t compete with each other; they empower one another.” 

Selena also teaches a lesson on saying no. She says “You can’t be afraid of what people are going to say, because you’re never going to make everyone happy.
She encourages girls to speak up when they don’t like something. She says saying it out loud is the first step to taking away fear. Say what you want. Express it when you don’t like something. She says that it took her a long while to learn this. Her friend Demi taught her this great lesson. Now she is teaching others. She explains that it’s effective to be direct, not aggressive. 
I had to learn this too. In cases with people taking advantage of my desire and willingness to help, I had to learn to say clearly and directly, NO. Not because I don’t want to help or be kind, not as a punishment or to seek revenge. 
To show people they can’t keep getting what they want by taking advantage. 
When people take advantage of our generosity and kindness to the point it takes a toll on us, we have to think of ourselves as well. Our own health and well-being is just as important as everyone else’s. If something doesn’t feel right to you, say no. And if you wear yourself out just constantly doing for others, eventually you may be too exhausted to help anyone well.

Selena provides a lesson on finding your inspiration. She looks to others for inspiration sometimes. Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Demi. She finds inspiration in their music, songs, in the different moves they make. What inspires you? Who inspires you? Look around and look within and and allow your heart to open to the inspiration all around. Then create. Do. Be.

She also encourages to “Pick your power song.” She loves her song “Who Says,” which she declares is her anthem for girls. She says that when she performs it, she stops singing and allows the girls to sing it to her so they can hear themselves say “Who says I’m not perfect? Who says I’m not beautiful? Who says I’m not worth it?” She wants girls to feel that. This is so empowering. The fact that she let’s girls sing it themselves, become active and actually engage instead of just listen is truly amazing. What a wise young woman this girl is.
I feel my heart well up with love.

 

She encourages us to “never change for a guy” and talks about how some men may be intimidated by strong women but it’s important to remain ourselves. This goes for anyone though not just a man/lover/boyfriend/potential love interest/husband. I encourage us not to change for anyone but ourselves. Don’t change who you are for parents who want you to live out their dreams, jealous girls who want to see you fall, friends who won’t accept you as you are, society…don’t change for anyone except yourself if it serves you well to change because YOU want the change.

One of the most beautiful lessons she teaches here is “Give Your Whole Self.
Selena says “I don’t feel like I can do enough for my fans. I work a lot, I work hard, and I get tired. But when you walk on stage and see these people who wait hours outside just to see you, it’s the greatest thing in the world.“. She states that she feels that her fans do so much for her and she doesn’t feel she can do enough for them. Her lesson is to give your whole self to people, all your love, your passion, your beauty. This can apply to any aspect of your life. Your work, hobbies your love, people you know, whatever you do, where ever you go, go with all your heart. Give it your all. Put your whole self into it. This is a beautiful way to live and love to the fullest. You don’t have to be perfect, you can be passionate and loving in all that you do. We don’t need perfection. Being passionate and loving is perfect enough.

And I think loving and truly appreciating and being grateful for her fans is enough. She embodies love so perfectly.

Selena Gomez is a wise and beautiful girl. Inside and out and our world is blessed to have her. Not for her music or work(that too) but for the powerful love she projects out into the world and the deep beauty of her life’s message. What a bright light. I would be honored to have a friend like her.

“So I’ll smile with the rest
I’ll wish everyone the best
And know the one who made it,
Made it cuz she was actually pretty good” ~ Jill Sobule

Xoxo Kim 😀

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(this photo isn’t mine)

Social Media – Developing Healthy Skills and Balance

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I received a lifehack e-mail with a link to a list of reasons why social media can be detrimental to our health.

It’s titled, 
You Should Be Aware Of These 10 Effects Of Social Media On You

By Amanda Rife 

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/you-should-aware-these-10-effects-social-media-you.html

Amanda Rife writes:

“Technology is a useful tool, but many people don’t know how to use it properly which can easily become damaging. As much as you may love your Twitter page is it really worth the toll it takes on your health? That’s for you to decide after you read the following 10 ways social media negatively effects your life:”

She brings up some interesting and important issues and great points with some basis of truth to them and I am elaborating and adding my own views about each one, here.

After each number is her reason why social media may be damaging to us. Under each reason is her view and under each of her views is my own opinion.

1.) Reduces person to person interaction.

Amanda Rife writes:
“Not only do you spend less quality time with is people who are physically present in your life, but they will quickly get annoyed by you when you’re paying more attention to an electronic device than them. Eventually the people around you will even stop wanting to hang out with you.”

My view: We have complete control over how frequently and in which ways we use our social media accounts and our phones, computers, laptops, ipads…and whatever else we use to connect to a social media resource. Connecting with people online and seeing people in person are both great and both have advantages that the other does not. One doesn’t have to take the place of the other one. Social media allows us to share photos, statuses, posts..and comment, tag each other in ways we can’t do in person and allows us to meet people and reconnect with people we would have never met or encountered again if not for social media. Seeing each other in person is different than seeing each other through a screen, we can hang out, look into each other’s eyes(if we can see), hear each other’s voices(if you’re a hearing person), have coffee, tea, food together, laugh together… They’re both great and we don’t have to give up one for the other. It’s all about balance. You can put your phone away when you’re out with someone in person and just because you “see” that person online everyday doesn’t mean you don’t have/want to see the person in person when you can. Social media doesn’t control you if you don’t allow it to.

2.)  Increases your cravings for attention drastically.

Amanda Rife writes:

“Posting vague statuses on Facebook to grab others attention could easily become a nasty habit for people who use social media frequently. The never ending competition for likes and notifications can consume you.”

My view: What can be said about this (and other points brought up here) goes beyond the scope of this post. Many of these are deep psychological issues/aspects that are issues that can have posts of their own. Example: What Amanda Rife states here is true for some people. They need “likes” and comments and shares to feel validated and they want competition, to get more love than others. But that’s not Social media’s fault. That’s an inner issue of the individual self. Social media just provides us with the opportunity to get that kind of attention, to get “likes,” comments, shares…and while it’s great to have that kind of attention, it’s an honor to know that people like us and our content and there’s nothing wrong with desiring it, it’s an indication of a problem to feel that we need it to make us feel worthy or important. It’s a sign of a psychological problem that needs awareness and tending to if we become literally depressed or anxious or feeling excessively low to the point it seriously affects our lives if we don’t get attention on social media. I think the inner problem is what needs to be addressed, not just push it under the rug by criticizing or getting rid of social media for it. It may be helpful to lay off the social media accounts if we are the kind of person to need attention to validate us. It may be very helpful to stay off twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs…but that psychological problem of ours will still be there and may manifest in other ways if we get rid of our social media accounts. It’s not social media, it’s us. Social media can be our wake-up call, to help us realize we have a problem, not caused by social media, but being triggered by the opportunities it allows. We can then use this realization to our advantage, working on and exploring problems we would have not known we have if not for social media bringing our attention to it.

3.) Distracts from life goals.

Amanda Rife writes:

“It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what’s going on in social media that people will neglect their real life goals. Instead of aiming for the dream job by obtaining useful skills people, especially younger people, tend to strive for internet stardom.”

My view: Again, this is something we have complete control over. We can use the Internet and social media for just the opposite, to inspire us and motivate us to fulfill our goals and even come up with new ones. We can meet people, discover new ideas, and have our creativity sparked by the people and things we encounter through social media. Anything can distract us so we don’t work on our goals, TV, work, laziness, and more, we can get wrapped up into anything and become a slacker, not just social media. It’s great and very effective to manage our amount of time spent on each thing that takes up part of each day, not let one take over everyday.

4.) It can lead to a higher risk of depression.

Amanda Rife writes:

“According to recent studies the more people used social media the more negative feelings they experience, including depression. This could partiulalrly harmful to people who have been previously diagnosed with depression. If you beginning to notice you’re feeling down on a regular basis it’s probably time to take a break from your many social media.”

My view: This is probably for different reasons for different people. I suspect one of the the main culprits is negative comparison. We know how our lives really are, every aspect, every event, every thought, every problem…but with everyone else, we only see what they choose to reveal. Some people only reveal the positive aspects of their lives and keep the pain and problems hidden. For some, this is because they want everyone to truly believe they have The Perfect Life, for others it’s not that they want, necessarily, to be judged as having a perfect life, but they fear being judged negatively if they complain on social media outlets, for others still, it’s not at all about coming off as being perfect but they want to use their social media accounts just for uplifting quotes and happy thoughts, as opposed to using them to vent or disclose unpleasant situations or thoughts. They just aren’t drawn to sharing their whole lives, pleasant and unpleasant. When we are struggling and we see photos, posts, and all kinds of happy updates by people who seem to have it all, this can contribute to us feeling low about our own lives. And if we are prone to true depression, it can trigger an episode or the onset of a full blown disorder. A couple of other culprits of social media contributing to depression are cyber- bullying and friend rejection, people blocking and unfriending others, not responding to requests or comments and messages. If you’re prone to depression, this can be a serious trigger. 

Giving up all of social media may be a solution for some but I think the underlying depression and/or insecurity is what mostly needs to be addressed.

5.) Relationships are more likely to fail.

Amanda Rife writes:

“No good comes out of online displays of jealousy and snooping. It may seem like an easy option when it comes to dealing with relationships, but in reality it does more damage than good. In fact, studies show that the more a person uses Facebook the more likely they will be to monitor their partner, which leads to arguments and crumbling relationships.”

My view: Again, this is not social media’s fault but the fault of the persons involved. It’s how we go about handling our circumstances while also using social media. Relationships and the use of social media are compatible. We have to use our common sense about what is wise to do and not do in terms of social media. Or learn what to do and not to do if it’s not common sense to us. It’s all about our underlying insecurities and issues, not the social media. Social media just provides us with the opportunity to see and reveal all kinds of stuff that can bring out our insanity if we allow it to. We don’t need social media to spy on or stalk people, it just makes it easier to engage in those unhealthy things. If we feel a strong desire or need to obsessively monitor our lover every second of every day , the problem is either us or the lover. Maybe I’m very insecure and my lover is trustworthy. Or maybe I’m not overly insecure but he is being really suspicious and there is some reasonable explanation for my monitoring.

But the true underlying problems would likely be there with or without social media because they lie within us. They are what need to be addressed.

6.) Excessive use of social media stunts creativity.

Amanda Rife writes:

“I can speak from personal experience that social media is the easiest way to stunt, or kill, the creative process. Surfing social media sites, especially Tumblr. in this scenario, has a numbing effect on the mind that’s similar to mindlessly watching television. If you plan on being productive today shut off those apps!”

My view: This definitely has some truth to it and the word “excessive” is the key word here. Nothing is good in excessive amounts, that’s why it’s excessive! It’s also about being mindful and active in all that we do. Mindlessly scrolling through a bunch of mindless drivel thrown about by others is bound to numb anyone’s creativity and decrease our IQ a few points! But when we are mindful of what we’re reading or looking at and fully engaged, our creativity can deepen and we can come up with new ideas. While looking at pics on Tumblr, reading blog posts, Facebook statuses, or anything else, it will benefit you to pay close attention to what you are doing, thinking, feeling, reading. Is it serving you well? Is it inspiring you, motivating you, challenging you? Do you feel peaceful, calm, happy? Or is it just mind numbing stuff you’re surfing through because you feel you have nothing better to do? If so, you definitely have better things you can be doing! Finding something else to read or look at, meditate, tune into your surroundings, the scents, the feelings, the sounds, the colors and textures…your possibilities are endless.

7.) Cyber bullying is alive and well.

Amanda Rife writes:

“People feel too comfortable on the web and say things they wouldn’t normally say in real life. If you’re not the one say horrible things, you’re still inevitably going to be exposed to it. And if you are one of the people talking trash? Cut it out! You’re not as anonymous as you think. With the rampant cyber bullying on the web, people are also becoming more rude off the web as well.” 

My view: This is so true. Cyber-bullying is something we have little control over for the most part. For those of us who aren’t cyber-bullies, we still have to witness it or just really negative, uncalled for comments everywhere. Have you seen the YouTube comments on even the most inspiring, positive, beautiful, uplifting videos?! Good grief, they’re horrible. I rarely even read the comments because they’re so dumb and uncalled for. Internet trolls are everywhere and unfortunately here to stay. I suggest you don’t feed them. It’s what they want. So let’s let them starve. They are people who feel so low about themselves and their own lives so they insist on attempting to drag others down with them.

And it can crush our spirit to see even when it’s not happening to us, personally. Being a witness to uncalled for negativity can be so life-draining. But we can develop habits and skills to not let it get to us to the point it’s overwhelming and leads us to depression or anxiety. We can stand un-buffeted against the negative attention seekers who get off on inflicting pain upon others just for thrills. Focus on your own positive qualities and all the love and positivity you receive and remember as much as it sucks being bullied or being the target of cruelty, it has to suck way more being a bully. To sink to that level, there has to be something seriously wrong. Pay the callous comments no mind, I suggest you don’t respond to bullies directly but when you see it happening to someone, you can write positive things to the person to uplift her/him.

8.) Constantly comparing yourself to others online will make you miserable.

Amanda Rife writes:

“The digital persona people display on Facebook is often much different that what actually goes on in their lives. After awhile you may feel like you know your online aquainences better than you do, creating a social gap. Try to remember that everyone is just as human as you are.”

My view: Like I said in response to #4 about depression, negative comparisons aren’t good. It’s not healthy for us. When we’re comparing ourselves negatively to others we’re either making ourselves out to not be as good or making ourselves out to somehow be above the other person/people. It’s uncalled for. We all have good things and bad things and it’s all about our attitude. We can’t control what other people put on social media but we can control our own attitudes and reactions. Like Amanda Rife says, we are all equally human. Focus on the goodness of yourself. Bask in your own beauty while truly, relishing the beauty of others. 

Let other people’s happiness, accomplishments, success, and beauty inspire you and motivate you, not depress you or trigger jealousy.

If you really feel utterly miserable because of someone else on social media accounts, analyze yourself, think about why this is. Do you feel like you are lacking in some respects? Missing out? Then do something to fulfill yourself. It doesn’t matter what others think. Do what you have to to bring joy to yourself as long as you are not hurting or directly interfering with others. And if someone is trying to intentionally make others jealous, unhappy, miserable, you can unfriend, block, ignore that person and get on with your own life.

9.) Loss of sleep.

Amanda Rife writes:

“The light emitted from your various electronic screens tricks your mind into thinking it’s not time for you to sleep. Getting enough sleep each night is already difficult enough without extra complications. Perhaps it’s best if your phone doesn’t stay with you though the night.”

My view: This is true but has nothing to do with social media itself, really. If we have our phones by our side in bed, we may see the little flashing lights, hear beeping or other sounds, or just be so tempted to check Facebook and other things. Over and over and over. But this has to do with discipline. Self control. Get into the habit of sleeping at night, not playing with phones. If it’s really too difficult, the phone can be put in a different room while going to sleep to make the temptation less irresistible.

After a while it becomes a habit. Then it will be easier and easier to resist until eventually your brain is trained to not think of that phone and Facebook or Twitter at night. 

10.) Lack of privacy.

Amanda Rife writes:

“Between social media websites saving (and selling) your personal data and the whole NSA mess involving unsolicited government access of personal data including email, Skype calls, and so much more it’s very clear that privacy and the internet don’t mix at this point in time. If you post every last thought that pops into your head it could just as easily come back to haunt you in the future.”

My view: This is really very simple. Don’t ever put on social media, anywhere including what you think are personal e-mails or inbox messages, what you don’t want everyone to see. Even if your account is blocked so only people on your list can see, someone, somewhere, can get access to it if those people really want to. Once you put something out there, it’s out there for good, somewhere, even if you delete it and it looks like it’s gone. It can be retrieved. People can get into your e-mail box and any other thing you have on the Internet. Whatever you would never want others to see, keep it to yourself or tell someone in person if you can. Any other way is not safe. But this is a choice. When we put something stupid out there, it’s on us. It’s not Social media’s wrongdoing, it’s ours. Many people don’t realize that when we put something out there into cyber-world, it’s here to stay. They think it can be easily removed because there are “delete” buttons so it’s important to educate people.

Social media itself isn’t the problem. It’s how we use it and perceive it. Social media is limited in its power over us. It mostly only has the power we allow it to have. We can empower ourselves to have a healthy, balanced, positive relationship to social media and those people we connect with online.

We can greatly benefit by developing healthy skills and habits and cultivate a positive attitude about ourselves, each other, and social media. Social media provides us with amazing opportunities and has much potential for great things. We don’t have to give it up to avoid all our problems that arise while using it. It’s ourselves we need to work on.

It’s not the use of social media that is the problem, it’s misuse.

I’m very thankful Amanda Rife brought up these important issues. It is crucial to address them in this age of social media where so many feel that it has a power and mind of its own, where people feel like victims in the face of struggles made possible by social media. Social media is a blessing, certainly not without its negative consequences and distress in some cases, but it’s definitely a positive thing if we allow it to be and use it wisely.
,
Xoxo Kim 

30 Days of Lists – Day #3 Art Journaling Tips & Ideas

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I have always loved journals, drawing, writing…but I would always start a journal then eventually stop until a while later, lose it, and start a new one. I never knew why exactly until recently.   I have never been a perfectionist at all but I have felt low occasionally for not being some definition of perfect.  I never usually tried to be perfect at most things but I wanted to be without even trying and felt low for not being that way. The reason I always give up journaling/drawing and stuff, I realized is, I have terrible handwriting and drawing skills. I always knew that but never quite realized, consciously, that my view of it was interfering with me. If you look at my handwriting you will seriously think a first grader wrote it! It’s not my choice either!   I can’t write neat or small. It’s very large and sloppy.  It’s funny though and I laugh about it.  

A stranger once saw my handwriting and said I have serial killer handwriting.   His teacher told him that when he was young, he said. Lol!

And when I write in cursive I can’t even understand it myself. So yeah. 

And when I draw, it looks like a little kid’s artwork. But I have finally come to accept that it doesn’t matter. It’s still healing and still fun and still great to draw and write in journals. It’s different than writing in an online blog or in a memos section in some electronic device. Both are great! But journaling in a notebook is more of a “hands on” experience. 

So I won’t let my serial killing handwriting get in the way any longer!  

I love looking at people’s art journals online. It inspires me and is aesthetically pleasing. But I have found myself occasionally comparing myself to those people with me coming up short.   “Why can’t I draw that good?” “why couldn’t I think of that?!” “why doesn’t mine look that artistic?” “how can she do that and not me?!?!”

But I decided to silence that monster and just focus on what I’m doing right. It’s art journaling, it can’t ever be wrong!   I let those other journals inspire and please me more than make me distressed or envious that my skills aren’t that great.   It’s a hobby, not a job that must be perfect.  

I am so thankful that I now realize why I never stick with artistic stuff. Because I get fed up with my handwriting and lack of skills. And I’m thankful I now realize that it doesn’t have to be an issue.   Comparing ourselves to others in negative ways is an ugly thing. Now let’s stop.

I recently began a new art journal.   And I will stick with it. I will fill it up with kiddy drawings and serial killer handwriting until it’s overflowing and be very proud! ;-D

So today I am listing some ideas for journal entries and some tips. This is somewhat new for me and I’m just learning and exploring and haven’t tried a lot of this.   So if you’re also new to it, we can learn and explore together!  

And if your an expert already give me some tips! Lol

Some of these I thought of completely on my own, others are inspired by other places I seen.
And I will add the links where I got some ideas at the end of this post.

1.) song lyrics – try to capture some lyrics to a song that has some sort of meaning to you. Maybe write the lyrics and draw around them or not write them in words but draw them out. Maybe scenes of a song or just the emotions they inspire in you.

2.) quotes – do the same as above but with a quote 

3.) draw yourself as your favorite character in a book you read. Pretend that’s you. How do you feel? Put yourself in that character’s place.

4.) least favorite character  – step outside your comfort zone and try the above suggestions but instead draw yourself as the villain or your least favorite character! 

5.) random scene – choose a random scene out of a book. Maybe randomly flip to a page and draw what you see/read on that page. Or search your memory for just some scene and bring it alive in your journal.

6.) favorite scene – do the above suggestion but choose one of your favorite scenes instead of a random one. Or even draw your least favorite or uncomfortable scene!

7.) Be inspired by something you always wanted to do – Is there something you want to do so badly but just never have? I have for so long wanted to dress up in a beautiful dress and go to some fancy expensive restaurant for no reason other than just because! Lol I wear just pants and shirts everyday. I dont have much money and whenever I got dressed up before and hair done it was for some big occasion like a graduation, a wedding, prom or whatever.   Imagine going all out, getting all dolled up for no reason other than sheer pleasure?! Some people may think it’s a waste but to me it’s just a thrill! :-D. I don’t plan on making a habit of it. I’m not materialistic generally but once in a blue moon is ok! Everyday of your life is a special occasion! 

8.) worst pain you have ever felt – art journaling is healing for both physical and emotional pain. It can help ease the pain sometimes but even if it doesn’t it can help us cope with the pain. I have a depressive disorder that doesn’t get cured but comes and goes in symptoms and full blown episodes. Many days now it’s like I don’t even have it. But I do and it always comes back. Art journaling is amazing for coping. Also, I have a physical pain disorder.   A chronic facial/head pain disorder. It’s so bad and interferes with my life when it flares up badly like right now. Like my depression, it comes and goes.   But with the physical disorder I am usually always in some degree of pain, often mild. The mild usually doesn’t interfere with my happiness or my life in general. It’s just there. But the moderate to severe pain is pure raw agony and I feel so broken.   So very broken. There’s no safe, effective medical treatments, just home remedies that help. Sometimes severe flare ups come frequently over and over lasting for days to weeks. Sometimes they don’t show up for months and months. They come on without warning. Sometimes waking me in the middle of sleep.  Since there’s very little I can do to ease them after they appear, I have to find ways to handle them and cope with the pain. Healthy ways.  Physical movement and expression of the pain often help. Like I said, not help alleviate the pain usually but just cope with it.
Sharing comforting quotes with others when I’m in pain, knowing I may be helping someone else, helps me too.   I can’t bear the thought of knowing there’s others in the depth of pain I’m in. And even worse! I can’t fathom it. But capturing my pain in writing and drawing helps so much. Physical pain brings with it, emotional pain, panic, and fear, distress…and it’s important to handle it effectively. 

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9.) a moment you felt shocked – draw/paint how it feels to be shocked.

10.) let your unconscious mind and hand lead the way – don’t think, just draw or paint or write or cut out and glue….see what you create.

11.) What does love feel like to you ? Capture it

12.) your idea of beauty – what does beauty feel like?

13.) capture a poem you like in an image 

14.) draw a fantasy you have

15.) capture a dream you once had while you slept or the feelings it provoked or still provokes in you

16.) capture yourself exactly as you are but with one difference – maybe something you have been wanting to change about yourself or something you would never want to change about you. Maybe this can make you more grateful for all that you currently are or motivate you to change that one thing for the better.  

17.) draw a feeling you used to love when you were little – I have always loved being in school with all the other kids. Especially when we would do unusual activities like turn the lights off and watch a movie or have a holiday celebration. I still remember how it felt. How it felt to be a child. A child in school with all other kids doing fun activities.   I can never feel that again in a  moment because I will never be a kid again. And I will never literally be in that place again.  But I cherish the memories and would love to capture them in an artistic way.

17.) meditative experience – try to meditate while creating.   Literally try to feel what you are capturing, doing, feeling. Feel it. Don’t just draw mechanically or make it obligatory. Try to live in the moment 

18.) don’t just focus on the end result. Savor the process of creating.   Sometimes I have trouble with this. I can’t wait to see my masterpiece and I neglect to cherish the very process of creating. 

19.). Try not to force your journal to only be a certain way. Let it flow.   It doesn’t all have to be positive or profound.   It can be sometimes negative and sometimes “trivial.”. Every entry doesn’t have to be pretty or have some great meaning or underlying message.  

20.) what’s it like to be very scared? What’s your biggest fear whether it can really happen or not.

21.) What is it to be lonely?

22.) to actually be alone? 

23.) Express, draw, paint…how it felt when you were rejected? maybe for a job or a university. By a potential lover or friend or family member.

24.) keep in mind that your content doesn’t have to make sense to anyone, not even yourself. It can be abstract, confusing, mysterious, and nonsensical. Even if you decide to share it, you don’t have to feel the need to explain it.  I love a little mystery.   My favorite kind of poetry and artwork is obscure kind. Especially when it kind of seems to make sense but doesn’t.   I often like to write, poetically, without explanation . And when I read poems and view artistic stuff by others, I love when they don’t explain it. I love drawing my own implications or interpretations.   But you certainly can explain if you want! You just shouldn’t have to feel like it’s your obligation. 

25.) Express your gratitude list artistically

These are just suggestions; I’m in no way saying they are the only right way and anything else is wrong.   Some of these are great for some people and not others. Do what’s best for you, of course, even if above I stated something else.  

Your journal doesn’t just have to be about drawing or painting or coloring. You can cut things out and glue it onto your pages. Someone suggested old pieces of mail, glue it on and color or paint over it. Cut out magazine pieces or cloth and glue it on. Anything you can think of!

My journal doesn’t look anywhere nearly as artistic as some I have seen! But instead of viewing that in a negative light, I see it as a fun challenge! I have all these blank pages to make more and more creative and soon mine will be looking great!

I have drawing pencils, watercolor paints & pencils, colored pencils, markers, magazines, and glue and scissors for now.

Just by starting this new journal very recently and listing these here today, I learned even more about myself. I found a deeper part of me. A part I forgot about. I was able to summon some old experiences, feelings, memories that I forgot about but are still very important.  I learned some new or forgotten fears, how really capable I am of healing and coping, how deeply certain things both old and new have affected me in both good and bad ways.

I have been able to somewhat distract myself and push the physical pain and my fear of it to the back burner of my mind as I focus on this.

Remember you don’t have to show your art journal entries to anyone!   It’s up to you. Even though I’m very shy, I’m also very open about my experiences, emotions, opinions…and I don’t mind sharing with people. I love to. But many people say they love knowing their journal is just for them, never for anyone else to lay eyes on. No one else has to judge it, critique it, or know of its content.

As open as I am, I like to share most of my ideas and things with people on and offline. But sometimes it does feel very good to have a secret of my own. Not because the secret is too embarrassing or awkward to let people know but just because it’s a little thrilling having some things only I know. I don’t make that a habit but there are a few things I like selfishly keeping to myself!   Lol. One example is my dreams at night. I dream often and frequently remember them. And for some reason I like keeping lots of my dreams to myself. Again, not because they’re embarrassing or fear of judgment but it’s sweet just having something for me! Lol
I love remembering dreams I had and knowing there’s no one else in the entire world who knows this but me.

It’s especially thrilling since I’m not usually like that and I usually share so much about myself.

So it’s up to you to share or not to share your journal entries!   What I would really recommend though is that you decide only after your entry is done If you will share or not. Go into it deciding that this is just for you and that you won’t share with anyone. Then when it’s done you can decide to share if you want. I recommend this because if you decide that you will show people your entries before you complete them, you may unconsciously hold back something or feel too pressured that it has to be perfect or at least presentable, something that others will appreciate. You may unconsciously start to create more for other people than for yourself.   This defeats the purpose of art journaling. Your art journal is not a public blog for yourself and everyone who comes across it. It’s for you and only you.  

It’s meant to be healing, expressive, creative and if you feel pressured to make it a certain way then you may not get the most out of it. So be all that you can be, do what is best for you and only you then decide if it’s meant for anyone else’s eyes.

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If you have any tips or ideas or any links to pages about art journals please let me know! Whether you are also somewhat new to art journaling, already have been engaging in this for a while, or never tried it! I would love any ideas! All are valuable to me! Thank You!!

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Thank You so so much to everyone who reads, shares, likes, “likes,” and comments on my content! I appreciate you so much!!! And I hope you find something helpful here.

Xoxo Kim

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P.s. I totally forgot the links!!

Here you are:

http://www.blacksburgbelle.com/2010/10/50-art-journal-prompts/

A Cherokee Legend

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Yesterday I mentioned that I was writing a somewhat long post and then accidentally deleted it.   Not really super long or anything but wayyy too long to be at the very end then lose the entire thing!   Here I am posting it again now, as I promised I would. Last night I was writing it directly in the app instead of my memos on my phone, which is better because my memos section allows me to edit it better before posting.  Earlier today I decided to work on another post first and learned my lesson and began writing it in my memos and guess what?! AGAIN! I accidentally deleted it! I accidentally hit the cancel button.  I must have gorilla fingers or touch screen phones are just not the greatest. Or both.

I think it’s both.

So here is the post that was meant for yesterday. Then after that I will work on the other post I deleted today. What a wreck! Lol
😉

A Cherokee Legend 
“ONE EVENING, AN ELDERLY
CHEROKEE BRAVE TOLD HIS
GRANDSON ABOUT A BATTLE THAT
GOES ON INSIDE PEOPLE.

HE SAID ‘MY SON, THE BATTLE IS
BETWEEN TWO ‘WOLVES’ INSIDE US ALL.
ONE IS EVIL. IT IS ANGER,
ENVY, JEALOUSY, SORROW,
REGRET, GREED, ARROGANCE,
SELF-PITY, GUILT, RESENTMENT,
INFERIORITY, LIES, FALSE PRIDE,
SUPERIORITY, AND EGO.

THE OTHER IS GOOD.
IT IS JOY, PEACE LOVE, HOPE SERENITY,
HUMILITY, KINDNESS, BENEVOLENCE,
EMPATHY, GENEROSITY,
TRUTH, COMPASSION AND FAITH.’

THE GRANDSON THOUGHT ABOUT
IT FOR A MINUTE AND THEN ASKED
HIS GRANDFATHER:

‘WHICH WOLF WINS?…’
THE OLD CHEROKEE REPLIED,
‘THE ONE THAT YOU FEED.'”

A while ago I found this story on Facebook. Isn’t it just beautiful?! And riddled with so much wisdom!

 It’s true what the wise man says. A couple days ago I touched on this concept a bit when commenting about a quote I shared by Louise Hay.  
“There is so much love in your heart that you could heal the planet.”
~Louise Hay

We are all capable of experiencing love, empathy, understanding, kindness, compassion, happiness, joy, inspiration, motivation, cheerfulness, optimism, positivity, gratitude, a sense of being One with all that is, desire for goodness, and other pleasant emotions. And we are all capable of experiencing anger, fury, jealousy, pain, wishing bad things on people, closed-mindedness, despair, sadness, bitterness, depression, loathing, and other unpleasant feeling emotions, thoughts, and feelings.   

But I don’t consider those unpleasant feelings and thoughts to be “evil” or “bad” necessarily. Sure, they don’t feel pleasant. They are painful and not fun. But most of them are part of living. It doesn’t make someone a terrible person for experiencing them. And I don’t think they should be repressed, denied, or masked. I don’t even think most of them have to be “cured” because they are normal experiences that come along with the gift of life. It’s not about experiencing them but the frequency of them. It’s not healthy to succumb to those feelings and thoughts too often.

Now and then is one thing but constantly or often is another. Most of these good and bad things or the ability or potential for experiencing them, are in us all as long as we live. 

Just because we don’t feel love or like being kind, certain moments, doesn’t mean love or kindness isn’t in us. It’s just being masked or numbed or overshadowed by some other emotion.   And just because someone is usually happy and loving doesn’t mean that person isn’t capable of anger or depression at some points.  

And some days there’s a battle within. The pleasant emotions and thoughts are at war with the unpleasant ones.

And like the wise man says, it’s all about the side we “feed” most. That’s the side that will win.

Which side do you feed more?

The side that is fueled more frequently is the side that will generally prevail.

I hope you choose to fuel the pleasant, the love, the kindness, and compassion and learn to cope with the unpleasant side if you don’t already.  

Much love & blessings to you.
😀

Xoxo Kim

P.s. You know what I decided years ago about losing writings and documents that I worked so hard on or put much thought into? It’s an ugly feeling. Especially when it’s something creative that I know I won’t completely remember again. So I decided when that happens I will write it over and make it even BETTER than before!

;-D

Accountability & Hilarious victim mentality quotes

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I read a self -help book some years ago called “You Can’t Avoid the Luxury of a Negative Thought”  (A book for People with Any Life-Threatening Illness – Including Life) by John – Roger & Peter McWilliams.

This is a book for anyone interested in self help techniques, learning about positive thinking and letting go of negative habits.

I lost the copy I had years ago and recently my dad just gave me another  copy he is done with and I started reading it again.   I remember that years ago I laughed so hard at some things written in this book.   One of the sections I laughed at uncontrollably is about “Accountability.”. It’s a section in the book intended to help people recognize that we have the ability to make choices and we should take responsibility for our own lives & happiness.  

We shouldn’t feel guilty for making bad decisions and the authors aren’t “accusing” people for being in bad situations. They are intending to help empower us by helping us see that we have the ability to make positive choices and changes & respond positively to bad things that happen in our lives. And knowing that we brought some things on ourselves is a good thing because it empowers us to know we have control over much of our lives.

In this section they provide a list of things real people said after getting in car accidents that were their own fault. 

These people may not have realized they were doing this but after the accident many were putting the responsibility on anything other than themselves, including inanimate objects such as a telephone poll.  They weren’t trying to be amusing but they sure are funny! 

I remember years ago, reading the people’s brief quotes, I almost died laughing.   And when I picked up the book to read again recently I wondered if I would find them just as amusing as I did back then.   I could only vaguely remember them.  But I remembered how I laughed til it hurt!

So I flipped through the book to find that section and read the list and…… found them as hilarious as ever!! I laughed so much my mom said it’s ridiculous! Lol

She wasn’t amused though! She said they’re really stupid quotes. 

I am one of those ones who can laugh at the same joke & movie and memories over & over.   It never gets old! Some people find that so annoying! But I have a lot of fun! ;-D

The authors provided these real life quotes to get a point across but also for some comic relief. I know I probably shouldn’t be so amused over accidents. But it’s not the accidents themselves that are amusing; it’s the things people say!  

I hope no one was seriously injured in these accidents.   

At least we know the people responsible for the accidents lived well enough to tell about it!  
🙂

These were taken out of real auto insurance reports.

“Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don’t have.” 

“The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.”

“I had been driving for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.”

“An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.”

“The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.”

“The telephone poll was approaching. I was attempting to swerve out of its way when it struck my front end.”

(this has to be the most hilarious, to me!!) 

“I pulled away from the side of the road,glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment.”

The authors encourage readers to think about something unpleasant that happened that we once considered to be something or someone else’s fault completely but when we think back, we, ourselves, may see that we in fact played a part in bringing it on ourselves. If we develop this skill, we can learn to empower ourselves, taking responsibility in a positive way and seeing how we have the ability to make effective choices & learn lessons through mistakes.

They say to: Go back in time: think back to something that happened to you that you were unhappy about and claimed that someone else was responsible.  

My own example: My food often gets eaten by my dogs and sometimes I get angry at them for eating it.   One day I bought two delicious looking pink cake pops at Starbucks that I couldn’t wait to eat. One was for my sister. I brought them home and had to go right back out and I forgot to put the cake pops away and when I came home my dog already ate them. I was so disappointed but also amused. I was so tempted to say it was my dog’s fault but I know when I leave food out and they eat it, it’s my fault.

Here’s a great country song called, “Choices” by George Jones

Desktop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=AP0oQCh_teg

Mobile:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AP0oQCh_teg&app=m

I love it and find it so comforting when I’m in a depressed mood.

Xoxo Kim





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