It’s so empowering to say, “This isn’t serving me” and walk away in peace.

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One of the hardest things for people to do is walk away from someone they love. But you have to honor self-love and self-respect above all else.

Loving yourself and putting your own happiness first is not selfish. It’s the opposite. The more you cherish yourself, the better you treat others around you. If you have an empty cup, you cannot hydrate yourself or those around you.

Learn to serve yourself so that you can better serve the world. Keeping your peace of mind is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and the people we love. The more at ease we are, the more peace we can share with the world.

If something takes away your energy or drains you mentally or emotionally, makes you doubt yourself, or serves no real purpose in your life, it may not only be not serving you but also harming you.

If you’re having difficulty walking away from a situation that is no longer serving you, whether it is a relationship, a job, or a living situation, here are three exercises to help you clarify how you feel.

Write Letters to People from the Past

Writing letters to specific people or even situations that have already happened can help you better understand your feelings. You don’t ever have to mail them. The idea is to get your true thoughts and feelings down on paper so you can fully express yourself. Maybe you need to forgive someone, thank them or simply explain yourself. Whatever it is, get those thoughts onto the paper. This will help you process your emotions to understand what you’re holding onto that is no longer serving you and move forward.

Take Inventory

Look at your life and categorize it. Write down your possessions, relationships, hobbies, habits, commitments, goals, beliefs, and values. Then imagine you need to eliminate 30% of your list. What do you need to get rid of? What do you want to keep? When doing this exercise, use your intuition and go with your gut. Don’t overthink it, just eliminate it based on your first instincts. Your final list of things to eliminate doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eliminate them. But what it does tell you is that your gut is hinting at the need to re-examine that 30% and determine whether it is really serving you.

Keep Track

Maybe letting go is not something you’re capable of doing right now – and that is totally okay. You can start with keeping track of what happens every time that person or situation makes you feel bad. If this running list continues to grow, and it’ll become incredibly apparent that it’s time to move on. Once you have a solid list, write another list that contrasts with all the good feelings and things you want out of life. Note how you can attain those feelings or how someone would need to treat you to achieve those feelings and goals. For example, on your list of things that made you feel bad if you had written, “he made me feel bad about my appearance when he told me to lose weight,” your second list could say, “He makes me feel beautiful because he loves me just the way I am.”

It is human nature to stick with the things we know. And when we choose to have the courage to let go of what is no longer serving us, we make room for new opportunities that can serve us.

Continue ReadingIt’s so empowering to say, “This isn’t serving me” and walk away in peace.

The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.

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They say that you are the accumulation of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Knowing that, I’d say it’s rather essential to carefully select the people you spend time with. Most of us have a vision of who we want to be, what type of life we want to live, how we want to treat others, and goals we have in mind for our careers, family, and lives. Surrounding yourself with people who have similar goals to you is the best thing you can do to get closer to your dreams.

You’re probably wondering how people around you affect who you are. On a super scientific level, facial mimicry is an unconscious mirroring of others’ facial expressions, which over time can lead to a permanent or semi-permanent change in your own facial expressions. On another level, there’s social influence. When two or more people get together, they’re more powerful, even if that power is wasted. When we spend enough time with someone, we begin to share language, including slang, and that is the same for when it comes to values, beliefs, and goals.

So, how do you spend time with people who will help you build the future you truly want?

Figure Out Who You Want to Be

Who is your ideal self? What qualities do they have? What kind of life do they want? What are their goals, dreams, values, and beliefs? Understanding these answers will help you figure out where you want to end up.

Who Are The 5 People You Currently Spend the Most Time With?

What qualities do the five people you spend the most time with have? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are their goals and ambitions? What are they currently doing with their lives, and do they have plans for how they are going to improve? Do they have qualities you want to possess? Are they who you want to be in the future? This is information you need to evaluate to understand if these are the right people to spend most of your time with.

Name 5 People Who Embody the Qualities You Desire

Write a list of five people you admire and list the qualities you love about them. If you want to be an activist, write down an activist you admire. If you want to be a chef, write down a chef.

Increase Contact With Those People

There are several ways to increase contact with people, from direct to indirect methods. The first is direct contact, an email or a phone call, or an actual hang out. Maybe they’re a public speaker, and you can attend a conference they are speaking at. If they’re a consultant, perhaps you could book an appointment with them. If they’re more reachable, maybe you could attend an event they’ll be at and chat them up. If direct contact doesn’t work, they might have a product you could interact with, such as a podcast or book. Many successful entrepreneurs have noted that some of their role models were people they never met in person. Their role models came in the form of books.

Continue ReadingThe fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.

Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor. It can never be used to hurt you.

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In the first season of Game of Thrones, Tyrion Lannister is visiting Winterfell with his family. Robert Baratheon is King and they are all there to ask Ned Stark, Lord of the North and Robert’s biggest ally from the war, to become his Hand.

While he is outside having a drink, Tyrion runs into Ned Stark’s “bastard” child, Jon Snow. He tells Jon, “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor. It can never be used to hurt you.” Jon is offended and asks him what he knows about being a bastard. Tyrion replies, “All dwarves are bastards in their father’s eyes.”

Game of Thrones S01E01 - "Never forget what you are"

While offensive to Jon, Tyrion means well. His intention is to counsel Jon to not care about what other people say about him and just be who he is.

Many of us struggle with accepting and loving who we are. To Tyrion’s point, when we love and accept ourselves, we aren’t impacted by what other’s think of us. It cannot be used against us.

When I think of this wisdom, I also think of Julius Caesar. Caesar lost his life because he didn’t accept who he was.

After a brief civil war, Caesar and one of his top generals, Mark Antony, became co-consuls of Rome. Caesar was later appointed dictator in perpetuity, and he had no intentions of ever giving up his position. While he was a dictator, he saw himself as altruistic and beloved. He would often offer clemency or forgiveness to his enemies. Why? Caesar did this not out of the kindness of his heart, but rather to gain social influence. He also didn’t want to be seen as another Sulla.

But in the end, by not embracing who he really was, Caesar was blind to the threats that were closest to him. Marcus Brutus and Gaius Cassius ended up organizing Caesar’s assassination, because they believed it was in Rome’s best interest.

This quote also makes me think of our past mistakes when someone wants to hold them over us. I’ve had people close to me attempt to hold something I did in the past over me that I wasn’t proud of. But by owning my mistakes and being open about them, I was able to stop that kind of behavior and the threats of “exposing me” in their tracks.

Believe me, I’ve made some colossal mistakes in my life. But for me, being radically honest about it actually made me more vulnerable. It helped me create deeper connections with others. And for those who delighted in the idea of being able to hold things over me, got an incredible plot twist that they certainly did not expect.

So yes, in short, you should always be working to love and accept yourself, as you are. Own your success, as well as your mistakes. And remember, you are enough for just being you, as you are today.

Continue ReadingNever forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor. It can never be used to hurt you.

Harry Potter Potion Series – Mandrake Restorative Draught

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We are introduced to mandrakes in herbology class in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Mandrake Restorative Draught is used to heal those who have been cursed or transfigured back to their original state.

Mandrake Potting | Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Ingredients I used:

  • Glass Bottle
  • Clear Dish Soap
  • Moss
  • Silk Leaves
  • Sticks
  • Cooking Skewer
  • Jute Twine
  • Potion Label
Mandrake Restorative Draught : Harry Potter Potions : DIY Potion Bottle : Halloween Prop

I added in the moss, silk leaves and sticks first, then added the clear dish soap. I used the cooking skewer to move around the different elements so it was positioned how I wanted it. Then after adding the jute twine, I added some greens to it. This Mandrake Draught looks significantly better than the one I made a few years ago!

And this is what it looks like in the back:

Next week, I will be posting a Wintery kind of potion…any guesses as to what it might be?

Continue ReadingHarry Potter Potion Series – Mandrake Restorative Draught

Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.

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In the 1989 movie, Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams plays an eccentric English teacher named John Keating. He teaches a group of boys who attend a Catholic prep school in Vermont during the 1950s. Mr. Keating is very different from the kinds of teachers the boys had previously. He encourages them to think for themselves and to, “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

"Carpe diem. Seize the day." - Dead Poets Society

One of the students named Neil Perry, played by Robert Sean Leonard, decides to pursue acting against his father’s wishes. Neil tries out for the lead in a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream. He gets the part, which is the character Puck. When his father learns of this, he actually forbids Neil from continuing in the play. But Neil, inspired by Mr. Keating’s teaching, decides to defy his father, and stays in the play anyway.

His father ends up sneaking into the play when it debuts. After it concludes, he orders Neil to get into the car. Overwhelmed by his father’s judgement, Neil takes his own life that night. 

Immediately the school moves to dismiss Mr. Keating. They don’t want a scandal and they coerce all of Mr. Keating’s students to blame him for what happened.

When Mr. Keating is packing up his stuff in the classroom to leave, the painfully shy Todd Anderson, played by Ethan Hawke, tells Mr. Keating that it wasn’t his fault. Then he and many of the students, stand on their desks in tribute to their beloved teacher.

If you haven’t seen Dead Poets Society, it is worth a watch! It is all about learning how to think for yourself and growing into your own person.

Continue ReadingCarpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.

Those who wish to sing, always find a song.

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It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of life. You spend time running on autopilot as you take care of work, family, chores, and other obligations, which can leave you feeling a bit sluggish and weighed down. Even if you aren’t unhappy with your life circumstances, you may still notice that you seem to be missing a genuine sense of happiness and enjoyment most of the time. We become strangely loyal to performing mindless, daily tasks until ultimately, we become enslaved by them.

This often happens when you have lost touch with your passion. What you are passionate about is your song. And our world desperately needs to hear you sing. The truth is, focusing most of your attention on work, chores, errands, and obligations can leave you feeling flat and uninspired. Life becomes a never-ending blur of getting things done, but never really feeling content or satisfied.

Reawakening your passion can fuel you from within, instantly making you feel inspired and eager about your life again. And even those parts that maybe aren’t so exciting! A good way to start is by following your interests. Think about the hobbies and activities you used to enjoy and consider starting up with them again.

You can join a group of like-minded people with similar interests or sign up for a class to brush up on your skills and learn new techniques. You can even explore some new activities that could become your passions. Research classes and events in your local area to see what’s available, or even take an online course.

If it’s been so long that you can no longer remember your passions, start exploring ideas either online or at your local library. Browse through some books on various subjects that might spark your passion. You will know when you come across something that resonates with you because you will feel an instant sense of excitement and curiosity. 

You may think that you are far too busy to waste time on such frivolous activities. But making time to do things you love actually contributes to a much happier, healthier, and more productive you. Looking at it that way, it suddenly doesn’t seem so frivolous after all.

Treat your passions as a priority, just as you do with your health and wellness habits. Schedule time for them every week, and don’t allow yourself to feel guilty about taking that time for yourself. Even if you can only spare one hour per week to pursue your passions, that small segment of time can still do wonders for your state of mind and overall sense of well-being. If it can make you happier and more productive in the other areas of your life, it’s time that is well-spent.

When you make your passions a priority, you will notice that it immediately begins breathing new life into your existence. You start to feel energized, inspired, more interested, and engaged with your life. Your sense of satisfaction continues to grow, even if nothing else in your life has changed.

Even better, the more you allow your feelings of passion to flow, you will keep attracting more and more things that inspire your passion. Your life will continue to feel richer and more meaningful with every passing day.

Continue ReadingThose who wish to sing, always find a song.

It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.

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Have you ever wished you could do something, but somehow you hold yourself back?

Maybe you wanted to start a business or become an artist or even just approach someone at the bar.

Why does this happen?

We often have highly critical perceptions of ourselves. We think we aren’t pretty enough, talented enough, funny enough, or just good enough as we are. For us, it isn’t about who we are that holds us back – it’s who we think we are not.

Where these feelings become problematic is that they can stop you from taking the action you need in your life.

So how can you change the way you view yourself so that you can step out of your fear and do what your heart desires?

1. You can redefine yourself. We often hold ourselves back because of the limits and labels we put on ourselves. However, nothing is set in stone. When we are willing to redefine ourselves and let go of the labels we have put on ourselves, we can break through the limits and become anyone we want. So allow yourself to consider everything you ARE rather than what you aren’t.

2. Identify your limiting beliefs. To redefine yourself, you first need to get clear on what it is that you truly believe about yourself. Think about times you have wanted to do something but you held yourself back. Maybe you wanted to speak up at work, or ask someone out. Whatever it was, take note of it.

Next, ask yourself what stopped you. What was the thought that held you back? For example, did you think you didn’t have something smart enough to say? Did you think you weren’t pretty enough to ask that person out?

When you find yourself labelling yourself with beliefs like “I am not smart enough” or “I am not pretty enough”, write them down so that you can change them.

3. Create a new story for yourself. Prove your labels and limits as wrong! More often than not, these limiting beliefs about ourselves are just harsh thoughts our inner critics have convinced us of.

If you think you aren’t pretty, consider all the times someone has complimented you. If you think you aren’t smart enough, then remind yourself of all the times you have proved yourself to be extremely wise and intelligent.

You can also create a new affirmation to remind yourself of the opposite belief. For example, you can say something like “I am beautiful in my own way”. Everyday before work, you might look in the mirror and say “I am intelligent” or “I have a lot to offer at work today”.

4. Take massive action. This is the scary but thrilling part! When you take the action you were earlier afraid of taking, you practice becoming the version of you that you want to be.

5. Don’t give up. Remember, even if it doesn’t work out the first time, don’t give up! It doesn’t mean anything, it is merely experience. Just because your boss doesn’t love your suggestion or the first guy you asked out says no doesn’t mean that you are not smart enough or pretty enough.

Acknowledge that even the smartest or prettiest people get rejected at times. The outcome isn’t a reflection of who you truly are.

Remember, you get to define yourself. When you define yourself by the things you aren’t, you strip yourself of the confidence that enables you to do what you want. Why do that when you can be anything you want? So the next time a thought whispers in your mind telling you that you aren’t ‘good enough’ in any way, prove it wrong and take action regardless!

Continue ReadingIt’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.

Sometimes you have to make a decision that will break your heart but will give peace to your soul.

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Have you ever had to make a difficult decision? Maybe you had to break up with your significant other, quit a job, or move to a new country.

Big life decisions can be difficult and scary because it means doing something different than what we are used to. Our bodies are wired to keep us in our comfort zones, where we feel safe in the familiarity of things. But when our comfort zone is a toxic relationship or an ungratifying career, what is familiar and feels safe can be the very thing we need to get away from.

Such decisions are difficult. Here are four tips for you to help you make a big, difficult decision:

1. Take your time. Sometimes we need a few days to think even when we know what we want. This is especially true in situations where the decision is extremely drastic or when we are stepping out of a situation we are extremely comfortable with.

For example, you could be certain that you want to get out of your 10-year long relationship that is toxic and harmful for you mentally and emotionally. However, because you are so used to having this person in your life, it can take some time for you to actually take action and leave the relationship.

That’s okay. Remember, this decision is big, and you can take your time. What is important is that you don’t let the addiction to familiarity keep you in a situation that you’ve outgrown.  

2. Consider the bigger picture. What feels good to you right now might not be what you want long-term for yourself. Consider your values, your beliefs, your dreams, and your long-term goals. What do you need to do to move towards who you ultimately want to be?

Often, the monthly gratification and security that a job salary gives can keep us stuck in a career we hate. Similarly, the idea of being alone can keep us in a relationship that’s bad for us.

When we lose sight of our long-term goals, we can get stuck in situations that are holding us back. Thus, it’s important to consider the following questions:

  • Does this align with my beliefs and values?
  • How will this affect my future?
  • What am I sacrificing by not making this decision?
  • Is this decision moving me closer towards my ultimate goals and dreams?

3. Make a pros and cons list. The age-old pros and cons list is a proven decision-making strategy. Making a pros and cons list helps you make difficult decisions logically, rather than acting on impulse. Such a list is also a great way to get what is in your head out on paper so that it is easier to make a more well-rounded decision, after taking all factors into consideration.

4. Acknowledge how you feel. While logic is helpful in making decisions, it’s also important to consider how you feel about your decision. Which outcome gives you a sense of peace? Which outcome feels good, in the long run?

Be careful not to mistake a sense of familiarity for what feels good. Consider true peace, not what is momentarily easy.

The best decisions are the ones that make logical sense and also feel good. They are supported by both the head and the heart.

Every moment presents us with a decision. Some are easy, while some can be quite difficult. However, it’s important to always tune into your head and your heart when making decisions. Consider where you are avoiding difficult decisions at the expense of your peace and your future. Sometimes, we might have to do something difficult like breaking up with someone we love when we realize that our values don’t align. Doing so can be extremely difficult, but it can also finally give your soul the peace it has been craving.

Continue ReadingSometimes you have to make a decision that will break your heart but will give peace to your soul.