What to Do About The Pain

For a short time, my ebook, 101 Affirmations for Confidence and Self Love is on sale. If you need help and want to know what has worked for me, this is a compilation of some good ideas.

Saying that, I need to go back and reread it too because I’ve been a little depressed lately. I mean, I’m OK, but sometimes I just don’t understand where The Pain comes from. Just have this pain inside sometimes that lasts for days. Ugh!

And then suddenly it’s gone. Like it was never there. Poof!

I’ll get back to that in a moment but first:

1) I decided to quit the job where I’ve been working because I like to do gansta things like quit a job before I have another one because the place is fucking weird and expects you to come in at the last minute and have no set schedule. Wtf.

2) I’ve been looking into other careers. I’d like to invent the career of a Cat Domesticator. Or be a Unicorn Hunter. OMG, that would be so cool to have a website with weird careers that looks like a real career website, only it’s not. Haha…

3) I’m having one of those days where everyone looks like someone else. It’s starting to trip me out.

Things to tell yourself when you feel The Pain (that awful, gut-wrenching feeling in your body where you feel like you are going to die or should die because you hurt so much inside):

  • This will not last forever.
  • This doesn’t mean anything is wrong with me.
  • The pain can stay as long as it wants, but I’m going to do other things.
  • Isn’t it interesting? I can sit with this pain and NOT die.
  • I know I’ll feel at peace again and I’ll wait as long as it takes.
  • I’m willing to face what I need to face. <– like this one

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Photo by Shellie

What Feels Better? Loving Others or Judging Them?

Lately I’ve been noticing a greater ability to let go of judging others. This has been SO hard in the past. I’ve judged everyone for everything: Why is he being such an asshole? How could she have married him? Can’t she see how stupid she is being?

They say when you judge someone you are actually judging yourself. Those negative thoughts come back and haunt you, not the other person. So when I pull back on judgment and instead just love that person, you know what happens?

I relax. I love myself and others more.

I realize I can’t control anyone else. And everything has their reasons for doing what they do. I can’t go into anyone else’s head and see their reasons. I can’t go into anyone’s head and change them. Things might not always look or seem the way I expect and yet they are perfect.

A friend who I lost touch with recently got married. I remember when she got engaged she seemed upset about it (but I got the impression she didn’t voice this to a lot of people). She wanted to travel and not be held down. I got the feeling at the time that she just wasn’t ready to be married. But she went ahead with it.

Soon after we stopped communicating and the friendship sort of pittered out.

Now that she is married and my first reaction is to judge her. What is she thinking? She’ll be divorced by 35. Doesn’t she realize there are other options?

But what do I know?! I’m not in her head and her heart. How does it help her (or me) to judge so harshly?

Why can’t I decide (since we’ve lost touch anyway) that maybe she got married because she wanted to, because it was the best decision for her, and that she is with the perfect guy and they are  happy together.

That feels so much better than those negative thoughts. It makes me feel real love for her. It makes me forgive the situation of our friendship coming to an end. I also realize that I REALLY WANT to love her. It feels so much better than hating her for no reason.

I can recognize relationships are constantly evolving. Sometimes they’re evolving toward harmony and sometimes toward destruction. You can’t know everything. That is god’s job, not ours.

I just can’t believe how much better it feels to just love and believe she is happy. That makes ME happy. :)

wax flower Photo by Howard Mitchell

I’m so sorry for judging you.
I’m sorry for judging me.
All is well and we are one.

Never Give Up

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I’ve probably mentioned before that I have a family member who almost died (more than once) from alcoholism.

After going to treatment multiple times and starting over multiple times, she is now 18 months sober and just got offered a great job.

Somehow she has been able to slowly repair strains among family members and rent an apartment on her own (even after filing bankruptcy).  Yet there was a time when you googled her name and the first thing that came up with a mug shot with her face.

The most amazing thing about her now is her wisdom. She has been at the brink of death and was telling me last night that the one thing she knows is to never give up. She also prays for others every night, which is so nice. I had no idea she was praying for me.

16753231637_c1b97192b3_zPhoto by Howard Mitchell

Just when you think people can’t surprise you, they do.

16270055424_0c56959baf_zPhoto by Howard Mitchell

It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.

~Vince Lombardi

Article: It Happened To Me: My Twin Sister Begged Me To Let Her Kill Herself And I Said Yes

I will never share anything on here that I don’t think is helpful. Sadness and depression are contagious. If you seek out reasons to be sad and people who support sadness, you will find them. If you seek out reasons to be hopeful and people who can help, you WILL find those things too.

After all that was my original purpose of this blog.

I was very sad and I decided that instead of blogging about things to be sad about I would to the opposite. I would lie to myself in those worst moments and find something of hope. Even if the pain told me that hope was never to be found, I would only write about the hope. If I wrote about pain (and I did), I would delete the post.

I can’t remember how long it took — 3-6 months or something and I was better — a lot better. Not perfect. Still struggling. But rarely do I contemplate ending it all, and rarely for days and days at at time.

There is so much stuff that is negative and easy to get influenced by. You either get sucked in or go against the grain. We all have the pain, but it’s what you do with it that matters.

9209237957_7ccb078467_oThis is a really good article (click on link):

It Happened To Me: My Twin Sister Begged Me To Let Her Kill Herself And I Said Yes

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The best kind of people are the ones that come into your life and make you see sun where you once saw clouds.

The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too.

The people that love your simply for being you. The once in a lifetime kind of people.

-Unknown

10 Things That Can Make You Happier

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I went to my nephew’s high school graduation this week. It felt kind of emotional, like realizing how lucky he was to have graduated and how many years I’ve lived. But what I liked the most was listening to the speakers give advice. What they said is true: that’s it’s worse to have regrets than it is to do nothing. As long as you’re trying you’re probably failing at something.

It’s all in your perspective. A failure by one person’s standards is a courageous act to someone else.

What else?

1. Put your attention on what is good.
If you suck at this, ask someone what is good in your life. Other people are often WAY better at pointing out the things that are good.

2. Everything changes.
I know it can feel like NOTHING changes, but stuff does change. You get older. You see things differently. Stuff you said you’d NEVER do when you’re younger doesn’t seem so bad when you get older.

3. Let yourself cry (and give yourself a time limit)
Holding feelings in is painful. Sometimes you have to curl up and release them. Whenever I cry, I hear this voice in my head that says not to do it alone.

4. Other people care.
Most people are actually really generous and kind, but they are BAD mind readers. So you can’t ask for help without saying what you need. Even if you can just say 10 percent of what you need this is better than nothing.

5. Your problems might need professional help, or advice from someone unexpected.
If you think you might be mentally ill in any capacity, get help for yourself. In your sanest moments, make a list of what you need to do.

6. Learn to like yourself, and ideally love yourself.
Try to do this, even if you have no idea what you’re doing. I mean what is love anyway? It’s an act of doing, right? Maybe you aim for loving, even if it you don’t know how, and then see what happens.

7. Find things to laugh at.
Sometimes I watch cat videos. The unexpected if funny.

8. Find a purpose, or a reason, and often this reason is not done in isolation.
Maybe your purpose is to “find a purpose.” Maybe it’s to do nice things for others. Maybe it’s to work toward things one day at a time. Maybe it’s to learn to trust.

9. Stop comparing your life to others.
As the saying goes, “stay in your own lane.” Ask any older person and they will tell you that their life did not turn out the way they expected. Everyone has this idea of how things are “supposed” to go and things rarely turn out this way. You don’t marry the person you expect. No one expects to get divorced or suddenly have to move. No one has anything figured out! You can ask the most put together person and they are a mess…Believe me.

10. Stop seeking approval and self-acceptance from other people.
A) They will let you down, and B) they are busy enough with their own problems to give this to you.

I’m TOTALLY frustrated and have no idea how to solve my problems. But I know that it’s not up to me to solve them. My mind only knows so much. It’s up to me to let go. Surrender. Have courage.

Life is about trusting your feelings, taking chances, finding happiness, appreciating the memories, and learning from the past.

~Unknown.

Less Afraid

Things are SO much better. I feel like I’ve come out of the dark stuff.

I know myself a little better. I know what matters. I’m not fighting so hard against life. I’ve done a lot more of the Release Technique and it has been the big thing that has made the difference.

I feel like I used to feel when I was younger — like I want to travel and explore and learn and experience the world a bit more.

The other day I was getting on the train to go to work and it hit me that I’d only had two hours of sleep and suddenly the anxiety hit. When I’m tired I get anxious and it is awful. My heart started to pound like I was going to have a panic attack. I grabbed my bag to get off the train and it started moving.

I was trapped. I quickly turned something helpful on to listen to. And I started having the thought that I can be tired without being anxious. Those don’t have to go hand in hand.

Not only that, I can be tired and have a wonderful day. Maybe I can even get two hours of sleep and not be tired. After all being tired is a just a story in my head. Every thought and feeling I have is just a product of my mind.

So I started letting myself feel tired without feeling anxious and unsafe. I let myself be tired without needing to change it. I realized I can be tired and really uncomfortable and yet perfectly OK. That is a breakthrough.

I can be exhausted and yet OK. I can get no sleep and be out in public and not die (or feel like I’m going to die).

I quickly was able to calm down on the train. I don’t think I’ve ever been that tired and not felt insanely anxious at the same time, wanting and needing to change it.

Suddenly I felt like I could get on an airplane and go anywhere. Do anything. I love being home, but I felt like my world was expanding. It has felt shrunken for a long time. It at times has felt like just a few rooms. Now it feels like the entire world and this is gorgeous.

That day I worked an entire day, including my lunch, and then went to yoga and then went to my boyfriend’s house and out to dinner. On two hours of sleep. Seriously historic. I was giddy at being able to do this. I never in a million years thought it was possible.

Sometimes incredible shifts can be made with the right knowledge.

“Stars are the scars of the universe.”

― Ricky Maye

I’m not sure what happened, but I feel happier and more content these days. Daily life is kinda fun. I’m hurrying less to get to the next moment. Even if I’m doing something stupid or if I’m waiting for something, I’m enjoying it. Everything feels sort of exhilarating and good.

I even have a job and I’m OK with it. I’m sort of excited about it. I might even have an actual career at some point if I’m not careful.

But I’ll always be a wanderer at heart. I’ll never let myself get buried for years in a job I hate. I’d rather live in my car and go camping.

Things get better if you let them. Life definitely doesn’t turn out the way you think it will, but maybe those surprises and keeping expectations low at times is what sweetens it up.

How Many Fuck Ups Did You Have This Year?

Yeah, I’m kidding with that title, but hey, I think the ability to laugh at yourself and the absurdity of life is a good thing.

This year, the #1 biggest thing I have learned is that negative emotions — the really shitty stuff — needs to be felt, not suppressed. The better I am at welcoming up  feelings and making a decision to be OK with whatever they are and whether they go or stay, the more I am at peace.

#2 Life is never going to be plastic wrapped in a perfect package. Being here on earth is kind of like hell (my personal hell is driving on the 805 every morning, so I am choosing not to do that again). The more I can accept  and be OK with whatever happens, the happier I am. Unpredictably is the ONLY thing that is constant.

“The mind is always seeking zones of safety, and these zones of safety are continuously falling apart.”

#3 When you go toward the really shitty stuff it can feel like you’re going to die of discomfort. You won’t die. It is actually possible to feel awful AND experience the part of yourself that is whole and healthy at the same time. Allow that OK part to be present as often as you can, no matter what you feel.

“It’s part of being human to feel discomfort… The more you’re willing to open your heart, the more challenges come along.”

#4 Appreciate whatever is around you. The messes. The problems. The accidents. The tragedies. Instead of pushing away what hurts, allow it in with curiosity. It’s like being curious about a sunset or a rose, but instead you’re surrendering and accepting what is true about your life without needing to change it.

Amazingly, this is what actually makes it change.

That is what allows an open door of hope. That is when decisions get made about what to do (or not do).

“There’s no problem with being where you are right now.”

If you are alone, if you are hated, if you are loved, it is all perfect. Believe that, and you won’t suffer anymore. You already have everything you need and are 100% on the right path.

~All big text are quotes by Pema Chodron

Well hi

Oh December… cold, busy, fa-la-la…

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I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts. They always come with the exact amount they need.

So, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I was here for some reason. And that means you are here for some reason, too…

― Hugo Cabret (slightly edited)

Get a Free Book for a Review

I’m looking for people to write short, honest Amazon review for 101 Affirmations for Confidence and Self-Love. Shoot me an email if you want a free copy and email I’ll send you one in exchange.

You can read it as a PDF even if you don’t have a Kindle. It’s a short easy read. Hopefully it might help some people too!

Does anyone know how new ebooks get so many reviews?!

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Being Equal to Everyone Else

Being equal to everyone else… is hard.
It means putting no one down.
Not in your mind, heart, or soul.

Because that person you dislike is you…
You and that person are the same.

Being equal to everyone else means
You judge no one.
You do not put others or yourself down.

That homeless person is equal to you.
The millionaire is equal to you.
The asshole who cut you off is you….

You aren’t any better or worse or anyone.
You are neither inferior nor superior.

When you do this you let go of the heaviness
And burden of life.

One Thing to Prioritize in Your Life

No one has any time — we all know that. Yet, I believe you DO make time for what is important.

What if you could make time for one new thing that could make a huge difference in improving your life?

I realized the other day that I always make time for exercise. The reason I do it is because it feels physically painful in my body to sit around all the time. I get achy and start going stir crazy if I don’t move.

So I GO OUT OF MY WAY to work out. It often goes to #1 on my list of things I must do in a day. When something is #1, you do it. You don’t think about it, you JUST DO IT.  Nothing can stop you.

I started thinking I’d like to do more to prioritize my mental health. Because if I only work on myself occasionally, I feel bad.

I’m already starting most days spending 5 minutes reading affirmations from, 101 Affirmations for Confidence and Self-Love.

But it’s not enough… So, I’m adding just a few minutes here and there of doing the Release Technique practice. I’ll release my feelings (or some of them) on a goal until I have no doubts or resistance.

Since I am still stumbling around a job goal that feels OK, I’ve instead chosen goals that are more universal. Like this one:

I allow myself to 100% supremely love myself with ease.

I write it down and then write down any feelings/thoughts that come up. Such as:

I don’t know how
I have some doubt
Resistance
Can I really do that?

Then I take each of those thoughts to wanting approval, wanting control and wanting safety — and allow the want to come up and then let it go so I HAVE.

After a few minutes there is some clarity. A little more love. I’ve noticed this love can last throughout the day.

I’m doing this because:

You don’t get better by doing nothing. You have to DO things. You can make one change.

It can even be a 10 second change.

Each time you spend 10 seconds focused on something new or helpful you’re DO-ing better.

Pick one thing…. Keep it a secret if you must.

Cliff Jumping

Reason to live:

When someone says to you, “how’s your day going?” And you say, “Uh, not so good.”

They respond and remind you, “Yeah, that’s life sometimes. Ups and downs.” And then you remember you just can’t get away from it — the pain and the pleasure.

It’s crazy and ridiculous… You think, “oh I’ll just stay home  and I’ll feel better, but then you don’t”. So you leave and get hit with the crap.

Then you remember the crap is LIFE. It’s your ego’s response to the world. It doesn’t know any better how to respond.

Bad stuff happens… good stuff happens… you learn to be more OK with it by detaching from your ego. Your ego = all your thoughts and ramblings in your head. It’s choosing to identify with the real you more than those things.

You can get hit with thunder and fire and still be OK. You really can!

THEN YOU ARE FREE.

Then you have more empathy and more love to give EVERYONE.

We’re all stuck in the past — we’re all walking around in memories. When you get hurt it’s just a feeling from the past.

It’s tempting to want to escape and walk away from it all.

Then you remember that EVERYONE deals with the exact same thing. Those who feel most alive are the ones who don’t fear it. They seek out experiences that bring it up — pain, joy, fear, ecstasy. They aren’t walking around scared.

The other night I realized as I was driving (on a quiet, peaceful road) that I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel safe in this world.

And for the first time I saw this as a product of my ego. IT’S NOT REAL. It’s a choice I am making in a deep, unconscious way. I am choosing to want safety, rather than letting myself have it.

This unsafe feeling is just a feeling — a game, you might say, that my ego is playing. I drop it the moment I get home and crawl into bed.

Anytime I want (and with practice) I can let go of that unsafe feeling and decide I AM SAFE.  ALL THE TIME.

This concept is so weird and powerful, I’m having a hard time grasping it. I actually freaked out when I realized I constantly don’t feel safe for no reason. It’s a terrible uncomfortable feeling inside.

Imagine the times you don’t feel safe — when there is actual danger in your path — now imagine having that all the time. I really got hit with seeing that this is often how I operate. 

This is pretty personal, but I want to share it… it’s not as bad as I’m explaining here, but it’s worse than I want it to be….

This is why I feel most safe at home. I feel most safe lying in bed and every day I so look forward to putting on my pjs or sweat pants and getting under the covers…. where it’s “safe.”

But why would it be any safer under the covers?!

The only reason I can think of is because I feel in control.

When I walk outside into the day, I lose that control.

I don’t know why, but there is just this silly fear underneath it all. It’s something I decided long ago.

If I feel I can’t control my environment I worry I am going to freak.

This is why I choose people who make me feel safe. But you know, it’s just a choice I make. I’ve chosen people in the past who I thought were safe who were definitely not.

What all of this means is THAT HAVING SAFETY IS A DECISION. No one else can package up safety and give me a shot of it. It doesn’t come in a can or a bottle or in anything you can read or take. It’s a thought between your ears, only.

I can set a goal of feeling safe and comfortable when I’m out in the world. That means that difficult or uncomfortable things can happen, but they don’t personally affect how safe I feel inside.

That’s because no one else can decide how I feel inside.

I am still going to wake up and feel unsafe, but the more I can choose to let it go and feel loving instead, the more I am aligned with all that is good and true.

You don’t feel like your best self when you fall apart, but you have to fall apart to become your best self.

~Richie Norton

One Thing Is Certain

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, How you managed to survive.


You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over.


But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, You won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm’s all about.

― Haruki Murakami

This gives me goosebumps.

The Evening Glow

Reasons to live:

Next week is my birthday. Considering that last year I spent it with a douchebag asshole (how do you really feel?) I doing whatever the fuck I want this year. I think I’m taking myself to a ski film festival.

I think I have a place to live…. for free… for the next 7 months. With a feral cat. By a river.

I’ve almost finished reading a 997-page book. The PIllars of the Earth. This is an excellent idea if you are looking for a job and want to put it off. If that books seems too long you can download my little ebook, 101 Affirmations for Confidence and Self-Love. Or go crazy with The Perfect Pull.

Another good friend of mine is having a baby and getting married, and I am so happy for her! These girls who want babies and don’t get them until their late 30s… it’s just all the more special. I kind of wish I wanted a baby. I just want a room full of cats. But then when I’m old, like 80, I want a kid to help take care of me. Oh decisions.

It’s candy corn season.

The Release Technique stuff continues to help. It’s like I’m feeling my feelings for the first time. It’s terrifying and soothing and crazy.

I still don’t like Facebook because of all the rah-rah stupid shit on there, but I’ve realized I haven’t gone on once in the last month, nor have I had the desire. I’m proud of myself. I used to be so addicted to it. It’s really a relief to have it be in the past. I want my conversations to mainly be in person, or on the phone. And I want those conversations to be meaningful and connected. I don’t get that connection–like-feeling from having my social life online (unless it’s Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. j/k!)

Another post filled with f-word goodnees (in case I didn’t satisfy you in the first paragraph): Why “You Can Go Fuck Yourself” Is a Great Attitude to Take on Today.

Lastly, here are some magical beings of light:

On the edge of dreaming when the brain lets go,

when it stops its scheming, our blood runs slow…

Then the heart speaks clearly of the things it knows,

things it brought so dearly at the evening’s glow.

~Oksana Rus

A Little Magic Dust

Some of my favorite affirmations from 101 Affirmations for Confidence and Self-Love:

  • When I get challenged I see the opportunity for love and approval.
  • My happiness does not depend on anything or anyone for validation.
  • I can let go of needing the approval of others to value myself.
  • I am relaxed, confident, and believe in myself.
  • I am a strong, capable, and loving human being.
  • I am lovable and acceptable whether I succeed or fail.
  • I will not tolerate mistreating myself.
  • My sense of worth cannot change, no matter what the circumstance.
  • I am able to tolerate and let go of a wide range of emotions with ease.
  • I am acceptable and lovable exactly as I am right now.
  • Everyone is equal to me and I am equal to everyone else.
  • I am wanted and loved by all of life.
  • I believe in my capacity to grow and change in a positive direction.

You can read all of them by getting your copy here (Note: you can read Kindle books easily on any device — iPhone (with an app) or laptop — you don’t need a Kindle reader).

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Nobody can say anything about you.
Whatsoever people say is about themselves.

But you become very shaky, because you are still clinging to a false center.

That false center depends on others, so you are always looking to what people say about you.
And you are always following them, you are always trying to satisfy them.

You are always trying to be respectable, you are always trying to decorate your ego. This is suicidal.
Rather than being disturbed by what others say, you should start looking inside yourself.

-Osho

Reasons to live… What is your reason?