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Tell Me About It…

Lately, for one reason or another, I’ve had this strange desire to really learn – and I d72f77ab7a20b7baabe380fafbf9e7acmean REALLY learn – how to open up and very boldly, but sweetly, speak my truth.  This is both in information and stories that I decide to share or simply trying to communicate a thought, idea, or feeling with another.  As I mentioned in my last post regarding communication, I have an extremely hard time with this.  This is mostly because I’m so consumed with how I feel the listener will receive what I put on the table – whether they will approve or agree, what they will think of me, what will happen as a result etc.  As I have continued to meditate on this, this feeling has only grown stronger.  I was honestly hoping that if I just zip my lips and breathe that the feeling to share/express would dwindle away…but, nope.

Ok, so this post is not about me all of a sudden deciding to share EVERYTHING, but it is an open door, to both share as well as receive.  In addition to exploring ways in which to express myself through verbal communication, I also had an epiphany…

Imagine this…

As the sharer, what if you did not assume the outcome of the information you decide to open up with?  Imagine that the person you’re opening up to DOES in fact understand, or can relate with what you share.  It makes the experience of sharing a hell of a lot less scary, because when you feel as if you’re alone, or you feel the person in front of you couldn’t possibly understand what you’re going through, or have been through, it makes it that much harder to talk about.  So imagine that the listener has been parallel with you this whole time, through all of your experiences.

As the listener, what if you did not assume that you understood or could relate to what the speaker is sharing with you (reread that question for a minute to absorb)?  Imagine how much more compassionate your presence could be to the person sharing if you did NOT premeditate how that person was handling their experience.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s an absolutely wonderful and empathetic thing to be able to place yourself in someone’s shoes in order to try and understand.  However, that tactic is most helpful as a physical practice to do on your own rather than a listening practice to do with another person.  We may have had similar experiences as one another, or even different experiences that arise the same emotions, but we ALL go through stuff differently (“how deep is the mud? depends on how tall the person is that is standing in it that you ask.“).

So how about this…b2062e4e028c2e4bb8f3f9e8f8b292dd

As the listener, don’t assume to know what the speaker is going through.  As the speaker, don’t assume that the listener wouldn’t understand or couldn’t relate with what you decide to express and/or share.

How much more would we communicate with one another?  How would it physically change the WAY in which we communicate?  It’s a beautiful thing to be unapologetically raw, to know that what you see is exactly what you get.  Don’t be afraid to ask, don’t be afraid to share.

Tell Me About It…

6aea24f7d339b3c539e4cdee28cbfc12One of the hardest things I’ve consistently had to work on my entire life has been communication.  Let me just face the facts straight up, I suck at it.  I’m a “yes” person to the core.  I accept everything that falls into my path, whether I feel I can juggle it or not.  Because of this, I almost welcome being walked all over.  At times, I find it so overwhelming that I end up completely disconnecting and unplugging for a few days, without any warning, and temporarily shut off.  The after effects of this are (as you can only imagine) twice as stressful than it would be to power through it.  But sometimes it gets to be too much, and I really only have myself to point the finger at.  I never SAY anything.  Interestingly enough, in the age of technology, I am pretty much known by my community for being the WORST with texting.  This is because I have a really hard time with how impersonal it is.  Not to mention the fact that the biggest part of a conversation I have with someone is when I can physically hear them, and even better, physically see them.  As I’ve ranted about before, energy is everything.  It introduces you before you even open your mouth.  You don’t get this with a text.  This is me taking full responsibility for this struggle.  The constant battle I find I have with communication is — what is too much and what isn’t enough?  How do I effectively communicate with people in my life while be clear and direct, as well as adapting and carefully forming thoughts and weaving words together in a way that the receiver (or the listener) will not only absorb what I am saying, but also have a clear understanding of it?  When should you speak up and when should you let it roll?  How do I say no, or at least recognize my limitations before I disconnect entirely?  It should be a very obvious answer, but for me there is an extremely fine line, one that is often pushed further and further over the edge of my limits because of empathy.

My entire life, I’ve actually been given physical reminders of how I need to work on this.  cdb732d1a038d48d096d60f1daf9f841Since I can remember, I lose my voice twice a year, and for a fairly extended period of time (usually about 10 days).  I always used to say this was just the changing of the seasons, but I’ve noticed that it usually occurs right before one of those breaking points I have when I’m overwhelmed. I also am the youngest in my house and growing up, I always felt talked over so most of the time I learned to just enjoy being quiet and not feel the need to express much verbally.  When I was very little, I had asthma and was on a nebulizer for a few years, which paralleled the time in which I learned to enjoy silence.  It was only in the last few years that I really began to notice how little I spoke up for myself and began to make a conscious effort in my methods of communication.  I can’t tell you how often I physically feel my throat close up in anxiety.  Just recently I made this connection when I was experiencing a few minor anxiety attacks a week for the last couple months and made note that they usually begin with that feeling of my throat closing up.  I immediately recognized that my anxiety had been rising up from being in circumstances when I felt I had something I wanted to say that I wasn’t saying or expressing.  A few days ago, I began coughing and feeling my throat go dry.  However, I’m nowhere near being sick at all.  Because I have grown to really try to observe these types of patterns on a different level, I began to make the connection to my throat chakra…I’m not communicating, I’m not speaking my truth.

9e3ff8652418d46554d8b35835a3728eThis post was not to be used to hate on myself for being an ineffective communicator, but actually to maybe raise a little awareness, look at ourselves and observe the way in which we communicate with one another.  Let’s face it, we all tend to have gaps in communication and the core of this issue is in the fact that we all feel that it is the job of the receiver/listener to absorb our words in the way we want them to, when it is in fact OUR job to make sure we are communicating properly, and compassionately, with the person we’re choosing to share with and/or confront…and if at first you don’t succeed, try try again, right?  I mean, how wonderful would it be if we ALL attempted to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes that was standing in front of us?  Think about how much would change in our approaches.  What would happen if someone randomly started becoming defensive, or raising their voice, or picking apart every detail of your responses (let’s be real, we’ve all been in that situation waaayyy too many times to count), and instead of lashing back and/or defending yourself, you quickly think to yourself, “hmm, I wonder what has happened to this person or what kind of a day this person had that is making them lash out in such a way?”  Now, this is by NO means an excuse to be walked all over!!!  Use your best judgment in the situation and decide whether or not this person is actually truly frustrated with you, or if you think maybe it has nothing to do with you.  There is no need to fuel a fire that does not actually belong to you.  Breathe, and let it go…you don’t always have to have the last word.  On the other hand, I also truly, truly believe that there is a way to say EVERYTHING no matter how tough it is, but first consider who it is you are speaking to and what you are trying to say.

I give myself credit for having noticed and accepted this about myself, and made physical 7cce570b8837b1711e222e9a6a9748bdstrides towards making changes with the way I communicate.  One of the most successful methods I’ve found has been to step outside of it, either for a split second or maybe even for a day or two..removing myself from it entirely and then looking at it from an impartial perspective.  The observations are not just of the other person, but also turning inward and noticing how you react to other people’s words, striving to understand how and why YOU receive information the way you do;  why is it I am keeping quiet?  This is a helpful tool in terms of being able to reflect back on your own automatic ways of communicating.  Our experiences shape us as a person, and with that comes the way we come across and communicate as well, so acknowledging how YOU absorb as the listener will help you to also bring awareness as to how YOU form your words (or lack thereof) and come across to others.

It’s a two way street, people.  Bottom line is whether you are the speaker or receiver, be compassionate, be empathetic, and be respectful, regardless of what is being shared.

I wish that I could say that it’s easy but I believe it’s something you have to work in every single moment of every day.  We meet new people all the time who will translate things differently and the people that we think we already know can change; we have to constantly strive to communicate with one another effectively and empathetically.  I whole-heartedly believe that when setting goals you have to put effort into manifesting them, meaning WRITE…THEM…DOWN!!!  So here is my goal – I wish to be a compassionate and clear communicator and to always find loving but firm ways to speak my truth, starting here…

 

 

How to Stop Absorbing Other People’s Energy

energy
original article link here

If you’ve ever been in a room with a negative person, you know how tangible his/her emotions can feel. You feel like his/her heaviness is seeping into you and you find it harder to keep your head up. Learning to defend yourself from this kind of toxic energy is an essential life tool, because your emotional state affects you mentally, physically and spiritually. Let it be your own!

Here are five ways to stop absorbing people’s negativity:

1. Let Go Of People Pleasing

If someone is complaining about you, gossiping, or talking down to you, do not take it personally or fixate on trying to make them like you. This will only pull you deeper into his/her field of negativity and make you energetically and emotionally dependent on their opinion.  Be compassionate towards yourself and realize that not everyone is going to like you – and that’s okay! Everybody has different personalities, likes and dislikes and these will create a different life experience for every person. Show yourself love first and it will act like a force-field around you that will keep other people’s opinions from draining you.

2. Know When To Say ‘NO’

If you had a guest in your home, would you let him come in off the porch and track mud all over your carpet, or would you require him to clean his shoes before he entered your personal space? What if you asked him to dinner once and he invites himself over for the rest of the month? And what if he insisted on sleeping on your couch to save himself the trip tomorrow? All without your invitation?

Being generous can be a great thing, but there is a fine line to be aware of to make sure you and your generosity are not taken advantage of. Accept no freeloaders, naysayers, or emotional vampires past where you are comfortable. Set boundaries and enforce them!

This is your life. Your body, space and personal time are your sacred temples, so think carefully about what kind of people you allow access to them. There is nothing wrong with saying ‘no’ as often as you feel you need to. Set clear standards about what you expect from others before you give them a place in your life.

3. Stop Feeding The Beast

Above, I threw out the term ‘emotional vampire.’ These are parasitic personalities who literally feed on your attention and affection and suck you dry for all your efforts. Emotionally investing in these people may feel worthwhile at first, but ultimately, you will find yourself drained of energy and their many problems still unsolved. Their thirst for your love can never be satisfied if they are determined to stay feeling like a victim.

You can offer your support to those who need it, give a listening ear to a struggling friend or stranger, but note when your efforts start becoming redundant or when their calls for help begin feeling more like vies for attention. The more attention you give their problems, the less resolution there will be.

It is not your responsibility to fix other people’s problems, especially when people don’t really want their problems solved. They want to be pitied. It is healthy to know when to walk away! When you feel your resources depleting, offer your sympathies and leave the situation. There is nothing mean about refusing to engage in someone else’s drama.

4. Return To Nature

Sometimes, you really just need a breather from everyone else. Their chaotic energies can be hard to tune out, so take a weekend, an afternoon, or even an hour for yourself and go somewhere peaceful. Let the many voices of nature replace the mind chatter of the modern world. Notice the simplicity of the natural world, the lack of motive, the coexistence of all things plant, animal and earth.

Breathe deeply and meditate. Focus on filling your body with fresh oxygen and elevating your spirits and when you return to your daily routines, you will feel refreshed and less apt to absorb negativity from others.

5. Remember Who Is Responsible For YOU

You are the only one with any say about how you feel. You are 100% responsible for what you let influence your thoughts and emotions and if any aspect of your happiness is out of balance, you have the ability to correct it. Your own perception of yourself is more powerful than anyone else’s, unless you choose to trade away that power for their approval.

Once you choose to be accountable for your feelings, you free yourself from the influence of others. When you are confident in who you are and how you want to feel, it is much more difficult for others to throw you off balance.

Make deliberate choices and take control of the positivity in your life. Choose situations which boost your energies and keep the kind of company that only adds to who you are. Love yourself enough to say ‘no’ wherever it is warranted and walk away from environments that do not serve you. Remember, you are responsible for your life experience. Make it for you and make it phenomenal!

 

When you ask me about my faith…

Every Sunday I see people filing in through those front doors
Got a cross up on that steeple, yeah it’s time to praise the Lord
Some watch it on their TV, sittin’ on the couch
Me, I get in my old Bronco and point those headlights out

Oh, ain’t got too many miles to go, to save my soul

Hey I go down and sink my feet in the water
And I soak up that sun and I watch it set
Yeah, I can feel the power of the saltwater gospel
I’m as close to God as I can get

Now there ain’t nothing wrong with puttin’ on your Sunday best
Me, I won’t be wearin’ nothin’ that I can’t get wet
I just think about how small I am and life after we’re gone
I’m out here by myself

But I know I’m not alone
Yeah, I got all the proof I need
And it sure makes me believe

When I go down and sink my feet in the water
And I soak up that sun and I watch it set
Yeah, I can feel the power of the saltwater gospel
I’m as close to God as I can get

Amen
I’m in heaven watchin’ all these waves roll in
Amen

When I’m lost I know where to get found again
Yeah I go down and sink my feet in the water
And I soak up that sun and I watch it set
Yeah, I can feel the power of the saltwater gospel
I’m as close to God as I can get

Yeah I go down and sink my feet in the water
And I soak up that sun and I watch it set
Yeah, I can feel the power of the saltwater gospel
I’m as close to God as I can get

Every breath we drew was “Hallelujah”

Almost exactly one year ago, I was lead through an experience that completely brought to light where I truly was with my spirit, and I was shocked at what came up.  This song was what lead me (us) into the experience…Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley.  Every time I hear the song, it reminds me of how far I’ve come since then and what my spirit has been able to endure.  I feel a soft strength within me whenever I sit and listen to it, and it’s there for me whenever I need that gentle reminder.  I also believe that whenever it may come up without me prompting it to means that there is something in my life going on that needs that same reminder, as it just did…

So about the experience…a workshop was hosted called Qoya that mixes dance with yoga (an obvious draw to anyone that knows me even just a little bit).  One of the last parts of this workshop was this particular experience.  We were asked to start at the back of our mats, heels touching the edge.  We were then given the entire song to move from the back of our mat to the front in complete free movement, with encouragement to close our eyes as to keep the experience internal and without judgement.  However, there was a catch to this…your movement was to reflect the last year of your life.

So at the time when this workshop happened, my life had recently done a complete 180.  Unfortunately this particular shift had put many questions and doubts into my head and had brought up A LOT of very unpleasant feelings; nothing about that last year (and for a long time before then) held space for anything I wanted to look back at, and asking me to revisit this was something I was by no means ready to do, nor did I want to at all.  But, just like life had done, the music started and you just had to move forward.

I found my heels completely glued to my mat…I was totally frozen and almost immediately began to cry.  I physically placed the command in my head, “left foot, lift,” and got no response from my foot.  I had brought myself back to that year earlier and couldn’t find it in myself to move.  Everything in me was heavy and sad.  I remember feeling like it was impossible to find movement.  I was scared at what would happen, physically, emotionally, spiritually etc.  All I knew was the back of my mat.  My insides literally shook and I quietly sobbed.  After having to probe myself repeatedly with commands, my foot peeled off my mat and stepped forward and then almost immediately returned backwards.  This happened several times…two steps forward, one step back.  I think it was about halfway that I just dropped down to my mat.  I felt exhausted at the pull I was experiencing and really did NOT want to keep moving.  I had to remind myself that this moment was NOT the same moment as a year ago, that this was just my mat, that this space was safe.  With the same confidence that I found in myself in consciously leaving behind what had held me back a year before, I stood up and began moving forward, this time without stepping backwards.  When I found this, my movement become larger and lighter.  By the time I had reached the top of my mat, I felt totally free and in my power.  I felt complete, relieving happiness.  I was so surprised how difficult I found the whole experience to be.  I did not realize how terrified I was to fall back to where I had been.  I also had not known that at the time (the year before) that I had felt as if I could not move from where I was, that where I was was the only thing I knew and the only place I could be.

Almost 2 years later, I hear this song and it gives me the same reminder.  Stand in your power…know your worth.  And today, I needed this.

I do hope that if you’ve read my entry up to this point that you’ve considered the gentle reminders in your life that may provide you the same type of comforts and strength.  I hope that these tools are just as accessible to you as a song.  And most importantly, I hope that if you can (unfortunately) relate to anything in this entry at all, that you too have found your power.

“…and you don’t look back for anything”

I think I have heard from almost every person that has been a part of the last several years of my life that they have seen a drastic change in how I handle situations that arise in my life, both the welcome and the unwelcome.  I can recall feeling like I had no control, having no choice about the position I was in…being aware of my circumstances and yet feeling torn between heart and morals, love and lessons, and knowing the difference.  At certain points once you move ahead in your life, there are some days when you robotically move forward with your day just because you just accept that there is no other direction to go.  You find that “fake it til you make it” is your best bet – be OK out loud until is becomes real.  Here’s the really difficult part though…

It’s so hard to move away from your past.  Even when you physically can remove yourself, there are always still things that remind you of things that create tangled webs of memories in your head that the only way to rid yourself of is with distraction.  Lets just face the facts – no matter how terrible these memories are, they still exist.  The healing process from our pasts can be very intense and require A LOT of our energy, sometimes so much so that it is exhausting. The predicament with this though is that if you did not learn your lesson the first time, you can absolutely expect it to come around again.  So as painful as it may be, making sure to learn and heal properly from your experiences is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself.

So how do we move on in a positive light while unwillingly carrying these memories with us?

Now I definitely don’t think I have all the answers, and what I may offer might not even work for you; I could be totally wrong.  But I also believe that if you find something that has made such a profound impact on your life, it’s your job to share it, and those that need it or want it will find it…but you have to put it out there.

#1  MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO NO LONGER FEED IT

cccc95d90c482d7ae3618d492f625216Whoever or whatever it was that hurt you, do not give it ANY more of your attention.  Remember why it was that you let it go and then really, truly let it go.  When it knocks on your door, do not open it.  There is no need to question yourself or revisit your previous excuses and/or explanations to try and somehow validate it in the present moment.  Do not hurt yourself by even wondering.  Most of the time we find ourselves responding and/or revisiting this because we feel we have more to say, that we were never really heard.  This is a really hard feeling to ignore, and you don’t necessarily have to ignore it, just don’t feed this to the other person; you don’t need to keep it going.

#2  UNDERSTAND THAT THE HEAD AND THE HEART WILL FEUD

If this turn of events in your life meant anything to you, you’ll find yourself constantly submerged in the chitter-chatter of the conversation between the head and the heart.  We are masters at finding excuses for things in order to avoid feelings of discomfort or emptiness.  It’s important to allow these head-heart talks to happen because it will raise your consciousness.  However – this is probably the only time you would hear me say this – you must pay attention to your head voice.  This is the voice of reason, what is practical, directing attention to what is actually there, similar to if you were to ask advice from a neutral third party.  I promise you that your heart is going to want to go back, and it’s going to find every reason to.  I believe this is because your heart has very deep roots and when it connects to some thing/one to that depth, it creates an invisible energetic string that ties you to it.  Therefore, your heart almost will feel betrayal and will not want to believe that this was a real thing that happened.  It takes time to disconnect before the heart no longer responds in pain.

#3  FIND A WAY TO SAY “THANK YOU”

It hurts and it sucks and you might not see how to just yet, but even if you have to grit your71f3d480ac4ae8695f195e7a15a10b7d teeth or cry, say “thank you.”  I promise you, this will become easier.  Do not speak words of negativity against yourself, do not curse the series of events, and most importantly, do not wish ill on those that have been directed into your life to teach you something.  Instead, direct your attention into what you DO have.

#4  FORGIVE AND FORGET

This was the first thing I had to learn in my healing process. I had an immensely difficult time with this one.  I just could not wrap my brain around how to ever really, truly forgive.  I knew that I had to in order to really be able to move forward.  But then I realized that my perception of forgiveness was what was wrong with this part of my healing process.  I always had the impression that forgiveness meant releasing guilt from the other person; I was so, so wrong.  Forgiveness is for yourself.  Forgiveness is when you no longer allow that person or circumstance to have an impact on your spirit.  And it took me a long time to realize that I can forgive you AND forget you.  You do not need to vocalize this to the other person, or to anyone at all, this process is for you.  Forgive what happened to you.

#5  KEEP MOVING FORWARD AND NEVER LOOK BACK

In the beginning, and maybe even for a while, it might feel as though you don’t really know what’s making you move, but all you really know is that your days will rise and set 01210687fde701d30b8d7c1a6eef16a3one after another and that you have to do things in between.  I know for me, it was a numbing sensation, not really knowing what was going to happen next, having to rethink every direction that I thought my life was taking – did I actually even know what I was doing anymore?  And yet, I still had to get up every day and do SOMETHING.  So here’s the thing…even when you don’t feel like it, say yes.  If a friend asks you to go out and you’re feeling too sad that day, just say yes and go.  If you’re presented with the opportunity to take on a small job or volunteer a few of your hours, but you’re just so emotionally exhausted, just say yes and take it.  Put “yes” into the Universe and just see what it hands you.  When you put this together with being able to show gratitude and express forgiveness, you’d be amazed to see the shifts that will take place.  Just allow your feet to move forward and don’t for one second look back at where you were, not even to compare your current self to your past self.  Leave the past in the past; it has already done its job in molding your present self, trust that you don’t need it anymore.