2019 Yearly Reflection & 2020 Planning

It is close to the end of the year. Yay! Give yourself a round of applause you made it through another year! It is now time to reflect on the year. It is also time to look forward, and start planning for next year.

I know mindfulness is all about living in the moment. But reflecting on the past, and planning for the future cultivates positive energy. It can help build you up, help you learn more about yourself, and help make improvements for you to grow, and develop.

There are a couple of questions I like to think about for my yearly reflection and planning. I thought I share them, and hopefully get you thinking about it as well.

1.Positives of the year?: We got to start positive. I like to think about the positive things that happened this year, or even positive people that were brought to my life this year. Some positives for me would be finally going to the dentist(been meaning to this for years now). Another would be getting a better paying job. Another one would be meeting new people to connect with. These are some things to think about. It allows you to focus your energy on the positives, and show you that the year had some, or many good moments.

2.Challenges of the year?:Now flip to the other side of the coin. I think it is important to look at the difficulties we faced this year. I didn’t really have many this year, compared to last year. One was searching for a new job. Doing something new can be challenging for me. Also, being able to get comfortable at a new job. It is still uncomfortable, but I manage through it. I am proud that I was able to get through it. Challenges are learning experiences, and help us grow. We shouldn’t push these moments aside. Embrace them. They are part of our journey as well. Looking through this can show how far you come, and make you proud for getting through it.

3.Things that benefited me this year?: Now time to focus on the things that benefited me and you. What helped us grow. What helped us physically, mentally and emotionally. For me, eating healthier, exercising more, drinking more water, reducing sugar, and being remaining mindful have been a huge benefit for me.

4.Things I learned this year?:Think about what you learned. Be it educational, life lessons, experiences etc. I learned many things about the universe. I learned that being mindful has made me more aware of myself and my emotions. I learned to embrace challenges. Learning is important in life, so it is good to look at all your learning experiences you had this year.

5.How Did I grow this year?: Pretty important to see your growth in the year. It really shows how far you have gone. For me, it being able to handle my emotions much better, not being as judgmental or negative. I don’t gossip as much anymore, don’t feel the need to do that. I really love this improvement in my life. It promotes peace, and positivity in my life. Life is all about self-development.

6.Achievements this year?: This can fall into the positive this year as well, but I wanted to have this question on its own. This one just focusing on achievements. I was able to finish a Mindfulness course with a 100%. I was able to see the dentist, overcoming my fear. I was able to get a new job with better pay, and insurance. I spent less money, which promotes my minimalist mindset. I continued to exercise, and eat healthy throughout the year. These are all proud moments of mine. Now I like you to look at your proud moments. Make note to be proud of all your achievements this year.

7.Things I can work on/Improve upon?: I think it is good to look at what can be improved. Something to work towards for the new year? No one is perfect. There is always room for growth. For me, it would be reading more. I didn’t read as much as I wanted to this year. Another is learning more. I used to read, and watch educational stuff all the time, but recently I haven’t been doing that as much. I like to get back to that mindset. Learning, and gaining knowledge is important, so I will work towards that in the new year.

8.Goals for 2020?: Last, but definitely not least. What is you want to do for next year. I have many goals for next year, and I am pretty excited about it. I like to read a book every month. I like to take a course every quarter of the month. I like to pay off my credit cards. I am excited about trying these things out. I wrote all of them down to have a visual, and keep me on task. I think it would be good to try that as well.

This really makes me look forward to the new year. There are so many possibilities in the new year, so take advantage of it, and figure out ways to work towards your dreams and goals. Make sure they are manageable, specific, and simple. This will make it easier to achieve them.

Hopefully these questions were helpful to you, like they are for me. I wish you all a lovely Christmas and happy new year. I love you all, and I appreciate you guys very much<333 Always try to be mindful, positive and compassionate towards yourself and others.

Evolving or Changing as a Person

I had a nice conversation with my friend, and it made me think of what the differences are between these two. I was asked what is the difference, aren’t they the same? Yes, they can be seen as the same, but from my perspective I don’t see it that way. They can go hand in hand. They can be used interchangeably, but I see them as different when it comes to changing as a person, and evolving as a person.

When I think of someone wanting to change as a person. I see it more as a person not accepting who they are, and wanting to push away from the person they are. I see it as the person wanting to focus more on the parts of them they are not happy with, than the parts they are happy about. When someone says they want to change, do you really want to change yourself completely?, do you really want to rid of the amazing qualities you do have?, or do you want to change the qualities you don’t like? Wanting a change to me is changing who you are. Do you not like who you are?

I think we should all appreciate, and accept who we are, the things we like, and the things we don’t. Wanting to change pulls us away from who we really are. It is like you don’t like the person you are. I don’t want individuals to pull away from who they are. I don’t want them to not like who they are. We are all wonderful. We all have qualities, and quirks that make you, you. I just like an individual to expand on who they are.

This is where evolving comes from. I like the phrase evolving as a person, rather than changing. It is expanding on who you are. It is about developing and growing. It is about an expansion on the already awesome person you are. It is about improving on the qualities that you are not to proud of, but keeping the qualities you love about yourself. It is adding value, positivity, insight, knowledge, and wisdom to your being that you may not have had before.

Life is all about evolving. We have done it, since the beginning of time. It allows us to survive in this ever changing world. Evolving gives us room to learn, to be more knowledgeable, to be more compassionate, to be more mindful, to be more creative etc. It gives us room to grow, but it allows us to keep parts of who we are that we love and accept. There are amazing qualities in all us that we must retain. We can learn to accept the flaws as well. The great thing about evolving is that we can improve, and work on them. Life would be boring if we were all perfect. Growing and expanding is an important part of our life journey.

So in conclusion, wanting to change to me is more about pulling away from who you are. Not accepting the person you are. Mindfulness is all about accepting who you are, appreciating the qualities that make you awesome, and learning to accept the ones you aren’t proud of. It is all still part of you. We all have these type of qualities. That is what makes us human.

Now wanting to evolve gives us the opportunity to become a better version of ourselves, and work on those things that we may not like. I like to say I am evolving as a person. It just sounds much better to me. I appreciate my whole being, and I truly hope others start to as well.

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Finding Stillness

I just want to remind you that we all need a bit, or more of stillness in our lives. What I mostly mean by stillness is mindful stillness. Away from the distractions, noise, busyness of the world. Being in the moment. Doing something that can rejuvenate the mind and body.

Stillness is a difficult concept for most. We have the need to keep moving, or keep busy. Our minds are always buzzing, full of thoughts. We don’t like to be still, because it gives us time to think. People like to avoid their thoughts. But sometimes facing our thoughts. Allows us to become aware of them, which helps us to understand them, and then accept them. This helps us to move on.

I always enjoy finding stillness throughout the day, even five minutes of it can be helpful. It may be difficult to do, but the peace, and calmness that come from it is quite rewarding. I also like to challenge myself to do something that can be uncomfortable. I always need this time to recharge, and gain energy. There is so much freedom in stillness time. The freedom to just be you, the freedom to be, the freedom from constraints of the world.

I like to take a couple of hours to be still. What I usually do that incorporates stillness is sometimes actual stillness, which is meditation. I do a couple of different meditations. Sometimes I close my eyes, and focus on my breath, trying to allow my thoughts to flow. Sometimes I do a body scan, focusing on each part of my body. I also do mindful observation, focusing on things around me. Another one is mindful appreciation, finding appreciation of the things around me, or the different parts of my body.

All of this allows me to focus my energy on the moment. It allows my mind, and body to relax. It gives me the space to appreciate myself, my life, and the things around me. I don’t think most people give themselves that space to do that. It isn’t easy to do this, and thoughts will still come. This can deter people, but you have try to continue to bring yourself back to the moment. It will happen.

I tend to like the challenge of doing this. It is something many can’t do. It shows the strength of my character to continue to practice this, and it is a wonderful thing. It also strengthens patience. Many like to rush through life, sometimes getting upset, angry, or anxious. I was like this. Meditation reminds you to to slow down, and not put so much energy on rushing, or forcing things. Giving yourself  a minute to do this can make a difference.

Another thing I do is mindful stillness, as I mentioned in the beginning. This one is easier to do. This is just being in the moment. It can be any activity away from computers and phones. Recently I have been drawing. I am not the best, but it is fun to try. I also write, and read some inspirational things, during my mindful stillness time. You aren’t exactly still, but still in the moment. When I am immersed in a mindful activity. I don’t necessarily focus on the time. It actually seems to fly by when I am being mindful. It happens when you are immersed in something you enjoy. Time isn’t important, and that is key, since time can sometimes trap us. It can force us to rush, and be busy, and become anxious.

Stillness can be a beautiful thing if you give it a chance. It cultivates motivation, determination, and creativity. It shows you what you are made of, or how strong your will is. It teaches you about yourself. It gives you the space to work on your goals, improve your self, and learn. I learn more about my thoughts and my body, during this time. I learn about my character, personality, and goals through stillness times. It helps strengthen my character, skills, and creativity. This helps me focus on what is important. A lot of good things can come from stillness.

I just like to have a bit of stillness in my life, because the world is full of distractions and noise. Those things can easily cloud the mind with negativity, and it can exhaust the body. I like to give myself the space to clear the mind, and rejuvenate the body. Most people ignore this space, and it is a shame. There is so much to learn from this experience. Try to give yourself that space, even if it is for a couple of minutes. You may enjoy it, and maybe find the peace you need.

Silence goes along with stillness, so I wanted to post these words from one of Mindful books. I thought it went well with my post. Lets try to be still as much as we can in this noisy, and busy world we live in.IMAG0242

 

Food for Thought Post

It is nice waking up to some inspirational reading, and giving myself time to reflect and think. I really enjoyed this post in my Mindful Morning Book. It is nice to give your mind time to reflect, relax, and think in the morning, instead of filling it with noise and distractions. It gives you a chance to focus on you, and not everyone else. It can start your day off on the right foot.

This post is a reminder to look at the reality of a situation, rather than the illusion of negativity. People tend to see things in a negative way, but there is also a positive spin, and then there is the truth. Lets try to focus on either the positive side, or the reality. The negativity will get you nowhere. It will lead to misery. Push away negative self-talk, and focus on the reality. Peace of mind will cultivate.

Have a lovely day, or evening everyone.

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The Art of Not Caring

Okay, it is time to stop caring. It is that simple. Okay, I am kidding. I know it is a process to get to that point. Now when I say not caring. I don’t mean become a sociopath. It is important to care about yourself, others, and life. What I am talking about is not caring about impressing others, or caring what others think of you.

Living a life to impress others can lead to a miserable and controlled life. I like to say I am at a point where my life doesn’t revolve around impressing others, or trying my best to give anyone a good impression of myself. I am who I am. If you like me, great, if not, great, well, not great, but I’ll live. I don’t need everyone to like me, nor should anyone else.

This mentality is hard to maintain. I am aware that I should try to live my life for myself, and not look to others to live my life. It is easy to put our whole life story online, or the part we want them to see, to impress others, and show them how cool we are. I fell into that trap. I do still post some cool pictures, and fun experiences, but it is more to share my experience online, more than trying to make an impression.

If I get one like, which in my case I usually do. I am perfectly fine with that. I just like to share my experiences, and have something to look back on. Living life for yourself cultivates freedom, content, and satisfaction. If people enjoy the content, great, if not, at least I did.

In the end, this is your life, your journey. You should live it the way you want. We get lost in doing things the way others, or society wants it. You got to get married by this time. You got to get this type of job. You got have the fancy car. You got to get a house. You got to live the dream life? What does that even mean? We all have different dreams. Embrace your own journey. Who cares if you aren’t following what society thinks is the right way to a happy, and fulfilling life.

We focus on what others think. We forget to put emphasis on the self, and what we really want. What actually makes me happy? What do I want out of life?  What helps me reach my goals? What can I do to have a fulfilling, content life? These are questions we should ask ourselves. Not what can I do to make others happy, or impress them. This is about you.

People tend to abandon their true being. Becoming sad, depressed, angry, bitter or anxious, because we allow others to dictate our lives, instead of living the life for themselves. Once you are able to live the life you want without worrying about others opinions. Freedom, and contentment will follow.

The biggest regret in most people who are on their death bed is not living their lives for themselves, so please try to make an effort to live life for yourself. This is your life, your journey. No one else should live it for you. We only have one life here, make the most of it.

There is much freedom living a life for oneself. It may take more time than others to get to this point, but hopefully there is a point where you can be yourself, and live the life you choose. I believe once you are able to accept your self, and who you are. This process will become easier to do.

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Self-Actualization

This is a concept that has intrigued me, so I thought I write a post on it. This term was first popularized by Abraham Maslow. What is exactly a self-actualized person? What does it mean? Why exactly does it have significance to our lives and well-being?

The definition Maslow used for ‘self-actualization” is it “represents growth of an individual toward fulfillment of the highest needs—those for meaning in life, in particular.”(Psychology Today). Maslow used a hierarchy of needs that we go through in life. Going from the lowest level(Physiological needs), to the highest(self-actualization). Maslow believed people who were self-actualized fulfilled their greatest potential. To do so you must got through a hierarchy of needs.

I do like this concept, but I see ‘self-actualization’ a bit different. I perceive self-actualization more as knowing who you are, rather than focusing on potential, talents, or your highest needs. I think knowing who you are, what you can be, what you are best at, what you can’t do, knowing your weaknesses, and strengths can lead you to a fulfilling life.

To me self-actualization is acceptance of the person you are at the moment. I don’t like the emphasis on potential, as it can lead one to focus on potential, and it can lead to disappointment and misery if they can’t reach it. It can also be a motivator, and it can be part of a self-actualized being, but it shouldn’t be the only focus. If you know, and accept yourself, than being able to reach your potential should come.

Focusing on the self, learning to improve the self, working on developing the self can lead to fulfilling your potential, which can lead to self-actualization.  It is all about knowing who you are as an individual. Your weaknesses, strengths, characteristics, traits, triggers, personality, and talents. The awareness of the holistic human part of your being is self-actualization to me.

Now I am not saying he is wrong. We all have different ways of defining things. Other Psychologists disagreed with him, others put their own spin to the term. We all have our own way of perceiving things in life, and what truly life is about. It is okay to have different opinions.

Now I like to post some characteristic of self-actualized individuals according to the articles I read.

  • Realistic
  • Autonomous
  • Accept themselves & others
  • Problem-solvers
  • Enjoy solitude
  • Enjoy the journey, not destination
  • Portrays empathy/compassion

I found these characteristics interesting, because these characteristic are similar to being a mindful individual. Practicing mindfulness can also cultivate these characteristics. I have written about all these topics on my blog. I say the self-actualization path is similar to the mindful one. Both leading to peace, calm and fulfillment of our well-being.

Below is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

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Accepting Failures

Accepting our failures, and mistakes are difficult for us humans to do. Although, it may be difficult. It is something we should try to accept. As I mentioned many times before, we must remember we are not perfect. Failures, mistakes, and struggles will happen. These things in life are unavoidable. It is best to learn to accept it, so we can learn to cope with it better when it happens.

We will make mistakes sometimes. We will fail sometimes. We will be wrong sometimes. This is hard for the ego to comprehend. The thing is, mistakes doesn’t mean we can’t learn  from them. Struggles doesn’t mean we can’t grow from them. Failures doesn’t mean you can’t overcome them. These things doesn’t define your whole being. This is just one aspect of your life that didn’t go well. One failure doesn’t mean you are a complete failure. It happens, what you do with that situation is what matters. You can either let it defeat you, or challenge yourself to learn, and grow from it.

We call ourselves idiots, stupid, a failure when things don’t go our way. We say negative things about ourselves. Cultivating a negative image of ourselves with self-hate, blame, and shame. We don’t realize that it is all part of the human experience. We are not perfect, we don’t know everything, and we can’t do everything. It happens.

Learning to be kind to ourselves. Understanding that we are human, and that it is okay to fail and make mistakes. This mindset can create self-compassion and self-love. Failures and mistakes happen, but there is always growth, and learning that cultivate from those experiences. Growth is important for our well-being.

I made mistakes on my first week of work. It is completely normal for that to happen. Instead of being negative towards myself, and blaming myself for the mistakes. I told myself that I don’t know everything, and I am still learning how things work there. I learn from mistakes. We all learn from mistakes. Life is a learning process. This is what failures, mistakes, struggles do.

In a perfect world, we would always be right and successful, but that is not how the world works. We will make mistakes. We will fail. You just have to remind yourself that it is okay. You will learn. You will overcome. It is all part of being a human being. It is all part of life. We all got to go through it. Even successful people fail.

Try not saying things like,”I am stupid,” or “I am a failure,” or “I am not good enough.” You are defining yourself to to that one situation that can deter you from growing from it. Try saying things like,”I can overcome this,” or “I can learn from this,” or “I am human,” or “Perfection doesn’t exist.” This way it keeps your identity away from negativity, and makes you aware of  reality. This can allow you to improve, and grow from those situations.

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Thought of the Day

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Having the mind in the right state can help one deal with the unpredictability and struggles of the outside world. The mind is powerful. It effects how you see the world. The good, the bad, and the in between. You can’t enjoy the brightness of the world if your mind is in darkness. You will only see negativity in all circumstances. Mindfulness practice can allow the mind to stay at peace, and allow one to enjoy the wonderful times, and cope through the tough times. The mind, and inner being is key to a content and fulfilling life.

Inspiration

I always enjoy getting inspiration, if it is from others, from nature, or from my own self-reflection. I get a sense of motivation from inspiration. I think we all need inspiration in our lives. It helps us learn more about ourselves. It helps push us. It helps us think, and reflect on who we are, what we are doing, and where we are going. It also help us understand others, and the world around us.

I can always learn something new. I can also learn to see things from a different perspective. Inspiration cultivates healthy/positive habits for me. I gain healthier habits from inspirational people, experiences, and things.

It is nice having your own ideas, but your ideas normally come from somewhere, maybe from your own actions, from your experiences, or from others. Listening to others opinions on life cultivates new insight to things I didn’t think of. Most of the time it inspires my own work.

Inspiration from others, and life experiences gives me new ideas, and a fresh perspective. It can also confirm my own thoughts, and expand on them. It is just a wonderful feeling to read, listen to, or experience something inspiring, and motivational. It creates a sense of understanding and meaning. It makes you creative, and reflective.

I believe inspiration is needed in our lives. It helps us to see the light, open our minds, to see a different perspective that we may not see on our own. Inspiration is one of the great beauties of life. It benefits, and brings positive energy to our lives. There were many things I was able to do, due to inspirational writings and videos giving me that push to learn about myself and life. So whenever you can, try to find inspiration, in whatever form feels right for you. It can help promote a positive lifestyle, and help you become a better version of oneself.

I just like to acknowledge the wonderful Youtube vloggers I follow that help inspire my work, and life style habits. I always enjoy listening to their thoughts, and expanding my own ideas with it. If you like to look into more inspirational people. You may want to look into them.

Amy Landino

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Lavandaire

Pick Up Limes

Another source of inspiration is communicated with friends, family, or coworkers. Connecting with others, hearing their stories can inspire my work. Also, my own experiences can inspire me as well. Inspiration is all around us. We just got to learn to acknowledge, and incorporate it in our lives.

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