Being Awake

I really liked this passage in my Mindful Journal. I distanced myself from mindful practices for a bit, but I am starting to tune myself back to the moment more.

I never thought of being mindless or distracted as ‘being asleep.’ But I can see it. Being present is truly being awake. You awaken your senses, your mind, your creativity, your inner peace and more.

I would like you all to read this passage, and answer the questions for yourself. This can make you more aware of your own mindful practices, and what can keep you in tuned with it. Let’s bring us back to being awakened and alive.

Refresh(A New Year)

A new year has arrived! Time to refresh ourselves. It is time to get back to business. Back to our goals. The holidays are a busy time. We can easily get distracted, during these times, not saying it is a bad thing though. December is the time to spend time with love ones, have fun, and relax.

The new year brings a fresh start. I don’t necessarily believe a new year brings a new you, but it can be a fresh start to get back on track. If it is to get healthier, work or goals/projects, or make changes.

With the holidays, and mostly being sick all month. I lacked motivation to do anything productive, but that is okay. The new year is about making fresh starts, or restarting the things you were working on.

We can appreciate what we done last year. We got through the ups and downs. We learned important lesson throughout the year. The new year is about hope, mystery, discovery, and new challenges.

Use this time to focus on what is important to you, and allocate your time to those things. I decided to make a list of things that are important to me, so I can make sure I make time to work on those things, or make time to do those things in the new year.

I seen a lot of people say “I hope only good things happen in the new year,” or “this year will be your best.” I am not a big fan of these statements. Challenges will happen, it is reality. You set yourself up for misery with these unrealistic statements. You never know how the year will go. Just take it day by day. You can hope for the best, but that is all you can do. Just remember everything may not go your way, but you can always put in the effort to try to make it a good year. Focus on what you can control. Your efforts make things happen.

Carving your own path(self-care journey)

As we look to others for guidance on self-care, motivational tips, or self help tips. It is important to know looking within ourselves and experiencing things for ourselves will be the major factor in helping oneself achieve their goals, find peace of mind and evolve as an individual. We can consume as much self-help content as we like, but our own journey is what really teach us the lessons we need to learn in life.

I consume many self-help vlogs, podcasts and books for inspiration and creativity. I do find I learn the best from my own experiences through trial and error by finding ways that work best for me. Taking action is how I learn and evolve. Consuming can only get you so far.

We are all different individuals, so there isn’t one size fits all self-care tips. What works for one individual, may not work for another. This is a continues journey, so people’s opinions on things change as they continue through their journey. I know mine has. It is a natural process on our journey through life.

It is important not to follow guidance step by step, word for word, tip for tip. They are a guide, a footprint, a baseline. Take in what works for you. In the end, it is up to you to figure out ways that helps improve your well being. Also, majority of these things are recycled again and again, just worded differently through the perspective of the person giving out the advice.

Take others advice, including mine with a grain of salt. What works for them, may not work for you. Different environments, different personalities, different lifestyles affect what works for an individual. Take in what you can, and create elements that can work for you. All in all, the journey to improving your life starts with you, and your willingness to take actions. Others may help, but your work is what truly matters.

Create Moments/engage with the world

I am making more of an intention to engage with the world, rather than passively scroll online, or watch Youtube/Netflix. I want to create experiences, and be creative by actively living in the moment. I like to do things that help me learn and grow.

I have recently been trying to learn more Spanish and Korean. I have been listening to more Podcast. I have made the intention to color more. I have been doing lots of writing for my blogs, and for my course. I have also started making videos. I just want to make more time being active.

I like to live more intentionally and mindfully. Life is about creating moments. Finding little joys along the way. The more I practice living intentionally. The easier the habits become. Engaging means being creative, productive, working on your craft, and connecting with yourself, others and the world around you. I try to build my day around things that spark joy, creativity, growth and value.

I will say recently I haven’t been as mindful as the past couple of weeks, and I have been watching more Youtube and Netflix, but that is totally okay. We need balance. We will not 100% be productive, creative, or mindful all the time. Allow yourself to be passive without guilt. But there should always be an intention to create moments in anyway that suits you. You will be at ease, happier, and find more peace, and rewarding moments if you do so.

What is self-care?

I have seen a lot of videos on how self-care is toxic, or creates narcissism. I truly believe the self-care they are discussing isn’t self-care in the truest sense. The self-care they are discussing is searching for happiness, and trying to be as successful as one can be, and striving to reach goals no matter what. Putting value in yourself, not others. I wouldn’t call that self care. It is more self-indulgence. I can see why that behavior can be toxic, and create narcissism. I think it is important for people to know what self-care is, so they don’t confuse it with toxic behaviors that create more misery.

“Self-care is anything you do to take care of yourself so you can stay physically, mentally, and emotionally well. Its benefits are better physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being. Research suggests self-care promotes positive health outcomes, such as fostering resilience, living longer, and becoming better equipped to manage stress.”(everydaymentalhralth.com).

Self-care is about making yourself a priority. It is about validation your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Although, you are a priority. It does not mean hurting others to benefit oneself, or putting others down to pull yourself up. You still make sacrifices and compromises, but you shouldn’t put others needs before oneself at all times. Your mental and physical health comes first. You can’t have that when you continuously sacrifice yourself for others.

Connections are important. Self-care isn’t about pushing others away, and just focusing on you. Solitude is important to center yourself to who you are, and to give you space to enjoy one’s company. We are social creatures that feed on connections from others. Connecting with others is a part of self-care, along with solitude. Treat yourself right, and you can treat others just as well.

Self-care isn’t about buying the most expensive thing to treat yourself. If it adds value, and brings joy than sure, do it, but it isn’t essential. It isn’t about reaching your goals, and striving for success. Yes, you can do these things, but it isn’t the only thing to focus on. It is about appreciating what you have, and enjoying the journey to get to where you want.

Self-care is about creating hobbies that spark joy and peace in your life. It is about cultivating habits that promote a healthier individual physically, emotionally and mentally. Self-care is about accepting who you are, your strengths and flaws. It isn’t about searching for perfection, but learning to appreciate your strengths, and to work on improving your weaknesses. Accepting comes into play when flaws can’t easily be improved.

People sometimes lose the meaning of self-care for their own self indulgence. Self-care is about finding ways to bring peace into your life. It is about working on yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. A holistic approach to become a better individual, and to live life as fully as one can. Learning to connect with yourself and others is the true nature of self-care.

Comparisons/Jealousy

This tends to hit us when we focus on just the positives of others lives, and focus on the things they have that we are missing. We want that part of their lives we don’t have. We see the grass greener on their side. But is it really?

We forget that others have their drawbacks as well. Everything in life has its pros and cons. All of us as individuals are blessed with things others don’t have. If you dig deeper. You realize you have something they don’t have. You recognize that their life isn’t all that great as a whole. It is just that aspect of comparison/jealousy that seems better. Things in life isn’t all great or all bad. There are good and bad aspects.

Reflect and appreciate what you do have. Learn from the things you don’t have, and if you really want it, work for it, don’t dwell, and make a change. Your life has just as much value as any other individual. You just got to believe it, and take action. We all have value. We all have positive aspects to our lives. We also all have downfalls and drawbacks. Rather than just focusing on yours and making comparisons. Remember that other people’s lives isn’t as perfect as you think, and that they have drawbacks and insecurities as well. Remind yourself that you have things to be proud of, and appreciative of as well.

Mindfulness and Judging

With mindfulness practice we should try to limit judgment of ourselves, others, and the world around us. I have gotten better at not judging myself, and the world, but it still has been difficult not judging others. I recognize that judgment of others is more a reflection of myself, than others.

With mindfulness I have been able to become aware of when I judge others. It starts with awareness. After that, I reflect on why I am making this judgment. It is to compare?, to compete?, to feel superior?, or is it that they don’t fit my standard? It could be all of these things. Remember that the person you are judging has no clue you are doing it, so how productive can it be?

Judging others puts a negative stain on the person judging. It fuels hatred, jealousy, bitterness, and anger. Why do I need to create these emotions when I don’t have to. We can’t stop ourselves from judging. It is an innate human quality, but we can control how much and how long it consumes our lives. Become aware, reflect, learn and move forward. No use in dwelling over something you can’t change, and if you can, say something and take action in a positive and productive way.

Mindful Hobbies

I haven’t been as motivated to write lately. My productivity levels on writing oscillates from time to time. I thought of this idea to discuss my favorite mindful activities, and it has pushed me to write, so thought it would be a good idea to write this. I have been pretty busy with other fun activities, connecting with family and friends, so I haven’t had the energy to write. My next trip is to the beach, so I thought I will write something before then.

It is important to get out, connect, and do fun activities with others. It allows you to be in the moment, and enjoy the life, and the people around you. Mindful activities are a way to get a way from the noise of the world, from the busyness. To just be with oneself, your thoughts, your creativity. To do the things you enjoy doing. I will list a couple of my favorite mindful activities. I am sure you have similar hobbies to mine, and I am sure you have plenty of different ones.

  • Coloring-I have been really into this one as of late. It take a bit of time and energy, but it is nice getting immersed in it. Using your hands to create something is quite lovely and enjoyable. I also enjoy the finished product. I like to put the finished production my wall. I have a coloring book that has inspirational quotes, so they are nice to look at, and read for inspiration.
  • Plant care-Probably my favorite mindful routine. I like giving attention to all my plants, cleaning their leaves, watering them when they need, checking the soil. Taking each one to the sink, and caring for them. I have just enough, so that I am able to care for them. Having too many plants can be overwhelming, and time consuming, so I have the right amount that gives me the space to care for them where it doesn’t take too much of my time, and I am not neglecting any of them. I love getting my cup of coffee, and going at it.
  • Reading-I am currently reading a book on the mind and brain. I find this topic interesting as the brain and mind are quite fascinating to me. I have been trying to read more this year, and I have kept up with it. Reading allows me to be creative, it allows me to think, and it helps fuel inspiration. I also gain new knowledge and perspective from a good read.
  • Nature walks-I haven’t been doing much of this lately. It has been too hot, or I am too exhausted from work, or just not feeling it as much lately. I usually enjoy doing this, during the spring and fall time. I did go to a botanical garden last week, and it was quite lovely seeing all those pretty plants, and walking among nature. It gives you the opportunity to see the beauty of the world. It helps center you back to reality. It is refreshing and rejuvenating.
  • Journaling/Letting thoughts breath- Sometimes I just like to take a break from my computer, and just sit, and let my thoughts get some air. I sometimes write it down, but lately I just have been letting my thoughts out in the air. I sit, look at my plants, look out the window, and just breath. It is quite relaxing to do so. It helps bring me back into the moment.
  • Yoga/Dancing-I put these together, because I usually do them together. I start with a high activity, and wind down with some yoga. I like the mixture. I like to listen to my favorite songs at the moment, and dance to them. I like to get lost in the music, while creating my own choreography to the songs. I find this fun. It helps get my heart rate up, and then yoga helps wind it down, and calms my body and mind.
My go to playlist at the moment

Mindful hobbies/activities help keep the spark in your life. It brings joy, happiness, and fulfillment. It cultivates peace and calmness in this busy and unpredictable world. Once in awhile, or at least once a day, step a way, and find the quiet and joy.

Letting Go of the Ego

One of the important things to be aware of when it comes to mindfulness is learning how powerful the ego is, and learning to strip the ego from taking control of us. The ego allows us to perceive ourselves as always right, or perfect.

It believes the world revolves around oneself. That the world should bend to our mercy. That things should go the way we want it to. This belief creates misery in our lives. It doesn’t allow for any criticism. It wants others to be available whenever it wants. It wants others to be happy when we are, and sad when we are.

It wants everyone to like and agree with it. The ego judges ourselves, others, and the world. It keeps us stuck in a cycle of anger, frustration, annoyance, and sadness. Although, these emotions are natural in human nature. Being stuck in them isn’t good for your mental health. The ego can also limit us from growing, because it refuses to be wrong, and open-minded to other opinions and beliefs.

The ego will always seep through, but you can always learn to reduce the affect it has on your state of mind. Once you learn to strip the ego of its power. Peace and freedom will follow.

Give Yourself Space

Give yourself space and time to get away from the information overload or the distractions of the world. I sit here viewing the scenery of my plants in my room. I am listening to the sounds of the rain playing, and the thunder outdoors. I am looking at the grey clouds outdoors. It is quite nice to just sit and breathe. Giving my thoughts the air to breathe. I find this very relaxing and therapeutic.

I enjoy writing my thoughts on paper and meditating as well. Tending to my plants can also give me the space to be in the moment, and let my mind be at peace. It is important not to get stuck in distractions and a busy lifestyle. Take time to be still, and be in the moment. Enjoying the scenery and sounds around you. Allowing your thoughts, and emotions to flow through you, and be heard and understood. Take care of yourself, and everything will fall into place.

Give yourself the space to understand oneself, and deal with emotions you may have. It isn’t easy to sit still, believe me I find it difficult, but a little discomfort is good for us. We should always try to get out of our comfort zone every once in awhile. Take on the challenge. It can only help us build into a stronger individual. Strive to take care of yourself, be appreciative, and be mindful.

Give yourself space to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and nature as well. I wanted to post this beautiful shot of my favorite place to walk and be at peace.