Wednesday, June 5, 2013

the 20- something's guide to self-acceptance

Set the intention to change. Don’t let yourself regress by being upset over not achieving your goals immediately. Success means that you don’t stop trying. Make peace with those who have hurt you. Apologize to those you owe an apology to. You will be humbled. You will be vulnerable. You will find feelings arising that you thought were dead and buried. Sit with them. Be honest with yourself about yourself. There’s no point in working on bettering someone who isn’t really you. 
Everyone is struggling. Despite what Facebook profiles suggest, nobody is perpetually thrilled with their life. The idea that you have to be is silly.Learn to be okay with just being okay. You do not have to have it all together. Nobody expects that of you, and the greatest things in life usually derive from what would otherwise seem like failure. 
Don’t see negative feelings as hindrances but as signs to be followed. Think of your emotions the same way you think of your physical sense of feeling. Your hand hurts if you put it on a hot stove because your body is telling you to remove your hand before it burns off. Consider what your your internal navigation and feelings are telling you to get away from (or alternatively, move toward). 
Write down the things you loathe about yourself, and be honest.Even if it hurts to be put it down on paper, and you’re hesitant to even write anything because you know this means you have to acknowledge this big-bad-terrible-horrible-no-good thing about you. Once you have a list you’re sufficiently uncomfortable with, dig. Think these things through. Consider why you behave the way you do, what influenced you to be that way, whether or not this is innately you and how these actions or traits affect your life. Work on ways to change the things you determine need to be changed. 
Understand that love is a verb, and is an action, and self-acceptance has everything to do with it. Just sitting and thinking about your positive traits and your desire to reform is good, but it’s not going to change anything. 
Realize that life is beautiful because it is flawed, and so are people. Think about somebody you love, and consider how they don’t fit into standard ideas of beauty and perfection. You love them anyway, don’t you? You even find some of these things more endearing than anything, right? Realize that you are loved no differently. 
Know that there is no right way to live. Success is subjective. You cannot follow someone else’s road map. There is no right or wrong way to do things. By accepting this, you start to realize that your life is perfect and beautiful, just not in the ways you falsely believe it should be. Understand that acceptance does not necessarily mean being happy about everything. It just means you are big enough to give acknowledgement.
thought catalog. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

you never have to deal with more than one moment.

This is a pretty long article, but definitely one VERY worth reading. It really made me stop, breathe, and learn to take each moment at a time instead of giving into the hustle and bustle of all the stresses life brings, especially amidst finals and college life.

If you read Raptitude you’ll see me talk a lot about moments.  By the end of this post you’ll understand why I use that word so much.  I grew up thinking the word moment referred to specific instants in time, usually where some significant event occurred.  There were historic moments, life-changing moments, poignant moments, tense moments, touching moments, Kodak moments. They were events to be remembered, reminisced about, or photographed. 
Whatever they were, they held you captive.  Everything else seemed to drop away, and you just watched.  They seemed to be isolated from the normal, linear course of time. 
As for the rest of life, it just seemed to be the normal, steady current of ‘stuff.’  Some fun, some pain, some hope, some confusion, some excitement, some tedium.  Same same but different. 
When I was twenty, desperately leafing through some forgotten self-help book, I came across a peculiar line.  It didn’t astound me at the time, but it still stuck in my head.  It kept appearing in my thoughts.  I think I detected a hint of its significance, but it was years before I fully appreciated how powerful it is.  Now I believe it is the most important thing I ever learned: 
Life unfolds only in moments. 
Nobody has ever experienced anything that wasn’t a moment in action.  And all those moments have had one thing in common, they were all now once. 
So if you think about it, you may picture life as a whole stack of moments, like a stack of photographs that show what happens in your life instant by instant.  The present moment sits at the top, and past moments extend down from there.  New moments drop from above, as the seconds tick by.  That stack of moments is your life.  Right? 
Well, not really.  There is no stack.  If there were, you could just lift a photo out of the middle and it would be as clear and vivid as the one on top.  You could sift through your past at will, and see every detail just as if it were happening again.  You could pick a moment from way down in the stack, maybe your fifth birthday, and recall every detail. 
I remember parts of my fifth birthday, I think.  My mom actually made us cupcakes instead of a cake that year, one for each kid.  My guests’ cupcakes each had one candle, except mine had five because I was the birthday boy.  Of that I’m certain, but I sure couldn’t tell you what I was wearing, or list all the kids who were there.  I’ve got one or two details rattling around in my memory, but the moment itself is gone. 
Of course I have memories, but they are poor facsimiles of the moment they are supposed to represent.  Those memories are not a part of that moment.  They’re a part of this one, right now, where I’m sitting in front of my computer on the evening of April 1, 2009.  They are not a part of October 8th, 1985.  Even memories can only happen now. 
I cannot access my fifth birthday in any way; I’m stuck here.  Now. 
There’s really only one picture, but it keeps changing.  We can remember when it looked different, but we can’t see its past incarnations with anywhere near the clarity we can with the present one. 
So my fifth birthday is as dead as Ben Franklin. This sounds kind of sad, but it’s actually fantastic news. 
If the scope of life never extends beyond one moment, that means you never have to deal with more than one moment. You can bring all your attention and resources to bear on making the smartest move right now; there needn’t be any other considerations.  This means that there are not a million things to do, or a million people to please.  All you ever have to do is observe the moment that is happening, and pick an action that makes sense to you.
It often doesn’t seem like it, but life is always presented in these convenient, manageable slices.  The scope of your power as a person cannot extend beyond this single moving snapshot, so there is no reason to attempt to influence anything beyond it.  Observe the moment, pick what strikes you as a smart move, do it and watch what happens.  That’s the only responsibility you ever need to live up to.  It encompasses everything you can possibly do in life, so don’t kill yourself trying to reach further than that. 
You do not have to figure out your future, or come to terms with your past, because there is no future or past.  Any experiences that seem to be from the past or future are not experiences at all, they are just thoughts.  Those thoughts are all just features of the present moment. 
Try this: 
Hold your hands up, palms facing each other, one beside each ear.  Feel the heat radiating from your head, and get a sense of how small the space is between your hands.  It’s not much bigger than a basketball. 
Every single thing you’ve ever experienced, every sour memory, every embarrassment, every triumph, every great fear and every great hope, is confined within the space between your hands.  All conceptions or visions of your past and future are right there floating above your neck, and they cannot be found anywhere else.  They have no weight of their own, no permanence.  They can take no form other than that of a fleeting thought. 
Rather than experiences, thoughts are more akin to a sudden noise: they arise with a frightful clatter, and are just as suddenly gone, leaving no trace.  Unfortunately, the human mind has some inefficiencies.  The mind doesn’t automatically make a distinction between experiences and thoughts about experiences, regardless of whether those experiences are remembered, anticipated, or imagined. 
If they are mistaken for the actual experiences they represent, the person thinking them can react as such, with the same physical and emotional distress they might have if they were actually experiencing them. These physical responses can trigger other thoughts, and the subsequent torrent of ‘noise’ can take on the appearance of a whole lifetime of regrets and worries. They are still insubstantial thoughts, but the physical and emotional reactions they trigger are concrete and real. Simply recognizing thoughts as the phantom ruses they are can halt this process before it happens. 
Neither the future nor the past can ever be dealt with, and they don’t need to be. You only need to deal with your present-moment thoughts about them.  When you are not having thoughts about those two realms of time, they bear zero relevance to your life.  You can safely let them go and feel free to deal with the living moment at hand. 
This truth, once I fully understood it, released a huge weight from around my neck.  Life wasn’t crushing and heavy, it was as light as air.  Thin as a photograph.  I was finally able to look into each moment as if it were nothing more than an infinitely detailed and poignant living picture.  I could finally take the moments one at a time, because I understood that there never was more than one.  I could appreciate and observe each one, and know that my whole life lies within it, not just a tiny fraction.  There are no ghastly fears out there, stalking me from somewhere else, waiting to pounce.  If they existed, they’d be right here, in the picture for me to look at with the rest of the scenery.  Moments do hold me captive, and everything else does drop away. But they aren’t few and far between, they’re broadcast live, 24-7. 
Moments can be observed with clarity, and can be navigated deftly, but our whole lives are just too vast to be managed at all, no matter how strong or organized we become.  The crushing weight of one’s entire past is always too much to bear, as is the frightful spectre of another forty or fifty years rife with dilemmas and tragedies.  It’s far too complex; there are too many contingencies and unknowns.  Surely something in there will overwhelm or destroy us. 
A human being just can’t deal with that, and often it feels like the best we can do is distract ourselves from it.  But we don’t need to. 
We just have to recognize that there is no ‘out there’ at all.  Life is in right front of you, all of it, always.  And there isn’t any more to it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

don't compare yourself to anyone.

One of the unfortunate tendencies of our humanity is comparing ourselves to each other. We’ve been doing it since we were little kids. “My dad is stronger than yours.” “My house is bigger than yours.” It continues into our teenage years and the category of comparison grow. We compare our looks, our talents, our academic achievements, our friendships, our relationships or lack thereof. The list goes on. 
In our adulthood, I do not think we become any wiser – our measuring stick continues to be the people around us. With the prevalence of social media, I can only imagine that the urge to compare one’s life to the depiction of others’ lives on social media platforms is greater for many of us. Images and expressions from people seemingly to be living only the good life can leave one despaired as to why your life isn’t as good as everybody else’s. Of course the reality that most people won’t tell you is that this portrayal of the good life is only partial, which is just one of many reasons that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. 
I think many of us are fond of telling each other only the good parts of our lives. It is one of the ways in which life is a performance. But the reality of everyone’s life is that we all have to endure pain in one way or the other. Of course, no one likes to bring that up when they run into their friends at parties. We smile and we laugh and we tell you that life is wonderful or at least alright, even when we might be dying inside, even when we feel like our lives are completely falling apart. If you are perceptive, you know that no matter how wonderful life is, even when life’s struggles are beautiful, this life that is a gift is still a life full of problems. 
The truth is most of us don’t know what each other have negotiated to be where we are in our lives. Take the example of romantic relationships. People often ask me if I ever get lonely or feel left out in comparison to my friends who are in relationships. The truth is sometimes I do – whenever I have to go to an event by myself or bring a girlfriend or guy friend to something that should ordinarily be for couples, of course I feel left out. But the truth is I have learned not to envy people in relationships because I do not know how truly happy they are; I don’t know what they endure every day on account of having a significant other, and I do not know what they have sacrificed to be in that relationship. 
Another great category of comparison is in career. As someone who has always been very diligent about school and work experience, my peers were very surprised that post-college, after failing to go to law school, I worked at a struggling start-up for a year. It didn’t pay much so I was not a high-earning graduate like people suspected I would be. But I liked my job even though it didn’t always give me the monetary satisfaction that many of my friends enjoyed. One of my friends who had landed an amazing job at a top accounting firm one day told me he envied me. I was really surprised because I envied his life. He had moved to L.A., he was a high-earning graduate, and he seemed to be living the good life. He said he envied the freedom and happiness I enjoyed in my job. To him, I was living the good life even though my life was far from it. 
It’s okay to want things other people have; it is quite natural and we should want good things for ourselves. But we should not fool ourselves into thinking that other people have picture-perfect lives. Everyone struggles, everyone hurts, and everyone is enduring something that they probably won’t tell you about. Whatever picture people paint their life as, rest assured that any one life in all its parts is beautiful and dark, hopeful and weary, a blessing and an everyday battle. Focus on the good parts of your life and be grateful for your own set of problems because if you knew what everyone else was going through, you would probably still choose your own life. Don’t compare yourself to anyone and while we’re at it, let’s be a little kinder to each other along the way.
thought catalog. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

become aware of a silent but powerful sense of presence.

“Incredible change happens in your life

 when you decide to take control of 

what you do have power over instead of 

craving control over what you don't.”

When I read this quote, it really struck me.  In life, so many things happen every day that we simply can't control.  People (including me) spend way too much time trying to control these unavoidable events, using up all their energy on something that won't ever change.  This causes people to feel discouraged and unsatisfied with their life.  This could all change if we spent less time on this and more time on acknowledging that a situation may not be ideal, but that we are strong enough to accept it and move on.  Of course this can be very very difficult, especially if it's something like a family illness or a death, but it's necessary if you want to fully live your life without letting the event consume you.

I think another thing I overlook a lot is that I CAN control what I focus on and what I make my priorities in my day to day life.  I tend to become frustrated with people who don't make an effort to keep up their friendship with me.  I spend way too much energy trying to keep it alive when maybe, right now it's just not meant to be.  Instead of doing this, I could easily be focusing on the amazing friendships I do have and wholeheartedly appreciating them more.

Also, I tend to make my priorities things that really do not matter in the long run.  I too often become so preoccupied with the hustle and bustle of mindlessly studying all week and going out all weekend that I don't stop, take a breath, and realize what's truly important.  I refuse to go through the motions of life, so I'm definitely going to challenge myself to take more time to reflect, slow down, and go after what has real value in my life, like my relationships with friends, family, God, and myself.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

have the courage to choose happiness.

To me, this article from Thought Catalog encompasses how we need to look at the world every day.  Embrace each morning as a new beginning; challenge yourself to seek out every opportunity to grow as a person and to better the lives of others along the way.
It’s the end-goal of everything we do. It’s why we pray, get married, go to college, slave through tiresome days at the office, endure heartache, buy into fads, and move through (the sometimes unbearable) woes of everyday life…  and more importantly, it’s why we care so damn much about it all. It’s why we are so hurt when our lives don’t become what we had hoped they would be. Its happiness, and it’s at the root of everything we desire. But what we seem to overlook is that happiness is not an elusive state of euphoria that we eventually stumble upon once all of our goals are fulfilled. Happiness is a choice, and you are just as capable of experiencing it now as you will be once your life looks as you think it ideally should. 
Yes. Happiness is a choice. And you can choose it right now. Close your eyes and decide: today, I will be happy. Today, I will be grateful for everything I have, and know that everything I don’t have, I don’t need. See, the thing is, happiness is not contingent upon the next great thing you attain or accomplish. Ever notice that? You work hard for something, you get it, and then the joy of having it fades, just like everything else you have and don’t care about. And you’re on to assuming that you’ll be happy once you have the next thing. It’s how we’ve been conditioned: to work toward being better, richer, thinner, prettier, happier. 
But it’s not to say that aspiring to be better is bad. The concept of growth is, in my opinion, the purpose of existence: everything is for the development of our souls. So what if we took the energy we put toward making ourselves appear successful and happy and put it toward actually being happy, right now. What if we made the next goal to be happy… not in 15 less pounds from now, not in a $15,000 raise from now, not once we have the person we’ve been swooning over, not once we’re better. Just now, just because we’re alive, just because we’re here, and just because there’s something in us that the world needs. Because there is someone, somewhere, who loves us (or will love us) just as we are, right now. 
Happiness, if you think about it, is the biggest conundrum we face. The pursuit of it is why we do basically everything that we do, and yet, none of that effort is necessary: it’s the simplest choice of changing our state of mind. 
But if you’re worried that being unconditionally happy for yourself is selfish, consider this. Once you’re happy, you’ll find that you begin a domino effect. You’ll exude peace to others. You’ll make the first impact and the ripple effect of peacemaking will follow. My inner hippie has always believed that peace for the world around us has to begin within us. We’re all preaching and fighting (note the irony) for a more peaceful existence, and yet we’re not changing ourselves. So for the sake of your own happiness, for the sake of the world around you, and for the sake of everybody who you love and care for, be happy. Choose to fill yourself with love, light and positive energy. 
You choose happiness. You choose what success is. You choose your family. You choose your home. (I personally believe it’s the person or place you always return to, but that’s just me). What you may not realize is that every aspect of your life is changeable, and more important, beautiful, just as it is… because you’ve chosen it. You know what you have to do now, and just like more often than not in life, you know what the right thing is. It’s just having the courage to do it. It’s easy to sit in your misery and feel sorry for yourself. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that worrying about something will change it. 
Have the courage to choose happiness.
thought catalog. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

“happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder”

"The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.

For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And along the way, lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you."
Neil deGrasse Tyson

This quote really struck me when I read it today.  Too often in life, people wait around for happiness to find them.  100% of the time, these people will end up disappointed long-term.  It's so important to consciously look for the positive aspects of life no matter what your situation is.  This can be extremely hard and downright impossible at times, but all you can do is try your hardest to acknowledge that life may not be ideal at the moment, but at the very least you will learn something about yourself through the struggles, and you WILL end up on top.  

In my life, a lot of the time I create images in my head of how I want things to turn out and they become so ingrained that I feel like it's the only thing that will make me happy.  In reality though, this is only keeping me from freely enjoying life and finding what will truly make me happy.  I am going to strive to keep this quote in mind and live by it the best I can- by simply living in the present moment, and reminding myself that if I enter life with an open, happy heart and mind, good things will come.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"life happens while you're busy making other plans"

"Know that you literally are where you are supposed to be.  You are learning this stuff exactly when you are supposed to.  You have to learn some stuff before you move on."

My mom said this to me earlier this week.  I was venting to her about different problems in my life that I'm too hard on myself about.  During this specific conversation, I was feeling discouraged and frustrated with myself; I felt that I wasn't living up to my highest potential.  I was looking for life to happen an exact way and it was increasingly straying from this ideal I had in my mind.  

This quote from my mom made me stop in my tracks.  I had never thought about it this way before.  Even though I tried not to, I always held high expectations for my life which inevitably led to constant disappointments.  This quote really spoke to me because it told me to stop and just live life.  By overthinking everything and having set expectations, I was refusing to let life truly happen.  

After this conversation, I vowed to myself to strive to go with the flow and be open.  Things may not always go my way, but at the same time, the best things in life happen unexpectedly.  As long as I stay true to myself and continue to foster my important relationships, life WILL work out.  It won't be easy to get out of my head, but the simple acknowledgement and acceptance of this tendency is the first step to allowing myself full freedom to live the best life possible.  It may not happen the way I initially want it to; however, it has the potentially to be so much greater than that, making it all worth it in the end.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

"Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

11 important thoughts and reminders for your everyday life.

IMPORTANT: The thing about positive reinforcement and motivation is that often times it wears off. We’re all prone to rejection, setbacks, negative funks, heartbreak and misfortune beyond our control. Those things can seem like (or actually be) sicknesses, and sometimes the right combination of words serves as medicine. Hopefully this isn’t an excruciatingly painful tablespoon of “fruit” flavored cough syrup, and more like not-so-bad instant relief and a cure for the common rut — but make it last. I hope this lands on your bulletin board, in your bookmarks, or somewhere for you to refer to on dull days and difficult times. 
1. You woke up this morning! A lot of people didn’t. And a lot of people who did, won’t survive the day. This isn’t to depress you or make you think about death and get sad and stuff, it’s just a reminder that we’ve hit the jackpot having the opportunity of life. There’s always something or someone to be grateful for right this second, we just have to stop letting monotony diminish the value of and our appreciation for friends, family, good health, food, water, technology, and all that other amazing stuff. Gratitude y’all. 
2. There are some flat out mean-spirited individuals who have made spewing hate and negativity their sole purpose. When you identify one of these discouraging people trying to drag you down, slow your drive, crush your confidence or compact your dreams, don’t engage. Don’t react as if their words hold any merit, and don’t seek revenge. That will only veer you off track and turn you into a pessimist yourself. Do what you do and slap a hater in the face with success. 
3. Don’t compare or concern yourself with everybody else. We all know that person who is so successful, every time you speak to them it makes you want to go home and work on your résumé, but any time spent envying others or wondering why you can’t be in their position should be used productively, pursuing whatever makes you happy. There’s always someone doing a lot better than you and there’s always someone doing much worse. 
4. If there’s something you want, but it’s high risk, high reward — take that chance before you’re no longer able to. Rejection feels bad, failure feels awful, but regret feels the worst. Disappointment that we passed on something and the train left the station without us. A dream, a girl, a guy, words left unspoken – you can erase the possibility of having these regrets down the road, by taking a chance and at least knowing if it was or wasn’t meant to be. 
5. All of the best things will eventually end. I personally hate endings, I won’t even listen to the last track on albums all the way through, skipping back to the beginning before it can finish playing all the way through. The thing is, your current group of friends, the weekend routines you’ve adopted in recent months, the group of co-workers you adore – eventually people move, you leave, casts and locations change, and suddenly it’s a whole new show. Thoroughly enjoy whatever it is you’re enjoying until you right now becomes, “Remember back when… 
6. Don’t judge. You ain’t Judy, you ain’t Joe Brown, and you definitely aren’t God, so refrain from condemning and labeling others. I know, it’s easy to make assumptions and have preconceived notions, but that’s why prejudice, narrow-minded folks, who confuse their opinions with facts and know exactly how everyone else should be living life are so common. We live in a world where passing judgment is commonplace and tolerant, accepting people are an endangered species. Remember, you simply don’t know a person’s background based on past experiences with individuals of the same gender, race, sexual orientation, belief system, etc. 
7. If you there’s anything you’re doing that makes you unhappy, and it’s being done for the satisfaction of somebody else, stop it immediately. No ifs, ands or buts — your time and happiness should never be sacrificed to fulfill the standards or satisfaction of others. 
8. You can’t remain at a job or in a career field that you despise. When your days off are spent dreading having to return to work or class, you’ve got to get out. It’s easy to think, I have bills to pay and this or that reason to stay miserable, and if that’s entirely true then you have to do what you can to live, but there are still ways of forming a hasty exit plan. Save up the funds to take an extended leave, apply at the place you actually want to work, take some type of progressive step toward a means of living that you find happiness in. That first step is always the hardest to take. 
9. Use your words! If you don’t know the answer, ask. Too often we try to read people’s minds instead of asking, and hoping for others to read our minds instead of us having to speaking about what’s on ‘em. Communication over psychic abilities all day, every day. 
10. Live below your means and you’ll be a lot better off. Even if you’ve mastered the paycheck-to-paycheck life (which is actually like being really good at being really bad at something), budgeting and not buying what you really can’t afford will result in less stress and close calls. 
11. Some problems you’ll have the power to change, other things will be beyond your control. Identify which type of issue you’re dealing with. If you’ve got some say in the matter, let your figurative voice be heard. When it’s literally out of your hands, have faith and believe it’ll improve. If a situation ever gets so bad that you feel as if you don’t have the energy or power to muster up wishing for a miracle anymore, just remember that there’s always a chance it’ll get better, no matter what it is. Keep fighting the good fight.
thought catalog. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

eckhart tolle's 10 powerful insights to a happier you.

  • Don't seek happiness. If you seek it, you won't find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it. 
  • The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is. There is the situation or the fact, and here are my thoughts about it. Instead of making up stories, stay with the facts. For example, "I am ruined" is a story. It limits you and prevents you from taking effective action. "I have 50 cents left in my bank account" is a fact. Facing facts is always empowering. 
  • See if you can catch the voice in your head, perhaps in the very moment it complains about something, and recognize it for what it is: the voice of the ego, no more than a thought. Whenever you notice that voice, you will also realize that you are not the voice, but the one who is aware of it. In fact, you are the awareness that is aware of the voice. In the background, there is the awareness. In the foreground, there is the voice, the thinker. In this way you are becoming free of the ego, free of the unobserved mind. 
  • Wherever you look, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence for the reality of time—a rotting apple, your face in the bathroom mirror compared with your face in a photo taken 30 years ago—yet you never find any direct evidence, you never experience time itself. You only ever experience the present moment. 
  • Why do anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering. 
  • People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness. They don't realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly. They look upon the present moment as either marred by something that has happened and shouldn't have or as deficient because of something that has not happened but should have. And so they miss the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself, a perfection that lies beyond what is happening or not happening. Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is untouched by time. 
  • The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again. 
  • Equating the physical body with "I," the body that is destined to grow old, wither, and die, always leads to suffering. To refrain from identifying with the body doesn't mean that you no longer care for it. If it is strong, beautiful, or vigorous, you can appreciate those attributes—while they last. You can also improve the body's condition through nutrition and exercise. If you don't equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way. In fact, as the body begins to weaken, the light of consciousness can shine more easily. 
  • You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge. 
  • If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


This is one of the best videos I've seen in a while. I'd be lying if I said this didn't make me cry the whole way through. You won't regret it, definitely worth 12 minutes of your time. Everyone can learn a lot about this brave, selfless man and the way he takes the obstacles and hardships that have been dealt to him.

25 things to do before you turn 25.

1. Make peace with your parents. Whether you finally recognize that they actually have your best interests in mind or you forgive them for being flawed human beings, you can’t happily enter adulthood with that familial brand of resentment. 
2. Kiss someone you think is out of your league; kiss models and med students and entrepreneurs with part-time lives in Dubai and don’t worry about if they’re going to call you afterward. 
3. Minimize your passivity. 
4. Work a service job to gain some understanding of how tipping works, how to keep your cool around assholes, how a few kind words can change someone’s day. 
5. Recognize freedom as a 5:30 a.m. trip to the diner with a bunch of strangers you’ve just met. 
6. Try not to beat yourself up over having obtained a ‘useless’ Bachelor’s Degree. Debt is hell, and things didn’t pan out quite like you expected, but you did get to go to college, and having a degree isn’t the worst thing in the world to have. We will figure this mess out, I think, probably; the point is you’re not worth less just because there hasn’t been an immediate pay off for going to school. Be patient, work with what you have, and remember that a lot of us are in this together. 
7. If you’re employed in any capacity, open a savings account. You never know when you might be unemployed or in desperate need of getting away for a few days. Even $10 a week is $520 more a year than you would’ve had otherwise. 
8. Make a habit of going outside, enjoying the light, relearning your friends, forgetting the internet. 
9. Go on a 4-day, brunch-fueled bender. 
10. Start a relationship with your crush by telling them that you want them. Directly. Like, look them in the face and say it to them. Say, I want you. I want to be with you. 
11. Learn to say ‘no’ — to yourself. Don’t keep wearing high heels if you hate them; don’t keep smoking if you’re disgusted by the way you smell the morning after; stop wasting entire days on your couch if you’re going to complain about missing the sun. 
12. Take time to revisit the places that made you who you are: the apartment you grew up in, your middle school, your hometown. These places may or may not be here forever; you definitely won’t be. 
13. Find a hobby that makes being alone feel lovely and empowering and like something to look forward to. 
14. Think you know yourself until you meet someone better than you. 
15. Forget who you are, what your priorities are, and how a person should be. 
16. Identify your fears and instead of letting them dictate your every move, find and talk to people who have overcome them. Don’t settle for experiencing .000002% of what the world has to offer because you’re afraid of getting on a plane. 
17. Make a habit of cleaning up and letting go. Just because it fit at one point doesn’t mean you need to keep it forever — whether ‘it’ is your favorite pair of pants or your ex. 
18. Stop hating yourself. 
19. Go out and watch that movie, read that book, listen to that band you already lied about watching, reading, listening to. 
20. Take advantage of health insurance while you have it. 
21. Make a habit of telling people how you feel, whether it means writing a gushing fan-girl email to someone whose work you love or telling your boss why you deserve a raise. 
22. Date someone who says, “I love you” first. 
23. Leave the country under the premise of “finding yourself.” This will be unsuccessful. Places do not change people. Instead, do a lot of solo drinking, read a lot of books, have sex in dirty hostels, and come home when you start to miss it. 
24. Suck it up and buy a Macbook Pro. 
25. Quit that job that’s making you miserable, end the relationship that makes you act like a lunatic, lose the friend whose sole purpose in life is making you feel like you’re perpetually on the verge of vomiting. You’re young, you’re resilient, there are other jobs and relationships and friends if you’re patient and open.
thought catalog.