Get Rid of Stress/Anger/Frustration, and Find Inner Peace

I’ve been going about this slow-paced lifestyle all wrong: trying to ease the stressors of everyday life by trying to organize the outside factors in my life. I’m not saying that doesn’t help, but it certainly doesn’t solve everything. 

I’ve had an epiphany just now and realized that it doesn’t matter how empty my house is, (minimalism) or how stress-free my work environment is, if I’m not contained in a bubble of inner peace. I need an aura around me that neutralizes any energy that conflicts with stress-free, slow-paced life I’m trying to establish here. Because even if my world is chaotic, I won’t even notice if I’ve surrounded myself in 360 degrees of inner peace.

Yesterday was a pretty horrid day at work. Things did not go my way. And I took to the Internet looking for a way to assuage my anger and frustration. It’s funny how all articles geared towards calming you down are really there to shake their finger and say you shouldn’t have gotten angry in the first place… helpful, right? Well it didn’t help me. So I after watching too much anime (call me a nerd, I don’t care), I realized that I needed a bubble of protection. So, no matter what the goofballs swing at me, their thoughts/actions/energy wouldn’t touch me. Imagine a sword having no effect as it nears your body; the sword melts into oblivion while you stand there protected by your bubble/positive aura/whatever.

Where might I get this bubble you might ask? Well I’m going to pull it out of the roots of my being and surround myself with it. And what the heck am I going to pull out of I’m feeling horrid? I’m going to pull out the wonder of the universe. I’m going to connect with nature, and use the full force of the Universe to support me. I’m starting to think that reconnecting with nature will help me establish a strong, stress-shielding bubble.

Ah, but what about the anger, you say?  All this thinking and I hadn’t figured out how to get rid of it. Until I found a couple YouTube videos on guided meditation. I watched this one video…. focused my attention on these naturalistic images, pushed my thoughts away, and the anger began to subside.

After a second and third video, I started to feel a little better. But what I realized is that you have to be ready to let it all go. If you aren’t truly ready to let the anger and frustration go, it will stay… and I’m not 100 percent now, but I’m way better than I was. I mean, I was holding back panic attacks while I was meditating.  I’m not there yet. I honestly think a few weeks of this will do me justice.

I’m not saying quit minimalism, spend money recklessly, and fill your life to the brim with obligations and responsibilities. I’m saying that even in the midst of chaos, you can find a peace so still and calm that it won’t matter how quickly the wind blows.  Am I there yet? No.  I still get angry at a lot of things before I even have the chance to “ACT,” instead of instantly “REacting.”  Nonetheless, I’m going to to work on changing all of this, and I’d like to share this journey with you.

Link

8 Methods of Grounding and Connecting to the Earth’s Frequencies

8 Methods of Grounding and Connecting to the Earth’s Frequencies

Quite an interesting tidbit from the article:

The economic system is set up to keep people inside generating information, in large buildings of stone and metal that disconnect us from the Earth. We surround ourselves with machines and technology that constantly bombard us with electromagnetic radiation, i.e. telephones, computers, televisions, etc. We are sold pieces of insulating plastic or rubber to put onto our feet when we are out in nature, hindering the flow of energy from the Earth up into our physical vessel. Pollution and invasive procedures within the Earth distort the electromagnetic field.

I know why you are so unhappy…

Everything in your life stands as a barrier to happiness: That high-powered corporate job, or blue-collar service job, your cell phone, your iPad, your money or lack there of. Everything in our world, everything artificial, stands in the way of pure happiness. Everything you do has no purpose. You work to pay bills, to get stuff and keep stuff, and then what?

The purpose of life is to enjoy the universe.

To those of you who scream: YOLO whenever you do something stupid, that is, drink too much, smoke too much, party too much, do too many drugs, drive recklessly in the BMW you can barely afford, that is not enjoying the universe. None of those things matter.  You waste your time.  I ask my students all the time Why do you party? The best answer I ever get is to forget my problems. That is exactly right: people party to escape the world, the transient, ephemeral, superficial, artificiality of the world.  Well, what’s wrong with this world? We have all of this stuff to keep us company.

I used to believe my mom was wrong for not wanting to celebrate Christmas.  What was the point in being here if you weren’t going to enjoy the experiences in it? How could you forgo the unabashed grandeur of it all? Our consumerist culture truly is the way to happiness right? NO!  It is just a barrier to keep us from enjoying the universe.

I guess I’ve been watching too much anime or something.  I’ve been watching this one where this girl goes back in time from modern day to the feudal era.  (wow, I sound like a total geek right now, bear with me, I have a point).  Anyway, she is without all of these modern technologies, and enjoys sleeping under the stars. And in this one episode, she is forced back to modern times and is slowly forgetting her adventures in the past era.  And for some reason, the rote monotony of her modern life hit a chord with me.  All of this crap we do everyday has no point whatsoever. Toiling away with these trivialities makes us generally unhappy.

Now for all of you naysayers out there, I must point out: you may argue that it is how one perceives all of these trivialities is what determines whether one is happy or not. That may be true, but at least for me, I have to argue that I feel imprisoned sometimes by the monotony of everyday life.  I want to be outside, get fresh air, eat food I’ve grown myself.  Living in an apartment (without a balcony no less) creates barriers and prevents me from connecting with the universe in the way I believe people should.

Every history class I ever took in school had me believing that the Native Americans were crazy. Don’t you remember learning that their religion was called animism: which, according to wikipedia, ” is the worldview that natural physical entities—including animals, plants, and often even inanimate objects or phenomena—possess a spiritual essence.” Who in their right mind thinks that a tree has a spirit? We learned that Christianity was normal, and that the Native Americans were kooks. (Because one old white man who sees over every man, woman, child and every other living creature, and dictates their fates, answers their prayers, and judges what will happen to them in eternity, makes A LOT more sense).  I think they were (are) on to something.  The universe, in its natural state, anyway, is such a rich place.  We destroy all of its riches to create all of this artificial crap. 

The reality is that in the last 500 years we have spent so much time closing ourselves off from the natural world that we are completely unaware of the natural essence of things. Have you ever stood before a great tree that made you silence your thoughts because its power was just so awesome. What about the thrashing waves of the ocean on a cool summer night?  How does being in the presence of powerful, natural elements have such an effect on you? How could inanimate objects contain so much power?

There are too many barriers keeping us from the universe, the world in its natural state.  We are unhappy because we are imprisoned by useless junk and we don’t take the time to just be with the world.  The earth can provide everything we need to survive and thrive. We just have to take the time to get to know it.

Barbados

Why I Stopped Shopping at the Mall

It’s been about six months since I started wearing the skirts everyday. It was done in part so I could connect with my more bohemian self, and also so I could simplify my outfit choices. It worked wonderfully at first. And then, in one misguided trip to Macy’s I got carried away. I bought about $150 worth of clothing, on sale and all that.  I walked away with two giant bags filled with stuff.

Now that I have many more clothes, I find myself at a loss of what to wear most mornings.  Without blogging, I find myself falling back into my old habits. It’s time to purge again and get rid of the junk. (And return to writing, too)

Furthermore, I haven’t had most of this stuff more than a couple of months and some of it already looks like crap.  These clothes aren’t meant to be worn frequently.  I feel like I’ve wasted my money. Many times I don’t want to wear what I have simply because it looks shoddy.  How often does that happen to you? I’m tired of it happening to me, so I have officially quit shopping at the mall.

It is  a shame that these large companies don’t take the time to put together quality clothing, but it’s not surprising.  I mean, they are paying scraps to little kids in China to put these scraps of clothes together.  Clearly, they care more about their profits than anything else.  If profits weren’t their main concern, they’d pay their manufacturers better. Why not cut corners on quality, too?

Do you know what “pilling” is?  It usually happens when a fabric has little tiny balls of fabric stuck all over it. So if a canvas tote bag you’re carrying rubs up against a synthetic, polyester t-shirt, you get pilling. Pilling is the bane of my existence.  It makes relatively new clothing look pretty shoddy. I’m starting to think clothes were only meant to be worn once.  I saw an article on Yahoo! over the weekend, “Britney Spears Explains Why She Wears the Same Outfits in Public.” We as a people in this country have serious problems if we have to explain wearing the same clothes over again. I know it doesn’t apply to me, the regular, not-famous human, but the fact that this even made the tabloids, speaks volumes about our society.  And us normal people don’t want to repeat outfits too frequently either. So of course  clothing manufactures can get away with selling this clothing of such poor quality.  Besides, this low-quality crap is the only thing that most of us can afford.

Nonetheless, I know how to pick out high-quality items on sale.  However, the time required to find the style/color/size I want coupled with the availability of superior quality items (and fair price, anyone?) makes it very difficult to find what I’m looking for, especially last minute–and that, of course, is how I do most of my shopping. It takes work. Work that I’m just not interested in doing. Malls really aren’t my favorite place, ya know?

So at one point, I thought, to save money (and time, and stress, and frustration) I should sew my own clothes.  I thought that going old-fashioned was the solution to the crap at the mall. “Old-fashioned” has been my solution to slowing everything down a bit.  It worked very well for improving my diet, but apparently not for my personal style. See, I’ve had the machine for a while now and the only thing I’ve made is a giant pillow-bed for my dog.  I’ve hemmed a couple of things, but I really don’t think I’m going to do much more sewing than that.  Sewing projects really just aren’t for me. I think it is an important skill to have, but I’m going to stick to crocheting hats and scarves for now. So lately I’ve been pursing Etsy for people who hand-sew clothing.  I bought a hand-sewn purse a good while ago (not online) and it is still in wonderful condition.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything of that quality at the mall. I paid $50 for it. A tote of that quality is worth FAR more than $50 dollars retail. 

It is clear that these big companies, really aren’t looking out for the needs of the consumer.  I need durable clothing (purses and shoes) that can stand frequent wear. I think I would save far more money if my clothing didn’t wear out as quickly as it does now. The items I buy would stay nicer, longer. The reality is, I’m just not going to be able to find that at the mall, for the amount of money I’d like to spend.

P.S. I also decided to stop shopping at the mall because I want to support black businesses.  It is very difficult to do that at the mall.  My community is suffering and the least I can do is spend my money where it’s needed. 

I Stopped Fighting, But I’m Not Giving Up

I spent a year and a half fighting for my graduate thesis. Fighting for  every line and every word my adviser had something to say about on my draft.  It was my writing after all. It was mine, and I vowed, at age 10, that I would never again let someone coerce convince me to write something that I didn’t want to write.  I saw it as selling out. I probably could have finished my thesis “on time,” or early, if I had been willing to walk the path of my predecessors– you know, the one of smile and nods, and just doing whatever they want me to do, just so the work can be over with. In the end–of my thesis, anyway– I got on the conveyor belt, and behaved how a good graduate student should.

My entire life, I’ve never been quite fond of rules.  I complain endlessly for society trying to push me into line.  Don’t get me wrong, I agree to common courtesy, honesty, kindness, and following the law. But sometimes I just fight. I really just don’t like doing what I’m told.  My mom always told me, “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”  Nonetheless, that’s what I do when I get pissed. It’s definitely not slow-paced living at all.

Today, after a less than favorable job performance review– I have to say, probably my first– understandably, I was devastated.  I want to do well in my place of employment. I was actually desperately in need of some confirmation I was doing okay. And I got the complete opposite of that today.  So the fight within me starts- I’m ready to pound my fists into the wall.  I’m thinking, “How the hell can I still do this my way?”  and “How am I such a failure?”

Why do I always have to do things the hard way– which is mostly my way, I suppose? Here I am, about to make the same mistake I made with my thesis. Fighting tooth and nail for what want, knowing that in the end, I’m not going to get what want, and I’ll be climbing up the steep side of the mountain all for naught.

I’ve spent a significant portion of the last couple class periods telling my students that they may not like their system of education, but they have to take what they can get from it– mostly, learning the discipline to do things they don’t want to do. Because, you know, if you don’t suck it up and do things you don’t want to do, how are you going to be able to push through the challenges and least interesting parts of achieving your goals?

Now aren’t I the silly hypocrite? How can I know so much and express this to others with exceptional clarity, but have a fog in front of my eyes. I’m trying to learn from Taoism- to stop fighting, to live in harmony with the universe, and to let the wind carry me in the direction it blows.

As of this moment, I’ve stopped fighting, but I’m not giving up. I’m going to do what I have to do to turn the review around (I have a second chance, ya’ll).  I’m going to get in line, and walk deliberately with the flow of traffic.  Although now, at least I know where I am, and can hop off the conveyor belt when I choose to do so.Image

(sorry for the accidental, unfinished post earlier… “Why I stopped shopping at the mall” should be up soon).

What you should stop stressing about right now: #6 What other people think about you.

Sibling rivalry taught me how to worry about what other people think.  I am the oldest of four. Two younger sisters, and a brother.  I’m going to preface this by saying that I am, by far, the most sensitive of the bunch, and most likely to over-read into other people’s actions and reaction.  Coming up, I thought my parents had a favorite.  And it wasn’t me.

By birth I am a strong Leo. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac, and ruled by the sun.  It is the only astrological sign ruled by a star, in the center of our solar system no less.  Thus, it is by no surprise that Leo’s personality traits are often defined as such:

“…they love being center stage. Making an impression is Job One for Leos….these folks never shy away from the limelight.” –Astrology.com

“…driven by the desire to be loved and admired, Leos have an air of royalty about them. They love to be in the limelight…” –GaneshSpeaks.com

“…are driven by a desire to be loved for what [they] bring to others…Many Leos are attracted to the theater, the performing arts and public relations…[they] truly understand the importance of putting on a good presentation.” –HuffingtonPost.com

So imagine now, as a child who sought the adoration of others, I began to concern myself with who got better grades, who had the most stellar achievements, who had the best PSAT score, who went to the better college… all so that I could seek the approval of my parents.  Of course I couldn’t out-achieve my younger siblings and I felt inferior. I felt that my parents focused on their favorite because they out-achieved me. Poor, Talia. I thought.

Of course it is natural for a youth to seek these things, but as an adult, it’s who has the nice apartment, the nice car, the best job, the most money… and who has them first.  As the oldest, it’s only natural that I should have them first, right? Thus, I’d be worthy to be among them; so that my accomplishments and achievements are discussed a length; so I am the superstar adult-child. I have concerned myself at great lengths about what they thought, and making sure that I’ve impressed them. 

I sound vain, don’t I?  But that is what approval seeking is… it’s vanity.

Now what have I done? I’ve followed a certain path only for approval, and failed miserably at it. I’ve wasted precious energy trying to be something of value to other people.

Over the last few months I’ve been working to embark on a journey for myself. I’ve decided to shed any approval seeking  ways and begin down the road less traveled. I’m going to make unpopular choices, because when they make sense for me.  I’m starting my own business (and hopefully a non-profits) and whatever else I want to do even if I don’t meet some superficial standard I set to be good enough for my family.

When I pursue my ambitions wholeheartedly, I will find value in myself.   I am a Leo after all.

Lion

What You Should Stop Stressing About Right Now: # 5 Other People’s Problems

Now don’t think I’m a cold-hearted, narcissistic  a-hole for telling you to forget other people’s problems.  I care very much about the people who are close to me, and I pray for their well-being. However, worrying about, or stressing about their problems is really just a waste of my time and energy.

A couple of years ago really close friend of mine confided in me that her boyfriend cheated on her with one of her best friends. My heart broke. I was angry, frustrated and hurt.  I wanted to exact revenge on the perps. However, people who know me know that I’m only 98% words and 2% action (makes sense that I’m a writer, right?) Legally, I have no right to do anything anyway….

So I told this friend of mine that she deserved no such treatment, and I advised her to move-on from both of these people.  I raged and I fussed and I whined and cried to myself.  And what has happened? My friend has decided that everyone makes mistakes and they deserve forgiveness.  Another punch in the gut for me.

The thing is, people are going to do what they want to do. Doesn’t matter what advice you give them, 9 times out of 10, they’ve already made up their mind.  When someone comes to you with their problems, they want one of two things 1) Confirmation that they are doing the right thing and/or 2) Emotional support.

Another really frustrating situation is when one of your friends should be angry about something and they aren’t.  And for a span of time, this seemed to be happening to me quite frequently. Something bad would happen to a friend, and they were just so blasé about it.  And boy would I rage and fuss and tell them to take up arms.  I just knew that I could fix their problem for them, if only they would let me completely take over the situation and fix their life.  Do you know what happened after I went on my rampage? They became even more blasé about it

I’ve learned that if someone you love should be angry about something, let them be angry. If you get angry for them, then they don’t have to get angry. If you take action on their behalf, they don’t have to take action.  Sometimes, it takes time for people to realize what has happened to them or what they have done.  People come into their own understanding about life at their own pace.  Everyone lives and breathes at their own rate, and you have to let them do so. You can love people and support those around you, without completely taking on their problems.

Besides, if you are taking on other people’s issues, you aren’t handling your own.  Handle your business, and maybe, just maybe, those around you will follow suit.