I’ve often heard that human beings are the only life form that moves into an area and decimates the natural resources, and I’ve never really questioned that; because there are many examples of people ruining their own natural environment only to end up having to relocate when life gets too hard in the newly barren environments they’ve created.
The Circling Hawks
By Laure Justice
I realized today that that myth, that belief that only humans ruin the environment they need to rely on to survive, is not quite correct. (The title kind of gives away what tipped me off to this tidbit of information…)
This time of year, the woods around my house is normally alive with fluttering birds in search of a mate or already-mated songbirds building tiny nests to raise their young, and lots of young squirrels and even some baby rabbits and mama bunnies normally skitter around the yard.
This year is different, though, and here’s why…
Three years ago a red-tailed hawk nested in the woods here, and as she raised her two young, they stayed with her.
The trio of hawks hunted, and hunted, and hunted, feasting on the tiny songbirds and skittering bunnies and fluff-tailed squirrels – until now – with spring in the air – the normally chirp-filled woods lies silent except for the occasional whirring sound of the wind and rare caw of an unlucky crow that passes through – shrieked in its last moments before being surrounded by three full-grown, very hungry birds of prey.
Every day, these once-majestic birds hungrily eye the neighbor’s cats or sit perched on tree branches hoping for a chance to snatch a small dog or an unlucky chicken.
Looking at the creatures – from a human perspective, as I am quite obviously an outsider in their avian world, its easy to see that they need to move on, to find a fresh hunting ground, or they will eventually starve to death.
But, they stay, and each day seem a bit more desperate in their hunts.
Why? Why do they stay?
Applying human logic, which most likely does not apply to birds, but it’s all I have at my disposal, it’s hard to fathom why these creatures stay rooted here, where the food supply is dwindling, having been decimated by their own growing hunger.
Even as I sit here surrounded by a silent shroud of trees, grounded by my human form, I watch the nearly starved hawks; envying their wings and admiring the way they drift across the sky, riding the wind.
It seems as if the world is theirs, surely these regal creatures have the ability to soar across the sky and choose a life filled with abundance and where painful gnawing hunger is not part of each day.
They could quite simply go anywhere.
But still they stay. Rooted by invisible bonds. Tethered to a land that was decimated by their own talons and hooked beaks.
Maybe they stay because this is all they know of the world.
Maybe they stay because the nearest woods already has more hawks or even some larger eagles nested there – and the world beyond the next woods is simply unimaginable and scary.
Like a Hawk
Can you see yourself in the story of these hawks?
Each of us has within us that same magnificence, that same regality, that same beating heart that can soar, even if we were not gifted at birth with wings, taking us to anywhere we choose.
But, how many of us never soar?
Each of us has the option to stay rooted, tethered, in a place that is too small for us, either physically like these hawks, or emotionally, where we end up decimating the very things we most need to survive and thrive.
But, how many of us never truly thrive?
Only you can know what keeps you tethered and what you let into your life that holds back your magnificence, and only you can choose to soar instead of depleting your own internal natural resources: your brilliance, your character, your spirit – your regal, amazing awe-inspiring you-ness.
A new year is like a fresh slate, at least in some ways, and it’s a great time to set some goals that help you start preparing for better health and total fitness.
Preparing for Better Health and Total Fitness in the New Year
To get psyched for achieving the goal of better health and fitness, think about where you really want to end up, what you can safely achieve; and then take a look at your fitness gear, both comfortable clothes and shoes, as well as exercise equipment, because looking good when working out and being comfortable boost your morale so you earn even more success.
Convenience Makes it Easier to Succeed
For any goal you set, make it easy to succeed. This works whether you are talking about fitness, your finances, your career, or your relationships (thought relationships are obviously harder to plan success into because you have to account for the feelings of someone else who may have entirely different goals.)
In the case of better health, if you find anything lacking, look for great deals and one-stop shopping when you’re buying new gear, like you find in your local Target store or on the company website.
Mental Preparation for Total Fitness and Getting Healthier
Be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new fitness program, and also, like I mentioned above, go ahead and get yourself psyched.
Changing your lifestyle takes work because habits become so ingrained in our lifestyle, even a small change can take big effort, and a lot of the time, that work is 99% mental work – getting and staying psyched for success.
The Slow and Steady Tortoise Won that Race
Be emotionally prepared for the occasional setback, a little setback is not a failure, it can just be your subconscious telling you you’re jumping in too fast – that you need to ease into your lifestyle changes.
Just like in the fable about the tortoise and the hare, sometimes the fastest runner gets tired out and ends up losing to the one who puts forth a slow and steady effort.
Your goal may be to get swimsuit-ready by spring if you are using weight as the basis for your goal-setting, but if that means crash dieting, sure, you could probably achieve that goal, but it also probably won’t last and can even damage your long-term health goals.
Set Some Goals, and Then Achieve Them
If you’ve browsed around the site and seen my older posts, you probably already know that I don’t like setting New Year’s Resolutions because they are too easy to forget – and I have my own version of planning for each new year – and you’re welcome to try it in your own life if you feel inspired; instead of making resolutions, I set goals and then start figuring out what needs to be done first to achieve my new goals.
Know yourself: Your goals can be anything that will make you happy, and in all seriousness, I have found I always achieve the ones I keep to myself and I almost never achieve the ones I tell others about. I used to think being accountable to others was the key to succeeding, but for me, it’s a sure way to fail.
So, I suggest looking back at your life during this time of introspection and goal-setting – and if you have a similar pattern – keep your new goals to yourself and quietly begin the real work of creating a new life story for yourself, one that includes success, better health, and total fitness – it’s no one else’s business anyway.
I would like to extend a special thank you to my affiliate sponsor for this post, Target, and if you need anything to get started on your path to better health and fitness, I invite you to take advantage of the links in this short article to get a jump on getting anything you need for your healthy new lifestyle – oh – and be sure to come back and let me know how it’s going or sign up for my free newsletter (the sign-up box is over on the right side of the screen) so my positivity boost emails can be delivered right to your inbox.
The new year is the perfect time to set goals for achieving body, mind and spiritual balance, but those goals don’t add up to much unless you find a way to make them stick.
This year, set yourself up to succeed in your goals by making it easy on yourself – set goals that align with your core beliefs and, if necessary, pick up some products that help push you to succeed.
I’m going to share a few of my favorite tips and products here, and I hope you’ll feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section at the end of the article.
Achieve Body, Mind, and Spiritual Balance
I’ve found that things in my life are generally connected, and that seems to be a fairly common thread for people everywhere.
When good things start to happen, they snowball and more good things keep piling on, and it’s a great time – but when things start to go wrong, the same thing happens only in reverse – the negative things keep piling on until every part of life feels disastrous.
That’s why it’s so important to set yourself up to succeed and to achieve a healthy balance in life – every little success snowballs to become part of a bigger success, and part of a happier healthier life.
For Better Health
While there are so many things that go into better health, I’m starting with fitness, since I’m thinking about my own new year’s goals right now.
Personally, I’m not a person who is likely to ever go join a gym, because it would be inconvenient for me, plus, the last thing I want is to pay to exercise with people looking at me, so I wanted to find a program I could do in the privacy of my home.
I love thisprogram because it lets me access all the workouts, from any device, for less than I would pay per month at my local gym, and – plus – and this is a big plus – they give a 30-day free trial.
For Mental Stimulation
For mental stimulation, it’s hard to beat reading – and when it comes to feelings of success and inner peace, you can so easily turn to the masters by picking up or downloading a book from one of the masters of positivity, like Anthony Robbins, Napoleon Hill, Ralph waldo Emerson, and W. Clement Stone – just to name a few.
So, for a place to find a great selection of reading material to stimulate your mind and forge a path to better life, I wanted to share this link to .
While I love, and expect to always love, having a paper copy of a book to hold and reread, I find I now download books more often than I get paper copies – it saves trees and the gratification is instant because I can start reading within minutes of paying for the book.
For Inner Peace
Choosing something to share with you about inner peace is a little harder, because everyone finds peace in a different way, and I don’t want to leave anything out, but this is getting long and I will be back to share different things that I find.
My first thought was that I would share information on yoga or meditation, but that’s so closely linked to fitness that I decided to go with upgrading your home with pieces that make you feel comfort and pleasure.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the idea that you have to fix every little part of your life before you fix up your surroundings, but turning your home into a place you are proud of gives you a psychological boost, and besides, you and your family deserve to be surrounded by things that give you pleasure.
So, the third place I picked to share with you was a company called Rejuvenation. I loved the unique blend of restored antiques and elegant newer pieces this site offers, and it was a joy to be able to tell you about their unique decor items.
By: Laure Justice
I was honored to partner with Daily Burn, Barnes & Noble, and Rejuvenation to bring you this article about achieving a balance between your body, mind, and spirit.
When problems are overwhelming and the pressure and pain are just too much to handle, it’s completely normal to want to escape, but there’s an emotionally healthy way to do it and a less balanced way, and that way is the surprising difference between moving on and running away – and what you CHOOSE to do determines whether the outcome is positive or negative, too.
The Difference Between Moving On and Running Away
Both running away and moving on are means of escaping a situation that isn’t working, but the difference between the two approaches to rewriting your life story is the thinking behind each move, and that thinking determines your end result.
Running away is an act of desperation, typically done without a lot of forethought or maturity, it gets you away from an immediate bad situation, but not necessarily to a better place.
Almost everyone has heard of, been, or known that little kid who packs a bag of snacks and a teddy bear (but no clothes, jacket, or safe destination) and runs away from home because of getting punished for something.
Running away can offer instant relief to the things that are wrong in your life, BUT, and it’s a BIG BUT, your problems, or even worse ones, will be waiting on you when you reach your destination.
Moving on in life also removes you from your problems, but it’s not an immediate escape: it’s harder and it takes longer, but it’s worth the effort and the wait.
Moving on is taking the time to examine what went wrong in your life, being honest about your role in your own problems, and carefully considering the path to take as you move on with your life.
Moving on with this type of considered approach helps you leave the problems you are trying to escape where they belong, in your past.
Be Safe First
I want to add, if you’re in physical danger, go with running away and get to a safe place, just… once you get away and you’re in that safe place, give yourself time to reflect on what went wrong and heal before you rush right into another bad situation.
Both ways of escaping can remove you from the immediate problem, but moving on intelligently can stop your problems from following you into the next part of your life while running away leaves you pulling your old problems right along with you like a wagon full of… useless… stuff.
Now, if you’re ready to move on and you’re considering actually moving to a new location, be sure to check out his mini list of house hunting tips to help you maintain positivity while finding a great new home.
How To Stay Positive During The House-Hunting Process
Positivity determines happiness, especially when you’re in the midst of buying a new home.
It’s easy to go into the house-hunting process in New York City (or anywhere) with a positive attitude and all the hope in the world, but it’s just as easy to end up feeling jaded, frustrated, and unhappy. The NYC real estate market changes every day, and it’s not always changing in ways that help you. The house-hunting process might not always go the way you’d like it to go, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose your positive attitude.
Remember Everything Happens for a Reason
When you look back on your life, can you see how everything you thought was a horrible situation turned out to be for the best? In most cases, the things you see as a downfall actually turn out to be for the best. It’s a lot easier to keep a positive mindset when you consider that amazing apartment you lost in a bidding war last week was probably the wrong house for you. Keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason, and that apartment went to someone else because an even better one is about to pop up for you.
Stand Out from the Crowd
House hunting in a demanding market is tough. When you find the perfect place, chances are good someone else thinks it’s pretty perfect, too. This leads to bidding wars, raised prices, and ample stress. A positive attitude reminds you to stand out from the crowd. Set yourself apart by making offers sellers can’t refuse. When you know an apartment or home is in demand, make an offer above listing price, and don’t ask for too many concessions such as a longer closing process, closing costs, and so on.
Contact the Seller
Here’s a tip that might make your house hunt much more enjoyable. When you head into an open house and fall madly in love but worry you won’t get the house because of higher offers, do yourself a small favor. Send a little thank you note to the seller immediately. Tell them how much you love their home, tell a little story about how you envision yourself hosting family dinners there for years to come, and compliment them. Send in your offer, and chances are good they’ll feel a connection to you with your personal stories and thank-you note. When this happens, sellers might choose you over others even if your offer isn’t the best one. This is their home, and they want to know someone is going to love it.
Also research your sellers, especially based on the area where you’re selling to make sure you’re getting something reputable. For example, real estate in NYC is one of the most hotly contested markets, so you have to go with someone reputable like Town Residential.
Know What You Want
It’s easy to settle when you can’t find what you want. Do this, and you’ll end up disliking your new home before you’ve even had time to unpack. Know what you want, make a list, and don’t make too many concessions when searching for the perfect home. It’s easy to stay positive when you avoid falling in love with every home you see because it’s not the right place.
A positive attitude makes a huge difference when it comes to finding the right home. You can stay positive by reminding yourself you won’t search forever. Keep the picture of you sitting in your new home enjoying Christmas morning with your family in your mind as you search. It will happen, and you just have to be patient.
I was honored to partner with Town Residential for this great information on remaining positive while house hunting. – Laure
I wanted to share something positive today, so I decided to share some positivity quotes that made me smile – I hope they brighten your day, too – and I found one by Elvis – so that’s why the image of him is featured below.
5 Beautiful Positivity Quotes to Brighten Your Day
“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” – Marcus Aurelius
I picked this Marcus Aurelius positivity quote because, well, first it made me smile, and second, because I admired the fact that a Roman emperor who lived from 121 AD to 180 AD (that’s right, getting close to 2,000 years ago – but it still applies today) described a visualization technique that is regaining popularity today, as if it is a new concept.
“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.” – Elvis Presley
I picked this Elvis positivity quote to share because it is such a simply stated, pure and positive thought, I felt it belonged here. Plus, I think it’s human nature to let your spirits go down the drain when bad things are happening around you, so I think it’s an important message to hide inside your heart.
“Happiness is something we reap from the seeds we sow. Plant misery seeds and that us what you reap.” – Stephen Richards
This positivity quote is here because the gardening metaphor creates a visual image, and it’s a great reminder that we have a say in how our lives feel.
“The way forward is to stop pestering yourself for answers and let it, the creative part of your mind, come up with the solution when the time is right.” – Steve Backley
This positivity quote is here in this article because it speaks to a trap I let myself fall into so often, overthinking and worrying and struggling for a solution, and a lot of people do that. So, if you’re one of them, if you’re like me on this point, then this quote is here to remind you that a solution will come if you just relax and let your creativity do what creativity does- in this case – create a solution to whatever thing you’re struggling with.
“I make a point to appreciate all the little things in my life. I go out and smell the air after a good, hard rain. I re-read passages from my favorite books. I hold the little treasures that somebody special gave me. These small actions help remind me that there are so many great, glorious pieces of good in the world.” – Dolly Parton
This Dolly Parton positivity quote is here because, well, I admire that with all her success, she takes the time to appreciate the small things and that she lets herself see the beauty of something as simple as the scent of the air after it rains.
I hope these positivity quotes put a smile on your face today, or that they at least inspire to take a moment to appreciate the world and the people around you.
Life is so full of challenges that kick you in the heart and knock you down, and it’s almost never easy to pick yourself back up, but once you do, and you get past whatever obstacle is holding you back, your life gets better, you FEEL better, and you can look back and wonder why you ever let it get to you in the first place.
(Sorry for that run-on sentence.)
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. – Thomas A. Edison
So, today I woke up with a headache. Looked around at my cluttered house. Looked at my pile of bills. Looked at my flubbery belly in the mirror. Then I literally just said, “Fuck it.” (Please excuse my vernacular.) And I went back to bed.
(I guess I should have read that Thomas Edison quote earlier.)
Fast forward two hours, and here I am, really thinking about what that meant. You know, it was very negative in terms of what I said and in terms of what I was feeling in that moment where I felt so overwhelmed that I gave up and went back to bed.
What was positive about it, I was actually exhausted, and those extra couple hours of sleep gave me a fresh perspective. (Has that ever happened to you? Where you just can’t handle anymore because you’re so drained?)
Try: Turn it Into a Positive
Starting fresher, again in a great mood, but this time, instead of looking at everything in my life as negative, I’m looking around and I see opportunity.
Sure, I still have a lot of work to do and some challenges I would prefer to pass on (if only the flubbery belly would magically disappear, right?) and I have more to do than I can possibly achieve today – but I have the opportunity to make progress on each and every thing I am struggling with, and that makes me feel grateful… and thankful.
And here’s why I’m writing this… I’m not the only one… Everyone has struggles. Everyone has problems. And everyone faces the choice every day of giving up or trying… one more time… until you get it right.
You have the opportunity to make progress on each and every thing you are struggling with.
Even if you don’t physically take action right this second, you can look inside yourself and get your mind right. The fact that you read this far in this should tell you – you are ready – and you’ve GOT this!
You can figure out what you need to do next. You can talk to a friend, family member, or someone you look up to. You can post your thoughts and feelings here – unless you’re mean, then your comments will get deleted – but whatever you are dealing with, I want to urge you to keep trying. Don’t give up.
Thanks for visiting my site, and I hope you’ll stop back.
The next time you complain about someone or get upset with the way they are, do yourself a favor; stop and think about what I’m sharing here, instead.
Here’s a way of thinking that you can adopt to help you see things in a healthier light. And when you see things in a healthier light, your life will flow in a positive direction.
So here goes.
On the surface, we’re all quite different from one another. For the most part, we may have different goals and different ways of achieving them. We go through different relationships in hopes to find the people who are most compatible with us. We try different work to find one that most suits us. We explore different things to see what most complement our interests.
Along the way we may find things that once interest us now no longer fit into our lives.
We’re constantly learning, growing and evolving. Some of us do this faster than others – eager to know more, do more, be more, have more. And there are others who are too afraid of change and rather settle on having learned enough. And then there are those who settle between these two extremes.
Whatever the case, my point is this: Though we may all seem different on the surface, we do, however, share the same ultimate desire. This desire is the driving force that causes each of us to do what we do. The desire is… to be happy.
We could argue that it is fulfillment or wealth that we’re really after; or that it is joy, understanding, love, peace, power, or even health. But it really doesn’t matter how you describe it; these are all just different forms of the “ultimate goal” – to experience “happiness.” That’s what it all boils down to.
No matter how “right” or “wrong” we get, “good” or “bad,” we’re all just trying to find some form of happiness. Think about it; think about everything you’ve done. What was the ultimate feeling you were trying to achieve?
Whether you were having an argument with a loved one, working towards a goal, lying your way out of a situation, trying to make more money, you have your reasons. But no matter how you look at those reasons, the bottom line is: you want to experience some form of happiness – be it fulfillment, accomplishment, love or importance.
On our quest to find happiness, most of us can act in ways that don’t appear to support our ultimate goal of being happy. We fight, complain, compete, yell, belittle, blame, lie, manipulate and plain old disrespect. Is this really the way to achieve happiness? I think we can agree that they don’t sound like behaviors that promote or complement happy.
If we want to be happy, shouldn’t we be leaning more toward behaviors that are in alignment with happy? Such as patience, understanding, compassion, honest communication, gratitude, kindness, non-judgement… (you get the picture).
Saying this, however, I want to be clear that it’s okay to feel negative emotions and act out negative human behaviors. It is normal. It is natural. These feelings and behaviors serve a purpose. They are the things that trigger pain in order to help us learn, grow and do better.
These negativities, if you will, are just as much a part of you as the positivities. It is in accepting both your light and dark sides that makes you complete. You can’t be complete if you only know one spectrum of yourself and not the other; you can’t truly know happiness if you’ve never felt its opposite, or know what works for you if you’ve never experienced the things that don’t.
One side of you cannot truly exist without the other. And so it is that we have all these qualities within us, light and dark, that surface depending on what’s happening around and within us. And it is from these experiences of both light and dark that we can choose what suits us best, and how we want to live.
As Dr. Deepak Chopra would say: “When we are willing to embrace both the light and the dark sides of our selves, we can begin to heal both our selves and our relationships.” (Dr. Chopra is a world-renowned authority in the field of mind-body healing, best-selling author, and a global force in the field of human empowerment.)
Though these “negative” feelings and behaviors are well in order to serve their purpose for existence, however, they can be a hindrance if we don’t learn from them and move on. They can’t serve us well when we choose to dwell in them for an extended period of time – when we let them drown us into more darkness rather than use them to realize more light.
Even though we all ultimately want to achieve happiness, the choices each of us make and the path we take to get there are not going to be the same. So we will run into people who we will have much in common with and agree with, just as we will also run into others we don’t agree with.
The ones we don’t agree with, we have a tendency to judge or even condemn. Deep down we want to think we’re better. We point out why they’re wrong so we can prove how we’re right. But here’s where I want to remind you that there’s really no “need” for you to do this.
You see, when you spend your time judging or complaining, you’re truly hurting yourself because you’re putting your energy in the wrong places, therefore, your life cannot flow. Ever noticed people who spend time complaining about others are also the very same people whose life isn’t flowing smoothly?
When you understand that we’re all working toward the same ultimate goal of finding happiness – and that each of us have our own set of challenges along the way that cause us to act or react the way we do – you can have a little more compassion and patience toward others.
You will understand that they, too, in their own way – regardless of how they may appear on the surface – are having a hard time finding a balance between their light and dark sides.
You don’t have to agree with the way they are, but you now understand that life challenges affect everyone differently. Some may even choose to react in an “evil” way and some, not so much. Whatever the case, it helps not to judge anyone. After all, we all do share something powerful in common – we all just want to be happy. So what’s there to judge, really?
So don’t be too concerned with other people’s path and life challenges. Do not waste energy condemning or criticizing. Instead, move along with class and civility while focusing on your own journey. This will save you more energy to focus on emotions that will contribute to what you need to do rather than take away from it.
Should you adopt this way of thinking, you’ll experience your life to flow more in your favor. And things that begin to happen to you may even feel miraculous. But you’ll soon learn that those “miraculous” things that are happening are not so much the result of miracles as they are the result of your deliberate intention to adopt a healthier way of thinking.
In closing, I’ll leave you with more words of wisdom from world-renowned author and leader of human empowerment, Dr. Deepak Chopra:
“Intention springs from our deepest desires, and those desires are shaped by karma. You and I don’t have the same karma; therefore we don’t have exactly the same desires. We have loved different people, knelt at different graves, prayed at different altars. The specifics of desire are unique to each of us.
Yet if you follow the chain of desire, in the end we are all the same. We want to be happy. We want to be fulfilled. We want meaning and purpose in our lives. We want a sense of connection with God or spirit.
We want other people to respect us and love us. And we want to feel safe. These desires are universal. But the route each of us takes to satisfy them is uniquely our own, based on our individual experiences and memories, or karma. We’re all heading for the same destination, but we take different roads. We arrive together, having traveled our different paths.”
Relationship is one of the most effective tools for spiritual evolution because we’re always in relationships. Think of the web of relationships you have at any time—friends, parents, children, colleagues, teachers, lovers, even enemies. All are, at their heart, spiritual experiences.
Where would you be without all those lessons learned through relationships? Could you have grown into the person you are today? Could you have known the things you know today?
If you think back to all the little things we do for each other, and pay attention to some of the events that have unfolded as a result of them, you’ll learn to recognize the impact we have on one another, everyday.
I want to take this time to remind you that you all matter to many, in more ways than you know. I see this everyday and everywhere, and am grateful for it. Let me give you an example.
In the late 80’s soon after my move from Malaysia to Canada, I found myself being antagonized by a group of students I barely knew at my high school. Maybe I didn’t quite understand their culture; perhaps my English wasn’t perfect; or maybe my clothes didn’t suit their taste. Who knows? But they seemed to enjoy tormenting me. They often threatened me, called me names and threw things at me and laughed.
I dreaded recess because I knew I would bump into them. I was afraid of them. I was afraid of getting in trouble and I was afraid I would disappoint my family if I retaliated or hurt anyone. Most of all, I was angry with myself for feeling so weak.
Feeling scared, sad and angry all at the same time, I kept my composure when I asked my art teacher, Ms. Kroeker, if I could spend my lunchtime in the art studio to practice my artwork. I even convinced her to lock the door so I could “keep a better eye on all the art supplies.” She never questioned me. She was always very good to me.
To this day, Ms. Kroeker doesn’t even know the truth about what she’s done for me just by doing me that “little” favor. You see, while I was locked in the art studio each day during lunchtime, I came to realize that I was a good artist. I soon understood why Ms. Kroeker always praised my work. She believed in me long before I even believed in myself.
Learning to appreciate my own creativity was just my uncovering a piece of the puzzle. There was more. Being locked in at lunchtime gave me a safe place to be, to think, and to do some soul searching.
And with this opportunity to reflect, something inside me began to change. I was sick of feeling scared; sick of being locked in; sick of allowing others to have so much control over the way I felt. I knew that sooner or later I would have to face up to my fears and stand up for myself.
I had to unplug from a negative beliefpattern about myself that had no truth but nonetheless had “power” over me. I knew I had to stop judging myself and give myself permission to do what’s right for me.
I was ready. I gave myself permission to be free – to have lunch like everyone else. It wasn’t long before my tormentors spotted me in the cafeteria. I felt something bad was going to happen but I kept my cool and went about my business until one of them decided to creep up from behind to attack me. That was when I lost it. I detonated.
In that little moment in time, every social grace I’ve ever adopted went out the window. I had to do what came naturally—defend myself. Though I held a black belt in Karate at the time, I must admit fighting for real was very different from fighting in a ring. In the ring, we had to follow the rules. In this case, there were no rules. Anything goes.
I was striking moves I didn’t even know I was capable of just to fight not one, but three people off me. After a taste of my “temporary insanity,” all three of them scattered off like mice running away from a cat. I was in shock. Did I hurt someone? Was I hurt? Was I the cat? (Like I said, I was in a little bit of a shock.)
To make a long story short, from that day onward, things were never the same. No one tried to bother me anymore.
I learned something else along the way as a result of all this. I used to think that doing my best means I have to be in the best mood or else I’m just not doing my best. Or my best has to be this awe-encompassing deal, or else it’s not good enough. I’m glad to say I was wrong.
The truth is that your best is going to change from moment to moment, and that’s okay. It will be different when you are healthy as oppose to sick, happy as oppose to sad. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Doing your best means doing the most natural thing for you in each moment – making decisions to move away from what you don’t want and more towards the things you do want. And if this means you have to take a few steps back in order to move forward, that’s okay, too.
Doing your best also means making each moment for yourself a little better than the last. This does not necessarily mean that the next step you take will put you in an ideal place right away. It may not even make you happy in that moment. But nonetheless it is a necessary step in order to move towards your ideal outcome.
And if those steps you take should somehow lead you to fall hard along the way, that’s okay, too. Just know that sometimes we have to fall in order to rise again—stronger than before.