What happens when you embrace your darkness?

According to Carl Jung, the “persona” defines what we would like to be and how we wish to be seen by the world.  Interestingly enough, the word persona is derived from Latin as “mask”.  So he describes the “shadow self” as the unconscious mind which holds those fears, weaknesses, and perhaps even the stray evil thought.

Sometimes we feel that in the darkness there is comfort.  We can stay there and hang out for a while and no one can see what we are thinking about or what’s really going on.  So let’s think about this for a moment.

Each and every one of us, has darkness.  It’s just part of life.  Part of our soul that has been changed by experiences…but we are ourselves because of it.  It is neither good nor bad until we act on it.  It’s just there; however, if you are fighting depression, it seems to stay more present in your mind.

So what are some ways we can deal with our darkness once we are ready to move forward into the light?

  1. Record your joys and your gratitude for the good things you have going on in your life in a journal.  <<< just like the one I use:)
  2. List what good you have recently…like swept a neighbor’s porch off, or given clothes away to someone who needs them.  Paid it forward in the coffee drive through.  If you are having problems listing things, go out and do something!
  3. Find a way to laugh and incorporate funny videos into that if it helps you smile.
  4. Do some exercise, walk, or get yourself to yoga!
  5. Get your vitamin D as it helps beat depression back with a mental boost.
  6. Shift into the light…literally.  My friend suggested this light to me called a Ion Therapy Lamp.
  7. Help lift someone else up by paying them a compliment when they least expected it.  Maybe even something you admire about them that you have never told them!
  8. Pray, meditate, or shift your thoughts to something else.  You can use a mantra, or even affirmations.

The bottom line is this…it’s okay to NOT be okay every once in a while.  As I said today on my fan page, a shadow is cast by a light.  If you are noticing a shadow, you are also casting a light.

Whether you are trying to wear too many masks, such as the one you wear at work, or the one you wear at your child’s school function, and your true self is just tired of the whole game…so the darker thoughts start to creep up.  That is definitely a sign that a break is needed.

Once we begin to see that the darker parts of us are really there as a guide, we begin to see what parts we want to bring more light to.  We can peacefully co-exist with both sides, and we can also learn to understand what it means.  There are times we need to take a break, step back from the world and re-charge.  The darkness likes to point out when we are stretched too thin, so just take note and remember to breathe.

Light

A Fun Door Quiz to See What it Says About Your Future…

A shared article.

doorTake a look at the arches first, then the path behind it.  Which one speaks to you most?  Got it in your mind?  Now read the results below!

 

If you chose number 1 , Your Path is Freeing.
You are the type of person who needs a ton of space. You need the freedom to do things your own way. You prefer a path that you carve yourself, especially one with infinite possibilities and routes. You don’t want to feel constrained. You are highly independent and even rebellious, but you don’t like confrontation. You’re more likely to passively resist someone or something. You hate to be rushed, and you prefer to take the time to savor life. You’re too busy enjoying life to draw attention to yourself.

If you chose Number 2, your path is Private.
You are the kind of person who prefers to travel alone. You like to observe, think, and sort out whatever is in your head. You prefer a path that’s fit for one. You can see others once you arrive at your destination, but you need your downtime first. You are very original and insightful. You look at the world in a unique way, and others can benefit from your point of view. You are a bit of a loner, but you connect well with people when you take the time. You are very understanding.

If you chose Number 3, Your path is Colorful.
You are a very engaging and engaged person. You love to be a part of the world… you like to experience it all. Your ideal path is filled with color, excitement, and beauty. For you, it’s more about the journey than the destination. You are curious and excited to learn more. You love to start conversations, and you ask lots of questions. You are intellectual and witty. You think of more zingers than you’d ever use, and you keep people laughing.

If you chose Number 4, Your path is Exciting!
You are always moving forward in your life, often into the unknown. You just go for it and deal with the consequences later. Your ideal path is unpredictable and maybe even a little scary. You are drawn to the unknown. You can be a rule breaker, and you’re even somewhat careless. You have been known to act without thinking, but it usually all works out for you. You are very spontaneous and a major thrill seeker. You are going to make the most of the time you’ve been given on this planet!

If you chose number 5 , Your path is Welcoming.
You are an peace-seeking, low maintenance person. You are very content, and you don’t like to be bothered. Your ideal path is clear cut and enjoyable. You want to enjoy your trip and to know what you’re getting into. You will often take the easy choice whenever possible. Life is hard enough, and you never want to make it harder on yourself. You are stable and supportive of those around you. You are known for your consistency and down to earth perspective.

If you chose number 6 , Your path is Quiet.
You value solitude in all aspects of your life. You can spends large periods of time alone without feeling lonely. Your ideal path is one that is very still and quiet. You want to absorb everything around you without feeling overwhelmed. You seek meaning in every aspect of life. And you live very deliberately – both in action and in thought. You don’t like crowds, but you do like people. You value authentic relationships, and you prefer the depth of one on one interaction.

source was also found on In5D

Which door did you choose?  Feel free to use the comments.

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Controlling your reaction…

Do you find yourself second guessing everything in your life?  Is it difficult to make a decision and stick to it?  Do you think everything is about you?  Well, then this post is for you…not about you.  I recently read that our minds can think up to 50,000 thoughts per day.  Half of them are things we have thought before.  I added that part, but you know it’s true.  So today, I read this post by someone who was sad about something.  And while I get the idea of being sad about something someone did…what you must remember at all times is that their actions are really about them.  This is the number one hardest thing to get through your 50,000 thoughts.

First, you start to think about yourself and what you did to the person.  Next you get mad.  You start to blame the person.  Then you ponder if you should message them.  Something like, hey girl, I saw your post.  I hope I didn’t do or say anything to upset you.  Now unless you just got off the phone with them and said something like an old fashioned “Your Momma” joke that didn’t go over how you planned, well, you know this isn’t about you.  It’s really about them.  What you have to decide, right now, at this very moment, is do you want this to be about you?  Do you feel guilty for something you did?  If the answer is you were just talking about them behind their backs to someone, well I can see how you think it’s about you.

Nine times out of ten, this is not about you.  But let’s say it is.  Who cares?  I mean really.  Make a decision to be happy…not to let it get under your skin, and move on to the next thought.  Like, what am I going to eat for dinner?  Because in the end, you can control that.  You can’t really control what this other person is doing or saying.  How they act is up to them.  How you react is up to you.

  1. Decide which thoughts you are going to act on.
  2. Decide not to react immediately.
  3. Move on.  Don’t dwell.

thoughtsFor more information on how to control your thoughts, your future and find a supportive group, see the Head|Heart|Health tab.

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The enemy within…

When there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.  I want you to think about that for a moment.  It has taken me two days to process the death of Robin Williams for many reasons.  Being happy all the time takes a lot of work if your smile doesn’t quite reach your eyes.  I noticed that about him some time ago, but thought he had control of his demons.  I feel like we have failed him in some way.  But this isn’t about him entirely.  It’s about us.  All of us.

You ask your friend how they are doing, and they reply with their usual “I’m fine”, but you see they are not.  What do you do?  Dig deeper.  Make sure they are okay?  Reach out.  Have the discussion.  The one no one wants to admit they need to have with their friend.  Yes, have it.  Stop being scared.  The truth is, if you think you need to talk about it, you probably do.  The enemy is already within.  It’s time to draw it out into the light.

When you voice these fears, when you let people know, hey, sometimes, I’m not really okay.  I’m DEPRESSED.  There I said it.  I look okay on the outside, but at some point, when I wasn’t paying attention, after 16 years or so of fighting it back, it crept in.  I allowed it to come in.  I know when it happened.  I know why it happened.  I even know the day I realized what triggered it.  It is fueled by pain.  My pain.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t force it back.  I can and I will.

This is what we have to do for our friends.  We have to say, hey, I get this.  We have to be honest with ourselves and not pretend you don’t see it in their eyes.  Because you do.  You know you do.  I have had several VERY open conversations lately about triggers for people.  This lets your friends know you see it and acknowledge their fight.  Do they need back up?  Reinforcements??  The cavalry???  A FLAME THROWER to beat back the darkness????  A can of whoop ass perhaps?  Whatever you need, let me know.  We are in this together.

Sacrifice: the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone.

If you do one thing, one thing, it’s listen to this.  Really take it in. 

You can do this.  Live this life.  You are phenomenal.  Find that reason to get back up.  Reach out.  It has everything to do with you.

Say yes to your life.  Yes to your dreams.  Yes to living the dream.  Leave no dream left behind.

enemyReady to make a change in your life?  See Head|Heart|Health Club...tab up top.

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Memories…

Memories are a slippery substance meant to be held for a moment in your mind, acknowledged, then set free again.  They are there when you need them, but you can’t dwell in those moments as they are gone.  If I close my eyes, I can remember the smells of my grandma’s kitchen.  I can remember the pattern of the wallpaper, the tiny ducks walking around with bows on, and the door leading into the magical garage where my grandfather let me pretend I knew Morse code.

I can remember looking through the little window as he said his call sign, and he put his headphones on to “talk” to other Ham radio operates who had their “ears on”.  Playing with that microphone and pretending I was doing the same thing.  I would eventually end up back in the kitchen, as my grandmother was always making something wonderful.  The Kitchen Aid mixer would be whipping up icing, and cakes would be in the oven.  After I had eaten entirely too much icing out of old Cool Whip containers, I would wander off to play.  I started writing a series of children’s books based on my adventures, and of course, have not published them.  In fact, I only read them to my children just as I’ve always done with all my stories.

It hardly seems fair at all that my wonderful, generous, magical, yes magical, grandmother passed away at only 68 years old.  Today would have been her 89th birthday.  Over Thanksgiving, my Aunt remarked about how much my grandparents would have loved being there.  We all smiled that knowing smile even as our minds thought back to different memories for each of us.  Memories have that way of taking us back to the time and place of our choosing.  We can use them for good, or for bad.  We can be remorseful, resentful, or sorrowful that our loved ones were taken from us too early, or we can swallow the lump down and remember the good parts.  We can NOT go back and fix things, change things, or invent cures for cancer.  So stop that right now.  The hardest part of facing your memories is remembering the good without getting a lump in your throat, the tightness in your chest and the urge to cry.  After 21 years, you would think I had mastered that.  Writing this post has proven me wrong.  However, there has always been reason to celebrate today, because God also put my best-friend in my life at 5 (we always debate the earliest date, but we think kindergarten), and her birthday is also today.

Memories

Motivational Monday…

I sat eating the sandwich I made today for lunch and don’t remember even tasting it.  I knew it was there, and pondered why I had even made a sandwich, but I knew I had to eat at some point in the day.  I was glad I had prearranged an outing, especially when I got the text that asked if we were still on for today.  We had plans I thought?  Sure, um yes.  I had just finished reading the young girl’s obituary, and was crying again.

You don’t have to know who or what or why, but just know that every time someone close to me goes through something, I put myself in their place.  Every. Single. Time.  When I have gone through that process, I begin to feel better.  It is just part of who I am.  I couldn’t change it if I wanted to, and believe me, there are times I want to.  Some of you are wondering how this fits in with motivation, but others, oh others are nodding their heads.

Whatever your cycle is for grief, complete it and be done.  Move forward as soon as you are able because time is precious.

Life-is-short

Motivational Monday…

Envy is what one has when someone lacks something that someone else has.  So I was too busy being envious of this guy’s great blog and book deal this morning to post anything.  I was too busy thinking how great it would be to run off to another country, with nothing, and start this business that flourished.  I was too busy being, wait, human.

Whew.  Glad that feeling passed.  I’m sure that even His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet has had envy.  Okay, maybe not, but he’s human too.  What we have to remember is that we can’t be too hard on ourselves when we have these “flare ups”.  We all have them.

Anger, pride, jealousy, and greed can get in the way of  your happiness.  You might think that in order to be happy you must have X amount of money.  You might think that in order to be happy you must have the perfect job and have the title of Ruler of All.  Whatever floats your boat.  The funny thing is, you will always want more.

On the outside, some people appear to have it all.  They shine and sparkle even when their smile doesn’t really reach their eyes.  Once they realize that they are in charge of their own happiness, you will notice the sparkle reaching their eyes as well.

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”  ~Dalai Lama

Motivational Monday…

Envy is what one has when someone lacks something that someone else has.  So I was too busy being envious of this guy’s great blog and book deal this morning to post anything.  I was too busy thinking how great it would be to run off to another country, with nothing, and start this business that flourished.  I was too busy being, wait, human.

Whew.  Glad that feeling passed.  I’m sure that even His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet has had envy.  Okay, maybe not, but he’s human too.  What we have to remember is that we can’t be too hard on ourselves when we have these “flare ups”.  We all have them.

Anger, pride, jealousy, and greed can get in the way of  your happiness.  You might think that in order to be happy you must have X amount of money.  You might think that in order to be happy you must have the perfect job and have the title of Ruler of All.  Whatever floats your boat.  The funny thing is, you will always want more.

On the outside, some people appear to have it all.  They shine and sparkle even when their smile doesn’t really reach their eyes.  Once they realize that they are in charge of their own happiness, you will notice the sparkle reaching their eyes as well.

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”  ~Dalai Lama

No place like home…

A month ago, my dad reminded me of some things.  I hope you have someone in your life who believes in you like my dad believes in me.

I love you because you are strong.  My old friend often tells me how he admires your strength.
I love you because you are a good mother.  I see two happy children growing up in a happy home.
I love you because you have compassion for others.  You are always willing to help.
I love you because you have many good traits learned from us and others. You want to make life better. You make sure the girls do their homework. You have a strong bond with your husband.
I love you because you care for animals and never neglect them. You really do have a way with your pets that shows you care.
I love you because sometimes I see the little girl in you that I raised. She’s still headstrong but I see her still running around the house.
I love you because you have a good work ethic learned from your mom and me.
I love you because you are my daughter whether we agree or disagree you are my daughter.  No matter how mad you get with me I’m always there for you.
The things that make us mad usually don’t matter. Most of those things are like the wind. They are quickly blown away.  There are answers for most of our problems and praying doesn’t hurt.
And finally I love you because you have remained close to us by visiting, calling, having us over and most importantly letting me spend time with my grandchildren. My grandchildren have been the biggest blessing to me in my old age.

Sometimes you need gentle reminders of who you are and where you are going in life.  So, for my next “No”, there’s no place like home.

“Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need.” 

~Sarah Ban Breathnach