Sunday, 23 June 2013

Discomfort and Inner Growth. when we were children and would complain of the growing pains in our knees? We were told that it was a good pain and would pass. Our body just needs to do it's work to become bigger and stronger.

Well, in keeping this same idea, inner growth works the same way. Emotionally, mentally and spiritually we grow in our lives. With every shift or change, we have the opportunity to learn more about ourselves. 

Certain things we learn with age, regardless of what we choose to do with our lives. But other times we have a choice. Are we going to be comfortable and do only that which we absolutely must do? Or do we look beyond with awareness? We can choose to embrace vulnerability and learn to be okay with the discomfort of the unfamiliar.

Our level of personal growth is a direct reflection of the amount of uncertainty we can handle. 

When we don't take risks, face our fears and embrace our adventurous self that thirsts to experience more, we simply do not fulfill our potential. Are we willing to be okay with not knowing everything? Whether we are taking off to travel the world, loving without expecting anything in return or simply allowing our true selves to show, these are risks that can be very uncomfortable. And are they worth it? Of course they are.

Of course it is worth it to be the truest expression of ourselves. To allow the world to see who we really are, without a mask. Yes, it is uncertain- who knows how people will react. But does it matter? Regardless of what we do, there will always be those who will judge and point a finger.

In being who we are, we are allowing ourselves to grow into our strongest selves . Not to mention the freedom of not having to think about pretending to be someone else.

Being who we are sounds so simple, but it can we tricky in this world where there are so many expectations around how we "should" be. The truth is that the unhappiness associated with not being who we are is far worse than the discomfort we sometimes experience in following our unique path and heart's desire.

So let's embrace individuality.



Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Power in Simplicity. Sometimes the most powerful and life-changing moments in our lives are the simple ones. They touch our hearts and we realize that we don't always need big and fancy things to live a rich and meaningful life.

We don't always need to achieve big things or have big plans to have a sense of fulfillment, aliveness and happiness with our lives.

Of course balance is the key. It is important to dream big and to create goals for ourselves so that we can realize our potential. But I have also found incredible value in living in the moment, and in savoring the simplicity it has to offer.

A warm hug,
A heartfelt conversation,
A genuine smile,
A good meal,
A beautiful day.

What are the simple moments that have impacted your life and touched your heart these days?

Too often we forget to see the beauty of what is right before us. Because we have grown accustomed to our surroundings. They become ordinary.

But really, it is in the seemingly ordinary moments that we can find extraordinary happiness. 

For the sake of this article, I will keep it short and sweet.

Here is a quote I love by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Famous children's author)

"I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things in life which are the real ones after all."



Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Why Travel? is my firm belief that without the opportunity to be challenged and grow as our unique selves, life is meaningless. We cannot become all that we are if we don't face our fears, push our limits and becoming incredibly uncomfortable.

Growth happens as a result of two things coming together: our experiences in this world and our internal processing of these experiences. Traveling is one of the best ways to expand our perspective and our capacity to experience life.

And I don't mean over budgeting just to stay in hotels and eat in restaurants. This is a vacation, not traveling. I went on many vacations growing up, but this year I really started traveling. I stayed in hostels and ate at the local markets, found myself striking up inspiring conversations with strangers. In doing this, my entire perspective on what travel is changed. I see incredible value in it.

When we travel, we become more open in every day because we want to learn more about what the world has to offer. We want to see more, do more and feel more. And in opening up, we allow the process of exploration, adventure and learning to take place.

The nature of travel is of non-attachment. We leave our stuff, jobs, the people we usually spend our time with and our homes to see something else. To become immersed in a different way of living and being.

Why is this so amazing?

Because it shows us that anything is possible. That we can live life is any way that we choose. It is just a matter of our decision. 

Traveling forces us to question our current way of life, choices and ways of thinking and doing things. Without travel, we may live our whole lives asking ourselves, "Is this really all there is?" And with it we feel more fulfilled. We realize that the whole idea of "normal" is bullshit. Complete and utter foolishness. Why?

Because normal is whatever we make it. Each country has it's own normal. And the only way to realize this is by packing our bags and traveling in the most adventurous and open-hearted way possible.



Thursday, 13 June 2013

Embracing Authenticity.
Upon arriving back from traveling to Israel a few days ago, I realized the power of perspective. That when we grow and become more grounded in our authentic selves, we can be in the same places again after three years, and feel completely different. Three years ago I went to Israel and felt lost, disconnected and lonely. Upon going back to some of the same places again, I truly realized that it is who we become, within ourselves, that determines how we experience life. This is how powerful perspective is.

These recent travels gave me a certain reassurance. They reminded me that things do change. We are never stuck, even when we feel like there is no way out. There is always a path moving forward and we always have a choice. On who we want to become. With a great deal of self-trust, patience and persistence, we really can create the kind of life we want for ourselves, in every way.

My life really changed when I asked myself the question, "Do I want to live a life that looks good on the outside or one that feels good on the inside?" This is a question that challenges our authenticity. How much are we willing to risk to be true to ourselves? Are we willing to embrace vulnerability and uncertainty to follow the path that feels right, despite what it looks like? Through the choices I made, what I was doing was answering yes to these questions. It was time to give up who I thought I should be for something more real. Something far more real.

And upon being in the same places in my recent travels while feeling completely different, feeling finally myself, I was filled with overwhelming gratitude. I felt utterly blessed to have fought for authenticity, to be myself.

Life is too short to be anyone else other than ourselves. There is so much to experience and when we make our choices from our hearts, doing what really feels right, then our life experience is that much more real.

Things change all the time, no matter what we do. Life is constantly shifting and we are adjusting. And where we choose is in how we react to our circumstances or what happens to us.  We can choose to let life affect us, to become victim to circumstances and the expectations of others, or we can become active participants in our lives. We can choose to affect our lives, to pave our own path by the choices we make and walk on it as our most authentic selves.