Thursday’s Tips & Tricks: Podcasts & How to Create Our Own Positive Reality

While I’m a huge advocate of music being able to heal the soul and effectively pull at our heart strings, I’ve recently become a huge fan of podcasts (I know, I’m behind, but no one arrives to the party on time, right?)

So here’s my tip&trick for this week:
Listen to podcasts, and start with this one!

I’ve started listening to podcasts to and from work in the car and today I listened to this one on the way home “What Reality Are You Creating For Yourself?” by Isaac Lidsky. It’s about how we let our fears and anxieties create realities for ourselves, and how to avoid that. So often, we let our unexpected and unfortunate circumstances decide our fate. By doing that, we are creating a doomed reality for ourselves. But the fact is–that reality that we create does not have to be our reality. In this Ted Talk, Isaac “challenges us to let go of excuses, assumptions and fears, and accept the awesome responsibility of being the creators of our own reality.”

Isaac explains this way better than I do. Give it a listen!

After you give this one a listen, browse around and find a different podcast that helps lift your spirits, inspire you, and teach you new things!

 

 

Be Kind, For Everyone Is Fighting A Battle Of Their Own 

When you’re walking down the street and breeze by the people moving past you, how often do you glance up at the faces that are blurring by? How often do you take the chance to look a stranger in the eyes and really try to read their story? There’s a story behind every face you see, each one unique and different than the story walking beside them.

Stories are more often than not, unpredictable. We don’t know who the characters are until we get to know them. We don’t know when the plot twists will turn up. We can’t know in advance if or when an antagonist will make an appearance, short lived or prolonged. There’s no telling when the happy ending will wrap everything up and tuck us snugly into bed.

Every person you come across has something they’re not sharing, some battle they’re facing, some story they’re a part of that we as outsiders, have no insight on. You see, life isn’t fair. It throws us curveballs we swing and miss at, it throws us off our paths, it presents the unexpected and its hardships discriminate against no one. 

As someone with a story of your own, the human and compassionate thing to do, is to be kind to every person you meet because you have no idea what phase of their story that they’re in.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

I’m battling daily chronic headaches, narcolepsy and chronic pain that has yet to be diagnosed. There is a constant pounding within my skull that strangers I see would have zero reason to expect me to be feeling. With my chronic migraine headaches along with my other medical mysteries comes anxiety issues, emotional lows creating a hermit like version of myself, unnecessary guilt, frequent frustration and so much more that I choose to hide either behind a smile or under my covers.

Even though I surround myself with people who are loving, kind, compassionate, generous, supportive and reliable, it’s just a fact of life that I will stumble upon people every once in a while who are less than kind to me. I’m only human and can’t help but make a sour face when sour words or thoughts are tossed my way. But I always turn back and tell myself that it’s the right thing to do to give that person the benefit of the doubt. They don’t know me. They don’t know my battles, my fights and my journey. They haven’t been given the book to start reading my story.Just like I don’t know their battle and their journey. Perhaps they are facing an uphill battle and are having a bad day filled with frustrations. So even if they may not have thrown the kindness my way, it’s all I can do to throw it back their way.

We’ll never understand what someone may be going through unless they open up to us about it. I promise you though, that any and everyone you meet is facing a battle that you know nothing about. All you can do, is be kind and show them the love you know that they need to keep fighting whatever battle that they’re up against.

By The Ocean With My Thoughts

The sound of water says what I think.

― Zhuangzi

 

There’s this feeling I get whenever I walk onto a beach at night time. The darkness everywhere, the unspoken strength and mystery of the strong ocean ahead of me, the stillness of the air, and the intimacy felt when I’m sitting on the sand. The inevitable introspective thoughts immediately take up residence in my head the moment my feet hit the cool sand. It’s as if I’ve opened up a door to a different world. I’ve left my reality for only a bit and everything from my everyday life is no longer apart of this temporary world I’ve stumbled into.

 

There’s a reason I love the beach so much. Because the feeling I described above cannot be replicated, for me, by anything else. No matter if I go to the beach for a day, a weekend or a whole week, I try to save at least 30 minutes of my trip to step down to where the ocean meets the sand after the sun has gone down.

 

I’ve sat with friends, with family, with my boyfriend and at times just myself. No matter what, there’s always meaningful conversation and deep thoughts that I hadn’t been able to find before.

 

I’ve found inspiration, grew closer in faith, came to realizations, wondered endlessly and learned a lot about myself by the water. I’ve also argued, been blue with sadness, made mistakes, ignored true happiness, pushed people away, and built walls by the water.

 

No matter what it’s been about, no matter who I’m with or if I’m alone, the water has always been able to tell me what I was already thinking–no matter if I was aware of it or not.

 

Monday Mantra: It’s Ok To Say No

It’s hard to do, but it’s definitely possible. Being a people pleaser is a great thing and a terrible thing, because it can be hard to do what is truly right for yourself. But guess what? You’re still an awesome person even if you say no every once in a while. 
Living with a chronic illness, I have to say no to a lot of things. It’s not a great feeling. So when I can, I usually say yes to all of the things I can say yes to. This could include plans, favors, etc. 

Sometimes I find myself saying yes even when I know I shouldn’t. Like when I say yes to going out even though my head is begging me to stay in. I hate disappointing my friends.

But we need to be able to listen to our bodies and not feel guilty when we have to say no. Do what you need to do for yourself to feel happy and healthy. 

Monday Mantra: Adopt The Pace of Nature

Some views and experiences change our outlooks on things. Being in the presence of pure, natural beauty is humbling and I always take a minute to myself, even in a crowd, to soak it up, close my eyes and just be still. 

Niagara was one of those places that changed my outlook on how I move through this life and through my health journey. I spend a lot of time rushing through things and then getting bad anxiety and frustration when things happen late or don’t go as planned. This goes for my personal life and my life with chronic illness.

I aim to live a more patient life where I can react in a calm manner to things that go not originally as planned. Instead of rushing to a conclusion without consulting a doctor, instead I will try to sort out symptoms and have a conversation about possibilities. Instead of worrying and growing anxious when my headaches continue to thrive, I will try to calmly take a set back to look at everything I’m trying and doing and then talk to my doctor about my next steps.

These types of goals I will try to transfer over to my life in other areas as well: work, relationship, family, etc. 

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday Mantra: Beautiful Things Come From Not So Beautiful Places


We’ve all been there: the dark and scary places, the rough patches, the slumps, the unwanted changes. You won’t see it until you’re out of those places (I know I for sure didn’t) but beautiful things will come from them. Some of the most beautiful things and people in my life came after I went through some pretty ugly stuff.

Things I’m Good At, Thanks To My Chronic Headaches & Narcolepsy

 

I’m really good at:

  1. Sleeping. My spirit animal is sloth.
  2. Making plans and then backing out last minute. Just because I hate doing it, doesn’t change the fact that I’m awesome at it.
  3. Collecting. I collect prescriptions, vitamins, test results, and doctor business cards
  4. Talking. About anything–doesn’t have to be health related. I’m just really good at talking.
  5. Showing compassion. Having endured years of chronic pain, health issues, emotional roller coaster rides, mental hardships and more, I find it really easy to feel compassion for other people and their journeys and struggles. I also just really like seeing people smile, so that’s more motivation.
  6. Surprising people. With my unexpected knowledge of various medicines, methods, symptoms and diagnoses. I promise I won’t walk in and pretend to be your doctor though.
  7. Enjoying time by myself. Because of how often I have to cancel plans or stay in and rest, I’ve learned how to truly enjoy and appreciate my own company. It actually kinda confuses me when people say they don’t like spending time alone. Like–I think I’m super cool, why wouldn’t I want to hangout with me?
  8. Picking myself up after a fall. More often than not, I’m the only one who can get myself up again after I’ve taken a hard fall in my health journey. Everyone will fall down in life, but we only truly live when we’re getting back up again.
  9. Managing pain. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty damn impressed by myself and my strength. I have continued so many activities while enduring my worst-pain level headaches/migraines and I never know how I did it once it’s over.
  10. Really enjoying life in all of it’s beauty. Life will never be full of only sunshine. There will be storms and we will get rained on. But each time the sun comes out, my smile gets brighter and my love for this world gets greater. Enjoying the simple things in life, putting more of my time toward seeing people who lift me up and doing more of what sets my soul on fire are all things I have seen myself get better at doing.

Tuesday Tunes: Music Heals


Some people listen to music while they jog, lift, study, clean or drive. I listen to music any chance that I can. I’m a greedy music lover. That’s because I find such solace in it. It makes me feel alive, comforted, motivated, fearless and unbreakable. 

If you give it a chance, music may bring new life into your world that you never thought possible.