How to Float Through Life’s Peaks and Valleys

Photo courtesy of bringchange.in

It’s funny how life goes through its peaks and valleys. It’s funny how when we’re in the valley or that dark place, it feels like we’re dying a slow death. And when the peaks are peeking or we are experiencing happiness, we feel like we are unstoppable, unconquerable, and outright powerful! And in those moments, we ARE.

Lately, I’ve been on a cloud of unconcealed bliss. My feelings about my life and this journey that I’m on have brought me to this place of peace within. I’ve gotten to this place where I don’t feel the need to worry, even when things outside of me aren’t looking too promising. I no longer look outside of myself for validation of WHO I AM or WHAT my WORTH is. I no longer entertain those who fail to SEE me as I see myself, to respect my evolution and embrace the whole of me. This space that I am in has been carved out for me by God to take place at this point of my life because it was always God and the Universes intention to use my story as a means of reflecting HIS light.

I now trust that every valley that I ever found myself in was there to teach me how strong and resilient I really am. They were there to show me that regardless of the obstacle, LIFE. GOES. ON. And instead of folding, I learned to bend and flex, and sometimes morph into whatever the moment calls for. I was only able to do this when I truly relied on a SOURCE bigger than me.

Being raised in a Christian Baptist faith, I learned the importance of the Bible verse that says something like, “Lean not on your own understanding, but trust in the lord with all your heart. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Well lets just say that I have acknowledge that I don’t walk alone in this world, even when I am alone. I feel very watched over, and protected, and safe, and secure, and befriended, and loved, and appreciated, and forgiven, and trusted, and… Well, I could go on and on, but you get the point. I feel all of these things even when I am alone because I now KNOW that God is in me, and acts through me even unbeknownst to me. And if I know what I know about God, then I KNOW that he is the creator of all things, and can do all things.

With this knowledge, I know that if HE is in me, then it is also true that I too am a creator, and a conqueror, and that with sheer WILL POWER, I can overcome any obstacle placed before me, and still find PEACE in my heart. I thank GOD for this level of understanding! And you should too! Because we all are being walked with throughout our journeys. We are NEVER truly alone. However, It is only when we consciously decide to “lean not” on our own visual understanding of what we see and experience in life, and instead, step outside of our stories and understand the bigger picture of what GOD is doing with our spirits, that we can experience this most profound sense of PEACE and POWER. It is then that you can let go of the blame, and anger, and frustration, and take control of your emotions, and ultimately your LIFE!

I believe that I AM a Teacher of some of life’s most humbling, yet graceful lessons because of the peaks and valleys that I’ve faced along this journey. But I am ever so thankful for them, and I wouldn’t take any one of them away if I had the chance, because they made me who I am today. And like fine wine, I just keep getting better with time! And if you pay attention, so do YOU! 😉

Peace & Love,

@BCSTARKS

The 3 Gems of LIFE: Self-Esteem, Self-Value, & Self-Worth

There’s this reoccurring lesson that keeps presenting itself to me in various forms of my day to day interactions with others. And for a while I didn’t recognize just what it was truly about. In fact, in many of those instances, I thought that somehow life was playing a cruel trick on me. Yes, even I played the victim role. But it hasn’t been until recently that I had to take several steps back and connect the dots in every single one of those scenarios. From interactions with family, boyfriends, co-workers, potential business partners, employers, on down the list… I had been experiencing what felt like a tug-o-war over how I wanted them to see me vs. how I felt I was being treated. And let me tell you, as foolish as this feels for me to admit, I understand that its all a part of growing up. We all have experienced or will experience such a feeling of being under appreciated, or undervalued, especially when we truly know who we are inside.

The trick to something like this is that it’s never really about the people that you are interacting with. In fact, they aren’t even half of the equation of this battle that you’re facing. From what I had to learn, and I’m still absorbing nuggets of wisdom from, is that:

We teach others how to treat us, by the way we treat ourselves

We show people how to interact with us, by the way we interact with ourselves

We inform the world of how much we are worth, by the way we value ourselves

The world looks at us the very same way that we look at ourselves

When we see and feel ugliness and pain within, the world will reflect that same ugliness and pain to us through our interactions

When we see beauty, love, and kindness within, the world will reflect that same beauty, love, and kindness through others

When we show forgiveness for ourselves for our own shortcomings and flaws, it is easier to forgive others, and it unknowingly makes it easier for them to forgive us

When we stand up for ourselves and become our own biggest champion, others will rise to meet us, defend us, and cheer us on

When we feel amazing, unstoppable, and fearless on the inside, life will give us more evidence of just how amazing, unstoppable and unconquerable we really are

When we understand that we and GOD/SOURCE/UNIVERSE are ONE, we understand that we too possess unlimited power and NOTHING or NO ONE outside of us has control over our lives

YOU ARE IN CONTROL of YOU and ONLY YOU!

These nuggets of wisdom come in handy as I continue to sort through what I feel is best for me within my interactions, and in order for me to live my best life. This includes how I wish to be treated by family, friends, significant others, and so on. I’m understanding my role in all of these interactions and how I am hardly ever a victim in any of them. Its all about learning to love myself on the deepest levels, feeling whole and complete at all times (regardless of what I have or have not accomplished), being confident in the woman that I’ve become so far, setting boundaries for what I will and will not tolerate from others (and sticking to it…there’s no point in betraying what you really feel on the inside, otherwise you will attract experiences where others will betray you as well).

Are you starting to get the point here? If more love is what you desire, then figure out where in your life you are not loving yourself enough. Do you often criticize yourself and the way you look? Do you feel like you don’t deserve certain things, even though you really want them? Or do you feel like others won’t do certain things for you, even though you would really like them to? Do you beat up on yourself when you make mistakes or not so great decisions? If so, this is exactly what you are training others to do when they interact with you. To turn it all around, learn to be kind to yourself. Learn to do things for yourself that you would like others to do for you (remember, they are watching your movements and ultimately following your lead). Know that you deserve any and every good thing that you can imagine for your life. And perhaps the people that you are interacting with are not the one’s to give you what you really need. Instead, they are a reflection of who you are choosing to be in those moments. So when you finally wise up and learn to value yourself, perhaps those same people will either step their game up in how they treat you, or disappear altogether and make room for people that will honor this new and improved version of you.

This lesson is something kinda special. I’m not saying that its easy to do either, because one of the hardest things to do in life is to unlearn bad habits. But with effort, gentleness, and time, you can become anything that you want to be!

 

Namaste,

 

@BCSTARKS

Lessons Learned…

This year has been full of growth opportunities for me. Particularly in the form of relationships. I’ve experienced some firsts and hopefully several lasts. Some experiences I wouldn’t have wished for my worst enemy, while others have neen pure bliss. But I still wouldn’t change a single thing because the contrast is what has lead me to this very moment. As I sit here typing away, my hope is that I am able to be light to those that have been or are going through something as it pertains to relationships. So here’s a list of a few of the most prominent take-aways on my journey to great:

1. The first lesson centers around the topic of patience.  Its something that I still struggle with, but its effects within relationships are essential for peace and healthy communication. Oftentimes we want things when we want them, but when they fail to show up we end up disappointed. In many cases its ultimately no ones fault that we’re disappointed. Its only our own responsibility to check our expectations at the door. Are you expecting perfection from another perfectly imperfect human being? If so, there’s the culprit! As my favorite blogger Mastin Kipp put it, “Everything that holds us back in life is due to an unhealthy relationship with uncertainty.” That goes for lack of patience too. Many of us lack patience because we’re afraid of losing of control of a situation. What would happen if we did surrender circumstances and situations to the unknown? Well, our ultimate fear is that we would DIE or experience some form of excruciating pain. But history and many people’s lives have served as examples of how majestic accepting and embracing uncertainty can truly be. It’s what many religions refer to as Faith. It’s what I finally know to be true and I’m finally willing myself to practice more of it. I’m willing myself to be more patient with not only my own life process, but also having a sound understanding and practiced patience for the processes of others as well. This is in no way to suggest that you wait on your life to happen in order to be happy… Live how you chose, but don’t expect others to be ready to move when you are. Wait if it’s worth it, or find others who are ready in the meamtime. Life will handle the rest.

2. The second lesson deals with authenticity. For me this word implies being true to oneself. This means not selling yourself short on life, decisions, and opportunities just because others have an opinion about them. For me, this topic is also another project to grow in. I never really thought of myself as a people pleaser. In fact, I often find myself dismissing the opinions of others left and right, especially when they don’t resonate with me. However, most recently it dawned on me that the people’s whose opinions matter most to me are those who are closest to me, those who I trust enough to allow myself to be vulnerable with. And although this number is few, it hadn’t occurred to me until recently that I place a great deal of importance on their opinions. I realized, not just for myself, that sometimes we care so much about what others think of us, that we lose sight of who and what we truly are. We forget that we have our own journey to travel, our own purposes to fulfill, and their opinions of us are only a limited view of the whole of us. In fact, their opinions of us are only their thoughts and perception of us, not facts. Their opinions are none of our business because they aren’t the truth of who and what we truly are. I’m getting to the place where I’m learning to speak to my heart in stolen moments of silence (something I never thought to do before…It’s not prayer, it’s literal intimate feeling conversations with the core of your being). At first it feels weird, but as I continue to practice I can feel my way through life and situations with an inner knowing like never before. Afterall, “The kingdom of heaven lies within”. We were created to live as our true selves, not the many versions of who we are according to those who observe us in fleeting moments and temporary circumstances.

3. This next lesson is about acceptance. This is the king of all things necessary for change. In order to see real change in our lives, we must be able and willing to accept the whole of who we are, where we are, and the whole of a situation. This process in and of itself is quite complex from what I’ve come to find. Many times we find ourselves in situations that are unfavorable, and understandably hard to accept. It is from this space of resistance to life and its varying experiences and circumstances that we render ourselves to mental and emotional suffering and illness. From this space we are also sometimes lead to inflict the same pain that we feel unto others. As the saying goes: “Hurt people, hurt people.” A refusal to accept what is denies one the opportunity to experience life as fully present, whole, and complete beings. It also perpetuates a cycle of resistance from one personal interaction to the next. I’ve come to find that my personal resistance shows itself to me in the form of bodily discomfort. I may feel nervous/anxious tension in the pit of my stomach whenever I am faced with a part of myself (personality, habits, perception, expectations) that needs to evolve, but that I am subconsciously resisting. I too am learning to be more accepting of what is, with full faith that what is to come is always in service of my highest good and greatest joy… Yes, even when I can’t yet see evidence of it.

My prayer for my readers and myself is that we continue to be open to life and its many lessons. Also, my hope is that as we each continue to evolve, we are willing to share our lessons and journey with others for the purpose of being catalyst of love and understanding on Earth. Be the light that you wish to see in the world.

Namaste,

@BCSTARKS ♡