June: An Existence Check

Of all the things, we as humans granted the ability to look back and assess our strengths, weaknesses, our life trajectory (as much as possible) although it is unlikely that any of the plans we etch out end up taking us where we want to go. But often we do end up wondering if ALL that we do is even worth it. Lately, I’ve been arriving at the same question: Is the the pain and suffering of being human worth the happiness and joy we face during our lifetime?

After filing this away for a few months I came to an answer almost as if I knew it but never quite had the hold of the exact words. It’s not just the pain or joy we feel but the strand that gets woven; the intermingling of good and bad times, moments that remind us of our temporal existence – some more vehemently than the others.

It is better to be NOT born; hey we are here – as long as we have strength in our bones, we must LIVE mindfully; deliberately utilizing the resources on hand. Nurture and pour into the relationships as well as accept the love and grace bestowed on us. Let go of ever being “perfect” but always a Work-in-Progress striving towards one small thing better than our yesterday.

What April Taught Me

Another month is over! Wow that went by fast – even though some days it felt like time had slowed down. There are a bunch of highlights – we got a play set for my step son, his swimming classes also started (which he was asking for since Feb) plus i got a Cricut Explore Air 2. It’s really amazing what this machine can do – being a paper and stationery lover – I have to say that this was an unexpected, exorbitant and satisfying purchase.

This is no spring - play set covered in snow - second winter for Edmonton!
This is no spring – play set covered in snow – second winter for Edmonton!

Mothers day card using cricut
My first Cricut project: A mothers day card. I didn’t have the scoring tool so messed up a bit while turning. Gluing could use some refinement 🙂 but overall really impressive cutting.

Five Things April Taught Me:

  1. Make time for activities that truly refresh your soul || This month I played a bit more with stamping, watercolor and paper craft. It truly is freeing to express ourselves with blobs of paint. This also imprinted on me that how “set” I had become in my routine and life that coloring outside the lines was preposterous to me. Blank pages are not always inviting but a little scribble here, a little stamping there and feels like acceptance of all that goes around.
  2. Not to worry about things that are out of my circle of influence || I have tendency to get stressed over stuff that’s out of my reach of action.Things that i cannot do anything about. This would remain a work in progress!
  3. Giving is always better than receiving || Always. Always. Doesn’t matter if we have too little or too much. Making a different in someone’s life can be a smile, encouraging words or just a cup of coffee.
  4. Enjoy the slow-days as much as fast-calendar-full days || We all have different days depending on the activities but I tend to freak-out quickly when I have stuff to do back to back. Reality is that even if things-on-the-todo-list don’t get done, it’s fine. The sun would still shine (or snow would still come lol)
  5. Workout is not just for the gym || There are other ways to moving the body. Husband had to stop going to the gym because of pressed-disc; since we both go to the gym together this affected my motivation/desire to workout. I just wanted to take time off too. What I noticed last month was that everything helps: gardening, cleaning, dancing, jumping jacks every couple of hours! Just move more than you usually move.

Overall, it was creative month. How did your month go? Tell me all about it!

5 Ways to Be True To Yourself

Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day. -John Wooden

Each one of us is unique and we have our own experiences that shape our lives and thought process not just about ourselves but about those close to us, this world and our community. I strongly believe that it is very important to be honest with yourself, live openly and follow your heart.

EssentialLifeSkills.net states that “To be true to yourself takes courage. It requires you to be introspective, sincere, open-minded and fair. It does not mean that you are inconsiderate or disrespectful of others. It means that you will not let others define you or make decisions for you that you should make for yourself.”

5 Ways To Be True To Yourself:

1) Take responsibility for your life & actions.

We are responsible for our life. When we understand that we have to be true to ourselves, life then takes on a whole new meaning. Thing is, too many times we are stuck with what people have done to us and not what we have done to others – that’s how it usually is – but that’s not where we have to be.

We have to really understand that life is fragile, short and full of joy and we must take on the responsibility of our life with not just with our words but our more so with our actions.

2) Understand your Values

It’s important to know what your values are, for an honest talk. Having values and being able to define them makes life easier. Value is “a strongly held belief about what is valuable, important, or acceptable”. Values are important because they act as guidelines for the events in your life. It took a while to find my own values – I am a homebody who values hard work, nurturing, passionate about loving people in my life and making a difference. To me, it’s important to encourage people to be their best not just with words and actions but by being transparent about my own life and struggles.

The sooner you find your values, the easier it becomes to be true to yourslef because your behavior is guided by a set of values and not just how you feel at the moment.

Find your values here and you’ll find your center.

3) Have Goals And Align Them With Your Values

Do not just sleepwalk through your life but have some goals. Set some limits, create some boundaries, etch some lines in the sand and reach those lines and stretch yourself. Create the structure of routine and discipline. Be a better person than you were yesterday.

4) Pay extra attention to self-talk

We have wicked ways to convince ourselves of that one more handbag that we have been wanting to buy or that extra bite of chocolate that seems harmless. But this very self-talk makes us believe things that we either later of feel guilty about or develop a distorted view of how things should be. While chocolate and handbag are in the lower pedestal – what we think of others or what we want other to think of us or how others should be treating us something we must have a firm grip on – to be whole. And this is where attention to self-talk comes in.

Learn to separate lies that the “negative-self” could bring up or anything negative that undermines your own strengths. Remember that it’s easy to judge or condemn others but remain honest with your true self by monitoring your negative thoughts.

5) Choose Grace Over Guilt

We all make mistakes and when it comes to the realization – drop the big ego, admit your mistake and learn from it! It doesn’t make any difference if we continue to do the same thing that hurts our near and dear ones. And even if you end up doing something you regret, forgive yourself – choose grace over guilt. Understand that you are learning and growing and it’s ok to make mistakes. Just let it go and start over!

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