Denying another person’s reality is a form of abuse

One of the most hurtful things a person can do is to deny another person’s feelings or pretend that they don’t exist or matter. This hurts us to the core of our being because at some point in our lives, many of us weren’t believed or were made to feel like our feelings weren’t important. The more your feelings are denied or be-littled, the more afraid you feel to share them. Afraid of the reaction from another and afraid of being blamed for “starting an argument”. Afraid of being made out to be “wrong” or “bad” in some way. This is shame. Shaming someone’s very real emotional experience is detrimental to our feeling of safety and well-being.

I want to tell Myself and all of you something.

YOUR FEELINGS ARE REAL AND THEY MATTER.

YOUR FEELINGS ARE NOT WRONG.

YOU ARE ENTITLED TO YOUR OWN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE.

YOU DESERVE TO BE HEARD AND LISTENED TO WITH OPENNESS AND CURIOSITY AND LOVE.

Isn’t this what we all crave after all? To be really seen and heard for our truth? To be understood at a deeper level? Sometimes I feel like I have to “prove” or justify my feelings – which then spills out into other areas of my life. Feeling like I continuously have to prove my worth affects how I love, how I work, how I lead and how I connect. This is not to say that I shouldn’t try. Effort is different from trying to prove your enoughness. Let me say that again. Effort is different from trying to prove your enoughness. If you are doing something because you genuinely want to support another person or work towards your goals this is effort. It won’t always be easy and you will still have to push yourself at times. But this effort is very different from doing things out of fear that you will not otherwise be accepted.

Try to remember this: when someone puts you down or shames you, it is not about you. It is a reflection of themselves and their own unresolved issues. It is their insecurities, their hidden feelings of anger or resentment sliding through. And it can be nasty. If someone diminishes your feelings, it is because they are uncomfortable with their own. You can’t be witness and hold safe space for someone else’s feelings unless you are able to do the same for yourself. Feel your feelings people…or they will get the best of you and spin out onto others. Stuffed hurt feelings create more hurt feelings. You can’t release your feelings until you have felt them. So don’t keep them captive. Don’t pretend your feelings don’t exist. That’s like pretending you don’t exist. Express your feelings in healthy ways – don’t let them run you on the sidelines.

Take a moment to think of how and when you may have dismissed someone else’s feelings. I know I have done it, and it’s a hard thing to admit. Most of us have done it at some point – or at many points. Stop the cycle of hurt and start listening to others with openness and with consideration.

Much Love,

Raina Aurora

 

 

Put on your princess dress!

Tuesday inspiration:

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When I see little girls in their sparkly, Disney themed princess dresses I get all excited. There’s something so magical and real about wearing your sparkly princess dress out in public. These little girls don’t care what anyone else is thinking about them. They just pick out their favourite glittery dress and get ready to embody their own princess self. They sparkle wherever they go and light up the world around them!

So put on your own version of your princess dress today. Throw on something that makes you smile a little bit bigger, walk a little bit taller and appreciate every step you take. Because YOU ARE LIFE…and that IS amazing! You are worth celebrating! Choose something that makes you feel like a damn Queen! Because you ARE!

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Depression feels like

depression-looks-likeDepression feels like a dark grey space surrounding every part of your being. It feels like you are severely deprived of joy and the idea of things that would usually bring you joy don’t seem like options. You feel like a mute among the sea of stimulus around you. You feel tired. You feel like everything is too much and yet nothing is enough to make you feel. You feel like a zombie walking around in the fog. Everything seems dimly light and in shadows. You struggle to find a life raft into the sun.

For me, depression isn’t something I usually talk about. I think I make myself so busy so that I don’t even have time to feel the depression. I am afraid that if I slow down for a minute, I might just sink into the sand and be unable to squirm my way out again. Until I tire myself right out and then I sink anyways. So everyday I put on the mask, the cloak of glitter, make myself the person I’m “supposed” to be. Sometimes she is bright and shiny, she is a people-pleaser and seeks validation from the outside world. If I push myself to keep going, maybe I can outrun the immense sadness that longs to be felt inside. Maybe I can keep those tears at bay for one more day.

But this is not the only part of me. And that is true for most of us. We are made up of many sides, many moving parts and pieces. I also have this tenacious strength – the strength that gets me out of bed in the morning, the strength that gets to me where I need to be, the strength that keeps me going towards my dreams. But I think I need to allow myself to be sad more. Sometimes I don’t even know what I am sad about…but it feels good to cry. Crying usually releases some of the tension, the depression locked away. It soothes the pain and opens a crack of sunlight into my soul again. I can build on that sunlight.

Circus Balancing Act

How do we find soul-time in the midst of organized chaos? Even when things are going well in our lives, it can feel like everything is happening at once, a thousand doors are opening at the same time and we are trying to walk through all of them. You are only one person though, one human being. Sometimes I forget that. It is not possible for us to do everything at once, but we have become excellent jugglers. Skilled in the art of mastering several tasks whilst trying to stay afloat emotionally/physically/mentally/soulfully.

This is no easy feat and we will fumble our way through. Trial and error are a sure thing. But if we are listening to our bodies while keeping our dreams at heart we will surely succeed. But how can we avoid that feeling of burnout or loss of meaning along the way? If we become burnt out, how can we come back to ourselves with ease? The thing is, we know a lot more about ourselves than we are willing to admit. We know when we are pushing ourselves too much, we know when we need to rest, we know when we are in need of time and space. We know our tendencies when burnout is looming near. We know how we react when we feel too stretched.

So how can we avoid feeling like a big old burnout bear that lumbers along and just wants to hibernate all winter? We have to become skilled at compartmentalizing. This is NOT easy to do and don’t worry – we are human so it is only natural that we will slip up sometimes. So…what in the hell does compartmentalizing actually mean? Are our brains like trains with different compartments for all our thoughts and focuses? Not necessarily.  But the more we can train ourselves to be in the present, to breathe deeply, the more we can enjoy life around us and within us. If you are at work, focus on being at work. If you are at home, enjoy the pleasures of home. If you are on a walk, focus on your feet on the ground or your hands swinging back and forth. Be where you are. Orient yourself and find some element of comfort in your surroundings. Let go of the need to jump ten steps ahead and learn to be ok with the now. TRUST that things will sort out. I don’t mean being complacent in your actions, but I DO mean taking only the necessary action for right now. There isn’t much gain in worrying about the 10 things you have to do before you get there. But you CAN make your very next move to get you one step closer to your dream.

Sidenote: get clear on your dream. What exactly are you looking for? How and what do you want to feel when you get there? Write down a list of feelings that you want to feel. If your dream doesn’t support how you want to feel, then what the heck is the point anyway? We are all really just working towards feeling a certain way. We all want to feel “good”. Society propagates good feelings along with material success, so we strive for that. But when that material doesn’t deliver said promised feelings, what then? This is why it is so imperative that we get so so super clear on how we want to feel. Design your dreams to support those feelings.

OK, so now that you have your dream and feelings kinda sorta figured out (they may evolve along the way), what is the next step you need to take? When will you take it? Schedule it in. And then schedule some soul-time nearby. Make sure you balance the outward ventures with your inward reflection and processing. We need time to digest what is happening in our lives, just like we need time to digest our food. It is no wonder that when we feel stressed it affects our digestive system. It is all connected. It is all in sync. Did you know that our stress hormones can actually become addictive to us? We get used to being in a state of being busy and being on the go that we learn to operate like that. It actually takes our higher self to recognize the pattern and make a shift. Slow down, do less, let go. It’s really scary to not feel ‘in control’, and when we’re busy trying to control everything we don’t have as much chance to feel. By accepting uncertainty in life (and you can assume the best instead of speculating the worst), we realize we don’t have as much to do. We can just enjoy being. Being alive, being in the moment, being a part of the world around us. We don’t become a product of the world – we are instead able to observe it from a place of ease and flow.

Get off the merry-go-round because it does not leave you feeling very merry. It just continues to go round and round until you feel sick and dizzy. Sometimes we get busy, crazy busy even. That’s ok…you can handle it if you play your cards to the tune of your needs. Take breaks, go for walks, put your feet on the grass, drink water, eat well, sleep consistently, wind down before bed, limit your use of technology, take time to journal, to talk to people who support you, cuddle your pet, stretch, take baths, shake it out, feel your body, get a massage. Do things that help your body and mind go from buzzing to a smooth grounded rhythm.

Uniquely Untitled

unicorn-day-e1523293823642I have taken a hiatus from blogging for the past little bit because I have been occupied with other endeavours (such as preparing to start my own business, planning a wedding, looking for a new therapist, selling our condo and enjoying the summer), whew! It’s alot. Feels like a whirlwind some days, but a good one. However, my soul-time needs nurturing so I figure it’s time to get back on the horsey as they say!

I have had so many ideas floating around on what to write about. They all seemed like great ideas but for some reason I just couldn’t grab hold of the motivation long enough to actually write about them. Some ideas seem too vague, or too cliché, or just been done before. So I’m starting this post with absolutely no idea of what I’m going to write about.

I think we all get scared of getting caught in the “predictability” trap. We are living this paradoxical life of wanting to be uniquely special and different, yet still on trend and fitting in with the rest of your social circle or whichever societal standards you have set for yourself. You want to stand out, but blend in. It’s a weird thing. Also, just because something has been done before doesn’t mean you can’t do it too. You may not be the first to try something but, you won’t be the last and your experience of whatever it is you try is entirely unique to you. Wether it be a fashion trend, something you create or design, or a ritual you practice. What makes it special is your own experience of it. Your learning from it. The fact that you tried something you haven’t tried before makes it special. Copying someone or something isn’t a bad thing – that’s where inspiration comes from. That’s what inspiration is. It’s the replication of something that evokes a certain feeling in you – and your version of creating that. The vision you create will never look exactly like someone else’s – so don’t even sweat it. Plus, in my opinion, it’s totally flattering to have someone be inspired by you! It’s the best kind of compliment.

I guess I’m off on a tangent now, but what I’m feeling is that we worry too much about doing something that no one has ever done before – trying to blow everyone’s socks off with these grandiose creations and our attempts at “perfection”. But perfection squanders our uniqueness, that special soul light that shines from within. You are perfectly imperfect. That’s what makes you lovable. And…always remember that to someone else looking at you…you are perfect. Just like when you gaze upon someone else they may seem perfect to you, or they may seem to have the “perfect” life. But whatever you see in them that you idolize, it is highly probable that you have those same qualities within yourself. You just can’t seem them yet.

If you look back five years, or even a year – you probably fantasized about having some of the things you currently have in your life today. And you’ve been slowly prodding along, making those visions a reality for yourself. You have! Just think about some of the things you have now in your life that you once wished you would have, but at the time they seemed like a faraway dream. Now they are a reality. That’s the funny thing about life – is that things happen for you when you keep at it. Keep at the vision. The vision may not actualize in the exact form you thought it would. But it happens in the best way for you. Be willing to allow for those modifications to your dream. Be open to the possibilities that are presented to you. Stay in touch with your soul along the way. You have what you once wished you would have, right now. Take that in. Note 3 things that you once wished for that have become your living joy.

Do you wonder why you don’t feel the way you thought you would when you achieved these things? Do you wonder why you still don’t feel completely at ease or in bliss 24/7? I think we place way too much value upon obtaining certain things in our lives – as in “when I get this, I’ll be happy” or “if I could just do this, everything would be great” or “this would solve all my problems”. We are expecting perfect from things in our lives that will never give us perfection because perfection doesn’t exist. What you will feel is different – not perfect, but different. You may feel more at ease, more security, more love. Notice these different feelings and be aware of them. But with new comes new things to be anxious about also! Once you reach one goal or obtain one thing, simultaneously another door or possibility enters your life. You are presented with new problems while new solutions become available to you.

You will never “be happy when”. Stop chasing happiness outside and find it inside. Search for things that elevate your life, your mindset, your emotions. Take stock of what grounds you, what holds you and what keeps your fire burning bright. You are a miracle just being you. You appreciating you is a miracle on another level. Gratitude always allows for peace and more abundance!

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The painful part of Letting Go

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We hear the phrase “let it go” so much during these times. What does it really mean to let something go? How do we know when we have let it go and what does the process feel like? Letting go does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean squandering the feeling so far down that it gets lost inside you. To me, letting go of the past is actually the acceptance of pain. It is the willingness to feel that painful part – to be with it and acknowledge its hurt upon you. To grieve the absence of someone, to feel the hurt of a memory that was once tucked away, to acknowledge that you are partly made up of a series of experiences and emotions that go with those experiences. Let pain be what it needs to be – let it wash over you and let yourself feel sad. This is actually the door opening to let yourself feel free.

Releasing these painful experiences does not mean that they are forgotten. It is not your hurts laying dormant awaiting your awareness and acknowledgment. To “let go” or release, means that your pain no longer holds the same intensity and activation within you. Yet we are also human – so it’s natural and totally ok to feel activated sometimes. It’s all part of the process – if you tune in. Your pain likely won’t dissipate in one fell swoop, it takes time and tears, and more time and patience. Grief comes in stages and isn’t linear. Keep being kind to yourself – tell yourself the things you would tell your best friend. Build up your confidence and celebrate your successes. Keep at it. Keep going. You got this.

When we see painful experiences as a doorway to healing, this gives us power. We can choose to take this opportunity to truly heal, or we can try and outrun our pain (which never really works). You can’t outrun yourself and so you cannot outrun your pain. If you try and pretend your pain doesn’t exist you give it the power to rule you. See your pain for what it is – look it in the eye and face it. You will take your power back. The process of letting go may takes days, weeks, months or even years for some things. That doesn’t mean you have to dwell on it everyday, but be available and willing to make space to feel what comes up for you when it does. Sometimes we sink into our pain for a bit, and that’s ok too. As long as we know how to get ourselves out. As long as we can bring ourselves back to the present and remind ourselves that things are ok now. We need a lifeline out of our pain. Allow gratitude to play a part in your letting go. Gratitude for the lessons you learned, the gifts you have been given to cherish forever. Gratitude for your resilience through it all.

Trust that letting go takes time. Our bodies have a way of healing that we will never completely understand. Painful emotions have a way of showing themselves at exactly the times we need to open new doors to new places, new joys, new chapters. The ending of something is a gateway to the beginning of something else. That is something we can be sure of. For those who want to grow, pain is inevitable. For those who seek their purpose here on this planet, growth is inevitable. Remember – on the other side of pain there is joy – you cannot appreciate one without having experienced the other.

Letting go is messy and difficult. To tell you the truth I don’t think anyone has the perfect recipe for it. We are just trying our best to move forward and enjoy what we have around us in the moment. Keep coming back to the moment. Trust that you are doing your best right now, and that you did your best with what you had available to you before. Live with integrity and believe that you always have. Things have a way of settling with time. Trust this. Things have a way of being ok. Things have a way of being better than you thought. Or not. But we keep believing either way.

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Feel your Feelings

This sounds kind of simple, but we go to great lengths sometimes to avoid feeling our feelings. To avoid seeing what’s there, under the rippling surface vying for our attention. Sometimes we underestimate how much we are feeling. The busier life gets, the harder it is for us to find time to be with ourselves. The more challenging it can become to drop down into our emotions for a minute. The less likely we are to feel real. The more things and plans and work and responsibilities we give ourselves, the further we can get from our true being. The being inside me (and inside you), that longs for quiet moments, sipping our tea and savouring every flavour of that dark chocolate piece.

We busy ourselves so much that when we do get quiet, we don’t even know how to really be with ourselves. I get busy in my mind thinking of all my plans and future goals and things I “should” be doing. It’s easy to miss the fact that I am here, alive, doing an extraordinary thing just by breathing. The fast-paced state of the world is not our true nature. So then we become anxious, stressed, overwhelmed and burdened. Because our bodies are trying to cope with everything that is coming at us. Just being a human, having a human experience can be a challenge in this world. But it shouldn’t be a challenge to enjoy daily activities. That is why I feel sad…and frustrated…and tired. Tired of trying to keep up. Keep up with who? The more I try to keep up with the world, the less I am close to Myself. Especially if you are a human with trauma, as so many of us are. Keeping up and staying sane brings me to tears regularly. But only the closest of friends would ever know it. We become so good at putting on a brave face, a brilliantly-masked exterior. We are fooling everyone but ourselves.

It’s not a wonder that when I feel most connected to Myself is when time seems to have slowed down – I have slowed down. I am close to nature, or meditating, or practicing yoga. I am having a bath, laying and listening to my partner read a book aloud. Those times are treasured. So treasured that I need to know how to get more of that time. When I slow down and can feel every inhale, exhale. When my awareness is in every part of my body. When a calm, comforting cloud of love surrounds Me. When I feel content in simply being. The gratitude sweeps over me, filling in all the cracks. Little pleasures seem insurmountable. Appreciation for the love and support of others sinks in. I drink in the clear realization that this gift of being alive and here is beyond something that is describable with words. The beauty of my soul and my soul’s co-existence with other souls. The tangible form of my body, being able to touch and feel close to my loved ones. This is what I crave. This is what we are here for.

Make more time. We have more choice than we think we do. Choose acceptance over fear. Choose freedom over restraint. Choose love, over and over again. Choose to be here, in time, in this world…but not a product of this world. Allow the honouring of all that you are and all that you have accomplished to be unveiled and truly felt.