How to Stick to Your Goals and Become Amazing

While I was on the ferry home to Victoria from Vancouver, I was in my car and thinking about how “off” I got when I was not in my regular routine and visiting my family. How I, along with so many people, allow themselves to cheat or push things aside that are important to them when they go “away” – but you are not “away.” You are still in your body, you still have your mind, you still have all the same dreams and desires you had before – don’t neglect them.

When I go to Vancouver, I start visiting all these raw and vegan food places I “miss” and binge on things that I know are not great for me (though to everyone else they’d be ridiculously healthy – but for me, I feel the difference). Funny thing is that I didn’t even enjoy many of those things. I started to neglect the workout regime I’ve been very dedicated to for the last 2 months – luckily I did a little bit, but when I was sitting in my car thinking about it, really I could have done everything normally, I just made excuses. I wasn’t going on “vacation” and even if I was, I wouldn’t go “away” to escape from my freaking goals. Going “away” is to visit people, see new places, escape from work – NOT to neglect what is important to you.

And so I decided, along with the word “tenacious,” that I wanted to be able to describe myself as “dedicated.” Similar, yes, but decidedly different. Next time I go to visit the mainland, or anywhere, I will know to factor in EVERYTHING that is important to me that I do regularly, and to not skip it or sabotage it just because I make the excuse of being AWAY.

So, what are you? How could you be defined? How do you WANT to be defined? What words would you like to describe yourself by? Start calling yourself those things and you will become them.

What are you dedicated to? As you can see, I have neglected writing in my blog for a couple of weeks – I consciously made that decision, as I was starting to rebel against the schedule I set for myself. I do well with guidelines, but not strict rules. However, I have neglected writing in general, which to me is just sacrilege. Even if I am not writing here, I must write. Daily. And so I dedicate myself.

I dedicate myself fully to writing, to raw foods, and to fitness. I dedicate myself to my Ninjutsu practice. I dedicate myself to animal welfare and preserving the planet as much as I can. Everything on my list are things I dedicate myself to DAILY or at least weekly. Having this reminder to look at every day is paramount to my success. It’s so easy to forget goals and things that make us better people – we all want to be the best versions of ourselves. It’s stupid to envy others and want to be them – why not be the best YOU? Have you even tried that?

All of those adjectives I wrote…I already am, or am becoming. Always have things to strive for. I love myself as is, but I want to become better and better. Why wouldn’t I? Or you? So many people give up – “I’m too old” or “I’m too fat” or “I’m too boring.” What you tell yourself you are, you are. Tell yourself something different. Make it something you can BELIEVE, though. Even if you are a couch potato, you can say “I am athletic” because you actually are – you just have to wake that part of yourself UP. Your body has always been athletic, but you have to use it in that way! You have always been healthy, but you have to give your body the right conditions to thrive in! Allow it to heal! You have to do the work. This is sort of like affirmations, but not. You really have to find that part of yourself that can believe what you are saying. You’re not going to believe you are something if you aren’t that way IN THAT MOMENT, so choose your words carefully. Find a way to believe it. Dig deep, question everything. Find the truth in what you are saying.

You are worthy and you are capable. You are resilient. Get out there and live.

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Undoing


Art by Iain MacArthur

When something rotten happens to you, or you are snared in a net made of manipulation, hatred, or negativity, and you finally escape…who are you?

Are you buried beneath years of neglect, lies, and defeat?

Your life circumstances mold you. Obviously. So, are you really YOU? Or are you hidden under all of the things that have shaped you?

Are you YOU because of the things YOU have done? The things YOU create? The things YOU put out in the world? Or have you been influenced by others for far too long? Have they shaped you more than you have shaped yourself?

It’s really terrifying to realize that other people have a lot to do with what makes us “who we are.” If those things are negative, at least.

Let me give you an example.

When I was a child, I was ultra-sensitive, sweet, passive, and introspective. I am still those things (though I am a lot less passive!). But having those attributes made me an easy target, and I was bullied, a lot. For a long time.

A lot of people have had it WAY worse than I did, but those years still tarnished me. Eventually something in me shifted, and I embraced myself as an oddity and became fierce. This sudden change likely startled people and they finally left me alone. Effective. My brain took note of this without me actually thinking about it much.

Instead of having a middle ground, though, I basically became the opposite of who I’d been before that. Years of cultivating that “bitch” in myself to survive my surroundings really suppressed the sweet, happy girl inside.

Let me add in that I am glad I have some of these more vicious qualities, but it took me a VERY long time to calm back into a mixture of the two; back to how I’d been as a child, yet with the ABILITY to be a banshee. It took me about the same amount of time to restore this light part of me as it did to cultivate the newer, darker part.

Then, as an adult, I was with someone really damaging. It was a slow process, one I didn’t even realize was taking place – their dark vortex sucked me in – eventually I was so deep in that I was gasping to surface, and did some crazy things to bail myself out.

After four years of slow regression, I am only now beginning to surface from the negative influence I was around so much. It’s been a year. I am still working on rebecoming who I resurfaced as before.

So the point of this story is to show you that who you surround yourself with is going to determine so, so much of your life. Do you even KNOW who you are? Who were you as a child? What happened to you? How do you WANT to be?

You can undo the damage caused by others (even if it’s really awful, I think it’s possible). This is also not about “being a victim” as this sort of thing happens to everyone. You really are the culmination of the people you spend the most time with, and how you spend your time – change things. This is YOUR power. You choose who you are around (unless you’re very young, of course), so I implore you – get away, go deep, and really discover who is underneath all that other shit.

Question who you listen to. (Psst: here’s a hint – it should be YOURSELF and you should be LOVING.)

You have a survival instinct for a reason – if you feel badly about yourself it is because you are listening to others, and the voices of your past – not YOURSELF).

Shiny Things

I am just too interested in everything.

I am like a crow with shiny things – except shiny things to me can be almost anything (including shiny things.)

This love of information is overwhelming, crushing, and terrifying, because I know I will never take it all in – the amount of beauty out there is staggering – it’s on the same scale as the horrors, but so many people only focus on the bad stuff – and as much as I try to bear witness, I cannot get too deep into the despair because I will seriously drown, and it will mar the beauty I want to swim in.

I was in a lovely mood tonight but when out for dinner, the first hour of conversation was so bleak that I just felt myself crumble. Eventually I mumbled, “Can we talk about something else?”

I am so sensitive – I have always been this way. It made me a target and eventually I conjured the shield of snarliness and venom. I can take offense at the dumbest things, but lately I have been very aware of my reactions and try not to get too upset when someone might just ask something at the wrong time (usually when I am tired). I am also sensitive to negativity, and when everything becomes too dark I want to run away to a shiny, pretty, candy mountain, or float off like a dandelion puff.

I like to focus on beauty. This strawberry I am eating is orgasmic. I could be swept away in the juicy scarlet luster of this strawberry – I could even get one tattooed on my neck (oh wait, I did that).

The highlight of my day was receiving two books I ordered at work, an expensive novel and an illustrated novel. I was enchanted by an interview with Neil Gaiman and then felt excitement well up in me to read his stuff again after not reading it for years.

I get gooey every time I see a little dog puttering down the street. I get flames of love when I think about all the beautiful creatures I will help in Thailand. I was so catapulted by fruit sugar and a rare piece of cacao that during work all I could imagine was jumping like a dingbat on my rebounder. I am delirious with excitement about my work’s raw vegan summer party tomorrow, and even more stoked to go pillage the downtown library for more graphic novels.

I could live at the library. I could spend all my day writing and drawing. I could vanish into a K-hole of travel as if I was in a tube of rainbows.

Yeah, a lot of aspects of life blow huge bloody globules, but man, there is so much other gorgeousity, look UP for once.

~~

Here’s a pic of me in shiny things, taken at a Peaches concert in 2009.

Dark Vs. Light

Before I went raw, I was a gloomy little shit.

But about 10 days later, I was lifted into the sky, a sweet angelic hippie, a twinkling orb; I wanted to heal the world, i felt so happy. Was this the real me, underneath all the toxic crap? What about the gothy-girl who loved darkness and morbid skull-blood-nastiness?

I still struggle with this dichotomy. 

There is a half that wants positivity and light, caravans and vast expanses of green lands to grow fruit trees and house vagabonds, dreadlock my hair and never wear make-up, make love in the weeds and raise children in nature with my perfect soul lover, surfing in the morning light and being gypsy-creatures in a commune.

Then there is that side that wants partially shaved hair, lip rings and tattoos, latex and nights in the club with strangers and making out with androgynous beauties, raucous evenings, the part that wants to just dive into blackness alone and eat musty tasting mushrooms and then laugh at the trees. This part of me that admires defying death, the part that sees beauty in zombies and ghouls, the scowling, raven-hair-dyed, red lipped vixen. That part.

I am split in half – is one half me, and one not? Or are they both me? These sides are so different and it seems insane that they can co-exist within one brain. I don’t want to deny either side.

I find in the raw food community, everyone is all about au-naturale and eschewing anything perceived as negative or dark.

I like to embrace both sides. I respect and see beauty in both worlds. There is a divinity in shadows.

There is a huge part of my life that has been dark – but not necessarily in a bad way. I have found so much inspiration and loveliness in spooks. Even now I am drawn to creepy things, just as much as rainbows and sunshine.

I don’t think you need to deny the shadow self, at all. Embrace it when it comes out. There is beauty there. When you close off to one thing, you cannot learn from it, be inspired by it, or appreciate what may come of it.

So many of us have risen from the depths of a black abyss – it has birthed us. Don’t forget where you came from.

Snipping Ties

I’ve always been the type to want to keep people in my life, no matter what. I figure, if I loved them or cared for them at some point, then I always would.

I forgive very easily. I have not had things done to me that I find unforgivable – even if I am angry for a long time, eventually I move past it, and want the person back in my life in some way, or at least to make peace with them.

I stay curious – I wonder how they are, what they’re doing, how their life is. I give a shit.

This has changed recently.

It began when I was on facebook, and was getting random rude comments from someone I had dated in 2003, someone who I still really liked and admired. The comments were completely brash and uncalled for.

The first time I considered deleting him, but part of me didn’t want to let go. The last time he did it, I really mulled it over (not for very long) and thought, “What is this person adding to my life?”

I came to the conclusion that he really added nothing. He had at one point (sort of) but staying connected with him really was doing me no good, so I bit my lip and hit the unfriend button.

Instead of feeling regret, I felt relief.

I’ve done this before, in real life situations – it sucked, but the relief always came. I always thought it would lead to panic, but instead it cut the ties to negative influence.

My nostalgic ways are lessening. I have always looked backwards, and now want to look forward. I’ve learned enough from my past, and still learn now – but my past  has already shown me what I need to know – I don’t need to cling to it.

Within the last month I’ve dropped three people I kept a hold on. One was a friend who never forgave me for something minor and accidental – I held hope for about 4 years that she would come around, but she never did, so I gave up – that hopeful energy is now released and can be directed elsewhere.

Another is an ex-boyfriend who I never really got over. I felt as if when he came to town, he only ever invited me to his shows as a way to get a bigger audience. I didn’t feel that way at first, but when I asked to hang out outside the show, I got no responses. This has happened for years. I sent him another message saying  I would stop pestering him and “See ya, have a beautiful life.”

I am not angry or hateful to any of these people – I just am letting them go so I can move on with my life and make room for others. I wish these people nothing but love and happiness – I do still care for them, but in order for a friendship to be worthwhile it has to be reciprocal!

I have enough acquaintances – I want real, strong friendships, and that is what I want to focus my love on – not broken threads.

Though, sometimes, people surprise me and come back into my life – bigger, stronger, more loving! I love when this happens, and I do welcome people back with open arms, as long theirs are outstretched too.

So snip the people out of your life who do nothing to uplift you and accept your love, whether it be in real life, your business, facebook, whatever. You only get a limited time in a human body, you might as well make it as positive an experience as you can.