Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A letter to myself

"Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself." ~ Cicero 

I wrote myself a letter yesterday. I've had all these thoughts and feelings swimming around inside of me for awhile now, and I just felt like it was time to give myself a pep talk. We all need to turn away from external sources of advice every now and then and just tell ourselves what we think we need to be told. Self-advice is the best advice you can get sometimes.

After reading back over the letter, I knew I had to share it. Writing it really inspired me and helped me put some things back into perspective. I hope it helps you do the same.

~ A Letter to Myself ~

Figure out what you need to do for yourself and for your life ON YOUR OWN. Other people don’t know what you feel in your guts, and other people can’t make you change if you’re not willing to change. You have to take responsibility for your own life, your own guts, your own heart and your own soul. Stop being so concerned about what everyone else is saying or thinking about you. You can’t focus on yourself when you’re focusing on everybody else.

If you have love and happiness in your life, I promise you have enough. Stop questioning and worrying about everything else. You’re going to die one day. Nothing else will matter on that day, so it shouldn’t matter so much now.

Try new things and see new places whenever you can. There is an infinite amount of beauty and inspiration in the world. Get off your butt and go look for it.

Take pictures weekly, and try to write in your journal more often. You don’t want to look back on your life one day just to find a bunch of empty pages and sketchy memories. This is your life, and it’s going to fly by. Capture as much of it as you can.

If you are happy, let yourself be happy. Seriously. Being happy for no reason in particular is a wonderful thing, not a weird thing. Stop spoiling all the fun.

Your well-being is worth fighting for. Your dreams are worth fighting for. Love is worth fighting for. Never even THINK about giving up on any of these things.

People will not always perceive you the way you want to be perceived or treat you the way you want to be treated. That should never change the way you perceive and treat yourself.

Life is hard sometimes, and very little comes easy. Just remember that.

You need to give yourself more credit and start recognizing your worth as a unique individual. Speak your mind, share your soul, be yourself and stand up for the things that matter to you. And do it unapologetically.

Fear can be a good thing depending on how you choose to look at it. Fear usually means you’re evolving. Fear means you’re alive.

People can’t read your mind. You need to practice speaking up.

You’re beautiful just the way you are. Stop complaining about your face, hair, etc. It’s all in your head. You look fine.

When people compliment you, believe them.

Make sure you’re listening to your gut and feeding your soul on a regular basis.

Take care of your body. Go for more walks. Try healthy recipes. Have a drink of water every time you pass the fridge. Keep yourself feeling as energized and wholesome as you possibly can. You’ll be glad you did once you start getting older.  

Don’t forget to take your own advice every once in awhile.

Money is important, but it is way less important than you make it out to be sometimes. You have everything you need. Look around.

If something feels right, it’s probably right. If something feels wrong, it’s probably wrong. Trust your judgment.

You are a constant work in progress. You will always be imperfect, and there will always be a lot that you don’t know. Stop being so hard on yourself. It’s an exhausting waste of time and energy.

Let go---whatever that means to you at any given moment. Just let go.

<3 Madison 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Trust your soul

Hey friends. I am currently writing to you from a bit of a sleep deprived state, but I will try my best to avoid sounding aggressive, drunk, or like I just now learned how to make words and compile them into coherent sentences.

I write a lot about my soul on this blog---hence the title of it. I try to nurture and be in tune with my soul as much as possible, and I'm constantly learning, growing and healing as a result of that.

If there's one thing I've learned about my soul, it's that fear and doubt have a powerful tendency to make it shrivel up and try to lead me astray. This has happened more times than I can count.

I am in the process of pursuing my dream career, as I have been for awhile now. But every now and then, I start to question what I'm doing and wonder if I'm good enough to pull it off. I'm pretty sure I've told you guys that many times before, but sometimes I seriously wonder if I have any idea what I'm doing/talking about. I start feeling and thinking all these different things. I feel like an amateur. I feel overwhelmed. I feel weak and small. I wonder why people listen to what I have to say in the first place. I wonder if I'll ever make enough money to stop by brother from jokingly handing me pennies and saying things like, "Here's your weekly pay!" (*sigh* Brothers...) I worry that people are secretly judging what I do and wishing I would do something else.

I just wonder a lot of different things sometimes.

But you know what? At the end of most days, I feel happy and proud of myself. At the end of most days, I realize that there's nothing else I'd rather do and that all the uncertainty, stress, fear and doubt I sometimes feel are all very small prices to pay.

Because at the end of the day, I still know what I want. My soul still knows what I want.

So I keep going. When I keep working and keep believing, things start happening---Wonderful things that validate my decisions and remind me that my soul is not crazy after all.

When something feels right in the very pit of your gut, you have to trust it---even when you're scared or feel clueless and out of control. Because that feeling knows you better than you know yourself and will never disappoint as long as you don't stray from it.

Trust that you're on the right track. Don't let fear try to convince you that you're not.

<3 Madison

p.s. How would you guys feel about me posting a different excerpt each day (Monday-Friday) next week from a mini-memoir I wrote last year? I was inspired to write it after reading the book Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi, which is a very honest and moving book. It inspired me to write about some of my own personal struggles---things I've never really talked much about on here. I came across it the other day and was trying to figure out what to do with it. Hold on to it? Re-write and publish it? Post little bits and pieces of it on my blog? I honestly can't decide if I want to publish excerpts here or hold on to it and potentially publish it as a whole someday.

What do you guys think? Is that something you would like to see, or do you think I should just hang on to it for awhile until I decide if I want to publish it altogether?

Let me know! Thanks. <3  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What if syndrome

I'm no doctor, but I know a sickness of the soul when I see one---or feel one. What if syndrome is a very common soul sickness and occasionally decides to pay me unexpected visits. I'm sure almost everyone has experienced what if syndrome at some point in their life. But in case you're not completely sure if you have it or not, I would like to show you a list of its most common symptoms.

Symptoms of what if syndrome

~ Wondering what your life would be like right now if you had taken a different path besides the one you're on

~ Wondering if your current circumstances would be better if you had made a different choice

~ Uncomfortable feelings of anxiety and regret

~ Anticipating the dropping of the other shoe in an aspect of your life that is going exceptionally well (Career, relationship, etc.)

~ Fear of the future

~ Being terrified of making any choice that could potentially affect your future in an unexpected or unplanned way

~ Constantly fearing that your life will ultimately take a turn for the worst

~ Worrying about whether or not you're good enough to live up to a pre-conceived notion of other people's expectations

While there is currently no known cure for what if syndrome, I have come up with a few ways to alleviate the discomfort of it.

Ways to alleviate the discomfort of what if syndrome

~ Take a minute to be grateful for what you have instead of focusing only on what you don't have. Seriously. It's surprisingly liberating.

~ If you're unhappy with the course of your life, know that it's not too late to change directions. Take a little step in a different direction each day.

~ Make a conscious effort to stop worrying about the future. It hasn't arrived yet, and you have no way of knowing how it's going to turn out.

~ If you're happy, let yourself be happy. Don't obsess over potentially losing that happiness in the future.

~ Leave the past in the past. Don't stress over something you can't change.

~ Surround yourself with people who love you, believe in you, support you, and tell you how awesome you are.

~ Take a risk or try something new without thinking too much about the outcome.

~ Eat lots of ice cream and get plenty of rest.

<3 Madison

Friday, August 3, 2012

Just so you know...

In case any of you need to be told some of the things I've had to tell myself over the past few weeks...

It only takes one second to tell yourself that you can't do something and one more second to remind yourself that you can and you will.

Society's definition of beauty should not match YOUR definition of beauty.

You are loved and thought about.

Everything takes time. The ability to be patient both with yourself and with the progression of your life is a wonderful ability to have.

Don't break your traditions or stop doing the things that make you happy for the sake of pleasing someone else.

If you want people to give you a chance, remember to give them a chance too.

Judging yourself still counts as judging.

Fear is a perfectly valid emotion. Don't beat yourself up for being afraid.

Just because someone is accomplishing more than you are doesn't mean you're doing nothing with your life.

There is nothing wrong with buying yourself a gift.

Find something to be grateful for every day.

Laugh more often.

<3 Madison