Good Bones

Building a life is hard work. There are missteps, miscalculations, and misunderstandings. Issues will arise for the entirety of your life, but it’s how you build that life that shows if you’ll withstand all the winds that are bound to blow. The key to construction is to have good blue prints, a good crew, and good bones…like a house.

Start with a strong foundation. Self-love is like concrete, sturdy and buildable. It sets the stage for all that comes after and is the deciding factor on whether you build your life for you or make your life a cookie cutter for someone else. Everything you build, with self-love as your backbone, is made to last. It makes room for improvement and if your foundation cracks, you have the tools to fix it. So, before you jump into this life take a moment to reflect on what you want it to look like. Make detailed blueprints and always have a backup plan backed by self-love.

Build yourself up from there, a house is steady when it has good studs. Surround yourself with people who will stand tall and strong when the wind blows. The structure may sway but that’s the leeway you need to bounce back.

The walls are your boundaries, don’t let hate or hurt cross them, and be mindful of the people you let past them. Some will love you deeply, others will scar your heart. And like the holes you make in the drywall when you’re spiraling out of control, scars can be hard to mend. Save yourself the hardship and only let the love in.

Make the guest room a place for your troubles, because they can’t stay forever and decorate with passion. Add rich colors that hold your head when you’ve had a long day. Decorate your life with texture and excitement. I hope you re-paint every once in a while, when you feel you need a change, and you never let your life get boring.

Your house like your life, should be built with room to grow. It can change, and it can adapt, don’t be afraid to make additions and add rooms.

Your life can be big and boisterous, it can take up space like a mansion in the hills. Or, it can be small and quiet, it can make room like a rancher on a dead-end street.

Whatever you want your life to look like, be sure to build it with good bones. A house with good bones won’t fall, and neither will you.

xS

The Protection of Peace

It took me almost 20 years to create a space for myself in this world. I was chained to a bleeding heart and a need to have a tidy little life. I was unable to use the word No and I made sure I reacted to EVERYTHING.

For me, I felt that not reacting to things would leave loose ends in my life. I thought people needed to see and hear how I felt for them to get me. The truth is, they don’t need to get me…or know me. Now, as things get messier and people’s true colors are displayed on the canvas of life, I’ve come to realize not everyone deserves a reaction. Not every situation needs an attached feeling. Sometimes things just are what they are, and they can’t be changed.

I’m a HUGE believer in the concept of karma. The idea that what you put into the world is often what you get out of it is so appealing because, it means that regardless of the turmoil around you, if you create peace you will receive it. You don’t have to make every feeling known and you don’t have to explain yourself to everyone. Some pictures are better left unpainted.

Sometimes, we get stuck in situations that don’t reflect our own karma, and this, is because the universe is testing you. We can’t control the things that happen to us, or the things people say to us, but we can control our reaction to it. Your karma comes from how you react to situations. Do you scream and yell? Or do you create a solution? That solution can be anything from resolving a situation, to just straight up blocking someone from all aspects of your life. When a person finds a way to infiltrate your peace, it’s your job to suppress their influence.

I reacted to situations in ways that made me nasty. So, I stopped reacting. I channeled that energy into laughing with my friends and telling someone I love them. Sometimes in your most negative moments you just have to completely change your focus. Drop the entire situation, text your friend that you appreciate them, take any opportunity you have to erase a bad feeling and fill it with kindness. Maybe not kindness toward a person or situation that bothers you, but kindness toward something. Take that energy that you would have put into the world in bad taste and reverse the whole idea. Drop the black paint and pick up yellow. Start painting your life with love, in bright colors.

You never need to defend your existence to anyone, especially those who aren’t even capable of stabilizing their own. People will do their best to step into your life and make space for themselves. They’ll take up room in your thoughts and will fight to make sure you hear them in the moments where they couldn’t be more wrong. Looking out for your own peace will make it possible for others to understand how they’re disturbing their own, by trying to uproot yours.

My life has tested me in the most extreme ways and because of that, there are so many negative things that can’t reach me. I’ve found that lately my peace is almost untouchable. I know who I am. I am a fierce friend, and an even fiercer opponent. My heart is soft but selective. My circle is small but strong. And thanks to these qualities, my peace is safe and sound.

I made my life my art and painted yellow with a wide brush over everything. I’ve learned not everyone deserves to be a part of your picture, in any form. Not in darkness and not in light. You can exist on your own wavelength while they exist on theirs. Parallel lines that never touch.

Make your peace your prerogative. Take control of your canvas. And paint your life in colors that complement each other.

xS

Friendships With the Half-Hearted

When people leave our lives, it can hurt. Some people leave and it’s a quick burn, like grabbing onto a frying pan when it’s still too hot. Others leave an ache in your heart that is lasting and constant. In all of these departures, friendly and unfriendly, there is always disappointment.

We are always striving to do more, to be more, and to give more. But, we hardly ever hold our friends accountable for letting us down. We often forget to examine our friendships in the same way we examine what kind of friend we are. Are the people in our lives meeting the same standards we have for ourselves?

We hold onto people because of our history with them or because we feel like we need to take care of them. We hope that there will come a time when the friendship is no longer half-hearted or that they listen to understand and not to respond. Sometimes, it just can’t get there.

With these one-sided friendships there comes a point where you have to let go of people who were never holding onto you. When they decide that their time and attention would be better spent elsewhere don’t take it as an insult, take it as a chance to widen your circle and replace the energy.

Our view gets clouded by people who are only in our lives for their own benefit, it makes Dead Flowersit hard to keep up with other friendships when you don’t see what the rest of the world sees. In your own time, you will master the art of weeding out the dead flowers. There’s no sense in wasting water on them.

There is a teaching in buddhism about how an evil friend is worse than a wild beast, “wild beasts wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind”. Having  even one draining friendship only holds you back from finding people who will last in your life. People who will give as much as they get. People who will never take advantage of you or your story. People who will build with you, not just because of you.

I struggled for a long time before I understood that there can be good in goodbyes. I took every failed friendship like a shot to the chest when in reality, it was dead weight being lifted. Sometimes it takes a while to realize some people just aren’t for you. Their energy will never match yours and their spirit will never inspire you. That’s okay.

Focus your attention on those that bring you peace, people who you can rely on in your worst moments.  The climate of your life is not fit for all flowers, even the ones you take care of year after year in the hopes that they’ll bud. Surround yourself with friends who never make you feel used, and water relationships that you know will grow.

And as always, make sure there are a few sunflowers in your garden, souls like sunflowers can grow anywhere.

xS

Refocusing

After almost a year hiatus, I’m back.

There’s a lot of truth to the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty pot.” I spent last summer as an empty pot. Not sure where I was headed, what I wanted or, what I needed.  I helped start a club at school, and dropped out of it to work more. I lost the motivation to go to the gym or see my friends. My life was all over the place and I couldn’t manage to keep myself focused on one thing. I was constantly distracted by people and things that were draining me, being pulled in every direction by people who needed this and wanted that. I forgot to step back and take care of my own life.

I emptied my tank picking up everyone else without stopping for gas.

I needed to learn how to gauge people’s ability to accept and reciprocate, or at least appreciate the energy I gave them. Putting that undervalued energy into people, who will not grow because of it, results in nothing but waste.  What I learned was this, it is our choice as to who and what we put our time into, so make it count.

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I found one of my biggest stressors and also a major time waster was my social media. For me, it was full of people who I didn’t connect with in the real world, and whose outlook on life didn’t align with mine. The scam of social media is that you never know what’s true and what’s smoke and mirrors. I found myself feeling exhausted by all the drama and the over exaggerations of people lives. You can’t get caught up in comparing yourself with people who hardly exist outside the confines of an algorithm.

I started to limit my time on social media and un-followed pages that didn’t spark joy. Sometimes we forget that even our social media is an energy exchange. Being up till 1am reading people’s thoughts on Twitter or Instagram can be extremely wearing. So, if you’re going to spend hours a day flipping through pages and pages of other peoples lives, make sure their lives make you excited about continuing and bettering your own.

I stopped putting my energy into the wrong things. I was spreading myself thin trying to keep up with the demands of the world when I should have been the one demanding once in a while. So, I quit letting the idea’s of how I should exist write the rules in my life.

I went on this year with a fresh outlook and a no-nonsense attitude. I changed my major instead of learning to love my old one. I managed to score a position on the board of a club at school, and I started using the word no. If something wasn’t going to help me move forward or feel better it was a no go.

Be confident in your ability to know what is best for you, and what you need to do to for you. Focusing your energy on yourself is an important factor in becoming the best person you can be, for yourself and those around you. You can’t pour a cup from an empty pot.

Put good energy into the world, and where it matters.

xS