Welcome to Bringing Back Awesome, where we hope to enrich your life every single day with a dash of excitement and a punch of awesomeness!

Darkness vs light

dark-and-lightLately I’ve been going through something. To be honest, I’m not even sure of how to articulate what that something is. The closest I can come to describing it is a struggle between darkness and light. Not in the sense of good vs evil. More along the lines of light = goodness, joy, and a sense of being carefree vs darkness = worry, trying to force life to go my way, and fear that it won’t.

I’ve been feeling as if there is a wall around me preventing me from moving forward in my life, a wall that I’m fighting with, and I’ve suspected that it’s a wall of my own creation. And yet I haven’t quite been able to figure out what that wall is made of. Or how to break it down. Or climb over it. Or even to accept its presence. I keep running into that wall trying to knock it down with some sort of brute force, with a sense of fortitude or force of personality. Or trying to out-think it.

And nothing’s working.

Needless to say, it’s been a struggle. Uncomfortable. Like shedding an old skin that no longer fits. Have you ever been through something like this? Perhaps you have. I’m guessing that most people who have a desire for consciousness and growth have probably felt something similar.

At the same time, and probably not so coincidentally, I’ve also been going through what I will call a spiritual awakening. Seems that I’ve come to a point in my life when I’ve felt a strong urge to delve a bit deeper into my spiritual life. Not that I haven’t always been a spiritual person, because I have. But more in a practical sense. Accepting that there’s more than I can understand and appreciating that there’s a presence of something out there, but only allowing it into my life in a very “it is what it is” kind of application. Passive application versus active participation, I suppose.

And now that’s changing. A whole other world is opening up to me. And I find it amazing and comforting. But do I trust it? Perhaps that is one of the questions that I am railing against.

Do I trust that presence, that life force, to guide me in my life to where I should be? I suspect that this is one of the bricks of the wall that is building such a barrier for my forward movement right now.

However, just this morning, after yet another night of angst of wondering how to proceed to make my life what I think it should be, what I desperately want it to be, another night of doubt, another night of fighting against something – perhaps only against myself – I began to realize what is holding me back. I began to identify at least one of the bricks of the wall that I have built, the wall that holds me back and encompasses my heart and soul.

Fear.

Such a simple word, and yet so very powerful.

Fear that I will always be stuck in my current situation. Fear that I will not become the person I was meant to be. Fear that I will not be able to expand my world in the way that I want to. Fear that people whom I feel I need so dearly will not come into my life. Fear that I will always be alone. Fear that my youth is fleeting and that time is wasting. Fear that I won’t ever be able to do the things that mean so much to me. Fear that I won’t meet my potential. Fear that I will come to the end of my days filled with regrets.

That’s a lot of fear.

No wonder I’ve been feeling like there’s a wall around me holding me back.

Now it’s probably not that surprising that the great fear wall has surfaced at the same time as the spiritual awakening. I’m guessing that they go hand-in-hand. The essence of darkness vs light.

I suppose it’s a question of trust. Will I trust that to which I am opening my heart and mind and soul? Will I really allow it to come into my life in a way that is meaningful? Will I allow it to break down those walls? Will I let go of constantly trying to control things that are likely not controllable? Will I truly believe?

Some of these questions aren’t just about the mystical, but about acceptance. Will I accept who I am and where I am in my life?

This is not to say that I can’t make an effort to change my lot in life, because I believe wholeheartedly that I can and that each and every one of us can. But I think that first it’s essential to put down the sword and stop fighting against oneself. To accept that things may not be how we like them right at this moment and yet we still need to find it in our hearts to love ourselves and our lives right now, right as things are, right this very minute.

To accept that it is OK to be where we are right now and to feel exactly how we feel right at this moment in time, even if it’s not perfect or happy. Even if it’s scary as hell.

To find joy in this very moment, even if really sucky things are happening. Accepting that this, too, this moment that is uncomfortable or maybe even unhappy, is just as much a part of our beautiful life experience as the most joyous and wonderful moment.

I’m thinking that only then can we rise like the phoenix from the ashes and truly move forward in life. Accepting all and loving all that we are given. Fully and wholly. Now that’s what I call a resurrection of a human life and the human spirit.

Slow and steady

slow-and-steady-wins-the-race1Slow and steady wins the race.

Or so the saying goes.

Actually, slow and steady sucks.

There. I said it.

Slow and steady sucks ass. Especially when you want what you want. Or when you’re going through something. And by going through something, I mean going through something negative. Let’s just get it over with already.

But that’s not how it works, is it?

In fact, it seems like the more we fight whatever it is, the longer it lasts.

So our options are fight with oneself or surrender.

Surrender doesn’t come easily to someone who wants what they want when they want it. To someone prideful. Nope, surrender is not an easy word to spit out and it’s an even harder concept to digest.

And so we sit with it. Whatever it is that we’re struggling with. We sit and sit and sit. And then we sit some more. Slow and steady. Not winning any races that I can see.

Not until we surrender to its will. Because we can’t fight it forever, whatever it is that we’re struggling with.

So eventually, slowly and slowly and slowly we may just approach the finish line. But not without a fight.

Perhaps it’s time to put down the sword and gain some acceptance that some things in life just unfold at their own pace, whether we like it or not.

Slow and steady may suck, but it ultimately wins the race.

A simple life

recessI like the sounds of children running and screaming at recess.

I like wearing striped underwear.

I like climbing back into bed on a chilly morning.

I like the jingle-jangle of coins in a man’s pocket.

I like to turn the pages of a book.

I like the smell of old-fashioned soap.

I like to feel the wind in my hair as I pedal my bike.

I like all the sights and sounds of a mundane life.

What simple things in life do you like?

Jump without a net

ashipissafeThe good things in life – the really good stuff – doesn’t always come easily. Often it’s a bit dangerous. It’s as if there’s a bit of risk attached. Like you’re jumping without a net. Taking a leap of faith.

Maybe you screwed up and are feeling sheepish about making things right again. Maybe you want to lead a life that’s out of the ordinary. Maybe you want to change your life in ways that no one ever expected of you. Maybe you want live and love large.

While it seems so difficult to take a leap of faith – to jump without that safety net – it’s really rather simple. We all have two very simple and distinct choices to make. They are…

1. Continue doing exactly what you’re doing right now and risk living a life filled with pain and regret

OR

2. Take a dangerous leap and risk falling to the ground with no net, resulting in the potential for great pain, rejection, and embarrassment or the potential for smashing success.

See? The options are quite simple.

Perhaps you didn’t notice this because thinking through your personal leap of faith may have propelled you into an instant state of anxiety, but let me tell you what I observe about those two simple choices. Both options leave you with the potential for a bad outcome.

But somehow the pain of the first choice seems like it might be a lot worse and be more far-reaching in our lives. Always wondering “What if?” is a terrible way to run a life.

Whereas if you go with the second option, at least you tried. At least you mustered up your courage and took a chance. So maybe it goes your way or maybe it doesn’t. And maybe you’ll even still end up feeling miserable, but at least you will have taken a risk and made your best effort to fulfill your dream, and let me tell you, that means something. It means that you can walk away with your head held high. It means that you can rest easy knowing you had the courage to try. It means that you can close the door on that chapter of your life with no regrets.

So go ahead. Make that phone call. Take that far away vacation. Start that business. Do the thing that scares you the most. Jump without a net.

You never know…you may just land on your feet. In fact, you may just end up having a wonderful life. Then one day you’ll look back and think about what might have happened if you didn’t take that leap of faith and you’ll be so overjoyed that you did.

So go ahead. Jump.

Compassion

Compassion-Share-It

We want to hear from you, our readers! What do you think?

Compassion is defined as “being sympathetic of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it”

But what happens when compassion is lost?

Let us know what you think.

Love yourself

hug-yourself

Ultimately, everything comes down to loving yourself. How you treat yourself, how you care for your body, how you nuture your heart and soul, how you expand your mind, how you feel about and treat others, and even your capacity to love others.

If you don’t love yourself, fully and with abandon, none of the other things will fall in line as beautifully as they can nor will you reach your fullest potential as a human being.

When we are born, we are primed and ready to receive love, from ourselves and from others. In fact, we require it to survive.

And then life begins to take swipes at us. Some poor souls experience the harshness of life and lack of love even as babies and young children. Others take more whacks as they grow older. Many, many people in this world – far too many – are hurt and damaged in ways that have taught them not to love themselves. Tragic, but reversible, if you wish to make changes in your life.

But where to begin?

Perhaps it’s not a simple or direct path – more like peeling away the layers of an onion – but definitely a path that each and every one of us can and should embark upon.

Maybe we just begin with being kinder to ourselves. Recognizing our own worth. And investing in ourselves. Or perhaps begin a spiritual journey to discover your truth, whatever that may be. Begin to love and appreciate your flaws and your quirky self. It’s what makes you uniquely you.

Tell yourself aloud and in your head, “I love you!” Say it again and again, like a beautiful mantra.

If that sounds hokey or strange, read “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It” by Kamal Ravikant.

love yourself 1It’s a quick, yet potentially life-changing read.

Most of all, take care of you. You’re the only you there is, and that makes you very special. So love yourself. And if you don’t know how, learn to love yourself. It will make you a better person and the world a better place.

Find your tribe

findyourtribeFind your tribe.

Those very special people who bring great joy to your life. Who make you happy when you’re sad. Who lift you up when you fall down. Who accept you and love you for who you are. Who encourage you to embrace who you are and where you are and what you are feeling, without question and without asking you to change.

You may not have more than one or two of these people in your life, and that’s fine. They may be a motley crew, and that’s fine too. And if you don’t have a tribe, don’t give up until you find them. They will bring endless joy to your life and you will likely bring the same to them.

So go find your tribe. They’re waiting for you.

Put Yourself Out There

LornaJaneQuoteButtercupInk_2

If you don’t put yourself out there, how can you possibly move forward?

Are you afraid of rejection?

Are you afraid of being out of your comfort zone?

How will you meet new people?

How will you get the new job?

Are you afraid to ask?

There are a million reasons why we don’t put ourselves out there. And fear seems to be standing in our way.

But you have nothing to lose by putting yourself out there, and everything to gain. I’ve met some wonderful people by putting myself out there, and some celebrities too. The reason that has happened is because I just put myself out there. I ask, I make it known, whatever you have to do. And quite honestly, it’s not always easy. However, once you do it, you can start to have a lot of fun with it.

Go for it and Put Yourself Out There! The worst that could possibly come out of it would be you end up right where you are now.

Me, Will Farrell, and my husband - putting ourselves out there & asked for a pic - he willing obliged

Me, Will Farrell, and my husband – putting ourselves out there & asked for a pic – he willing obliged

It isn’t easy

never simple never easySome relationships just aren’t easy. There’s nothing simple about them, and no matter how we try, there is always something awkward, or worse yet, painful.

Disappointment, angst, hurts large and small, unfairness, lingering sadness, or just plain feeling uncomfortable.

Chances are, in a lot of cases, it’s not fixable. It is what it is. Especially if it’s someone we can’t easily write out of our story.

So we deal with it. We realize that every now and then we will feel that discomfort, that hurt, and the best we can do is to do our best to get used to it and to try not to let it catch us by surprise. Recognize that it’s there, always beneath the surface, like an underground spring, bubbling up to the surface every now and again.

Maybe we get used to it over time, maybe we don’t.

I guess the only things we can do are to try to protect ourselves from the hurt and be thankful for the good relationships we have.

If you have one or two amazing people in your life who make your life easier and richer, then you are very fortunate. If you have more than a couple, then you’re amazingly lucky. Allow them to drown out the feelings of those more uncomfortable relationships in your life. Because in some cases it is easy. Cherish those relationships.

Fight loneliness

celebrate yourself

Today I had to travel for my job. I really don’t mind the travel on occasion, since it allows me to spend some time alone – at least in the evenings when I’m not in meetings.

I like to be alone from time to time, because it allows me to think and process whatever is going on in my life.

Every now and then when I’m alone like this, it’s not a peaceful retreat. Because loneliness sets in. When I slip into a downward spiral about how alone I am.

I’m guessing that this happens to many of us from time to time.

What to do when loneliness grabs you? Fight it!

But how?

  1.  Phone a friend  – Friends are a lifeline when you’re feeling lonely. You don’t even need to unload on them about your loneliness – just talk and connect and have a couple of laughs.
  2. Do something that’s just for you – Treat yourself to something special. It doesn’t have to cost much or anything at all. Sit in the bath by candlelight.  Read a book. Go get a coffee.
  3. Get up and move – Move your body. Get up and do some exercise. You don’t need to belong to a gym. Go for a walk, or even jog in place. Then do some sit-ups and push-ups. All free and you’re going to feel a lot better.

So how did I fight my moment of loneliness? I called Denise and we had some laughs and talked about a couple of serious topics too. Then I went to the hotel gym and worked out for a while. Came away feeling like a million bucks and back on track. Loneliness gone.

But I didn’t stop there.

After my workout I planned my best friend’s birthday dinner and then invited a new friend to lunch.

Now that’s the way to fight loneliness!

What do you do to fight the lonelies when they strike?