Be Entirely Flawed and Perfectly Human

tumblr_na0nr11cuk1r7ksqyo1_500.jpg

I used to eat to fill a void.

I used to crave pain to feel alive.

I used to seek attention from just anyone.

I used to disrespect myself to please others.

I used to push the limits to discover my boundaries.

I used to give advice but not take it.

I used to complain expecting results.

I used to dream only in nightmares.

I used to give up before even trying.

I used to fight back expecting the other person to see my point of view.

I used to constantly try to be someone who I wasn't.

I used to think that a superficial life was meaningful.

I used to quiet my inner self and inner voice.

I used to tell myself I wasn't good enough.

I used to compare myself to people I didn't even want to become.

I used to work for people who mistreated me.


These are many things I have endured. Many experiences that have provided me with strength. The lack of self love I had for myself has allowed me to grow. Everything I've endured has made me crave living authentically, because I've always known who I was, I just shut off that person and told myself she wasn't worthy enough to have a voice in this world.

I still have my moments. I still have my fears. I still have my doubts. But I'm learning to accept them now and feel. I allow myself to feel vulnerable and breathe. Instead of resorting to food, and binge eating to distract and abuse myself for feeling. I now provide myself with love and support. I redirect my train of thinking and focus on the future. I can victimize myself, tear myself down, and criticize every part of me. Believe me, I've done all that over and over again..but where will that get me? What good will that do? If it weren't for all the pain and unpleasant moments and people life has blessed me with, I wouldn't be the beautiful human being I am today. I wouldn't be able to empathize with the wounds in others. I wouldn't be able to see life from different points of view. I wouldn't be able to help others when they need a shoulder to cry on. I wouldn't have been able to provide myself the love and strength I needed first and foremost, which has allowed me to share this with others.

Every time I tell myself I've finally learned my lesson, you know what happens? The next day I'm sent a test. I say I'm going to focus on me, and the next day multiple friends reach out to me asking if I want to do this or that. Distractions. My eyes are now fully open. I feel aware and committed to the process of growth.

I'm human, just like you. I'm sure you can empathize with these thoughts and struggles. We all deal with them. Some of us learn and some of us live unaware. When I tell you I've learned it doesn't mean that I don't have my moments where I fall back into old habits. Oh no..I still have my moments. I'm not perfect and I never will be. I have healed a lot but I now know how to react to these situations in a healthier way. Sometimes I get lured back in to my ego driven ways, but I now recognize this and avoid putting myself in the lions den. If you can gain control in this sense, you've learned a lot and will learn more. Don't allow others to define you, weigh on you, or bring you down. Don't allow yourself to do the same. I don't claim to know it all or know anything really, I'm just sharing with you what life has taught me so far. The most beautiful part about it all is awakening. Every breath you take doesn't mean you are present or feeling it. When you're truly present and alive you don't need to escape reality because you've made reality your escape.

 

Is the Grass Always Greener on the Other Side?

Have you ever been overcome with anxiety because you feel like you aren’t where you need to be in life? This familiar feeling arises within me from time to time, and although I know better than to succumb to these defeated feelings, they can be overwhelming. Pressures that society instills in us and that we instill in ourselves manifest a lot of stress, and we forget to appreciate where we are and all that we are doing.

I’m 26 years old and when I look at my Facebook newsfeed I see posts of friends getting engaged, having kids, and creating homes for themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be happier for these friends, but seeing this makes me think…Am I where I want to be in life? Am I where I thought I would be at this point in my life? There is no grand plan for how your life will turn out, and there is no way in knowing. When you hear about your friend’s lives and what they are up to…do you feel jealous? Anxious? Unsettled? I know I do, and that’s because I am my own worst critic. I know that I want a life where I have financial stability, a home, and a family, and because I don’t have those things yet and other people do, I feel pressure. I recognize this, and it makes me think, will we always believe that the grass is greener on the other side?

Why do we want what we don't have? We latch on to all the reasons why life isn't good enough, and constantly want more. Continuously climbing up a never-ending ladder hoping that when we finally reach the top we will have everything we've ever dreamed of.

What if I told you a little secret? Those feelings will never go away. You will forever yearn for more out of life, your relationships, and career. It's a chronic addiction, and a mind game that will exhaust you to no end.

So how can we overcome this? How do we deal with feeling insignificant? Try not to latch on to the negative, the reasons why things won't work out, why you feel like you aren't good enough, or why you shouldn't keep trying.

Time is on your side my friend. Make the most of it. It's easier said than done to say, "don't rush the process." It's not just some yogi mentality; it's a practice of patience that is acquired with time. When you finally accept that you won't know how long it will take to get to your destination, or if you will ever get there, you finally have given up resistance. You’ve finally learned to accept yourself for who you are in the now, with wrinkles, cellulite, pimples, or other "imperfections." You've learned to embrace everything as a learning experience, a building block, and a part of you.

We have become accustomed to instant gratification, instant results, and have forgotten that worthy things take work, investment and yes, time. Time is contingent to our patience and growth. As we learn and progress, our goals in sight will surprisingly transform as much as we do.

At the end of the day, what we are all searching for is meaning. Meaning in building a prosperous life. Meaning in our relationships. Meaning in the mess of it all. We are all interconnected by this humanistic desire and inner fire that drives us to wake up each morning.

So why is it we always compare our lives to others? What makes what they are doing any better than what you are doing? You see, what's different is the way your friends speak about what they are doing (and we do the same in social situations) or what they share on social media. To you, they seem happy, content and on the right track, because this is what they are forced to portray to ironically make you feel comfortable.

They’ve somehow pushed your insecurity button and envy and jealously inevitably surface. You want to feel the kind of security and happiness they are portraying. However, unbeknownst to you they don't divulge the pain, the disappointment, and all the bad things they have dealt with along the way to where they have gotten (in your mind).

We think that everyone else has their shit together, is able to make more money than us, and has the secret ingredient to this mysterious formula. It's just not the case. We are just thinking romantically and latching on to ideals that society has engrained in us from a young age. Telling us that we will grow up and be rich and have a happy life and family, and once we have all these things, this is the true definition of happiness and success.

The reality is, things aren’t that simple. The definition of success differs from person to person. I realized this when I began meeting people and they were honest about their struggles in life. They were dealing with exactly the same problems as what I was going through. Not being happy with their job, wanting the freedom to travel, and their struggles with dating and being single. I began to realize, I’m not the only one, and neither are you. Get out of your head, stop over-thinking, and begin to look within. What you want, you have the ability to create, but dwelling on what you don’t have, will get you nowhere. 

You would think by now, after all these years of experience, we would have learned. But you know what? People don't like the truth. And why? It's brutal, raw, and honest. The truth can't be romanticized into some fairytale dream with a knight in shining armor. The truth isn't always happy or fun. The truth makes us confront our deepest insecurities. So of course we want to avoid this!

When I was ready to grow I began to welcome all of my insecurities, all of my inner struggles, and a lot of uncomfortable feelings. Why? Because I finally learned that accepting these feelings, these aspects about myself, meant that I finally accepted myself for who I am. Beautifully broken. I use the word broken in a positive context, because being broken means that you have endured pain, and learned how to be resilient and strong.

Most of all you've learned. You've learned that the bits of you that are cracked don't necessarily need to be fixed. You've learned to take responsibility for your actions and words, and you've become more connected to your individual beauty by accepting what you used to perceive were flaws. Those flaws have transformed just as much as you have. I no longer felt like my flaws defined me, and I began to have the strength to define them, because I knew who I was. I realized that I would forever be evolving into a new beauty, into a new beast, into a more aware person.

I realized when I accepted these uncomfortable feelings that I was more connected to my truth. Instead of avoiding the pain, and escaping it through any vice, I decided to look at pain right in the eye. I developed a more consciously aware relationship with pain. I began to ask why it was present, and reflected on my experience with pain to help me become stronger and avoid any self-destructive patterns in the future.

I’ve learned that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s just unknown. It intrigues you, and because others describe their life in a desirable way, you endlessly search for what they have. Not realizing that you’re standing right in your own oasis. Don’t seek what others have, because what they have is unique to their life and their path. Look down where you are standing and notice how the grass feels in between your toes. That’s the beauty in it all. That’s where you will find your success, your strength, and feeling complete in life.

Everyone will always want more, but when you accept what you have in this moment, you will not only attract what you desire, you will become it. That’s the secret, not thinking about how life will be when you have obtained what others have, it’s about realizing all that you have already.  

This is My Story.

Why do I want to work as a healer? Why do I see food as preventative medicine? Why do I feel so passionately about spreading health and knowledge?

This is my story.

I never had a poor body image growing up. I was a child and lived like a child, care-free. I didn’t compare myself to other people and celebrity news and media scrutiny wasn’t what it is today. I played in my backyard all the time. Played with friends after school, and participated in sports. My parents only let me have soda from time to time, and we never kept it in the house. No candy or products with artifical colorings were allowed in the house either, unless it was a special occasion like a birthday.

Any chance I got to break those rules I did. Why? Because my friends got to eat all those foods, like Fruity Pebbles, Fruit Loops, candy bars, Dunkaroos, and that yogurt that changed colors! I so wanted in on that..I mean “food” that changes colors when you mix it, what kid wouldn’t want that!?

I never associated food with health. I didn’t see food as nourishment either really, I just ate it. Why? Because it tasted good, and if it tasted really good, I ate as much as I could. I was lucky  that my scrawny body wasn’t affected by the amount of sugar and calories I consumed. 

I rememeber in middle school I would have $2.50 to spend on lunch. You know what I would get? Two bags of chips, and a zebra cake, which is a sugary processed pastry. I would switch it up sometimes, and would eat  “real food” like a bagel and cream cheese, or chicken nuggets and french fries. Do any of these options sound nourishing? Or like they have any nutritional value whatsoever? No. This is the reason for the lack of health in this country, its because we aren’t taught properly or fed properly during our most formative years.

My mom and family cooked nourishing home-cooked meals, and would make sure there was always a vegetable on the table. Not like I enjoyed the three pieces of brocolli I was forced to eat before leaving the table, but I ate them.

Whenever I got home from school my best friend Rachel and I would head to the kitchen. We would make microwavable mac and cheese or Ragu, Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup (I have no idea if that was actually chicken!) and gorge ourselves with sweets like cookies and brownies. We didn’t gain weight from this, but I’m sure it had some kind of affect on my health, and I’m almost positive it contributed to my acne.

Looking back on my eating habits, I was eating was purely to enjoy food and overeat, not to nourish my body. But I also didn’t know any better. The food pyrimid we were shown in school, displayed carbs, like cereal, pasta, and bread as being the food group you should eat the most of during the day. Now, we are seeing the reprocussions of this. Diabetes, weight gain, inflammatory diseases, gluten-intolerances and allergies, and so much more.  Because we created these habits, and we were told for so long “eating carbs is good for you.” Not knowing it was moreso just great for the companies selling these processed foods.

We are constantly bombared with new food recommendations, new diets, and “right” way of eating cliams. It becomes overwhelming, and the easiet thing for people to do is stick to their current way of eating. Why? Because it has become a habit, a daily routine, a security blanket, and people feel comfortable with what is familiar to them.

I shook up my world, and ended my unhealthy habits, because I just got to the point where I was feeling so unhealthy. I was in college, overeating, stress eating, and feeling tired all the time. When I look back now, It amazes me how 21 year old me felt so unhealthy. Even though I thought I was eating a balanced diet, and I would go to the gym, my health wasn’t balanced. I wasn’t eating many vegatables, I was eating way too big of portions, I wasn’t sleeping enough at night, and when finals came around stress eating took over. It wasn’t healthy or helping me feel better. That’s when I realized I wanted to feel good, and damn it, I deserved to feel good!

I firstly began to research different diets and ways of eating. I noticed that many diets gave people perimiters and guidelines to follow, that’s why they worked so well. Not because of how many calories you ate, but the quality of the food you ate nourished your body.  I ate greek yogurt in the morning with blueberries and granola, I would go to the gym or for a run, and then have sweet potato, eggs, veggies, and avocado for lunch. At night I would have a big salad and maybe some pasta, or chicken and potatoes. In the beginning of my journey I still ate meat, and dairy.

Then as I began to workout more often and eat differently I noticed that I felt the best eating a plant-based diet, rich in whole foods. I didn’t eat animal foods for a while and felt great. I noticed that I had more energy throughout the day, I lost weight, I could see definition in my body from working out, and I felt happier.

During my studies to become a health coach I learned a lot about the dairy industry, and how animals were treated and quality of the food compromised for profit. That’s when I gave up animal products for a while. My skin also benefitted from not eating dairy, and I still avoid it.

My health journey and self discovery will never end. I will keep learning and changing, and that’s a beautiful thing. I think when we can accept ourselves and listen to our bodies and really understand what they need to function and what our bodies crave that’s when we can achieve health.

I feel like a health warrior, fighting for people to open their eyes. Fighting to give other people stregnth, and fighting against corporations that poison our food and people. This is my truth. My story. I hope this inspires yours. 

Head Vs. Heart: Create Your Own Timeline

Why do our heads and our hearts pull us in opposite directions? The confusion makes us feel uncomfortable, even though we know its time for a change. Ultimately, we are unhappy with the situation we are in.

So why is it so hard to make a decision?

It’s so easy to give advice to friends and recommend what they should do and be supportive in what they decide to do. So why is it so hard to have the same support and optimism regarding our own lives?

I think it’s because we don’t like feeling venerable, like a freshly peeled scab. Sensitive, and left feeling broken and hurt, but we need to go through this process and really feel the consequences of our decision, in order to move on.

Is this decision right or wrong? There is no such thing of what you deciding on doing as being right or wrong. There is only you making the effort to be happy, and recognizing that it’s time for a change. This is the first step.

Our head will make us overthink and overanalyze to the point where we have foreseen every possible outcome. Our hearts will make us empathetic and allow us to think about how our decision, the one that needs to be made for our sanity, will disappoint and effect people that we love. They have envisioned a different future for us, but one that does not fulfill our own wants and dreams.

Society’s pressures make us feel insecure with straying from the conventional way of life. Graduating college, having a successful career, falling in love, getting married, having children, basically “having it all.” But no one can live up to these demanding and “perfect” standards, we are only human, and as humans f”””ing up is innate. This cycle is not only stressful, but it’s a lie. Even if people seem like they have all these things on the surface, they are likely hiding unaccepted taboos deep down, which they only share with few or only in their minds.

Do you want to be a caged animal? Suppressed my society’s pressure and constantly living in your imagination? Or do you want your fantasies and dreams to be a reality? You will notice the more you chase and pursue your interests, the more your life will flourish and the happier you will be. Create your own timeline. A timeline with no forced conventional standards. A timeline as unique as you are, and you will live with no regrets.

Failure. Well, that is bound to happen whether you stay put or you change directions, but it’s YOU actually taking the risk, and flipping that coin that will reveal whether or not you made the “right” choice. Either way, do you want to look back on your life, content with living according to someone else’s standards, or according to your own?

Live Consciously To Become a Better You

Breathe. Listen to your thoughts, but don’t let them overwhelm and control you.  If you set goals, and achieve mini-goals one by one, you’ll be on track to getting where you want to be in no time. Time doesn’t exist to pressure you. It exists to allow you to become who you want to be. In today’s fast-paced world, where multi-tasking has become second nature, we need to take the time to slow down. We need to realize that we have all the time in the world, and we need to enjoy our journey through life.

Managing stress is a struggle for many, but it’s important that we make the effort to heal these stressors in our life. Not only does stress release a harmful steroid called cortisol in your body, but it also shuts down your immune system. This makes you more susceptible to illnesses and affects your sleep and overall health. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, step away and breathe for five minutes. Meditate. Center yourself, regroup, and go back to where you’re needed. When you let stress take over, that’s when your mind becomes cloudy.

Take time to do the things that make you happy and do activities that are important to you. Surround yourself with people who you can share these positive moments with and make memories with them.

Set mini-goals to achieve your larger overall goal. This will make you feel as though you are making your way to where you want to be, and chipping away at what needs to be done in order to be there. This makes the process more enjoyable, and allows you to sleep peacefully at night, knowing that you’ve checked off a lot of your to-do list.

Try not to rush when eating. Living in a society where people eat on the go, or don’t make time for a proper meal is something that we lack culturally in America. Put love, time, and effort into the meals you cook, because when you or your family eats those meals they will be eating that love and energy. Sitting down and taking time to eat is also important, because it allows you to digest the food properly. When you chew your food and eat slowly, you’re more likely to eat less and feel satisfied. You won’t feel tired and sick from overeating, or have indigestion from rushing and not chewing your food properly.

Listen to your body, when it tells you that it’s had enough to eat, stop eating. When it’s thirsty, drink. And when your body needs more nourishment to keep going, eat a small snack or meal.

Taking the time to live consciously and listening to your body and mind will only bring more clarity to your life. Your decisions will bring you closer to your goals, and you will be able to maintain a stress-free life. You will be more aware and less overwhelmed by what life may throw at you, and the best advice I can give is to enjoy what you have now, in this moment.

This moment you can never rewind to, or go back to. Treasure your struggles and treasure your life, however you define it. You will get to where you want to be. If you see yourself there and know it will happen, and make a conscious positive effort to be there, there’s nothing stopping you. Just don’t forget to live in the moment, and cherish the excitement and challenge of reaching your destination in life. Even when you make it to where you want to be, there will still be another step or goal to achieve. There will always be something else. So why rush through it all?

Enjoy your journey, because no one other than you will be able to experience it.